Jan 12 Miss New York won the 2013 Miss America
crown on Saturday at the annual pageant which tapped into the
reality TV format by incorporating fan participation that pulled
one contestant into the semifinals.
Mallory Hytes Hagan, 23, scored in the talent competition
with a tap dance to James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing," and
wowed judges with an unadorned, off-the-shoulder white evening
"Oh, my God, thank you!" Hagan, from Brooklyn, said as she
was crowned at the end of the two-hour live broadcast from Las
Vegas' Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on ABC.
The first runner-up was South Carolina's Ali Rogers,
followed by Alicia Clifton from Oklahoma, Wyoming's Lexie Madden
and Miss Iowa, Mariah Cary.
Montana's Alexis Wineman, who has spoken about having been
diagnosed with autism when she was 11, was chosen by fans online
and made it to the semifinals. Fourth runner-up Cary discussed
having Tourette's syndrome.
The judging panel, which included teenage Olympic gold-medal
gymnast McKayla Maroney, "Dancing With the Stars" dancer Cheryl
Burke, former Miss America Katie Stam Irk, former "Entertainment
Tonight" host Mary Hart and ABC weatherman Sam Champion, was
permitted to return one eliminated contestant to the
semi-finalists' pool. They chose Washington's Mandy Schendel.
In the competition's final segment, each of the five
finalists answered a question about current events. Hagan was
asked whether, in the wake of the Newtown school massacre, armed
guards should be put in schools.
"I don't think the proper way to fight violence is with
violence," she said, indicating she opposes the idea.
Hagan, whose crown comes with a $50,000 college scholarship,
said education and other measures such as extended waiting
periods for gun ownership were more appropriate.
The pageant, held since 1921, is put on by the Miss America
Contestants compete in local and state pageants before going
on to the national competition. In all, 53 women representing
the 50 U.S. states, the Virgin Islands, Washington and Puerto
Rico vied for the title.
(Reporting by Chris Michaud in New York; Editing by Xavier