Jill Stevens: 'America's choice' — Yet Michigan's Kirsten Haglund crowned Miss America 2008

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  • Dr.highspeed
    May 23, 2009 9:30 p.m.

    While being a combat medic myself from the same beautiful state of utah. And deployed to bagram airfield in the same aid station she once served in years ago and seeing casualtys like she has. I must say that it felt good to know that there is still a set of moralls amongst americas beauty girls

  • michael thomas
    May 21, 2008 3:01 p.m.

    there was much more to the miss america contest than swimsuit, it is won in interview. i have judged all around the country and believe me i know it is won in interview! Jill was a TOTAL delight and i am so PROUD of her! I prefer the one piece suits as well. As a BUCKEYE from OHIO, we need MORAL role models! THANKS JILL!!!!

  • cloaeknitfamily
    Feb. 10, 2008 5:15 p.m.

    I watched a little bit of of the reality show on TLC and then watched the pageant I love Miss Utah's hair cut I've been searching for photo's to show my stylist...it's been hard!

    I really think she should have won she was so spunky, beautiful and most importantly "All American" Good luck to her in everything she does.

  • OK fan
    Jan. 31, 2008 9:31 a.m.

    I did not follow the Miss America Pageant, I gave up watching them long ago based on their vary narrow views of judging beauty. But living in Oklahoma, I was surprised to hear my son come home from school saying he had met Miss Utah. She was apparently on a personal trip visiting friends at a local Air Force base and took time out to come talk to the DARE class. She made a HUGE impression on the kids and it was the talk of their DARE Graduation as well as in the rest of the school. It was something my son will not soon forget. His only regret is not having a picture! Thank you Jill, you are truly a class act. That is something that is obvious to all, regardless of the decision of a handful of narrow minded, status quo, judges.

  • I've met Jill and....
    Jan. 31, 2008 8:18 a.m.

    Jill sang the national anthem at a 5k activity I attended 2 years ago. I had a chance to talk to her. She's the real thing. About the pageant: the real problem is the value set of the judges; low standards and looking for the wrong things. Also,the lame pre-pageant reality show judged by some gay guys who think they know everything about fashion and poise and are too overcome by their self-importance really missed the mark. Unfortunately I think the pageant judges paid too much attention to that program and unfairly let the program sway their opinions and judgement. Jill clearly stood above the others in values and example. I think Jill is the kind of person that all us moms and dads would like our little girls to idolize. She's the true American girl, yes a true Miss America!

  • John
    Jan. 30, 2008 7:21 p.m.

    I salute Ms. Stevens for her accomplishments. She is a person to be admired for all she has done, and a truly a winner in the real world of life.

    It was unlikely she would have won this "competition" which is largely a fanatasy fest for air-head bimbos who make a career out of "competing" for silly titles, as she clearly does not fit that stereotype.

    Yes, she was different from the others, and we are proud of her and can hold her up as a role model for our kids.

    Well done, soldier!

  • MSG Tuki.
    Jan. 30, 2008 6:53 p.m.

    Jill,
    You rock, it was awsome to be there supporting you.Its done and you rock the house.You are a winner. You are a role model to young women in Utah,Country, and the Armed Forces.Thanks to the American Legion.

  • Friends
    Jan. 30, 2008 6:39 p.m.

    WOW! What amazing comments I have read today. First off...this is a scholarship pageant. I know when I won...the money helped me get through my education. I am so grateful for the oppurtunity I had to better myself. Thank you pageant directors and staff, for all the hard work that you go through to help so many. Yes I was there, and yes I am hoping that this great tradition continues on, but PLEASE lets get back to MISS AMERICA with taste. Oh and just so you know....The new Miss America and Jill...oh yeah....FRIENDS!!!!

  • Rich
    Jan. 30, 2008 3:09 p.m.

    I think Jill is smoking hot. She seemed fun and talented. Incidentally, the winner had way too much make-up on. Way too much.

  • TLC
    Jan. 30, 2008 12:41 p.m.

    Come on people, please.

    There is nothing immoral or immodest with wearing a two-piece bathing suit, it's a bathing suit! She would have been better off wearing the two-piece and increasing her chances of getting to the finals. There Jill could have done even more for her causes. It also would have been a boost to The National Guard. Why not look beautiful in a two piece and still show that you have values? Being in a beauty pageant means nothing about a persons morals or values. It's not a moral compass contest and we shouldn't be judging it that way.

  • Aaron Hemsley
    Jan. 30, 2008 10:36 a.m.

    Until Missed America designs a program around real activities and real people it will always be known as a simplicistic and sexist view of women e.g. Playboy and SI swim suit edition.

    Having a contestent who is in the Nat'l Guard, while we are at war, what an opportunity to show the world that Missed America is about something more than a sex contest.

    Isn't a 5k run a better indicator of fitness than a swim suit? How about a 100 yard swim or a 25 mile time trial bike ride? Nope, not for Missed America they would rather glue their swim suit to their butt and then joke about it. Now that's depth.

    Missed America is actually just what it has always been. A program targteted to men's sexists attitudes. So where are all the feminists? Tell me, How can throwing three batons in the field compare to serving in the Natl Guard? Who can provide a greater model for young women in tomorrow's world?

    Congrats to Utahans, they got it right when they selected 2008's Miss Utah.















  • Rich
    Jan. 30, 2008 7:53 a.m.

    Maybe a fitness contest with the contestants clad as the original Olympians would settle the issue!

  • Idaho
    Jan. 30, 2008 12:41 a.m.

    Well the Barbie Miss America won again. I feel like all the hype building up to the pageant was just that...hype.
    I am not saying that Ms Michigan was undeserving, it just that I know very few if any 19 year olds that can be a real role model.
    I do agree that her evening gown was a disaster and I would have hidden my sons eyes if he had been watching. Isnt modesty something we want to impress upon our youth?
    I agree fully with America's Choice...and that is the best recognition of all.
    Congratulation Miss Utah...you are awesome!!

  • kelli
    Jan. 29, 2008 11:06 p.m.

    Miss Utah has more respect for herself and for her values than any other woman in that pageant. It showed when she wore a modest t-shirt in the beginning and it showed when she chose to wear a one piece swimsuit. It showed by the way she carried herself though the whole night and it even showed during her push up escapade. To me that speaks lounder than any answer given during the question portion of that program.

  • Kyle from AZ
    Jan. 29, 2008 10:45 p.m.

    All of you need to pull your head out of you know where over this one piece two piece crap. Is what she wore really any more modest than the two piece suits worn by the other contestants??? HELLO!!! Pulled half way up her crotch and essentially no different off the shoulder than any two piece. Yet you mormon women applaud her for wearing the two piece. This is what I hate about cultural mormonism as it exists today in the church. Her swimsuit was just as immodest people hello. Do you live on planet earth!!! Mormons need to get over thus indoctrination in young women's that a two piece is immodest but if it is a one pice it gets a pass no matter what. Stupidity...utter stupidity. I wonder if you people ever use your brian when considering these things. Stuff like this is what makes mormons look stupid and weird.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 29, 2008 4:49 p.m.

    To Jenna C: A near perfect GPA in high school (or after a few GE's in college, which is about all she's had time to complete) isn't impressive. Show me her perfect GPA near the end of her college stay and then it will mean something to me. Also, wanting to enter in to a pageant to earn scholarship money is a pretty lame-o excuse, especially since pageants aren't cheap to compete in. Hollywood judges weren't going to pick a soldier for Miss America. It would look like too much support for the war in Afghanistan (which they think translates into support for Bush), there's no way that they would do that.

  • Mike W
    Jan. 29, 2008 4:39 p.m.

    Kudos to anonymous! Since they won't print my earlier post I'll just agree that I don't see what the fuss is over her?

  • Holly
    Jan. 29, 2008 4:34 p.m.

    I laughed when Miss Michigan won, she looks just like last years winner. I guess they forgot to tell the judges that the pageant wants a different look this year. I loved that she did push-ups that was original. She stuck to her values, she wins the crown in my book.

  • A happy father
    Jan. 29, 2008 3:42 p.m.

    Wow... Jill, you give a father of a young girl hope... One piece swim suit in the Miss America comp? Thank you for showing girls everywhere a positive example. Keep it up...

