ATLANTIC CITY -- There it is, that Miss America song!
"Miss America," best known for the line, "There she is, Miss America," will be returning to the pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, this Sunday.
Miss America Organization executive chairman Sam Haskell tells The Associated Press his group reached a settlement with the estate of songwriter Bernie Wayne that will allow the iconic song to be used again. He says the pageant is paying an undisclosed amount for the right to use the song, which longtime host Bert Parks sang for years, starting in 1955.
The song had been absent from the pageant for the past five years amid a legal dispute over the right to use it.
The new Miss America will be crowned at Sunday night's nationally televised finale, which will feature some star-studded appearances. Vanessa Williams will return three decades after she gave up the crown amid a nude photo scandal.
She joins pageant hosts Chris Harrison and Brooke Burke-Charvet, music curator Nick Jonas and celebrity judges Brett Eldredge, Taya Kyle, Danica McKellar, Kevin O'Leary, Amy Purdy and Zendaya.
Contestants in the 2016 Miss America pageant hoped to stand out from their rivals as the third and final night of preliminary competition got underway Thursday night.
Winners in the swimsuit and talent preliminary competitions accrue points that boost their scores heading into Sunday night's nationally televised finale. They also receive scholarships of $1,000 for swimsuit and $2,000 for talent.
Miss South Carolina Daja Dial and Miss Florida Mary Katherine Fechtel have won the first two nights of swimsuit preliminaries. Miss Iowa Taylor Wiebers and Miss Louisiana April Nelson have won the talent portion.
The contestants will display their state-specific footwear at Saturday's Show Us Your Shoes parade on the Atlantic City Boardwalk a day before the crowning of the new Miss America.
Alayna Westcom didn't plan to be twirling a baton, tap dancing or belting out a Broadway show tune Thursday night. Instead, the 2016 Miss Vermont planned to don protective goggles, mix some chemicals and create a foamy eruption she calls "elephant's toothpaste" when it was her turn to perform in the talent portion.
"There will be a lot of bubbles," she promised. "And there will be some loud noises."
The experiment involves combining potassium iodide, hydrogen peroxide and soap. The result is an eruption of foam shooting skyward out of a beaker.
She considered even more disruptive experiments but was restrained by the pageant's rules prohibiting the use of fire or projectiles.
Westcom has immersed herself in science and wants to encourage girls and other young women to do so as well. She graduated in 2013 with a degree in forensic science from Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and got an internship with the Vermont state medical examiner's office, which is her career goal.
"I got to see firsthand what the medical examiner's office does, how it handles cases and interacts with families," she said. "It's not at all like on TV shows."