A champion Irish dancer may have missed out on the crown, but was one of the top ten finalists in this year’s Miss America pageant on Sunday night.

Miss Connecticut Kaitlyn Tarpey is a 21-year-old student who attends PACE University in New York. She spent the first six years of her life in France.

She was crowned Miss Connecticut on June 22nd last.

Tarpey survived the cut far enough to take part in the talent competition as the number of contestants was cut from 53 to 15 and then to 12 at the annual beauty pagent.

As part of her act the flame haired beauty demonstrated her Irish dancing skills, to a selection from "Riverdance", USA Today reports.

According to her profile on Miss Connecticut she began competing in the Miss Connecticut Pageant two years ago after surviving an almost-fatal lung surgery.

Miss New York Nina Davuluri, 24, from Syracuse was crowned the winner on Sunday night.

"I was the first Indian Miss New York, and I'm so proud to be the first Indian Miss America," Nina Davuluri said after she won.

She performed a Bollywood fusion dance and answered a question about plastic surgery.

She said she hopes to become a doctor, like her father, who is an obstetrician, who emigrated from India 30 years ago.

"During her year as Miss America she will serve as spokesperson for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) this year as she travels to Washington, D.C., to work with the Department of Education," according to a Miss America statement.

The pageant returned to Atlantic City after a seven-year absence this year.

Meet Miss Connecticut