  • Kim is great
    Jan. 29, 2008 1:31 p.m.

    Miss Alaska should have won though...

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 29, 2008 1:01 p.m.

    Sorry if I offend all you gushing people out there, but Jill was an annoying bore from the moment she got on TV on "Reality Check." All she could say was, "I don't know what I'm doing!" and then clumsily stumble around. What was her competition like in Miss Utah? Apes? I think pageants are ridiculous and pointless, but I also think that in order to win Miss America, you better have something more going for you than just being in the National Guard.

    I hope role models are based on more than if someone wears a one-piece swimsuit. I'm LDS, and my two-piece swimsuit is a lot more modest than the skimpy one-pieces some young LDS women wear.

  • Proud
    Jan. 29, 2008 11:26 a.m.

    Thanks Jill for the beauty and goodness you represented. I wish you well in all you continue to do. - A veteran and father of 6 girls.

  • What change?
    Jan. 29, 2008 9:13 a.m.

    I was disappointed in the whole TLC event, starting with the "makeover" of the pagent. The only thing that changed was the fact that they want "Hollywood" types to be the role model now rather then "Barbie" types.

    It was refreshing to watch Jill need help in the photo shoots,the makeup and other areas.
    Jill was a great change, just the wrong type of change for the judges. By the way did the judges get the notice they were trying to change the competition?

  • mizzy
    Jan. 29, 2008 8:54 a.m.

    Jill was wonderful,but she looked so uncomfortable in her swimsuit,it does'nt matter if you wear a two piece or a one piece, or a garbage bag as long as you wear it with confidence,and Jill did not.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 29, 2008 8:49 a.m.

    The greatest moral decision facing our children today is one piece or two. On this decision rests our childrens future.

    Of course people are making too much of this.

    Was it moral? Depends on whom you ask. Certain cultures have different views on morality. In Arab countries the women dress much more modestly than American women. Amish, Mennonite, Quaker, and locally, polygamist women would never even wear a one piece suit in a beauty contest. Does that make their view of morality right?

    In short, what she did was moral because she felt it was. "To your own self be true." As for us, we should avoid judging others based on our own values.

    I thought Jill was a wonderful contestant and would have voted for her.

  • Crusader
    Jan. 29, 2008 8:44 a.m.

    The "Miss America" pageant, along with any other so called beauty pageant is wrong! It is exploitive, demeaning and very polarizing to say the least. Parents and friends who encourage this type of participation are always proud and puffed up. Boycotting the two piece and wearing a one piece swimsuit is not praiseworthy. Boycotting these type of commercial exploitations is.

  • Douglas
    Jan. 29, 2008 8:00 a.m.

    She lost fair and square. Congrats Miss Michigan.

  • hww
    Jan. 29, 2008 7:52 a.m.

    What the judges voted for on Saturday night is a sad reflection of what America values in a woman. America's culture is lacking in female role models who know that their value is not based on their physical beauty, but on how they live their lives.

    It's confusing for America's youth to see, through the media, that a woman's value rarely extends beyond her appearance. Since when did being "sexy" become the ultimate goal for the young women of America? How will this value lift our young women to become leaders of tomorrow?

    Jill Stevens demonstrated the values which will build a stronger future for this nation. Love of God, Country and Self and the integrity to stand for all three.

    I applaud Jill Stevens for having the morale courage to stand with the strength and conviction that has always made this country strong. You Go Jill! May your legacy live on in the hearts and minds of America's young women . . . who are America's future!

  • Tigg
    Jan. 29, 2008 7:37 a.m.

    Stop whining, Utah. The better state won, regardless of what type of swimsuit she wore. :)

  • Tonya from Las Vegas
    Jan. 29, 2008 7:23 a.m.

    The pagentI thought was supposed to be modern. Well how modern and up date can you get then a women who can do it all. I have four daughters two which were or are in the military. One served in Iraq for 15 months and just got back in sept. I saw the show and thought the judges got it wrong. She was and is a great role model.Courage yes to serve are country and go on stage in a one piece when everyone else is in a two piece. Heck she was the most fit person in the whole auditorium.

  • momzbizzy
    Jan. 29, 2008 12:58 a.m.

    to rj: 'Whether a woman wears one or the other says VERY LITTLE about her morals and values'

    i strongly disagree!! modesty certainly has to do with morality and values. that is just a small sample of the depth of her character. the fact that she didn't choose to strut across the stage bikini-clad speaks highly of her integrity and her unwillingness to buckle to mainstream pressure.

    what a refreshing change she would have been from the role models our young girls have...britney and jamie-lynn spears? paris hilton? lindsey lohan?

    i'm sure miss michigan will be a great role model and i wish her well...although i thought her talent was lacking...i'm not a huge opera fan, but miss cali's tone and pitch were far superior to miss michigan's performance.

  • momzbizzy
    Jan. 29, 2008 12:11 a.m.

    for mis-placed courage: 'Anyone who thinks morality of wearing a 1 piece vs 2 piece is that significant, needs to look around to world issues and see all the true moral issues that really do exist in the world. She sacrificed a lot for this choice. Think how much better the world would be if we were all willing to sacrifice as much on things that really mattered.'

    while a 1-piece vs. 2-piece may not seem like a huge moral issue to you, morality has to start somewhere...not to mention self-respect and self-worth! you are right, she DID sacrifice a lot for her choice...and although the bathing suit choice shows character for sticking to her standards and values, it pales in comparison next to the choice she made to serve her country...i have no doubt that she has made many others and is well aware of the serious moral issues that exist...she just doesn't go around 'tooting her own horn' about it. she didn't slam anyone for their choice of bathing suits...she simply chose to stand for something...


  • Disgusted
    Jan. 28, 2008 11:49 p.m.

    I was so disgusted and disappointed with the Miss America Pageant this year. For talking about how they were changing the image of the pageant to choose the all American girl they changed the image all right. It looked like they were prancing down the aisle to impress Hugh Hefner (sp)so they could win a place in his Play Boy magazines. I admired Miss Utah. She looked beautiful in her one piece suit. She was America's choice and she wasn't given the time of day. I will say the girl that won was cute, but she must have had something other than her talent that won the contest for her. Oh, I know it was the dress. It had to be the dress. Any one of the girls were far and above her in the line of talent. The dancers, the violinist etc. Interesting. Most pageants disgust me and now I can add the Miss America Pageant to the list.

  • Hope
    Jan. 28, 2008 11:05 p.m.

    I have not watched the Miss America contest for many years. I understood that this year would be different, that the image was to be changed. I watched as I understood we the public could vote.
    The vote from America - Jill Stevens was the real winner in all categories to me. I turned the TV off when she was eliminated - did not want to watch more of the same.
    I do hope the new Miss America will uphold American values which we need so desperately!

  • Lee
    Jan. 28, 2008 9:26 p.m.

    Did you seriously think you could win?

    1. Not a feminist (definition-be independent by giving yourself to men with no strings attached)
    1b. No Skin
    2. Love of country
    3. US Military

    Your a class act. No wonder you were cut.

  • awesomeron
    Jan. 28, 2008 9:00 p.m.

    I have some issues with people who enter the World of No Values, claiming they they are going to what ever it is yet they are going to keep their Values. In spite of everything. It is like you take a job in food service and then cry that you have to work on Sunday. The people in charge of these contest do not care about your moral values. The one piece swimsuit was cool but she lost points. She can't have it both ways. It is all over the Scriptures that you can't have it both ways. With the Judges the Phoney Baloney is much more vital then the Values. You are talking about people who live alternative lifestyles, are pro choice etc. So if you want to play in that world you have to take what you can get. Its about Evening Gowns, Swimsuits and suggestions of Sex, because that is what Males watch and that is what sells. If you do not want to watch that then turn the BYU Channel, or start a Miss Morals America Pagenet and see how far that goes.

  • viet vet
    Jan. 28, 2008 7:02 p.m.

    It is easy to be a armchair quarterback. All of those girls had to be beautiful, smart, & talented to be chosen to represent their state. They worked hard to get to that point. I for one was not there to personaly interview or meet any of them. I was hoping miss Utah would win & had I been a judge from my impressions from what I saw & heard she would have had my vote.. I can only imagine how hard it would be to choose one lovely young lady out of that group.. Had she won, would the debate be that she only won because she was in the service? She had that angle going for her? a no win situation for the judges. I am glad my daughters have never felt the need to compete in a beauty pagent, & hope my grand daughters never feel that they do either.

