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Facts about Tara Conner
Biography for Tara ConnerTara Elizabeth Conner (born on dec. 18, 1985 (28 years ago) in Dallas, Texas) is an American beauty queen and model, who is Miss USA 2006 (7 years ago) and has also competed in the Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe pageants. Apart from her role as Miss USA, Conner has been employed as a model and waitress. She was a featured model on the HDNet series Bikini Destinations in 2004 (9 years ago), posing for the cameras in Lake Tahoe. She has held the titles Miss Kentucky Teen USA 2002 (11 years ago), Miss Kentucky County Fair 2004 (9 years ago), Miss Kentucky USA 2006 (7 years ago) and Miss USA 2006 (7 years ago).
In late 2006 (7 years ago), Conner became the center of a public scandal when news reports claimed she had been drinking underage, tested positive for the use of cocaine, and kissed Miss Teen USA Katie Blair, among other things. She was allowed to retain her title and entered a drug rehabilitation program.
Early yearsAfter she was born in Dallas, Texas, Conner's family moved to Russell Springs, Kentucky, when she was six-weeks-old. Conner graduated from Russell County High School, in 2004 (9 years ago), and at the time of her Miss USA win was studying toward a degree in Business Administration from Somerset Community College.
Following her success in the Miss Teen USA pageant Conner was managed by agent Steve Rosenberg for six months and has modelled for companies such as Body Glove.
In an interview with NBC's Matt Lauer on the Today show, airing Feb. 1, 2007 (6 years ago), she hinted at family abuse. "I will not deny that I have witnessed some abuse, but out of respect for my family... it's something I would like to speak with my family about first," she stated.
Miss Teen USA 2002Conner won the Miss Kentucky Teen USA title in 2001 (12 years ago). In Aug. 2002 (11 years ago), she went on to compete in the Miss Teen USA pageant held in South Padre Island, Texas. After making the first cut, Conner achieved the highest swimsuit score (9.18) among the 10 semi-finalists and had the fifth highest evening gown score (8.79). The average of these two scores placed her second overall after these two phases of competition. She eventually placed second runner-up to Vanessa Semrow of Wisconsin. Conner's placement equaled that of Kristen Johnson as the second highest by any delegate representing Kentucky at the pageant.
Miss Kentucky USA 2006Conner returned to pageantry in Nov. 2005 (8 years ago) when she won the Miss Kentucky USA crown, and was crowned by former Miss Kentucky Teen USA 2000 (13 years ago) and Miss Kentucky USA 2005 (8 years ago) Kristen Johnson. She was the third former teen titleholder to win the Miss Kentucky USA title, others being Johnson and Elizabeth Arnold, who held the teen title in 1998 (15 years ago) and was Conner's sister titleholder as Miss Kentucky USA 2002 (11 years ago).
Conner (left) during the Deal or No Deal taping. Eventual Miss USA first runner-up, Miss California USA Tamiko Nash is at center; Leeann Tingley, who placed in the top ten, is on the right. This image (wallpaper) does not reflect their true heights, as Conner is slightly shorter than Nash.In March, while still Miss Kentucky USA, Conner traveled to Los Angeles to tape a special episode of Deal or No Deal which featured twenty five of the Miss USA 2006 (7 years ago) delegates and reigning queen Chelsea Cooley. The special aired in Apr. 2006 (7 years ago).
Miss USA 2006Conner represented Kentucky during the nationally televised Miss USA 2006 (7 years ago) pageant in Baltimore, Maryland on Apr. 21, 2006 (7 years ago). Making the semi-finals, she became the eighteenth woman to place at both Miss Teen USA and Miss USA. She competed in the official BSC Swimwear Thailand for the swimsuit competition and made the top ten, where she competed in the evening gown competition, wearing a specially designed gown by Sherri Hill. Conner then made the top five and completed the final interview round.
Prior to the announcement of the winner, Conner and her eventual first runner-up Tamiko Nash shared a long embrace, whilst Conner whispered to Nash. An E! special later revealed that Conner, believing Nash had won, was wishing her luck for her reign as Miss USA and her participation at Miss Universe. The traditional statement read before the announcement of the new titleholder, which declares that "if, for any reason the new titleholder cannot fulfill her reign, the first runner-up will take over", later become pertinent following the scandal surrounding Conner in December.
Conner eventually won the Miss USA title, the first woman from Kentucky to do so. She was crowned by previous titleholder Chelsea Cooley, from North Carolina. Conner was the fourth former Miss Teen USA state titleholder to win the Miss USA crown since 2000 (13 years ago), one of whom was Cooley, who was Miss North Carolina Teen USA 2000 (13 years ago).
