The head of the Miss USA pageant is suspended amid allegations this month's competition in Reno, Nevada was rigged.
One of the contestants in this year's competition aired out allegations on TikTok, claiming favoritism toward winner R'Bonney Gabriel.
"There was a lot of proof of favoritism towards the winner, Miss Texas USA," said Heather Lee O'Keefe, Miss Montana USA 2022. "Nothing against her personally, our frustrations are all with the organization."
Gabriel is getting attention for her understated reaction to her win. Further fueling suspicions is a promotional video featuring Gabriel from a pageant sponsor published mere hours after her win.
"Miss Texas USA was allegedly flown to and from Cancun mid-July via the Miss USA-sponsored airline, United," O'Keefe said. "She was the only contestant to receive this special kind of treatment and receive a solo trip to Cancun."
The head of Miss USA, Crystle Stewart, has denied the allegations, but nonetheless, the leadership of Miss Universe, which operates the Miss USA pageant, suspended her while they conduct a full review.
The suspension comes as Miss Universe gets new leadership. Chakrapong "Anne" Chakrajutathip announced Wednesday her company purchased the organization for $20 million. She's the first woman to own the organization.
"It is the time that we lift the spirit of women," Chakrajutathip said. "I am looking forward to having the transformational leadership in women. This is why I acquire Miss Universe Organization. It is part of my personal life mission that i would just love to empower, to teach, to lead and to inspire all the women in the universe."
The new owner enters the arena under a spotlight — a burning focus on the integrity of the competition's affiliate pageant.
"I think people should expect change," said Amy Emmerich, CEO of the Miss Universe Organization. "We have not discussed together yet what is on the horizon, but I would say to expect some positive change."