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Unusual Miss America Talents

1949: Water ballet (Patricia Cunningham, IN).

1955: Comic monologue of a novice golfer titled “What Do I Do Now, Mr. McLeod?” (Beth Andre, AZ); speech on how to pack a suitcase (Carol Jennette, MD).

1956: Dramatic sketch titled “A Dream: Faith Over Atheistic Sciences” (Joan Beckett, CA).

1957: Organ medley including “Tea for Two” (Marilyn Van Derbur, CO); rodeo exhibition (June Prichard, TX); trampoline and tumbling to the theme from The Third Man (Amanda Whitman, TN).

1959: Original dramatic interpretation of a beatnik (Beverly Ann Domareki, NJ); vocal impersonation of Maurice Chevalier (Elizabeth Holmes, NY); speech on fashion designing and tractor driving (Diana Klug, CT); character dance to “Tequila” (Jacqueline Winterrose, UT).

1960: Impression of a young hillbilly girl at a major league baseball game (Ann Susan Barber, NJ).

1961: Tap dance to recorded version of her own voice singing “Somebody Loves Me” (Maria Fletcher, NC); dramatic reading of “The Yellow Wallpaper” (LaVerda Garrison, ID); dramatic interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount (Karen Scalise, CT).

1965: Dramatic reading of “The Hazards of Nuclear Fallout” (Mabel Bendiksen, MA).

1966: Original song titled “I’m in a Pageant!” (Vicki Hurd, TN).

1969: Original comedy monologue titled “Interview with Cleopatra, Shirley Temple and Tiny Tim” (Kathleen Ennis, AZ); acrobatic ballet to theme from Exodus (Marilyn Allen, AR).

1973: Ballet roller skating to Swan Lake (Ellen Meade, FL).

1974: Gymnastics dance to the theme from Midnight Cowboy (Cynthia Erb, NH).

1976: Vibes solo of “Bandstand Boogie” (Karen Land, CO); organ medley including “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (Theme From the Coke Commercial)” (RaNae Peterson, ID).

1977: The theme from The Beverly Hillbillies on banjo (Julie Houston, AL).

1981: Ventriloquist interpretation of Laverne & Shirley (Angelina Johnson, TN).

1982: Rifle-twirling routine to a Herzegovinian March (Laura Matthys, OR); baton twirling to theme from Magnum, P.I. (Gale Lee Thomas, HI); gymnastics dance to the theme from CHiPs (Jill Qyckoff, VT).

1987: Marimba interpretation of “Hava Nagila” (Aurelie McCarthy, MA).

1989: Freestyle rollerskating to “Amazing Grace” (Tammy Kettunen, AZ).

1992: Flute Solo of the theme from Star Wars (Shannon Boy, AR).

1993: Flute solo of “Dueling Banjos” (Elizabeth Mosely, OK); character ballet to “Turkey in the Straw” (Lisa Michelle Duncan, CA).

1995: Vocal and puppetry to “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King (Amy Ciccolella, CO).

1998: Acro-jazz dance to the “Stampede!” from The Lion King (Stephanie Stanley, ME); “Yankee Doodle” on electric violin (Katie Millar, UT).

2007: Irish step dance to “Dueling Violins” and “Footloose” (Maggie Ireland, CO).

2010: Clogging to “Soul Man” (Adrienne Core, NC); ventriloquism/vocal “I Want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” (Alyse Eady, AR); tap dance to “9 to 5” (Melaina Shipwash, CO).

2011: Jump rope routine to theme from Hawaii Five-O (Lauren Cheape, HI); ballet en pointe to the theme from Superman (Katharyn Nicolle, NJ).


Previously: Your 2021 Miss America Baby Name Guide.

Sarah Marshall would probably make a list as her talent if she ever competed at Miss America, or maybe organize a closet a la Corky Sherwood.

Photo by sportgraphic, via Shutterstock


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