The 2019 Miss America pageant airs on September 9, 2018, at 9 p.m. ET/PT and 8 p.m. CT. There are 51 contestants vying for the new title of Miss America, bringing talent, beauty and brilliance to the stage. Last year, Bachelor host Chris Harrison and ESPN host Sage Steele hosted the event, but this year, Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba and TV personality Ross Mathews are the hosts. As for the judges, they include former boxer and TV host Laila Ali, radio personality Bobby Bones, country music artist and reality star Jessie James Decker, music producer and former American Idol judge Randy Jackson, news anchor Soledad O’Brien, Dry Bar founder Alli Webb, and music icon Carnie Wilson.
When asked about her excitement to host Miss America, Inaba told TV Insider that, “I’m honored to be hosting this year, especially in the day and age of women empowerment. To be part of an organization that celebrates diversity and the strength of women in so many ways is incredible.” Inaba then added that, “It’s always a bit nerve wracking to do something new. But at the same time, I’m a dancer and choreographer and it feels like going back to my roots, in fact it truly is going back, because my first assistant choreography job was at Miss America. It’s thrilling to be going back in a whole new capacity. Also, I think I am just as excited as the women competing to bring this new version of the show to everyone.”
Many of this year’s judges are well-known in the entertainment industry. Bobby Bones has been making the rounds over the past year, appearing on competition shows to help mentor participants. Jessie James Decker has released some new music and, according to Hollywood Life, Decker just had her third child a few months ago, in March 2018. Decker also has her new fashion line Kittenish having a fashion show at New York Fashion Week in mid September 2018. She also has a cookbook set to be released in October 2018. In addition to Decker having a lot going on, her husband recently announced that he is retiring from professional football.
Carnie Wilson, who is a music icon, is also a regular guest co-host of The View, according to E! News. News anchor O’Brien, who is a judge, is also currently a correspondent for HBO’s Real Sports and PBS NewsHour.
Miss America chairman, Gretchen Carlson, recently released a statement about how the Me Too movement should be credited with the renovations the organization has made to the Miss America competition. According to The Washington Post, Carlson stated that, “We are no longer a pageant. Miss America will represent a new generation of female leaders focused on scholarship, social impact, talent and empowerment. We’re experiencing a cultural revolution in our country with women finding the courage to stand up and have their voices heard on many issues. Miss America is proud to evolve as an organization and join this empowerment movement.”
READ NEXT: Miss America 2019 Contestants, Preliminary Winners & Predictions