(NEW JERSEY) -- Miss America has crowned its new winner.
Miss New York, Nia Franklin, has been named the 2019 Miss America in Sunday's live competition held in Atlantic City, New Jersey and hosted by Carrie Ann Inaba and Ross Matthews. It was the first Miss America without a swimsuit competition in the pageant's history.
“It took a lot of perseverance to get here and I just want to thank my beautiful family,” Franklin said after beating out 51 other women.
Miss Connecticut, Bridget Oei, was named first runner-up.
Franklin is the first winner in the newly revamped competition, called Miss America 2.0. The main change to the decades-old pageant: No more swimsuit portion of the show.
“We are no longer a pageant. We are a competition,” said Gretchen Carlson, former Fox News commentator and chairwoman of the Miss America board of directors, on Good Morning America. “We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That’s huge. And that means we will no longer have a swimsuit competition.”
For the talent portion of the competition, Franklin sang "Quando m'en vo" from the opera La Boheme.
Franklin is a Kenan Fellow at Lincoln Center Education in New York City, and majors in music. She plans to advocate for equal education for all and will emphasize the importance of arts during her year-long reign.
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