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Miss USA 2006 and has also competed in the Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe pageants Tara Elizabeth Conner pictures (pic) and photo gallery.
Born: December 18, 1985 Dallas, Texas.
Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m).
Eye color: Brown.
Hair color: Blonde.
Tara Elizabeth Conner biography (bio):
Tara Elizabeth Conner is a beauty queen who is Miss USA 2006 and has also competed in the Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe pageants. Apart from her role as Miss USA, Conner has been employed as a model and waitress. She was a featured model on the HDNet series Bikini Destinations in 2004, posing for the cameras in Lake Tahoe. She has held the titles Miss Kentucky Teen USA 2002, Miss Kentucky USA 2006 and Miss USA 2006.
In late 2006, Conner became the center of a public scandal when news reports claim she had been drinking underage, tested positive for the use of cocaine, and kissed Miss Teen USA Katie Blair in public, among other things. She was allowed to retain her title and entered a drug rehabilitation program.
After she was born in Dallas, Texas, Conner's family moved to Russell Springs, Kentucky when she was six weeks old. Conner graduated from Russell County High School in 2004 and at the time of her Miss USA win was studying toward a degree in Business Administration from Somerset Community College.
Following her success in the Miss Teen USA pageant Conner was managed by agent Steve Rosenberg for six months and has modelled for companies such as Body Glove.
In an interview with Matt Lauer on the Today show airing February 1st, 2007, she hinted at child abuse. "I will not deny that I have witnessed some abuse, but out of respect for my family ... it's something I would like to speak with my family about first," she stated.
Miss Teen USA:
Conner's first pageant experience came in 2001 when she won the Miss Kentucky Teen USA title. In August 2002, she went on to compete in the Miss Teen USA pageant held in South Padre Island, Texas. After making the first cut, Conner achieved the highest swimsuit score (9.18) among the 10 semi-finalists and had the fifth highest evening gown score (8.79). The average of these two scores placed her second overall after these two phases of competition. She eventually placed second runner-up to Vanessa Semrow of Wisconsin. Conner's placement equaled that of Kristen Johnson as the second highest by any delegate representing Kentucky at the pageant.
Miss Kentucky USA:
Conner returned to pageantry in November 2005 when she won the Miss Kentucky USA crown, and was crowned by former Miss Kentucky Teen USA 2000 and Miss Kentucky USA 2005 Kristen Johnson. She was the third former teen titleholder to win the Miss Kentucky USA title, others being Johnson and Elizabeth Arnold, who held the teen title in 1998 and was Conner's sister titleholder as Miss Kentucky USA 2002.
In March, while still Miss Kentucky USA, Conner traveled to Los Angeles to tape a special episode of Deal or No Deal which featured twenty five of the Miss USA 2006 delegates and reigning queen Chelsea Cooley. The special aired in April 2006.
Conner represented Kentucky during the nationally televised Miss USA 2006 pageant in Baltimore, Maryland on 21 April 2006. Making the semi-finals, she became the eighteenth woman to place at both Miss Teen USA and Miss USA. She competed in the official BSC Swimwear Thailand for the swimsuit competition and made the top ten, where she competed in the evening gown competition, wearing a specially designed gown by Sherri Hill. Conner then made the top five and completed the final interview round.
Prior to the announcement of the winner, Conner and her eventual first runner-up Tamiko Nash shared a long embrace, whilst Conner whispered to Nash. An E! special later revealed that Conner, believing Nash had won, was wishing her luck for her reign as Miss USA and her participation at Miss Universe. The traditional statement read before the announcement of the new titleholder, which declare that "if, for any reason the new titleholder cannot fulfill her reign, the first runner-up will take over", later become pertinent following the scandal surrounding Conner in December.
Conner eventually won the Miss USA title, the first woman from Kentucky to do so. She was crowned by previous titleholder Chelsea Cooley, from North Carolina. Conner was the fourth former Miss Teen USA state titleholder to win the Miss USA crown since 2000, one of whom was Cooley, who was Miss North Carolina Teen USA 2000.
Conner represented the United States at the Miss Universe 2006 pageant in Los Angeles, California in July 2006. Her roommate during the three weeks the delegates spent in Los Angeles was Kenisha Thom of Trinidad and Tobago
Conner made the initial cut of twenty delegates and went on to compete in the swimsuit competition, and as a member of the top ten, competed in evening gown, wearing a dress designed on reality television show Project Runway. After making the top five and competiting in a final interview round, Conner was announced as the fourth runner-up to new Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera of Puerto Rico. Conner is only the fifth Miss USA to finish fourth runner-up at Miss Universe.
Year in the life of Miss USA:
Immediately after winning the pageant, Conner moved into a Trump Place apartment that she will share with sister titleholders Zuleyka Rivera (Miss Universe 2006) and Katie Blair (Miss Teen USA 2006) during her reign. Her first week in New York included many media events, which included print interviews and spots on CNN Headline News, Live! With Regis and Kelly, and The Early Show.
On April 29 Conner returned to pageant host city Baltimore to make appearances connected with the Volvo Ocean Race, sailing on board the yacht Black Pearl. and then returned to New York, appearing with Miss Universe 2005 Natalie Glebova at the Invest in Our World Benefit on May 3.
