Madison Marsh, a 22-year-old second lieutenant in the United States Air Force and a master’s student in the public policy program at the Harvard Kennedy School, emerged successful at the 2024 Miss America pageant, which took place on Sunday night in Orlando, Florida.
Marsh is the only active-duty Air Force officer in the history of the organization to ever win the national title. He served as the representative for the state of Colorado.
First-runner-up was Ellie Breaux, who hails from the state of Texas.
The event was attended by fifty-one contestants, each of whom represented one of the fifty states in the United States of America as well as the District of Columbia.
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At the conclusion of three nights of preliminary competitions, the pageant took place. The field was reduced down to eleven semi-finalists before the main event began.
Ten of the semi-finalists were selected by the preliminary judges, and one was selected by a public vote that was open to pageant fans and followers from all around the United States by the public.
After that, these eleven women took part in four rounds of competition: a fitness showcase, which consisted of a runway walk in rhinestone-embellished athleisure; a “hot topics” discussion round, which replaced the more traditional question and answer portion of the pageant with a diverse set of talking points; a talent performance; and an evening gown presentation.
Finally, the five finalists were announced. In the final rankings, Marsh and Breaux were followed by Cydney Bridges of Indiana, Mallory Hudson of Kentucky, and Caroline Parente of Rhode Island, respectively, who finished in second, third, and fourth place, respectively.
Marsh responded to the topic of “drugs in America” by recounting her late mother’s fight against pancreatic cancer during the slightly dissimilar discussion round. Other themes that were brought up during this round included terrorism, technology, diet, and climate change.
During the talent round, she gave a spoken-word performance that was based on the topic of obtaining a pilot’s license at the age of sixteen.
All five finalists were then confronted with an additional question regarding their aspirations for the title of Miss America. Marsh answered by citing her military credentials as an example of her desire to learning and leading “with passion.” She said that she wants to learn and lead with enthusiasm.
Grace Stanke, who was the winner of the 2023 Miss America pageant, is succeeded by her.
Hanley House, who is 16 years old and hails from North Carolina, was crowned the winner of the 2024 Miss America’s Teen pageant, which took place on Saturday night.