Were Miss USA pageant-goers miss-led this year?
“Humiliated” contestants claim the 2022 Miss USA pageant was rigged and that the winner of the contest, Miss Texas R’Bonney Gabriel, was predetermined — or so say theories circulating TikTok, which claim no one had a “fair chance.”
Miss Montana Heather Lee O’Keefe fired up the rumor mill online following the contest on Monday, when Gabriel was crowned — which made her the first Asian American woman and first Filipina American to earn the Miss Texas USA title.
“Most of the Miss USA contestants feel very strongly that there was favoritism towards Miss Texas USA and we have the receipts to prove it,” O’Keefe claimed in a TikTok video with over 29,000 views.
Miss USA did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
Speculations swirled as soon as Gabriel was crowned and the other 50 women swiftly exited the stage, as seen in the telecast. In comparison, fellow competitors typically remain onstage during the crowning moments.
Former Miss USA contestant Jasmine Jones claimed that it was “obvious” something was “off” about the crowning moment, sharing clips from previous competitions and years where fellow competitors rush to congratulate the winner.
But suspiciously, that did not happen this year, she noted.
“Not one of them stays onstage to congratulate her or to run and hug her,” Jones said of this year’s pageant in a TikTok series with over 3 million views. “In my 10 years of pageantry, I’ve never seen contestants walk off the stage and not congratulate the girl that’s won.”
“Quite possibly the only Miss USA in history to have her entire class walk off stage immediately after she was crowned,” O’Keefe suggested online.
But wait, there’s more.
As advertised on the Miss USA website, the winner of Miss USA receives complimentary services at MIA Plastic Surgery which is affiliated with NIZUC Spa, according to the resort’s website. But as O’Keefe noted, less than 24 hours after the pageant aired live Monday night, NIZUC Spa posted an Instagram story of Gabriel receiving services — noting it happened nine weeks ago.
While it’s unclear if it was related to the pageant, O’Keefe once again claimed Gabriel’s alleged trip to NIZUC was favoritism since she was offered that “experience” seemingly before being crowned the winner on Monday.
“@MissUSA was crowned less than 24 hours ago, yet she already got her sponsored vacation to @NIZUCResort?” O’Keefe blasted the pageant institution on her Instagram stories. “Are you kidding me? I was giving y’all the benefit of the doubt, but this is just embarrassing at this point.”
The founder of MIA Beaute, a sponsor of the Miss USA pageant, is also reportedly a judge in the competition, O’Keefe claimed, and posted clips of Gabriel on his Instagram stories, further fueling speculation.
“Ever since Miss Texas was crowned a couple months ago, she has been shown favoritism by the Miss USA organization through their businesses that are also all owned by the same woman,” O’Keefe claimed.
O’Keefe also referenced the president of the Miss USA organization, Crystle Stewart, and shared an alleged screenshot of an Instagram story showing Stewart doing Gabriel’s hair. Stewart also runs the pageant coaching business Miss Academy.
Gabriel, who was reportedly coached in the Miss Academy prior to her crowning as Miss Texas, was “the only one who was really featured on their pages being one of their clients,” O’Keefe claimed, despite multiple other contestants working with the Academy.
“Not to mention, the actual Miss USA page reposting Texas on the official Miss USA page and no other state contestant got this kind of treatment,” O’Keefe said in a video. “And then they posted a public apology.”
“Y’all don’t tell me you can’t see it,” she said of the alleged “favoritism.” “Nothing against Texas as a person, I truly think she could’ve won fair and square, but unfortunately all of this drama has tainted her win. But there’s just too much evidence of favoritism to let this go unnoticed.”
O’Keefe also shared anonymous text message screenshots that she claimed were from her Miss USA group chat, where fellow women shared their disappointment and dismay at a system they believe was rigged against them.
“I feel heartbroken for all the little girls who watch Miss USA with the same dreams I had of working hard to be in that position,” one person wrote. “We were humiliated, thinking we entered something with a fair chance.”