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Missing out, happily

Emily Johnson (shown being crowned Miss Maine USA) will skip the Miss USA Pageant. Emily Johnson (shown being crowned Miss Maine USA) will skip the Miss USA Pageant. (Miss Maine USA via AP)
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / April 19, 2011

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Choosing family over potential fame and fortune, Miss Maine USA Emily Johnson is opting out of Donald Trump’s Miss USA Pageant to attend her sister’s wedding instead. Johnson, who was crowned Miss Maine USA last fall, had to choose between the two after NBC moved the Miss USA Pageant from its traditional time slot in April to June. While it might make you feel all warm and fuzzy, her decision didn’t sit well with Mackenzie Davis, executive director of the Miss Maine USA pageant, who said Johnson’s “main obligation is to represent the state of Maine, and she knew that going in.’’ Reached by phone yesterday, Davis said she’s disappointed Johnson didn’t make a different decision. “They can’t move the date of the NBC telecast, but her sister could have moved the date of her wedding,’’ she said. Johnson, who recently moved from South Portland to Texas, said her family is tight knit, and she couldn’t fathom not being present for her sister’s wedding June 18. “It’s too bizarre that the dates conflicted,’’ she said. “It’s almost like it wasn’t meant to be.’’ She keeps her crown, but she gives up the title, prizes, and, of course, the chance to compete for the Miss USA title. That opportunity now goes to the first runner-up, Ashley Marble, who lives in Cumberland. “It’s bittersweet, to be honest,’’ said Marble, about replacing Johnson. “But God has a plan for me, and I’m blessed to have the opportunity to represent Maine.’’ She also criticized Johnson for her decision. “I know that I would not compete knowing that if I was to win I could not uphold my responsibilities.’’