The torch has officially been passed: your 63rd Miss USA 2014 pageant-winner is Miss Nevada Nia Sanchez. After a bizarre, Mardi Gras-themed opening and a little Twitter controversy over Karl Malone as a judge, former Miss USA 2013 Erin Brady stepped down and Sanchez took the crown. And I can't say I'm surprised — she must've really impressed the judges when she corrected host Giuliana Rancic on the correct pronunciation of her state. Or maybe they were afraid that she'd karate-chop them if she didn't win. Either way, good for you, girl. We all needed a little sass to counteract all of that sweet during the three-hour telecast.
But on a more serious note, Sanchez rocked her final question regarding the "epidemic of sexual assault at universities." Which really gave me zero doubts — even though this was my first Miss USA pageant — that she would be taking home the crown. The judges asked the 24-year-old why she thought the issue had be swept under the rug and what she thought they should do to better address it in the future. And Sanchez answered the question eloquently and without hesitation. She first explained that she believes that colleges are concerned about their reputation, so they choose to not draw attention to themselves. And Sanchez then asserted that awareness is important as well as teaching women to protect themselves and to feel confident.
Watch her full answer here:
Also, I just have to say it — being a fourth-degree tae kwon do black belt is pretty damn awesome. Forget Texas, don't mess with Nevada.