Less than 24 hours after being crowned miss South Carolina International, Kaylin Riney lost her CROWN. was social media to blame or was there something more to the reversal?

Kaylin Riney, 23, was juggling her studies at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and modeling jobs with two agencies when Rich Carnahan, the associate director of the Miss South Carolina International pageant, sent her an intriguing message on Facebook asking if she’d like to run for the title. The striking brunette with several tattoos and zero pageant experience was hesitant at first.

“I was a little doubtful that I had any real chance of actually winning, seeing as I had absolutely no clue what to expect, or how to prepare for such an ordeal,” says Riney, a junior working toward her degree in geology with a concentration in environmental sustainability and climate sciences. “But after hundreds of questions and lots of support from Rich and my family and friends, I decided it was worth a shot.”

Carnahan and his wife, Tiffany, had taken over as directors of the pageant the previous year. As recruitment manager, it was one of Rich’s jobs to find willing and suitable young women to compete for the title, for which they are judged in four categories: Interview, Fitness Wear, Fashion Runway and Evening Gown.


Riney says Tiffany told her that because of a picture found on her social media page, she couldn’t sign the contract and become Miss South Carolina International.

“I didn’t understand. I told her I could delete it from my page, and her only response was no, and that people already had it and would use it against me at nationals, which would have my title stripped. I was mortified and began crying my eyes out. How was this even possible?” says Riney, who had assumed Rich had looked through her photos when he found her on Facebook and would have brought up any potential problems to her then. “I started arguing and saying how is that picture worse that any bikini pictures I had up? Or how ridiculously showy and revealing some of the girls’ dresses were at the pageant the night before? She just kept shaking her head, saying to not let this get to me, and to just tell everyone I handed over my sash and crown because my modeling contracts conflicted with the Miss International pageant’s contract.” 

According to the Carnahans, Riney’s photo put her in violation of the Miss South Carolina International contract’s clause that states she will be a person of “good moral character” and that she “has not committed or will not commit any act inconsistent with the highest standards of public morality” and that she will not do anything that reflects unfavorably on the pageant, “including but not limited to posing for any publications in the past or future nude, in a way that is suggestive of nudity in any form, including semi-nudity, whether the pose is for commercial or artistic purpose.” The photo in question was not for a publication.

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