Emily Sioma, the contestant from Michigan, introduced herself by saying: "From the state with 84% of the US freshwater but none for its residents to drink, I am Miss Michigan Emily Sioma."
This introduction caught many people off guard since usually the contestants simply go up and state their name. Never before has someone used their time on screen to send such an important public message. This was an attempt to bring attention to the ongoing health crisis happening in Flint, Michigan. Millions are unable to consume safe drinking water due to the contaminants in it.
Lead poisoning from the cities drinking water has plagued residents of Flint. This has been an issue for a while now and still, nothing is being done to stop it. Emily Sioma finally decided she was over it.
Sioma told ABC News that "it wasn't a very spur of the moment decision," "I had this gut feeling that if I didn't make it into the top 15, I would never have a chance to be able to speak on national television about something that was important to me, or to make the moment meaningful."
Twitter, of course, blew up and the reactions did not disappoint.
One person tweeted, "Miss Michigan should automatically win #MissAmerica for starting with this!"
Another tweeted, "OKAY MISS MICHIGAN WE SEE YOU, HONEY !!!!"
And the best, for sure, was this gif submitted from user @PausedFace
Miss New York, Nia Franklin, ended up winning Miss America, but most people thought Sioma should have won. Her simply stating that there should be clean water in Flint was enough for viewers to feel she deserved the win.
Twitter user @SundaeCouture said, "Miss Michigan needs to win the 2019 Miss America Pageant simply for stating there still isn't any clean water during her introduction! #Michigan #MissAmerica"
Miss America 2019 winner Nia Franklin has yet to comment on the events that occurred last night.