AceShowbiz - After weeks of preparation and four nights of competition, the new Miss America was announced on Sunday night, September 10. Miss North Dakota Cara Mund took over the crown from the 2017 Miss America, Savvy Shields, during the final night of competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The 23-year-old graduate from Brown University with a major in Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations beat out 50 other contestants in the competition. It was a historic win for North Dakota, which has never had a Miss America winner or even a contestant in the top five before.
The women were evaluated on their performances in the evening wear, fitness, lifestyle, talent and interview categories. During the interview portion, Mund said President Donald Trump made "a bad decision" by pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accord. "There is evidence that climate change is existing and we need to be at that table," she reasoned.
Before the preliminary competition, Mund told the Associated Press that her goal is to be the first woman elected governor of her state. "It's important to have a woman's perspective," said Mund, who had an internship in the U.S. Senate. "In health care and on reproductive rights, it's predominantly men making those decisions."
The first runner-up was Miss Missouri Jennifer Davis. Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel was the second runner-up, Miss District of Columbia Briana Kinsey finished as the third runner-up, and Miss Texas Margana Wood was the fourth runner-up.
Earlier that night, the top 15 contestants walked the stage in swimsuits for the Lifestyle and Fitness competition.
Amid the blitz and glitz, the pageant show didn't forget those who are affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida and Hurricane Harvey which recently struck Texas. Throughout the show, hosts Sage Steele of ESPN and Chris Harrison from "The Bachelor" urged viewers to help with relief efforts for both disastrous events.
Miss Florida Sara Zeng also said during interview, "I'm just so worried about everyone there, but I'm so happy that some of my family and friends are here right now and that they're safe. And I'm thinking about everyone in Florida every single day, but I know no matter what happens, we are strong and we can do it. We can get through anything together."