MIAMI, FLA. -- June 28, 2012 -- A Louisville local was shining in Miami Beach on Saturday night at the Hooters 16th Annual International Swimsuit Pageant where $100,000 in cash and prizes were at stake. Morgan Whitworth, 22, reached the number five spot out of 100 contestants from around the world.
Whitworth has worked at the Hooters of DuPont, Ky., for three years while studying business and accounting and interior decorating and staging. Her passion is hair and makeup, as her mother owns a local salon. This is her second year competing in the pageant.
“Working at Hooters has been such a positive experience for me. Returning to compete again this year, I really wanted to be a role model to the new girls and offer any advice that I could,” said Whitworth. “During the pageant, I was the last name called for the top 10 and I just dropped to the floor in shock. It was the greatest feeling in the world; this whole journey has been worth all of the hard work and preparation.”
The Hooters 16th Annual International Swimsuit Pageant was held at the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater. Mark McGrath hosted the event with a celebrity panel of judges including: professional surfer Anastasia Ashley, the original Hooters Girl Lynne Austin, TV star and professional bodyguard Big Black, mixed martial arts UFC® fighter Stephan Bonnar, Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, satellite radio host, professional skateboarder and mixed martial arts fighter Jason Ellis, and Denver Broncos running back Willis McGahee. The judging panel also included Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient Sgt. Tommy Rieman, who received a heartfelt welcome from the audience, including the local servicemen and women Hooters invited to the pageant.
The Hooters Girl contestants were selected from more than 18,000 Hooters Girls who presently work in one of the 430 Hooters restaurants worldwide. The contestants received a spot in the pageant by competing in local swimsuit contests or were selected as the top Hooters Girl to represent their markets. Amanda Jemini of Boca Raton, Fla., was crowned Miss Hooters International 2012.
In addition to Jemini and Whitworth, other winners included first runner-up Tyler Suess, Hooters of Rockford, Ill.; second runner-up Juliete Cabrera, Hooters of Doral, Fla.; and third runner-up Victoria Brown, Hooters of Hollywood, Calif. Rounding out the top ten finalists in alphabetical order are McKenzie Barentsen, Hooters of Denver, Colo.; Brittany Farmer, Hooters of Baton Rouge, La.; Jessica Lundy, Hooters of Columbia, S.C.; Ashley Pike, Hooters of Hiram, Ga.; and Afton Storton, Hooters of Anaheim, Calif.
Evelise Giorge de Souza from Hooters of São Paulo, Brazil, was selected as Miss Hooters World, representing Hooters 27 international markets.
Hooters of America, LLC is the franchiser and operator of over 430 Hooters restaurants in 44 states and 27 foreign countries. The first Hooters opened in 1983 in Clearwater, Florida. Hooters is well-known for its brand of food and fun, featuring a casual beach-theme atmosphere, a menu that features seafood, sandwiches and Hooters nearly, world famous chicken wings, and service provided by the All-American cheerleaders, the Hooters Girls. For more information about Hooters visit www.Hooters.com or follow us at www.twitter.com/Hooters or www.Facebook.com/Hooters.