Andrea Piecuch was crowned Miss Universe US Virgin Islands 2019 in a controversial finale held August 17 at the banquet room at the Divi Carina Bay Casino in St Croix..
Piecuch bested nine other candidates for the title and the right to represent the islands at the 2019 Miss Universe competition.
Also crowned in the same event is Miss Supranational US Virgin Islands 2019 Destani Noel Huffman-Jefferson. The 24-year-old Richmond native, but now lives in Washington, DC, will compete at the 2019 Miss Supranational pageant in December in Poland.
Virgin Islanders have expressed displeasure over the pageant at six of the 10 contestants “were women from outside the USVI, most with no known ties to the territory and some of whom had participated in other pageants just months prior,” The Virgin Islands Consortium reported. None of the four “local young women who represented their home, the USVI”, made it to the Top 5.
Piecuch, who reportedly had no known ties to the territory, moved to St Thomas a few months ago to meet the six-month residency requirement of the competition. In January, she competed in Miss Utah USA 2019 and placed second runner-up. Prior to that, she joined Miss Florida USA 2018.
Lulu Orange Tyson, Miss Universe USVI director, said Piecuch met the residency requirements set by the Miss Universe Organization.
“WME/IMG changed the rules so that any individual living in a certain region can compete in any of the region’s Miss Universe competitions — provided that the competitor meets the participation criteria, which includes six months of living in the jurisdiction where the competition is being held, or enrolling in this jurisdiction’s university.” Missosology.Org; Photos from The Virgin Islands Consortium