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November 21, 2017

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‘Scoring irregularities’ might send two Nevada contestants to national teen pageant


Steve Marcus

Ellie Smith, left, gives a hug to her sister Amy Smith after Amy was named Miss Nevada’s Outstanding Teen at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts Theater on Sunday, June 1, 2014. Ellie Smith was later crowned 2014 Miss Nevada.

Henderson Sisters Win at 2014 Miss Nevada

Ellie Smith and Amy Smith embrace after the sisters won the 2014 Miss Nevada and Miss Nevada’s Outstanding Teen Pageants, respectively, at the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts Theater on Sunday, June 1, 2014. Launch slideshow »

On June 1, Las Vegas Academy of Arts student Amy Smith was crowned Miss Nevada Outstanding Teen.

Smith is representing our state at next week’s national competition in Orlando, Fla.

If it were only that simple.

Because of what they describe as “scoring irregularities,” Miss America Outstanding Teen officials announced today that they are attempting to send not one but two contestants from Nevada to the national pageant.

Smith was crowned winner of the pageant in June at LVA. It was a soaring moment for the Smith family, as Amy joined her sister, Ellie, as Miss Nevada titleholders in the Miss America Organization. Ellie Smith is an accomplished singer in Las Vegas who also was crowned Miss Nevada Outstanding Teen in 2013.

However, overriding the story of a one-of-a-kind sister act from Las Vegas winning the state’s top pageant crowns is the errant scoring in the teen pageant. About two weeks after the show at Las Vegas Academy, the Miss America Outstanding Teen organization was notified of problems with the order of the Top Five finishers.

As its news release issued today notes, “After a thorough audit was conducted, scores were re-tabulated, and it was determined that another young lady was in the lead.”

The contestant was not specified, but the order of the announced finish after Smith was: Fourth runner-up Tia Henderson of Sparks, third runner-up Lauren Thompson of Carson City, second runner-up Carli Gumm of Minden and first runner-up Baylee Bernstein of Henderson.

In the days since, pageant reps have attempted to unsnarl the issue and send Smith and the contestant who actually received a higher score to the competition in Orlando.

Smith has agreed to that resolution and is headed to the Sunshine State to represent the Silver State. The pageant release deems the episode “an unfortunate situation, and we empathize with both competitors, but an agreement with the second contestant has not been reached. However, “… We are hopeful that a resolution can be reached so that they can participate in the national completion and represent the state of Nevada, as well.”

Rick Smith, father of Ellie and Amy Smith, was left perplexed by the developments.

“I have never seen anything like it in my life,” he said during a phone conversation tonight, “and I have seen a lot in my life.”

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