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US Air Force officer crowned Miss America 2024

Madison Marsh, a 22-year-old second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and master’s student in the Harvard Kennedy School’s public policy program, emerged victorious at the 2024 Miss America pageant in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday evening. Marsh, who represents the state of Colorado, is the first active-duty Air Force officer to ever receive the national designation.

Ellie Breaux from Texas came in first second.

Fifty-one competitors took part in the event, representing all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

The parade followed three nights of preliminary competitions. At the start of the main event, the field was narrowed to eleven semifinalists – ten chosen by the preliminary judges, and one by a public vote open to pageant fans and followers in the United States.

Miss Colorado, Madison Marsh, is crowned Miss America 2024. - From Miss AmericaMiss Colorado, Madison Marsh, is crowned Miss America 2024. - From Miss America

Miss Colorado, Madison Marsh, is crowned Miss America 2024. – From Miss America

These eleven women then took part in four rounds of competition: a fitness showcase (a catwalk walk in rhinestone-adorned athleisure); a round of discussion on “hot topics,” which replaced the pageant’s more traditional question-and-answer session with a diverse range of talking points; a talent show; and an evening gown presentation – before the five finalists were announced. Marsh and Breaux, who were followed in the final standings by Cydney Bridges of Indiana, Mallory Hudson of Kentucky and Caroline Parente of Rhode Island, in second, third and fourth place respectively.

In the somewhat diverse round of discussion, which covered topics such as terrorism, technology, nutrition and climate change, Marsh responded to the topic of “drugs in America” ​​by recalling her late mother’s battle with pancreatic cancer. In the talent round, she presented a spoken word piece about obtaining a pilot’s license at the age of 16.

Miss Colorado, Madison March, poses in her evening gown. "In her spare time, Madison enjoys flying, cooking pasta and reading." reads her biography of Miss Colorado.  - Carlos Velez Studio/Courtesy of Miss AmericaMiss Colorado, Madison March, poses in her evening gown. "In her spare time, Madison enjoys flying, cooking pasta and reading." reads her biography of Miss Colorado.  - Carlos Velez Studio/Courtesy of Miss America

Miss Colorado, Madison March, poses in her evening gown. “In her spare time, Madison enjoys flying, cooking pasta and reading,” her Miss Colorado biography reads. – Carlos Velez Studio/Courtesy of Miss America

The five finalists were then asked an additional question about their goals as Miss America. Marsh responded by highlighting her military qualifications as an embodiment of her commitment to learning and leading “with passion.”

She succeeds the 2023 Miss America, Grace Stanke of Wisconsin.

The 2024 Miss America’s Teen pageant, which took place Saturday evening, crowned 16-year-old Hanley House of North Carolina.

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