Miss America 2012 wins crown, forgets waterproof mascara

Jan 17, 2012 at 5:47 p.m. ET

Miss America 2012 was crowned this weekend, runny mascara and all.

Miss America 2012 Lara Kaeppeler

Hosted by Brooke Burke and The Bachelor's own Chris Harrison, 52 women took the stage at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas last night to compete in one of America's premiere pageants scholarship programs.

A panel of qualified judges that included Kris Jenner, Mark Ballas and Lara Spencer, quizzed the contestants on topics that included Tim Tebow's religious affiliation and Occupy Wall Street before tallying up the votes.

Decked out in enough sequins, hairspray and self-tanner to make a Toddlers & Tiaras stage mom proud, self-described over-achiever Miss Wisconsin Laura Kaeppeler took home the crown while Miss Oklahoma Betty Thompson was named first runner up, and will be taking over the title should risqué photos or a substance abuse problem surface for America's new queen.

Cue the tears and mascara running.

This year's program offered some entertaining twists, including the contestants getting ready for the talent portion on stage and being eliminated in a fashion similar to The Bachelor's rose ceremony.

While the greatest pageant staple ever — baton twirling — failed to make an appearance all evening, Miss New York uncomfortably struggled through a song about Disneyland that almost made up for it.

Random facts about each contestant appeared at the bottom of the screen during talent performances, making for lots of awkward information overload. Some highlights include Miss Tennessee having Bieber fever and Miss Arizona advertising she had a poem published in the fifth grade.

Way to go, girls! Now, get busy working on that whole tricky "world peace" thing.

Photo courtesy: WENN