The Miss America pageant lit up social media on Monday night, after one contestant used her introduction to make a big statement.
At the top of the show, Miss Michigan Emily Sioma used her first moments speaking to the audience by calling attention to the Flint, Michigan water crisis. "From the state with 84% of the United States' fresh water but none for its residents to drink, I am Miss Michigan Emily Sioma," she said.
Miss Michigan Emily Sioma emphasizing the Flint Water crisis.
So Emily Sioma, Miss Michigan is a sexual assault survivor/activist who takes her moment on stage at #MissAmerica2019 to go OFF about the Flint Water Crisis on Network television in front of a million viewers? We stan. https://t.co/VSesQDELnv
While she may have scored a victory online, Sioma wasn't crowned Miss America. That honor was instead bestowed upon Miss New York, Nia Franklin. First runner-up went to Miss Connecticut, Bridget Oei.
Franklin stressed the importance of the arts during the event, saying she "grew up at a predominately Caucasian school and there was only five percent minority, and I felt out of place so much because of the color of my skin." She continued, "But growing up, I found my love of arts, and through music that helped me to feel positive about myself and about who I was."
She hopes to advocate for the arts during her time as Miss America.
This year's ceremony was the first to eliminate the swimsuit segment, which was replaced with a "red carpet" competition.