Miss Alabama Anna Laura Bryan made it all the way from Decatur to the top 12 in the Miss America pageant tonight before falling short of the top 10.
Miss New York Mallory Hagan was crowned Miss America at the pageant in Las Vegas. Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers was first runner-up. Miss Oklahoma Alicia Clifton was second runner-up.
In an interview just before the final member of the top 10 would be announced and two contestants would be eliminated, a composed Bryan said, "I'm just thankful to make the Top 15...to be on stage with all these girls is an honor."
Forty-one of the 53 contestants were eliminated before Bryan.
Hagan, 23, is from Brooklyn, N.Y. She tap danced to James Brown's "Get Up Off of That Thing" and answered a question about whether armed guards belong in grade schools by saying we should not fight violence with violence.
Hagan wins a $50,000 college scholarship and gets the crown for one year. Her platform was stopping child sexual abuse. She is expected to spend her title reign on a nationwide speaking tour and raising money for the Children's Miracle Network, the organization's official charity.
For a review of the pageant, see Catherine Godbey's Twitter feed.
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