Mattapoisett native struts her stuff on the Miss America stage

By Andrea Ray | Sep 07, 2017
Courtesy of: Miss America Organization Jillian Zucco shines during the evening wear portion of the first day of preliminary competition.

Atlantic City — The first day of the preliminary Miss America competition is over, and and it gave Mattapoisett native Jillian Zucco, this year's Miss Massachusetts, the chance to strut her award-winning skills.

"I loved every second in interview with our incredible judges' panel and on the Miss America stage last night!" Zucco reported via her Facebook page.

The preliminary competition is staged in a certain way: the competitors are split into three groups, with each competing in different preliminary events on Thursday and Friday. Zucco's group tackled the judges' interview, the evening wear competition and the lifestyle and fitness division on Wednesday, September 6.

A contestant's final score is made up of percentages; a certain percent of her final score, for example, is from the talent portion of the competition, while another percentage is from the interview portion.

The percentages aren't binding; a Miss America representative explained that in a previous year, one contestant had won two preliminary divisions, and failed to move into the top 15 finalists regardless. The representative noted that the final 15 contestants are chosen by the panel of preliminary judges.

Preliminary events will continue over the weekend, untelevised. Check for regular updates.

Zucco's interview as a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) finalist was held September 7.  Miss America selects five competitors with a STEM-based educational major to compete in an extra interview round. The top three finalists will receive three $5,000 educational scholarships each. Results will be posted as they appear.

Zucco, a certified telemetry nurse in Massachusetts, plans to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in the future, and become a Nurse Educator. She was also awarded the Invaleon STEM Scholarship during the Miss Massachusetts competition.

The final portion of Miss America will air live on ABC at 9 p.m. on Sunday, September 10.

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