Finding your confidence at the Miss USA pageant


Nick and Vanessa Lachey team up as hosts, cheerleaders

This year’s host include Vanessa and Nick Lachey

For many women, a beauty pageant title – be it at the state, national or international level – can be a watershed moment, one that can serve as the catalyst for pursuing lifelong ambitions and making dreams come true.

It was for Vanessa Lachey, a co-host this year’s 2018 Miss USA pageant. Her crown in the Miss Teen USA pageant in 1998 catapulted her to fame and a career in television. But more importantly, it helped her become her best self.

“It really is the beginning of everything that’s happened in my life good … professionally and personally,” she says. “It was just this moment that I can actually pinpoint that was the moment that I truly found my voice, I found my confidence, I found what I wanted to do in this industry. And they helped me along the way to do that, emotionally and physically helped get me out in front of the right people. … It still hasn’t really sunk in that was 20 years ago. I’m the old lady on stage, I guess.”


Vanessa Lachey

Airing live Monday, May 21, on Fox, the 67th Miss USA pageant at the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport-Bossier, La., will see 51 contestants from each state and the District of Columbia vying for the title and the right to represent the U.S. at the 2018 Miss Universe pageant later this year. Reigning Miss USA Kára McCullough will crown her successor and Nick Lachey’s band 98 degrees will be making an appearance.

“We are performing during the competition as well, which is cool,” Nick Lachey notes. “We actually did Miss Teen USA, we performed there, I think, the year after Vanessa won. … It was in Shreveport back in those days as well … so this is my second go-round in Shreveport with this organization, so it’s kind of cool to have a full-circle moment.”

In the end, one young woman will experience a life-changing moment, one that Vanessa Lachey is excited to be a part of.

“And I just think it’s a really great opportunity for them to find the goodness in themselves,” she says, “and then launch that in whatever platform they want, whether they want to work with children or they want to become a singer, whether they want to start an organization. It’s about finding your confidence and this does that for you in so many ways.”


George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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