9.11.2018

Miss America Ratings Fall After Ceremony Drops Swimsuit Competition


Miss America 2019 Nia Imani Franklin is mobbed from after she was crowned at Boardwalk Hall.(Photo: THOMAS P. COSTELLO, Asbury Park Press via USA TODAY NETWORK)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Miss America ceremony subtracted the swimsuit competition for the first time in its 98-year history, and subtracted one million television viewers, too.
The Nielsen company said 4.34 million people watched the annual ceremony on ABC Sunday, down 19 percent from the 5.35 million viewers last year. Declining viewership has been a consistent trend for the pageant over the past few years.
With Miss America now under the leadership of former Fox News personality Gretchen Carlson, the swimsuits were left behind. Instead, they were replaced by onstage interviews where contestants talked about President Trump, the NFL player protests and other topics.
Yet the decision has been the subject of criticism. Minutes before the nationally televised broadcast began, a comedian warming up the crowd mentioned there would be no swimsuit competition, drawing loud boos from the audience.
It was the pageant's lowest viewership since 2009, when it was shown on cable's TLC channel and reached only 3.54 million people. It returned to broadcast TV on ABC in 2011, and its audience has gotten as high as 8.6 million in 2013.
New Yorker Nia Franklin was crowned Miss America on Sunday.
Viewership has declined steadily in recent years, from 7.1 million in 2015, to 6.29 million in 2016 and last year's 5.35 million.
Buoyed by two NFL games, NBC won the week in prime-time, averaging 9.3 million viewers. CBS had 3.8 million, Fox had 3.52 million, ABC had 3.45 million, Univision had 1.32 million, ION had 1.3 million, Telemundo had 1.25 million and the CW had 740,000.
ESPN was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.57 million viewers. Fox News Channel had 2.26 million, MSNBC had 1.99 million, USA had 1.38 million and HGTV had 1.35 million.
ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.3 million viewers. NBC's "Nightly News" had 7.5 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 5.9 million.
For the week of Sept. 3-9, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Chicago at Green Bay, NBC, 22.12 million; NFL Football: Atlanta at Philadelphia, NBC, 19.03 million; "NFL Pre-Kick Show" (Thursday), NBC, 15.61 million; "NFL Pre-Kick Show" (Sunday), NBC, 15.41 million; "NFL Weather Delay," NBC, 12.76 million; "The OT," Fox, 12.33 million; "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 10.7 million; "Football Night in America," NBC, 10.46 million; "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday), NBC, 9.89 million; "NFL Opening Kick-off Show, NBC, 8.73 million.
Source: USA Today, 9/11/2018

