There is a diabolical side to some of the contestants in beauty pageants. For example, Andrea Piecuch, the Miss Universe of the U.S. Virgin Islands, was booed when she won that title. The locals said that Ms. Piecuch is a “pageant hopper,” or someone who moves from state to state competing until three possible end results: they win a big contest, age cuts them out, or they no longer have the funds to compete or even just get tired of the pageant circuit. In 2011, Ms. Piecuch competed in a Texas state pageant. In 2017, she was in a Florida pageant. In November 2018, Ms. Piecuch competed in the Miss Virginia pageant. In January 2019 she was a contestant in the Miss Utah USA pageant. The protests came when she competed in the U.S. Virgin Islands Ms. Universe pageant for that title in August 2019.
What are the rules? The U.S. Virgin Islands required only six-month residency status. Ms. Piecuch offered a lease as evidence of her residency to pageant officials, but declined to provide the lease to the Wall Street Journal reporter. Kris Frieswick, “‘Pageant Hopping’ Roils A Miss Universe Contest,” Wall Street Journal, December 9, 2019, p. A14. Some contestants provide university registration as proof of residency. One contestant provided class schedules from the University of Virgin Islands as her proof. However, the university could find that no such student ever enrolled there.
As one contestant who lost said, “Pageant hopping is wrong. It’s not illegal, but it’s wrong.” She deserves the crown in the Barometer’s mind.