Miss America 2019 is New York's Nia Imani Franklin

Ruben Ruiz
September 10, 2018

In addition, the term "pageant" was erased from the broadcast, with hosts Carrie Ann Inaba and Ross Matthews referring to it as a "competition".

Coming in as the first runner-up is Miss Connecticut Bridget Oei, while Miss Louisiana Holli Conway came in as the night's second runner-up.

"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. Miss New York wowed judges with her beauty and incredible voice.

During the competition, Franklin, who is black, described how music helped her find her identity. "I haven't seen any of that [bullying] myself, so I think that the main thing to keep in mind is that we need to hear both sides of the story and that time will tell", Karlen said.

"I think everyone has their own opinion and their own way of dealing with things like this".

Instead of a swimsuit competition, the competitors had a interactive session with the judges panel, which included Soledad O'Brien, Randy Jackson, Laila Ali, Bobby Bones, Jessie James Decker, Carnie Wilson and Alli Webb.

In December, former CEO Sam Haskell resigned after emails in which he insulted the appearance, intellect and personal lives of former pageant winners were leaked.

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Following the report, journalist and former Miss America Gretchen Carlson was appointed chair.

Organizers have announced sweeping changes for 2019, including the controversial elimination of the swimsuit portion of the event.

Franklin's win came amidst controversy for the organization from outgoing Miss America, Cara Mund of North Dakota, who accused the institution's leadership of bullying and silencing her during her reign.

23 former Miss Americas are now calling for Carlson and the Miss America organization board of trustees and CEO to step down.

Another Miss America contestant captured headlines for her response when she was asked what advice she would give NFL players on whether to kneel or stand for the national anthem. "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". Carlson has denied the allegations.

Mund only appeared at the very end of the pageant before the next victor was crowned.

Other reports by GizPress

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