9.10.2018

Miss America 2019 Is Miss New York




 And the crown goes to... Miss New York Nia Franklin. 
She edged out her 50 fellow competitors Sunday night in Atlantic City. 
After being crowned, Franklin expressed her gratitude.
"I'm feeling really blessed right now," she said. "I want to thank God because without him I wouldn't be standing here. It took a lot of perseverance to get here, and I just want to thank my beautiful family for coming, my mom and my dad, who's a survivor of cancer, and I love him so much. I want to thank all of my sisters behind me. We've had a wonderful week together, and I love each and every one of you."
During the competition, Franklin offered herself as an example when asked how she would promote a healthy body image.
"I would start by sharing my story," she said. "I grew up at a predominately Caucasian school and there was only 5 percent minority, and I felt out of place so much because of the color of my skin.
"But growing up, I found my love of arts, and through music that helped me to feel positive about myself and about who I was," she continued, "and that's what I would encourage women to do – young girls to do is find who they are."
She also explained how being Miss New York prepared her for her next job as Miss America.
"I have New York grit," said Franklin. "I have moved over five times because of subletting in New York. It can be a little difficult because of the pricey rent, but I've overcome that. And also, as a New Yorker, I understand what it takes to work hard. I came up on a Lincoln Center fellowship because I'm an artist, and I'm really excited to just share my platform my social impact advocating for the arts and make sure all students have access to a quality education." 
For her talent, Franklin sang "Quando m'en vo' " from the opera "La Boheme," dazzling Twitter with her vocal talent and a gleaming, strapless dress. 
"Miss New York nailed the talent competition!" one person on the social media site exclaimed.
Miss Connecticut Bridget Oei was the evening's first runner-up, Miss Louisiana Holli' Conway the second runner-up. Miss Florida Taylor Tyson was awarded third runner-up, while Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras was named the fourth runner-up. 
The other contestants rounding out the Top 15 were: Miss Minnesota Michaelene Karlen, Miss District of Columbia Allison Farris, Miss Colorado Ellery Jones, Miss Idaho Nina Forest, Miss Wisconsin Tianna Vanderhei, Miss Indiana Lydia Tremaine, Miss Washington Danamarie McNichol, Miss Nebraska Jessica Shultis, Miss Oklahoma Ashley Thompson and Miss Alabama Callie Walker.
Reigning Miss America Cara Mund was on-hand to crown Franklin. Mund has been at the center of a the organization's latest controversy. In August, she lashed out at the organization's CEO, Regina Hopper, and chair, Gretchen Carlson, in a five-page letter addressing her "Miss America Sisters." She claimed the leaders "silenced me, reduced me, marginalized me, and essentially erased me in my role as Miss America in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on a daily basis."
Mund appeared on "Today" Friday, and though she did not address Carlson by name, said those in charge should be replaced.
“I do think with the lack of confidence there does need to be a leadership change and I think it comes from more than one (individual)," she said. "I think it’s just the culture in general."
Carlson denied Mund's claims in a statement shared to Twitter a few days after the letter's release, which conveyed she was "surprised and saddened beyond words." 
"I also want to be clear that I have never bullied or silenced you," her statement read.
Source: USA Today, 9/10/2018

9.08.2018

Remembering Chelsi Smith - Miss Universe 1995



     THE PAGEANT WORLD is mourning the loss of one of the most beloved beauty queens of all time, CHELSI SMITH, Miss Universe 1995. According to information posted on Facebook on September 8, 2018 by her mother, Mary D. Trimble, Chelsi had been suffering from a long illness (reportedly liver cancer).



     Shanna Moakler, who became Miss USA 1995 after Chelsi was crowned Miss Universe 1995, posted a touching tribute to the beloved beauty queen:





     I was totally shocked upon hearing her untimely passing. Her positive, witty, and humorous postings on her Facebook page hardly reflected the condition of a woman - who was still in her prime at 45 - suffering from a fatal disease. Like many of her fans who anxiously waited for her next Facebook post, I started wondering why she had stopped posting since mid-July. It was so uncharacteristic of her. 

     Chelsi friended me on Facebook on February 10, 2014. At first, I hesitated accepting her friend request because I was not sure whether I was dealing with an impostor or the real deal. I sent her a private message asking if she was the real Chelsi Smith and she quickly shot with "Haha! It's me sweets 🙂" I knew there and then that it was the real thing! I had always wanted to be friends with Chelsi - if not in real life, at least online. Chelsi was actually the first Miss Universe to have befriended me - and I was so thrilled that I would finally get to know her. She even started following Critical Beauty on Twitter. And I added her as a member to the Critical Beauty group on Facebook where she posted regularly. 

     There is a reason Chelsi had won Miss Congeniality twice - at Miss USA and at Miss Universe: she was the epitome of warmth, ebullience, and pure unconditional love. She loved everyone - even some of her harshest critics like myself. I remember "fighting" with her over the issue of ideal weight for winning Miss Universe. We also debated gun control. In her rebuttals, she was neither confrontational nor egotistical. On the contrary, she always remained calm and gracious. And she would always end with a "love you!" or "hugs." 

