A New Miss America; Van Ert Wins Miss Congeniality Title
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Miss Arkansas Savvy Shields is the new Miss America.
Shields topped a field of 52 contestants to win the crown and the title of Miss America 2017 Sunday night in Atlantic City. She succeeds the outgoing Miss America Betty Cantrell.
Shields performed a jazz dance to a song from the TV show "Smash," for which she won a preliminary competition earlier in the week.
The top 15 finalists in the pageant were: Kentucky; Washington; Massachusetts; Arkansas; South Carolina; Idaho; Iowa; Texas;California; Oklahoma; Maryland; New York; Tennessee; Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Miss Minnesota Madeline Van Ert was not selected for the final round of competition but she did not leave the pageant empty handed. The Rochester resident was named 2017 Miss Congeniality by the other competitors.
The pageant from Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall included contestants from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
The pageant began in Atlantic City in 1921 as a way to extend the summer tourist season beyond Labor Day weekend.