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Miss Virginia Claims 2010 Miss America Title

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Jan. 30: Caressa Cameron is crowned Miss America. (AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron won the 2010 Miss America title Saturday night after strutting in a skintight yellow dress, belting Beyonce's "Listen" from "Dreamgirls" and telling kids they should get outside more often.

Cameron, 22, won a $50,000 scholarship and the crown in Las Vegas after a pageant that started with 53 contestants. She outlasted her opponents in swimsuit, evening gown, talent and interview competitions.

Cameron is broadcast journalism student at Virginia Commonwealth University, and wants to become a news anchor.

When asked during the interview portion of the competition her thoughts on fighting childhood obesity, Cameron said parents should curb television and video games.

"We need to get our kids back outside, playing with sticks in the street like I did when I was little," she said. "Expand your mind, go outside and get to see what this world is like."

Cameron said her win was a testament to her family's strength.

"You can be and become anything that you want to be, even Miss America," she said.

Miss California Kristy Cavinder was the first runner-up, winning $25,000.

The young women who came out on stage at the beginning of the pageant and danced to "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas are from all 50 states plus Washington, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

After a week of preliminary competition, they each introduced themselves to the crowd Saturday at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

The judges, the public and contestants themselves then trimmed the field over the next two hours.

Actor and "Extra" host Mario Lopez hosted the 89-year-old pageant with help from Clinton Kelly of TLC's "What Not to Wear." The pageant was broadcast live on TLC.

The panel of judges included conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, actress Vivica Fox, musician Dave Koz, Miss America 2002 Katie Harman, gymnast Shawn Johnson and former "American Idol" finalist Brooke White. Comedian Paul Rodriguez was set to be a judge, but organizers said he pulled out because of a family emergency.

Cameron, crowned by 2009 Miss America Katie Stam, will embark on a yearlong run with the title to represent the organization and raise awareness for her chosen platform.

The crowning of a Miss America began in 1921 as a publicity stunt to persuade tourists on Atlantic City's Boardwalk to stick around after Labor Day.

The bathing revue blossomed in the age of television into an American pop icon before fading in later years and losing it place on network TV in 2004. It moved to the Las Vegas Strip in 2006 in an attempt to reinvent itself and has found a home on cable television.

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