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The first openly gay contestant in the Miss America pageant was eliminated Sunday night when the top 15 finalists were chosen.
Miss Missouri Erin O’Flaherty was not among the top 15 picked to advance in the pageant during its nationally televised finale.
She was the first openly gay contestant to win a state title.
Djuan Trent competed in the Miss America pageant as Miss Kentucky in 2011, when she finished in the top 10. She came out as a lesbian in 2014.
Sunday night’s top 15 finalists were: Kentucky, Washington, Massachusetts, Arkansas, South Carolina, Idaho, Iowa, Texas, California, Oklahoma, Maryland, New York, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Miss Arkansas Savvy Shields (pictured below) went on to become the new Miss America. Shields topped a field of 52 contestants to win the crown and the title of Miss America 2017, succeeding the outgoing Miss America Betty Cantrell.
Shields performed a jazz dance to a song from the TV show Smash, for which she won a preliminary competition earlier in the week. She received a $50,000 scholarship along with the title.
Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields (Photo: Getty Images)
The pageant from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall included contestants from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Earlier in the week, Miss Maryland Hannah Brewer won the swimsuit competition. On the final night of preliminaries, Miss Michigan Arianna Quan won the talent portion by playing a piano composition, and Miss Ohio Alice Magoto won the swimsuit competition.
The finale comes a day after the traditional “Show Us Your Shoes” parade in which the contestants ride in vehicles along the Boardwalk while showing off state-specific footwear.
The pageant began in Atlantic City in 1921 as a way to extend the summer tourist season beyond Labor Day weekend.
DCP and the Miss America Organization collaborated on all creative, marketing, sponsorship, licensing, ticketing and distribution elements of this year’s show. Tony Eaton and Tall Pony Productions produced the pageant.
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