Get to Know the 2017 Miss USA Prelim Judges
Before this year's Miss USA contestants compete live on FOX on Sunday, May 14 at 8PM ET, they have to compete in prelims this week!
The Miss USA preliminary competition airs on Thursday, May 11 at 10PM ET from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. You can watch live online or get tickets to attend the show! Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber and Alex Wehrley will co-host the event.
So, who are this year's prelim judges? Get to know them below!
Halima Aden is a 19-year-old model who took the fashion world by storm this spring. Born in a Kenyan refugee camp, the Somali-American was the first contestant to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant in a hijab and burkini. After garnering international media attention for staying true to her Muslim faith, Halima was summoned to New York by fashion industry icon Carine Roitfeld.
Vanessa Gringer is the Senior Director of Commercial Endorsements and Business Development at WME|IMG where she is responsible for identifying and coordinating non-traditional licensing and branding opportunities for talent across the globe.
Nancy Lublin is the Founder & CEO of Crisis Text Line, which has processed over 36 million messages in 3 years and is one of the first "big data for good" orgs. She was also CEO of DoSomething.org for 12 years, taking it from bankruptcy to the largest organization for teens and social change in the world.
Nick Light is the Senior Vice President of Artist Development and Touring for Sony Music Entertainment. He is a record-setting special events and tour production management expert who has led the music industry with the production of major tours and special events for entertainment giants Warner Brothers Records, MCA, Sony Entertainment and Mercury.
Carole Gist is a TV host, model and the first African-American woman to win the Miss USA title. Gist won the title of Miss Michigan USA and went on to win the Miss USA crown in 1990.
Brook Lee is the only Native Hawaiian to ever capture the Miss Universe Crown. Since her time as Miss Universe, Brook has traveled the globe as a television host, writer and producer. This year marks the 20th anniversary of her being crowned Miss Universe.
Maura McGreevy is Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications at IMG, a global leader in sports, fashion, media and events operating in more than 30 countries around the world.
We asked a few of this year's preliminary judges what they're looking for in the next Miss USA. See their answers below!
What are you looking for in the next Miss USA?
Halima Aden: "I am looking for someone who has a presence and who personifies the modern woman of 2017. She is smart, classy, and beyond beautiful. She can turn heads and then make powerful and positive change in this world with the attention and notoriety she receives."
Brook Lee: "I am looking for the woman that is READY to take on the rigorous duties that are required of this job. Having done it myself, I know it is more than just pictures and public appearances."
Nancy Lublin: "I'm looking for someone with humor. I think it's the most important and most underrated quality in a role model."
What does the modern woman mean to you?
Halima Aden: "Being a modern woman means staying true to yourself… being the best possible version of you. Being a modern woman means not letting stereotypes define you and being an unapologetically authentic version of yourself at all times."
Brooke Lee: "A modern woman is a multi-tasker, who isn't afraid to speak her mind, and be true to herself no matter what."
Nancy Lublin: "I've never thought of a definition of the modern woman--I'm CEO of a fast growing company, I've got two kids, a vibrant life in NYC. I'm too busy to define it, because I'm living it."
What is the importance of female role models in our society today?
Halima Aden: "The impact female role models have today is so significant. I grew up not seeing anyone who looked like me on TV, billboards, or in magazines. I never imagined that I could someday become a professional model as there hadn’t been women with my background who paved the way before me. It is important for all women to be trailblazers and to be the change they want to see in this world."
Brook Lee: "Let's face it, in the world of instant information, and a constant barrage of social media it is essential that female role models cut through the noise and be able to set concrete examples of integrity and truth. Miss USA has always stood for a woman that has followed her own path, and celebrated that unique path in achieving the title."