by MIKE CHAIKEN
Fashion icon Miss Connecticut Alyssa Taglia evoked the spirit of music icon Tina Turner as the Miss America preliminary competition began on Tuesday night in Atlantic City.
Tina Turner in the 1960s was a perpetual motion dancing machine on stage, grooving and moving with bangles, baubles, and fringe hanging from her dress swaying and shaking as a soul and rock mixture cooked behind her.
With shades of Turner looming over the stage, Taglia pulled her hair back in a ‘60s-style high pony tail, pulled on a dance costume with the same kind of sartorial hippy hippy shake that made Turner famous, and tap-danced to Ike and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” during the talent competition at the Boardwalk Hall.
Earlier in the evening, during the introduction of the contestants, Taglia kept it simple and classy with a little blue dress with geometric cutouts on the sleeve. For the introduction to open the pageant, besides the blue dress, Taglia kept her hair down and her makeup reflected her love for the old Hollywood glamour goddesses.
During the first of three preliminary nights for the “2017 Miss America Competition” in Boardwalk Hall, Miss Tennessee, Grace Burgess was named Tuesday night’s preliminary Talent winner for her vocal performance of “Desperado.” Grace will receive a $2,000 scholarship. Also capturing the spotlight was Miss District of Columbia, Cierra Jackson, who was the preliminary Lifestyle and Fitness winner in a pink Irene West swimsuit. Cierra will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Tonight, Taglia in the On Stage Question.
Thursday night, Taglia competes in swimwear and unveils “the dress” in the Evening Gown competition.
On Sunday, the Miss America finals will be held, being broadcast on ABC.
CORRECTION SEPT. 8: Looking at the photographs on the second light, with better light, Alyssa Taglia’s introductory dress was navy blue not black.
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN