Compassionate_Conservative Posted March 20, 2007 Share Posted March 20, 2007 Shandi Ren Finnessey (born June 9, 1978 in Florissant, Missouri, USA) is an American beauty queen, model and television hostess. She is best known for winning the Miss USA title, as Miss Missouri USA. She had previously held the title of Miss Missouri 2002 and competed in Miss America where she won a preliminary award. In 2002 Finnessey authored a children’s book, The Furrtails, which helps children appreciate individuality and understand their peers who have disabilities. She became Chuck Woolery's co-host on the game show Lingo in August, 2005. The show airs regularly on GSN. In April, 2006 she began appearing on the interactive series PlayMania, another GSN original. On February 23, 2007, PlayMania broke into two shows, 100 Winners and quiznation; Finnessey became the host of quiznation, a revised but similar version of the original PlayMania. Finnessey was also a commentator on the 2006 Miss Universe Pageant. Finnessey is a sideline reporter for the CBS tournament blackjack series Ultimate Blackjack Tour. Finnessey graduated from Incarnate Word Academy in 1996 and completed a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Lindenwood University in 1999. She has credits towards a masters degree in counselling from the same university. Participation Finnessey first competed in the Miss Missouri USA 2000 pageant in 1999 where she finished first runner-up. She competed the following year and placed second runner-up to Larissa Meek in the 2001 event. In 2000 Finnessey competed in the Miss Oktoberfest pageant and was a runner-up. The pageant was won by Jenna Edwards, who would later hold the Miss Florida and Miss Florida USA titles. In 2002 Finnessey won the Miss St. Louis Metro local title in the Miss Missouri system and went on to win the Miss Missouri title. She represented Missouri in the Miss America 2003 pageant, where she won an evening gown preliminary award but did not place. Less than a year after giving up her title, Finnessey won the Miss Missouri USA pageant on her third attempt. She represented Missouri in the nationally televised Miss USA 2004 pageant. In the nationally televised pageant, she became the first woman from Missouri to win the Miss USA title. During her six-month reign as Miss Missouri USA, Finnessey was involved in such charities as the Variety Club Telethon, St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm Up for local charities, AIDS Foundation, Special Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri and Gilda's Club As Miss USA Finnessey went on to represent the United States at the international Miss Universe competition held in Quito, Ecuador in May 2004. She placed first runner-up in the internationally broadcast competition, behind winner Jennifer Hawkins of Australia. During her reign as Miss USA, Finnessey became an advocate for breast cancer and ovarian cancer awareness and research. Finnessey resided in a luxury riverside apartment in New York City provided by the Miss Universe Organization and pageant co-owner Donald Trump. As Miss USA, Finnessey represented the Miss Universe Organization. Her "sister" 2004 titleholders were Jennifer Hawkins (Miss Universe, of Australia) and Shelley Hennig (Miss Teen USA, of Louisiana). Hosting Finnessey provided color commentary at the Miss USA 2005 pageant, where she was the outgoing titleholder. On July 23, 2006 she also co-hosted the Miss Universe 2006 Pageant live from Los Angeles, California as a commentator with Carson Kressley. The show's main hosts were Carlos Ponce and Nancy O'Dell. Finnessey has also co-hosted subsequent Miss Missouri USA pageants. Post pageants After completing her reign as Miss USA, Finnessey became a co-host of Lingo and PlayMania on GSN. Her GSN career continues to flourish and she has appeared in several documentaries produced by the network. She has also appeared on the NBC reality show The Apprentice, in the 20 Sexiest Men and 20 Sexiest Women specials on CMT, and as Grand Marshal in the 2004 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. She was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans of 2006 by the Jaycees.She also appeared alongside Chris Myers as part of the coverage of the New Year's Eve 2007 Festivities for Fox. On February 21, 2007, ABC announced that Finnessey will compete in the fourth season of Dancing with the Stars. Source:Wikipedia Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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