MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — McAllen native and current Miss Texas USA competed for Miss USA in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and walked away from the competition as a top-eight semi-finalist.
Victoria Hinosoja told ValleyCentral although the competition ended about a week ago, she’s still over the moon with her placement.
Hinosoja placed in the top 16 based on the previous night’s swimsuit and evening wear competition. Each girl was also interviewed prior to their on-stage competition.
“Placing top 16 and then moving even further than that and placing in the top 8 was something so surreal to me,” added Hinosoja. “I remember I looked back at my reaction and I was like, ‘Was that me?’ when they said Texas, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s me.’”
Prior to the pageant, the 51 contestants spent 12 days in Tulsa. Each day was full of five-hour rehearsals of choreography, opening numbers, and walks. On top of that, the contestants made appearances around the city and volunteered with various organizations.
Hinosoja said the contestants participated in a Smile Train, the Greater Greenwood experience, and volunteered at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving.
While serving the Tulsa community, Hinosoja kept one main community on her mind: the Rio Grande Valley. She commented that representing Texas and the RGV is something she’ll never forget.
Along with many goals and aspirations Hinosoja had set for herself for the pageant, she wanted to inspire those in her hometown to dream big regardless of the resources they have.
“Sometimes I feel we place ourselves being from a small Hispanic community… in this bubble where we don’t think we can get as far as somebody who lives in a bigger city,” said Hinosoja.
Hinosoja wants her journey and Miss USA experience to be a testimony that if you work hard enough towards your goals, you too can make it big.
Elle Smith of Kentucky won the title of Miss USA 2021 and is currently in Israel competing for the title of Miss Universe.
If you’re interested in competing for Miss Texas USA 2022 for a chance to compete on the national stage, applications are live on the pageant website. There is also a teen category that takes each state winner to Miss Teen USA.