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[08/22/16 - 09:26 AM]
Gabby Douglas and Laura Marano Added to Judges Panel for the Live Broadcast of the 96th Miss America Competition
Douglas and Marano will join entrepreneur Mark Cuban, actress Sara Foster, singer-songwriter Cole Swindell and former Miss America Sharlene Wells Hawkes as celebrity judges for the live broadcast.

[via press release from ABC]

GABBY DOUGLAS AND LAURA MARANO ADDED TO JUDGES PANEL FOR THE LIVE BROADCAST OF THE 96th MISS AMERICA COMPETITION

The Show Will Be Hosted by Chris Harrison and Co-Hosted by Sage Steele

The '2017 Miss America Competition' to Broadcast Live Sunday, September 11, From Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on the ABC Television Network

The Miss America Organization, dick clark productions and ABC announced today that Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas and musician and actress Laura Marano will join the esteemed panel of judges for the "2017 Miss America Competition," which airs live from Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 (9:00-11:00p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network. The evening will be filled with glitz and glam, as 52 women compete for the coveted crown and scholarships.

"Miss America has been such an amazing event for so many years, and I am excited to have the opportunity to judge the competition this year," said Douglas. "The contestants are a great example of strong women across America, and I especially look forward to hearing the platforms that each of them will represent!"

Douglas and Marano will join entrepreneur Mark Cuban, actress Sara Foster (VH1's "Barely Famous"), singer-songwriter Cole Swindell and former Miss America Sharlene Wells Hawkes as celebrity judges for the live broadcast of the "2017 Miss America Competition." Additional judges for the "2017 Miss America Competition" will be announced in the coming weeks.

The panel of celebrity judges will evaluate the contestants' performances in the following categories during the live broadcast: Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit, Evening Wear, Talent, Interview and On-Stage Questions. These young women will showcase their incredible blend of intelligence, leadership, talent, physical fitness and dedication to community service as they compete for the title of Miss America 2017.

Chris Harrison (ABC's "The Bachelor" and "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire") returns to host the legendary competition, with Sage Steele (ABC and ESPN's "NBA Countdown") joining as co-host.

Gabrielle Douglas is a U.S. Women's Artistic gymnast, and the first all-around Olympic gold medalist in U.S. history to earn a position on a second Olympic team. She also is only one of two U.S. gymnasts in history to win gold medals in back-to-back Olympics, which Gabby did at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. At those Games, she also became the first reigning all-around Olympic champion to return to compete in a second Olympic Games since Nadia Comaneci in 1980.

At the 2012 London Summer Olympics, she won gold medals in both the team and individual all-around competitions and won her third gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with the Final Five team under Martha Karolyi. Gabrielle is the first woman of color of any nationality and the first African-American gymnast in Olympic history to become the Individual All-Around Champion. She is also the first American gymnast to win gold in both the gymnastic individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympic Games.

Laura Marano is widely known for starring as "Ally" in the Disney Channel's international hit television series "Austin & Ally," for which she won Best Actress on TV at the Kids Choice Awards and nominations for Choice Summer TV Star Female and Choice TV Actress Comedy at the Teen Choice Awards. The series has won Kids Choice Awards in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Columbia. In 2015, Marano appeared in the feature film "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip," and also signed with record label Big Machine Records. This March she released her new single "Boombox," with the video garnering over 35 million views. Her next single "LaLa," will be out August 25, and the album will follow later this year. Marano launched her own weekly radio show on the Radio Disney Network and is currently developing her own apparel and accessories brand after curating a collection of prom dresses for Sherri Hill, which is currently in stores now. Marano co-hosted TLC's "Say Yes to The Prom Dress," treating deserving high school girls to a fairytale transformation for their prom.

On August 10, voting opened to the public for the "America's Choice" contestant. The public can vote at missamerica.org and facebook.com/missamerica and are permitted one vote per day, per user. Voting will close Monday, September 5, at 12:00 p.m. EDT, and the chosen contestant will be announced during the live broadcast of the "2017 Miss America Competition" with the Top 15. The remaining contestants in the Top 15 are selected by the Miss America Preliminary Judges Panel. It is possible for America's Choice to also be among the judges selection.

For the latest news, be sure to follow Miss America on social and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #MissAmerica. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/missamerica Twitter: https://twitter.com/missamericaorg Instagram: https://instagram.com/missamericaorg YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MissAmericaOrg Tumblr: http://blog.missamerica.org/ Join the Conversation: #MissAmerica

dick clark productions and the Miss America Organization will collaborate on all creative, marketing, sponsorship, licensing, ticketing and distribution elements of this year's show. Tony Eaton and Tall Pony Productions will produce the "2017 Miss America Competition."

To purchase tickets to the "2017 Miss America Competition," please visit http://www.ticketmaster.com/Miss-America-Competition-tickets/artist/834520?tm_link=edp_Artist_Name.

For more information on the "2017 Miss America Competition," please visit Miss America Organization's website at www.missamerica.org.

About The Miss America Organization

The Miss America Organization, a 501(c) 4 non-profit corporation, awards millions of dollars in annual college scholarship assistance making it the largest scholarship program for women in the United States. MAO is comprised of 52 licensed organizations which includes all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. MAO contestants contribute over 500,000 hours of community service annually and have raised over $14 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals since 2007.

About dick clark productions

dick clark productions (dcp) is the world's largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming, with the "Academy of Country Music Awards," "American Country Countdown Awards," "American Music Awards," "Billboard Music Awards," "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest," "Golden Globe Awards," "Hollywood Film Awards" and the "Streamy Awards." Weekly television programming includes "So You Think You Can Dance," from 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group and dcp. dcp also owns one of the world's most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries, with more than 55 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.





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