No swimsuits? No viewers.
Sunday’s Miss America 2019 competition — the first time participants did not don a swimsuit — reached 4.3 million viewers on ABC, a 23% plunge in viewership from last year’s broadcast, according to Nielsen overnights.
Past participants also ripped what they are now dubbing as “Miss America 2.0” for being “too rehearsed” and lacking a certain degree of authenticity.
The Miss America organization has faced scandal and controversy in the past year, after sexist emails by former CEO Sam Haskell were revealed, leading to his resignation and the appointment of former winner Gretchen Carlson. Last year’s Miss America Cara Mund in August wrote an open letter claiming she had been “silenced” by leadership, leading to calls for Carlson to resign.
Former Miss Oklahoma participant Victoria Jameson-Krath said in a Facebook post Monday that “my heart is hurting for an organization that made me who I am today.”
Writing that there was “NO WOW FACTOR” during the pageant held in Atlantic City, Krath said she loved seeing a diverse group of women — and body types — competing at Miss America 2019. But she bemoaned the fact that she could not see the varying body types being exhibited in swimwear.
“As an eating disorder survivor, pageants are the way I learned to fuel my body for fitness and health rather than starve myself,” she wrote.
“That’s a common misconception about pageant competitors but people don’t realize the hard work at the gym and how seeing those results empowers us as women to control our health!” Krath added.