     Then one day, she posted a YouTube link to a sizzle reel for a reality show which never materialized. The title of the reel is "The Reconstruction of former Miss Universe Chelsi Smith (Years 2009-2010)." The title swiftly piqued my interest: what is there to reconstruct about Chelsi Smith? She was Miss Universe, for Pete's sake! She had everything - beauty, talent, fame, and adoring fans. But something was missing: post-pageant luck. At 28, a failed marriage led to an ugly divorce. She gained 70 pounds. Her singing career never really took off. Her acting career was limited to insignificant bit parts. The face that could launch a thousand ships was essentially ignored by beauty-oriented magazines, even by the Miss Universe Organization who never invited her to judge. She became depressed, as past childhood issues returned to haunt her: bigotry due to her biracial identity, her father's schizophrenia, and a mother who abandoned her. Watch:


     We all have issues. We all have stories to tell. Chelsi's story may not be unique to itself, but it is remarkably relevant, universally poignant. We cannot help except lend pity to a tortured soul who, heroically, has consoled other tortured souls - online or in person.  After a year of chatting online, I finally met Chelsi in person in Miami Beach during the 63rd edition of Miss Universe held on January 25, 2015. Another beautiful soul, world-renowned fashion designer and pageant coach, Joey Galon, actually introduced me to her. My friend Héctor Joaquín Colón-González - who had never met Chelsi before either - and I decided to join Joey and Chelsi at a restaurant where the pair had just finished dining. 

     As soon as Chelsi saw me, she rushed to give me the biggest and warmest hug, coupled with a nice peck on the cheek. She made me feel... well... like some sort of royalty. She gave the same treatment to Héctor who quickly fell for her infectious vivaciousness. Later that night, we found ourselves cracking jokes, imitating silly pageant walks and poses, mocking dumb pageant contestants, and having a blast at a gay bar. One pageant fan, who was totally oblivious of the queen's presence, shrieked with joy when I introduced him to her. "Oh, my God! You're Chelsi Smith! I love you!!!" Two other guys recognized her and greeted her. Chelsi couldn't help but be amused by the attention she was getting from her gays.

JOEY GALON, CHELSI & ME  / PHOTO CREDIT: JOEY GALON FACEBOOK

     
     I recall Chelsi's proposal for a get-together in April 2015 to celebrate her 20th coronation anniversary as Miss USA 1995. Two months had elapsed but nothing occurred - at least not to my knowledge. On March 18, 2015, she sent me a private message on Facebook: 😉 Miss you, Rafa! Muah! On April 25, 2015, she messaged Héctor and me: Missin my boys 😘😘😘She sent me another note on July 20, 2015 asking me if I knew the date and venue of Miss Universe 2015 and I said no. She replied, Btw I MISS YOU!!!!! 

     Her last private message to me was on April 9, 2016: Sending LOVE!!!

     We lost touch with each other after this note.

     I wanted to think that she was doing okay, that she had gotten her groove back, that perhaps she had become too busy with new projects. I was missing her presence on social media. My news feed had been un-Chelsified. 

     Until yesterday afternoon.

     Chelsi has reappeared on my news feed. But it is no longer she. It is her beautiful, warm, congenial soul speaking through her infinite number of friends, fans, and loved ones.

     All of a sudden, the universe has gotten critically bigger, critically more beautiful, and critically much brighter. 

     Chelsi is here to stay. With us. In our minds, in our dreams, in our hearts. 

