Most Miss America contestants dance or sing a solo during the talent portion of the show, but during last night's pageant, Miss Ohio brought her puppet, Roxy. Miss Ohio, MacKenzie Bart, was the show's first ventriloquist in 50 years. She and her flirtatious, Dolly Parton look-alike puppet performed Mary Poppins's "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."
Bart is a senior at Ohio State University majoring in atmospheric sciences. She told People that she started practicing ventriloquism at the age of 10 because of Shari Lewis and her puppet Lamb Chop. She was among the top 10 semifinalists, before being cut.
The winner, Miss New York Kira Kazantsev, performed on the cups — yes, the cups — for her talent. This is the third year running that Miss New York has won the title.
The last and only ventriloquist to win Miss America was Vonda Van Dyke in 1965.