DAYTONA BEACH, FLMoments after Melissa Kenner's crowning as the brand-new Miss Teen USA Sunday, the 17-year-old Joplin, MO, high-school senior used her newfound power to purge the Teen USA government and install herself as supreme leader for life.
"All hail Miss Teen USA," proclaimed Kenner, the 1996 Miss Teen Missouri, minutes after her ascension to the throne. "All hail the glorious new regime."
Employing a six-girl coalition to overthrow the panel of celebrity judges, Kenner firmly established herself as the new voice of power in Teen USA. "I am the prettiest," she said, shortly before declaring herself Miss Teen USA For Life. "I am also the sweetest."
Resplendent in a shimmering white evening gown and bedecked with the coveted Miss Teen USA tiara, Kenner tearfully waved and smiled at onlookers as she clutched a bouquet of roses, flanked by her elite, machine-gun-wielding secret police, the Revlon Guard. Mandatory audience applause was enforced with the threat of immediate execution.
Kenner, who hopes to be a veterinarian one day because she "totally loves horses," employed brutal force in establishing her military-style junta, seizing control of Teen USA's diplomatic, legislative and executive branches through swift, violent deployment of the Revlon Guard. The teenage beauty credited her successful seizure of power to "a bright smile, a positive attitude that goes 110 percent, a little vaseline on the teeth, and a willingness to kill anyone who stands in my way."
Despite the efforts of Teen USA officials, an 11th-hour play to reclaim power by pageant hosts Bob Goen and Shari Belafonte-Harper backfired, resulting in their on-air execution at Kenner's hands. Judges injured or killed in the purge include Home Improvement's Zachery Ty Bryan, Mary Kay Cosmetics vice-president Andrea Iwerks and Superstar Management CEO Albert Feuerstein.
Kenner's cabal of advisors and security staff includes Miss Congeniality Stephanie Smith of Connecticut and Salon Selectives' "Teen With Style" winner Missy Harris of Delaware.
"This is, like, exciting?" contestant Michelle DeVries of Minnesota told reporters as the drama unfolded. "I really think that I've learned a lot from this experience, like how tough it is to be popular and stuff." DeVries was later shot in the back of the head by a Teen USA death squad after New Hampshire's Kellye Adamson, Teen USA Minister of Propaganda, ruled her remarks "counter-revolutionary" and "treasonous against the state."
On Monday morning, Kenner declared martial law across Teen USA and unveiled the new constitution of her regime. "The law will be dispensed by me," Kenner announced at a nationally televised press conference. "Okay? Everybody has to do what I say, when I say, as I see fit. Only the popular shall determine the fate of the masses."
Among the original Miss Teen USA Pageant rules that she has already repealed is the rule barring pageant winners from dating during their term. "I shall date the boys I wish, when I wish," Kenner announced. "But I will not go to bed with them. I am saving myself for the man I marry, because sex is more special when you wait and also because of the risks involved."
Though no official contact has been made between the Teen USA government and that of the United States, White House officials have expressed a willingness to begin talks with the newly formed republic. When asked what she would say if she could converse with President Clinton about one issue, Kenner responded, "I would ask him to put more money into saving the environment, because when you think about it, this is the only planet that we have, and we need to make it a better place for our children to grow up in."
Added Kenner, "All enemies of the state will be crushed."
Kenner intends to use her $150,000 in cash and prizes to "consolidate Teen USA's power into an unstoppable military juggernaut." Her favorite movie is The Little Mermaid.