Miss America Preliminary Judges


Atlantic City, NJ (July 23, 2015) - The Miss America Organization, dick clark productions, and ABC announced today the panel of judges for the non-broadcast preliminary rounds of the "2016 Miss America Competition." This diverse group of judges will select the top 15 finalists competing for the title of Miss America 2016 during the preliminary week of competition on September 8th -10th in Atlantic City, NJ. The national broadcast of the 95th anniversary of the "2016 Miss America Competition" will take place on Sunday, September 13 (9:00 -11:00 p.m. ET live/PT tape-delayed), live from Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on the ABC Television Network. The evening will be filled with glitz and glam when 52 women representing their home states and territories compete to bring home the crown and scholarship.

These judges will use their expertise in their respective fields to evaluate these young women and their incredible blend of intelligence, leadership, talent, physical fitness, and dedication to community service.

The panel of experts will evaluate the 52 contestants' performances in the following categories: Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit, Evening Wear, Talent, Interview, and On-Stage questions. The preliminary judges are listed below (in alphabetical order by first name):


Brian Edwards

Multi-award winning Talent Producer, celebrity client relations rep and author of the most honored LGBT non-fiction book of 2014, Enter Miss Thang, including the National Indie Excellence Award for Best Autobiography of the Year, Edwards also served as the Talent Producer for three Emmy Award winning shows. In addition, he is the independent publicist whose solo campaigns have resulted in a record five stars on the Hollywood Walk-Of-Fame for: Joan Rivers, Donna Summer, Whoopi Goldberg, Rascal Flatts and Vanessa Williams. He recently produced the acclaimed Grammy Museum exhibits Donna Summer: Four Seasons Of Love and Joan Rivers: Can We Talk? at LA Live in Los Angeles.


James Brown III

- Actor/Model/Creative Director/Fashion Editor known for his extensive career on Broadway performing in ten productions including Rocky, Wicked, Memphis, The Color Purple and The Lion King. James was recently seen on TV in Peter Pan Live! on NBC, Forever (ABC), The Mysteries of Laura (NBC) and is starring in his first independent film Love For Passion as Jeffrey Love.


Jenni Pulos

- Emmy-nominated Co-Executive producer and personality on Bravo's hit television show "Flipping Out" and its spin-off series "Interior Therapy." This Greek American actress, comedian, writer, producer and Apollo-winning rapper released her first book, Grin and Bear It: How to Be Happy No Matter What Reality Throws Your Way to critical-acclaim in March of 2014. Jenni also co-wrote and performs the theme song for Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live" with Andy Cohen and her children's rap album "Old School Kids Beats" is available nationwide at Toys R Us with her first music video debuting this September on the season finale of "Flipping Out."


Kylene Barker McNeill

- Only a few months after entering her first local pageant, Miss Pulaski, Kylene Barker McNeill was crowned Virginia's first Miss America. A successful entrepreneur and business owner at 23, Kylene has served as a corporate spokesperson (Clairol, Made In the USA Council, and more), a fashion and beauty reporter (The Today Show, Regis and Kathie Lee), and an author (Southern Beauty and the audio book Stamina and Style). She has gone back to her Virginia roots by producing a bluegrass music CD, Christmas Along the Crooked Road. She has served on the Alumni Board of her alma mater, Virginia Tech, and is an active champion of Virginia's new state song, Our Great Virginia. Kylene is an avid golfer, and is excited to have achieved four holes-in-one! 


Lanny Griffith

- Notable D.C. lobbyist serving as CEO of BGR Group, known for helping companies navigate major mergers and acquisitions, and securing funding for universities and medical research. Lanny is a founder of the Trust for the National Mall and currently serves on the Board of Directors. He worked closely with both Bush administrations, serving in the White House in 1989 as Special Assistant to the President and national chairman of the Bush-Cheney 2000 Entertainment Task Force.


