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Atlantic City, NJ (August 18, 2016)  The Miss America Organization, dick clark productions and ABC announced today the panel of judges for the non-broadcast preliminary rounds of the “2017 Miss America Competition.” The diverse group of judges will select the top 15 finalists competing for the title of Miss America 2017 during the preliminary week of competition on September 5th – 8th in Atlantic City, NJ. The national broadcast of the 96th Miss America Competition will air live from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 (9:00 – 11:00p.m. ET/PT) on the ABC Television Network. The evening will be filled with glitz and glam as 52 women compete for the coveted crown and scholarships.

These judges will use their expertise in their respective fields to evaluate these young women and their incredible blend of intelligence, leadership, talent, physical fitness and dedication to community service.

The panel of experts will evaluate the 52 contestants’ performances in the following categories: Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit, Evening Wear, Talent, Interview, and On-Stage Questions. The preliminary judges are listed below (in alphabetical order by first name):

David Zinczenko – David Zinczenko is the Founder and CEO of Galvanized Media, a company that defines the new era of healthy living. He launched “Women’s Health” magazine, where he was Editorial Director, and is currently the Editorial Director of “Men’s Fitness.” In addition, he serves as the Nutrition and Wellness Editor for ABC News. David is also the author of 14 New York Times best-sellers, with more than 10 million books in print, including the “Eat This, Not That!” series and the best-selling “Zero Belly Diet.”

Deanna Siller – Deanna is a Partner and Global Strategy Leader at Gensler, a firm that believes in the power of design to create a better world. She has a deep understanding of how design thinking impacts business performance. As trusted advisor to her clients, Deanna brings strategic insights that result in powerful strategies that foster human connections. Her work has earned awards from the IIDA, AIA, SEGD, and AIGA. As the former Chairman of the Board for Dance Place, her involvement has helped enrich the field of dance within Washington, DC.

Debbie Bryant Berge – In the fall of 1965, Debbie Bryant became the first Miss America to be selected from Kansas. After her year of service, she returned to school and was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of Kansas with a degree in English. A popular emcee at State and local pageants, she also served as television commentator for the Miss America Pageant in 1969 and 1970. In 1975, she married Brent Berge and moved to Arizona where she continued her public relations career as spokesperson for their auto dealerships. In recent years, she has pursued a career in residential and commercial interior design while supporting charitable endeavors with JDRF and the Phoenix Art Museum. Brent and Debbie are blessed with five children and 8 grandchildren.

Jennifer Caudle – Dr. Jennifer Caudle, known as Dr. Jen, is a nationally-recognized Family Physician who appears on television & radio as a medical expert. She is an Assistant Professor at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Caudle appears on The Dr. Oz Show, FOX News, CNN, and many others. She has published health articles in The Daily Beast, CNN.com/opinion and DoctorOz.com and has been quoted in publications including The Huffington Post, Shape Magazine, and US News & World Report. In 1999, Dr. Caudle earned the title of Miss Iowa and competed in the 1999 Miss America Pageant where she won a Bert Parks Non-Finalist talent award for her cello performance. Dr. Caudle is an inaugural member of MASTA, the Miss America State Titleholders Association.

Katherine Bailess – Bailess is most recently known for her lead role as the sexy, funny, comedic, seductive and Southern spitfire ‘Kyle Hart’ on the TV Series ‘Hit the Floor.’ She is no stranger to television or film as she has recurred on a number of TV shows including Anger Management, Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, The Loop and Sordid Lives. She has also appeared on shows like NCIS and in feature films opposite Kelly Clarkson in “From Justin to Kelly” and the hit movie “Bring It On Again.” Katherine also stars in the comedy Web Series that has gone viral through YouTube entitled, “Sh%t Southern Women Say.” and is the true definition of a triple threat; accomplished actress, trained dancer, and country music recording artist. Bailess, who currently lives in Los Angeles, California, is from Vicksburg, Mississippi and was a musical theatre and dance major at Marymount Manhattan College.

Nicole Lapin – Nicole Lapin is star of the new business reality competition show on The CW, “Hatched.” She has been an anchor on CNN, CNBC and Bloomberg. Nicole has also served as a money-saving correspondent for “The Wendy Williams Show” and “The Insider.” She is currently the first-ever money columnist for Redbook Magazine. Nicole is the author of the New York Times Bestselling Book, “Rich Bitch.” Her second book, “Boss Bitch” will be released in March 2017.

Rob Bowman – Rob Bowman received his Bachelor of Music Degree with Honors from Catholic University of America and attended Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He began a partnership with Elaine Stritch as her Music Director, arranger, pianist and conductor for nearly 15 years until her death in 2014, and is featured in the critically acclaimed “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” documentary currently airing on Netflix. On Broadway, Rob served as the Music Director/Conductor for many productions, including “Chicago,” working with Bebe Neuwirth and Ann Reinking, and “Kiss Of The Spider Woman͟” with Chita Rivera. He has worked with Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Nathan Lane, Joel Grey, and many more in a career spanning over 30 years.

Celebrity judges for the live broadcast of the “2017 Miss America Competition” include Mark Cuban, actress Sara Foster (VH1’s “Barely Famous”), singer-songwriter Cole Swindell and former Miss America Sharlene Wells Hawkes. Additional judges for the “2017 Miss America Competition” will be announced in the coming weeks.

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

Beginning August 10th at 12:00pm ET, voting opens 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 5th at 11:59:59pm ET, 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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Show Media Credentials

To apply for media credentials to cover “The 2017 Miss America Competition,” please click here and fill out the online form.




Miss America Organization

Chelsea Mineur                                   609-344-1800                     chelsea.mineur@missamerica.org


dick clark productions

Liz Morentin                         310-255-4602                     lmorentin@dickclark.com

Lydia Baskharoon             310-255-0319                     lbaskharoon@dickclark.com

Slate PR

Andy Gelb                               310-461-0111                     andy@slate-pr.com

Shawn Purdy                        212-235-6813                     shawn@slate-pr.com

ABC Entertainment Group Communications

Nicole Marostica              818-460-6783                     nicole.y.marostica@abc.com

Bridgette Maney               212-456-1429                     bridgette.maney@abc.com