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Miss Brazil USA pageant contestant upset over sudden cancellation

Posted at 6:40 PM, Oct 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-10 21:40:03-04

An exciting trip to Las Vegas to compete in a national pageant has left some of the contestants disappointed.

The Miss Brazil USA pageant, which features Brazilian-American women from across the country was supposed to be held over the weekend at the Keep Memory Alive Center downtown.

Instead, the pageant was forced to cancel in part due to Hurricane Matthew.  Many of the contestants are from Florida, and only 8 of the 25 contestants were able to fly to Las Vegas.   

Others were given short notice and weren't able to fly in at all.

In a letter, the board wrote: "Unfortunately due to unforeseeable and unfortunate events, our board of directors has decided to reschedule Miss Brazil USA for April of next year."

That left some contestants upset.  

Miss Brazil Florida winner Bianca Silva says she had paid for a flight to Las Vegas, but wasn't able to attend.  

She says more than a year of practice was wasted. 

"We feel so disrespected in so many ways," she tells us.

The pageant's organizer Sonia Rivelli and her granddaughter Magdalena Silveira live in Las Vegas and say they were left with no choice.  

"It wouldn't have been fair," Silveira says.  With so few contestants able to make it, she says she's rather see someone win in a fair contest.  "It would have looked good on stage," she says.

Silveira says the pageant has apologized and will be paying for a flight for all the contestants to come back on April 29th, 2017, when they're planning to celebrate the pageant's 25th anniversary.