Local Pageant Officials Admit Mistake, Name New Winner

Kristen Paruginog Named Miss Asia San Diego After Scorecard Mistake

A local pageant has crowned a new winner after controversy clouded the initial results.

In late August, 10News reported on a possible mix-up that put the results of the Miss Asia San Diego pageant in doubt.

10News learned the Little Saigon Foundation, which organized the pageant held at Hoover High School, overturned the result and determined that recently crowned winner Martina Lo was actually in fourth place. Organizers gave first-place runner-up Kristen Paruginog the title.

New video obtained by 10News showed that along with the excitement of a winner being crowned, there was a statement lost in the noise. In the video, a woman's voice yelled, "Wait, wait, no, no. It's the other way around" as the first-place runner-up was announced.

10News learned the voice came from a pageant official -- the first sign the wrong winner for Miss Asia San Diego had been crowned after the final four contestants were brought to the stage.

Three names were listed on the scorecard, and according to pageant protocol, the name left out is the winner. The name left off the card was Lo, who was named the winner.

Pageant officials said that was incorrect and the name mistakenly not on the list by the tabulator was Lo. Despite initial claims the emcee misread the card, pageant organizers said the fault is theirs.

"I was told by the tabulator -- and we agreed -- these three names were the runner-ups," said Jenna Lane, the pageant emcee.

"How can something so simple get so messed up?" asked 10News reporter Michael Chen.

Little Saigon Foundation board member Kendrick Ton, replied, "It comes down to simple miscommunication."

Pageant organizers said the first-time pageant did not have a scoring policy down in writing.

"The tabulator was not on the same page; there was clear confusion," said Ton.

In a statement issued last week, Lo said: "If my giving up my title would benefit most people and bring peace to the community, I am willing to make the sacrifice to make everyone happy."

Lo had objected to the post-pageant examination focused solely on the question-and-answer section to determine the winner, but pageant officials said the placement for the top four was always determined solely on the question-and-answer, with the previous categories determining who moved on to the next levels.

Paruginog said, "I'm just honored to be Miss Asia San Diego … it's been a rollercoaster. I'm glad they took the time to look at the scores, and make an ethical decision."

The winner receives a $3,000 scholarship and a prize package.

Print this article Back to Top