Miss Connecticut reaches top 5 at Miss America



Miss Connecticut Jillian Duffy, right, walks beside Miss Delaware Hillary May during the red carpet ceremony before the Miss America finals at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Dec. 19. MIKE CHAIKEN PHOTO

Miss Connecticut Jillian Duffy was awash in numbers last week at Miss America.
The former Miss Wolcott provided one of the best performances in the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Organization’s history, placing as fourth runner up for the Miss America crown.
As the evening progressed at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Dec. 19, Duffy, who won the Miss Connecticut crown her fifth time trying for it, found herself selected for the top 15, then the top 7 (in which she was given a “job interview” by the celebrity judges singer Kelly Rowland, Karama of “Queer Eye,” and Lauren Ash of “Superstore”). Then she was picked for the top 5, in which she was able to sing before a national audience watching NBC.
Just as importantly for Duffy, this week was the nine-year anniversary of being cancer free. She is a leukemia survivor.

Miss Connecticut Jillian Duffy introduces herself at the opening of the Miss America finals at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville on Dec. 19.

After performing her song as part of the telecast, Ash told Duffy, “I felt goosebumps. I loved it so very much. Congratulations. I really felt emotion coming from you. I thought it was really, really beautiful.”
The title of Miss America eventually went to Miss Virginia Camille Schrier.
First runner up was Miss Georgia, Victoria Hill and the second runner up was Miss Missouri, Simone Esters.

The new Miss America Camille Schrier speaks at a post-competition press conference at the Mohegan Sun on Dec. 19.