The top 10 finalists for the 2019 Miss America Competition have been revealed and they are Miss DC Allison Farris, Miss Louisiana Holli’ Conway, Miss Alabama Callie Walker, Miss Colorado Ellery Jones, Miss Florida Taylor Tyson, Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras, Miss Connecticut Britney Oei, Miss Nebraska Jesssica Shultis, Miss New York Nia Franklin, and Miss Idaho Nina Forest.
Filling up the competition, rather than showing off their bodies in swimsuits, the contestants participated in a live question and answer segment. Kicking things off, Miss Connecticut said that she encourages women to get involved and showcase themselves, especially in a competition like this. Miss Oklahoma said that for those dreaming of being in a pageant, believe in yourself and also believe in your timing. Miss Idaho stated in her question and answer segment at the start of the show that anything is possible.
Miss Washington said that as a broadcast journalist, she would be an advocate for social impact. She also is an advocate for wheelchair-adaptive sports. Miss Indiana talked about why Miss America is relevant today, saying that pageants helped pay for her education. Miss New York’s first question on the show was about positive body image and she said that she grew up at a primarily white school. She said that music and the arts helped her feel positive about herself. Miss Colorado said that the arts are very important and she loves to express herself creatively through poetry.
Miss Alabama said that Miss America should speak appropriately when it comes to politics. Miss Minnesota spoke about her talent as a professional dancer. Miss District of Columbia said she is empowered by technology and she has a passion for music as a career. Miss Wisconsin has a platform called Boss, that is for strengthening one’s future, building skills. Miss Massachusetts spoke about face to face people skills and the poor effects of non-stop technology. Miss Louisiana talked about the pressures and stress that comes along with participating in competitions like Miss America.
Miss Florida talked about wanting to relate to all audiences and she wants to make sure to learn from others as well. Miss Nebraska discussed coming from a small town and having a united community.
This year’s pageant has had a lot of changes, one of which being the elimination of the swimsuit competition. There is a great focus on inclusion this year and going forward. According to The Washington Post, when talking about the elimination of the swimsuit segment, chairwoman Gretchen Carlson stated that, “We’ve heard from a lot of young women who say, ‘We’d love to be a part of your program, but we don’t want to be out there in high heels in a swimsuit.’ So guess what? You don’t have to do that anymore. We’re no longer judging women when they come out in their chosen attire, their evening wear, whatever they choose to do. It’s going to be what comes out of their mouth that we’re interested in, when they talk about their social impact initiatives.”