Tonight, at 8 p.m. ET, Dancing with the Stars 3 runner-up Mario Lopez will host the Miss America pageant. That will be preceded at 6 (and also at noon) by Pageant School: Becoming Miss America, a two-hour special that apparently replaced what was supposed to be an entire reality series that would have allowed the public to choose the finalists.
On the seven-episode series, “viewers will be given the opportunity to cast their votes via phone and CMT.com for their favorite contestants, thereby determining finalists,” CMT announced last April. Viewers would have selected seven finalists, with judges picking the other eight.
Instead, what we get is a “behind-the-scenes special” that follows the contestants before the pageant. As CMT says on its web site, “For the first time in the history of the pageant, all 52 contestants convene in Los Angeles for a pre-pageant training camp. … This four-day pageant camp will help the contestants refine their look, sharpen their skills and bring them all a step closer to the crown.”
Boring. Perhaps they’ll actually produce Finding Miss America next year (CMT has not replied to a request for comment as of 1:30 p.m. ET), but CMT probably shouldn’t be surprised when everyone watches Prison Break, Heroes, and 24 instead.
Update: A CMT spokesperson tells reality blurred that the network “decided to replace [the reality series] with the 2 hour special Pageant School: Becoming Miss America so that we could utilize our sister Networks to air the show, as well. MTV, VH1 and Logo all have aired the special, so it’s reaching more of a diverse audience.”