ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - A tribute to the victims of the 9/11 attacks opened the second night of preliminary competition in the Miss America pageant Wednesday night.

The Spotlight Performers Show Choir from the Greater Ocean City Theatre Company performed "God Bless the USA."

Miss America Organization CEO Sam Haskell recalled how in 2001 the contestants decided to carry on with the pageant, whose first day of preliminary competition fell on Sept. 11.

Contestants from Mississippi and New Hampshire won the first night of this year's preliminaries on Tuesday.

Miss New Hampshire Samantha Russo won the talent competition by singing a Barbra Streisand song from the musical "Funny Girl."

Miss Mississippi Chelsea Rick won the swimsuit competition.

The new Miss America will be crowned Sunday night in a nationally televised finale.

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