(CNN) — Following weeks of controversy and cancellations due to its co-owner Donald Trump, the Miss USA pageant took place Sunday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Trump himself was nowhere to be found.
Miss Oklahoma, 26-year-old Olivia Jordan, was crowned Miss USA. Jordan put herself in the front of the pack with a strong performance in the interview portion of the competition. She said race relations are the next big issue America has to address.
When asked afterwards if the controversy surrounding Trump’s racially charged remarks overshadowed the event, she said “It was probably difficult … more difficult circumstances than we’ve had in the past, but the Miss Universe Organization came together and they put on an amazing show. … And I’m very grateful for all the women that came together and we stood strong and we all made sure to share our own beliefs and be strong in what we believed and be ourselves on stage.”
Trump said in his Twitter account that he was missing the pageant because he was campaigning in Phoenix, but his campaign people told CNN he had no official events on Sunday.
The pageant aired on the cable channel Reelz after Univision and NBC canceled their plans to broadcast it in response to Trump’s inflammatory remarks about Mexican immigrants.
Runner-up Miss Texas, 22-year-old Ylianna Guerra, is a Mexican-American who grew up on the Texas-Mexico border. Hawaii’s Emma Wo was one of the top 10 finalists.