One Miss American pageant finalist will be selected by viewers

During the forthcoming TLC series Miss America: Reality Check, viewers will be able to vote for one of the cast members–the 50 pageant contestants–to be a finalist in the actual Miss America pageant.

That marks “the first time in the 87 year history of Miss America” that “everyone in America will have the opportunity to select one of the finalists, along with the 15 finalists selected by the judges,” as TLC said in a press release. Two years ago, CMT announced that it would let viewers select the pageant’s finalists, but then backed away from that plan.

Voting stars after the four-episode series debuts on Friday, and concludes after the final episode, which airs Jan. 25. The results will be revealed during the live pageant the next day. TLC exec Angela Shapiro-Mathes says in her press release quote that viewers will “get to know the contestants in a way that they never have before. The entire competition becomes more relevant to today’s audience as they vote and root for their favorites at the live finale.”

America Votes for Surprise 16th Pageant Finalist in TLC’s ‘Miss America: America’s Choice” [TLC press release]
Miss America: Reality Check [TLC]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.