Less than two weeks after Amanda Longacre was crowned Miss Delaware, the 24-year-old was stripped of her crown and scholarships.
The crown controversy was caused because the Miss America Organisation says contestants must be 17 to 24 years old, and Longacre will turn 25 in October.
But Longacre was truthful about her age from the start, telling NBC’s “Today Show” this morning that “My birthday was written on the contract, which the board signed off on, and allowed me to compete.”
Longacre insists that the board signed off on her contract on a local, state, and national level — and it wasn’t until Tuesday that she was notified her age was an issue.
“I am so upset because I was stripped of my crown over an age clause that clearly my state didn’t even know about,” Longacre continued through tears. “And so I’m left here wondering why I was even put in this position to begin with.”
Not only was Longacre stripped of her crown, but also the prizes associated with her brief title, including an $US11,000 scholarship.
But the Miss America organisation has already moved on, crowning first runner-up Brittany Lewis, 24, the new winner in a brief ceremony Thursday night.
The Miss America organisation said in a press release Thursday: “Following the Miss Delaware Pageant, it was determined that Amanda Longacre exceeded the age requirement in order to be eligible to compete. Therefore, the Miss Delaware 2014 title is awarded to Brittany Lewis.” They then tweeted:
Longacre responded to the announcement by telling “Today,” “It’s like they’re trying to erase me in a way, like it never happened, and it’s not fair because I won outright and I deserve to represent my state. I want this chance still to go to Miss America.”
As for next steps, Longacre says, “I am speaking with an attorney right now and we are discussing the options.”
Watch Longacre’s emotional appearance on “Today”:
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