Filipino-American Ki'ilani Arruda crowned Miss Teen USA 2020

by Nikko Tuazon
Nov 8, 2020
Ki'ilani Arruda, Miss Teen USA 2020
Hawaii-based Filipino-American teen Ki'ilani Arruda was crowned Miss Teen USA 2020 at the pageant's grand coronation night held on Saturday, November 7 (U.S. time), in Memphis, Tennessee.
PHOTO/S: @missteenusa / @kiilani.kauai on Instagram

Filipino-American teen Ki'ilani Arruda is crowned Miss USA Teen 2020.

Miss Teen USA 2019 Kaliegh Garris passes on the title to Ki'ilani, who represented the state of Hawaii at the pageant's grand coronation night held on Saturday, November 7 (U.S. time), in Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee.

Ki'ilani is the second candidate from Hawaii to win the Miss Teen USA title. The first was Kelly Hu, who won the crown in1985.

She is also the second Miss Teen USA titleholder of Filipino descent, following Vanessa Minnillo-Lachey, who won the crown in 1998.

The 19-year-old beauty queen grew up on the island of Kauai with her American father and Filipino mother.

During the question-and-answer portion of the pageant, Ki'ilani is asked: “What has experiencing a global pandemic taught you about life?”

Here's the pre-med student's winning answer: "Well, of course this global pandemic is very unprecedented and has taught me a lot about life.

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"For me, it has especially taught me how to appreciate my family. I got to spend so much time with my family, my little sister, my little brother. I love them dearly, and I know that soon, in spring, I will be going into college, and I won’t have those precious moments to share with them.

"So really, it’s just to cherish those moments.

"And it’s so honorable I get to represent my home of Hawai’i, so just being at home is so wonderful.”

In an interview after the pageant, Ki'ilani reveals her favorite Miss Universe winner: Catriona Gray.

She says, "I'm a little biased. Of course, Catriona because I am half Filipino myself and her reign was so amazing, and I've always looked up to her as a role model."

The pageant's first runner-up is Miss Oregon Shayla Montgomery, while the second-runner up is Miss Georgia Shayla Jackson.

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Hawaii-based Filipino-American teen Ki'ilani Arruda was crowned Miss Teen USA 2020 at the pageant's grand coronation night held on Saturday, November 7 (U.S. time), in Memphis, Tennessee.
PHOTO/S: @missteenusa / @kiilani.kauai on Instagram
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