They want to be lawyers, presidential advisers and United Nations ambassadors. They have talents ranging from acro-yoga to comedy and ceramics, and they have traveled to countries all over the world.
But tonight, they will all be onstage at the 2020 Miss America competition to prove they have what it takes to bear the prestigious title and, of course, wear the coveted crown.
The contestants will gather Thursday night to compete to be the next Miss America, a title that will take them all over the world for a year, advocating for a cause of their choice and representing the Miss America Organization.
Contestants will be judged by singer Kelly Rowland, “Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown and “Superstore” actress Lauren Ash.
The three judges say they will be looking for a person who exudes “messages of female strength, independence and empowerment.”
How to watch
The two-hour live broadcast was airing Thursday night on NBC and NBC.com.
The competition will be broadcast from the Mohegan Sun Earth Expo & Convention Center in Uncasville, Connecticut.
If you’re itching to see the preliminaries before you watch the final competition, you can purchase Sunday and Monday’s live-streams for $30 each on Miss America’s website.
What to expect
Last year, the competition announced it would stop judging women on their outward appearance and scrapped its highly criticized swimsuit competition.
Now, the organization says, contestants have more time to advocate for their social impact initiatives and have their voices be heard.
During the preliminary competitions, 51 contestants took to the stage for personal interviews, talent demonstrations, and social impact statements.
The winner of the competition will spend a year advocating for a social impact close to their heart. This year’s chosen topics include empowering people with disabilities, youth financial literacy and teen suicide prevention.
The women also showed off their many talents in the preliminaries, doing everything from violin performances to chemistry demonstrations
Victoria Hill, representing Georgia, won both the on-stage question and talent portions of the show with her operatic singing, collecting $3,000 in scholarships.
“This is a brand new show,” said Miss America President and CEO Regina Hopper. “The new format is interactive, challenging and exciting and is meant to allow the judges, and the audience, to see who these incredibly smart and talented young women are. Miss America 2.0 is about a young woman competing for a job. Each phase of the competition is meant to highlight an important role of that job which is focused on advancing her chosen social impact initiative each and every day. When the winner is selected you will know her, why she won, and what she will do with her job this next year.”