Meet Miss America 2016, Betty Cantrell — and see the pageant's biggest moments

/ Source: TODAY

Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell was crowned Miss America in Atlantic City on Sunday night, ending New York's winning streak (the Empire State took top honors at the pageant in 2013, 2014 and 2015).

The 21-year-old, whose platform was "Healthy Georgia. Strong America," impressed judges with her rendition of "Tu Tu Piccolo Iddio" from the opera "Madame Butterfly."

Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell (front L) reacts after being crowned Miss America at Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, September 13, 2015. Mark Makela / Reuters

During the question-and-answer portion of the competition, she was asked to weigh in on the Deflate-Gate scandal surrounding Tom Brady.

Miss Georgia Betty Cantrell is crowned Miss America 2016 by Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev at the 2016 Miss America pageant, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, in Atlantic City, N.J.Mel Evans / AP

"I think I'd have to be there to see the ball, and feel it to make sure it was deflated or not deflated," Cantrell said.

"But if there was question there, then yes, I think he cheated. If there were any question to be had, I think that he definitely cheated, and he should've been suspended for that. That's not fair."

Miss Georgia, Betty Cantrell attends the 2016 Miss America Competition at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 13, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.Donald Kravitz / Getty Images

But perhaps the evening's most buzzed-about moment was the apology that the organization's executive chairman, Sam Haskell, delivered to 1984's Miss America, Vanessa Williams.

Williams was famously forced to resign after becoming the first African-American Miss America, when nude photos of the singer and model surfaced in Penthouse magazine.

Executive Chairman and CEO for Miss America Sam Haskell III and Vanessa Williams speak onstage during the 2016 Miss America Competition at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 13, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.Donald Kravitz / Getty Images

"I have been a close friend to this beautiful and talented lady for 32 years," Haskell said. "You have lived your life in grace and dignity and never was it more evident than during the events of 1984 when you resigned."

Pictured: Miss New York Vanessa Williams winner of the 57th Miss America Pageant for 1984.NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

He continued, "Though none of us currently in the organization were involved then, on behalf of today's organization I want to apologize to you and to your mother, Ms. Helen Williams. I want to apologize for anything that was said or done that made you feel any less the Miss America you are and the Miss America you always will be."

Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson attends the 2016 Miss America Competition at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 13, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.Donald Kravitz / Getty Images

And that wasn't the only emotional speech in the two-hour ceremony.

MORE: Watch Miss America contestant's heartwarming monologue about being a nurse

Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson, 22, sported scrubs and offered a heartfelt monologue about her work as a nurse, sharing an anecdote of a touching encounter with an Alzheimer's patient named Joe who made her realize the true value of her profession.

Executive producer Ellen DeGeneres speaks onstage during the 'One Big Happy' panel discussion at the NBC/Universal portion of the 2015 Winter TCA Tour at the Langham Hotel on January 16, 2015 in Pasadena, California.Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Johnson also served up one idea we can certainly get behind. When asked what woman she'd like to see on the $10 bill, she cast her vote for Ellen DeGeneres.