Miss America pageant crowns 2012 winner

So many pretty girls, sparkly clothes, pearly-white smiles and amazing bikini bods.
ABC hosts Chris Harrison (The Bachelor) and Brooke Burke-Charvet (Dancing With the Stars) kept the Miss America Pagent 2012 rolling Saturday night, live from Las Vegas.
After all the sashaying, posing and displaying of talent, Miss Wisconsin Laura Kaeppeler was crowned the new 2012 Miss America. (A tiara for a cheesehead!) There she is ...
Here's how the night played out, starting with Miss America 2011 Teresa Sanlan introducing the 53 contestants ...
Pageant hopefuls from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands touted each state's triumphs - from Miss Indiana bragging about the Super Bowl to Miss New York, who said she was "here to occupy the stage," and Miss Washington, "from the state that brought you Starbucks - you're welcome."
Judges included: Dancing With the Stars pro Mark Ballas, ABC reality honcho Mike Fleiss, Kardashian clan mom Kris Jenner, actress Teri Polo and Good Morning America anchor Lara Spencer.
Fifteen semi-finalists were named right off the bat. First up, the America's Choice pick, chosen by fans online: Miss Oklahoma Betty Thompson.
The other 14: Miss South Carolina Bree Boyce
Miss Florida Kristina Janolo
Miss New York Kaitlin Monte
Miss Iowa Jessica Pray
Miss Texas Kendall Morris
Miss Virginia Elizabeth Crot
Miss Illionois Hannah Smith
Miss Arizona Jennifer Sedler
Miss Alabama Courtney Porter
Miss Tennessee Erin Hatley
Miss Wisconsin Laura Kaeppeler
Miss North Carolina Hailey Best
Miss California Noelle Freeman
Miss Louisiana Hope Anderson
In a classic reality-show twist, Brooke announces that the 38 who are not moving on will be able to vote later to save one eliminated contestant.
What was Kris Jenner looking for as a judge? "Somebody that's really got confidence, who's passionate, who has worked really hard. These girls are applying for a job. ... I think somebody who's got an amazing work ethic really impresses me, too."
During the bathing suit portion, the contestants strutted their stuff in either black, red or white bikinis, working the runway with twirls, prancing model steps and hair flicks to show off their flat stomachs and big smiles.When Brooke asked Mark Ballas what he's looking for in the swimsuit category, he said, "An all-arounder - someone who's relatable, fun, confident, knows what's going on with current events, who's also beautiful, kind and has a good heart." (Note to Mark: A simple "nice body" would have sufficed.)
The 12 moving on to the evening wear competition:
Miss Louisiana
Miss Iowa
Miss Illinois
Miss South Carolina
Miss New York
Miss Wisconsin
Miss Florida
Miss Tennessee
Miss Arisona
Miss Texas
Miss California
Miss Oklahoma
The remaining contestants were then told to line up behind one of the three contestants who didn't move on to "save" her, giving her a second chance. And it was Miss Alabama. She ran off in her bikini to quickly change into her evening gown. "Her life has just been turned on a dime!" said Chris Harrison.
Evening gowns ranged from white (favorite color) to black, plain-andsimple to beaded-and-sequined. As Miss Illinois said, the point was to showcase "the body I've worked so hard on."
Next: The talent competition. Only 10 would be asked to perform.
Miss Arizona did an acrobatic modern dance. Random facts were shown on the screen as the women performed. For example, Miss Arizona "had a poem published in fifth grade."
Miss Illinois performed a ballet number. We learned she is "afraid of windmills."
By AP
Miss Oklahoma performed an Irish step dance. She "knows how to give a cow pedicure."Miss Florida Kristina Janolo was then given the boot. By the way, she is the first Filipino American to win the title of Miss Florida and hoped to be the second Asian crowned as Miss America. That won't be happening now.
Miss Texas played New World Symphony, a showy classical piece, on the piano. What did we learn about Kendall Morris? She is a "self-described overachiever."
Miss Wisconsin sang an operatic piece. Laura Kaeppeler "secretly wishes to swim with dolphins."
Miss New York Kaitlin Monte sang Marvin Hamlisch's Disneyland. She "wishes to visit outer space."
Miss Louisiana performed a contemporary dance on ballet toe shoes. She can "make any sinful dish healthy."
Miss South Carolina Bree Boyce, who was featured in People magazine for losing more than 100 pounds before competing, was sent home. "I have a lot of TV shows offering me jobs and I have a book in the works," she said, so she wasn't too upset.
Miss Tennessee belted out Memory from Cats. Erin Hatley is an "'avid hiker."
Miss Iowa Jessica pray sang You Raise Me Up. She "loves the farmer's market."
Miss California danced a Black Swan variation from Swan Lake. Noelle Freeman "has 800 Twitter followers."
Head judge Lara Spencer said, "It is such a difficult choice!"
Five contestants then moved forward to answer a question.
By AP
Miss Wisconsin
Laura Keppeler was asked by Lara Spencer whether Miss America should declare her political affiliation. "Miss America represents everyone ... Miss America represents all."
Miss Oklahoma Betty Thompson was asked by Biggest Loser coach Chris Powell whether the government should weigh in on what we feed our kids. "I believe that parents should be the ones who are teaching their children how to eat and then it wouldn't be the government's responsibility to step in."
Miss Arizona Jennifer Sedler was asked by Kris Jenner if celebs should use their fame to spread their faith (she cited Tim Tebow, who was busy taking a pounding in his playoff game by the New England Patriots at that precise moment). Said Sedler in one of the more convoluted answers, "... If you're representing an organization such as Miss America, you are ... representing a wide variety of people, so (you should) not to be forcing your faith on others, but strong and convicted on who you are ..."
Miss New York Kaitlin Monte was asked by Teri Polo about if the Occupy Wall Street protesters had a point. "If they're going to come up and complain about a problem, they have to come up with solutions, too."
Miss California Noelle Freeman was asked by Mark Ballas about TV turning teen moms into celebrities. "... It is an entertainment industry and I support those TV shows but it's our responsibility to make sure we're taking responsibility for our actions."
And then it was time for the big announcement.
Fourth: Miss California; Third: Miss Arizona; Second: Miss New York; First runner up: Miss Oklahoma. And the winner: Miss Wisconsin Laura Keppeler.

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