The Miss America Pageant is tonight on ABC: Did you realize that? Will you watch?

Miss-America-hosts-BrookeImage Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images; Glenn Harris/PR Photos The 90th annual Miss America Pageant airs tonight on ABC, with ABC-tastic hosts Chris Harrison of The Bachelor and Brooke Burke of Dancing with the Stars (pictured here). To that I say: Really? I honestly had no idea that the show was even airing until yesterday. Maybe I haven’t been watching enough ABC or frequenting websites that teen girls regularly go to or am not reading the right magazines, but I haven’t seen a scrap of promotion for this year’s pageant. Where are the billboards? The magazine advertisements? The hosts and last year’s winner Miss Virginia parading through the morning-show circuit? The lack of all that—and the fact that the show has been decline for well over a decade—doesn’t bode well for its ratings, which have been in a tailspin for years. (I chronicled the Miss America woes one year ago in a story not-so-subtly titled Who Killed Miss America?) In lots of ways, it’s surprising that the pageant is even on one of the Big Four broadcast networks this year, since it had been on cable—first CMT, then TLC—for the past several years before even TLC gave it the boot after last year’s pageant drew only 4.5 million viewers. ABC last aired the pageant in 2004, which drew 9.8 million viewers—a far cry from the 33 million who tuned in in 1998. The point is: Very few people are watching this show today, but it’s not helped by the fact that it doesn’t seem to be very visible. And that it’s buried on a Saturday night. And is sort of antiquated.

All of this brings me to my question at hand. Like I said, I had no idea the pageant was even on ABC until yesterday.  Were you aware? Are you planning to watch? And most importantly: Why or why not? Sound off in the comments below please! Would love to hear your take.

UPDATE: Miss America 2011 winner is…

More from
Who Killed Miss America?
Miss America 2010: Miss Virginia wins
TLC drops Miss America pageant

Comments (125 total) Add your comment
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  • Carol

    I never miss the Pageant!

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  • netw

    I never miss the pageant. We have a party at our house, complete with scoring sheets and everything!

    • terri

      I love this idea…..think I’ll do it with my 4 little girls, ages 6-13

      • Donna

        Great…Teaching young girls how to score an individual’s looks. Just the lesson they’ll need as they enter middle and high school. I know there’s a talent component, and I used to watch faithfully, but come on!

      • Bad Mother

        Wow, Terri, great parenting!

      • Allison

        To be fair, the Miss America pageant does include talent, and the girls are usually more wholesome than the Miss USA pageant. Miss America has contestants who are attending college and using their brains; Miss USA is just pretty girls.

      • Cia

        Sad as it is, the scoring will prepare them for life. Teri, be sure to teach them to be smart if they’re not gonna rock the swimsuit competition.
        I hate pagents. It’s the sexist mean part of our society. No one can convince me otherwise. And, no, I had not seen any ads–thankfully.

      • James D

        and these replies just got depressing. one little comment terri makes and everyone has an opinion on what a bad mother she is. original! everything always has to turn into an issue on these comment boards. Maybe she knows that it will be something fun to do with her family. Probably not taking it seriously. You guys take these things to seriously

      • DotDotDot

        Great idea. Way to teach your daughters what’s important about them. Why not just tell them it doesn’t matter how stupid they are as long as they have big boobs and nice hair?

  • chattypatra

    No way. I haven’t been interested in watching the pageant since the year after Vanessa Williams was stripped of her title. I still remember how beautiful she sang Happy Days. She was a gorgeous queen.

  • Johna

    Wasn’t aware. Won’t watch.

  • Thunder

    Didn’t realize, won’t watch and don’t care

  • Carol

    I’ve been watching it since it was first televised in the 50’s. Although, it was more fun before the girls were so carefully rehearsed, didn’t have make-up artists or designer gowns.

  • m

    I would rather watch paint dry :/

    • gigi

      Brooke Burke is co-hosting. It will totally be like watching paint dry.

      • TerryT


  • Marcy

    I might have considered watching for old times sake, but then I learned the hosts are Chris Harrison and Brooke Burke…LOL (!) I mean, really, can this show sink even lower?

    • CK

      I know, seriously. They couldn’t find somebody better to host? Might watch … with the sound turned down.

  • Carolyn

    Never miss it, glad it’s back on ABC. I watched all the preliminaries on You Tube yesterday. It’a a great group of women and will be a tough choice for who gets the crown.

    • Jake

      Honestly, who gives a rat’s a*s*s*?

