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July 28, 2014

Once proud Miss America pageant survives on cable

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jan 12th 2010 5:01PM
The Miss America pageant has gone from network to cable.Remember when the Miss America Pageant was a major event on the national television candle? The folks at TLC want it to be that kind of show again.

If you were born anywhere around the late 80s, you probably don't. But, throughout the 50s into the 80s, the annual televised event was more than just entertainment. It was news. And the winner, whether it was Lee Meriweather, Phyllis George or Vanessa Williams, had a shot at becoming a major celebrity.

But now? Name the current Miss America. Quickly. Don't look it up. Name last year's winner. Name any of the last five. Case closed. While it was once a proud contest/variety show, Miss America show is now overshadowed by other "rags to riches" battles like American Idol, America's Got Talent, etc. To get Miss America back on the pop culture map, the show's producers are mixing up the judges with a surreal mix of faces from through the media.

For example, Rush Limbaugh is one of the judge's this year. Regardless of your take on current events and Limbaugh's radio show, you don't think "beauty" when you think Limbaugh. He's a talented, natural broadcaster and a dedicated student of politics and history. But, you don't associate him with "lookers" -- or women, for that matter.

And you can add Vivica Fox, Paul Rodriguez, Dave Koz, Brooke White and Katie Harman (one of the winners you couldn't name) to that mix. I'm left to ask if that's a judge's panel or a selection of future Match Game stars.

You can judge for yourself when the pageant airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT, January 30.

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Billie

It is so obvious why this pageant is going downhill. They put too much emphasis on talent and so little on looks. Every time I watch, I'm "shocked" by who the judges chose as the winner. The viewing audience wants to agree with the choice, and this has not happened in a loooooong time. Why is the Miss USA Pageant still on network TV, yet the Miss America is on a little-watched channel? Change the way it's judged and you will get your viewers.

January 31 2010 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Billie

Where are the beauties? The pageant has no Phyllis Georges or Mary Ann Mobley. There are prettier girls on the streets than at the pageant.

January 31 2010 at 9:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RobynM

Actually, Katie Harmon was the one I could remember, but only because she comes from around here.

January 13 2010 at 9:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Former sailor

When they dumped Bert Parks, they lost me and a lot of other viewers. That was a mean, unnecessary, and very stupid move! Bert Parks WAS the Miss America Pageant. Anyone else was like trying to replace Coca-Cola with warm pond water.

January 13 2010 at 4:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John F.C. Taylor

Pageants, award shows and reality series. All serve some purpose, but not in my TV world. Haven't watched an awards show since Aretha Franklin destroyed that Simon & Garfunkel tune on live TV. Pageants even before that and never a reality show. At least nothing that gets listed as a reality show these days. I suppose ABC's Superstars competition was the last time I watched. I still remember Kurt Russell giving himself a bloody tongue on the tug-o-war competition.

January 12 2010 at 5:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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