Midwest Performs Strong in Miss America Pageant
Miss Michigan Kristen Haglund from Farmington Hills, Michigan, was crowned the 87th Miss America last night during the live pageant telecast, and First Runner-Up was Miss Indiana Nicole Elizabeth Rash.
Haglund, a musical theatre major at the University of Cincinnati, hopes to raise awareness of eating disorders during her reign as Miss America. She sang “Over the Rainbow” for the talent competition. Rash also sang for her talent, and said her platform was Get on the L.-B.U.S. to break language barriers in the U.S. Both win scholarships to continue their education.
Second Runner-Up was Miss Washington Elyse Umemoto -- the Midwest and Pacific Northwest effectively blocking out the Bible Belt where beauty pageant queens have long been bred.
The show was broadcast from Las Vegas on TLC, and displayed a hipper, sexier look -- an attempt to gain more viewers, whose numbers have been dropping consistently for the past few years.
Miss America 2008, Kristen Haglund, gets crowned in Las Vegas, Nevada, last night. Photo by MissAmerica.org.