      • Irene

        Jake, you cared enough to click on and read this article and to make a post, I think you’re the one who gives a rat’s a**. Seriously people, I agree that the pageant does absolutely nothing for womankind but I don’t think labelling every attractive woman who likes to dress up and strut her stuff “catty” does anything for womankind either. I might flip back and forth between the pageant and other programming; there is no television program out there that will inspire world peace or end world hunger, but I’ll watch a show that might inspire a few females out there to stop wearing their flannel pajama pants outside their homes.

      • sarai31

        Jake you have a right to your opinion. Some people do enjoy this show… Not me but some do. Anything can be entertaining . I once watched an infomercial about a little big ladder. It could be big. It could be small. It could do big jobs. It could do small jobs. Seriously I watched for 30 minutes… Now I don’t judge.

  • debbie

    you bet I am watching..go Miss Nebraska..Teresa Scanlan prelim talent winner and hopefully the new Miss America

    • Heidi

      see, debbie, I’m more interested in the interviewing and talent that they do in the week(s)prior to the actual televised contest. The judges usually already have a favorite and very little can change it unless the girl totally screws up.

      • Heidi

        Oh, Debbie, Teresas in the semi finals, they just announced her

        I always want to know how they were chosen.

    • mw

      Well, she just won, Nebraska

  • Donna


  • VKC

    I’m with chattypatra, Johna, Carol and m. This hetero woman will watch NFL football instead

    • laura

      Football all the way for me too! Go Steelers and Go Packers!

      • Allison

        Go Steelers! But I probably will also watch the pageant – my favorite Steelers shirt is sequined!

  • PoPo

    Didn’t know, don’t care, won’t watch.

  • Jenna Fawn

    I have had the misfortune of working with women in the theatre business who used to be on the pageant circuits. They are some of the catiest, self loathing, insecure women I have ever met. I used to love watching in the 80’s when the hair size was comprable to the shoulder pads, but now all I see are pidgeon holed women striving for an illusion of the perfect American Woman. The real Miss Americas are the ones fighting for our country and those who work as firefighters, emts, and doctors and so forth. Brains and brawn with a healthy dash of sass means more to me than how well that lady looks in a bathing suit or evening gown. Now, show me a contestant who can change her car tire in an evening gown, then you just might have found a true Miss America.

    • Caitlin

      Well said, Jenna! I agree.

    • Deanna

      Jenna, that’s the thing about it. Several of the women in the pageant ARE doctors-in-training and have brains (med school, law school, cancer-survivors and advocates, etc.) so you need to stick to criticizing something you know about. They do thousands of hours of community service in addition to being college students…don’t be a hater because they LOOK GOOD WHILE DOING IT.

      • R. Shakleford

        Nobody is criticizing that they look good while going to school and working. They are criticizing the implicit insecurity of the over-importance of looking pretty by conventional standards and needing others to give their stamp of approval. It’s just kind of pathetic. Do you really need someone telling you that you are better looking/more poised than other female college students to make you happy? Why isn’t the career and education you are pursuing and what you are offering the world make you enough of a person to feel worthwhile? Why the need for the competition? People who feel good about themselves do not need a pageant or anyone else to tell them that they are better than someone else–and that is just the truth of it.

        And BTW, it sounds like Jenna does know about pageant women since she stated right there in the text that she had worked with many of them in the theater. Maybe you should learn to read more thoroughly before criticizing someone else’s posts.

      • Allison

        They don’t need the pageant to tell them they’re better looking, it’s just a way to take advantage of lessons they’ve taken forever to get more money for school. I used to love that the Miss America pageant showed women with more normal, but healthy, bodies – girls with muscular thighs from tap dancing, etc. Some of the girls use pageants to get over their fear of speaking in front of groups.
        I think the worst thing ever for the pageant world is “Toddlers and Tiaras” – now that is scary.

    • Maureen

      Amen sister! ;)

  • Jennifer

    I never watch the Miss America pageant. I have a life.

    • Julie

      Exactly. Why would you waste you time watching catty women compete for a title that means almost nothing???

      • rebecca

        50,000 would mean a lot to me.
        Bringing some hope and joy to sick children would mean a lot to me.
        Helping to eliminate AIDS would mean a lot to me.
        What do you mean it means nothing?

      • sarai31

        That would be The Bad Girls Club!

    • Lola

      You may have a life, yet you took the time to a) read the articled about the about the pageant, and b) make a negative, judgmental comment about those who choose to watch it. And yet you declare you have a life. Really.

      • mel

        Lol, Burn Lola.

      • Rusty Shackelford

        Actually, you don’t need to read the article to make a comment.

      • Fog cue


      • sarai31

        You have to read it in order to reject it right? That you give an opinion that is disagreeable to some makes it no less valid .

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