The Miss America beauty pageant is a strange beast.
Generally, not much of substance happens, and it tends to go a bit like this:
However, one contestant this year decided to eschew the usual singing, tap dancing or baton twirling routine and used her preliminary round to buck the usual trend actually do something significant.
Kelley Johnson, representing Colorado, made it to the final five of the competition and, instead of playing the piano, she delivered a moving monologue about her personal experiences.
The 22-year-old is a nurse in her home state and she decided to tell the audience and judges about a patient who changed her life.
Johnson described her relationship with Joe, a man with Alzheimer’s, and spoke about how he reminded her why she became a nurse in the first place.
Later in the evening, during a question and answer session, Johnson also said she’d like Ellen Degeneres to be on the $10 bill. We like the way Kelley thinks outside of the box!
Also on the night, former Miss America Vanessa Williams, who was forced to surrender her crown after nude photos of her appeared in Penthouse in 1983, received a public apology from the owners of the pageant as she made her triumphant return to the stage as a judge and performer.
Betty Cantrell, representing Georgia, was the eventual winner of the competition, held last night in Atlantic City, New Jersey.