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Miss Virginia wins 2010 Miss America crown

The Associated Press Published: January 30, 2010
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Mi
ss Oregon CC Barber, Miss New York Alyse Zwick and Miss Puerto Rico Mimi Pabon each won $1,000 in nightly swimsuit competitions.

Miss Oklahoma Taylor Treat won the $6,000 Quality of Life award, given to the contestant judged to excel most in volunteerism and community service.

Scores based on a week of preliminary competitions were added to Saturday's swimsuit, talent, evening gown and interview competitions to determine the winner. Each judge ranked their five favorites in order, and their ballots will be used to pick the winner.

In all, the Miss America Organization plans to award $340,000 in scholarships at the national level. The organization says its national, state and local chapters gave more than $45 million last year in cash and scholarships.

The pageant was preceded by a one-hour television special on TLC, "Miss America: Behind the Curtain."

The contestants picked 12 women from their own ranks who faced a public vote for a spot among the 15 finalists. Stam, a Seymour, Ind., native, was one of four finalists chosen by viewers last year.

The crowning of a Miss America began in 1921 as a publicity stunt to persuade tourists on Atlantic City's Boardwalk to stick around after Labor Day.

The bathing revue blossomed in the age of television into an American pop icon before fading in later years and losing it place on network TV in 2004. It moved to the Las Vegas Strip in 2006 in an attempt to reinvent itself and has found a home on cable television.