Miss Arkansas, Savvy Shields, is Miss America 2017! She beat out 51 other contestants at the 2016 pageant, including runner-up Miss South Carolina Rachel Wyatt, and second runner-up Miss New York Camille Sims.
Miss Washington Alicia Cooper was the third runner-up at Miss America 2017, while Miss Mississippi Laura Lee Lewis was the fourth runner-up. Miss Maryland Hannah Brewer and Miss Texas Caroline Carothers also made the Top 7 in 2016.
Savvy Shields took the Miss America 2017 title after an impressive jazz dance during the talent competition. She was then asked for her thoughts on Hillary Clinton during the interview stage. Shields concluded that candidates who are running for President — like Clinton — must realize that they are held to a higher standard. So they must be extra cautious with their actions.
Miss America 2017 began with a week of preliminary competition. Miss Tennessee Grace Burgess, Shields, and Miss Michigan Arianna Quan each won $2,000 scholarships for their victories in the talent prelims. Burgess sang "Desperado," and Quan performed a piano piece.
The victory was particularly significant for Quan. The China native was the first Asian-American and naturalized citizen to win Miss Michigan. But not everyone was happy about it.
"A lot of people have reached out to me, both extremely negatively and positively," Quan told People before the Miss America 2017 pageant. "It's been a very polarizing response. It's been really interesting to see the discussions that have been erupting from just me being crowned, and it's been an extremely humbling experience to be a part of those conversations. All this negativity came out, especially about my appearance and how I'm apparently unfit to represent the Chinese population because I'm 'ugly'."
Then, on Sunday, the Top 15 semifinalists were announced based on the preliminary results. They were Shields, Wyatt, Sims, Cooper, Lewis, Brewer, Carothers, Burgess, Miss Massachusetts Alissa Musto, Miss Idaho Kylee Solberg, Miss Iowa Kelly Koch, Miss California Jessa Carmack, Miss Oklahoma Sarah Klein, Miss Louisiana Justine Ker, and America's Choice, Miss Kentucky Laura Jones.
These 15 women then took part in the swimsuit competition, which made up 10 percent of the total score. Ker, Solberg, and Musto were eliminated at the end of the round.
Klein and Jones were then eliminated after the eveningwear portion of the Miss America 2017 pageant. And Carmack (dancing), Koch (ballet) and Burgess (singing) were knocked out after the talent competition.
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