  • Annonymous
    Jan. 28, 2008 5:41 p.m.

    Jill knew exactly what it takes to be Miss America. She has been competing for 3+ years now and has worked with a team of experts. Did she think that the whole process of picking a new "it girl" was going to change in a couple of weeks? She didn't help her chances when she mocked the pageant on the reality show by over doing her make-up and ratting her hair. It seems to me she was living up her image of the token army girl and playing it up that she didn't know how to be a pageant girl. She has competed on the national level and didn't do a thing. Why did everyone think she was going to win Miss America?? If she wanted to win she should have been that pageant girl!

  • Ditto
    Jan. 28, 2008 5:34 p.m.

    To: Top Kick......You win. Best comment on the whole dang board. I'm not military. "Just" a mom with four kids who loves her husband. But your words connected and resonated here....thanks.

  • Scooter
    Jan. 28, 2008 5:00 p.m.

    Just wanted to comment on Jill's pair of morals and well roundedness.

  • Top Kick
    Jan. 28, 2008 4:28 p.m.

    As a soon to be 60 year old retired Army First Sergeant who has seen many Miss America pagents, I for one, believe that Jill is the most beutiful contestant ever. She is obviously pretty, but more than the obvious, her spirit is the one that reached out in such a way as to garner the "America's Choice Award". She obviously has wit and humor. She is definately fit. She is couragous in every sense of the word both in defense of her country and her morals. She is charming as evidenced by her becoming Miss Utah and a Miss America contestant. She has skills, M-16 maintenance, combat medic, etc. She filled out a one piece graciously amid a swarm of criticism. She indeed has the appearance of being the "All American" girl. So the question must be asked...what is Miss America all about?? It must be only the sterotypical "Barbie" can win. Perhaps a better name would be Miss American Barbie. I truely believe Jill a genuine REAL DEAL Miss America(n). But for all the "troops", I think the only thing she should have changed was the swin suit. It should have been a "CAMMO" one piece. Hoorah!!

  • Yo Jill
    Jan. 28, 2008 4:00 p.m.

    Start rocking the 2-piece. I can say that with my "free agency" right Re: BYU student 2:05 (3:33 p.m.)?

  • Mike W
    Jan. 28, 2008 3:37 p.m.

    I'm so sick of hearing about Jill. I'm sure she's a great woman and thank you to her for her service, but enough is enough. The push up thing was as cheesy as it gets and KUTV's poll comparing anchor Katie Baker to her is an insult to the prettier Baker!

  • KGardner
    Jan. 28, 2008 3:34 p.m.

    Was Miss Michigan chosen as the "IT" girl because of her platform of raising awareness of eating disorders? If so, (and taking nothing away from Miss Michigan)there is some irony there since the pageant continues to promote this unrealistic image of what beauty is, thereby continuing to pressure young women everywhere to do whatever it takes to look like a pageant girl. There were some other "real" girls in the pageant (including Miss Alaska and Miss Utah) but they didn't get much attention from the judges.

  • Re: BYU student 2:05 pm
    Jan. 28, 2008 3:33 p.m.

    All of us have our free agency to choose what we think is tasteful. We have made our choice and have made ours. Thanks for the input, but most people here are saying they appreciate the one piece she wore. By the way we aren't all from Utah as you assumed.

  • Bill (ret)
    Jan. 28, 2008 2:45 p.m.

    Just goes to show you how out of touch the Miss America judges are getting. The more out of touch they get - the more irrelevant the contest becomes.

    Jill clearly contributed more to this nation than any other contestant by far - on many levels. She's the true winner despite the judges' opinions.

  • Bob Pomeroy
    Jan. 28, 2008 2:45 p.m.

    It looks like her actions will result in removal of the bathing suit competition from the whole process, or should. It's something both conservative people and women's rights people can agree on. Such a trivial matter. Thank you all for making her America's Choice and thank you Jill for quietly asserting your moral position.

  • Friends from Turlock
    Jan. 28, 2008 2:36 p.m.

    Jill....you made it all so much fun to watch! You really have no idea how many of us out there in T.V. Land appreciated over and over and over your committment to beliefs and standards. Thank you for being someone we can point our fingers at while reminding our children that standing strong and immovable is not only possible, but ultimately the only correct choice. You were awesome. LOVED your reaction when your name was announced as the 'People's Choice.' We replayed it three or four times because you just made us laugh out loud!!

  • oink oink
    Jan. 28, 2008 2:26 p.m.

    As a man, i prefer teh ladiez to be in 2 piece
    leisure wear.

    Having said that, LDS standards aren't going to be adopted or accepted by the world as a whole anytime soon so why even take part in it expecting them too?

    If she was in it to make a statement about modesty, fine. If she was in it to win then she should've known better.

  • Proud of you.
    Jan. 28, 2008 2:20 p.m.

    Jill,
    You showed this country what morals really mean and I am proud to live in the same state! My family watched the reality show as well as the pageant and we were glad to know that there are still people to represent what the American population wants as their role model. You are a beautiful, strong, brave, and courageous woman to have been able to do what you do and have done for this country and I want you to know that you will be a role model for generations to come! Thanks for being you no matter what the "Judges" wanted! Congratulations on your achievements!

  • BYU student
    Jan. 28, 2008 2:05 p.m.

    Trust me, I've seen plenty of 2 piece swim suits down at Utah Lake being worn by BYU co-eds, there is NOTHING wrong with wearing a bikini!!! When are LDS Utahns going to get over that fact?

  • Guy Gardner
    Jan. 28, 2008 1:48 p.m.

    Thank you Jill: I was very glad to see you buck the trend and wear a one piece swim suit. It MAY have cost you the title but it was the right thing to do.

    Also the pushups were great! Thanks for setting a great example.

  • So over-myself
    Jan. 28, 2008 1:43 p.m.

    Hey...Anonymous @ 12:37 there. The whole premise of this year's pagaent was a 'Reality Check.' I think you need one! I'm with you....and so "over-myself." No way that one piece LOST her the competition. Guess what? No way it HELPED her either! I thought it was hilarious that the judges didn't laugh along with Jill earlier on when she had a little fun with the whole glamour-issue-taken-to-extreme thing. C'mon.....who needs to get over themselves???

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 28, 2008 1:35 p.m.

    Thanks for wearing the one piece swim suit. I had a friend who was watching the show. She has come to know our values that we teach our children. We have been invited to swim at their pool. Our girls have always had a modest suit. She has asked why it gave me a chance to tell her of the values I am teaching our children. When you wore your swim suit last night she was impressed with how you stood to the values you have been taught. She was impressed. Thank you for your stand. I am pleased with the girl you portrayed to the world.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 28, 2008 12:37 p.m.

    Oh please. A one piece suit LOST her the competition? As if a one piece suit is much less revealing than a two piece. LDS people need to get over themselves.

    The woman made fun of the sdvisors comments earlier in the competition. That likely hurt her chances more than anything else.

  • Yo ma ma
    Jan. 28, 2008 12:05 p.m.

    If changing the pageant was the motive of Ms America, then they failed at their quest. Ms America should be a person who has enough personal integrity to blow off the fashion police. Jill did that. She is sure enough of her values and herself to stay in the zone of common sense. Thanks to the votes, many of us made our voice heard that we want a change too. The sex kitten image is old and tired. We want real woman who make a difference in the world not wanna be Brittney's. I was embaressed by Ms. Michigan's dress and her song was very hard to listen to. Woman don't need to undress to be noticed...Jill showed us that. Bravo Sgt. Stevens

  • Jess
    Jan. 28, 2008 12:01 p.m.

    To me she is what a miss america should be! She is comfortable in who she is and is not going to change for anyone. They kept saying that miss america is the new "it girl" i think she is the only girl anyone would wanna be, she is confident in herself and has a personality! I'm glad she represented my state!

  • hip to be square
    Jan. 28, 2008 11:50 a.m.

