Brittany Lewis takes crown as Miss Delaware after Amanda Longacre was dethroned for being too old. Amanda said pageant officials sat her down on last Tuesday and told her they had bad news; because of her age she was disqualified from the competition. Brittany, who joined the competition as Miss Wilmington, was originally first runner-up to Amanda who won the title on June 14. Brittany was crowned in a brief ceremony Thursday night at the Dover Downs Hotel Casino.
Amanda spoke through tears and she shared about being stripped of her title. Not only has she lost the crown and title, but from the local and state competitions she also has to forfeit nearly $11,000 in scholarships and her opportunity at becoming Miss America. The former winner was required to take a year off from school to serve as Miss Delaware and has already suspended her master’s degree studies in social work. Amanda said designer Tony Bowls had already began sketching her “dream gown” for the Miss America contest; she also met with social media sources, a vocal coach and has completed her head shots.
Everyone was so excited. I’m just heartsick and really heartbroken. They are making me forfeit everything, it’s really humiliating because I did nothing wrong.
Amanda said she was recruited to compete by a representative of the state contest. Her driver’s license, birth certificate, and resume which included her birthday were submitted repeatedly as she competed for Miss Pike Creek before moving on to become Miss Delaware. Amanda, who will turn 25-year-old on October 22, said Miss Delaware officials repeatedly approved her on the state and local levels.
It was verified with a director that I was eligible to compete as long as I was 24 at the Miss America pageant. I competed on the local and state level and even signed my national contract and no one said anything to me and it was all notarized with my birthday on the contract. I gave them all the proper documents.
The short-lived Miss Delaware was told as long as she was still 24 at the time of the Miss America competition, being held this September in Atlantic City, she was verified to compete. The organization has since released the following statement:
Following the Miss Delaware Pageant, it was determined that Amanda Longacre exceeded the age requirement in order to be eligible to compete therefore, the Miss Delaware 2014 title is awarded to Brittany Lewis. The Miss Delaware Pageant is proud to congratulate Brittany and wishes Amanda the very best on her future endeavors.
Mark Billion, Amanda’s attorney, said his client’s financial losses exceed $5,000 and may already be close to $10,000, not counting the loss of potential future income. He not only feels sorry for Amanda but believes there is a breach of contract. Billion said he has repeatedly reached out to the state and national contest organizers to no avail. Not only did they not receive the courtesy of a response but they have not gotten anything from them stating she is disqualified.
If everyone agreed these were the rules and Amanda spent all this time and money, and she is not going back to school because they told her she was Miss Delaware, you just feel bad all the way around. What is flabbergasting is that there are so many things they could have done that would have led to a far better outcome. She competed and did all this work and we feel she’s deserving of more than what she’s getting.
Amanda said she feels most embarrassed for her supporters and family. It is as if she did something ethically or morally wrong and is being lumped in with other dethroned pageant winners who lost their crown for such things as internet pornography and other criminal behavior.
The newly crowned Miss Delaware said the circumstance of her crowning would not affect her experience at all. When she heard she was being elevated she jumped up and down and ran around the room; she was extremely happy. Brittany is looking forward to representing the state, serving the people of Delaware and honoring the memory of her late sister, who was killed in a domestic violence incident in 2010.
Brittany Lewis takes Miss Delaware crown after Amanda Longacre was dethroned for being too old. Amanda said pageant officials sat her down on last Tuesday and told her because of her age she was disqualified from the competition. The brief ceremony for the newly established Miss Delaware 2014 took place at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino in Dover on Thursday evening, June 26.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)