Miss America Talents: The Complete List (1935 to 2014)






Pageant Talent Ideas | Miss America Pageant Winners’ Talents

Here are the talents of all Miss America Pageant winners since the pageant added the talent competition in 1935.

2014: Nina Davuluri Miss America 2014 (Miss New York) – Classical Bollywood fusion dance

2013: Mallory Hagan, Miss America 2013 (Miss New York) – Tap dancing to James Brown’s “Get Up Off That Thang”

2012: Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012 (Miss Wisconsin) – Operatic vocal of the Italian opera, Il Bacio. (Talent winner)

2011: Teresa Scanlan, Miss America 2011 (Miss Nebraska) – piano performance of “White Water Chopped Sticks“. (Talent winner)

2010: Caressa Cameron, Miss America 2010 (Miss Virginia) – sang the popular Beyoncé vocal “Listen” from the movie “Dreamgirls“. (Talent winner)

2009: Katie Stam, Miss America 2009 (Miss Indiana) – sang the classical gospel selection, Via Delarosa (The Road of Suffering).

2008: Kirsten Haglund, Miss America 2008 (Miss Michigan) – sang a popular rendition of the classic, “Over the Rainbow“.

2007: Lauren Nelson, Miss America 2007 (Miss Oklahoma) – sang the popular vocal, “You’ll Be In My Heart“, from the Disney film, “Tarzan”.

2006: Jennifer Berry, Miss America 2006 (Miss Oklahoma) – performed a ballet en pointe to “Within“. (Talent winner)

2005: Deidre Downs, Miss America 2005 (Miss Alabama) – sang the Popular vocal, ““I’m Afraid This Must Be Love”.

2004: Ericka Dunlap, Miss America 2004 (Miss Florida) – sang the vocal made popular by Celine Dion, “If I Could”.

2003: Erika Harold, Miss America 2003 (Miss Illinois) – performed a classical vocal, “Habanera,” from the opera “Carmen“.

2002: Katie Harmon, Miss America 2002 (Miss Oregon) – performed  a classical vocal of Puccini’s aria “O Mio Babbino Caro”. (Talent winner)

2001: Angela Perez Baraquio, Miss America 2001 (Miss Hawaii) – danced an Hawaiian hula dance to “Theme from Mutiny on the Bounty”.

2000: Heather Rene French, Miss America 2000 (Miss Kentucky) – sang Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “As If We Never Said Goodbye”.

1999: Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999 (Miss Virginia) – sang the popular vocal made famous by Frank Sinatra, “That’s Life“.

1998: Kathrine (Kate) Shindle, Miss America 1998 (Miss Illinois) – sang the popular vocal, “Don’t Rain on My Parade“. (Talent winner)

1997: Tara Dawn Holland, Miss America 1997 (Miss Kansas) – performed a classical vocal, “Ou va la Jeune Indoue” from Lakme.

1995: Heather Whitestone, Miss America 1995 (Miss Alabama) – Performed a ballet en pointe to Via Delarosa (She could not hear the music due to her being deaf since infancy, so she counted the vibrations of the music’s beats to guide her).

1994: Kimberly Clarice Aiken, Miss America 1994 (Miss South Carolina) – Sang George Gershwin’s semi-classical song, “Summertime” from the opera “Porgy and Bess“.

1993: Leanza Cornett, Miss America 1993 (Miss Florida) – Sang a theatrical vocal “A New Life” from “Jeckyl and Hyde“. (Talent winner)

1992: Carolyn Sapp, Miss America 1992 (Miss Hawaii) – sang the Ella Fitzgerald song, “Ain’t Misbehavin‘”.

1991: Marjorie Judith Vincent, Miss America 1991 (Miss Illinois) – Performed a classical selection, Chopin’s “Fantasie Impromptu, Opus 66” in the piano. (Talent winner)

Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012, won the pageant talent competition

Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012, Miss Wisconsin, won the talent competition performing the Italian opera, Il Bacio.

1990: Debbye Lynn Turner, Miss America 1990 (Miss Missouri) – performed “Flight of the Bumblebee“, “Czardas” and  “Can Can” on the marimba.

1989: Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989 (Miss Minnesota) – performed a classical violin solo to “Gypsy Airs”. (Talent winner)

1988: Kaye Lani Rafko, Miss America 1988 ( Miss Michigan) – performed a Hawaiian-Tahitian dance in full Tahitian headdress, grass skirt and bustier.