Noah Alexander

- Noah Alexander has for the past 20 years brought his expert fashion-eye to Ermenegildo Zegna, the luxury men's fashion house and is their highest awarded sales professional in the U.S. Noah sits on the Board of Directors for the Rodeo Drive Committee and is on the planning committee for the Lupus LA Hollywood Handbag Ladies Luncheon. In 2008 Noah was a guest judge for The Little Black Dress Contest on Miss America's "Countdown to the Crown."


Rachel Zalis

- Rachel Zalis, one of Hollywood's premier fashion and lifestyle experts, is currently a style contributor for "E! News," "Access Hollywood," "KTLA Morning News" and Women's Health Magazine. She is a former Editor at Glamour and Cosmopolitan magazines, as well as a contributor to Life & Style Weekly, and has frequently appeared on "The Today Show," "The View," "Dr. Oz" and "Showbiz Tonight." Rachel also hosted the WE makeover series "Secrets Revealed" and produced the STARZ documentary "Fashion in Film."

Hosts and judges for the live show will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for "The 2016 Miss America Competition" are now on sale and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com. For more information on "The 2016 Miss America Competition," please visit Miss America Organization's website at www.missamerica.org.

For the latest news, be sure to follow Miss America on social and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #MissAmerica.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/missamerica

Twitter: https://twitter.com/missamericaorg

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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MissAmericaOrg

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Google+: https://plus.google.com/+missamerica/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/missamericaorg/

Join the Conversation: #MissAmerica

About The Miss America Organization The Miss America Organization, a 501(c) 4 non-profit corporation, provides millions of dollars in annual college scholarship assistance making it the largest scholarship program for women in the United States. MAO is comprised of 52 licensed organizations, which includes all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. MAO contestants contribute over 500,000 hours of community service annually and have raised over $10 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals since 2007.

About dick clark productions dick clark productions (dcp) is the world's largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the "Academy of Country Music Awards," "American Country Countdown Awards," "American Music Awards," "Billboard Music Awards," "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest," "Golden Globe Awards," "Hollywood Film Awards" and the "Streamy Awards." Weekly television programming includes "So You Think You Can Dance" from 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group and dcp; "KNOCK KNOCK LIVE" from XIX Entertainment and dcp, "World's Funniest" from Jukin Media and dcp; as well as "BOOM!" from Keshet DCP, the joint venture between Keshet International (KI), the global distribution and production arm of Keshet Media Group and DC Media, the parent company of dcp. dcp also owns one of the world's most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with more than 55 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.

Media Credentials To apply for media credentials to cover "The 2016 Miss America Competition," please click here and fill out the online form. The credential application process closes Friday, August 14, 2015.

The Miss America Class of 2014 Debuts in FL

The Miss America Class of 2014 Debuts In Orlando, Florida
for the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition

 The 2014 Miss America Contestants at Walt Disney World® Resorts in Florida

Fifty three amazing and beautiful women gathered in the sunshine state to show their support for the 9th annual Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition!  The calendar was filled with wonderful photo shoots and filming opportunities to showcase our 2014 Miss America contestants who met for the very first time. They will soon meet again for the historic return of the Miss America Competition in Atlantic City airing on Sunday, September 15th live on ABC!

The contestants’ first official event began on Thursday evening on the third night of preliminary competition for MAOTeen. Prior to the Competition, Miss Florida’s State Executive Director, Mary Sullivan and our two very gracious sponsors, David Lang and Carry O’Neal from Regalia Magnificent Apparel, hosted an elegant, private dinner at Maggiano’s. Our contestants had the opportunity to get to know one another while enjoying a dinner of signature Italian family style, prepared especially for them.

Miss America 2014 Contestants at Maggiano's With Hosts David Lang and Carry O'Neal

The Class of 2014 was invited to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resorts on Friday, where they were filmed touring the attractions and enjoying the thrills of the world-famous
park’s most requested rides. They were provided fast passes so they could move quickly through the park and enjoy highlights such as Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean and many more. The contestants had a wonderful time together as they began to build their new friendships.

