Miss America 2020 Pageant: Top 15 Contestants Revealed LIVE

Miss America swimsuit competition 2017

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The 2019 Miss America pageant kicked off live with the top 15 competitors.

Read on for the Top 15 Rundown as they are revealed, listed in the order they were announced.

Miss Texas Chandler Foreman

Foreman, 22, is currently studying Converged Broadcast Media at the University of North Texas. Her social impact initiative is The Leader Within. The Miss Texas website reads, “She believes that the best way to inspire someone is through personal stories and experience.”

After her win at Miss Texas this spring, Foreman shared with Style Magazine, “It’s empowering yes, yet the fact that it is uncommon to see black women be the representative for such a prestigious title proves that there is still work to be done. I’m happy that we are widening our range of beauty and most importantly prove that excellence comes in all colors. Young girls who look like me need to see various women of color in these positions so that they are determined to achieve the things they put their mind to.”

Miss New York Lauren Molella

Molella, 24, hopes to become a doctor on a veteran medical care team. She has a master’s degree in Psychology and bachelor degrees in Psychology and Pre-Med. These days, Molella works as an instructor in the Physics, Biology, and Psychology departments at Dutchess Community College.

The Poughkeepsie Journal reports that she has made $84,000 in scholarship through the Miss America organization. She tells the outlet, “I have gained a multitude of skills, such as confidence, poise, public speaking skills, the ability to understand and converse with diverse populations, and the chance to continue my education… I am so excited to serve the people of New York and the Miss New York Scholarship Organization.”

Miss Oklahoma Addison Price

Miss Oklahoma is a junior at Oklahoma State University, where she is studying marketing.

Asked by O’Colly Media Group what it was like winning the crown at Miss Oklahoma in June, she shared, “It was definitely a moment I had dreamed about for a really long time and throughout my whole preparation I always would imagine and kinda visualize what that moment would be like. But it is definitely a moment that you can’t prepare for. So when I actually heard my name called and they announced me as the new Miss Oklahoma, it almost didn’t feel real and it feels like you go into an out of body experience where you don’t know how you’re reacting, what your emotions are being portrayed as.”

Miss Hawaii Nicole Holbrook

Holbrook is a BYU-Hawaii student, majoring in Business Management. She aims to encourage others to volunteer with her ‘SNAP’ phrase– Service Nurtures All People.

Holbrook is a classically trained pianist. In her downtime, she volunteers as an ambassador of the Children’s Miracle Network, which raises money for sick and injured children.

Miss Colorado Monica Thompson

Miss Colorado Monica Thompson graduated summa cum laude from Oklahoma City University where she completed her degree in Vocal Performance and Musical Theater. Today, she is pursuing a Certificate in Nonprofit Management at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

According to her LinkedIn, Thompson has spent nine months working as a trips and visits specialist at Compassion International. She has also worked as an assistant theater director at Grandview High School.

At Oklahoma City University, she was a member of the Gamma Phi Beta International Sorority.

Miss New Jersey Jade Glab

Miss New Jersey likes to rap about vegetables. She told NJ Advance Media, “I like to call myself the Veggie Wrapper. If there’s one thing that gets kids to pay attention, it’s doing the dab or doing the woah.” She never liked fruits and vegetables as a child, but when she was 11 years old, she found out she had high cholesterol.

Miss New Jersey won in the preliminaries, with the on-stage interview award.

Miss New Jersey said in a Miss America video on Facebook that she has earned $18,000 through the organization. She stated, “With Georgetown costing $70,000 a year, I am so thankful for every dollar I get (through) the organization. It is a true asset financially and in the skills that you learn.”

Miss Connecticut Jillian Duffy

When Duffy was 13, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and underwent chemotherapy. She started competing in pageants when she was 8– even throughout treatment. Today, she is 22.

Duffy hails from Burlington, and attended Southern Connecticut State University where she studied healthcare administration. Asked what she first thought when she was crowned Miss Wolcott, she said, “I can’t believe my parents missed this!  My parents have ALWAYS supported me, however, due to a planned trip out of state to visit my Aunt in Tennessee they were unable to see me crowned see me being the 50th Miss Wolcott. They had offered to reschedule their trip, but I insisted they’d go, as they deserved some time away. My sister and her friends were my cheering section and provided my parents updates all night by text. I missed not having them there, but it gave me an opportunity to relive the moment when I got to spoke with them after the pageant.”

Miss Georgia Victoria Hill

Hill won two preliminary awards heading into tonight’s competition: she won the talent award on Sunday for performing an aria from the opera “La fille du regiment”, and an on-stage interview preliminary award on Monday night.

