Miss Virginia Backs NFL Kneelers During Miss America Prelim, Wins

Brenda Watkins
September 10, 2018

The Miss America Organization rejected a request from The Associated Press to make Collins available for an interview after tonight's competition had ended.

The fourth runner up was Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras; third runner up was Miss Florida Taylor Tyson; second runner up was Miss Louisiana Holli' Conway, and the first runner up was Miss Connecticut Bridget Oei.

"Although I was a minority in my school, I connected with my peers based on our mutual love of the arts", she said in her Miss America bio. "My mom and my dad, who is a survivor of cancer". Miss New York wowed judges with her beauty and incredible voice. Or, as she said during the ceremony, "I found my love in arts and music, and that made me feel positive about myself and who I was".

"I was told I could never be Miss America because of my size", she said, adding she is comfortable with who she is. Hosts Ross Matthews and Carrie Ann Inaba injected the evening with sass and humor. Judges included Laila Ali, Bobby Bones, Randy Jackson, Jessie James Decker, Soledad O'Brien, Alli Webb and Carnie Wilson.

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Murphy and others argued the op-ed signals an important shift in Trump's presidency, even if it did not come as a surprise. In the book, Kelly is quoted calling the president an "idiot" and calling the White House under Trump "crazytown".

As for the future of Miss America, Karlen hopes respect and communication go hand in hand. Haskell resigned shortly after, along with the organization's president and board chair. In May, Regina Hopper was named president and CEO. The theory behind the change was that while the swimsuits highlighted women's bodies in a way that could be perceived as "sexist", a question-and-answer portion would be more likely showcase the female intellect.

The outgoing Miss America, Cara Mund, says the two have bullied and silenced her, claims that the women deny.

The most consequential decision was to drop the swimsuit competition and give the candidates more time to talk onstage about themselves, their platforms and how they would do the job of Miss America.

Gretchen Carlson, a 1989 Miss America victor who went on to become a TV commentator and the pageants' current chairman, said in a statement that Miss America would "represent a new generation of female leaders focused on scholarship, social impact, talent and empowerment". "After a while, the patterns have clearly emerged, and the sheer accumulation of the disrespect, passive-aggressive behavior, belittlement and outright exclusion has taken a serious toll".

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