Tonight is the 2019 Miss America Pageant and the current winner, Cara Mund (pictured above), will relinquish her crown to one lucky woman. Over the past week, the 51 contestants have competed in three nights of preliminary competitions and now these women have been narrowed down to the top 15 winners. Check out which contestants have been chosen to move on in the competition below as they are announced live.
And the top 15 semi-finalists are …
Miss Florida Taylor Tyson
When she was 15 years old, she realized she really wanted to defy stereotypes.
Miss Minnesota Michaelene Karlen
This candidate came up with her own skincare.
Miss District of Columbia Allison Farris
She hopes to be a mentor and help women take on leadership positions.
Miss Colorado Ellery Jones
Jones hopes to one day be a professor at a prestigious university.
Miss Idaho Nina Forest
She is the very first Asian-American Miss Idaho and she hopes to represent diversity.
Miss Wisconsin Tianna Vanderhei
Her aspirations include being a correspondent for football.
Miss Louisiana Holli’ Conway
The day of the pageant is actually her birthday.
Miss Indiana Lydia Tremaine
She said she came out when she was 12 years old in a small town and dealt with a lot of hatred.
Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras
She brew up with her father incarcerated and hopes to help others in her situation.
Miss Washington Danamarie McNicholl
McNicholl hopes to learn from skilled journalists to live out her dreams.
Miss Nebraska Jessica Shultis
Shultis said that America is the land of opportunity and growth.
Miss New York Nia Franklin
Her father gave her her name and he is a rock for her in life.
Miss Connecticut Bridget Oei
She dedicates herself to the sciences.
Miss Oklahoma Ashley Thompson
She hopes to be a nonprofit human rights attorney one day.
Miss Alabama Callie Walker
Walker was surprised that the swimsuit competition was taken away and she said she believes change is hard, but good.
Opening up the competition, each of the contestants was shown dressed in casual clothing, in a pre-taped segment. They each spoke about being inclusive, confident and empowered, while the song “This Is Me”, from The Greatest Showman, played in the background. The hosts were then briefly introduced, followed by the individual self-introductions by each of the contestants.
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.