A 24-year-old from Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood shed tears of joy Sunday night after she was crowned Miss New York USA at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College in Harrison.
Joanne Nosuchinsky, wearing a strapless evening gown with a sequined bodice, said that amid the excitement she didn't hear her name called.
"My first runner-up told me I won," she said. "And then I still didn't believe it. I'm so humbled and excited."
Nosuchinsky was among about 200 contestants competing for two titles: Miss New York USA and Miss New York Teen USA. The winners advance to compete in the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA competitions. The winner of the Miss USA pageant will represent the United States at the Miss Universe competition.
Nosuchinsky said she would be an advocate for education during her yearlong reign and that she would compete hard in the Miss USA pageant.
"New York needs a crown," she said.
The winner of the Miss New York Teen USA was Nikki Orlando of Long Island.
The contestants squared off in swimsuit, evening wear and other competitions.
The 12-person panel of judges included Westchester County native Aja Mangum, a beauty and fashion editor. Other judges were: Nigel Sylvester, a professional BMX rider; Alyssa Shelasky, author of "Apron Anxiety: My Messy Affairs In and Out of the Kitchen"; MTV personality Evan Starkman; and Michelle Park, co-host of "Please Dress Accordingly" on the MSG Varsity network.