It’s a bad week for the Miss America pageant: First, Miss Delaware was stripped of her title after she was deemed too old to compete, and now Miss Florida has been stripped of her title after a scoring error was discovered.
According to USA Today, 20-year-old University of Florida student Elizabeth Fechtel was crowned Miss Florida on June 21, but pageant officials informed her Thursday (June 26) that a scoring error had been discovered and the runner up, Victoria Cowen, should’ve been crowned instead.
Apparently, one judge had a last-minute change of heart and crossed out Fechtel’s name on the ballot, but the change was overlooked until after the fact. The new results were confirmed by an independent audit.
Much like Miss Delaware, Amanda Longacre, Fechtel will have to return the scholarship money she was awarded (although later the Miss America organization said Longacre could keep it). Fechtel’s mother told the Orlando Sentinel that her daughter had already dropped her classes to prepare for September’s Miss America pageant.