2014 Miss America Contestants Being Filmed by ABC's 20/20 at Walt Disney World® Resorts in Florida

Finally, Saturday evening, the contestants gathered for an autograph session that was open to the public before the MAO Teen Competition. Immediately following, the contestants witnessed the final night of competition and were incredibly supportive of the young teens who were all shining brightly on stage. The crowning event of the evening was when Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2014 was announced. The title was awarded to a very excited young woman from Florida, Leah Sykes, Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2014.

 The 2014 Miss America Contestants' Autograph Session

Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan with her new sister,
Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2014 Leah Sykes

The Miss America Organization proudly thanks all of our supporters, our sponsors, our state Executive Directors, our contestants and everyone at MAOTeen for making this trip to Orlando so memorable. 

We wish our contestants the very best as they prepare for their historic journey to the 2014 Miss America Competition in Atlantic City next month!


Vote for Miss Idaho 2013!

Want to help Sarah make finals night?
Vote for her video and help her be America's choice!


Let The Voting For The 2014 Miss America Competition & America's Choice Begin!

The Miss America Organization is proud to announce that we are once again bringing back the voting aspect for the 2014 Miss America Competition! The votes will determine one contestant as America's Choice and guarantee her spot in the Top 15 Semi-Finalists on Sunday Night!
 The 53 videos will go live August 15th.  Cast your vote via one (1) of the following two (2) methods:
·         Vote for your favorite contestant's video on www.missamerica.org/videocontest<http://www.missamerica.org/videocontest>
·         Visit the “Video Contest” tab at www.facebook.com/missamericaorganization<http://www.facebook.com/missamericaorganization>
There is a limit of one (1) vote per person per contestant, regardless of method of voting. Voting closes at 11:59 pm EST on September 12th. Click here to read Voting Terms and Conditions." <http://missamerica.org/videocontest/#terms>

Miss Idaho in Orlando || Part One

Hello Orlando! We are now halfway through our week to watch Abby compete at Miss America's Outstanding Teen and to meet all the Miss America contestants at Orientation. Here is a rundown of events that have happened so far...

Monday: Travel day! I managed to pack all of my clothes into one suitcase with my purse and crown box as my carry on items. Tami and Jaylee were great to travel with; they had all of the rentals and tickets in line and ready to go so there wasn't much for me to worry about. I even slept the entire way! We reached our destination and got to bed by about 2:30am.

Tuesday: After sleeping in Tuesday morning, we went to the grocery store to get food supplies. (We have access to a working kitchen because we are staying in an apartment-style condo.) I forgot to alert my bank that I was traveling, so I had to have a hold removed on my card. I'll be sure to not forget that the next time!! The rest of the day was spent getting settled in, taking naps, browsing Miss America wardrobe options, cooking chicken, and watching Abby compete in fitness at the first night of prelims. I was able to meet other Miss America contestants for the first time, and they are all SO sweet! Being able to talk with them really put me at ease for the upcoming events this week. Having Mallory Hagan and Laura Kaeppeler in the same room was the cherry on top!

Wednesday: I had my appointment with Regalia to search for an evening gown. Not only did I find an evening gown, but I got my talent outfit at the same time! Tami was so relieved to have those items checked off our list. Carry and David, the owners of Regalia, were phenomenal. I have to say that this was one of the highlights of my week. We shopped at the trade show afterwards, and then went back to the apartment to get ready for night two of preliminaries. Abby's talent was the best I've ever seen it, and all of the Miss contestants were seriously amazed by her...I'm SO PROUD!!

Overall, this week has been a lot less stressful and scary than I thought it would be. I'm so excited for the next half of the trip, and I want to thank everyone who has helped me by letting me borrow clothes, by donating to CMN (I reached my goal today!), and by sending me best wishes. I can't believe how fast time flies!