    I heard from a reliable source that Jill was actually number eleven in the top fifteen finalists. However, since she was also voted as 'America's Choice' she was called to join the group of fifteen as number sixteen....when as I said....she actually was number eleven. I mention it because I think it shows that sometimes the entire picture is not clear. We see and hear what only comes across the television...not the behind the scene closed door talks between the judges where you know there is much discussion going on about what kind of representative they really want. I believe there are other motives that go into their total overall choice which we, the audience, are truly never aware of. They got what they wanted and I'm sure Miss Michigan will be a wonderful representative and do a lot of good. I also believe that Jill would have been a more refreshing, "real", and genuinely differen Miss America. However....in the end, Miss America opted to promote sex appeal and other "updated" worldy ways. That's not Jill. Jill is real and grounded...we had more fun watching her genuine happy outbursts than anything else! All of the girls were awesome.

  • Jill Fan
    Jan. 28, 2008 10:50 a.m.

    I am sure there were many other wonderful girls in the contest. No doubt the girl who won is a great person. Still, Jill was awesome. How more all-american can you get than being in the military? As for the swimsuit showing fitness, Jill runs marathons, does push-ups, etc. The two-piece thing is a farce. I agree that she has courage, class, and chutzpah. Am I biased? Heck, yeah! So what? Yes she really is america's choice even with vote-bots or what ever. The other girls had the same advantage. It wasn't like Jill was the only one who could get receive multiple votes.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 28, 2008 10:26 a.m.

    The swim suit did her in, no skin.

  • mimi
    Jan. 28, 2008 10:22 a.m.

    Jill is a beautiful and classy example of a well rounded woman of high moral values. She is a credit to her family, her state, her country and the United States Military. Way to go girl!

  • JC
    Jan. 28, 2008 9:47 a.m.

    Jill,

    Good for you for sticking to your guns and wearing not only a modest swimsuit, but a t-shirt when everyone else wore spaghetti strap tanks.

    You rock, girl. Way to show everyone what conviction is.

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson
    Jan. 28, 2008 9:43 a.m.

    The Army should send Sgt Stevens on a recruiting tour for women and nurses to join the Army, Reserves and National Guard. She could travel around and do interviews with local TV news, in uniform, at Army facilities like a shooting range or running, as well as singing a song with a regional Army band. She ought to get a photo op with President Bush.

  • SGT Torgersen
    Jan. 28, 2008 9:37 a.m.

    SGT Stevens was America's Choice.

    'Nuff said.

    You did yourself, your state, and your Army proud.

    HOOAH from all of us at the 478th @ Ft. Douglas.

    P.S: the judges prove (yet again) what a crock "voted" competitions can be.

    P.P.S: hooray for the one-piece swimsuit!

    ARMY STRONG

  • Just stopping by....
    Jan. 28, 2008 9:19 a.m.

    I watched TLC reality check with my kids and agree that Miss Utah is completely beautiful! I was sorry that they cut her hair on the show and seemed to insist on obedience to their style recommendations...is that how they create a "hip" and "edgy" Miss America? Miss Utah and others with individuality had their ears boxed by those "experts" that could hardly dress themselves!

    Miss Utah was so beautiful in that blue dress on the red carpet! The strongest and most beautiful contestant, a great role model....a champion!

  • UTARNG Solider
    Jan. 28, 2008 8:49 a.m.

    I just wanted to thank Miss Utah. My family and I were rooting for you and were very impressed with what you did do. I know the military and beauty queen are complete opposites so I'm sure this stretched you as a person. At the same time you did great with what you were given. I was just curious if that was the first time in the Miss America Pageant that they've had multiple contestants doing push ups on stage?

  • SLC gal
    Jan. 28, 2008 8:31 a.m.

    Jill,

    In my mind you ARE MIss America!!!! Thank you for sticking to your values, and serving our country, and being a true role model for young women everywhere!!!!! You've done UT proud!!!!!

  • Pam
    Jan. 28, 2008 8:23 a.m.

    I didn't see the show; but I did see Miss Utah recently online. The competition aside, I was impressed with her vitality and warmth. I was also happy to see her in pictures in uniform, serving her country, and as a humanitarian. To see her hard at work, as well as all decked out, I think sent a message showing that we as women not only can fill many roles, but we also cover the bases of what "beauty" is all about. Be we in fatigues or donning makeup and a dress, women are beautiful, just by being themselves. Confidence, a smile, and genuine warmth speaks volumes about a person. The first two can be mastered by most anyone. The last can not be faked for too long. I hope we see more of her. As for the winner and runners-up, congratulations. I hope you get to make the difference in the world you want to.

  • Hanks Girls in Georgia
    Jan. 28, 2008 8:19 a.m.

    You are gorgeous, smart, athletic, moral and the best example to my two daughters. Thank you for being who you are and in our book you are Miss America! We read your story in a magazine recently and were moved by your dedication and service. You are so amazing! We want to be just like you!!

  • farmgirl
    Jan. 28, 2008 7:53 a.m.

    Jill, you are our heroine! We noticed during the Saturday competition on TV that the contestants wore sleeveless t-shirts and then behind one of the contestants we could see a sleeved t-shirt on a body though the camera had not yet focused on a headshot, but we just knew it had to be you! You rock, girl! Stick to your values and platform. So many of us are watching and praying for you. What's interesting in a year of re-do for the Miss America pageant is that the winner (at least in appearance) could be last year's twin. How's that for progress, judges?????

  • Survivor
    Jan. 28, 2008 6:16 a.m.

    Congrats, Miss Utah. I'm proud of you.

    My suggestion - if you really want to show what you're made of, try out for Survivor! Bet you'd make toast of the competition, be able to do it with more than a bikini on (some contestants on that show do wear shorts and shirts even when the others are practically naked) and show how tough AND beautiful you really are. I think you're smart enough to maybe make it to the final four or win!

    AND you're just attractive, interesting and different enough to set up some interesting conflict - something the producers seem to like.

  • Judith
    Jan. 28, 2008 12:32 a.m.


    You were an awesome representative for the the State of Utah. thank you so much for holding strong to your moral convictions and not letting the pressures from others bring you down to a lesser standard. You were stunning and a true winner in my opinion. I wish you the best as you continue your reign as Miss Utah.

  • Amber
    Jan. 28, 2008 12:10 a.m.

    Go Miss Utah/GI Jill! Thank you so much for sticking to your standards in your one-piece swimsuit and sleeved t-shirt when everyone else was in tank tops. You made my day--seriously! Huge fan here at SUU!

  • To OK with being old fashioned
    Jan. 27, 2008 11:20 p.m.

    "Social poise, grace, style, confidence" those are words you use, when what you really mean in physical appearance. If a 5'0" girl, who is not drop dead gorgeous, had all of those qualities she would never be put in a contest like these. Nor a girl who is 5'5" and physically fit but of a thicker build.
    These contests don't honor those qualities you pointed out. They judge how 5'10" extremely slender young women walk in high heels while wearing a bikini. That's not poise. Poise is responding calmly while serving in Afghanistan or as a medic. Those words that you used are hollow when applied to this contest.

  • Awesomeron
    Jan. 27, 2008 11:07 p.m.

    That is what happens when you play in that World, Several years ago my Sister In Law was 1st runner up Miss Arizona. Things diden't work out fair for her either. Last night a skater fell and still won the U.S. Nationals. When you do or play things where the results are decided by so called judges instead of points, such as Football, Baseball, Bowling etc. What happens to you happens to you, you take that risk when you get in that game.

  • Looking up to Jill
    Jan. 27, 2008 10:55 p.m.

    All i wanna know is where she got that one piece!
    She rocked it!!! Thanks Jill.

  • Vegas Ed
    Jan. 27, 2008 10:51 p.m.

    You were awesome. We watched the reality check, and we loved how open you were, and that you wouldn't change. We wished we could have seen you compete to the end.

  • Kate
    Jan. 27, 2008 10:38 p.m.

    Hoo-rah, GI Jill! You ARE America's choice, and an inspiration to all women, everywhere.

  • we don't like pageants for a rea
    Jan. 27, 2008 10:30 p.m.

    Beauty pageants are all about the money. There is an eternal supply of women who will show off their bodies for gain and the pageant people are willing to exploit them for gain. That's all the first pageant was about. Parading about in any kind of bathing suit is shameful and shallow. Why do we care to find the most beautiful person (ON THE OUTSIDE)? What about the 99 percent of the rest of us? The Hollywood/Las Vegas/Star mentality breeds dissatisfaction in the ordinary man or woman. The oscars are the worst. All the starlets spending all that money to be tastefully immodestly dressed.

  • moaus
    Jan. 27, 2008 10:03 p.m.

    Having been a Pageant Director,I was surprised Miss Michigan was in the top 10. Her talent was poorly performed, and if the Miss America organization was looking for a "new image", they certainly did not get it. Jill really impressed me when I met her at SUU. However, I must also say there were many young women in the contest that were deserving of being in the top 10 because of many factors, mainly their intelligence. Can't put my finger on it, but something was really off in this Pageant. Many of the talents, and Miss California for one, was phenomenal. Somehow there was a breakdown, and I know from being a Pageant Director, one judge can change the whole voting process. Perhaps this may be the end of Miss America as the promises were not fulfilled. I for one expected an "IT" girl giving the Pageant a "New Image"- I never got it. Observing Jill in an unbiased way, I felt she should be in the top 8. That way she could have showcased her talent and been able to answer a question giving a clearer vision of her as a person.She was a strong contender for sure.

  • Deborah Moseley
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:58 p.m.

    Way to go, Jill! As I watched the other 15 finalists "strut their stuff" in those little bikinis, I crossed my fingers and prayed that you would come out in a one-piece suit. Thank you for refusing to compromise your standards. Every LDS person watching knew exactly what you were doing, and we are so proud of you. You are America's Choice! I'm in Mississippi, and I was just as proud of you as your home state!!

  • OK with being old-fashioned
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:40 p.m.

    It doesn't appear that many of you understand that society once thought it valueable for women personal development to be of a feminine nature. This meant social poise, grace, style, talent,confidence,fit figure, intelligence, personality development, etc, etc, to fit a role of becoming an effective community member, mother and wife. It was not about being a sexy Barbie Doll, but about glamour.
    The overwhelming admiration for Jill Stevens shows how much these ideals are lost, especially by so-called religious people.
    The era of the "Great Lady" is over, with with her goes all the beauty of civilization.

  • To SSG T.P.H.
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:31 p.m.

    If you are referring to the photo ops in which Jill Stevens was wearing her Miss Utah crown and sash with her ACU's, she had special permission to do that. She was not breaking uniform regulations, she was doing it with the encouragement of the Utah National Guard, of which I was once a member.
    Another female who joined the National Guard

  • Bonnie
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:18 p.m.

    Last night was the first time I had ever cried watching a Miss America pageant. I was so proud of Jill for showing her values - wearing a t-shirt with sleeves and a one piece swimming suit. She is truly the type of woman I want for a role model for youth. A woman of physical strength (way to go to with the push-ups) but more importantly moral steel. Thank You for your example! You are my Miss America!

  • Charlyhorse
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:17 p.m.

    good job, Miss Utah!!!

  • Wendy Calvert
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:08 p.m.

    My daughter met Miss Utah at an Army conference in Florida this month and found her to be a wonderful example of what a "real woman" is. My daughter felt that she made a good impression for all women who want to be in the armed forces. Whether she won the title or not made little difference in the fact that she was already a winner in my daughter's eyes.

  • Miss America
    Jan. 27, 2008 8:36 p.m.

    I have watched the Miss America contest over the years,and was very disappointed to see where this contest is going. It seems as though sex is the only factor in this contest. Miss Utah was the most popular by the people, which meant nothing to the judges. Miss Utah was herself, and displayed it in an honorable way, Go Miss Utah. Also I'm wondering how many of the contestants last night have had breast implants? They don't seem to take that into consideration. So who is hiding what? Go Miss Utah we are so proud of you and your values. You have earned all credits by your life.

  • Jan
    Jan. 27, 2008 8:11 p.m.

    Thank you Jill for being your true self and not bending to all the "changes" your advisors expected of you. It's refreshing to see a young woman who knows who she is and doesn't need to compromise her values and standards to impress "judges".
    Congratulations! You're our American Choice. We're so proud you represented Utah so beautifully!

  • BYU Grad????
    Jan. 27, 2008 8:06 p.m.

    How exactly does a two-piece swimming suit show that she has more courage??

    And to "I Like One-Pieces": Going in front of that many people, in any kind of bathing suit, would be a "little" unnerving don't cha think? Not to mention that someone with good moral values is going to be even more uncomfortable!!

  • rfrmac
    Jan. 27, 2008 7:37 p.m.

    Actions speak louder than words. Jill lived her values and was willing to take what happens. That is what was impressive to me. You go girl!

    Best wishes to you for the rest of your life.


  • Way 2 go Miss Utah!
    Jan. 27, 2008 7:04 p.m.

    Nice job Jill!
    thanks for your awesome example to me. you really had a lot of courage. you're my role model! you're the real miss america!

  • the dingo has my baby
    Jan. 27, 2008 6:39 p.m.

    I thought Jill didn't exceed anybody's expectations. If she wanted to really succeed then she should have went on American Gladiators.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 27, 2008 6:36 p.m.

    If you want the sports illustrated swimsuit edition contest , go watch that. Or, go get a playboy magazine if you want to look at the flesh in all its glory. I don't think the title of Miss America is sports illustrated swimsuit edition or playboy. Therefore , by inference , the competition is about more than fitting into the " barbie doll mold " . Besides, at the beginning of the competition , if I recall correctly , there is mention of beauty, brains , and being well rounded.
    For all the negative men out there , turn it around. What is someone from the Mr.Universe competition or from the Worlds Strongest Man Competiton truly should have won , and did not because in real life he is a nurse , a nursery school teacher or was in an occupation deemed , stereo-typically , female by society ? Wouldn't that get under your skin ? What if that happened to you , your son, your father or someone you loved ?
    And, come on , we have all gone " against the grain " at some point in our lives. Does that mean you're wrong / undeserving ?

  • lisa
    Jan. 27, 2008 6:29 p.m.

    what a good role model for all girls. served in the armed services, pursued her education, has a great attitude and shes not afraid to be beautiful inside and out. I think she a fabulous role model.

  • SaltVegas
    Jan. 27, 2008 6:26 p.m.

    Staff Sergeant T.P.H., I'd imagine there where a few times, when Jill was in Afghanistan and in battle fatigues, that she was "out of uniform" according to you and your AR 670-1. And your "values, justice and fair is fair" comments are rediculous. Jill has done more to promote the armed services than you and your AR mentality will ever do. Boorah, Jill...your push-ups were worth a thousand words.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 27, 2008 5:25 p.m.

    What a dated contest. Instead of getting away from their antiquated notion of women, they are only getting worse. How stupid to encourage more sex appeal. Why should a swimsuit competition have anything to do with being a role model. I don't care if they were one or two piece suits. Who cares. Jill Stevens is an excellent role model for young women. She's intelligent, funny, patriotic, a hard worker, physically fit. I would much rather have her as a role model for my daughter than these "pageant beauties". I don't ever want to hear how they should be role models. Nor how they are scholarship contests. They are beauty contests plain and simple and belong to an era long ago.

    Final thought. Any of you idiotic parents who encourage your daughters in these contests, need to stop. Stop teaching your daughters that clothes, make-up, and physical appearance are more important than their brains. These contests denegrate women and need to go away

  • Seriously?
    Jan. 27, 2008 5:17 p.m.

    Anyone who takes the result of a beauty contest seriously has some real issues.

  • Grumpolman
    Jan. 27, 2008 5:14 p.m.

    Hey Move On
    Why can't you admit that a young woman that can do the things that Jill can do intimidates you as it did most of the Miss America judges. I predict we'll forget about Miss (Michigan)America and people will remember G.I. Jill she's already a role model/hero for my four daughters.

  • BrotherJim
    Jan. 27, 2008 5:01 p.m.

    A few corrections are necessary;Shany Smith- the pageant started in 1921 as a beauty contest in Atlantic City-(not Hollywood) in which all girls were presented in swim suits ONLY. Later, trying to become PC, they decided to add evening gown & talent as additional qualifiers. However, it was & still is a beauty contest, heavily based on swimsuit performance.
    That said, Jill was a delight & a very accomplished woman, worthy of admiration. But wearing a one piece to Miss America is like entering the Indy 500 with a Buick Regal- nice try, but not going to get you to the winners circle.

