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Michelle Leonardo

Michelle Leonardo
Beauty pageant titleholder
Born Michelle Leonardo
1991 (age 23–24)
Montclair, New Jersey, U.S.
Hometown Tinton Falls, New Jersey, U.S.
Alma mater Suffolk University
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Hair color Brown
Eye color Brown
Title(s) Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2008
Miss New Jersey USA 2012
Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2008
Miss Teen USA 2008
Miss Teen United States World - 2009
Miss Teen World 2009
(3rd Runner-Up)
Miss New Jersey USA 2012
Miss USA 2012
(Top 10)

Michelle Leonardo (born June 28, 1991) is a beauty queen[1] and dancer who is most notable for her victories at Miss New Jersey Teen USA in 2008[2] and Miss New Jersey USA in 2012.[1] She went on to compete at Miss USA 2012 on June 3, 2012 at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she finished in the Top 10.[3] She is currently a dancer for the Boston Celtics.[4]

Early life

Michelle Leonardo was born to Anthony and Laura Leonardo in Montclair, New Jersey and raised in Tinton Falls.[5] She has one younger sister, Lainie. She began dancing and modeling at a young age.[2] At age four, her mother began entering her in pageants, in honor of her late aunt who had dreamed of being a pageant queen before succumbing to acute myelogenous leukemia. Her first pageant title was "Little Miss Hawaiian Tropic."[6] Michelle also appeared on Guiding Light and has been in numerous print ads including Polaroid, Million Dollar Baby Swimsuits and Sesame Street Kids. She has been in three Seventeen Magazine Fashion shows including one for NYC Fall Fashion Week.[2]

Michelle attended Red Bank Catholic High School in Red Bank, New Jersey, where she participated in the school's dance and drama programs,[2] she would go on to attend Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism.[7] in 2013. She aspires to be a reporter for ESPN.[5]


Michelle won both titles of Miss New Jersey USA 2012 and Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2008, along with placing in the Top 10 at Miss USA 2012, winning Miss Teen United States-World 2009 and placing 3rd runner up at Miss Teen World 2009.

Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2008

In 2008, Michelle competed in Miss New Jersey Teen USA, where she won the title. She was crowned by future-Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella. She alleges that her mother entered her into the pageant without her knowledge. With regards to her pageant victory, Michelle stated "I was just a little sixteen year old girl who walked off the street, I still have no idea how I won."[7]

Miss Teen United States World - 2009

In 2009, Michelle went to Houston, Texas to participate in Miss Teen United States World - 2009. After winning the preliminary evening gown portion of the competition, Michelle was awarded the crown along with a $30,000 prize package.[8]

Miss New Jersey USA 2012

In October 2011, 20 year-old Michelle participated in Miss New Jersey USA at the Hilton Hotel in Parsippany, New Jersey. She competed against 111 other girls. After the evening gown, interview, and swimsuit portions of the competition, Michelle was announced as the winner. She stated that the competition "wasn't easy. I literally had to fight for the crown."[7]

Miss USA 2012

She went on to compete at Miss USA 2012 on June 3, 2012 at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, finishing in the Top 10. The eventual winner was Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island (who later went on to win Miss Universe 2012).


  1. ^ a b "Miss New Jersey Usa And Miss New Jersey Teen Usa". 2011-10-23. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  2. ^ a b "Michelle Leonardo - Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2008". Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  3. ^ "Miss USA : Home". Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  4. ^ "Michelle - Celtics Dancers Bios". Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  5. ^ Federico, Linda (2012-02-11). "VIDEO: Miss New Jersey Visits Demarest School [PHOTOS] - Bloomfield, NJ Patch". Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Julianna White
Miss New Jersey USA
Succeeded by
Libell Durán
Preceded by
Alyssa Campanella
Miss New Jersey Teen USA
Succeeded by
Alexa Brunetti
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