January 13, 2013 05:59:27 GMT
The new Miss America makes stand-out performances during both the swimsuit and talent competitions before impressing the judges with her solution to gun violence.
Miss New York Mallory Hagan won the title of 2013 Miss America. She wins a $50,000 college scholarship and will spend the next 12 months raising money for the organization's official charity, Children's Miracle Network, that will work well with her platform to prevent child sexual abuse. She beats 52 contestants from across the country.
In her introduction at the beginning of the show, the 23-year-old beauty said, "Sandy may have swept away our shores, but never our spirit. I'm Miss New York, Mallory Hagan." She wowed with a black bikini in the swimsuit segment and performed a mean tap dance to James Brown's "Get Up Off Of That Thing" in the talent competition.
The Brooklyn native was advanced to semi finals along with Miss Montana Alex Wineman and Miss Washington Mandy Schendel. The former, who's the pageant's first autistic contestant, made it to the next round for gaining the most votes online. The latter, meanwhile, was chosen by judges in a surprise twist.
In the final round, she beat Miss Iowa Mariah Cary, Miss Wyoming Lexie Madden, Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton, and Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers. She answered a question from Sam Champion about gun violence and whether if it's safer to have an armed guard in every school. She said it's not right to fight violence with violence, urging education about guns instead.
Miss Wisconsin Laura Kaeppeler, took her final walk on the stage of the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip as Miss America 2012 before crowning her successor. Miss South Carolina was declared the first runner-up, Miss Oklahoma became the second, Miss Wyoming finished third, and Miss Iowa was the fourth.
The beauty contest was hosted by Chris Harrison ("The Bachelor") and Brooke Burke-Charvet ("Dancing with the Stars"). Other judges were ET host Mary Hart, designer Bradley Bayou, Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney, "DWTS" pro-dancer Cheryl Burke, "Shark Tank" star Daymond John, and Miss America 2009 Katie Stam Irk.