Kirsten Haglund, 19 years old, was crowned during the two hour ceremony for this 87 year old beauty pageant.
The winner of the Miss America pageant will receive $50,000 scholarship and a one year contract as the Miss America spokeswoman.
This long running pageant had a lot changed including hipper and modern feel more than ever. The clothes worn by the contestants to the music has been updated.
During one performance the contestants wore tank tops and blue jeans. They moved around the stage to hip hop music by a live dj on stage. It was a lighthearted moment when the introduced themselves to the audience.
Haglund, a granddaughter of Miss Michigan 1944, won over first runner up Miss Indiana Nicole Elizabeth Rash for the crown.
Miss Nevada Caleche Manos did not advance to the 16 finalists.
To bring the pageant into hip culture they coined a phrase “the “It Girl”. The organizers are targeting a younger audience and giving them someone to idolize and a role model.
To continue with the phrase, contestants explained why they are “the” It Girl. The University of Cincinnati music student, Haglund, was chosen. She wore a black bikini during the swimsuit contest and sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” for the talent competition.
Haglund wants to use her crown to grow awareness for her personal platform, eating disorders. She had these problems a couple of years prior.
To continue with the hip appeal hosts of the pageant was Clinton Kelly of The Learning Channel’s popular show “What Not to Wear” and Mark Steines from “Entertainment Tonight.”
Miss America 2008 Pageant was the finale of a four week reality show in which contestants were given attitude adjustments, trendy hairstyles and makeovers.
Haglund was happy to be the youngest contestant. This gives the program someone relevant and young to kickstart the competition into the future.
Miss America 2008 crowned Miss Michigan Kirsten Kaglund in Las Vegas.