Allison Chu wins Miss Hawaii 2016
  • Monday, November 12, 2018
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Allison Chu wins Miss Hawaii 2016

  • JAMM AQUINO/ JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Allison Carol Nanea Chu was named Miss Hawaii on Saturday night. Chu, who competed as Miss Aloha Latina, also won the talent competition with her rendition of an operatic aria,“O Mio Babbino Caro,” by Puccini. She was crowned by 2015 winner Jeanne Kapela.

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One try was all it took for Allison Carol Nanea Chu as the 22-year-old UH-Manoa graduate was crowned Miss Hawaii 2016 Saturday night at the Hawaii Theatre. Competing as Miss Aloha Latina, Chu beat 27 other contestants to become the 72nd person to hold the title of Miss Hawaii. It was the first time she had participated in pageant competition.

“I still feel like I’m in a dream,” Chu said backstage, moments after receiving her crown from Miss Hawaii 2015 Jeanné Kapela. “It’s been such an incredible journey and I’m so happy to have my friends and my family here to support me this evening. Everybody here has been so supportive. Every girl here has been really sincere and genuine, and I couldn’t have asked to a better class (of contestants) to be a part of.”

Chu has been a singer and recording artist since childhood, did musical theater in her early teens and worked as a professional model here and on the mainland. Her decision to participate in a beauty pageant came as the answer to a very simple question.

“I just thought ‘Why not?,’” She explained. “So much of my life has been about doing entertainment but I really wanted to do something for the community and be a part of something bigger than myself. I’m definitely going to work very hard to hopefully be the next Miss America and represent Hawaii really well.”

Proceeds from the album she’s working on will help finance outreach for her pageant platform: “Safe in the Sun: Prevention and Early Detection of Skin Cancer.”

In addition to winning the overall title and the opportunity to represent Hawaii at the 96th Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City in September, Chu won the talent category with a beautifully executed rendition of “O Mio Babbino Caro,” an aria from Puccini’s one act comic opera “Gianni Schicchi.”

“I’ve been singing opera since I was five years old, so it was really true to myself,” she said. “What better place to do it than in the Hawaii Theatre?”

Chu thanked her older sister, 2010 Miss Hawaii Teen USA Julianne Chu, a three-time Miss Hawaii USA runner-up, for her help and guidance in handling the challanges that are part of the pageant experience.

“She totally helped me with so many things. I couldn’t have done it without her.”

Four other women went home as finalists: Miss Kahala Chelsea Clement was first runner-up. The second runner-up spot went to Miss Diamond Head Tésia Melani Worley. Miss Kaka‘ako Hali‘a Parish was third runner-up; she also won the swimsuit category and tied with Miss Garden Isle Sarah Manuel as co-winner of the CMN Children’s Miracle Maker Award. Fourth runner-up was Miss Latina Hawaii Tiffany Johnson.

A panel of seven judges scored the contestants on their appearance in bikinis and evening gowns, their talent, their ability to stay on point while answering a “surprise question” on stage, and their performance during a full-length preliminary competition on Thursday. Only 25 of the original 28 contestants participated on Saturday.

The competition on Saturday began with evening wear. The field was then cut to 20 women who returned to compete in bikinis. The top 14 from that round continued on to the talent competition. The field was then cut to seven.

Chu’s winning aria was one of several noteworthy performances in the talent segment. Miss Kona Coffee Polanimakamae Kahakalau danced hula ‘auana (modern hula) to a mele inoa written for her by her mother. Miss Latina Hawaii Tiffany Johnson performed a passionate and gracefully acrobatic “lyrical dance” in memory of her late brother. Miss Kahala Chelsea Clement rocked the crowd Tahitian-style with an original self-choreographed performance in a eye-catching costume of her own creation.

Miss Garden Isle Sarah Manuel wasn’t the only award-winner who didn’t make it to the final seven. Miss Lanai Michaela Owen received the Community Service Award. Miss Chinatown Hawaii Tarah Driver received the Miss America Academic Award. Miss Kona Coffee Polanimakamae Kahakalau received the Spirit Award for combined ticket and sponsorship sales; she was also voted Miss Congeniality.

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Miss Hawaii 2016:

Miss Aloha Latina Allison Carol Nanea Chu

First Runner-Up:

Miss Kahala Chelsea Clement

Second Runner-Up:

Miss Diamond Head Tésia Melani Worley

Third Runner-Up:

Miss Kaka‘ako Hali‘a Parish

Fourth Runner-Up:

Miss Latina Hawaii Tiffany Johnson

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  • From the picture it looks like Argosy University had something to do with this contest (see paper behind bowl). Before the new Miss Hawaii has anything to do with that “university” she should Google “Argosy University Online Reviews.” And please take note that many of the good reviews are from students who have not yet graduated.

    • Argosy University has certainly been the subject of scrutiny. The school has been in the news for violations including misleading prospective students. The Colorado Attorney General found such. In 2013 EDMC (parent company) was ordered to pay 3.3 million in restitution and fines. And as recently as 2015 it was forced to forgive $100 million in loans to students for violating consumer protection laws. Is this what the pageant wants to be associated with?

  • “Allison Carol Nanea Chu,” Miss Aloha Latina whose winning talent as Miss Hawaii USA is singing Italian opera. She certainly represents that category of yesteryear Miss Cosmopolitan, a potpourri of ethnic diversity.

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