1987:  Kellye Cash, Miss America 1987 (Miss Tennessee) – Vocal/piano combination. A great-niece of the legendary country singer Johnny Cash, Kellye played the piano and belted out “I’ll be Home“. (Talent winner)

1986: Susan Diane Akin, Miss America 1986 (Miss Mississippi) – sang the popular  torch song, “You’re My World“.

1985: Sharlene Wells, Miss America 1985 (Miss Utah) – sang “Mis Noches Sin T” in Spanish while playing a Paraguayan harp.

1984: Vanessa Williams, Miss America 1984 (Miss New York) – performed a popular vocal, “Happy Days Are Here Again“. (Talent winner)

1984: Suzette Charles, Miss America 1984 (Miss New Jersey) – performed a popular vocal “Kiss Me in the Rain“. (Talent winner)

1983: Debra Sue Maffett, Miss America 1983 (Miss California) – sang the popular song, “Come in From the Rain“. (Talent winner)

Miss America 1984 Vanessa Williams in pageant talent competition

Miss America 1984 Vanessa Williams won the pageant’s talent competition singing “Happy Days Are Here Again”.

1982: Elizabeth Ward, Miss America 1982 (Miss Arkansas) -  Sang the popular tune, “There’ll Come a Time“.

1981: Susan Powell, Miss America 1981 (Miss Oklahoma) – Comedic classical aria, “Lucie’s Aria“. (Talent winner)

1980: Cheryl Prewitt, Miss America 1980 (Miss Mississippi) – Played the piano and sang the popular vocal, “Don’t Cry Out Loud”.

1979: Kylene Barker, Miss America 1979 (Miss Virginia) – Performed a gymnastics routine to  “Feelin’ So Good” and “Theme from Rocky”.

1978: Susan Yvonne Perkins, Miss America 1978 (Miss Ohio) – performed the popular Billie Holiday blues vocal, “Good Morning, Heartache“. (Talent winner) After winning, she informed reporters she found performing the song “cathartic.”

1977: Dorothy Katherine Benham, Miss America 1977 (Miss Minnesota) – performed the classical aria, “Adele’s Laughing Song“. (Talent winner)

1976: Tawny Elaine Godin, Miss America 1976 (Miss New York) – played her own modern piano composition, “Images in Pastels“.

1975: Shirley Cothran, Miss America 1975 (Miss Texas) -  performed a flute medley of “Swingin’ Shepherd Blues” and “Bumble Boogie”. It was the only song she could play.

1974: Rebecca Ann King, Miss America 1974 (Miss Colorado) – sang the popular vocal, “If I Ruled the World“.

1973: Terry Anne Meeuwsen, Miss America 1973 (Miss Wisconsin) – sang “He Touched Me“.  Her performance is considered to be one of the best Miss America talent performances of all. (Talent winner)

1972: Laurel Lea Schaefer, Miss America 1972 (Miss Ohio) – a theatre arts and music major, she performed the semi-classical vocal, “And This My Beloved,” from Kismet.

1971: Phyllis George, Miss America 1971 (Miss Texas) – played a piano medley of “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” and “Promises, Promises”.

1970: Pamela Ann Eldred, Miss America 1970 (Miss Michigan) – performed a ballet to “Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet“.

1969: Judith Anne Ford, Miss America 1969 (Miss Illinois) – performs a trampoline acrobatic routine with 30-foot back-flips and mid-air spins. (Talent winner) She later quipped, “Miss Americas aren’t supposed to sweat!”

1968: Debra Dene Barnes, Miss America 1968 (Miss Kansas) – a piano pedagogy major, plays four variations of  movie theme “Born Free” on the piano.

1967: Jane Anne Jayroe, Miss America 1967 (Miss Oklahoma) – Sang, danced and conducted the pageant orchestra to “One, Two, Three“.

1966: Deborah Irene Bryant, Miss America 1966 (Miss Kansas) – performed a drama, “The Miserable Miserliness of Midas Moneybags” (she performed three roles: damsel in distress, villain and hero)

1965: Vonda Kay Van Dyke, Miss America 1965 (Miss Arizona) – performed a ventriloquism routine with her dummy Curlie-Q to the song, “Together“. To date, she is the only ventriloquist to win the Miss America Pageant, although several first runners-up have performed double ventriloquism acts.

1964: Donna Axum, Miss America 1964 (Miss Arkansas) – sang the classical and popular vocals, “Quando Me’n Vo” and “I love Paris

1963: Jacquelyn Jeanne Mayer, Miss America 1963 (Miss Ohio) – performed a Broadway vignette, “Wishing Upon a Star“.

1962: Maria Beale Fletcher, Miss America 1962 (Miss North Carolina) – performed a combination song and “pantomime tap dance” routine to “Somebody Loves Me”.

1961: Nancy Ann Fleming, Miss America 1961 (Miss Michigan) – Displays her fashion designs by rapidly changing garments hanging on a clothes pole behind a screen. (Talent winner)

1960: Lynda Lee Mead, Miss America 1960 (Miss Mississippi) – performed a dramatic monologue to “Schizophrenia“.

1959: Mary Ann Mobley, Miss America 1959 (Miss Mississippi) – performed a classical aria, “Un Bel Di Vedremo“, then switched to “They’ll be Some Changes Made” with a mock strip tease tossed in. The pageant quickly banned strip teases during the talent competition. (Talent winner)

1958: Marilyn Van Derbur, Miss America 1958 (Miss Colorado) – performed an organ medley of “Tea for Two” and “Tenderly“.  Drafted into her local pageant and having no stage talent, Marilyn learned to play one medley. It was the only song she knew.

1957: Marian Ann McKnight, Miss America 1957 (Miss South Carolina) – performs “The Monroe Doctrine”, a comedy routine in which she impersonated Marilyn Monroe. She learns later that Monroe’s  former husband Joe DiMaggio was in the audience watching her with amused interest.

1956: Sharon Kay Ritchie, Miss America 1957 (Miss Colorado) – performed a dramatic recital of “The Murder of Lidice“.

1955: Lee Ann Meriwether, Miss America 1955 (Miss California) – performed a dramatic recital of “Riders to the Sea“. Academy-award winning actress Grace Kelly in on the judges panel.

1954: Evelyn Margaret Ay, Miss America 1954 (Miss Pennsylvania) – recited the poem, “Leaves from my Grass-House“.

1953: Neva Langley, Miss America 1953 (Miss Georgia) – a piano pedagogy major, played the classical piano selection “Toccato in E-Flat Minor”. (Talent winner)

1952: Colleen Kay Hutchins, Miss America 1952 (Miss Utah) – performed a dramatic recital “Elizabeth the Queen” in full Elizabethan costume. (Talent winner)

1951: Yolande Betbeze, Miss America 1951 (Miss Alabama) – Sang the classical vocal “Sempre Libera” to win the preliminary talent award. Then switched to “Caro Nome” from Rigoletto for the pageant finals. The audience was so taken that it chanted for an encore. (Talent winner)

1950: No Miss America winner / title post-dated

1949: Jacque Mercer, Miss America 1949 (Miss Arizona) – performed a dramatic recital of “Romeo and Juliet” in full theatrical costuming. (Talent winner)

1948: Beatrice (BeBe) Shopp, Miss America 1948 (Miss Minnesota) – played “Caprice Viennese” on the vibraharp.

1947: Barbara Jo Walker, Miss America 1947 (Miss Tennessee) – Sang and played the piano with her painting exhibit displayed. (Talent winner)

1946: Marilyn Buferd, Miss America 1946 (Miss California) – Performed a dramatic recital of “Accent on Youth“.

1945: Bess Myerson, Miss America 1945 (Miss New York) – performed a classical piano selection from Grieg and Gershwin, “Summertime/Concerto in A-Minor“. (Talent winner)

1944: Venus Ramey, Miss America 1944 (Miss Washington, D.C.) – performed a combination song and dance routine to “Take it Easy“. (Talent winner)

1943: Jean Bartel, Miss America 1943 (Miss California) -  sang the popular vocal “Night and Day“. (Talent winner)

1942: Jo-Carroll Dennison, Miss America 1942 (Miss Texas) – sang “Deep in the Heart of Texas”. (Talent winner)

1941: Rosemary LaPlanche, Miss America 1941 (Miss California) – Performed a ballet / tap dance.

1940: Frances Burke, Miss America 1940 (Miss Pennsylvania) – performed a combination song and dance routine to “I Can’t Love You Anymore“.

1939: Patricia Donnelly, Miss America 1939 (Miss Michigan) – played “Ol’ Man Mose” on the bass fiddle.

1938: Marilyn Meseke, Miss America 1938 (Miss Ohio) – danced to “The World is Waiting for the Sunrise“.

1937: Bette Cooper, Miss America 1937 (Miss New Jersey) -  sang the popular vocal, “When the Poppies Bloom Again“.

1936: Rose Veronica Coyle, Miss America 1936 (Miss Pennsylvania) – performed a combination song and dance routine to “I Can’t Eacape You” and “Truckin”. (Talent winner)

1935: Henrietta Leaver, Miss America 1935 (Miss Pennsylvania) – performed a combination song and dance routine to “Living in a Great Big Way“.

1921-1933: No talent competition

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