Miss America

Miss Alabama Deidre Downs wins Miss America

An aspiring doctor who put off medical school to compete for the Miss America crown won it Saturday night. Miss Alabama Deidre Downs of Birmingham outsmarted and outperformed 51 other women in a spiced-up version of the 83-year-old pageant. The competition included a head-to-head showdown between the last two contestants. Downs sang "I'm Afraid This Must Be Love" for her talent routine.

She bested Miss Louisiana Jennifer Dupont, who performed a jazz dance for hers. Miss North Carolina Kristin Elrod was second runner-up, followed by Miss Arkansas Lacy Fleming and Miss California Veena Goel. The contestants competed in racy two-piece swimsuits provided to Miss America under a two-year sponsorship deal with maker Speedo.