After several consecutive years of public disinterest, lackluster ratings, and bouffant backlash, the Miss America Pageant is making some changes. Miss America: Reality Check premieres tonight in the pregnants-and-divorcees-only 10 p.m. time slot and runs until the live telecast from Las Vegas on January 26. Contestants will live sorority-style (or, if you will, Rock of Love-style), competing in challenges and learning how not to be so pageant-y from host Michael Urue and a slew of special guests from the TLC canon.
According to a press release issued Thursday, “Miss America must be beautiful, talented, intelligent, and well-spoken, a leader, have a commitment to her community, be contemporary in her style and fashion—a relatable and individual ‘it girl’ who can connect with today’s modern woman, as well as being physically fit.” How ever will they execute this enormous deviation from the long list of losers that came before? With a “strikingly diverse panel of judges,” of course!
Above and beyond having to choose the next weepy, basic-cable flash in the pan, the panel must chip away at the hardened mass of Aqua-net and identify the one contestant who can save the Miss America dynasty. The pageant’s judging process “distinguishes Miss America via a form of Olympic scoring where each contestant competes against ONLY herself.” Radar‘s following judgment of the judges differs only in its admission of capriciousness.