Miss New York wins Miss America pageant

Miss New York Nia Franklin reacts after being named Miss America 2019.
Miss New York Nia Franklin reacts after being named Miss America 2019.

Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin was named Miss America 2019 in Atlantic City.

Her victory resurrects a string of successes the Empire State has had in the pageant in recent years. Mallory Hagan, Nina Davuluri and Kira Kazantsev won the title from 2013 to 2015 competing as Miss New York.

A classical vocalist whose pageant platform is "advocating for the arts," Franklin sang an operatic selection from the opera La Boheme on Sunday night.

She wrote her first song at age six. It went "Love, love, love, love, is the only thing that matters to me, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey."

She won a $US50,000 scholarship along with the crown in the first Miss America pageant to be held without a swimsuit competition.

Franklin said during her onstage interview that she was one of only a small number of minority students in school growing up, but used her love for music and the arts to grow and fit in.

The fourth runner up was Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras; third runner up was Miss Florida Taylor Tyson; second runner up was Miss Louisiana Holli' Conway, and the first runner up was Miss Connecticut Bridget Oei.

The decision to drop the swimsuit competition created a good deal of controversy and criticism of current Miss America leadership. Minutes before the nationally televised broadcast began, a comedian warming up the crowd mentioned that there would be no swimsuit competition this year, and was met with loud boos in the hall.

The swimsuits have been replaced by onstage interviews, which have generated attention-grabbing remarks from contestants regarding President Trump, and NFL player protests, among other topics.

Australian Associated Press