Miss Louisiana Laryssa Bonacquisti won the swimsuit and talent round in the prelims. Miss Florida Sara Zeng and Miss Texas Margana Wood also won the Lifestyle and Fitness rounds. Miss Minnesota Brianna Drevlow and Miss Utah JessiKate Riley won the talent rounds.
Miss Louisiana Laryssa Bonacquisti
The talent of Laryssa Bonacquisti is in the blood. She is the daughter of Miss New Jersey 1990, Lynette Falls Bonacquisti. For her ventriloquist act, she uses a yellow puppet called Waddles. She has been practicing her skill for 16 years. Her platform is pancreatic cancer. Miss Louisiana won the swimsuit round on the second night of Miss America prelims.
Miss Florida Sara Zeng
Sara Zeng specializes in classical piano music and her platform is Music Matters! She hopes to one day play the piano for a great artist like Beyoncé. As a music student, she hopes to earn a Master's Degree in Music Education and Music Therapy. She has already received her Baccalaureate in Music Education. She enjoys teaching elementary students.
Miss Texas Margana Wood
With the devastation in Texas by Hurricane Harvey, she opened on the effects in her community. Her talent is dancing.
Miss Minnesota Brianna Drevlow
During the second night of the preliminary competitions, Miss Minnesota won. She plays the piano to the 1924 composition of George Gershwin "Rhapsody in Blue". She is a graduate student in music at the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University. She hopes to one day become the dean there.
According to the official website, her platform is Brenna's Brigade: Juvenile Arthritis Awareness. She gets inspired by her eight-year-old sister, Brenna, who struggles with arthritis. She is a goodwill ambassador for the Children's Miracle Network and Arthritis Foundation. Brianna advocates the awareness of pediatric autoimmune diseases. It is a support network for children and families struggling with juvenile arthritis.
Miss Utah JessiKate Riley
Riley was a Miss America Preliminary Talent Award winner this year. She also won Miss Utah's Outstanding Teen 2014. During the contest, Riley said her goal is to represent all those who feel unable to follow their dreams. And, on her way to Miss America, Riley posted a photo of herself as a child, playing the violin.