As Distractify reports, Hill started doing pageants as a result of her singing career. She was encouraged to complete in Georgia’s Miss Cobb County Pageant after belting it out at a local singing competition. Her win led to a subsequent crown at Miss Georgia, which earned her a $15,000 scholarship.

Miss Florida Michaela McLean

Miss Florida was featured at age 1 and a half on the first carton of Uncle Matt’s Organic orange juice. Today, she can still be seen on the organic orange juice and lemonade packaging in stores such as Publix, Whole Foods, and Lucky’s Market, according to the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame.

Daily Commercial has reported that Miss Florida would love to pursue Broadway but she also has a bachelor of arts degree in dance and public relations from the University of Alabama. She is hoping to also pursue a master’s degree in public relations, specializing in crisis management.

Miss North Carolina Alex Badgett

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Badgett is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Her social initiative is N.I.N.E., No Is Not Enough, which “aims to deepen the message of the anti-rape anthem ‘no means no.'”

In an interview with WBTV, Badgett said, “I am 22. And I am debt-free, so that is a blessing – that’s probably the one moment that I will never forget. It’s like everybody saying ‘how is the crowning moment?’ I was like it was wonderful, it’s beautiful, but let’s talk about the conversation afterward when I found out I was debt-free. They gave out a $22,000 scholarship.”  

Miss Missouri Simone Esters

Esters is a student at MU, where she is studying journalism. There, she is a twirler with Marching Mizzou. She tells the Columbia Missourian, “I started twirling at Mizzou my freshman year,” she said. “When I was looking for colleges, I knew that I wanted to a school where I would be able to twirl at football games.”

The outlet reports that Miss Missouri has picked up $5,000 in the Miss America competition via the Beacom College STEM Scholarship. It’s a new element in the 2020 competition and Miss Missouri said, “I’m really proud of this [award] because it was the only paperwork-based competition that was done on the spot … I felt like that provided an even playing field, and I was able to see that I could use my skills.”

Miss Alabama Tiara Pennington

Headed into Miss America, Pennington told Al.com, “I’m confident and I’m going to do my best… I am starting to feel excited and I’m sure a little bit of anxiety is starting to kick in, too. This is something I’ve waited for my whole life. It’s always good to have a little bit of nerves, because it keeps me on my toes.”

Tuscaloosa News reported that Tiara Pennington’s mother, Dedra Eastland Pennington, placed third runner-up in the Miss Alabama pageant in 1986. 

“There is nothing compared to seeing your own daughter crowned,” Pennington said. “It was like an out-of-body experience.”

Miss Virginia Camille Schrier

Camille Schrier has a dual Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Tech in Biochemistry and Systems Biology. The 24-year-old is studying to get her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree.

For her talent, Miss Virginia performs a science experiment of the catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. 

In an interview with the BBC, she said, “It took a little creativity for me to find a way that I could represent the talents I have in a way that was entertaining because sometimes people have this perception that science is boring.” 

Miss California Eileen Kim

Kim, 22, graduated from Chapman University with a degree in business administration and hopes to pursue a career in international law. She tells Chapman University newsroom, “I grew up speaking three different languages, and I grew up with these cultures. That was an experience I can leverage on behalf of either the United States or the United Nations.”

In high school, Miss California was “shy and introverted”, so being a part of a pageant is a surprise to those who knew her. 

Miss Kansas Annika Wooton

Anika Wooton graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration.

She is an author, and on her personal website, she calls herself a “Grassroots arts advocate and traveling speed painter.”

Miss Kansas revealed that she recently won $9,000 from the Miss America Organization, writing on Instagram that she won first place for the Jean Bartel Social Impact Initiative Award, which is formerly known as the Quality of Life award, for her work as an arts advocate.

The 2020 Miss America Competition

This year, the 2020 Miss America pageant took place at Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut. In past years, the event took place in Atlantic City, but with the new location change came a date change, as well.

Last year, Nia Franklin became Miss America, and the fourth Miss New York to win in six years.

This year’s pageant will be hosted by Access Hollywood’s Kit Hoover and Mario Lopez. The judges’ panel includes “Queer Eye’s” Karamo Brown, Kelly Rowland, and “Superstore’s” Lauren Ash.

As NPR pointed out in a news post last year, Miss America no longer includes a swimsuit competition. In a statement on Good Morning America, Gretchen Carlson, the chairwoman of Miss America’s board of directors, shared, “We are no longer a pageant; we are a competition… We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That’s huge.”

Carlson added that the change makes the program “open, transparent, and inclusive to women who may not have felt comfortable participating in our program before.”

Miss America welcomes competitors between the ages of 17 and 25.

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