I went to Miss America for the first time, and the show felt like a cross between ‘American Idol’ and a job interview

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Miss America

I went to Miss America for the first time ever, and found the competition to be a cross between a reality show and a job interview.
The rebranded Miss America 2.0 was held at the Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut, on Thursday night.
I loved seeing the families’ covered in gear celebrating their favorite contestant, and the audience was full of women in gorgeous gowns and pageant sashes.
However, the on-stage elimination rounds were coming so fast that I felt like I barely knew the actual contestants.
New features like the judges’ critiques after the talent portion, plus their decision to eliminate each girl one by one to build up suspense felt like they belonged on an episode of “American Idol.”
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For most of my life, the only thing I knew about the world of pageants came from watching “Miss Congeniality.”

I imagined that they were competitions full of glitz and sparkle, of dazzling tiaras, questions about the perfect date (April 25!), and plenty of dreams for “world peace.”

But after extensively covering Miss Universe this year, I knew that pageants in the 21st century were learning how to combine glamour with politics.

So when I was given the chance to attend this year’s Miss America pageant, I was intrigued to see just what the competition would be like after last year’s major rebranding eliminated both the swimsuit and evening gown rounds.

What I found was a show that felt like a cross between “American Idol” and a job interview, with the atmosphere of a basketball game at Madison Square Garden — nachos included.

I boarded the Northeast Regional train from Penn Station in Manhattan early Thursday afternoon.

The train took me to New London, Connecticut, which is about 20 minutes away from where Miss America was being held in Uncasville, Connecticut.

This year marked the second time that the Miss America competition wasn’t held in Atlantic City, where it first originated in 1921 in an effort to keep tourists around after Labor Day weekend.

Minus a brief stint in Las Vegas from 2005 to 2012, Miss America had always been held in the coastal New Jersey town. But this year the competition not only changed locations, it also switched networks from ABC to NBC, and moved from its traditional Sunday night in September to the Thursday night before Christmas in December.

After a two-and-a-half hour journey, I arrived in New London around 4:30 p.m. — just as the sun had begun to set.

I couldn’t help but feel excited as I stepped off the train and saw a sky the color of lavender as the sun began to sink into the Thames River.

After a quick dash to my hotel to drop off my bag and change into a dress, I headed to the Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort in Uncasville.

The minute I stepped inside, I was hit with so many flashing neon lights that I …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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