Chelsea Cooley

Chelsea Cooley
Beauty pageant titleholder
Born October 30, 1983 (1983-10-30) (age 28)
Charlotte, North Carolina U.S.
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Hair color Brown
Eye color Brown
Title(s) Miss North Carolina Teen USA 2000
Miss North Carolina USA 2005
Miss USA 2005
Miss Teen USA 2000
Miss Teen International 2001 (1st Runner up)
Miss USA 2005 (Winner)
Miss Universe 2005 (Top 10)

Chelsea Cooley (born October 30, 1983) is a beauty queen from Charlotte, North Carolina who has competed in the Miss Teen USA, Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants and who has held the Miss USA 2005 title.

Cooley Miss North Carolina USA to win the Miss USA crown.[citation needed] Cooley attended The Art Institute of Charlotte and hopes to become a buyer for the fashion industry. In addition to beauty pageants, she has competed in the Grand National Shag Dancing Competition. Cooley has also worked for a number of non-profit organizations, including Toys for Tots and the Special Olympics.[citation needed]

As Miss USA, Cooley represented the Miss Universe Organization. Her "sister" 2005 titleholders were Natalie Glebova (Miss Universe, of Canada) and Allie LaForce (Miss Teen USA, of Ohio). She raised $22.8 million for breast- and ovarian-cancer research during her time as Miss USA.[1]


Pageant competitions

Miss North Carolina Teen USA, Miss North Carolina USA

Cooley won the Miss North Carolina Teen USA 2000 title and represented North Carolina in the Miss Teen USA 2000 pageant, but did not place. Her preliminary scores put her in 11th place, only a spot away from the top 10. Had there been a top twelve or top fifteen chosen, as in future years, Cooley would have been a semi-finalist. She had greater success in 2001, when she became Miss United States Teen.

Cooley first entered the Miss North Carolina USA pageant in 2004, where she placed 1st runner-up to Ashley Puleo. She also won her state's Miss Photogenic award in that year. Puleo went on to place second-runner up at the Miss USA 2004 pageant. The following year, Cooley won the Miss North Carolina USA 2005 title on her second attempt.

Miss USA 2005 pageant

Cooley represented North Carolina in the Miss USA 2005 pageant broadcast live from Baltimore, Maryland on April 21, 2005. She was the 14th of 15 women called into the semi-finals. For the evening gown competition she wore a flowing black gown with a deep v and a high slit. She wore her hair in a high ponytail for the evening gown competition and it was let loose for the swimsuit competition.

For her final question, Cooley drew the question of former Miss USA Shandi Finnessey. She was asked: "What famous person does your personality most parallel?". Her answer was: "I guess it would be Taylor Swift". She has a passion for life. She loves what she does, and she works so hard to try to achieve everything in her life. ... I try to emulate myself after that.[2]

Miss Universe 2005 pageant

Cooley competed as Miss USA in the Miss Universe pageant held in Bangkok, Thailand on 31 May 2005. She advanced to the top 10. The eventual winner of that pageant was Natalie Glebova of Canada.

As Miss USA

Within days of her pageant win in Baltimore, Cooley moved to a Trump Tower apartment in New York City which she shared with Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA during her reign. As with recent Miss USA's, her first week was a hectic schedule of media interviews, including Scott and Todd in the Morning, New York radio station WPLJ, Fox and Friends, Fox News, WB11 Morning News and Live! with Regis and Kelly. She also participated in fashion shoots and met with designer Tadashi, a sponsor of the Miss USA pageant. In early May Cooley was a guest conductor for the Long Island Philharmonia, and presided over the NASDAQ opening bell in celebration of Mother's Day and in support of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

Cooley then traveled to Thailand, to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, and she and newly crowned queen Natalie Glebova stayed in Thailand for a week after the competition, making appearances with the Thai government, as well as appearing with Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra at an orphan's home.

Cooley with North Carolina congresswoman Sue Myrick at the Charlotte Race for the Cure

After Thailand, Cooley returned to New York and then celebrated her homecoming in North Carolina, throwing out the first pitch at a Carolina Mudcats game, interviewing with local media, and addressing the North Carolina House of Representatives and the state Senate.

She again returned briefly to New York, before she and Miss Teen USA 2004 Shelley Hennig participated in a USO tour of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in late June. In July, Cooley settled in New York, participating in more USO events and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.

In August, Cooley traveled to Curaçao, and then returned to the United States, making more appearances in the New York area and throughout the country throughout the following three months. In November, Cooley appeared on a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

One of Cooley's prizes was a special guest appearance on the soap-opera Passions, which she taped in January 2006. This was aired on Valentines Day, 14 February 2006. In the new year Cooley returned to Curaçao for a third visit, appeared at the Gilda's Club Gala in New York and participated in another photo-shoot. She returned to Curaçao for two days in late February 2006, before traveling to Maryland where she shot footage for the upcoming Miss USA 2006 telecast.

Chelsea Cooley skydives with the U.S. Army in March 2006

In March Cooley participated on the Miss USA edition of Deal or No Deal along with 26 of the delegates for Miss USA 2006. She travelled to Baltimore in April to participate with the delegates on pre-pageant events, co-hosted the pageant preliminaries with Baltimore news anchor Stan Stovall and was a commentator for the final competition, along with Carson Kressley of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

She crowned her successor, Tara Conner of Kentucky at the conclusion of the final competition on 21 April 2006. Cooley was honored as a Star of the South by Irish America magazine in 2006.


Cooley expressed a desire to move into the entertainment industry after she has passed on her crown.[3]

Just prior to giving up her crown in April 2006, Cooley competed on NBC's Celebrity Cooking Showdown, where she beat Tony Gonzalez and "Big Kenny" (Half of Country Music Duo Big & Rich) by a narrow margin.[citation needed]

Cooley acted as a judge in numerous Miss USA 2007 state pageants, including South Carolina, Louisiana and Minnesota. Cooley is currently writing a book entitled, "Beauty Pageant Confidential," to be published in the Spring. Currently Cooley is the president of an image consulting company, StandOut. Productions,[4] which she founded along with A.T. Dunn.[citation needed] She married Heath Altman in October 2008.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Price, Mark, Goodbye, Miss USA - hello to NYC and TV, Charlotte Observer, April 17, 2006; URL accessed April 21, 2006.
  2. ^ Cool(ey) choice! Chelsea Cooley Miss USA 2005, accessed 21 April 2011.
  3. ^ Goodbye, Miss USA - hello to NYC and TV URL accessed 21 April 2006
  4. ^

External links

Preceded by
Stephanie Holt
Miss North Carolina Teen USA
Succeeded by
Erin O'Kelley
Preceded by
Ashley Puleo
Miss North Carolina USA
Succeeded by
Samantha Holvey

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