There she is, Miss America! The Miss America 2017 competition will take place on Sunday, September 11, and feature 52 contestants vying for the coveted title on a national stage.
The Bachelor host Chris Harrison will be joined by NBA Countdown’s Sage Steele to helm the show, which will be broadcast on ABC from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, and include fitness, talent, lifestyle and interview categories.
“It is more of a sporting competition,” Harrison told ABC News earlier this week, noting that it is his and Steele’s duty to “treat the women as these competitors that have fought and really earned the right to be on that stage.”
“All of these women are using this to better their lives, better their careers … finish school,” he added. “It’s hard not to get behind an organization that just tries to empower women — considering I have a [daughter] in my house, you know, that I’m trying to raise and do the right thing with as well.”
The journey to Sunday night has already been one filled with tears of joy and frustration. In June, Erin O’Flaherty was crowned Miss Missouri 2017, making her the first openly gay Miss America contestant in history.
“I had my concerns about it,” she told the Riverfront Times of coming out about her sexual orientation. “Progressive is not exactly a word people might think of when you think Missouri.”
And in July, Miss Florida 2017 Genesis Davila was stripped of her crown just days after winning it — for using professional hair and makeup artists.
“We finally had substantial proof to link her and her vendors to her room on an evening which they were not allowed,” Grant Gravitt, the executive producer of the Miss Florida USA pageant, told Miami’s ABC Local 10 on July 22.
Watch the competition unfold on Sunday, September 11, at 9 p.m. ET on ABC, or watch the livestream on abc.go.com.
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