  • Sugarlips
    Jan. 27, 2008 4:57 p.m.

    I had hopes that the pageant would really change their image. It didn't. They clearly stated that the swimsuit portion is to judge overall fitness yet they trained the girls to walk more seductively. How does walking like a stripper show you're more fit? Then to dismiss Utah for not being as "fit" is crazy. Can you honestly tell me that every one of the remaining ten contestants was more fit that this military girl who has run multiple marathons? Obviously, fitness was not what was being judged in that portions.
    Secondly, what was the point of having an America's Choice vote if the judges aren't going to give her an honest chance? Maybe she didn't have what it takes to win, but she certainly had what it takes to pass the fitness portion with flying colors. I felt like the judges were saying, "we'll let you vote somebody in just to get our ratings up, but then we'll get rid of her quickly because we, the judges, know what beauty really entails." If they really want a roll model for American women, why ignore the woman that America already decided was a good role model?

  • dingo
    Jan. 27, 2008 4:38 p.m.

    perhaps she wasn't "beauty contest" best but when you spend the time the organizers did promoting a new and improved and different pageant you better be prepared to back it up. short and sweet the organizers failed to deliver on their own propaganda.

    was the winner different, sure but in only one thing. she did not come through the system, but she is a 19 year old kid still trying to find herself. miss america is not suposed to be that way, miss teen is. miss utah actually can do something (a nurse and soldier), she stands for something more than the standard beauty contestant (she has actually fought for it in real life). it is too bad miss utah did not get a chance at the Q&A because i think the judges would have gotten an earful of reality (something they try to avoid).

    one piece versus two piece is nice but in the end the show was about a puffed up barbie dolls who could look prettiest. i point my 3 girls to miss utah's direction as a real example of what a woman can do with herself.

    besides in todays world america's choice is best, less jewelry

  • uh...
    Jan. 27, 2008 4:35 p.m.

    does anyone else think that the picture of miss utah in the "one piece modest suit" was uh, doctored up a bit? i saw the show and that is NOT how her one piece suit fit her. looks to me someone used technology to change it. it doesn't look that modest now...i wonder if there is any way to trace back how this picture made it to print and on the internet.

  • Vicky
    Jan. 27, 2008 4:32 p.m.

    Anonymous aaid "Wearing a one piece suit has nothing to do with courage or lack of. It has to do with a falsely developed sense of righteousness, pandering to a community that thinks there is a huge difference in showing off your body in a one piece versus a bikini."

    Well, there are different kinds of courage. The courage everone else is talking about was her courage not to join the "cookie cut" vision of Miss America and to keep her own sense of moral values (you dont have to agree with her morals, they are hers,) especially when it meant perhaps not winning. It takes a lot of courage not to give in and be like everyone else because we all want to fit in and it takes courage to do what you feel is right when no one else is. I think she is a great role model, to all of us. Even if you dont agree with her moral values, again they are hers and she has a right to them.

  • Battle Buddy
    Jan. 27, 2008 4:12 p.m.

    All this comments show typical American values comming through judging a young lady who has true values and stands up for those values. Jill was true to values throughout this shallow competetion!! She is truely pround to be a soldier, cares about her state and country. Too bad we don't have candidates like her for President!!! But then again as in this contest she would be judged unfairly.
    Jill, your represented the type of person I would want my children to grow up to be and are a truely strong individual. Stay true to your values!!! Hope to meet you again down the trail.
    Battle Buddy from Texas

  • Move On
    Jan. 27, 2008 4:03 p.m.

    Why can't you all just admit that Jill didn't have what it took? Because "your" Jill (what makes her "yours" exactly?) lost out to better candidates, you attack the pageant; you attack the judges; you do everything except face reality. The reality is Jill wasn't the best on the stage. Period. Quit crying foul and calling the grapes sour. She didn't make it because she wasn't the best. Accept that and move on!

  • I like one pieces
    Jan. 27, 2008 4:01 p.m.

    It wasn't the issue of her wearing a one piece swimsuit that did her in it was how uncomfortable she looked up there in it. She looked nervous and tentative and that is what she got docked on, not the kind of suit she was wearing.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 27, 2008 3:53 p.m.

    K.Major-I think Jill brought a refreshing image to the Miss America contest. I think the swim suit part of the contest was too provacative and in poor taste. It reminded me of looking over a piece of beef for purchase. Young woman have much more to evaluate their
    talent, wholesome American Values, than parading half naked on stage. I think you were great Jill. You represent the "All American," young woman. As a retired educator, I would like to see more than flesh be role model's for other young woman. Good luck with your life. You may not have won in Las Vegas; but your #1 with many women in USA. I am proud that you are from the state of Utah. You not only represent young women, but you have served your country.
    Thank you for your courage in reaching out to others in service.

  • Veteran
    Jan. 27, 2008 3:31 p.m.

    I guess what irritates me the most, is that although most of the contestants "Prayed for World Peace", Miss Utah did something about it! She is a Soldier, who cares not only about her fellow Soldiers but also about other people. She might not be able to walk as sexy as the Barbie Doll types, but when her country needed her, she was there. And let us not forget, that it is Soldiers like her that follow the orders handed down to her from above that give us the Freedoms that we, Americans, take for granted. In this day and age of automation, let the people decide who should be "Miss American" not just a chosen (if not Biased") few. Oh, and as far as the swim suit issue, Id rather have a Soldier in DCUs rushing to help me, when Im hurt, then one of those bikini clad Barbie Dolls anyday. Been There, Done That, for your freedom.
    Jim Stevens is Miss America for she is the one who has shown that she is willing to fight for America, and all that it stands for: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

  • to SSG T.P.H.
    Jan. 27, 2008 3:04 p.m.

    For your information, the Army, and the National Guard supported her 100%. Coming from her unit, a great deal of logistical support and staffing went into play to assist with G.I. Jill.

    This was the best thing that could happen for the Army and the Guard, as far as recruiting, public support, and morale for all the rest of the soldiers out there. I am proud to be a fellow soldier with Jill.

  • Jenna C.
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:59 p.m.

    Congratulations to Miss Michigan Kirsten Haglund. Kirsten is a change from the traditional pageant girl - she did not come up in the system and only recently began competing in pageants.

    Here is a great article on Kirsten when she won Miss Michigan. She began competing in pageants for a good reason to earn money for college and to further her education.

    She is a good athlete and former dancer - so yes she is into fitness and looked great. One shoudl also note she carried a near perfect GPA and is very active in her community.

    The contest is not just a one night event - Kirsten must have impressed judges throughout the process.

    May to go Miss Michigan and congrats to all the great ladies who competed this year!

  • Mis-Placed Courage
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:53 p.m.

    Part of this contest is about beauty. Women just don't look as good in a 1 piece suit. It did show courage to do what she did, but it's mis-placed courage. Anyone who thinks morality of wearing a 1 piece vs 2 piece is that significant, needs to look around to world issues and see all the true moral issues that really do exist in the world. She sacrificed a lot for this choice. Think how much better the world would be if we were all willing to sacrifice as much on things that really mattered.

  • Sharon-Ann
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:50 p.m.

    I honestly don't know if the judges so inclined to vote the way they did because they couldn't handle the fact that a beautiful and very fit young lady chose to be in the military; or they were just plain blind, but Miss Stevens was one of the most inspiring young ladies to compete in this pageant in ages. Beauty of course, is in the eye of the beholder, but I for one applaud everything this lady stood for and she was my choice for the crown. I guess the judges really do want a certain "image"-robotic and plastic and heavily "made up" unlike Miss Stevens who seemed natural in every way.

  • Middle aged male
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:36 p.m.

    BYU grad is right. The judges and those watching the show want to see as much of the contestant as they can under the premise of the swimsuit competition. Many people don't feel a woman is as "sexy" in a one piece suit and others think the contestant is trying to hide something. All contestants know this is an important part of the contest and are likely to be docked if they are wear a one piece suit. That being the case, that shows even more courage for those choosing a one piece suit because they KNOW their chances are diminished.

