Miss America 2.0: Losing the swimsuits, and other changes to the competition

Posted on: September 7th, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

ABC(NEW JERSEY) — Miss America will unveil a number of changes during Sunday night’s broadcast of the 97-year-old competition.

Good Morning America had an inside look behind Wednesday’s preliminaries.  Besides the controversial swimsuit ban, it’s safe to say we’re in for a new kind of pageant — one that gets to know the ladies on a more personal level by celebrating their talents and accomplishments. 

“We want to pay tribute to tradition and we believe that physical appearance and beauty and being fit, that is empowering,” chairwoman Gretchen Carlson said on Good Morning America in July. “We’re just not going to judge women on that anymore.”

Here’s a reminder of what you can expect:

The swimsuit portion is now an interview session. The organization announced in June that it would be eliminating the swimsuit competition.

“I didn’t know what to expect going into it but I was extremely pleasantly surprised to see how it all came together up on stage, and to be perfectly honest I don’t know that I missed the swimsuit competition,” Miss America 2009 Katie Stam Irk told GMA of the preliminaries.

The evening gown competition is getting a makeover, too, becoming the “red carpet” segment. While hopefuls are still welcome to wear an evening gown, they’re free to sport any attire that expresses their confidence and personal styles. Here, candidates will also answer rapid-fire questions in eight seconds. 

“You have a few seconds before the next person is right behind you,” said Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014. “So I think it’s actually [a] very relevant phase and way to do it.”

Catch the Miss America broadcast live on ABC Sept. 9, at 9 p.m. EST.

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