 By RAFA DELFIN, 9-9-2018


PHOTO CREDIT: CHELSI SMITH FACEBOOK


Correction: I had written that Chelsi had won Miss Congeniality at Miss Universe 1995. A fan wrote to me and said that this information was incorrect, and he was right. Chelsi won Miss Congeniality at Miss Texas USA 1995 and Miss USA 1995, not Miss Universe 1995. (Rafa Delfin, 9-13-2018)

8.31.2018

India's Representative To Miss Universe 2018 Crowned




The 6th edition of Miss Diva 2018 took place on August 31 at NSCI Club, Mumbai. The beauty pageant witnessed 19 contestants competing for the competition. And Nehal Chudasama from Mumbai was crowned Miss Diva 2018. The 21-year-old will now represent India at the 67th Miss Universe pageant to be held in Bangkok, Thailand on December 16, 2018. Shraddha Shashidhar, Miss Universe India 2017 crowned Nehal as her successor. Aditi Hundia is declared first runner-up and will represent India at Miss Supranational 2018 and Roshni Sheoran was the second runner-up. They beat Hannah Reji Koshy and Lavina Israni in the top-five finalists. 

Nehal is 21 years old from Mumbai. She is a freelance fitness consultant, anchor and a model. She is currently studying to become IPS officer. Her life goal is to become Miss Universe. Her favourite food is Biryani. Her favourite feature is her body. Miss Universe India 2017, Shraddha Shashidhar crowned Nehal as her successor.


Source: Latestly.com, 8/31/2018

8.19.2018

Miss Universe Canada 2018



Congratulations to Martha Stepien, Miss Universe Canada 2018. Martha will be representing Canada at the Miss Universe Pageant in Thailand in December 2018.
Official Results:
Miss Universe Canada 2018:
Marta Stepien, Windsor, ON

1st Runner-up: Camila Gonzalez, Toronto, ON
2nd Runner-up: Sasha Lombardi, Toronto, ON
3rd Runner-up: Megha Sandhu, Montréal, QC
4th Runner-up: Sallyblossom Wright, Toronto, ON



Source: Beauties Of Canada, 8/19/2018

8.18.2018

Gretchen Carlson Responds to Miss America Cara Mund's Claims That She Was 'Bullied'


Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan/Getty
Gretchen Carlson, who serves as the chairwoman of the Miss America board of directors and won the crown herself in 1989, says she was “incredibly sad and heartbroken” when she read current Miss America Cara Mund’s public letter Friday morning stating Carlson had “silenced,” “marginalized” and “bullied” her.
“I want to be clear that as a proponent of women my entire life, I have never bullied Cara Mund,” Carlson tells PEOPLE exclusively. “We have supported Cara for her entire year and we will continue to support her. It’s just disappointing that she chose to air her grievance publicly and not privately.”
In Mund’s letter, posted three weeks before the scheduled Miss America telecast in Atlantic City on Sept. 9, Mund, who hails from North Dakota, accused Carlson and Regina Hopper, the organization’s CEO, of “disrespect, passive-aggressive behavior, belittlement, and outright exclusion.”
Donald Kravitz/Getty
Carlson joined the board of directors in December after the then-CEO reportedly used sexist and fat-shaming language in internal emails that led to several executives and board members resigning. She says she took on the volunteer role in January in hopes of making it more inclusive, relevant and empowering to women. “I have been putting all of my energy and countless hours into moving this organization forward,” she says. In 2017, Carlson wrote the book, Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Backinspired by the many women who reached out to her after she reached a $20 million settlement in her sexual harassment lawsuit against former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes in 2016.
One of the new initiatives put forward by Carlson is the elimination of the famous swimsuit competition in an attempt to downplay the importance of physical appearance alone. Mund states that during a recent Good Morning America appearance discussing the changes, she was told that “GMA only wanted Gretchen on the segment,” adding, “I served as my own advocate and asked if I could attend” despite not getting any airtime.
But Carlson, 52, says this was not the case. “We brought her to New York the day before and provided her with media training. We asked Cara to come to the studio because we thought by chance, even at the last minute, they would maybe include her.” Ultimately, ABC decided to go with a singular interview with Carlson. “There were so many interview requests that day,” says Carlson. “Cara did all the entertainment shows and a lot of radio and print interviews.”
Carlson, who says she plans to reach out to Mund shortly, says she can sympathize with Mund’s comments about this being a challenging year.
“It’s the toughest job you will ever have,” Carlson says of being Miss America. “Every Miss America could tell you if they wanted to about the ups and downs of their year. I could. But you realize as more time passes what an amazing opportunity you have been given to serve as a role model and an ambassador for our country and to make a difference.”
Source: People Magazine, 8/17/2018

The Current Reigning Miss America Says She’s Been "Silenced" by Pageant Leadership


Cara Mund, the reigning Miss America, just wrote a scathing letter to former winners of the pageant, claiming she has been “silenced” and bullied by executives at the organization, according to reports by The Associated Press and The Philadelphia Inquirer. She sent the letter Friday, three weeks before the next Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, where she will pass down her crown and title to the next winner.
"Let me be blunt: I strongly believe that my voice is not heard nor wanted by our current leadership; nor do they have any interest in knowing who I am and how my experiences relate to positioning the organization for the future," Mund, 24, reportedly wrote. She accused Gretchen Carlson, chairwoman of the Miss America organization, and Regina Hopper, its CEO, of “disrespect, passive-aggressive behavior, belittlement, and outright exclusion.” Neither Carlson, Hopper, nor the Miss America organization have commented on Mund’s claims. You can read the full letter at Philly.com.
Cara Mund / Pinterest
Mund’s letter comes after a year of controversies within the pageant. Back in December, The Huffington Post reported the then-CEO of Miss America used sexist and fat-shaming language in internal emails. That led executives and board members to resign, and Carlson, who won the title in 1989, to take over as chair. Back in March, Mund told Cosmopolitan.com she had faith in the women who were newly in charge. “Miss America is here to stay, and it’s going to be better than ever,” she said. “Stronger than ever. And more relevant than ever too.” But in her letter, she claims she was often kept out of the spotlight as a spokesperson for the organization in favor of Carlson.
This June, the organization announced it would cut the swimsuit portion of the competition and stop judging candidates based on outward appearances, focusing more on an interactive portion with the judges instead. That received a mixed responsefrom former pageant winners. According to the New York Post, disagreements over the swimsuit policy and other internal issues also led four board members to leave after only a few months.
Earlier this month, Mund spoke vaguely about a turbulent year as Miss America in an interview with The Press of Atlantic City. “It’s been a tough year,” Mund said. “There have been a lot of things I can’t control. It’s felt I wasn’t always heard or utilized or appreciated.” At that point, the Miss America Organization responded with a statement to the newspaper, also noting Mund had the chance to run her own social media accounts and express her opinions:
“While this has been a different year than any Miss America could have ever expected, MAO has worked to provide [Mund] a platform from which she can build her future. Every Miss America has ups and downs during their year as the experience is challenging and rewarding at the same time. MAO is proud of the work Cara has accomplished this year and how she has represented the scholarship principles of the program.”
Now, in her letter, Mund claims the Miss America Organization punished her for giving that interview by cutting her goodbye speech to 30 seconds and limiting what she could wear. “If you want Miss America to be relevant, then the leadership needs to understand she is not a wind-up toy who they can power up to spit out the meaningless words that are put into her mouth, and then put back on the shelf until it’s time to do it again,” Mund reportedly wrote in her letter.
Source: Cosmopolitan Magazine, 8/17/2018
GETTY IMAGESSTEVE MACK

8.10.2018

Eleven Former Miss Americas Demand Resignation Of Gretchen Carlson

Gretchen Carlson, chairwoman of the Miss America board of trustees, called those opposing her leadership and the recent decision to drop the swimsuit competition 'a noisy minority.' Now, 11 former Miss Americas have banded together to call for her immediate resignation. (Ben Gabbe | Getty Images)

The drama surrounding the upcoming Miss America pageant shows no signs of coming to a resolution. 
With just four weeks left before the 2019 pageant gets underway in Atlantic City, a group of former titleholders have issued a letter calling for the immediate resignation of Gretchen Carlson, chairwoman of the Miss America board of trustees, along with pageant CEO Regina Hopper. 
"We insist that our current Chairwoman and CEO resign now, not after September 9 (the date of the pageant)," the letter says, adding that the message is "not meant to be a personal attack on any one individual." 
Unrest has consumed the pageant community in the wake of the decision to eliminate the swimsuit competition, but critics say problems with the pageant's current leaders surpass bikinis. 
In June, Carlson, Miss America 1989, announced that Miss America would no longer be judging contestants -- she now calls them "candidates" -- on physical appearance. Those competing for the crown would not be required to wear bathing suits and heels.
Miss America 2016, Betty Cantrell Maxwell, shared the letter on Instagram Thursday. The message was addressed to "faithful stakeholders," the Miss America State Titleholders Association, volunteers and Miss America 2018, Cara Mund. 
The letter, signed by 11 former Miss Americas, agrees with Carlson's wish, as expressed in a recent interview with the Associated Press, that the Miss America community "come together and have a healing process," but says contestants and volunteers find it hard to trust Hopper and Carlson. 
The message addresses "the loss of your elected board members" and the resignation of staff from the Atlantic City-based Miss America Organization this summer.
"We continue to read newspaper articles that are not representing the organization in the best light," the letter says. "None of the other MAO leaders have lost so many board members and staff in such a short time."
The former Miss Americas say that following an email scandal that resulted in the exit of the former CEO and chairman of the board in December, they were given the opportunity to install "our very own sisters." Former titleholders assumed temporary co-chair roles on the board. From there, Carlson was supposed to head up a national search to find a new CEO. 
"We did not get that," the letter says, referring to the appointment of Hopper as CEO.
"Instead, she (Carlson) selected the sole candidate for board consideration and together they have taken the organization in a direction that we do not condone."
Hopper played a role in the eventual ouster of Sam Haskell, the former CEO, because she helped to bring his leaked emails to the attention of Dick Clark Productions, the pageant's former partner, which eventually dropped the organization after it took no action against leadership. 
The letter also asks that the Miss America Organization issue an apology to state and local titleholders, volunteers and sponsors "if anything was done purposefully or unintentionally to divide our program." 
The group that signed the letter includes two Miss Americas from New Jersey -- Suzette Charles, who served several weeks as Miss America 1984 after Vanessa Williams resigned over a nude photo scandal, and Kate Shindle, Miss America 1998, who resigned from the Miss America board this summer. Charles, a former Miss New Jersey, hails from Mays Landing and Shindle (who won as Miss Illinois) grew up in Brigantine and Moorestown. 
The other signees are Marjorie Vincent-Tripp, Miss America 1991, who recently resigned from her post as chairwoman of the Miss America Foundation's board of trustees (that's the scholarship arm of the pageant); Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss, Miss America 2012, who recently resigned from the board of the Miss America Organization; Carolyn Sapp Daniels, Miss America 1992; Heather Whitestone McCallum, Miss America 1995; Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999; Angela Baraquio Grey, Miss America 2001; Ericka Dunlap, Miss America 2004; and Caressa Cameron-Jackson, Miss America 2010.
This letter follows a petition signed by 22 state pageant directors -- including Sally Johnston, executive director of the New Jersey pageant -- that called for Carlson and Hopper's resignation, along with the resignation of the entire Miss America board.
Those criticizing Carlson and Hopper's leadership say the rift has much to do with the way the swimsuit decision was made.
"'Miss America 2.0' is simply a title for the same old tactics of obfuscation and fear-based governance," the petition read, referring to efforts to rebrand the pageant. Changes have also been made to the evening gown part of competition (instead of just walking down the runway in gowns, contestants are invited to wear other types of outfits and will talk about their social impact initiatives, or platforms).
