The 2018 Miss America Competition saw a steep fall in television viewership after it shelved the swimsuit competition. However, the move lost more than one million viewers also.

Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin was crowned Miss America 2019 Sunday.

This year’s pageant is a wee bit different, and the biggest one is, of course, the absence of a swimsuit round.

For the first time, the event is now competition and not a pageant. In other words, the participants were candidates who were appearing for an interview for the job of Miss America.

No swimsuits

This year, the contestants were not judged by their physical appearance and therefore the swimsuit competition was replaced with the titleholders from each state participating in a live interactive session with the judges.

Carlson faces a revolt by 2017 winner

The decision to abandon the swimsuit section was taken by Gretchen Carlson, chairwoman of the Miss America board of trustees along with Regina Hopper, CEO of the Miss America Organization. Both the executives have a long association with the media and Carlson was a former Fox News host and winner in 1989 while Hopper is a former Miss Arkansas.

The decision of not having the swimsuit section has evoked both positive and negative responses. While Rights activists have hailed the act as the right thing, a section of the audience booed continuously when a comedian who was performing before the audience broke the news that there will be no Swimsuit competition.

However, swimsuit was not the only contentious issue on the board. 2018, Miss America, Cara Mund had shot a missive alleging that Carlson, Hopper and the Miss America leadership had bullied and sidelined her for months.

The cancellation of the swimsuit event has led to a steep fall in the viewership and this year’s viewership figures of the event were the lowest since 2009 when it was viewed by 3.54 million people on Cable’s TLC Channel. The number touched a record high in 2013 when around 8.5 million watched the event live on Television.

According to USAToday, The Nielsen company stated 4.34 million people watched the event on ABC this year, down 19 percent from the 5.35 million viewers last year.

The growing problems of the pageant have worried its promoters. Besides the elimination of the swimsuit round, questions have been raised about the lack of transparency in results and the relevance of the 100-year-old institution in the 21st century.

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