Miss America 2011? It’s Miss Nebraska, Teresa Scanlan

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Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan, 17, donned the crown as Miss America 2011 on Saturday night in Las Vegas, following in the footsteps of last year’s queen, Caressa Cameron out of Virginia.

The winner of a $50,000 scholarship, she plans to go to law school and hopes to go into politics.

‘At this point, attorneys and politicians are looked down on and have terrible reputations for being greedy and power hungry,’ the teen said, ‘and I really think it’s important for people who have their heart and mind in the right place get into those powerful positions.’


And how did she charm the judges, aside from the gown and swimsuit? She played the piano, and told judges she thinks security trumps the public’s right to knowledge when it comes to leaked government information.

Scanlan is the first Miss America from Nebraska in the competition’s 90 years. Her beauty queen diet? ‘I never passed up a cookie on my journey here,’ she said.

Click the picture for more photos from the 2011 Miss America Pageant.


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-- Christie D’Zurilla

The Associated Press contributed to this report.