Miss Georgia shines in Miss America top 12; North Dakota wins

Georgia’s Alyssa Beasley finished in the top 12 at the Miss America pageant Sunday night, competing in the swimsuit and evening gown phases of competition.

North Dakota’s Cara Mund won the Miss America crown. The Brown University graduate performed a jazz dance to “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson. During her on-stage question, she said withdrawing from the Paris climate change agreement would disadvantage the U.S. because the country would no longer have a part in negotiations.

Beasley, a 19-year-old Brunswick native, stunned the crowd in white for both phases. She confidently walked the runway in a white bikini during the swimsuit competition.

In the evening gown competition, Miss Georgia wore the same gown that she won the state title in. The white jersey long-sleeved gown had a modern edge, with elegant draping and a structured silhouette.

Beasley was eliminated from the competition before the talent portion. During preliminaries, she performed a lyrical dance to “Feet Don’t Touch the Ground” by Ellie Goulding. She performed the same dance at Miss Georgia in June, winning preliminary and overall talent awards.

Beasley will complete her year as Miss Georgia before returning to her education. She studied at Kennesaw State University for her freshman year and plans to transfer to the University of Georgia in fall 2018 to study exercise science.

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Miss America 2016, Georgia's 2016, Betty Cantrell, from Warner Robins, was a surprise guest in the House at the opening session of the Georgia Legislature. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM