Breanna Myles of Florida is Miss Teen USA 2021!

OpeningInterestingly enough, all of the top 5 had never hit their respective positions in the list of Who Has the Most Miss Teen USAs? For example, Florida had never won before, District of Columbia had never been 1st runner up, Texas had never been 2nd runner up, Pennsylvania had never been 3rd runner up and Utah had never been 4th runner up! It's almost as if they took pity of some of the underdog states (or cities, in DC's case) and wanted to shake things up this year. And shake they did... Lots of favorites were left out and I really tried to look at bios and find the delegates that were the best overall but then surprises were to be expected as is often the case at Miss Teen USA. I will say last year was more sensibly judged though and I still think my list is better...

Breanna is Florida's first Miss Teen USA winner and this proud Afro-Latina won the national title at age 18. She was born in Kentucky to a Dominican mother and African-American father, and moved to Florida at age seven. Raised in Port St. Lucie, Florida, she graduated from high school in 2021, with a dual enrollment associate degree from Indian River State College. She attends Florida State University studying computer science and musical theatre with ambitions of becoming a software engineer.

OpeningThe opening number set to Katy Perry’s ‘Smile’ had some great choreography courtesy of the experienced Kent Gregory Parham featuring the delegates with the reigning Miss Teen USA in outfits that had a fun, unique take on the whole schoolgirl uniform look. The hosts were Kalani Hilliker and Nicole Adamo. Kalani’s hosting was disastrous. Everything from the cleavage-bearing outfit that probably wouldn’t be deemed Teen appropriate to the multiple mispronounced words throughout the night like ‘diplomacy’ almost pronounced phonetically like dip-loh-mah-cee or saying ‘mythologist’ instead of ‘Methodist’ and even some noticeably incomplete sentences. Maybe the lighting wasn’t great where she was reading her cards or the prompter went too fast but it was cringeworthy. Nicole co-hosted the preliminaries with the reigning titleholders and she got a bit of experience there but perhaps needed a bit more.

In terms of my predictions, I picked 9 of the top 16 plus 1 alternate (Florida who won), 1 honorable mention (Mississippi). The 5 ladies I missed were: District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Wisconsin and Wyoming. My 7 picks that didn't place were: Tennessee (huge shock exclusion but probably needed a better gown? She was also the first Asian Miss Tennessee Teen USA but I guess while more black delegates have enjoyed success in recent years, I find other visible minorities tend to get overlooked), Michigan (the daughter of Miss Michigan Teen USA 1999 and top 5 finalist at Miss Teen USA 1999-Sara Dusendang-Moylan who was so fun and good-spirited but took a risk wearing a watermelon-esque gown. It gave me a watermelon sugar high… and I wanted more berries!!), Delaware (who had an amazing body and gown), Hawaii (also had an amazing gown and very bright), Alabama (a great overall candidate with a very nice look, a Disney-esque gown and an achieved lady who completed her junior and senior year simultaneously to graduate with honors a year early and managed to obtain 29 college credits through dual enrollment courses while in high school. She attends the University of Alabama at Birmingham double majoring in political science and Spanish aiming to become an attorney to focus on human rights and immigration law inspired by her two adopted brothers from Honduras adopted by Dailyn's parents seeing the struggle of the immigration process), Indiana (who won the Photogenic award and was also bright was a 4.31 GPA and won her state title on her first try), Oklahoma (the host delegate who looked very teen with her short blonde hair and petite figure and had a great gown). This year's congeniality award went to Nebraska's Daisy Sudderth. The winner of the fan vote was Georgia's Liza Greenberg (who was also my pick to win). The photogenic award went to Indiana's Lexi Gryszowka. The top 3 of the state costume competition were: Utah, New Mexico and Washington.



Winner=Florida-Breanna Myles

Winner=Georgia-Liza Greenberg*

1st Runner Up=District of Columbia-Hannah Gilliard

1st Runner Up=South Carolina-Augusta Roach*

2nd Runner Up=Texas-Landry Davis

2nd Runner Up=Tennessee-Annie Zhao

3rd Runner Up=Pennsylvania-Yvonne Burke

3rd Runner Up=Louisiana-Gracie Petry*

4th Runner Up=Utah-Ayzjiahna Wood

4th Runner Up=Michigan-Jada Moylan



California-Cameron Doan

California-Cameron Doan*

Georgia-Liza Greenberg

Delaware-Sky Knox

Iowa-Angel Strong

Hawaii-Tia Bustamante

Louisiana-Gracie Petry

Iowa-Angel Strong*

Maryland-Maria Derisavi

Maryland-Maria Derisavi*

Mississippi-Mattie Grace Morris

Texas-Landry Davis*

Missouri-Anna Long

Alabama-Dailyn Swann

Nebraska-Daisy Sudderth

Indiana-Lexi Gryszowka

South Carolina-Augusta Roach

Oklahoma-Hunter Gorton

Wisconsin-Shreya Gundelly

Nebraska-Daisy Sudderth*

Wyoming-Teryn Thatcher

Utah-Ayzjiahna Wood*


ALTERNATES: Nevada, Florida*, Ohio, New Hampshire, Illinois


HONORABLE MENTIONS: Mississippi*, Virginia, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Alaska


