New York (Telephost) - MISS New York Camille Sims may not have won the Miss America crown, but her response to a particularly blunt political question did win the night.
After singing her way into the top seven, Ms Sims continued vying for the coveted 2016 crown in the Q&A round. The 23-year-old was then asked a question each of the ladies had probably prepared for in some form or another — what she thinks of her own state’s most colourful character, Donald Trump.
Ms Sims had 20 seconds to answer. Here’s how she responded: “I think that he’s a bright reminder of how our country needs to come together. If you don’t agree with his message, then it’s time to decide where you stand in this debate.”
At first, it appeared as though Ms Sims was throwing her support behind the Republican presidential candidate. But she wasn’t done just yet.
“As Americans, we need to make sure that we come together,” she continued. “Represent what it means to be American, which is celebrating all people from all backgrounds, whether you’re an immigrant, or a Native American, or an African American, or an Asian American.”
The finalist’s eloquent answer, complete with ever-so-subtle shade thrown at the billionaire businessman, is arguably what contributed to her being named second runner-up out of 52 contestants.
Nearly every question during Sunday night’s interview portion was about politics, Hollywood Life reports, which many contestants opted to duck and dodge without really forming an opinion.
Miss Maryland Hannah Brewer claimed she was supporting both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Miss Arkansas Savvy Shields, who eventually took home the crown on Sunday night to become Miss America 2017, was asked what she thinks of Clinton.
“If you’re trying to be leader of the free world, everything you say and do matters and all of your actions are held to a higher standard,” Shields responded. “Both of the contestants have done a good job, but they also need to watch what they’re doing.”
Speaking to reporters after the pageant, Miss America 2017 elaborated on her answer.
“What I want both candidates to focus on is compromise,” she said. “Our country was founded on compromise. We’re in a state now where both parties just seem to be yelling at one another. I hope that at the end of my year, we’re starting to reward politicians for compromise.”
Ms Shields topped a field of 52 contestants to win the crown, succeeding the outgoing Miss America Betty Cantrell.