Miss America first prelim

The 51 contestants of the Miss America 2018 pageant take the stage at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City for the first night of preliminary competition Wednesday night. Wednesday, September 6

ERIN GRUGAN / Staff Photographer

The Miss America 2018 Competition began Wednesday night with strong performances from the 51 contestants. 

Seventeen of the contestants showcased their mostly musical talents, which ranged from classical to modern. Miss Florida performed an piano piece by Chopin, while Miss West Virigina did a hip-hop dance to Janet Jackson's "Burn It Up".

But it was Miss Utah JessiKate Riley's performance of a classical violin arrangement that won her the first night's talent award and a $2,000 scholarship. 

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