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Two Miss America contestants lose titles

Miss Florida 2014 Victoria Cowen
Miss Florida 2014 Victoria Cowen
(c) Miss America Organization. Used by permission.

Two state winners in the Miss America Organization’s pageant system have been stripped of their titles, pageant officials announced Friday. Losing their titles were Miss Florida Elizabeth Fechtel and Miss Delaware Amanda Longacre.

Neither woman lost her crown because of personal misconduct, pageant officials said, but were the result of mistakes by pageant personnel.

In Fechtel’s case, the true winner was not announced. A judge made a change in a scoresheet that was not caught when the point were tabulated, they said. As a result, Fechtel was announced as the winner when the crown should have gone to Victoria Cowen, who was incorrectly named first runner-up.

The mistake was caught after the fact, and Cowen is new Miss Florida 2014. Fechtel issued a Twitter statement thanking her friends for their support, and asked for continued support for the Miss America and Miss Florida organizations.

Longacre accurately reported her birth date when she entered the Miss Delaware pageant system, and officials did not notice she is a few months older than the rules allow contestants to be. Pageant officials stripped Longacre of her crown, but will allow her to keep the pageant scholarships she won.

The new Miss Delaware 2014 is Brittany Lewis. She was first runner-up at the Miss Delaware Pageant.

“We understand the impact that news of this type may have on these women and each of these state organizations and the great concern that goes with it,” officials said. “The Miss America Organization ensures there is compliance with the rules set forth among our state organizations to assure the integrity of our program and especially the judging process.”

A new Miss America is scheduled to be crowned on Sept. 14. The final night of pageantry will be broadcast live from Atlantic City for East Coast viewers, with a tape-delayed program televisied later that evening for viewers on the West Coast.

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