Katie Stam of Indiana has been crowned 2009’s Miss America. The 22-year-old University of Indianapolis student, who was battling a throat infection and laryngitis, won the title by wowing the judges with her singing abilities, sexy bikini and revealing lacy evening gown.
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During the question and answer section, Katie was asked about the prevalence of performance enhancing drugs among professional athletes. She decried the use of drugs in sports, saying that sports stars, like everyone in the public eye, need to be positive role models.
The 88th Miss America pageant was slightly different this year. In a bid to increase ratings, the organizers introduced a reality show element. Before the telecast, viewers of Miss America: Countdown to the Crown were able to decide 4 of the 15 finalists. The finalists chosen by viewers were Miss South Dakota Alexandra Hoffman, Miss Georgia Chasity Hardman, Miss Indiana Katie Stam, and Miss Alabama Amanda Tapley.
Katie wins a $50,000 scholarship and will spend the next year travelling the United States.