There’s a new queen… a new beauty pageant queen. Cara Mund, Miss North Dakota, was crowned as the new Miss America, succeeding Miss America 2017, Savvy Shields. This marks the first time that a Miss North Dakota wins the coveted jeweled tiara.
“We’ve only had three girls [from North Dakota] ever make it [to the Top 10],” Mund said during the contest. “It just proves that it doesn’t matter where you come from geographically. If you have the ability to do it and you dream it, you can do it.” And that she did! Mund beat the other 50 participants in the annual beauty pageant at Boardwalk Hall Arena in Atlantic City, New Jersey, hosted by Chris Harrison and Sage Steele.
In order to win, the contestants go through different stages in the competition: First is the swimsuit portion with only 15 finalists, later the evening gown with 12 participants, then comes the talent contest where 10 finalists have the chance to show off different abilities. In Mund’s case, she jazz dance to Michael Jackson’s classic “The Way You Make Me Feel” while wearing an sparkling tuxedo jacket and a fedora.
Only 7 contestants go through a light hearted round of Q&A. For Mund, the question asked was to describe the #1 item on her Bucket List where she said that It was winning the pageant. Finally just five contestants advanced to the final round of Q&A where the judges asked directly questions about the current social and political climate.
In this round, Mund was asked about Trump’s decision to remove the US from the Paris Agreement, where she rebuked his and several other political figures stance on the issue.
“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,” said Mund. The judges elected Cara Mund, a Bismark native as the winner.
Behind her were first runner-up, Miss Missouri, second runner-up, Miss New Jersey, third runner-up, Miss District of Columbia, and fourth runner-up, Miss Texas.