2004 Miss America Pageant
Pageant Results > Miss America Pageant > 2004
Miss America 2004: Ericka Dunlap, Miss Florida
1st runner-up: Miss Hawaii, Kanoelani Gibson
2nd runner-up: Miss Wisconsin, Tina Sauerhammer
3rd runner-up: Miss Maryland, Marina Harrison
4th runner-up: Miss California, Nicole Lamarche
Rest of Top 10
Miss Indiana, Bryn Chapman
Miss New Hampshire, Candace Glickman
Miss Oklahoma, Kelley Scott
Miss Rhode Island, Laurie Gray
Miss Virginia, Nancy Redd
Ericka Dunlap won the 2004 Miss America Pageant competing as the first-ever black Miss Florida. The University of Central Florida student majored in Communications.
She won the talent competition earlier that week performing the song “If I Could” made famous by Celine Dion. For her talent costuming she wore a pleated red chiffon gown with a halter top and rhinestone across her hips.
During the evening gown competition, she competed in a stunning gorgeous yellow strapless gown with a mermaid hemline and splash of beading across the hips. Many have considered it to be one of the most flattering gown designs ever worn by a Miss America.
In the swimsuit competition, re-named Lifestyle & Fitness, she wore an aqua blue two-piece bikini in a unique design that beautifully accented her figure. attached on her left midriff by a buckle and attached at the right should be a matching buckle.
Although she failed to win a preliminary award earlier that week, it was later revealed that she won the evening gown competition and talent competitions during the televised finals. Throughout the competition, she wore her hair in a flattering loose chignon pageant hairstyle.
She received her crown and scepter from outgoing Miss America 2003, Erika Harold of Illinois. Her platform was ““United We Stand, Divided We Fall Behind: Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion.” Ericka hopes to attend law school with her scholarship money.
Shauna Pender, the young woman who finished as first runner-up to Dunlap at the Miss Florida Pageant assumed the Miss Florida title. Pender was critically injured during her travels as Miss Florida when a tractor-trailer rolled onto the car she was traveling in.
At the conclusion of her reign, she crowned her successor, Deidre Downs, Miss America 2005, Miss Alabama. In 2016, she ran for the District 5 Orlando City Commissioner seat . She also was a contestant on the television reality show, “The Amazing Race”.