During the talent portion of the 2018 Miss America competition, one act stood out from the rest.
After a slew of song and dance routines, Miss Louisiana — Laryssa Bonacquisti — took the stage with two puppets and performed a ventriloquist act, complete with yodeling! Bonacquisti, 22, and her puppets sang Patsy Montana and the Prairie Ramblers’ country western-classic “I Wanna Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart.”
Miss Louisiana’s unique talent offering spurred surprised looks (and smiles!) from the judging panel, which included Jordin Sparks, Thomas Rhett and PEOPLE Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle.
Social media was abuzz after the performance, with delighted Miss America viewers sounding off on Miss Louisiana’s memorable set.
“All I want to see is the puppets already, I no longer care about any other talent,” one fan tweeted.
Added another: “Ventriloquist yodeling should be an instant win.”
Bonacquisti took up ventriloquism 16 years ago; she opened up about how she got into the unusual art on Instagram recently.
“Ventriloquism is something I began at the age of 6 and it has been such a gift,” Bonacquisti wrote. “My ‘friends’ help me get my message across to people of all ages! I cannot wait to show everyone why I love my talent on the Miss America stage!”