Ladies and gentlemen, we officially have a brand-new Miss USA!
Miss Nebraska was crowned Miss USA 2018 Monday night at the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana. Competing against 50 other women, Sarah Rose Summers wowed the judges with her brains, beauty and talents.
But what really put her over the edge? Perhaps it was her answers to the final questions of the night.
Early in the show, Miss Nebraska was asked to address the fact that one in four children in the United States live in single parent households. More specifically, the question was: How has that affected our generation's views on marriage and family?
"I am so grateful to have grown up in a home with two parents," she explained. "And so I can't personally relate to this, however, I do work in children's hospital as a certified child life specialist where I'm a liaison between the children and families and the medical team and I've seen single mothers at the bedside working remotely on their computers to stay by their children and support them, and I think that it just shows that children—no matter if it's a boy or a girl—that they can do that."
Her final scenario was imagining herself on the way to a march where someone hands you a blank sign and a marker. What do you put on your sign and why?
"I say speak your voice. I don't know what march we're on our way to in this hypothetical situation, but no matter where you're going, whatever type of march it is, you're obviously on your way to that march because you care about that cause so go speak to people," Miss Nebraska explained. "When they have questions, communicate with them. Listen to their views also. That is one thing in the United States that we really need to focus on is listening to each other!"
For those unfamiliar with the annual pageant, each competition starts with preliminary events that include a Q&A interview with members of the selection committee.
Next up, each contestant competes onstage in swimsuit and evening gowns. The preliminary event scores, along with members of the Miss Universe Organization, determine the Top 15.
This year's event also allowed fans to vote for their favorite contestant to secure a spot in the Top 15.
Another first for Miss USA was the fact that this year's selection committee was comprised of all female entrepreneurs, business leaders and industry experts—including former Miss USA contestants. Members included Today show contributor Lilliana Vazquez, HLN host Natasha Curry and founder/CEO of IT Cosmetics Jamie Kern Lima.
Tonight's live event on Fox also featured performances from Lee Brice and 98 Degrees.