  • to SSG T.P.H.
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:28 p.m.

    Huh? get a life, you act as if the whole world revolved around army regulations. Who cares about army reg this or that?

  • Shany Smith
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:26 p.m.

    I competed in the Miss America Pageant 10 years ago and I am sad to see how much it has changed. I hope that one day it will be restored to it's original purpose which is showing off a woman's accomplishments, talents and brain. I was cheering Jill Stevens on last night as well as thousands of others. Honestly, if I were in her place I would be happier to be voted in as America's choice than to be chosen as Miss America. I thought that Miss Michigan was a cute girl, but her talent was lacking. I was not impressed by very many of the other girls in the top ten.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:19 p.m.

    First, in this day and age, women should be able to wear what they want without fear of recrimination or judgement. The same is true for choice of career. Moreover , Jill is NOT less feminine than any of the other women on that show. May I ask Americas Choice , what dictates femininity ? is your definition the only acceptable one ? By the very nature of being a woman, Jill is feminine. What about you AC ? If you are a man, are your biceps & triceps buff ? Do you have hair / enough hair on your chest ? If your doctor measured your testosterone level , how much would you have running around your body ? Are you 5'10 or taller ? Do you have a strong and chiseled ( sp ? ) chin ? Wide shoulders ? Feet of size 9 or larger ? A six pack ? How often do you watch sports ? Are you athletic ? I hope you get what I am aiming at . Was Einstein not masculine ? How about Feynman , was he masculine ? Shakespeare ? T.S. Elliot ? Socrates ? Simon and Garfunkle .. masculine ?

  • foxgoku
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:18 p.m.

    Jill, you are the real winner. The Miss America contest knows NOT real beauty.

  • BYU Grad
    Jan. 27, 2008 1:59 p.m.

    Face it. There is a population of people who tune in just for the swimsuit contest. It's part of the contest. If Ms. Utah shows up in a one piece, then she should be docked and likely won't win. If it's her morals that makes her choose to do this then so be it. Don't cry about not winning Miss America. If she lost a Miss One Piece contest, then I'd be sad.

  • Middle aged male
    Jan. 27, 2008 1:49 p.m.

    Hey "Anonymous" of 8:30 am today...give me a break! Do you not realize that in today's world one can be persecuted for having higher morals and doing something other than the norm? To me, showing up on a televised beauty pageant wearing a one piece is demonstrating courage. Maybe not quite as much as putting your life on the line in battle--but courage nevertheless.

    I am an active LDS middle aged male. But if I were a woman, I don't know if I would have the courage to wear a one piece swim suit like she did. I have nothing but respect for Ms. Stevens!

  • BYU Grad
    Jan. 27, 2008 1:46 p.m.

    Personally, I think a two piece swimsuit would've shown more of her morals and character.

  • r.fortado
    Jan. 27, 2008 1:46 p.m.



    really, who's choice, glad we are not all sheep.

  • Tia
    Jan. 27, 2008 12:54 p.m.

    Everyone here acts like Miss Utah was the only girl with a brain, courage, and anything worth voting for. Yes, she seemed like a nice girl, but everyone of those girls up there had something special. Just because they weren't LDS and wore two-piece bathing suits does not make them any less of a good person, or good contestants. I'm sure the judges didn't just vote her off due to her bathing suit. She wasn't even in the line up before America's choice! That was BEFORE the swimsuit part.

  • RJ
    Jan. 27, 2008 12:40 p.m.

    You guys/gals that are so caught up in the 1-piece / 2-piece swimsuit issue, get over it! Whether a woman wears one or the other says VERY LITTLE about her morals and values. Are the other contestants lacking thereof because they chose to show off their level of physical fitness and beauty differently? I think not. Using that criteria for judging an individual's inner person is superficial and pathetic....

  • SFC "Tex"
    Jan. 27, 2008 12:34 p.m.

    I have been in the Army for over 18 plus years and I was so honor to see that Miss Utah was a Soldier too. I wasn't pleased when the judges didn't aloud her to go thru the whole pageant. SHE IS THE AMERICAN CHOICE and with that she should have stay thru the whole thing. I was in Afghanistan during the time that Sgt Stvenson was there and to me she will always be the American Choice.. I will give her 10 (Push Up) any time...SFC "Tex" Fort Lee, Va

  • BYU Grad
    Jan. 27, 2008 12:29 p.m.

    I think the one piece swimsuit did her in.

  • Lorrie
    Jan. 27, 2008 11:50 a.m.

    I am from Michigan and I am thrilled that Miss Michigan won, she did a beautiful talent portion and her answer to her question was good. I believe that the judges were right with their choices and Miss Indiana really did deserve to be in the top two.

  • To SSG T.P.H. & America's Choice
    Jan. 27, 2008 11:30 a.m.

    SSGT T.P.H.: You posted that comment in yesterday's story. Get over it!!!!! I've never seen a photo of her in uniform that defied Army regs. I'm sure she had nothing but support from her superiors as was evidenced by their attendance at the pageant. I'm sure she's done more for the military's image than you ever did. That's assuming of course that you served, given your knowlege of military regs.

    America's Choice: You obviously either didn't vote or didn't read the rules at voting. It was not a "vote all you want" like American Idol. You had to give several pieces of info, including an email address. One would have to go to quite a bit of trouble to vote more than once, much less many, many times.

    Please people, just grow up. There's absolutely no reason to trash Jill. She's a wonderful human being and a great role model. I don't particularly like pageants, but I'd encourage my daughter to be like Jill anyday. Thank you Jill, for your service to America. The public is smarter than all those silly pageant officials. Take the scholarship money and run with it!!!!!!!

  • Jewel S
    Jan. 27, 2008 11:29 a.m.

    Congratulations to Jill--America's Choice!! She was the most beautiful, attractive one in the entire pageant! She deserved to win--but she possessed more class than the entire Miss America pageant and judges did! And having sacrificed part of her life for our country will never be applauded the way it should be. Jill--you are wonderful and talented beyond any of the other candidates. Also, shame on TLC for cutting your hair--you did NOT need a makeover. You just won Miss Utah! What were they thinking? Crazy... Have fun now and enjoy! 211th -you rock!

  • nunyabiznes
    Jan. 27, 2008 11:02 a.m.

    It was so refreshing to see a tomboy thrust in among all the girlie-girls. I would have liked to see her break down her M-16 blindfolded in less than 2 minutes for the talent competition. Now that's a skill you can use!

    She is a fine example for all young women and she would have been an incredible Miss America.

  • SSG T.P.H.
    Jan. 27, 2008 10:57 a.m.

    Values count. Too bad Jill Stevens doesn't value Army Regulation 670-1 (Wear and Appearance of the Army Uniform).

    Justice was served. Fair is fair. Congrats to Miss Michigan.

  • dingo
    Jan. 27, 2008 10:51 a.m.

    same old beauty contest hi on looks and low on substance. miss utah represents everything that the "new look" miss america should be, bright, capable, serving, intelligent, beautiful, and oh yeah she can actually DO something (other than walk down the runway like a show piece). the judges for all their high minded ideas still did what beauty contest judges do, outside appearance only. anyone who watched the reality show on TLC would have seen exactly what the aim was. same old beauty contest with same old rules. they spent more time on beauty and fashion than on actually promoting what they claimed they wanted.

    my thanks to miss utah for being who and what she is, an inspiration and a breath of fresh air. i made it a point to my 3 girls that misss utah is a worthy role model and not the winner (a 19 year old kid) who may be dynamic but is nowhere near the standard of miss utah. she lost because she represents exactly what the beauty contest organizers did NOT want a strong woman who can kick all the others butts on paper and in person.

    CONGRATS JILL!!!

  • Anne
    Jan. 27, 2008 10:33 a.m.

    I was sooo proud of Jill she is the REAL MISS AMERICA" the way she handled herself last night and the morales and values she has..I am so glad she is Miss Utah and such an example for all.I was sooo disappointed with the way the judges ruled, of course thats the "Ways Of The World" but its NOT RIGHT!!!

  • true blue
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:58 a.m.

    The judges didn't want someone like jill winning, because it's not what those people stand for. They stand for fake, barbie doll images because it sells

  • America's Choice?
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:52 a.m.

    Excuse me, but that wasn't a statistically-sound poll; rather, it was a "vote all you want" advertising ploy -- the same way American Idol is influenced by people creating vote-bots.

    If the judges had liked Miss Utah the most, she'd have won. Her "angle" of being a military girl was a good one, but it was too edgy (and unfeminine) to win out in the end.

    Just interjecting some reality.

  • Rob
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:43 a.m.

    I was so impressed with Jill, Miss Utah. How wonderful to see someone who stayed true to her values and is a strong caring and beautiful woman. She was the first to help when one of the other contestants had an asthma attack. She seemed to always have many others around her. If wearing a modest swim suit made her lose the contest then that is fine. I wish I had seen her talent. Did you know that Sharlene Wells Hawkes wore a one piece swim suit that was cut as high in the top as it could be and as low on the bottom as it could be. She still won the swim suit part of the Miss America pagent competition and then won Miss America.

  • jenn
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:25 a.m.

    I thought Jill was awesome and I wish her the best of luck. She seems like a great person.

  • Nelda
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:01 a.m.

    The judges could be the real problem with the pageant. It would have been nice to see more talent. The bikinis belong on beaches. I am disappointed more of the contestants did not make the same choice.

  • Good Job
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:00 a.m.

    Great Job - I don't know Jill Stevens - but proud that she stuck to her guns and stood for something. Wish there were more like her.

  • Dr. Michael Madsen
    Jan. 27, 2008 8:49 a.m.

    Jill represents courage, enthusiasm, commitment, and leadership. I cannot help but admire her. While I am not a pageant fan, I admire those who demonstrate these qualities no matter the forum. Jill reminds me of my wife's niece, Tiffany Stoker Madsen, who is now an at-home attorney and mother in Louisville, Kentucky. She represented the state of California in the Miss America Pageant. She had as her platform as "abstinence before marriage". Her platform was read in the finals by Regis Philban", drooling with disdain for the message, I knew that she was toast. His bias was obvious to me. She ended up 3rd or 4th runner up. Jill is a great representative for the state and her values. How could anyone not agree?

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 27, 2008 8:43 a.m.

    >>Her true courage came through when she chose the 1-piece bathing suit over a bikini,>>

    Please. Her true courage was enlisting in the military and putting her life on the line.

    Wearing a one piece suit has nothing to do with courage or lack of. It has to do with a falsely developed sense of righteousness, pandering to a community that thinks there is a huge difference in showing off your body in a one piece versus a bikini.

    But "courage"? Only in bizarro land.

    Let's let words mean what they intend to mean. She's courageous because she's a soldier, not because of her choice of a swimsuit.

  • Dave
    Jan. 27, 2008 8:40 a.m.

    She definately was the most beautiful girl in the pageant. She stuck to her values and we're proud of her. She is America's choice.

  • Steve
    Jan. 27, 2008 8:30 a.m.

    Reply to "Kim"
    Amen!!!

  • Mariah
    Jan. 27, 2008 8:15 a.m.

    Thank you for all you represent. It was wonderful to see a young woman sticking to her values in the world today in front of thousands. Thank you for your service to Utah and expecially America.

  • MA
    Jan. 27, 2008 8:07 a.m.

    Cheers to Miss Stevens for chosing and sticking to her values. The swimsuit competition shows Miss America is still a beauty pageant first, beauty as defined by bikini-minded Hollywood and its Las Vegas-minded judges. It's heartwarming to see that America still recognizes what real beauty is.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 27, 2008 7:46 a.m.

    The Miss America organization is trying to change the cookie cutter Miss America's of the past. They missed the boat on this one. They needed to change the judges as well. It was clear watching the pageant that it was business as usual as each contestant did their robotic walk and wave and prayed for "world peace".

    I thought Miss Utah was a refreshing breath of air and made the show fun to watch. I changed the channel once she was eliminated.

    I admire her for her values and sticking to them.

  • Terry Tyler
    Jan. 27, 2008 7:38 a.m.

    Values are necessary.
    Young women who lose those for the sake of winning is totally wrong.
    What happened to the Miss America Pagaent
    that would not let the Bikini clad show off thier nakedness.
    I agree with Miss Utah.

  • Andrea Knudsen
    Jan. 27, 2008 7:23 a.m.

    Jill, I am so proud of what you represent. Thank you for having the courage to fight for what many Americans value and would never deney when asked. Thank you for speaking without "waiting" to be asked. I am gladly signing my name beside yours. I fully agree with you! You are my "Miss America"!

    Love, Andrea Shewey Knudsen

  • Helen (Paulla) Taylor
    Jan. 27, 2008 7:04 a.m.

    I am glad that someone finally had the courage to wear a one-piece bathing suit I have always been offended by the bikinis and I appreciated someone who has good values, morals, and sticks to them no matter what.
    I just wish we had more people like Jill around and the world would be a better, nicer, and cleaner (moral) place.

  • larry
    Jan. 27, 2008 6:46 a.m.

    Being LDS I am and was proud of Ms. Stevens for wearing the one piece suit during the competition. I guess I am an "old foggie" but i like the "old" way that Miss. America was with the modest suits and any talent was ok to perform. I hope that my grand-daughters got to see the show.

  • John
    Jan. 27, 2008 6:32 a.m.

    I was very impressed with Jill and her performance last night. She represented our state very well. What a great example for the youth of our state and nation to follow. Thank you for sticking to your values, you seem like a great young woman.

  • George
    Jan. 27, 2008 6:25 a.m.

    I fuly agree with Kim's posting. Jill is awesome. Now, being a guy I still prefer the 2 piece swimwear, however Jill wanted the 1 piece and stuck to it which speaks highly of her for sticking to her values and beliefs. I don't think the judges saw that.

  • Let America Decide!
    Jan. 27, 2008 5:28 a.m.

    Swimsuits show off our "health and fitness"? Yeah right. And to put the question to rest forever, Jill Stevens proved the point in a poignant way by doing all those push-ups after being eliminated. Not only was she no doubt the most fit, but also the most fun--the most real. So how ironic that the "judges" couldn't remember what they were really judging and couldn't see past a one-piece swimsuit--again. It was obvious throughout the competition why Jill was "America's choice". If you really want to gain validity, America should be allowed to decide who their "Miss America" will be-not an x number of biased judges.

  • Cindi from Maine
    Jan. 27, 2008 5:14 a.m.

    I will agree with Kim on this one. She was my #1 choice. If indeed the one piece bathing suit is what 'did her in', then shame on the judges!!! For shame, I say!!

  • Lori
    Jan. 27, 2008 4:05 a.m.

    It's a shame Miss Utah didn't get further in the competition. She seems to have been what this "reality check" was striving for, and in my opinion she was more than we have ever seen in a contestant before. I thought her humor, caring, and strength were empowering to all women. She had an authenticity to her that made me feel like she truly represents America's values without being pretentious. I don't know what the judges were thinking with Miss Michigan. Her rendition of Over the Rainbow was torturous, her evening gown and swimsuit were both tacky, and her personality didn't seem to stand out in any way. I think the judges are the ones who need a reality check.

  • mango
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:18 a.m.

    Anyone who would lose a contest because she wore a one-piece bathing suit -- the contest isn't worth entering. The tv piece right before the contest showed them teaching the contestants to walk with more sexiness and swing. Come on -- how many more times do we need to go through this to define what a role model is? As was stated in other opinions elsewhere, do we want a "Hollywood" model or a real person? I think she proved herself -- it's just that she didn't fit the "mold." What a shame -- because she could have reached more people than most of the other gals. Just goes to show how crazy these contests are!!

  • Dee
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:09 a.m.

    They said on the program they wanted a new and energizing look, well in my opinion Jill Stevens was a refreshing contestant.. I don't think the judges wanted to change the barbie doll image.. I was disapointed they were just talk on TLC..

  • Ro
    Jan. 27, 2008 1:59 a.m.

    Semper Fi

  • Kim
    Jan. 27, 2008 1:03 a.m.

    Jill is a beautiful woman inside and out. Her true courage came through when she chose the 1-piece bathing suit over a bikini, especially in that setting. Now, here's a role model for our youth. Courage and beauty, she is truly a winner!!!