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Tuesday, April 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Final night of prelims Friday in swimsuit-less Miss America

Miss Virginia Emili McPhail, left, won the onstage interview portion and Miss Louisiana Holli’ Conway, right, won the talent portion of the second night of preliminary competition in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City N.J. on Thursday Sept. 6, 2018. (Wayne Parry / Associated Press)
Miss Virginia Emili McPhail, left, won the onstage interview portion and Miss Louisiana Holli’ Conway, right, won the talent portion of the second night of preliminary competition in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City N.J. on Thursday Sept. 6, 2018. (Wayne Parry / Associated Press)
By Wayne Parry Associated Press

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The third and final night of preliminary competition in the swimsuit-less Miss America pageant is set for Friday night.

During the first two nights of competition, some of the onstage interview questions that are replacing swimsuits have touched on hot button issues, including NFL national anthem protests.

A question on the propriety of those protests helped propel Miss Virginia Emili McPhail to a preliminary win Thursday night.

She told judges players have the right to protest by kneeling, noting that the real issue is police brutality.

In the talent competition, Miss Louisiana Holli’ Conway won for a vocal performance, singing “I Believe.”

On Wednesday , Miss Florida Taylor Tyson won the talent competition for a piano performance, and Miss Wisconsin Tianna Vanderhei won the interview competition for her comments on education.

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