Miss North Dakota Cara Mund Crowned Miss America 2018

Winner did a jazz dance to "The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson

By Meg Swertlow Sep 11, 2017 3:05 AMTags
Miss North Dakota Cara Mund, Miss America 2018 Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions

Ladies and gentlemen, may we introduce you to the new Miss America.

Sunday night marked the annual competition that featured beauty pageants from every state competing for the special crown.

Hosted by Chris Harrison and Sage Steele, the event, broadcast live from the Boardwalk Hall Arena in Atlantic City, was filled with suspense as 51 contestants dwindled down to one big winner. So who came out on top?

Congratulations are in order for Miss North Dakota Cara Mund, who grabbed the attention and praise of judges for her beauty, talent and brains. Whether it was her talent of jazz dancing to "The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson or to her answers to her two rounds of questions, the panel was quite impressed. 

Miss America 2018: The 15 Semi Finalists
Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions
ABC/Lou Rocco

This year's competition was intense like never before as 15 semifinalists were chosen to move on to the swimsuit portion of the competition. Soon after, the Top 12 were announced and asked to compete in the evening gown portion.

The talent competition, which only allowed for 10 contestants, was next up. Some highlights included Miss Missouri Jennifer Davis' Bollywood dance from the film Jai Ho, Miss Texas Morgana Wood's contemporary dance to Adele's "When We Were Young," Miss District of Columbia Briana Kinsey singing "Born This Way and Miss Alabama Jessica Procter's rendition of "Over the Rainbow." Of course, it's possible Miss Louisiana's ventriloquist/yodeling act may have stolen the show!

But only seven moved on to the first, light-hearted round of the always unpredictable Q&A portion and then five to the final round, where judges asked questions ranging from opinions on what should happen to confederate statues to whether or not President Donald Trump was guilty of colluding with Russia in the 2016 election.

During Miss North Dakota's first round she was asked about what was tops on her "Bucket List," which she sweetly said that making it Miss America's Top 10 was No. 1.

Then Cara was asked a hard-hitting question about President Trump decision to withdraw the U.S. from the climate accord aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

When asked whether or not she thought it was a good decision, she said, "It's a bad decision...There is evidence that climate change is existing and whether or not you believe in it, we need to be at that table."

The first runner-up was Miss Missouri Jennifer Davis, the second runner up was Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel, third runner up was Miss District of Columbia Briana Kinsey, the fourth runner up was Miss Texas Margana Wood.

Congratulations to the all the contestants and finalists, especially Cara!