After a bit of a hiatus, there’s a new Miss America dethroning Camille Schrier after a two-year reign: Miss Alaska Emma Broyles.
In its 100th year, the Miss America organization passed on the crown Thursday before a live audience at the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Connecticut following a year of virtual appearances and delayed competitions.
Fifty women representing the states and the nation’s capital competed in categories including talent and interview during the event which livestreamed on Peacock. One contestant, Miss Maine Mariah Larocque, was forced to withdraw from the competition after being diagnosed with COVID-19, according her Facebook page.
“My world has been turned upside down in the matter of hours. I feel like I’m trapped in the most terrible nightmare, one I would never wish on anyone,” Larocque posted on Dec. 12.
It wasn’t all bad news for Larocque: She was awarded Miss Congeniality.
Broyles, the new Miss America, cried as confetti rained and a gold crown was placed on her head. In the final round of the competition, she gave a powerful answer when asked what she would do if a male representative of a major sponsor made inappropriate comments and sexual advances toward her.
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“I know in my heart that as a woman, I am never going to let somebody treat me like, because women should never be treated like objects,” Broyles said. “Women can be angry! We cannot be content with things that are happening.”
She also opened up during the interview portion of the competition about her mental health.
“I am real. I have flaws. I have ADHD. I have dermatillomania, which is a form of OCD. I’ve struggled with all of these things and because of that, I am a better person,” Broyles said. “During COVID, it was an incredibly difficult time for me, being isolated in my college dorm for so long. It was that point when I hit rock bottom when I realized I can be so much more than that.”
Broyles’ win comes with a $100,000 scholarship. Miss Alabama Lauren Bradford was named the first runner-up.
Before Broyles was crowned during Thursday’s final competition, there were two nights of preliminary competitions where Broyles, Miss New York (Sydney Park), Miss Illinois (Isabelle Hanson) and Miss Texas (Mallory Fuller) took home scholarship prizes.
Schrier, a doctor of pharmacy student and prescription safety advocate who won the crown two years ago, was awarded a $50,000 scholarship and “the job of Miss America,” succeeding 2019 Miss America Nia Franklin, a classically trained opera singer from New York. Victoria Hill of Georgia, a passionate foster care advocate, was named first runner-up and was awarded a $25,000 scholarship.
The competition, dubbed “Miss America 2.0,” has gone through many changes since 2018, including ditching swimsuits, changing its familiar venue in Atlantic City for a location in Connecticut and no longer wanting to be referred to by organizers as a “pageant.”
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