LOCAL NEWS

Lehi teen stripped of crown, sash and pageant title after clerical error

Jun 8, 2023, 12:33 PM | Updated: Jun 12, 2023, 7:54 pm

LEHI, Utah — A Lehi teen was stripped of her title just three days after winning the Miss Lehi Teen competition due to a clerical error.

Amanda Giraldi, 17, has been training for the competition since signing up in February. She was excited for the opportunity to grow personally, get to know the other contestants and to become more involved in her community.

“I was really stretched to my limits! I had to learn how to talk to people, how to interview, how to walk in a gown, and be confident in myself,” Giraldi said. “I’ve never done a pageant before and being able to come out winning was crazy. It gave me this faith in myself that I can really do anything I put my mind to. Because I did work hard!”

On Saturday, her hard work paid off and she was crown Miss Lehi Teen. But three days later she was contacted by pageant organizers with some devastating news.

“The two ladies that ran the local organization came over to my house to basically explain to me what happened,” Giraldi said. “They were not willing to hear me out and they basically had their mind already made up. They asked us for the crown and they left.”

Local pageant directors were notified by the state board of a recent discovery and in an oversight as it pertains to the competition requirements regarding the age and eligibility of their teen program.

Giraldi was born in 2005, not 2006 which is actually the cut off year to be eligible to compete for Miss Lehi Teen. But it is a rule she nor the pageant directors realized until after she won the title.

Giraldi showed KSL the competition contract she signed earlier this year that states contests are eligible to compete as long as they are born between 2010 and 2005.

“I had followed all the rules. I had signed a contract that did say that I was eligible,” she said. “Being stripped of the title that I earned, is heartbreaking. I just want to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anybody else.”

The Miss Utah Scholarship Organization tells KSL this was simply the result of human error.

“Our state leadership takes full responsibility for the oversight in eligibility criteria, and our hearts also go out to [Amanda] for the distress that was caused by the removal of [her] crown and sash …We are actively working to put measures into place to ensure that future mistakes like these are prevented.”

The competition’s first runner up was given the Miss Lehi Teen title.

The organization is still honoring the $1,000 scholarship Giraldi won. Unfortunately she cannot compete in the state teen completion because of her age. They have also offered to create a new title for her but she tells KSL she not sure she will take it, saying it is not the one she earned.

Giraldi does not plan to compete in future pageants.

On June 12, the organization said they recognized Giraldi as the winner and will serve as Miss Lehi Teen for the year, although she will not be able to compete in the statewide competition.

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Lehi teen stripped of crown, sash and pageant title after clerical error