In the first week of May she briefly returned to Kentucky for the Kentucky Derby and was a celebrity guest at the Mint Jubilee Gala, attending the event with fellow national beauty queen Jennifer Berry, Miss America 2006 (of Oklahoma) and former Miss Kentucky USA titleholders Lizzie Arnold and Kristen Johnson, as well as other notable beauty queens. After returning to New York, Conner participated in charity events and was participated in a photo shoot with official photographer Fadil Berisha.
On 18 May 2006, Conner rang the opening bell at the American Stock Exchange. She returned to Kentucky for her official homecoming in early June 2006. where she met with servicemen, with whom she posed for the July 2006 cover of Kentucky Monthly magazine, and volunteered with local charities.
On 19 July 2006, Conner appeared as a guest judge in an episode of the third season of the Bravo! series Project Runway. The contestants on the show competed against each other to create a dress for her to wear in the Miss Universe pageant. The dress was later featured in the evening gown competition of the pageant.
In August 2006, Conner met newly crowned Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera and outgoing Miss Teen USA Allie LaForce in California where they were involved with media events, before all three travelled to Palm Springs, California for the Miss Teen USA 2006 pageant. On August 15 LaForce crowned Katie Blair of Montana as the new Miss Teen USA, and Conner, Rivera and Blair returned to New York the day after the pageant. Later that month, Conner and Blair attended a number of high-profile parties in New York including a Land Rover event featuring Maria Sharapova, a U.S. Open Kick-Off Party, a pre-Video Music Awards party hosted by Ciara and Missy Elliot and another Video Music Awards party hosted by Nick Lachey.
In September 2006, Conner travelled to Boston, Massachusetts to promote the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure, as her predecessor Chelsea Cooley had done the year previously. She then travelled to Colorado to support the Cheryl Shackelford Foundation and to Pennsylvania to attend an event hosted by the USO of Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. In October 2006, Conner spent time volunteering with more charities, including Gilda's Club, Best Buddies, and Project Sunshine, before embarking on a USO tour to Italy and Turkey in November 2006, where she met her brother, who is living in Italy.
During Thanksgiving weekend of November 2006, Conner appeared on the Showboat float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, becoming the fourth Miss USA to appear in the parade. After attending the Miss Kentucky USA 2007 pageant and crowning Michelle Banzer as successor to her state title, she and Rivera travelled to Cannes, France and Italy where they made promotional appearances.
In December, Conner should have celebrated her 21st birthday with a special event held at Pure nightclub at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip near Las Vegas, Nevada but the event was later cancelled because of the scandal.
Following her time in a rehabilitation center in Pennsylvania during December and January, Conner returned to the public stage in February and was interviewed by a number of news outlets. She made her first public appearance on February 4, 2007 when she, Katie Blair and Zuleyka Rivera appeared as models for Tadashi, a sponsor of the pageant, at a fashion show in New York City.
On December 14 2006, controversy erupted when TMZ.com published an article stating that Conner might be dethroned for her behavior in several New York City bars. The following day the website reported that Conner would be stripped of her crown, and that first runner-up Tamiko Nash, who completed her reign as Miss California USA October, would inherit the Miss USA title. This was neither confirmed nor denied by the Miss Universe Organization.
The 16 December 2006 edition of the New York Daily News reported Conner had tested positive for cocaine, had kissed Miss Teen USA Katie Blair in public, and had sneaked men into their Trump Place apartment. One New York City nightlife veteran said "She really is a small-town girl. She just went wild when she came to the city. Tara just couldn't handle herself. They were sneaking those nightclub guys in and out of the apartment." According to Fox News, citing local New York newspapers, Conner "moved out of her apartment in one of Trump's luxury buildings on Manhattan's Upper West Side" sometime during the week of 11 December 2006.
On 19 December 2006, Trump held a press conference saying that Conner was not dethroned as Miss USA. "I've always been a believer in second chances," Trump said. Had Conner been dethroned, she would have been the first Miss USA to have her title removed since Mary Leona Gage in 1957. It was also announced that Conner would be entering the Caron Foundation, an alcoholism rehabilitation facility in Pennsylvania. During the press conference Conner declined to comment on allegations of illicit drug use and claimed she was not an alcoholic but acknowledged making serious mistakes.
After coming out of rehab less than two months later in February 2007, Conner admitted in an interview with Matt Lauer that she had abused cocaine and anti-depressants. Conner says that she had faced her "demons" and hinted her problems may have stemmed from some unspecified abuse during her childhood with someone she recently confronted. She would not comment on whether this abuse was sexual. "I will not deny that I have witnessed some abuse, but out of respect for my family ... it's something I would like to speak with my family about first," Conner told NBC television's "Today" show. "Later on, maybe I'll feel more comfortable about speaking on these topics, but right now not so much." She also participated in an interview on Larry King Live.
On April 1st 2007 she attended WWE's Wrestlemania 23 in Detroit, Michigan. In the Hair vs. Hair Match she came down to the ring as the attendant of Donald Trump.
-Miss Kentucky Teen USA 2002.
-Miss Kentucky USA 2006.
-Miss USA 2006.
-Miss Teen USA 2002 (2nd runner-up).
-Miss USA 2006 (winner).
-Miss Universe 2006 (4th runner-up).