Miss Universe 2006Conner represented the United States at the Miss Universe 2006 (7 years ago) pageant in Los Angeles, California in Jul. 2006 (7 years ago). Her roommate during the three weeks the delegates spent in Los Angeles was Kenisha Thom of Trinidad and Tobago.
Conner made the initial cut of twenty delegates and went on to compete in the swimsuit competition, and as a member of the top ten, competed in evening gown, wearing a dress designed by Kayne Gillaspie, a contestant on reality TV show Project Runway Season 3. After making the top five and competing in a final interview round, Conner was announced as the fourth runner-up to new Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera of Puerto Rico. Conner is only the fifth Miss USA to finish fourth runner-up at Miss Universe.
Year in the life of Miss USAImmediately after winning the pageant, Conner moved into a Trump Place apartment that she shared with sister titleholders Zuleyka Rivera (Miss Universe 2006 (7 years ago)) and Katie Blair (Miss Teen USA 2006 (7 years ago)) during her reign. Her first week in New York included many media events, which included print interviews and spots on CNN Headline News, Live! With Regis and Kelly, and The Early Show.
On Apr. 29, Conner returned to pageant host city Baltimore to make appearances connected with the Volvo Ocean Race, sailing on board the yacht Black Pearl. and then returned to New York, appearing with Miss Universe 2005 (8 years ago) Natalie Glebova at the Invest in Our World Benefit on May 3.
In the first week of May she briefly returned to Kentucky for the Kentucky Derby and was a celebrity guest at the Mint Jubilee Gala, attending the event with fellow national beauty queen Jennifer Berry, Miss America 2006 (7 years ago) (of Oklahoma) and former Miss Kentucky USA titleholders Lizzie Arnold and Kristen Johnson, as well as other notable beauty queens. After returning to New York, Conner participated in charity events and was participated in a photo (wallpaper) shoot with official photographer Fadil Berisha.
On May 18, 2006 (7 years ago), Conner rang the opening bell at the American Stock Exchange. She returned to Kentucky for her official homecoming in early Jun. 2006 (7 years ago). where she met with servicemen, with whom she posed for the Jul. 2006 (7 years ago) cover of Kentucky Monthly magazine, and volunteered with local charities.
On Jul. 19, 2006 (7 years ago), Conner appeared as a guest judge in an episode of the season three of the Bravo! series Project Runway. The contestants on the show competed against each other to create a dress for her to wear in the Miss Universe pageant. The dress was later featured in the evening gown competition of the pageant.
In Aug. 2006 (7 years ago), Conner met newly crowned Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera and outgoing Miss Teen USA Allie LaForce in California where they were involved with media events, before all three travelled to Palm Springs, California for the Miss Teen USA 2006 (7 years ago) pageant. On Aug. 15 LaForce crowned Katie Blair of Montana as the new Miss Teen USA, and Conner, Rivera and Blair returned to New York the day after the pageant. Later that month, Conner and Blair attended a number of high-profile parties in New York including a Land Rover event featuring Maria Sharapova (28 walls), a U.S. Open Kick-Off Party, a pre-Video Music Awards party hosted by Ciara and Missy Elliott and another Video Music Awards party hosted by Nick Lachey.
Conner operates military equipment at McGuire Air Force Base in Burlington County, New JerseyIn sep. 2006 (7 years ago), Conner travelled to Boston, Massachusetts to promote the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure, as her predecessor Chelsea Cooley had done the year previously. She then travelled to Colorado to support the Cheryl Shackelford Foundation and to Pennsylvania to attend an event hosted by the USO of Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. In Oct. 2006 (7 years ago), Conner spent time volunteering with more charities, including Gilda's Club, Best Buddies, and Project Sunshine, before embarking on a USO tour to Italy and Turkey in Nov. 2006 (7 years ago), where she met her brother, who is living in Italy.
During Thanksgiving weekend of Nov. 2006 (7 years ago), Conner appeared on the Showboat float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, becoming the fourth Miss USA to appear in the parade. After attending the Miss Kentucky USA 2007 (6 years ago) pageant and crowning Michelle Banzer as successor to her state title, she and Rivera travelled to Cannes, France and Italy where they made promotional appearances.
In dec. 2006 (7 years ago), Conner should have celebrated her 21st birthday with a special event held at Pure nightclub at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip near Las Vegas, Nevada but the event was later cancelled because of the scandal.
Following her time in a rehabilitation center in Pennsylvania during dec. and January, Conner returned to the public stage in Feb. and was interviewed by a number of news outlets. She made her first public appearance on Feb. 4, 2007 (6 years ago) when she, Katie Blair and Zuleyka Rivera appeared as models for Tadashi, a sponsor of the pageant, at a fashion show in New York City.
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