Las Vegas, NV, United States (AHN) – There she is! Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012.
The beauty from Wisconsin was crowned Saturday night at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Hosted by Chris Harrison of The Bachelor and Brooke Burke-Charvet of Dancing With the Stars, the event featured blinding pearly white smiles, sparkling floor-length gowns and Barbie-doll figures.
Judges included “Dancing With the Stars” pro Mark Ballas; ABC reality honcho Mike Fleiss; Kris Jenner, matriarch of the Kardasian clan; actress Teri Polo; and “Good Morning America” anchor Lara Spencer.
Kaeppeler, 23, majored in music and vocal performance at a private Lutheran liberal arts college in Kenosha. She said she originally wanted to become a speech therapist. For the talent competition, Kaeppler sang an operatic piece.
After winning the $50,000 scholarship and the title, Kaeppeler said she plans to pursue a career specializing in helping children of incarcerated adults.
The fourth runner-up was Miss California; third was Miss Arizona; and second was Miss New York. Taking the spot as first runner-up was Miss Oklahoma, Betty Thompson.