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06/23/19 11:11 AM EDT

Briana Smith Crowned 2019 Miss Hooters International

Fort Lauderdale, FL Hooters Girl wins exclusive title and $30,000 cash prize at 23rd Annual Hooters International Pageant in Lake Tahoe

Briana Smith Crowned 2019 Miss Hooters International

Fort Lauderdale, Florida Hooters Girl, Briana Smith claimed her title as Miss Hooters International 2019 at the 23rd Annual Hooters International Pageant at Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys.

Briana is Miss February in the 2019 Hooters Calendar and has been a Hooters Girl for over two years. In addition to her love of gardening, Briana is dedicated to giving back to her community, with some of her favorite memories volunteering with the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and the Sunrise Little League.

"It’s a truly indescribable feeling to be crowned the 2019 Miss Hooters International and I am at a complete loss for words,” said Smith. “By winning this competition, it’s my hope that women of all ages and ethnicities can show there is no limit to what we can achieve, and I will use this platform to empower women from all walks of life to love themselves no matter what flaws they may think they have.”

Briana will receive a $30,000 cash prize and the opportunity to contribute to marketing initiatives and special events throughout the year, including traveling to domestic and international openings and leading the #Hooters9 Crew in cheering on NASCAR’s No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driver Chase Elliott.

Leading up to the pageant, 80 Hooters Girls from around the world participated in a week filled with women’s empowerment seminars, community outreach, and a host of preliminary events. In the end, Briana was the one to impress a panel of judges that included TV Star and Hooters Girl alumnae, Nicole Curtis, Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, original Hooters Girl, Lynne Austin, MMA fighter, Yair Rodriguez and television personality, Bonnie-Jill Laflin. 

Before facing off for the crown, the finalists worked together to give back to the Lake Tahoe community by donating time and supporting the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe and League to Save Lake Tahoe.

The Hooters International Pageant is the culmination of local and regional contests, and participants were selected from a pool of more than 18,000 Hooters Girls who presently work in one of the more than 425 Hooters locations worldwide. Contestants were evaluated based on responses to interview questions, personality and overall contribution to the iconic Hooters brand, as well as swimsuit and hometown costume attire.

Pageant runners up included: first runner up, Amberly Hall from Nashville, Tennessee; second runner up, Hannah Williams from Las Vegas, Nevada; third runner up, Rochelle Vlok from Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa; and fourth runner up, Nanako Matsuyama from Tokyo, Japan. 

Additional awards went to, Melissa Harris from Savannah, Georgia for Miss Congeniality; Lindsey Lynch from Maryville, North Carolina for Miss Fan Favorite; Rochelle Vlok  from South Africa for Miss World; and Briana Smith, who also won Miss Photogenic.

To close out the 23rd Annual Hooters International Pageant, award winning country music singer-songwriter Lee Brice performed a special concert.

For more information about the Hooters International Pageant, visit https://www.hooters.com/pageant/

To find your nearest Hooters location, visit Hooters.com.