* = made actual top 16

The judges were: Claudia Correa, Jerome Lamaar, Joni Rogers-Kante, Venita Cooper and Madison Brodsky. After the top 16 were announced, they did their introductory walk and it was on to the fitness wear competition. Mississippi was up first and she was buff was strong abs and a nice turn, Utah’s distinct look with the afro made her a favorite and being half-black, half-Filipina attracted a large fan base. Wyoming was a major surprise entry into the semifinals. Very few people predicted that she would make the cut. Louisiana was next was very much a favorite and she really did make efforts to go out to other state pageants during her reign and a lot of people that she would have been a very dedicated and fabulous Miss Teen USA but it was not to be. Pennsylvania was another surprise delegate but then I learned she was a Harvard girl so she probably did extremely well in interview. Florida did look good with her fit body and long hair. I’m regretting only putting her as an alternate in my list now. Nebraska was nice also sporting a short afro like Utah that at one point, I thought the two would cancel each other out but wouldn’t you know, they both placed! Iowa was strong…Angel Strong! I was glad to see an underdog state send a fresh-faced Angel and I’m glad I saw her semifinalist potential as she was worthy. Missouri was next and she seemed very much like a pageant girl but I feel like in recent years, they are trying to get away from the long blonde hair and prominent teeth but she made it regardless. South Carolina was also a favorite this year. It was very surprising to not see her in the top 5. Maryland has an interesting story being born In Kuwait. Then, Maria moved from Kuwait to Maryland with her mother and three siblings at age 9 and she is a trilingual Iranian-American who even is a Chinese tutor and has interned for a Maryland senator. Passionate about educating others about global human rights issues, Maria was accepted into her county’s Global and International Studies Academy. She also looked great and would have liked to have seen her go further. Wisconsin was another surprise placement but she did have loud crowd support during preliminaries so that may have influenced the judges. She was of three delegates of Indian descent with Connecticut and Rhode Island being the other two. Georgia was next and she was amazing. So stunning and photogenic and she would have been a great winner. Texas followed making another comeback for the lonestar state as even though they are the most successful state at both Miss Teen USA and Miss USA, Texas hasn’t enjoyed much success in recent years as they hadn’t placed since 2017 but Landry brought them back and deservedly so. California followed and you could tell she really wanted this with her presentation. I thought her look was very Jojo Siwa and she even showed off her baton twirling skills during the state costume competition. She was also previously Miss California's Outstanding Teen 2018. District of Columbia followed skipping all the way through her presentation. I thought that kind of thing was frowned upon but I guess not in her case.

