In a Nia State of Mind

miss america 2019, miss america, nia franklin, pageantry, pageantry magazine
Miss America 2019: Nia Franklin

Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin talks about her passion for the arts and her New York grit


Atlantic City, New Jersey threw out the red carpet for the newest incarnation of the Miss America 2019 competition, known as Miss America 2.0. Al­though the news, especially social media, promoted a negative story-line, the excitement of the state candidates, their supporters, and especially those traveling to witness the ABC telecast, was palpable as the music com­menced and the stage lights flashed. Clearly, from the outset, this would be a night unlike any other in the ninety-seven year history of Miss America.

Quickly, following the Parade of States and personal . m­troductions, the quest for the title of Miss America began with the announcement of the Top 15: Miss Florida Taylor Tyson, Miss Minnesota Michaelene Karlen, Miss District of Columbia Allison Farris, Miss Colorado Ellery Jones, Miss_ Idaho ina Forest, Miss Wisconsin Tianna Vanderhei, Miss Louisiana Holli Conway, Miss Indiana Lydia Tremaine, Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras, Miss Washington Danamarie McNichol, Miss Nebraska Jessica Shultis, Miss New York Nia Franklin, Miss Connecticut 􀀎ridget Oei, Miss Oklahoma Ashley Thompson, and Miss Alabama Callie Walker.

With the stage set for Miss America 2.0 (2019), the first competition of the evening, the Peer-to-Pe􀀓􀀔 Job lntervie_w, would begin to narrow the field. A new addition to the Miss America Competition format, the interview process is worth 25% of the final score and brought each young woman to cen­ter stage to address a question posed to her by one of the other finalists. And, to add to the pressure of answering a question from your peer, there was a twenty second time limit to suc­cinctly address the question. The result? The candidates for Miss America 2019 were winnowed to the Top 10.

In another twist to the iconic competition, the remaining delegates of DC, LA, AL, CO, FL, MA, CT, NE, NY, and ID presented themselves within the Red Carpet Competition, worth 20% of the final score, similar to what one would expect of walking the carpet during a Hollywood premier, complete with a quick question and answer opporturuty. And if anyone was wondering what would be worn on the red car­pet, although the choice of outfit was optional, each candidate graced the red carpet in an evening gown.

Next up was the Miss America tradition of the Talent Competition, worth 30% of the final score. A staple of Miss America, the Talent Presentation showcased each of the 10 fi­nalists’ unique talent before narrowing the field. The live and telecast audience were treated to a variety of talents, including piano, vocal (both pop and operatic), spoken word, ballet en pointe, and an Irish Step Dance. Following the final Talent Presentation, the Top 10 Miss America finalists were reduced to 5.

The remaining five candidates vying for the Miss Ameri­ca 2019 title, New York, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Florida, and Connecticut, only had one more challenge remaining be­tween them and the crown, scholarships, and accolades-the Final Interview. Following a random drawing in selecting a judge, the finalists approached the judges table to answer a specific and unique question, each hoping her answer would impress upon the judges her qualification to become Miss America 2019.

From 51 to 15, to 10, to a final 5 candidates, young and empowered women had welcomed the opportunity to com­pete for the crown. With the live audience screaming their support, the final results of Miss America 2019 were an­nounced: 4th runner-up Miss Massachusetts (Sl0,000 schol­arship), 3rd runner-up Miss Florida ($15,000 scholarship), and 2nd runner-up Miss Louisiana ($20,000 scholarship). All that remained was the proclamation of Miss America and her 1st runner-up. As the final two awaited the ultimate decision in the traditional anxiety filled center stage lead-up, the crowd erupted as Miss Connecticut was presented as 1st runner-up ($25,000 scholarship) and the operatic vocalist from New York, Nia Franklin, recipient of a $50,000 scholarship, would forever be known as Miss America 2019.


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