Las Vegas, NV – January 29, 2007 – Miss Oklahoma Lauren Nelson from Lawton, Oklahoma was crowned Miss America 2007 tonight at the Aladdin, soon to be Planet Hollywood, Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The Miss America 2007 final night of competition was broadcast live from Las Vegas, on CMT.

Nelson’s walk across the stage marked her first steps on a journey that will take her from spotlight to spotlight, coast to coast, traveling approximately 20,000 miles each month during her upcoming year of service. This year the Miss America Organization has chosen the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) as its National Platform. Miss America 2007 will be the official National Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network as she raises funds and awareness for CMN and the Miss America Organization.

Nelson, age 20, is a student at the University of Central Oklahoma. Her personal platform issue is Be NetSmart – Protecting Kids Online. Her scholastic ambition is to obtain a Master’s Degree in Musical Theatre and her career ambition is to become a Broadway performer. With the title, Nelson won a $50,000 scholarship to continue her education. She was crowned Miss America during the final night of competition, which aired live from Las Vegas on CMT. Nelson sang “You’ll Be in My Heart” as her talent selection for the evening.

The first runner-up was Miss Texas Shilah Phillips, of Plano, Texas who earned a $25,000 scholarship after singing, “I Believe in You and Me,” as her talent. Phillips hopes to become a professional recording artist and her personal platform was Never Give Up.

Second runner-up honors and a $15,000 award went to Miss Georgia Amanda Kozak of Warner Robins, Georgia, who performed a Tap Dance to “Baby I’m A Star.”

The Miss Congeniality Award was handed out, going to Miss Alabama Melinda Toole. The Miss Congeniality Award is given to the contestant who is most liked and respected by her peers. In September, while in Los Angeles filming the CMT special Pageant School: Becoming Miss America, the 52 contestants voted for Miss Congeniality. On January 26, the top three contestants were announced during the premiere of Pageant School and America got to vote for the winner, who was announced live at the 2007 Miss America Pageant. Toole will receive a $2,000 scholarship.

As the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women and one of the nation's leading achievement programs, The Miss America Organization, and its state and local organizations, last year made available more than $45 million in cash and tuition scholarship assistance.

The Miss America Organization provides young women with a vehicle to further their personal and professional goals and instills a spirit of community service through a variety of unique nationwide community-based programs.

Additional information about the Miss America Organization can be found at http://www.MissAmerica.org.

For up-to-the-minute competition news and information as well as downloadable high-resolution images, visit the 24-hour access online pressroom at http://www.MissAmericaPressRoom.com.


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