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.”