The final night of preliminaries for Miss America 2019 concluded with paying tribute to past Miss Americas and getting one step closer to crowning the next Miss America.
Miss Massachutsetts Gabriela Taveras, 23, won a $1000 scholarship for her onstage and private judges' interview. On stage, Taveras explained how, if given the opportunity to travel abroad as Miss America, she would represent the country during the new onstage question category.
"When I have gone abroad, the one thing I always want [the locals] to know is that we, as Americans, are supporting them and we are there to help them," citing several mission trips she has taken overseas, "it's allow me to show them the values of being American".
Taveras also was one of the three candidates who won a $5000 STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering Math scholarship.
She has a bachelor's degree in neuroscience from Emmanuel College in Boston and has lofty ambitions to earn a Master's degree in International Relations and Business Administration and possibly work towards a Ph.D.
"I think with these two awards, I've paid off my student debt!" said Taveras.
During a night of talents featuring speed painting, clogging, jazz dancing and ventriloquism, her rendition of "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra helped Miss Indiana Lydia Tremaine, 20, win the $2000 preliminary talent scholarship.
Coming from a musical family, Tremaine said she's been singing her whole life, but her passion is music education and plans to teach at the middle school level.
Past Miss Americas 1994 Kim Aiken and 1969 Judith Ford were celebrated on stage for their milestone anniversaries. Aiken, who was not in attendance, has her Miss America year highlighted with a video tribute featuring her powerful vocal talent performance of "Summertime" and her crowning moment, while Miss America 1969 Judith Ford talked about performing her "too masculine" talent, a trampoline routine in Boardwalk Hall 50 years ago.
Bebe Shopp, who is celebrating a 70th anniversary since wearing the Miss America crown, took a moment to explain the history of changes within the Miss America Organization, set forward by legendary pageant executive director Lenora Slaughter.
"She helped institute interviews that went in dept to find out what these women were like. Because this is what Miss America does, she probably will perform, she'll always look like, but how does she handle the press and the public for a whole year? And that was indeed the biggest challenge of all" Shoppe said.
The next Miss America event in the annual Show Us Your Shoes parade, beginning at 5 p.m. at New Jersey Avenue and ending at Albany Avenue.
The Miss America Competition will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. Sunday night on ABC Networks.