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Five contestants will vie for the Miss American Samoa crown

Reigning Miss American Samoa, Magalita Johnson (3rd from left) surrounded by the five beauties vying for the 2019-2020 title. In no particular order: Epifania Petelo, Jo-nica Ta’aitulagi Tuiteleleapaga, Brenda Fa’afua Foleni, Menora-Justine M. Samoa, and Tauaitala Leasiolagi.
“Embrace, Empower and Endure”

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — It’s that time of year again! When local beauties put on their best smile and compete for the honor of being the territory’s ambassador.

At this moment, Miss American Samoa Inc. (MASI) is gearing up for this year’s pageant, to be hosted at the American Samoa Community College multi-purpose center (The Fale Laumei — the usual venue — is currently closed and undergoing renovation work).

This year’s theme is “Embrace, Empower & Endure” and five contestants will be vying for the coveted crown next Friday, Sept. 27th at 7p.m.

This year’s winner will represent American Samoa at the upcoming Miss Pacific pageant hosted in Papua New Guinea in late November.


  • Epifania Petelo, sponsored by Iron Crew Health and Fitness, is an ASCC student majoring in business and also a part time sales clerk at Neil’s ACE Home Center. She is the 20-year-old daughter of Mikaele and Akata Petelo of Iliili. 
  • Jo-nica Ta'aitulagi Tuiteleleapaga, sponsored by her family and friends as Miss Utulei, is a Samoana High School graduate who holds an AA degree in Liberal Arts from ASCC. Her goal is to pursue and complete a Bachelor's degree in Education program, and become a teacher.  She is 22 years old and her parents are Simeonica Tuiteleleapaga and Johnny Nomaaea of Utulei. 
  • Brenda Fa'afua Foleni, sponsored by J-Len T’s, took time off from everything so she could concentrate on the pageant this year. She loves to exercise and spend time with her family, and is active member of the Amouli CCCAS, where she is a Sunday school teacher, and a member of the youth group and choir. Her motto is to take life one day at a time and make the most of it. The 25-year-old who plans to further her education is the second oldest of 4 children born to Taito'a Esekielu Foleni and Martha Tavita Iuli of Amouli.  
  • Menora-Justine M. Samia is an ASCC student set to graduate at the end of the Fall semester. She is sponsored by Betty Gaoteote, as well as family and friends as Miss Vatia. Menora_Justine’s hobbies include singing and playing sports. Her future goals include joining the US Army and she is currently working part time at the Airport Duty Free. She is 21 years old and her parents are Susana Tuiasosopo of Vatia and Michael Laufau Samia of Pavaiai. 
  • Tauaitala Leasiolagi, sponsored by Lote's Auto Shop, is the youngest of the contestants. The 18-year-old is currently attending ASCC, majoring in Liberal Arts.  Her plans include furthering her education at Dixie State University in Utah, majoring in physical therapy, with the hope of returning home to help the local community. Her parents are Elizabeth Savea and Luaao Leasiolagi of Matuu and Faganeanea. 

For the third consecutive year, the Gold sponsor for the Miss American Samoa pageant is Tautua Mo Oe (TMO).  Also for the third consecutive year, GHC Reid and Co. Ltd. is the official beverage sponsor.

Other sponsors include: Paradise Pizza (providing to'anai for Sunday after the church service); A&E Restaurant (for Tuesday’s luncheon); American Samoa Visitor’s Bureau (prize giving luncheon); Dave and Patricia Tautai of Tautai Car Rentals (transportation float); Sauia Bodybuilding Fitness Gym (one-year membership for all contestants); Heaven's Touch (beauty and wellness); ASCC (venue); VA Center and Rosie Lancaster (practice venue).

This Saturday, Sept. 21st, the festivities kick off at 9 a.m with a float parade from NAPA in Tafuna to Aua village, and back to the Fagatogo Marketplace with there will be a brief meet-and-greet with the public.

Later that night at 6:30 p.m, there will be a VIP dinner hosted at Tradewinds Hotel to acknowledge the sponsors from the business community, followed by a meet-and-greet with the contestants.

Sunday, Sept 22nd at 9 a.m is a worship service with the reigning Miss American Samoa, Magalita Johnson, at her church — LDS Pava’ia’i Ward.  

The week leading up to the pageant will be full of activities. The contestants will make brief visits with government leaders and partners, including First Lady Cynthia Malala Moliga, Hope House, LBJ Medical Center Pediatrics Ward, and fitness and health centers.

Pre-pageant interviews relating to selected topics will be held Thursday, Sept 26th at 10 a.m, at the Naumati Room at Tradewinds Hotel.