Did you know Allie LaForce won the Miss Ohio Teen USA 2005? How she went from pageant winner to sports reporter
The glam quotient for the year seems to be back with the return of Miss USA 2020 and Miss Teen USA. Abiding by all the regulations of the pandemic, the showrunners have planned three nights of entertainment. The event, which will be telecast on social media channels of Miss Universe organizations, will be held at Elvis Presley Mansion.
The Miss USA contest will air at 7 pm on Monday, November 9, on the A+E Networks' FYI cable channel. Allie LaForce, former Miss Teen USA, and sports reporter will be hosting the pageant along with television host Akbar Gbaja-Biamila. Cheslie Kryst and Christian Murphy will act as backstage commentators, giving the viewers an inside update of the event.
Allie LaForce: From pageant winner to sports reporter
In 2004, at the age of 16, she was encouraged by her mother to try out for Miss Ohio Teen USA, reports New York Post. “My mom said, ‘I want you to be more well-rounded and learn about your feminine side’,” reminisced LaForce. Her mother was a former Miss Ohio USA (1977) and runs a modeling agency in Atlanta. “I literally started laughing. I had never even worn makeup before my first pageant.”
She did get a bit overwhelmed initially but her mother’s coaching helped her make it to the finals. The NY Post report says the runoff was on the day of the big Michigan and Ohio State football game. And, during the question round, a brave LaForce took the microphone and asked, “Before you ask that question, does anyone know the score to the game, because it’s driving me insane?”
Not only were the judges impressed, but she also managed to make the entire auditorium laugh. She won the Miss Teen Ohio USA, and then on to win the national title, becoming Miss Teen USA in 2005.
“When I won, they had to give me etiquette classes because I would sit with my legs apart. They had to teach me how to dine properly,” she said. She wanted to play college basketball. Even though competing in pageants wasn’t in the plan, winning Miss Teen USA helped LaForce reach her goal of playing basketball.
"I was told when I won, 'Make sure you tell them what you really want' because that's what they're there for. Their job is to help you fulfill your dream. So I told them. They provide you with a personal trainer, so they provided me with a basketball-specific trainer. My trainer, Sid, and I did every workout on a basketball court,” she told The Post Game.
Some people in the pageant world thought she must be out of her mind for focusing on college basketball. But she was so focused on it that she wouldn't travel for pageant work during the basketball season. Her schedule included about 25 states and two countries in one year, but she would not make any trips if it meant missing a Vermilion High School game. She even earned Team MVP honors during her junior year, states The Post Game.
"I just tried to balance both [basketball and Miss Teen USA] and it was really difficult, but the thing is, the one year after the pageant's done, you're gone and there's another winner and you're living a normal life again," she said. "It was just kind of a surreal experience where a year out of my life was completely different, but there's so many benefits that translate to what I do now.”
As Miss Teen USA, she was given a one-year contract with Trump Modeling Management. But she never really took any initiatives with that opportunity, saying it was “just something really that is on the package description when you win.”
LaForce studied journalism at Ohio University and graduated in 2011 with honors. After college, she landed at a local Fox station in Cleveland as a sports anchor and reporter. According to NY Post, in 2012, CBS personality Doug Gottlieb saw her YouTube demo reel and asked her to audition as co-host for his show ‘Lead Off’.
She did, and later the network offered her the job. “It was crazy. I went to it for practice — that’s what I told myself because I didn’t want to get my hopes up. When they called me, I was like, ‘Wow,’ ” she said. The TNT reporter is married to MLB player Joe Smith.