Miss Wisconsin Tianna Vanderhei lands spot in top 15
By Kris Leonhardt
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Wisconsin Rapids native and this year’s Miss Wisconsin candidate for the Miss America pageant, Tianna Vanderhei secured a spot in the top 15 during the Sept. 9 national competition, but didn’t advance to the final round.
Tianna is a Lincoln High School alumnus and a UW-La Crosse graduate with a degree in communications and sports broadcasting.
“My dream would be a sideline reporter for ESPN and to be able to cover college football,” Tianna stated during the program at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. “I am a huge football fan, a big Badger football fan as well, and I just love the enthusiasm and the excitement of being in the environment on game day.”
Vanderhei was off to a great start in the week-long competition, after snagging one of two preliminary competitions – the on-stage interview – on Sept 5.
In the new Miss America competition format, the 20-second, on-stage interview replaced the swimsuit competition.
During the televised competition, Vanderhei immediately took a place on stage as she was chosen for the top 15 of the 51 women – from the 50 states and District of Columbia – competing.
Those chosen for the top 15 were then given on-stage questions written by the other finalists. These answers played a factor in narrowing the field down to 10 and counted as 25 percent of the final score.
Upon being asked, “What do you hope to achieve as Miss America?”
Tianna responded, “My platform – my social impact initiative is called BOSS – that’s all about building our soft skills and strengthening our future for not only students, but adults and my peers as well, knowing that they are capable of so much. As someone that competed six times for my state job, and I’ve been in this organization for eight years, I want to be that source of empowerment for others to challenge themselves and to chase their dreams.”
When the field was narrowed down to 10, Tianna was not among those who made the cut. The top 10 were then cut to five, before Miss New York Nia Franklin was crowned Miss America 2019.
Learn more about Tianna in the next issue of BeYOUtiful magazine.