Miss New York, Mallory Hytes Hagan, earned a $50,000 scholarship and became Miss America 2013. The 23-year-old from Brooklyn, NY, deftly answered a controversial interview question about the role of armed guards in schools before defeating runners-up Miss South Carolina, Ali Rogers, and Miss Oklahoma, Alicia Clifton.
Co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet looked fit and happy as she briefly discussed her recent triumph over thyroid cancer. Chris Harrison of "The Bachelor" fame joined her, bringing a dose of his sardonic hosting humor.
Miss Iowa's interview oopsie
The pressure of answering a broad, topical question in only 20 seconds often leads contestants to deliver awkwardly entertaining sound bites, but Miss Iowa made a painful flub. While trying to support the use of medical marijuana, she made a jumbled statement about "recreational use in health care."
Yikes! Miss Iowa, who happens to be named Mariah Cary, finished as the fourth runner-up.
ABC's America's Choice
This year's competition included an online component, and voters chose Miss Montana, Alexis Wineman, as their favorite Miss America contestant. She is the first woman with autism to compete in the Miss America pageant. #MissMontana took Twitter by storm and rallied supporters.
Honey Boo Boo conquers Miss America
Little Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson steps into the spotlight yet again! Miss Georgia mentioned the pageant diva during her introduction, saying, "From the state that celebrates diversity -- from Scarlett O'Hara to Honey Boo Boo -- I'm Leighton Jordan, Miss Georgia."
Judge Cheryl Burke later posed an interview question about the way reality TV shows such as "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and "Toddlers in Tiaras" portray the pageant world. Miss Oklahoma, Alicia Clifton, suggested viewers take Honey Boo Boo with a grain of salt.
Viva tap dancing!
Although a giant piano hogged the stage, three of the 10 remaining contestants tap danced during the talent portion. When viewed on TV, the fancy footwork can look more like a round of Wii Fit than artistry. But Miss Oklahoma worked it and won a $2,000 Amway scholarship.
The pageant moved along at a brisk pace, but it came with a harsh vibe, as the co-hosts repeatedly rushed the contestants to change for the next segment. (Mentioning the Amway changing tent didn't help, either.) After being herded around, the eliminated contestants sat on stage and watched the remaining Miss America hopefuls perform.
Somehow, there was plenty of time to give a demo of Brooke's new workout DVD. She led the eliminated contestants through a series of moves not suited for their formal attire or crowded stage.
Later, the co-hosts jokingly bantered about the contestants being deprived of carbs, and Chris sent a round of doughnuts to the eliminated contestants sitting on the stage. The tacky gag prompted Miss America 2010, Caressa Cameron, to tweet, "Yes, please keep feeding into the stereotype that we don't eat."