Congratulations to Caressa Cameron, Miss America 2010
Miss Virginia, Caressa Cameron, emerge from a pool of 53 candidates to win the 2010 Miss America title Saturday night during a modernized and surprisingly entertaining Miss America Pageant held in Las Vegas.
The 22-year-old student from Fredericksburg, Virginia, had won the preliminary talent competition earlier in the week after impressing the judges with a strong vocal performance of Beyonce’s “Listen” from the film “Dreamgirls”. The new Miss America, a broadcast journalism major at Virginia Commonwealth University, who aspires to become a television anchor, won a $50,000 scholarship.
During the on-stage interview phase of competition, when the emcee asked Miss Virginia how she would approach fighting the childhood obesity issue, she stated that she felt that youngsters should be encouraged to return to the traditions of outside play and limit television and video games. “We need to get our kids back outside, playing with sticks in the street like I did when I was little,” she remarked. “Expand your mind, go outside and get to see what this world is like.”
In the evening gown competition Cameron wore a stunning form-fitting yellow gown, a strong statement in light of the long tradition of Miss America’s usually wearing white gowns. In contrast, in pageant circles, yellow is viewed as being a difficult color for contestants to carry off in formalwear.
Interestingly, during the pre-show that aired prior to the pageant, Miss Virginia’s choice of a yellow gown, was noted by former Miss America, Erica Dunlap, who observed that she had won her Miss America title wearing a yellow gown.
The 1st runner-up was Miss California, Kristy Cavinder, who had also won a preliminary talent award for her ballet en pointe earlier in the week. Cavinder was asked to share her views on the responsibilities of being a role model during the on-stage interview. Cavinder. She was awarded a $25,000 scholarship.
Stefanie Wittler, Miss Tennessee, was named the 2nd runner-up. A vocalist who performed “I Will Always Love You” in the talent competition, Wittler was asked to address the issue of tough love versus gentleness in giving criticism during the onstage interview.
Miss Louisiana, Katherine Putnam was named the 3rd runner-up, after performing “Handel’s Messiah” on the piano during the talent competition and discussing why the USA should send emergency aid to Haiti given our own country’s current financial woes.
Miss Kentucky, Mallory Ervin, was named the 4th runner-up after performing the vocal “On My Own” and fielding an on-stage question about if athletes who use performance enhancing drugs should be permanently banned from sports.
Fifteen contestants competed in the semi-finals during the broadcast: Miss Tennesee, Stefanie Wittler; Miss Colorado, Katie Lucille Layman; Miss California,Kristy Cavinder (a preliminary talent winner); Miss Indiana, Nicole Pollard; Miss Hawaii, Raeceen Anuenue Woolford; Miss Louisiana, Katherine Putnam; Miss District of Columbia, Jen Corey; Miss New Mexico, Nicole Miner; Miss Virginia, Caressa Cameron (a preliminary talent winner and the eventual Miss America 2010); Miss Texas, Kristen Blair; and Miss Nebraska, Brittany Jeffers.
Three contestants were chosen by public popular vote to join the others in the Top 15: Miss Oklahoma, Taylor Treat, Miss Arkansas, Sarah Slocum and Miss Kentucky, Mallory Ervin. Ervin was later named the 4th runner-up. In another new move from pageant organizers to add an element of reality show style interaction, contestants who failed to make the semi-finals, were allowed to vote one contestant into the Top 15 as the “Contestants’ Choice”. The results of the live vote placed Miss Oregon, CC Barber, as the 15th semi-finalist. Barber had won a preliminary swimsuit award earlier in the week.
View Miss America contestant photos