Miss America 2013: Opelika native Miss New York Mallory Hytes Hagan wins Miss America

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 11, 2013 

Miss New York Mallory Hytes Hagan, who was crowned Miss America on Saturday, is originally from Opelika, Ala.

Her Facebook page confirms the Opelika connection. Hagan attended Opelika High School, according to her official Miss America bio. It lists her age as 23.

She reportedly attended Auburn University before moving to New York and enrolling in the Fashion Institute of Technology. On its Facebook page, Auburn-based restaurant Niffer's Place says she's one of their former employees.

"Hagan said she moved to New York from Alabama with less than $1,000 in her pocket," the Associated Press reports.

Her platform issue is child sexual abuse prevention. "Hagan has chosen to honor the women in her family who have been victims of sexual abuse by sharing their personal stories and encouraging others to take a stand," according to the Miss New York Organization's website.

She hopes "to obtain a degree in cosmetics and fragrance marketing," according to the aforementioned Miss America bio.

In Saturday's pageant, she tap danced to James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing" and answered an interview question about whether armed guards should be in every school.

Hagan was Miss Chattahoochee Valley in 2008, according to the organization's website.

She also previously held the title of Teen Miss Auburn Opelika, according to the Opelika-Auburn news.

Here's a full recap of the pageant.

***

Friendly reminder: This is not the organization that crowned Katherine Webb. That's the Miss Universe Organization, which Donald Trump co-owns.

Got that? Now, back to the main event.

9 p.m. - While introducing herself, Miss Alabama gives a shout-out to Alabama native Channing Tatum. Good choice. Miss Georgia's introduction: "From the state that celebrates diversity, from Scarlett O'Hara to Honey Boo Boo." Wow, I love Miss Iowa's name: Mariah Cary.

9:12 - America's Choice Semifinalist is Miss Montana Alexis Wineman. Remember, she's the first autistic contestant to compete for the crown. Miss South Carolina, Miss Kentucky, Miss Alabama and Miss Arkansas were also main contenders for this honor, according to official results.

9:18 - The remaining 14 semifinalists: Miss Texas, Miss Utah, Miss Oklahoma, Miss Wyoming, Miss South Carolina, Miss Tennessee, Miss Alabama, Miss Maryland, Miss Illinois, Miss Indiana, Miss New York, Miss Florida, Miss Kentucky and Miss Iowa.

9:25 - Wait, there's a last-minute twist. The judges can add one contestant to the semifinalists.

9:29 - Judges' choice semifinalist is Miss Washington.

9:37 - Time to model some swimsuits

9:47 - Top 12 contestants: Miss Washington, Miss Maryland, Miss Texas, Miss Alabama, Miss New York, Miss South Carolina, Miss Indiana, Miss Tennessee, Miss Oklahoma, Miss Wyoming, Miss Illinois, Miss Iowa.

9:55 - We learn the judges' favorites in the swimsuit portion: Miss New York, Miss Oklahoma, Miss Iowa, Miss Wyoming and Miss Washington

9:56 - Time to model some evening gowns

10:06 - We learn the judges' favorites in the evening wear portion: Miss New York, Miss South Carolina, Miss Oklahoma, Miss Wyoming, Miss Illinois and Miss Iowa

10:07 - The Top 10 contestants will perform talents. They are revealed one by one and immediately perform.

1. Miss Texas twirls a baton to Donna Summer's "Last Dance." She drops the baton at one point.

2. Miss Tennessee sings Adele's "Turning Tables."

3. Miss Illinois dances to Journey's "Faithfully."

4. Miss Oklahoma tap dances to Michael Buble's version of "Can't Buy Me Love."

5. Miss Wyoming plays an original composition on the piano.

6. Miss Maryland sings "I Dreamed a Dream" from "Les Misérables."

7. Miss New York tap dances to James Brown's "Get Up Offa That Thing."

8. Miss South Carolina plays The Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" on the piano. Yes, really.

9. Miss Iowa tap dances to a song by Scatman John.

10. Miss Washington sings "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts.

10:42 - The Top 5 contestants will answer questions. They are revealed one by one and immediately get their question. Here are the paraphrased questions and excerpts from their responses.

1. Miss Oklahoma: What are your thoughts on how sensational reality TV shows like "Honey Boo Boo" depict pageants? "At the end of the day you have to admit that that mother loves her daughter (Honey Boo Boo)...These are reality TV shows and we just have to take them with a grain of salt."

2. Miss South Carolina: Were Brent Musburger's comments about Katherine Webb out of line? "As a football fan...I think he has every right to point out her beauty. She is, in fact, gorgeous."

3. Miss New York: Should armed guards be in every school? "I don't think the proper way to fight violence is with violence."

4. Miss Iowa: Two states have legalized the recreational use of medical marijuana. Is that the best direction for our country? "I think that depends on the situation," she says of legalizing marijuana. Says she only supports marijuana being used for recreational and healthcare purposes.

5. Miss Wyoming: Are parents too quick to put their children on medication for ADD? "Ultimately, if they want to medicate their child they also need to look for alternative options."

RESULTS TIME: Miss New York wins!!!!

Fourth runner up: Miss Iowa

Third runner up: Miss Wyoming

Second runner up: Miss Oklahoma

First runner up: Miss South Carolina

***

Prior to the competition, I listed my top five contestants to watch.

Miss Georgia: Well, duh. Miss Georgia Leighton Jordan won the crown in June at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts in Columbus. She competed as Miss Capital City. She's a big supporter of the Sibling Support Project, a national program that aims to increase peer support and information opportunities for brothers and sisters of people with special needs. Learn more here and here.

Miss Alabama: Miss Alabama Anna Laura Bryan is from Decatur, Ala. She graduated from Samford University and hopes to become a registered interior designer and work for an architecture firm, according to her Miss America bio.

Miss New York: Don't overlook this local connection. Miss New York Mallory Hagan is an Opelika, Ala., native. Learn more here.

Miss DC: Arguably, she's the contestant who made the most headlines prior to the competition. Miss DC Allyn Rose plans to undergo a double mastectomy to reduce her chances of developing the disease that killed multiple women in her family. Learn more here.

Miss Montana: She also made lots of headlines prior to the pageant. Tonight, Miss Alexis Wineman will become the first autistic contestant to compete for the crown. Learn more here.

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