Miss Nebraska Sarah Rose Summers says she had no expectations entering the Miss USA pageant, other than to be herself.
Summers says when she won all her emotions came flooding in.
“My facial expressions, I dropped to the ground. Last year’s Miss USA (Kara McCullough), I remember her whispering in my ear, ‘Can I crown you now?’” Summers chuckles at the remembrance during a telephone interview with Nebraska Radio Network. “And then I just had to pull it together there at the end to say goodbye to the viewers at home.”
Summers is a 23-year-old Omaha area native who graduated from Texas Christian University and is working to become a certified child life specialist. Summers graduated from Papillion-La Vista South High School in 2013.
The 50 contestants entered in the pageant were quickly narrowed to 15, then to the final three contestants: Summers, Miss North Carolina Caelynn Miller-Keyes, and Miss Nevada Carolina Urrea.
Each had to answer a final question: what would you write on a blank sign for a hypothetical march? Summers replied she would encourage people to “speak your voice.”
The audience in the national televised program cheered when Summers said people need to “listen to each other.”
A selection committee with input from viewers selected the winner.
Summers says she didn’t have a lot of expectations going into the pageant, which she believes is why she did so well.
She says she just wanted to be herself on stage.
“My goal was just for my personality to shine through to that selection committee from the stage, because an interview; that’s easy, I get to talk to them and just chat with them, but from stage I just was completely myself and having fun and now we’re here, but I didn’t necessarily have strict expectations for myself,” Summers says.
Summers will represent the United States in the Miss Universe competition and serve as Miss USA for the next year.