Miss USA 2014 Nia Sanchez was the surprise win last night — not only because of her unique background but because of her home state.
In a twist of fate, the 24-year-old Miss USA came representing Nevada, and took the crown back to the state it had moved from.
Celebrity judges included N’Sync’s Lance Bass, NBA superstar Karl Malone, and celebrity offspring Rumer Willis.
Asked how the would judge the girls, Bass said without a hint of sarcasm: “You always can tell a girl’s soul through her eyes.”
Here are some interesting facts about this year’s winner Nia Sanchez.
#3: She’s a fighter on the stage and off
Nia Sanchez has a black belt in the Korean martial art of taekwondo — fourth degree. And she’s trained for some 12 years. She told judges when asked that women need to learn to defend themselves in light of sexual assault dangers.
#2: She’s the first ever winner from Nevada — and not even from Nevada.
Sanchez was born in Sacramento, California, then traveled to a few different states to live with her family before setting off on her own to travel as a model. She eventually settled in Las Vegas, where she won the state beauty title a year ago.
#1: She’s a Disney Princess
Sanchez has been the face of some characters for Hong Kong Disney, including Cinderella, Princess Aurora, Belle and Snow White.
Sanchez will go on to represent the U.S. at the Miss Universe competition later this year.