Miss Arkansas bags Miss America crown

Atlantic City (USA): Miss Arkansas, Savvy Shields, claimed the title of Miss America 2017 - beating 51 other contestants at the pageant held here, media reports said.

On Sunday, the 21-year-old bagged the crown, succeeding outgoing Miss America Betty Cantrell. She also won a $50,000 college scholarship.

"I am so honored and very humbled to be standing in front of you today as your Miss America. And that feels so weird to say out loud," Shields said talking to reporters after the event.

Shields performed a jazz dance to "They Just Keep Moving the Line" from the TV show "Smash," for which she won a preliminary competition earlier in the week, CBS News reported.

In the onstage interview portion she responded to a question about Hillary Clinton.

"If you're trying to be leader of the free world, everything you say and do matters and all of your actions are held to a higher standard," she said.

After her run as Miss America, Shields will return to the University of Arkansas as a senior studying art. "I want to hopefully work in a museum and teach at a collegiate level," reported USA Today.

The 1st runner-up was Miss South Carolina, Rachel Wyatt, and the 2nd runner-up was Miss New York, Camille Sims, both of whom earned scholarships worth $25,000 and $20,000 respectively. 

Along with Shields, Wyatt and Sims, the top 15 was rounded out by Miss Washington, Miss Massachusetts, Miss Idaho, Miss Iowa, Miss Texas, Miss California, Miss Oklahoma, Miss Maryland, Miss Tennessee, Miss Louisiana and Miss Mississippi. 

The competition kicked off with the swimsuit round before the women strutted their stuff in evening gowns. 

After taking part in a ceremonial toe-dip in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday morning, Shields' year-long duties as the titleholder will begin. 

Shields will embark on a national speaking tour to serve her platform, Eat Better, Live Better, and will act as the official National Goodwill Ambassador for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, reported dailymail.co.uk.