Miss America contestant masterfully navigates National Football League anthem controversy

Miss America contestant wins preliminary round for answer about kneeling protests

Franklin is the first victor after the Miss America Organization announced a major change for the historic pageant.

Franklin returns the Miss America crown to NY, which won it three years in a row between 2013 and 2015. During the final question-and-answer portion, she responded "New York gusto" to judge Laila Ali's question about how being from the state (and city) had prepared her for the job of Miss America.

22-year-old Emili McPhail was competing against 49 other women at night #2 in the 2019 Miss America prelims - when she was asked how she'd advise the National Football League when it comes to the kneeling issue.

An opera singer, Franklin is a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and earned her master's degree in music composition from UNC School of the Arts.

Miss Connecticut, Bridget Oei, was named first runner-up.

This year marks the first time the broadcast will not include a swimsuit competition.

The swimsuits have been replaced by onstage interviews, which have generated attention-grabbing remarks from contestants regarding President Trump, and National Football League player protests, among other topics. Later in the night, during her onstage interview, Collins said President Trump "has created a lot of division in this country". We're not just one kind of people.

The first woman to win the Miss America crown without having to don a swimsuit says she's glad she didn't have to.

Mund's accusations led to numerous state organizations demanding that national chairwoman Gretchen Carlson and CEO Regina Hopper resign.

The move away from judging contestants on outward appearances marked an incredible change for the Miss America competition, and the decision met mixed reactions, but it allows women to compete in an event where they don't have to parade around in heels and swimsuits.

Miss America 2019 contestants take the stage at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., September 9, 2018. Supporters welcomed it as a long-overdue attempt to make Miss America more relevant to contemporary society, while others mourn the loss of what they consider an integral part of what made Miss America an enduring part of Americana.

Unhappy with how the swimsuit decision was reached, as well as with other aspects of Carlson and Hopper's performance, 46 of the 51 state pageant organizations (the District of Columbia is included) have called on the two to resign.

Mund only appeared at the very end of the pageant before the next victor was crowned.



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