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Date TimeSeptember 08, 2018
VoiceThis has been quite the year for Miss America.
Miss America 2019: What day, time, channel, what to know about pageant controversy
The Atlantic City pageant underwent a change in leadership and a rebranding effort, emerging this summer as "Miss America 2.0." But controversy has hounded the nearly 100-year-old competition in the wake of the decision to cut its swimsuit competition. The reigning Miss America, Cara Mund, has also charged that pageant leaders have bullied and silenced her for months.
When can you catch the newly swimsuit-free pageant? Read on for a viewing guide that includes what changes you can expect to see during the 2019 pageant broadcast.
Want to catch up on all the drama? See our guide to the backstage conflicts at Miss America 2019.
Miss America 2019: What day, time, channel, what to know about pageant controversy
ou can catch the 2019 Miss America pageant at 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9 on ABC. The winner should be named by 11 p.m. at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
The absence of swimsuits won't be the only change to the pageant broadcast. All week in preliminary competition, contestants have been giving the show's new format a test run. There is no pageant runway, but there are other new components.
Miss America 2019: What day, time, channel, what to know about pageant controversy
Why did Miss America cut the swimsuits?
Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News host, was annointed chairwoman of the Miss America board in January after a scandal over the former pageant CEO's emails caused his ouster. In June, she announced the pageant would no longer be judging contestants, who she called "candidates," on physical appearance. That meant swimsuits would be going the way of other Miss America relics, like vaudeville contracts, fur coats and golden mermaid trophies.
But a group of state pageants were none too happy about the way the decision was made. They charged that Carlson and pageant CEO Regina Hopper had misled board members, claiming that the pageant would lose its broadcast on ABC if the swimsuits were not axed. Though Carlson denied this, the discontent boiled over. Now, representatives of 46 states have signed letters calling for the resignation of Carlson and Hopper, and 23 former Miss Americas have done the same.
Miss America 2019: What day, time, channel, what to know about pageant controversy
Why is Miss America 2018, Cara Mund, unhappy?
You may have seen the reigning Miss America, Cara Mund, speaking about how her year with the crown has not exactly lived up to expectations. Mund, 24, a graduate of Brown University who is headed to law school and wants to run for governor of North Dakota, her home state, wrote a letter accusing pageant bosses Carlson and Hopper of bullying her and keeping her on the sidelines. She's appeared on national TV saying much the same.
Carlson, Mund says, became the public face of the pageant during media appearances, and she had to take a backseat to the former Miss America, who won in 1988.
"Right away, the new leadership delivered an important message: There will be only one Miss America at a time, and she isn't me," Mund wrote (ooh, burn).
In response, contestants and former titleholders started a #StandwithCara effort on social media. Many current contestants have supported Mund in her conflict with pageant leaders.
For her part, Carlson denies the bullying allegations. She says that by going public with her criticism, Mund caused the pageant to lose out on $75,000 in scholarship money. That statement did not exactly do much to endear Carlson to pageant volunteers, former Miss Americas and state pageant directors, who were already incensed over the swimsuit issue.
Miss America 2019: What day, time, channel, what to know about pageant controversy
How else will the 2019 Miss America pageant be different?
The 2019 Miss America pageant has been awarding winners of preliminary competition in two categories. One is talent, and the other is onstage question. Though questions have always been a part of the telecast, this portion replaced the preliminary award for the swimsuit competition.
Contestants have 20 seconds to answer questions from the judges. Topics of questions have included NFL players kneeling during the national anthem and diversity in college admissions.
Miss America contestants also don't have to be 24 or younger anymore. The age limit was raised so that those long in the tooth 25-year-olds can take a crack at the pageant, too.
Miss America 2019: What day, time, channel, what to know about pageant controversy
What's different about the evening gown portion of Miss America?
Evening gowns are still a part of Miss America, but the format of that part of the pageant has changed, too. Contestants were invited to wear other types of formal attire, including pants and cocktail dresses, though an overwhelmingly majority have opted to stick with gowns. And that's not the only change.
Instead of walking down a runway to show off their dresses, the contestants will stop to field a question. They'll be asked an open-ended question (in the preliminary round, one was "What do you want to say to America?") that will give them an opportunity to talk about their social impact initiative, formerly known as the pageant platform. Contestants are advocating for causes including support for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, food allergy and eating disorder awareness.
Miss America 2019: What day, time, channel, what to know about pageant controversy
Who are the favorites to win Miss America 2019?
It's anyone's guess as to who will win Miss America 2019, and preliminary competition only accounts for part of a contestant's score, but here are the winners of awards so far:
  • Miss Massachusetts, Gabriela Taveras (onstage question)
  • Miss Indiana, Lydia Tremaine (talent — vocal)
  • Miss Virginia, Emili McPhail (onstage question)
  • Miss Wisconsin, Tianna Vanderhei (onstage question)
  • Miss Louisiana Holli' Conway (talent — vocal)
  • Miss Florida, Taylor Tyson (talent — piano)
Miss America 2019: What day, time, channel, what to know about pageant controversy
What are the pageant talents at Miss America 2019?
Sure, there's the usual singing and dancing during the talent portion of the Miss America pageant.
But this year, we've also got a ventriloquist (Miss Texas), a speed painter (Miss Delaware) and several monologues. In preliminary competition, Miss Nebraska delivered a monologue about her cancer diagnosis at the age of 19. Depending upon who makes the cut, you may also see clogging, Irish stepdancing, classic piano, tap dancing or ballet.
Miss America 2019: What day, time, channel, what to know about pageant controversy
Who's hosting the 2019 Miss America pageant?
You won't see frequent Miss America host Chris Harrison, host of "The Bachelor," or another former pageant host, ESPN's Sage Steele, at "Miss America 2.0."
In their place, "Dancing with the Stars" judge Carrie Ann Inaba will be hosting the pageant alongside TV personality Ross Mathews, who you might remember as "Ross the Intern" from Jay Leno's "Tonight Show."
Miss America 2019: What day, time, channel, what to know about pageant controversy
Who are the judges at Miss America 2019?
So who are this year's celebrity judges at the pageant?
Deciding who wears the 2019 crown will be Laila Ali, a former professional boxer and daughter of Muhammad Ali; singer Carnie Wilson from Wilson Phillips; former "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson; Bobby Bones, host of country radio's "The Bobby Bones Show,"; country music and reality TV star Jessie James Decker; TV journalist Soledad O'Brien, correspondent for HBO's "Real Sports"; and Alli Webb, founder of Drybar, the blowout bar chain.

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