Miss America Organization
Friday, Jan. 23, 2009 | 6:55 a.m.
Miss Vermont won a $2,000 scholarship in the talent category on the third and final night of preliminary Miss America Pageant competition. Miss New York won a $1,000 scholarship in the lifestyle and fitness category.
Ashley Wheeler of Vermont won for her vocal performance of “God Bless America,” and Leigh-Taylor Smith won in a black Winnwear swimsuit. The competition was held in the Theatre for the Performing Arts at Planet Hollywood.
Tonight, the 52 contestants will attend the “Dinner of Dreams,” which will be hosted at Planet Hollywood by entertainer and Flamingo headliner Marie Osmond. I will also be there on stage to add a little fun to the festivities!
Also today at 8 p.m. Pacific Time, Vegas DeLuxe will post the 15 gold sash winners from the final episode of the four-part reality series Miss America: Countdown to the Crown on TLC. You then may vote via Internet or text messaging for the Top Four beauties.
They will then be announced along with the judges’ Top 11 selections at the start of tomorrow’s live telecast by host Mario Lopez, and those 15 will be presented onstage as the finalists. It’s the first time ever in the Miss America Pageant that viewers have the opportunity to actually select the young woman who could go on to become Miss America. The pageant begins at 5 p.m. our time tomorrow from Planet Hollywood.