Miss America 2008

Miss America 2008
Miss America 2008
Date January 26, 2008
Presenters Mark Steines
Venue Planet Hollywood Performing Arts Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Broadcaster TLC
Winner Kirsten Haglund
Michigan Michigan

Miss America 2008, the 87th Miss America pageant, was held at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on January 26, 2008.

The pageant was broadcast live on TLC from the Theatre for the Performing Arts at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, only the third time that the pageant has been held outside Atlantic City.

Kirsten Haglund (Michigan) was crowned Miss America 2008 by Miss America 2007, Lauren Nelson.


Selection of contestants

One delegate from each state was chosen in state pageants held in mid 2007. Prior to competing in state pageants, the majority of delegates first were required to win a local title. Each delegates title is pre-dated to 2007, for example Jamie Langley is "Miss Alabama 2007" rather than "Miss Alabama 2008." Many contestants competed in state pageants in both the Miss America and Miss USA systems numerous times before they won titles. Some previously competed in states other than those where they won a state title.

All contestants had to be between 17 and 24 years old, unmarried, and a citizen of the United States. They had to meet residency and education requirements.


All delegates compete in an interview competition with the judges, based on their platform issue, and also in the swimsuit, evening gown and talent competitions.

Prior to the nationally televised competition, the delegates participate in three nights of preliminary competition, where preliminary award winners are chosen in each category.

For the first time, sixteen semi-finalists were chosen (fifteen based on the judges vote and one extra "People's Choice" contestant based on internet voting). The top sixteen competed in the swimsuit competition, after which judges eliminated six contestants. This was the first time the eliminated contestants were called, rather than contestants called to progress to the next round. The top ten contestants competed in the evening gown competition, and then prepared for the talent competition. Eight contestants participated in Talent, and two were eliminated in the midst of the competition. The top eight then participated in a quickfire interview competition. In a return to past proceedings, the runners-up and winner were called out of the top eight.



Final Results Contestant
Miss America 2008
1st runner-up
2nd runner-up
3rd runner-up
4th runner-up
Top 8
Top 10
Top 16


* -- America's Choice


Preliminary Awards

Awards Contestant
Preliminary Swimsuit
Preliminary Talent

Quality of Life Award

Results Contestant
1st runner-up
2nd runner-up

Other Awards

Results Contestant
Non-Finalist Talent
Miss Congeniality
Pyramid Scholarship for Public Relations & Marketing


The Miss America 2008 delegates are:

State Name Hometown Age1 Talent Placement Special awards Previous State pageant experience
Alabama Jamie Langley Wadley, AL 23 Vocal Quality of Life Finalist
Alaska Cari Leyva Anchorage, AK 23 Vocal Former Miss Alaska USA 2004
Arizona Nicole Turner Phoenix, AZ 24 Jazz Dance
Arkansas Katie Bailey Conway, AR 25 Vocal Top 16
California Melissa Chaty Redwood Valley, CA 23 Classical Vocal Top 8
Colorado Maggie Ireland Littleton, CO 22 Irish Step Dance
Connecticut Dana Daunis Watertown, CT 22 Vocal Preliminary Talent, Non-Finalist Talent
Delaware Brittany Dempsey Dover, DE 19 Jazz Dance
District of Columbia Shayna Rudd Philadelphia, PA 22 Jazz Dance Non-Finalist Talent
Florida Kylie Williams Jasper, FL 24 Country Vocal Top 16 Quality of Life 1st runner-up
Georgia Leah Massee Fitzgerald, GA 22 Vocal Top 10
Hawaii Ashley Layfield Kane'ohe, HI 21 Lyrical Dance Sister of Janelle Layfield, Miss Hawaii USA 2008
Idaho Sadie Quigley Idaho Falls, ID 19 Piano Non-Finalist Talent
Illinois Ashley Hatfield Anna, IL 24 Vocal
Indiana Nicole Rash Plymouth, IN 23 Vocal 1st runner-up
Iowa Diana Reed Norwalk, IA 23 Baton Top 10 Preliminary Talent
Kansas Alyssa George Minneapolis, KS 21 Classical Piano
Kentucky Kaitlynne Postel Lexington, KY 21 Vocal
Louisiana Amanda Joseph Pineville, LA 21 Ballet en Pointe
Maine Tara Allain Biddeford, ME 22 Dance
Maryland Shana Powell Bowie, MD 22 Operatic Vocal
Massachusetts Valerie Amaral Acushnet, MA 22 Vocal Quality of Life Finalist, Preliminary Talent, Non-Finalist Talent, Miss Miracle Maker Award
Michigan Kirsten Haglund Farmington Hills, MI 19 Vocal Winner Preliminary Swimsuit
Minnesota Jennifer Hudspeth Apple Valley, MN 23 Vocal Quality of Life Finalist
Mississippi Kimberly Morgan Taylor, MS 24 Vocal Top 16
Missouri Lindsay Casmaer Hazelwood, MO 23 Ballet en Pointe
Montana Kristen Mantooth Lewistown, NE 22 Lyrical Dance
Nebraska Ashley Bauer Scottsbluff, NE 21 Vocal
Nevada Caleche Manos Reno, NV 23 Vocal Quality of Life Award Winner
New Hampshire Rachel Barker Amherst, NH 19 Ballet en Pointe Pyramid Scholarship for Public Relations & Marketing
New Jersey Amy Polumbo Howell, NJ 22 Vocal Non-Finalist Talent
New Mexico Jenny Marlowe Albuquerque, NM 23 Vocal
New York Elisabeth Baldanza Oneonta, NY 23 Contemporary Ballet
North Carolina Jessica Jacobs High Point, NC 23 Ballet en Pointe 4th runner-up
North Dakota Ashley Young Grand Forks, ND 20 Vocal Opera Miss Congeniality
Ohio Roberta Camp Grove City, OH 23 Vocal
Oklahoma Makenna Smith Oklahoma City, OK 24 Vocal Quality of Life 2nd runner-up
Oregon Kari Virding Tigard, OR 24 Vocal Non-Finalist Talent Former Miss Oregon Teen USA 2000
Pennsylvania Rachel Brooks Broomall, PA 24 Vocal Non-Finalist Talent
Rhode Island Ashley Bickford Newport, RI 22 Ballet en Pointe Quality of Life Finalist, Preliminary Swimsuit Triple Crown winner: Previously Miss Connecticut Teen USA 2002 and Top 10 at Miss Teen USA 2002, Later Miss Connecticut USA 2010
South Carolina Crystal Garrett Columbia, SC 21 Vocal Top 16
South Dakota Kate Wismer Britton, SD 22 Classical Vocal
Tennessee Grace Gore Nashville, TN 24 Vocal Top 16 Quality of Life Finalist Former Miss Mississippi Teen USA 2002
Texas Molly Hazlett Centerville, TX 21 Jazz on Pointe Top 8 Preliminary Swimsuit
Utah Jill Stevens Kaysville, UT 24 Vocal Top 16 America's Choice
Vermont Rachel Ann Cole Middlebury, VT 21 Monologue
Virginia Hannah Kiefer Roanoke, VA 21 Ballet en Pointe 3rd runner-up 2008 Charles and Theresa Brown Scholarship Recipient
Virgin Islands Janeisha John St. Croix, USVI 20 Jazz Dance Later Miss US Virgin Islands Universe 2010
Washington Elyse Umemoto Wapato, WA 23 Vocal 2nd runner-up
West Virginia Summer Wyatt Princeton, WV 21 Vocal
Wisconsin Christina Thompson Kenosha, WI 23 Classical Violin Top 8
Wyoming Jennifer McCafferty Scottsbluff, NE 23 Vocal

1 Age as at January 2008

Miss America Reality Check

A show on the pageant's new network, TLC, premiered on January 4, 2008, hosted by Michael Urie (of Ugly Betty fame). The premise of the show is to update the image of the Miss America pageant, which has seen a decline in popularity over the last few decades. In addition, viewers will be able to vote online and choose one of the delegates to be a finalist in the pageant.


For the first time since Miss America 2003, four former Miss Universe Organization titleholders will compete at Miss America. They are:


  1. ^ a b "2008 MISS AMERICA "QUALITY OF LIFE" WINNER ANNOUNCED" (Press release). Miss America Organization. 2008-01-24. http://www.missamerica.org/news/press-releases.asp?press=310. 
  2. ^ "Ashley Bickford Biography". Miss Rhode Island. http://www.missri2007.com/bio.asp. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  3. ^ Willenburg, Brandy (2007-07-20). "New Miss Tennessee plans to maintain strong Vanderbilt ties". The Reporter (Vanderbilt Medical Center). 

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