Critics say that volunteers, former titleholders and the Miss America board, which voted on the issue, had been told that ABC would not air the pageant unless swimsuits were no longer part of the picture. But Carlson and Hopper say they never made the claim.
"It is patently false to allege that Miss America claimed that the elimination of the swimsuit competition was a prerequisite to airing the telecast on ABC," the Miss America Organization said in a statement. "In fact, the Miss America Organization had confirmation from ABC in January, months before the swimsuit issue was voted upon, that it would air the Miss America Competition on September 9, 2018."
This is the pageant's last year of a three-year contract with the network. It's also the last year of a three-year contract with the state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, through which the pageant secured $4.3 million for the coming pageant, which begins with preliminary competition on Sept. 5. 
"There were, however, extensive production company and creative partner negotiations in which the elimination of swimsuit was noted as a prerequisite to partner with MAO," the statement continued. 
Jennifer Vaden Barth, a former Miss North Carolina and one of the former board members, told the Associated Press that Hopper and Carlson said "sponsors and networks will not come" if the swimsuit portion was still in effect. 
"We do not accept the inaccurate words about the sponsors and swimsuit competition," reads the letter from the 11 Miss Americas. 
But this isn't the only group of former Miss Americas to speak out. Directly after the state director petition circulated in July, 30 former Miss Americas signed a letter of support for Carlson, Hopper and the leadership.
Hopper and Carlson have characterized the opposition as Miss America devotees who are resistant to necessary change and reluctant to see swimsuit struts relegated to the past. In her recent interview with the Associated Press, Carlson, a former Fox News host, labeled those who have called for her resignation "a noisy minority."
Cantrell Maxwell has since used the hashtag #noisyminority as a point of pride. 
"Just because you have a voice doesn't mean your particular opinion gets accepted," Hopper said in the same story, referring to the dissenting state directors. "States are licensees. If I'm a McDonald's licensee and the corporate office decides, 'We're going to serve chocolate French fries' and I'm sitting here saying, 'I don't want to serve chocolate French fries,' well, you're going to serve chocolate French fries."   
The letter from the 11 former Miss Americas said the "hope is to unite in collaboration and lift the ideals of Miss America up higher than it has ever been before." 
Carlson became chairwoman of the Miss America board in January after the email scandal that caused the ouster of Haskell, the former CEO. When Haskell and other executives were pushed out after his emails were leaked, showing misogynistic and body-shaming language in his correspondence with pageant staff, Carlson headed up an effort to stock the board with former titleholders. Regina Hopper, Miss Arkansas 1983, came on board as CEO of the Miss America Organization in May, and Vincent-Tripp was named chairwoman of the Miss America Foundation's board of trustees.
For the first time in pageant history, all of the pageant's major executives were women
But the new leadership structure began to crack not long after the announcement of the swimsuit decision. Two board members -- Vaden Barth and Valerie Crooker Clemens, a former Miss Maine -- said they were pushed out, while Carlson said they departed because their contracts were temporary. Then, two other board members -- Shindle and Fleiss -- also resigned.
In July, Vincent-Tripp became the latest executive to resign. 
Carlson sued former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes for sexual harassment in 2016. The following year, Carlson, the author of "Be Fierce," a book about sexual harassment and inequality in the workplace, became a prominent voice in the emerging #MeToomovement. But critics have accused Carlson of using the momentum of #MeToo and leveraging her status to push the swimsuit change.
Carlson has denied this, saying that dropping the swimsuits will help update the pageant and make it more inclusive. One goal, she said, was to make the competition more attractive to potential participants. Past feedback had indicated that for some, the swimsuit portion was a major barrier to entry, she said. 
But current and former contestants, including Dunlap and Cantrell Maxwell, have spoken out in support of the swimsuit competition. If Carlson and Hopper took a poll of state pageant directors, contestants, volunteers and former titleholders about getting rid of the swimsuit portion, "they would have gotten a resounding 'no'" Cantrell Maxwell, 23, told NJ Advance Media in July. 
"On another point, it's like, we need to at least get thorough September so we can have a competition," she said.
Source: NJ.com, 8/9/2018