Miss New York won the Miss America crown, but Miss Michigan won our hearts

2019 Miss America Press Room

Y’all know I don’t pay much attention to beauty pageants, but Miss America was especially newsworthy this year. The Miss America pageant made significant changes in the wake of the Me Too movement and assorted internal controversies. This was the first year without a swimsuit competition, because thank God. Several of the young women got somewhat political too. I don’t know if the new Miss America is one of the political peeps, but people seem to be happy about her victory. Her name is Nia Imani Franklin and she was Miss New York. After she won, she told reporters that she was glad she didn’t have to “compete” in a swimsuit contest too. Congrats to Nia!

But we can say a few words about Miss Michigan? Miss Michigan is Emily Sioma, and she’s a sexual assault survivor and advocate. She used her moment on stage to highlight the fact that many Michigan residents don’t have clean water to drink, saying: “From a state with 84% of the U.S. fresh water, but none for it’s residents to drink, I’m Miss Michigan Emily Sioma.” I love her.

Miss America 2.0 Preliminary Competition Night Three

Photos courtesy of WENN.

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

17 Responses to “Miss New York won the Miss America crown, but Miss Michigan won our hearts”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. indian says:

    The citizens are not separate from the state and cities. People need to stop mindlessly paying and agreeing for more taxes. STay on top of your local governments and stop thinking the government always knows what it’s doing. Just blindly trusting people that are in government led to the michigan mess. Find out what your local government is doing, is it sensible, are these people qualified to make the decisions, where is the money going.

    Not something to boast on the national stage, for sure?

    • WTF says:

      I’m going to have to disagree with you. There was criminal conduct here. People have been indicted. This wasn’t just a lack of oversight. I don’t know how residents would have known that there drinking water was poisoned. Even when some people suspected and started asking questions, the bad actors lied. The Michigan water crisis is a tragedy on a lot of levels, and your post sounds like you’re blaming them for it.

    • Enough Already says:

      Um…it was a declaration to highlight disparity, not a boast.

    • Crowhood says:

      Really think you missed the point of her commentary and also wondering where you got your drinking water tester kit since you knew before the masses that a trusted resource was tainted?

    • Jay says:

      Yikes, sweetie, you really missed what was going on. Perhaps watching it again and reading commentaries on it might help.

    • insertpunhere says:

      I don’t think trusting your government is not going to do a cost-benefit analysis and determine that poisoning a generation of children is that crazy. I realize it happened (I live not far from Flint, and my agency’s primary office is located there), but who could have imagined they would do this? I was raised by a conspiracy theorist, and I don’t trust the government, but prior to the Flint water crisis, it never crossed my mind that people in the highest offices in my state would look at tiny children and say, “well, this will destroy their lives, but it’ll save us a few bucks.” That’s insane. What they did is insane.

      Also, for those of you who don’t know, the Attorney General who was in office during the decision to poison children and subsequent cover up (although not charged, I’m extremely skeptical he didn’t know at some point before the general public) is the republican candidate for governor. For those of you in Michigan, please vote.

      • indian says:

        That’s what I was commenting on. It wasn’t meant to be snarky, but it seemed like the local government made some technical decisions that they were not qualified to make and didn’t have the expertise to do so. Those decisions can be technically difficult, it wasn’t just a cost-benefit analysis, they chose the wrong solution. I don’t have a solution, but what I meant was, there needs to be oversight and some level of greater citizenship control over what decisions local governments make.

        And thanks to those that recommend I educate myself and for calling me sweetie:-) I’m never offended at the suggestion I learn more and yes, I’ve lived in places where the water was contaminated and almost died as a result.

      • insertpunhere says:


        The local government didn’t make the decision. Flint was under an emergency manager by the state. For years, Flint had received their water from Detroit (which has excellent water; it’s what I drink), without a problem. Short-term, it was less expensive to pump in from the Flint river (long-term the effects of lead poisoning will cost the state astronomically), but the infrastructure isn’t there to safely and cleanly do that. The emergency manager said, “who cares?” and went ahead and poisoned kids.

        People knew way before the state finally admitted there was a problem, and Snyder’s administration basically figured nobody would care because they’re just poor POC. Kudos to Ms. Michigan for keeping this information in the public eye because a lot of people assume the problem is fixed, but 4.5 years later, it still isn’t.

    • j says:

      Totally. After you finish working yourself into an early grave for 60 hours a week to barely make enough money to survive, make sure you do all your local government homework.

  2. Joy says:

    Miss New York 100% deserved to win. She was flawless at every round.

    • Chaine says:

      Didn’t watch it but from the pix she is glowing, has that classic pageant smile with the perfect teeth, I’m so jealous!

  3. Jay says:

    Also, I believe it was Miss West Virginia (of all places!!) that was asked what the greatest threat to our country was and without missing a beat she was like, “TRUMP!” HAH! These ladies are not messing around and I hope MI and WI inspire other contestants to drop some truth bombs as well in future competitions.

    • BANANIE says:

      I loved that! She could have gone the easy route with some BS or more “socially acceptable” answer but she went straight for the throat. We need more people like her!

  4. Eric says:

    Is your water tainted?
    Miss Michigan started facts about the deplorable conditions in her home state.

    Bravo to her

  5. ChillyWilly says:

    She is amazing for doing this. I wonder if production knew what she was going to say or if she just went rogue? I watched just a little of the show and from what I saw, the changes were positive. The women all seemed accomplished and much less emphasis on appearance. I also saw many ethnicities and body types!

  6. OkieOpie says:

    I love Bridget Oei and was hoping she would win. I think it was the girl from Michigan who had the TERRIBLE talent song, right? Really off key? She was probably so nervous. I also loved Nebraska and how she survived cancer at 19. I was rooting for Oklahoma but she blew her interview question in top 15. Also loved the Colorado girl.

  7. Elle says:

    I am not American but it is amazing and affirming every time a Black woman wins Miss America. The history of racism and colourism in beauty pageants leaves a lot to be desired.