Miss South Shore Jaime Gialloreto tearfully and joyfully thanked the crowd Saturday after getting crowned this year's Miss New Jersey. Gialloreto, 18, of Woolwich Township, Gloucester County, will represent New Jersey at the Miss America competition in September at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
"This is surreal," she said, following the crowning at Ocean City Music Pier. "To represent this class of women is unbelievable. It's so hard to put into words how happy and excited I am right now."
Miss Seashore Line Kyra Seeley, 21, of Middlesex, was the runner-up.
Hundreds of family, friends and supporters came to Ocean City to cheer on the 28 hopeful Miss New Jersey contestants who were vying for the state title this year. The group competed in two nights of preliminaries on Thursday and Friday, and the final competition Saturday night. Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel 2017 gave a tearful goodbye and passed on the crown.
Gialloreto advocated for her platform "Don’t Get Nutty: Food Allergy Awareness" during the competition and showcased her talent of dance with a lyrical performance to Aretha Franklin's "Natural Woman." She is also a student at Loyola University Maryland.
She won the lifestyle and fitness swimsuit category on the first night of preliminaries Thursday, tied with Miss Coastal Shores Natalie Ragazzo.
Gialloreto also won the talent category with her dance performance on the second night of preliminaries Friday. The evening’s host, 6ABC meteorologist Karen Rogers, opened the night by getting the crowd ready and quickly announced the contestants who made it to the Top 11, which included: Miss Eastern Shore Madison Welsh, Miss Monmouth County Jade Glab, Miss Central Coast Amanda Rae Ross, Miss Atlantic Shores Christa Steiner, Miss Cumberland County Olivia Cruz, Miss Seashore Line Kyra Seeley, Miss Coastal Shores Natalie Ragazzo, Miss South Jersey Jessica Indio, Miss Cape Shores, Alyssa Sullivan, Miss South Shore Jaime Gialloreto. Miss Stars & Stripes Marielle Marlys was the People’s Choice contestant.
The Top 11 contestants walked the runway for the lifestyle and fitness swimsuit competition, talent and evening wear, before the top five were selected. This year's top five included, in addition to Gialloreto and Seeley, Miss Central Coast Amanda Rae Ross, Miss Eastern Shore Madison Welsh and Miss Coastal Shores Natalie Ragazzo.
The top five contestants answered questions from the judges for the final competition category.
The Atlantic City Press will have a full photos gallery of the final competition and continued coverage of Miss New Jersey.