America’s original reality competition is back! The Miss America pageant will air live on ABC this Sunday night, with 53 contestants from around the country vying for the coveted crown.
“It’s going to be a loving tribute to Atlantic City and also a hip, relevant look at Miss America from music choices through to the presentation,” pageant Chairman and CEO Sam Haskell told EW of returning to Atlantic City — after six years in Las Vegas — for the 93rd annual event. “We’re bringing the runway back, which we lost going to Las Vegas, as part of an elite production number. The girls will model their swimsuits and gowns on the runway.”
This year’s hosts are The Bachelor‘s Chris Harrison and Good Morning America‘s Lara Spencer, with former ‘N Sync singer Lance Bass, New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire, violinist Joshua Bell, comedian Mario Cantone, Shark Tank‘s Barbara Corcoran, The Chew‘s Carla Hall, and former Miss America Deidre Downs Gunn serving as judges.
Following pageant tradition, the women will compete in talent, community service, swimsuit, and evening gown competition categories. With so much emphasis placed on the latter two, EW asked Haskell to explain how each contestant decides what she’ll wear, who makes the much-discussed swimsuits, and how the organization feels about the first-ever tattooed contestant. Read on for all the details.