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US Air Force Officer Wins 2024 Miss America Title

In a historic moment, 22-year-old Second Lieutenant Madison Marsh, a member of the US Air Force and a master’s student at the Harvard Kennedy School’s public policy program, secured the coveted title of Miss America for the year 2024.

First USAF Officer To Be Crowned

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Representing the state of Colorado, Marsh made history by becoming the first active-duty Air Force officer to claim the national title.

First Among 51 Contestants

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The grand event took place in Orlando, Florida, featuring a total of 51 contestants, each representing the 50 US states and the District of Columbia.

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Narrowing Down the Field

New York, USA – September 1, 2015: Miss America contestant pose in front of ABC Studio in New York City on Spetember 1, 2015 on the stage of “Good Morning America” — Photo by icholakov01

The Miss America pageant unfolded over three nights of intense preliminary competitions.

As the main event commenced, the initial group of contestants was narrowed down to just 11 semi-finalists.

Selected Through Judges and Audience

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Among these, 10 were selected by preliminary judges, while the 11th was chosen through a public vote, engaging pageant enthusiasts from across the United States.

Four Rounds of Competition

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The 11 semi-finalists engaged in a series of four rounds of competition that determined the ultimate winner.

These rounds included a fitness showcase, where contestants confidently walked the runway in rhinestone-embellished athleisure outfits.

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Hot Topics

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Subsequently, the pageant embraced a more diverse approach in the “hot topics” discussion round, replacing the traditional Q&A with a wide array of subjects, such as terrorism, technology, nutrition, and climate change.

Talent Performance and Other Sections

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The talent performance was another crucial segment, showcasing the unique skills and abilities of each participant.

Finally, an evening gown presentation added an elegant touch to the competition.

Five Finalists Emerge

Miss USA Alexandria Mills (champion), center, and other contestants sing after she won the Miss World 2010 in Sanya city, south Chinas Hainan province, 30 October 2010 — Photo by ChinaImages

Following these rounds, the five finalists were announced, with Madison Marsh leading the pack.

The other finalists included Breaux, Cydney Bridges representing Indiana, Mallory Hudson from Kentucky, and Caroline Parente hailing from Rhode Island.

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Addressing Complex Issues

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In the discussion round, which covered various topics from terrorism to climate change, Madison Marsh eloquently responded to the topic of “drugs in America.”

Personal Experience

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She shared her personal experience of her late mother’s battle with pancreatic cancer. Her heartfelt response resonated with the judges and the audience alike.

Talent Performance

Close up of an airplane pilot hand filling in an flight plan with equipment including hat, epaulettes and other documents in background

During the talent round, Madison Marsh showcased her unique talent by delivering a spoken-word piece centered on her remarkable achievement of obtaining a pilot’s license at the young age of 16.

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Goals as Miss America

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The five finalists faced an additional question about their aspirations as Miss America.

Madison Marsh emphasized her dedication to learning and leading “with passion” by highlighting her military background and credentials.

Successor to Grace Stanke

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Madison Marsh follows in the footsteps of Grace Stanke from Wisconsin, who held the title of Miss America for the year 2023.

Miss America’s Teen Pageant

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In a parallel event, the 2024 Miss America’s Teen pageant crowned 16-year-old Hanley House, representing North Carolina, as the winner.

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