New Miss USA Crowned Following Sudden Resignation Controversy

By Jason Hall

May 10, 2024

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Miss Hawaii, Savannah Gankiewcz, was named as the new Miss USA 2023 following the recent sudden resignation of pageant winner Noeila Voigt.

Gankiewcz, 28, a model, entrepreneur and program director for the nonprofit 'What Makes You Feel Beautiful,' will officially be crowned in her native state during a celebratory coronation set for next Wednesday (May 15), according to a post shared by the Miss USA Instagram account on Thursday (May 9).

“We are proud to crown Savannah Miss USA 2023, A true representation of vision, intelligence, and compassion,” said Miss USA Organization CEO & President Laylah Rose. “Her dedication to empowering women through self-love and confidence is inspiring, and we look forward to her impactful reign as Miss USA.”

Gankiewcz's upcoming coronation comes days after Voigt announced her sudden resignation, becoming the first Miss USA to voluntarily step down in the pageant's 72-year history on Monday (May 6).

“I fully support and respect Noelia’s decision to step down, and I stand in solidarity with mental health awareness,” Gankiewicz said in a statement shared on the Miss USA Instagram account. “I accept the crown knowing that I have been uplifted by my supporters, family, friends, and the people of Hawaii throughout this journey. I accept this title on their behalf.”

Voigt, 24, who represented Utah while winning the Miss USA 2023 crown at the pageant held in September and placed in the top 20 in the Miss Universe 2023 pageant in November, announced her decision to resign, specifically mentioning Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava, who announced her own resignation on Wednesday (May 8), while expressing gratitude for support in her statement. Several users acknowledged that the first letter in the first 10 of 11 sentences of the statement shared by Voigt spelled out the phrase "I AM SILENCED."

Both Voigt and Srivastava's resignations followed Miss USA social media manager Claudia Michelle's decision to step down from her position on May 3. An insider told the New York Post that the three women decided to quit together and strategically worked out the timing of their respective resignations amid reported "harmful workplace conditions."

“The decision was not easy. Noelia and UmaSofia are extremely dedicated people who worked incredibly hard for the pageant. The decisions were not taken lightly. They all decided to do this together,” the insider said. “They are afraid of speaking out more at this time because of the organization. They don’t want this to have any lasting harmful effect on their futures.”

The source added that the alleged harassment and bullying was so bad that Srivastava's parents reportedly prohibited Rose from speaking to their daughter.

“All correspondence had to go through her parents. Her parents meet weekly with the Miss Universe Organization to try and get things to change with Miss USA but nothing ever gets done. No changes, no nothing,” the source claimed.

A spokesperson for the Miss USA organization said “the well-being of our titleholders is a top priority, and we understand her need to prioritize herself at this time" in a statement to CNN following her resignation.

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