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Miss Kentucky Heather Renee French was crowned Miss America 2000 on Saturday night, becoming the first woman from that state ever to wear the crown.

French, 24, of Maysville, Ky., covered her face with her hands when co-host Marie Osmond announced her. Then she hugged the first runnerup and outgoing Miss America Nicole Johnson before lowering her head to receive the crown.

She then took the traditional walk down the runway, smiling and waving.

The first runnerup was Miss Illinois Jade Smalls. The second runnerup was Miss Pennsylvania Susan Spafford. Miss Maryland Keri Schrader and Miss Texas Yanci Yarbrough rounded out the top five.

French, a fashion design student at the University of Cincinnati, sang "As If We Never Said Goodbye" for her talent offering.

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