Apology Accepted: Vanessa Williams Returns to Miss America, Georgia Takes the Crown

Vanessa Williams stole the show with her triumphant return to the Miss America pageant this weekend.

It's the first time the actress has returned since she won the crown in 1983 - before she was promptly forced to resign following a nude photo scandal.

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Her return began with a song "Oh, How The Years Go By" before pageant CEO Sam Haskell issued an apology as Vanessa’s mother looked on.

He said: “On behalf of today's organization I want to apologize to you and your mother Miss Helen Williams. I want to apologize for anything said and done that made you feel any less than the Miss America you are and the Miss America you always will be."

Haskell added: "You have always lived your life with grace and dignity."

Vanessa appeared on the verge of tears during the apology and graciously responded: "I did the best I could."

And with that, the show went on - ultimately leading to the crowning of Miss Georgia, Betty Cantrell as the new Miss America.

The usual parade of ladies from all across the country was different this year, with interesting introductions for each state, like the one for Alabama: "Miss Alabama -- the state that brought you the hottest dancer Channing Tatum."

Read: Miss Alabama: Donald Trump is 'Absolutely Terrifying' 

Things heated up during the talent segment when Miss Georgia blew away the audience with a spectacular operatic performance from "Madam Butterfly.”

Miss Colorado, a nurse, wore hospital scrubs as she paid tribute to an Alzheimer’s patient.

During the all-important question and answer segment, Miss Georgia was asked about the Tom Brady deflatgate scandal and seemed a little flustered at first.

"Did he cheat? That's a really good question. I'm not sure," she said.

"I think I'd have to be there and see the ball and feel it and make sure it was deflated or not deflated. If there was question there, then yes, I think he cheated. If there was any question to be had, I think that he definitely cheated and that he should have been suspended for that. That’s not fair."

In a post-pageant press conference, she admitted: "I thought I blew my onstage question, I didn't know what he asked me."

But she ultimately won the crown.

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