Beauty pageants have no shortage of drama. Between the
onstage performances and backstage happenings, there is a lot at stake for the contestants. These women put in years of hard work — all for a title, a scholarship, and a year of fame as one of the most beautiful women in the state, country, or world. But for some women, that didn't last. And, as seen this year with the Steve Harvey catastrophe, the whole experience can be so upsetting to witness. Imagine getting that close to such a milestone achievement and then having it taken away. That is what happened to Miss Puerto Rico, Kristhielee Caride, whose title was revoked on March 17 after being told she had a bad attitude. Unfortunately, this has been happening for years, and for an assortment of reasons ranging from hidden pregnancies, to leaked nude photos — much more scandalous reasons than a lack of reading skills. Way back in 1957, Leona Gage was stripped of her crown as Miss USA after holding the position for less than 24 hours. Since then, almost a dozen more women have lost their spots at the top by different pageant organizations. Here are the 11 beauty pageant contestants who were dethroned while they were reigning beauty queens. They may have been the fairest of them all, but life isn't.
Photo: Associated Press.
Leona Gage, Miss USA, 1957
The Incident: Gage lied about her age (she was 18 and said she was 21) and her personal life (she was once divorced, remarried, and the mother of two children.)
The Aftermath: She was stripped of her crown less than 24 hours after being named Miss USA. After losing the money, and her title, Gage attempted an acting career, and went on to be married four more times.
Photo: Associated Press.
Marjorie Wallace, Miss World, 1973
The Incident: Soon after being the first American to win the Miss World title, reports surfaced that she was dating two men at once — a Welsh singer, and a British soccer player. Unfortunately, that behavior was not supported by the pageant officials.
The Aftermath: About three months into being Miss World, Wallace was stripped of her crown. Three months after that she overdosed on pills. A few years later, in 1981, she became one of the first anchors on
Photo: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images.
Vanessa Williams, Miss America, 1984
The Incident: In 1983, Vanessa Williams became the first African American woman to win the Miss America crown. A few months later, naked pictures of her were released in an issue of
The Aftermath: Williams, who said she never really wanted to be a pageant girl anyways, was stripped of her crown and title. She did go on to have a modeling and acting career, regardless of this major nationwide upset.
Photo: ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)
Oxana Fedorova, Miss Universe, 2002
The Incident: Fedorova was a law student at the time of her Miss Universe win. She was very busy with school, too busy to keep up with the rigorous travel schedule that she was required to comply with.
The Aftermath: Fedorova was stripped of her crown, making her the first time in Miss Universe's history that they removed a woman who had the crown.
Photo: Denise Truscello / Contributor.
Katie Rees, Miss Nevada USA, 2007
The Incident: Photographs were posted on MySpace of Rees flashing the camera and pulling down her pants while at a nightclub.
The Aftermath: Donald Trump made Rees give up her title of Miss Nevada USA. Rees would continue to get into trouble — in 2008 she was charged with resisting arrest; in 2012 she was arrested for drug possession; in 2015 she was
arrested twice more
Photo: Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press.
Christina Silva, Miss California USA, 2007
The Incident: There was an error made while counting votes the night of the show.
The Aftermath: Less than a week after the pageant, Silva was told that she had to surrender her title to the runner-up winner. Silva thinks there was no error, and something else happened that made them change their mind about her representing California in the pageant.
Ashley Harder, Miss New Jersey USA, 2007
The Incident: Harder came forward and admitting that she was expecting a child.
The Aftermath: She had to give back her crown as Miss USA does not allow contestants who have children, or are pregnant.
Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Hawaiian Tropic Zone.
Lindsey Evans, Miss Louisiana Teen USA, 2008
The Incident: Evans and a few friends dined-and-dashed on a $46.07 bill in Louisiana, but Evans accidentally left her purse, with her license, with her picture on it, along with a small amount of marijuana.
The Aftermath: Evans was “relieved of her duties as Miss Louisiana Teen USA 2008 effective immediately,” Paula Miles, president of pageant sponsor RPM, said in a statement at the time. She now goes by Elle Evans, and is an actress and model.
Photo: Associated Press.
Laura Zuniga, Miss Hispanic America, 2008
The Incident: Two months after receiving her crown, Zuniga was held in jail with her boyfriend, a prominent Mexican drug dealer, on a long list of charges including drug trafficking and money laundering.
The Aftermath: Her crown was revoked, and she became part of an investigation looking into how she even became Miss Hispanic America. It was rumored that it had something to do with her drug lord boyfriend.
Photo: Denise Truscello/WireImage.
Carrie Prejean, Miss USA, 2009
The Incident: Nude photos of Prejean were leaked online.
The Aftermath: Her crown was revoked a few weeks after the photographs were released. The organizers of the pageant said it was due to breach-of-contract issues.
Kristhielee Caride, Puerto Rico's Miss Universe contestant, 2016
The Incident: Only four months after winning her crown and ticket to the Miss Universe pageant, Caride
starting exhibiting a bad attitude
, and unwillingness to constantly be in front of the camera.
The Aftermath: She will no longer represent Puerto Rico in the upcoming pageant. This is the first time a Puerto Rican contestant has lost her title
the big pageant.