Of course, I loved that they incorporated some of the best 80s songs in the montages showing the ladies’ activities during pageant week especially Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ which was also used during the 1984 Miss Teen USA pageant. After the parade of gowns, it was on to the evening gown competition starting with Mississippi in a nice feathery off-shoulder white gown that flowed nicely with air at the end of the runway. Utah wore an orange/yellow gradient variation of the gown she wore when she won her state title with the distinctive flowery shoulder piece and she stuck a style that she knew worked for her. Wyoming followed in a light orange gown with one long sleeve and the other side was sleeveless. Louisiana had a divine white gown with a ruffly white and pink train and she looked every bit a regal queen. Pennsylvania had an orange gown with feathered shoulders which also blew nicely in the air. Florida followed and normally I hate the granny-panty gowns but she made it work with a silver bodice and white skirt. I just wish they would have the panty-part peaking through the slit to have more of a V-cut rather than a flat-cut almost like shorts. Nebraska followed in a very nice cuff-neck princess gown with a jeweled bodice with a flowy lavender skirt. Her gown had a very similar style to Hawaii’s which I thought had a nicer train but sadly Hawaii didn’t place but this gown and its color combination appealed to me. Nebraska’s walk could have been a bit faster though. I find the slow walks can annoy at times. Iowa followed in a light purple gown also with feathered off-shoulder pieces and she didn’t stumble this time like she did in preliminaries but she looked great. Missouri followed in a magenta ball gown but seemed to not make much an impact to me. It did remind me a bit of the gown worn by another Miss Missouri Teen USA, 1995’s Melana Scantlin. South Carolina followed in a sky blue mermaid gown and while the color looked great on her, I really wish it wasn’t made from that cheap-looking fabric. Maryland followed in a simple maroon ball gown that was lightly jeweled and she looked nice but I feel like she could have gone with something that made more of an impact. Wisconsin also followed in a maroon jeweled gown with a full train that was unique and did stand out. Georgia looked heavenly in her sky blue multi-layered gown with jeweled bodice and cuff-neck. Texas followed in a flowy cornflower blue gown that also looked elegant. California followed in a very nice and unique gradient ball gown with a dark blue bodice but a gradient skirt that had shades of blue, purple and green in it and it was a really great gown. Finally, District of Columbia came out in a black gown with a pink bodice, pink train and a pink bow on the shoulder. Anytime I see black and pink together, my brain automatically thinks of the outfit Amanda Little-Miss Texas USA 1997 wore at the intro for Miss USA 1997. It really is a fabulous color combination.
District of Columbia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, UtahThe top 5 were announced being Utah, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida and District of Columbia and I believe this is the first time that 4 of the top 5 were black or part-black contestants with Texas being the last Caucasian girl standing so I automatically knew she wouldn’t win… For optics, people. Then, it was time for top 5 to face a new change in the Miss Teen USA pageant. There was a chat session like a talk show format panel discussion before judges questions were picked and answered and the Teen delegates changed into their interview outfits. This format has been done during Miss America pageants in the 1990s. With Nicole moderating, the ladies were asked girl chat questions with the first asking if they would do well in a zombie apocalypse. Texas started and said she would do well since she has taken up boxing and self-defense classes. Florida said she wouldn’t do well and that she would run for her life but not be the fastest or slowest person. DC said she doesn’t have kick boxing but she does have movie experience and ran track so she wouldn’t be the slowest either. Pennsylvania said she also has movie experience and says she’s the mom of her group and comes prepared with snacks in her car. Utah said she might try to fend them off with toe-touches but would tuck her dog in her purse and hide in an underground bunker. The next question asked what they would do if they could be invisible for an hour each day. Utah said she would grab all the snacks in her pantry and go crazy as she loves food. When asked what kind of snacks, she said talkies but since she goes to the gym more often know it would be water and she doesn’t really know. I think Utah really showed her age here being the youngest contestant at age 16. I sensed nerves from her even when she won the State Costume competition so that caused me to lower her on my predictions list and I knew even when she made top 5 that she would be 4th runner up. Florida said she would go to an all-you-can-eat buffet and take all the food for sure. Pennsylvania says she and her friends love pranking each other and she would put little rubber ducks around in each of their rooms just to see how they would react. DC said she would sneak into the teachers’ lounge since they always have the gossip. Texas said she would also go to a buffet as her family eats organic food so she would sneak some organic bites. The ladies were then asked since we only get to see them for a few moments, what words describe them best. Florida said being confident which is something she used to struggle with being an Afro-Latina and a seeing a lack of representation of people like her and she didn’t know if she was acting black enough or Hispanic enough and she uses her title to spread that message throughout. However, I think we should all act ‘human’ enough. Pennsylvania said adaptable and that she loves being prepared but Covid taught her that she can’t be prepared for everything. She has been able to change how she learns going from struggling with schooling to being accepted as a Harvard student (there it is, I was waiting for the Harvard plug) and even being adaptable with the new directorship of the Miss USA system now under the helm of Miss USA 2008-Crystle Stewart. This answer came out a bit stumbly so this might have been where the points were lost even though she mentioned Harvard. Texas said relatable as throughout her life she has battled some pretty tough fights and one of those being very traumatic which led to depression, PTSD and anxiety and she also struggled with body image and comparison issues but turned her pain into purpose and shares her message on her website and social media and speaking engagements and would like to continue to do that as Miss Teen USA. Utah said she is very driven that once she sets her mind to something, she can achieve it. She struggled with learning to embrace her individuality and she decided to break through that by going through her big chop (cutting her hair) and she endured heat damage but she drove herself into a place to find self-love and that when you are driven, you can achieve anything. DC said organic and that she has been herself and not tried to be anyone else but her authentic self. Then they were asked how they would describe their generation. DC said they are sick and tired of being sick and tired and that they would fight against discrimination to dismantle social constructs that oppress black and brown people, transgendered people, LGBTQIA+ and she feels like her generation will start fighting for the people. Florida said to piggy back off of DC’s great answer that she believes they are the generation of being compassionate and caring for one another and being kind to one another and not letting our differences hold us back. It is really important that we’re able to focus on not letting our differences like race, gender and sexuality hold us back but bring us together as a nation. Utah said we’re learning to see a different perspective and we’re more open with people’s situations and as a generation we’re learning from each other and to see both sides and to have an opne mind and we see that with movements from youngner generation that as a generation they are making progressive change. Pennsylvania said they’re multifaceted and that there isn’t one word to describe their generation because they are understanding that all identities have a place and have a purpose and that’s why she’s proud to be a part of this generation since they can be anything they set their minds on if that have that drive, passion and compassion just as her fellow Teens mentioned. Texas said daring as Teens are standing up and speaking out and they are standing up for things that we have been too quiet about for too long using social media to talk about what they’re passionate about and making platforms and they are strong women wanting to make a difference and live a life that will outlive them. Finally, they were asked if they approve of custom elaborate coffee shop orders. Texas enthusiastically said yes and Nicole asked her why and she said she is very passionate about her coffee and that she grew with her mom saying she loves her coffee. She would go to a coffee shop doing her work there and she likes a matcha with lavender and Utah chimed in saying she’s never tried that but suggested chai and Texas said they’ll go on a coffee date after the pageant. Texas suggested adding oat milk and Utah said she loves oat milk or almond milk. DC chimed in saying she likes the cold foam latte with oat milk. Nicole said these girls love their coffee and no wonder they have so much energy!
Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, Florida, Texas, UtahAfter this lengthy chat sesh, it was time for the judges’ questions. Utah started and picked Claudia Correa who asked, “80% of teens say they feel pressure to save the environment but don’t know how. What would you tell them?” Utah replied, “I feel that with climate change, it is a real global issue that we touch on but we’re not necessarily urgent on and we see small change throughout our schools. They are, we have recycling clubs and not only that but we see sustainability in things, places like hotels. I was actually recently in New York and they had faucets that were low pressure so that just a l..small act like that saves so much in our environment and a small change can really make a big difference. Thank you.” Texas picked Jerome Lamaar who asked, “As a new or young voter, what changes would you like to see to America’s political climate?” Texas replied, “For America’s political climate, I would go straight into having advocates, more advocates for sex traffic victims. I work with a safe house called Bochy’s Place and in that I see the hurt that these girls have faced and how our government and certain groups are not stepping in as much as they should. We need more advocates. We need to go into these jailing systems and have advocates for these girls to give them the proper help that they need.” Pennsylvania picked Madison Brodsky who asked, “Diversity and inclusion is a top concern for teens in 2021. What motivates you to get involved in being an advocate for change?” Pennsylvania replied, “So, personally, I was a part of a new found club in my high school called Titans for Inclusion and Equity and then I founded our very first black student union at my high school and I advocate for diversity and inclusion because it’s something that we’re not seeing. It’s something that, personally, growing up, I never felt like I was included like I belonged in my high school in my area so with the foundation of these clubs, it’s a space where we can all feel that we belong and I think that’s necessary.” Florida picked Venita Cooper who asked, “If you win this evening, you’ll become an even bigger social media influencer. Tell us about your content strategy and how you plan to drive engagement.” Florida replied, “I believe that the biggest thing about social media is that we need to use it as a positive platform. As Miss Florida Teen USA, I have been able to really spread the message of being your own gem and being you. It’s really important that we are able to realize that it doesn’t matter those superficial things. We go on social media and we compare ourselves to others. We truly need to know that it’s what’s on the inside that matters. Thank you.” Finally District of Columbia chose Joni Rogers-Kante who asked, “The next Miss Teen USA will be the voice for teens. What do you want people to know about teenage anxiety and mental health?” DC replied, “Absolutely, so my platform is actually mental health so I had two, two classmates that actually committed suicide before Covid had started so I’m really close to this topic. I’m really aware of the anxiety and depression that all teens face and I feel like it really starts with self-confidence. If you can work on self-love and self-confidence, you can be able to start breaking down some of that depression, some of that anxiety that you face on a daily basis and we need to really realize that these things are real issues in our community especially in black and brown communities. We need to really face uh, the realize… (bell chimes) (laughs) Ooh. Sorry. We need to realize that these are real issues and come together as a community to face them. Thank you.” DC was a bit winded but had a good answer. Florida’s answer was probably well prepared in advance but she delivered it well and it looks like that’s what sealed the deal for her.

Finally, after the stunning Ki’ilani Arruda of Hawaii said her farewell, we had some history making placements that had never been since before at Miss Teen USA as mentioned at the start of this article. Utah was 4th runner up, Pennsylvania was 3rd runner up, Texas was 2nd runner up, DC was 1st runner up and Florida after never making top 5 in Miss Teen USA history claimed their first crown thanks to Breanna Myles!

The Prethoughts - Miss Teen USA 2021




Some photos courtesy Miss Universe L.P., LLLP