New Miss America to be crowned Sunday night in Atlantic City

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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- Can anyone stop Miss Iowa, who has mowed down competitors like so many rows of corn during this week's preliminary competition in the 2016 Miss America pageant?

Or is there a surprise Miss America waiting in the wings, ready to be crowned during Sunday night's nationally televised finale?

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Taylor Wiebers won a preliminary talent competition Tuesday with a vocal performance of "Don't Forget Me" from the TV show "Smash." Two days later, the judges called her name yet again, awarding her a swimsuit victory in Thursday's preliminaries.

She thus enters the final night of competition with an advantage; contestants accrue points in the preliminary competition toward their standing entering the finale. Yet the reigning Miss America, Kira Kazantsev, did not win a preliminary title last year, but won the crown on the final night.

See photos of some famous Miss America winners of years past​:

11 PHOTOS
Famous Miss America winners
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New Miss America to be crowned Sunday night in Atlantic City

Lee Ann Meriwether won Miss America 1955 in Atlantic City, N.J.

(Photo credit: AP)

Meriwether went on to play Catwoman in the original film version of 'Batman' in 1966.

(Photo credit: 20th Century Fox/Getty)

Mary Ann Mobley, right, won Miss America 1959 in Atlantic City, N.J.

(Photo credit: AP)   

Mobley went on to star in multiple films with Elvis Presley. She died in 2014 at 77.

(Photo credit: Max B. Miller/Fotos International/Getty Images)

Gretchen Carlson won Miss America 1988 in Atlantic City, N.J.

(Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images)

Carlson is now the host of 'Fox & Friends' on Fox News.

(Photo credit: Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

Debbye Turner won Miss America 1989 in Atlantic City, N.J.

(Photo credit: AP)

Turner later joined CBS News as a feature correspondent and a fill-in anchor.

(Photo credit: Elizabeth Burks/WireImage)

Vanessa Williams won Miss America 1984 in Atlantic City, N.J.

She later resigned after Penthouse magazine published sexually explicit photographs of her taken several years earlier.

(Photo credit: AP)

Williams is probably the most successful Miss America winner ever. She launched a career as an entertainer, earning multiple Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award nominations.

(Photo: Stuart Ramson/Invision for Staples/AP Images)

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The pageant worked overtime this year to bring back parts of its storied history. It includes the return of the pageant's theme song with the line "There she is, Miss America," and the return of one of the most famous women ever to wear the crown - and to give it up.

Actress and singer Vanessa Williams is returning to the pageant as head judge for the first time in more than three decades since she resigned the title amid a nude photo scandal. Williams, the first African-American Miss America, won the title in 1984 but resigned after Penthouse magazine published sexually explicit photographs of her taken several years earlier. She went on to have a successful career in film, television, music and Broadway.

The "Miss America" song, made famous by longtime pageant host Bert Parks, will return to the pageant after a five-year absence due to legal wrangling over rights to its use. The Miss America Organization paid an undisclosed sum to the estate of songwriter Bernie Wayne to enable its use this year.

See photos from Miss America 2015's swimsuit round​:

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New Miss America to be crowned Sunday night in Atlantic City
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 11: Kira Kazantsev, Miss New York in swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 11, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 11: Marisa Buchheit , Miss Illinois in swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 11, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 11: Teresa Davis, Miss District of Columbia in swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 11, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 11: Contestants walk runway after swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 11, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 11: Cierra Kaler-Jones, Miss New Jersey in swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 11, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: Contestants walk runway after swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 10, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: Alex Eptler, Miss Okalhoma wins swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 10, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: Savannah Cole, Miss Minnesota in swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 10, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: Brittany Lewis, Miss Delaware in swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 10, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: Contestants walk runway after swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 10, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: Contestants walk runway after swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 10, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10: Jessie Allen, Miss Wyoming in swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 10, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09: Contestants walk runway in swimsuits at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 9, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09: Jessica Hartman, Miss Missouri in swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 9, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09: Ivy Depew, Miss Rhode Island in swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 9, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09: Jessica Hartman, Miss Missouri in swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 9, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09: Ivy Depew, Miss Rhode Island in swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 9, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09: Victoria Cowen, Miss Florida wins in swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 9, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09: Victoria Cowen, Miss Florida wins in swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 9, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09: Victoria Cowen, Miss Florida wins in swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 9, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09: Monique Evans, Miss Texas in swimsuit at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 9, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09: Mackenzie Bart, MIss Ohio talent winner, Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014 and Victoria Cowen, Miss Florida winner in swimsuit walk runway at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall on September 9, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
Nicole Pinto of Panama, newly named Miss Latin America 2014, poses during the swimsuit event in Punta Cana, La Altagracia Province, Dominican Republic on September 6, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ERIKA SANTELICES (Photo credit should read ERIKA SANTELICES/AFP/Getty Images)
BATON ROUGE, LA - JUNE 04: Miss South Carolina USA Christina Isabelle Zapolski attends the 2014 Miss USA preliminary competition at The Baton Rouge River Center on June 4, 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
BATON ROUGE, LA - JUNE 04: Miss Rhode Island USA Christina Palavra attends the 2014 Miss USA preliminary competition at The Baton Rouge River Center on June 4, 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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Sunday night's pageant, Miss America's 95th, will feature contestants from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The U.S. Virgin Islands, which competed last year, could not field the minimum required amount of contestants, and is not eligible this year. Each will stand onstage and hope to hear their name called - after those of the runner-ups.

"It's so surreal," said Miss Vermont Alayna Westcom. "Standing up there, seeing all the lights and the sparkle and all the people in the audience is an amazing feeling. There's a little bit of nerves. You want to hear your name called, but you don't want it to be called first, because then you're not Miss America."

The finale comes after three nights of preliminary competition in the swimsuit, evening gown and talent categories. Swimsuit winners were Miss South Carolina Daja Dial; Miss Florida Mary Katherine Fechtel and Wiebers. Talent winners were Wiebers; Miss Louisiana April Nelson, and Miss Georgia, Betty Cantrell.

The Miss America pageant began in Atlantic City in 1921 as a way to extend the summer tourist season for a week after Labor Day. It moved to Las Vegas for six years before returning to Atlantic City in 2013.

It will be nationally televised on ABC at 9 p.m. EST.

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