Miss Alabamas have performed strongly at the Miss America pageant, particularly in the early 21st century, when the state produced their third Miss America, a first runner-up, a second runner-up, a fourth runner-up, two semi-finalists, and one quarter-finalist.
They did very well in the '80s, as well, placing 1st runner up to Miss America 1981, 3rd runner-up 1983, 2nd runner-up 1984, 4th runner-up 1986, top 10 1987, and 4th runner-up 1989. Miss Alabama was also 1st runner up to Miss America 1979.
Alabama has won three Miss America titles: Deidre Downs in 2005, Heather Whitestone in 1994, and Yolande Betbeze in 1951. Betbeze is well known as the Miss America who refused to pose in a swimsuit, causing swimsuit sponsors Catalina to pull out and start the Miss USA pageant.
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