Related News

Home » World

Miss America slips into something comfortable

IT'S been slow and not necessarily painless, but Miss America is moving into the 21st century - one well-practised, high-heeled step at a time.

Seeking to restore slipping ratings, she got a reality show complete last year with absurd challenges and snarky judges. Then she was given an updated look, courtesy of the makeover specialists at the cable network TLC, her current home.

This year, she's moving closer to the viewer-voting format that made "American Idol" a star.

For the first time, four contestants will be voted into the pageant finals by viewers of "Miss America: Countdown to the Crown," the four-part reality series culminating tomorrow on TLC. The viewer favorites will be named along with 11 other finalists at the pageant airing live at Saturday from the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. In another time, this could have been pageant heresy.

The 88-year-old Miss America pageant is more than a television show for some. To its most die-hard devotees, it's a venerated source of scholarships for polished young women across the United States. Its judges are trained how to evaluate young beauties for poise, talent and smarts.

Its participants are prepped on how to measure up to those benchmarks.

Miss America Organization President Art McMaster said he assured the pageant faithful there would be an upside to the new arrangement. More contestants are getting a shot at the crown.

"With pageant people, we just explain to them that rather than having a top 10, we're going to have a top 15. It's a win-win for both sides," he said. Pageant fans have had to learn to roll with the punches in recent years.

The change is just the latest in the continuing search for a new audience for a venerable institution. After years of sinking ratings, ABC dropped the pageant in 2005, forcing it to uproot from the Atlantic City Boardwalk in New Jersey to the Las Vegas Strip.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend