Miss USA Runner-Up Anticipated Taking Conner's Crown

ByABC News via GMA logo
December 20, 2006, 8:32 AM

Dec. 20, 2006 — -- Tara Conner wasn't the only beauty queen poised to get a second chance on Tuesday.

Had the scandal-tinged Miss USA been dethroned, Tamiko Nash, Miss California USA and the pageant's 2006 runner-up, would have had a chance to take the coveted crown.

Nash talked with ABC's Chris Cuomo about the allegations swirling around Conner and her emotional news conference with Donald Trump, co-owner of the Miss Universe Organization, the parent company of the Miss USA pageant.

Nash sympathized with Conner and said she would want Trump to let her keep her crown if she were in a similar situation.

"If I were in this situation, I myself would want the benefit of the doubt. I would want a second chance," she said.

But having dreamed of being Miss USA and narrowly losing the title to Conner in the 2006 pageant, Nash can't help but regret that the crown won't be hers.

"Naturally, I'm human. There is some disappointment," she said. "Becoming Miss USA has always been a dream of mine, but I would not have wanted this title at her expense."

With the possibility of her moving to New York to take over the title of Miss USA, Nash even put off buying a Christmas tree in her home state of California.

"I haven't gotten my Christmas tree yet because I thought I might be in New York," she said.

Asked whether she thought Trump orchestrated the scandal as a publicity stunt for next year's Miss USA pageant, Nash replied with a vehement "absolutely not."

Now that Trump has given Conner a second chance, Nash is supporting her former competitor and moving forward with her duties as Miss California USA.

"Right now, it's about Tara's well-being, and it's about moving forward," she said. "We're role models. I'm a role model."