Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin Crowned Miss America 2019

Miss America contestant wins preliminary round for answer about kneeling protests

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"Donald Trump is the biggest issue our country faces,"Collins told the judges".

Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras won the interview segment of the pageant. "Unfortunately he has caused a lot of division in our country".

After the competition, McPhail was asked by reporters if she was concerned that her answer would alienate those with opposing views. Although the president has yet to respond to either contestant's answer, Collins' rebuke of Trump takes on added significance, considering that she hails from a reliably conservative state often said to be "the heart of Trump country".

The 2019 Miss America pageant took place on Sunday (September 9) and a new woman was given the crown! That honor went to Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras, whose question dealt with how Americans traveling overseas should interact with people in other countries. Supporters welcomed it as a long-overdue attempt to make Miss America more relevant to contemporary society, while others mourn the loss of what they consider an integral part of what made Miss America an enduring part of Americana.

The onstage interview replaced the swimsuit competition for this year's pageant, a move that prompted both backlash and praise when it was announced earlier this year.

The third and final preliminaries will be held Friday.

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Also tonight, Miss Indiana Lydia Tremaine won the talent portion for singing Frank Sinatra's "That's Life".

Taveras said she has traveled to many countries and enjoys getting to know people of other cultures.

ABC broadcast Miss America live from Atlantic City on Sunday night.

During the first two nights of competition, some of the onstage interview questions have touched on hot button issues, including NFL national anthem protests.

But the seven judges - which included athlete Laila Ali, music producer Randy Jackson, journalist Soledad O'Brien, and musician and TV host Carnie Wilson - ultimately landed on Franklin, who has a fierce passion for music and performance and composed her first song at the age of 6.

On Thursday, when asked how the NFL should handle players kneeling during the national anthem, Miss Virginia, Emili McPhail, emphasised that the protests are not anti-patriotic, but are "absolutely about police brutality". The second runner-up was Miss Louisiana Holli' Conway - a clear audience favorite throughout the evening - winning $20,000 in scholarships.

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