Crystal Lee crowned Miss Hawaii 2013

Jun. 9, 2013 | 1 Comment

BY JOHN BERGER / jberger@staradvertiser.com

A dream more than four years in the making came true last night as Crystal Lee was crowned Miss Hawaii 2013 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

Miss Chinatown Crystal Lee competes during the 2013 Miss Hawaii Scholarship Pageant at the Hawaii Convention Center on Saturday, June 8. Lee would go on to be crowned this year's winner. (Photo by Joah Buley, Special to the Star-Advertiser)

Miss Chinatown Crystal Lee competes during the 2013 Miss Hawaii Scholarship Pageant at the Hawaii Convention Center on Saturday, June 8. Lee would go on to be crowned this year’s winner. (Photo by Joah Buley, Special to the Star-Advertiser)

Lee, competing as Miss Chinatown Hawaii, beat 16 other contestants in the 67th annual scholarship pageant.

“I decided to run for Miss Hawaii in ‘09 and I was just driven ever since. It’s just a dream come true to see my hard work pay off,” Lee, 22, said backstage shortly after receiving her crown

“You can’t do this on your own,” she explained. “It’s always your family and your friends that bring you up, and it’s that support that gets you to your goal. I’m grateful to have that support behind me.”

Lee reached her goal in impressive style. In addition to winning the overall title and the opportunity to represent Hawaii nationally, she won the Golf Tournament Scholarship, the category awards for swimsuit and talent, and was voted Most Photogenic.

Miss Oahu Brittni Leina‘ala Woodward was first runner-up. The second runner-up spot went to Miss Garden Isle Lei U‘i Kaholokula. Miss Kauai Alexandra Roth was third runner-up and winner of the State Academic Award for highest academic achievement. Miss East Oahu Joleen Iwaniec was fourth runner-up and was voted Miss Congeniality.

A panel of seven judges scored the contestants on their appearance (swimsuit and evening gown), talent, performance during a private interview earlier in the week, and their ability to stay on point while answering a question on stage.

Three other contestants also received awards: Miss Chinese Jaycees Taj‘a Ku‘uleialohanani K. Wong received the Community Service Award. Miss Kona Coffee Guinevere Davenport was the recipient of the Children’s Miracle Network Miracle Maker Award. Miss Waikiki Courtney Noriko Viernes won the award for most ticket and sponsorship sales.

Miss Chinatown Crystal Lee competes during the swimsuit phase of the 2013 Miss Hawaii Scholarship Pageant. (Photo by Joah Buley, Special to the Star-Advertiser)

Miss Chinatown Crystal Lee competes during the swimsuit phase of the 2013 Miss Hawaii Scholarship Pageant. (Photo by Joah Buley, Special to the Star-Advertiser)

Three of the 10 finalists who survived the initial cut from 17 to 10 chose to represent Hawaiian and hapa-haole culture in the talent competition. Miss Kahala ‘Iwalani Kuali‘i-Kaho‘ohanohano accompanied herself on ‘ukulele while singing “Imagine” in English and Hawaiian; she was the only finalist to sing in Hawaiian or play an instrument.

Miss Oahu Brittni Woodward danced a beautiful hula ‘auana to “Honohano Ka Lei Pikake.” Miss Garden Isle Lei Kaholokula celebrated Hawaii’s classic hapa-haole traditions with a sassy and saucy showroom-ready rendition of “South Sea Sadie.”

Ho‘okena — Horace Dudoit III, Glen Smith and Chris Kamaka, plus special guest Louis “Moon” Kauakahi — also brought a Hawaiian sense of place to the proceedings as they provided musical accompaniment for the contestants throughout the evening wear segment.

The quartet returned for a hana hou performance playing for Miss Hawaii 2012 Skyler Kamaka, niece of Ho’okena’s Chris Kamaka, as she danced a final hula before crowning Lee as her successor.

Looking back on the evening, the newly-crowned Miss Hawaii 2013 said that she “loved” the talent phase of the pageant.

“I grew up dancing and I just feel at home (when I dance).”

Looking forward, Lee is “ready to work. I want to be the busiest Miss Hawaii there ever was and ever is.”
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John Berger has been a mainstay in the local entertainment scene for more than 40 years. Contact him via email at jberger@staradvertiser.com.

2013 Miss Hawaii Scholarship Pageant

Miss Hawaii 2013:

Miss Chinatown Crystal Lee

First Runner-Up:

Miss Oahu Brittni Leina‘ala Woodward

Second Runner-Up:

Miss Garden Isle Lei U‘i Kaholokula

Third Runner-Up:

Miss Kauai Alexandra Roth

Fourth Runner-Up:

Miss East Oahu Joleen Iwaniec

Related Post:

PICS: 2013 Miss Hawaii Scholarship Pageant

  • Iwalani Kualii-Kahoohanohano

    Congratulations Crystal, and Mahalo nui John Berger for a wonderful article. The Miss Hawaiʻi Pageant was a great opportunity for all of us young women to really shine as ambassadors of our individual platforms and communities. A Hawaiian proverb, “Maikaʻi ke kalo i ka ʻōhā” states: “The taro is judged good by its offspring(s).” As we have all become close friends on this journey to the crowning of our new Miss Hawaiʻi, our paths do not end here. We will continue to promote and really live in the platforms that we strongly believe in while cheering Crystal on. And when she steps foot onto the Miss America stage, she will also have a part of all of us with her in spirit and in heart. She will be a great representative of us, her pageant sisters, and the rest of our Hawaiʻi. Best wishes to you Crystal. “Ahu kupanaha iā Hawaiʻi ʻimiloa!” “The pursuit of knowledge brings bountiful rewards!”