By: Anna Masengarb
As the Miss America contestants were waiting anxiously to hear who had won the preliminary awards on Tuesday night, Ivy DePew, Miss Rhode Island, got overheated and fainted onstage.
The Boardwalk Hall went silent when the host, Dena Blizzard- a former Miss New Jersey and stand up comedian- informed the audience that she was suffering from a heat stroke.
The contestants, although there were in a competition against each other, did not worry about who had won which award. Instead they ran to form a circle around and prayed for her safety.
As paramedics took her away the contestants followed in a circle around her to make sure they were still shielding the audience and judges from their view. “It is amazing to see the contestants put aside the competition and to care about her safety and to make sure that the judges and others don’t get to see her at this moment. I know that she will push through this and be ready for tomorrow’s competition,” said Grace Romanello, Miss Rhode Island’s Outstanding Teen.
Winners of Preliminary Night One
The preliminary swimsuit winner and recipient of a $1,000 scholarship was Miss Florida, Victoria Cowen.
The preliminary talent winner and recipient of a $2,000 scholarship went to Miss Ohio, Mackenzie Bart.
Bart did an entertaining ventriloquist act to the song “Supercalifrag-ilisticexpialidocious” with a platinum blonde puppet that craved for the spotlight. This is the only ventriloquist act scheduled this year on the Miss America stage, making it even more interesting.
Winners of Preliminary Night Two
This night the Mu Group competed in Swimsuit and Evening Gown, where the preliminary swimsuit scholarship winner was Miss Oklahoma, Alex Eppler.
She also received $1,000 to the college of her choice.
Miss Kentucky, Ramsey Carpenter, won the talent scholarship of $2,000 to the college of her choice with her fiddle performance.
Preliminary Night Three
Thursday’s preliminary competition fell on the anniversary of 9/11, which led to many tributes to those who lost loved ones, as well as the lives of those who were lost.
The show went on though and resulted in two more preliminary winners. The first being Miss Maryland, Jade Kenny, who won the swimsuit preliminary and the second was Miss Pennsylvania, Amanda Smith who won the talent by singing “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from the hit musical “Phantom of the Opera”.
Semi-Finalists on Finals Night
Miss Idaho, Sierra Sanderson, won the America’s Choice Award granting her a spot in the Top 15 and gave her a chance to compete on national television. She became an inspiration to those in the diabetes community for rocking her insulin pump on stage.
Miss North Dakota, Jacky Arness, was voted in by the judges as an extra they wanted to see continue and ended up placing in the Top 15.
Miss Texas, Monique Evans, placed in the Top 15. She was focused on spreading the word about Heart Disease and reached millions across the nation.
Miss Connecticut, Acacia Courtney, hopes to address the obesity issue in the world with her platform, The Monday Campaigns: A Guide to A Healthier World. She made it into the Top 15.
Miss Kentucky, Ramsey Carpenter, won a preliminary talent award on the second night of competition. Her story of the struggles she has overcome from being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis was an inspiration to others. She ended up placing in the Top 12.
Miss Iowa, Aly Olson, with the platform of Do One Thing: Diversity Everyday, made it all the way to the Top 12.
Miss Oklahoma, Alex Eppler, who won a preliminary swimsuit, made it to the Top 10.
Miss Mississippi, Jasmine Murray, was a crowd favorite. This former American Idol contestant sang her way into the crowd’s hearts and all the way to Top 10.
Miss Tennessee, Hayley Lewis, spread the awareness and her personal story with her platform, Children’s Miracle Network, which is also the national platform as well. She landed in the Top 10.
Miss Alabama, Caitlin Brunell, a former Miss America’s Outstanding Teen and a daughter of an NFL pro, placed in the Top 10.
Miss Ohio, Mackenzie Bart, won preliminary talent on the first night doing a ventriloquist act and landed in the Top 10 as well.
Miss Massachusetts, Lauren Kuhn, who is two years away from being a dentist, proudly represented her state all the way to become 4th Runner Up.
Miss Florida, Victoria Cowen, shared her platform of making good decisions and ended up being 3rd Runner Up. She also won a preliminary swimsuit award.
Miss Arkansas, Ashton Campbell, grew up in a town of 75 people, but that did not stop her from chasing her dreams. She ended up being the 2nd Runner Up.
Miss Virginia, Courtney Paige Garrett, searched to make a difference for those with disabilities because her brother has cerebral palsy. She was 1st Runner Up to Miss America.
There She Is
There must be something in the water in New York, because this was a three-peat.
Kira Kazantsev, Miss New York, took the crown back to New York for the third time in a row.
Kazantsev, a 23-year-old, whose platform is domestic abuse and as a personal story to tie with that, talked about sexual assault in the military for her onstage question portion.
For talent she sang to Pharell’s song, “Happy” and tapped a red plastic cup. This talent warmed the hearts of the audience and everyone agreed that the cute little laugh at the end sealed the deal for her.
“It is such a huge honor to bring back this title to New York for the third time. I am so thankful to be standing here representing the Miss America class of 2015. I can not wait to spread my personal platform and the national platform, Children’s Miracle Network, as well as STEM education,” said Kira Kazantsev, your new Miss America.