Miss America Preliminary Judges


Atlantic City, NJ (July 23, 2015) - The Miss America Organization, dick clark productions, and ABC announced today the panel of judges for the non-broadcast preliminary rounds of the "2016 Miss America Competition." This diverse group of judges will select the top 15 finalists competing for the title of Miss America 2016 during the preliminary week of competition on September 8th -10th in Atlantic City, NJ. The national broadcast of the 95th anniversary of the "2016 Miss America Competition" will take place on Sunday, September 13 (9:00 -11:00 p.m. ET live/PT tape-delayed), live from Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on the ABC Television Network. The evening will be filled with glitz and glam when 52 women representing their home states and territories compete to bring home the crown and scholarship.

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):

Brian Edwards Multi-award winning Talent Producer, celebrity client relations rep and author of the most honored LGBT non-fiction book of 2014, Enter Miss Thang, including the National Indie Excellence Award for Best Autobiography of the Year, Edwards also served as the Talent Producer for three Emmy Award winning shows. In addition, he is the independent publicist whose solo campaigns have resulted in a record five stars on the Hollywood Walk-Of-Fame for: Joan Rivers, Donna Summer, Whoopi Goldberg, Rascal Flatts and Vanessa Williams. He recently produced the acclaimed Grammy Museum exhibits Donna Summer: Four Seasons Of Love and Joan Rivers: Can We Talk? at LA Live in Los Angeles.

James Brown III - Actor/Model/Creative Director/Fashion Editor known for his extensive career on Broadway performing in ten productions including Rocky, Wicked, Memphis, The Color Purple and The Lion King. James was recently seen on TV in Peter Pan Live! on NBC, Forever (ABC), The Mysteries of Laura (NBC) and is starring in his first independent film Love For Passion as Jeffrey Love.

Jenni Pulos - Emmy-nominated Co-Executive producer and personality on Bravo's hit television show "Flipping Out" and its spin-off series "Interior Therapy." This Greek American actress, comedian, writer, producer and Apollo-winning rapper released her first book, Grin and Bear It: How to Be Happy No Matter What Reality Throws Your Way to critical-acclaim in March of 2014. Jenni also co-wrote and performs the theme song for Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live" with Andy Cohen and her children's rap album "Old School Kids Beats" is available nationwide at Toys R Us with her first music video debuting this September on the season finale of "Flipping Out."

Kylene Barker McNeill - Only a few months after entering her first local pageant, Miss Pulaski, Kylene Barker McNeill was crowned Virginia's first Miss America. A successful entrepreneur and business owner at 23, Kylene has served as a corporate spokesperson (Clairol, Made In the USA Council, and more), a fashion and beauty reporter (The Today Show, Regis and Kathie Lee), and an author (Southern Beauty and the audio book Stamina and Style). She has gone back to her Virginia roots by producing a bluegrass music CD, Christmas Along the Crooked Road. She has served on the Alumni Board of her alma mater, Virginia Tech, and is an active champion of Virginia's new state song, Our Great Virginia. Kylene is an avid golfer, and is excited to have achieved four holes-in-one! 

Lanny Griffith - Notable D.C. lobbyist serving as CEO of BGR Group, known for helping companies navigate major mergers and acquisitions, and securing funding for universities and medical research. Lanny is a founder of the Trust for the National Mall and currently serves on the Board of Directors. He worked closely with both Bush administrations, serving in the White House in 1989 as Special Assistant to the President and national chairman of the Bush-Cheney 2000 Entertainment Task Force.
Noah Alexander - Noah Alexander has for the past 20 years brought his expert fashion-eye to Ermenegildo Zegna, the luxury men's fashion house and is their highest awarded sales professional in the U.S. Noah sits on the Board of Directors for the Rodeo Drive Committee and is on the planning committee for the Lupus LA Hollywood Handbag Ladies Luncheon. In 2008 Noah was a guest judge for The Little Black Dress Contest on Miss America's "Countdown to the Crown."

Rachel Zalis - Rachel Zalis, one of Hollywood's premier fashion and lifestyle experts, is currently a style contributor for "E! News," "Access Hollywood," "KTLA Morning News" and Women's Health Magazine. She is a former Editor at Glamour and Cosmopolitan magazines, as well as a contributor to Life & Style Weekly, and has frequently appeared on "The Today Show," "The View," "Dr. Oz" and "Showbiz Tonight." Rachel also hosted the WE makeover series "Secrets Revealed" and produced the STARZ documentary "Fashion in Film."

Hosts and judges for the live show will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for "The 2016 Miss America Competition" are now on sale and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com. For more information on "The 2016 Miss America Competition," please visit Miss America Organization's website at www.missamerica.org.

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.
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Join the Conversation: #MissAmerica

About The Miss America Organization The Miss America Organization, a 501(c) 4 non-profit corporation, provides 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 $10 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; "KNOCK KNOCK LIVE" from XIX Entertainment and dcp, "World's Funniest" from Jukin Media and dcp; as well as "BOOM!" from Keshet DCP, the joint venture between Keshet International (KI), the global distribution and production arm of Keshet Media Group and DC Media, the parent company of 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.

Media Credentials To apply for media credentials to cover "The 2016 Miss America Competition," please click here and fill out the online form. The credential application process closes Friday, August 14, 2015.

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