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Miss America 2018 – Prelims Night 1

Yesterday was the first night of preliminaries for the Miss America 2018 pageant. And it was nothing less than spectacular. The evening began with the singing of the National Anthem, which was beautifully portrayed by Atlantic City police's Detective Johnson. The host was the night was one of the funniest ladies we know, Dena Blizzard - and she kept everyone entertained all night long! All 51 contestants took the stage and introduced themselves to the audience. With an array of broadcast journalists, law students, music majors, and those who graduated magna cum lade, the competition is not only fierce, but filled with highly educated women.

The preliminaries began with the Fitness & Lifestyle, Swimsuit portion of the competition. The Sigma group took to the stage, hoping to impress the judges with their confidence and stage presence, making the 15% of their final score. Not to forget, the winner from this section would also walk away with a $1,000 scholarship. Congratulations to Miss Texas Margana Wood, who was announced as the preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness winner!

The second phase of the evening was the talent competition, which accounts for 35% of their overall scores. From dancers, to singers,  and instrumentalists, a wide variety of talent hit the stage yesterday evening. The Alpha group brought their A-game; however, it was Miss Utah JessiKate Riley, who was announced as the talent winner for her classical violin performance; for this,  JessiKate will also receive a $2,000 scholarship.

The Mu group then had their on-stage question, which took a total of 5% for their overall score; Dena asked the contestants questions about their platform and some of the responses truly left a mark in the minds of those watching.

“…the arts help us be better designers…engineers and scientists.” -Miss Michigan, on why the arts are important.

“…9% of people don’t make it after they are diagnosed. It inspired me to fight for more advocacy…” -Miss Louisiana, in regards to pancreatic cancer.

“…the more we can educate our people & children, we an come together as one.” -Miss Oklahoma on bridging the great cultural divide.

“…the connection you can make with farmers…it’s such a valuable experience.” -Miss Kentucky on why people should shop at farmer markets.

“…music is not only a universal language, but it contributes to language development. It’s a place where all students can come together.” -Miss South Dakota on music.

Then the Sigma group closed out the evening with their evening gowns, which accounts for 20% of their overall score. The ladies of the Sigma group were nothing short of red-carpet ready when it came to their choice of gowns for tonight.

Thank you to P.G. Photography for capturing these moments for us! Check out an exclusive video hosted by Sam Haskell and Kira Kazantsev, post-prelims: