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Miss Michigan Thank You for Spotlighting Flint! ... Says City's Mayor

9/11/2018 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Miss Michigan took a big chance on a big stage, reminding everyone American citizens are still suffering through Flint's water crisis ... and now the city's mayor wants to give her props, in person.

Mayor Karen Weaver told us Emily Sioma definitely caught her attention with her choice of words at the start of the Miss America broadcast. If ya missed it, Emily called out her home state as the place with "84% of the United States’ fresh water but none for its residents to drink." 

Mayor Weaver gives Emily major props for skipping the default intro -- which is normally bland and polite -- and addressing something substantial and important to Michigan residents.

Flint is still struggling with its lead-contaminated water supply. Multiple officials have been charged with crimes in connection to the health crisis.

Weaver says she wants to meet Emily face-to-face, and do something special for her on behalf of the city. She also predicts Emily's only getting started helping her fellow Michiganders.

Miss Universe 1995 Dead at 45

9/9/2018 7:15 AM PDT
Breaking News

Chelsi Smith -- who took the crown of Miss USA in 1995 -- and went on to win Miss Universe has died. 

Shanna Moakler -- who was runner up to Smith in the 1995 Miss USA Pageant -- shared a tribute to the beauty queen after learning of her death, "I am heartbroken. Godspeed beautiful. You were my friend and a light. I love and will miss you more then you will ever know. The epitome of a Queen." 

Reports say Smith fought a battle with liver cancer before passing away.

Smith competed in her first pageant -- Miss Texas in 1994 -- and became the first biracial woman to win the pageant. 

In 1995, Smith traveled to Namibia to compete in the Miss Universe Pageant where she won the crown, becoming the first woman from the United States to do so in 15 years.

Smith was 45.

RIP

Miss Virginia Backs NFL Kneelers During Miss America Prelim

9/7/2018 6:45 AM PDT
Breaking News

Colin Kaepernick has another major supporter -- Miss Virginia -- who went to bat for the QB during a Miss America prelim competition on Thursday ... a prelim competition she WON! 

22-year-old Emili McPhail was competing against 49 other women at night #2 in the 2019 Miss America prelims -- when she was asked how she'd advise the NFL when it comes to the kneeling issue.

"Kneeling during the national anthem is absolutely a right that you have to stand up for what you believe in, and to make the right decision that’s right for you,” McPhail said.

"It’s very important that we also have to take into consideration that it is not about kneeling: it is absolutely about police brutality."

The judges were so impressed with her answer, she was awarded the $1,000 prelim onstage question scholarship. 

After the competition, McPhail talked about her answer with the Press of Atlantic City.

"I said standing up for what you believe in is the most important thing that you can do, and that’s what I did ... I was very happy to have that moment to be honest, because it’s not always easy."

The prelims continue on Friday.

Miss Denver Kayla Kline Resigns ... I Stand with Miss America Cara Mund

8/23/2018 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Miss America Cara Mund allegedly getting bullied by her own org is NOT okay with Miss Denver's Kayla Kline ... so Kayla is showing her solidarity by giving up her crown.

Kayla -- who not that long ago earned the Mile High City's honor -- tells TMZ she can't embrace a title from an organization whose national leadership is in blatant violation of her own personal code of ethics. So, she's dunzo.

As we reported ... Cara claims she's been told she's "not important enough to do big interviews" and silenced because the majority of press time has "obviously" been reserved for Gretchen Carlson, the new Miss America Chairperson of the Board of Directors.

Kayla -- who has already submitted her letter of resignation -- says she hopes stepping down triggers change at the top. As she put it ... her resignation could lead to a bad domino effect for Miss America.

Miss America Cara Mund Org Has Bullied, Muzzled Me ... All They Care About is Gretchen Carlson

8/17/2018 10:11 AM PDT

1:37 PM PT -- A rep for Miss America tells us, "The Miss America Organization supports Cara. It is disappointing that she chose to air her grievances publicly not privately. Her letter contains mischaracterizations and many unfounded accusations. We are reaching out to her privately to address her concerns."

The reigning Miss America is railing on the org, saying they have silenced and ignored her and instead focused all of their attention on former Miss America and Chairperson of the Board of Directors Gretchen Carlson.

Cara Mund is outraged that the Miss America CEO as well as the chair of the org "have silenced me, reduced me, marginalized me, and essentially erased me in my role as Miss America."

Mund claims she's been told she's "not important enough to do big interviews, and that the major press is 'obviously' reserved for Gretchen."  She's certainly strongly insinuating ... either Gretchen or her allies at Miss America are pushing her and the #MeToo movement and that's all they care about. 

Mund says she's been disrespected, belittled and literally erased from Miss America ... her photo was even removed from a fundraising website page and replaced with a past winner.

She believes the org is pushing the #MeToo movement and the message it all started with Gretchen revealing abuse at the hand of FNC head Roger Ailes. FNC was ordered to paid Gretchen $20 million.

Mund says she's been banned from posting comments on social media. She says she's been told she's "bad at social media" and that's why sponsors have dropped out of the Miss America org.

She even says she's been sabotaged ... told to show up at the wrong locations so the org could paint her as flaky.

Henry Winkler About Miss America Changes ... I'm Trying to Vote, and Not on Swimsuits!!!

6/6/2018 7:21 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Henry Winkler was fired up about Miss America right before he went to cast his ballot in the California primaries ... and ended up having even more reason to get ticked off.

We got the Fonz Tuesday as he was leaving e. Baldi in Bev Hills, and asked what he thought of the famed competition doing away with its swimsuit portion. He built up a lot of hype ... only to tell us how he really feels -- and the truth is, he had bigger fish to fry.

Moments after this clip, Henry got some bad news.

Turns out he was among the nearly 120,000 L.A. County residents whose names were left off the voter rolls at their polling place.

Seems he was able to cast a provisional ballot, though ... 'cause he got his sticker, and wore it proudly. Ayyyy, thumbs-up, Fonzie!

Miss America Cara Mund All for Losing Swimsuits ... It's About Inner Beauty Now

6/5/2018 2:44 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Miss America Cara Mund hasn't put on a swimsuit since winning the crown in September, and says that proves the swimsuit competition is no longer necessary to get the job done.

The Miss America Org announced Tuesday it's scrapping swimsuits and doing away with judging on appearance ... and Cara's totally for it. The former Miss North Dakota told us her job mostly involves almost nonstop appearances, but NONE of them require putting on a bikini. As she put it ... not exactly a good look while visiting schools and hospitals.

The evening gown portion of the competition will also see a massive change, but Cara says there's still a chance you'll see some skin during that portion of the competition. And yes, it's officially a "competition" now, and NOT a pageant. 

Times they are a changin'.

Miss America Axes Swimsuit Competition!!! No Longer Judging Physical Appearance

6/5/2018 6:53 AM PDT
Breaking News

Miss America's dumping a longstanding tradition ... scrapping the swimsuit competition because it'll no longer judge contestants on physical appearance.

Ex-FOX News host Gretchen Carlson -- a 1989 Miss America winner herself and the new chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization -- announced the sweeping changes Tuesday morning on 'GMA' ... saying, "We are no longer a pageant. We are a competition."

Instead of the swimsuit competition, contestants will take part in a live interactive session with the judges and will have to demonstrate their passion, intelligence and overall understanding of the job.

The org is also getting rid of the evening gown portion of the competition.

The competition started nearly a century ago in Atlantic City as a bathing beauty contest. But the organization's gotten push back in the last few years ... many calling the swimsuit contest misogynistic.

The org is still recovering from an email scandal that rocked Miss America's top brass after the group's former CEO and others insulted the appearance and intellect of former winners, including Carlson.

And with the #MeToo movement serving as a backdrop coupled with Carlson championing the movement ... this seemed like only a matter of time.

Carson Kressley Miss USA Ain't The Holocaust ... Blowback Over 'Sophie's Choice' Joke

5/22/2018 7:27 AM PDT

Carson Kressley joked it was impossible to choose his favorite Miss USA finalist -- just like Meryl Streep choosing which of her kids to save -- and suffice it to say, the joke triggered some outrage.

"It's like 'Sophie's Choice'! They're all so good," the former 'Queer Eye' star said of having to pick between the final 15 competitors. "Sophie's Choice" is about a woman forced to pick between the life of her son and her daughter in Auschwitz.

Some people on social media had a big problem with Kressley's comment, one saying, "So I guess if he were living Sophie's Choice, she'd be the saved child & the others taken to be shot immediately?  #classless #carsonkressley."

Miss Nebraska, Sarah Rose Summers, ended up taking the crown.

Mallory Hagan Slams Miss America Leadership It's Time to Clean House!!!

12/22/2017 1:31 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Former Miss America Mallory Hagan feels validated in the wake of degrading internal emails by CEO Sam Haskell that were leaked ... and now she thinks it's time for those in charge to hit the road.

Mallory tells us she knew about the offensive behavior within the Miss America organization for a long time, but felt it would be dismissed as hearsay if she spoke up ... so she's happy it's come to light.

She says there's absolutely no excuse for the language used in the emails -- in which Haskell wrote, "We lost count of the number of men she slept with at 25," along with exchanging other slut-shaming and fat-shaming comments with board members.

Hagan's incensed that so far only one man has lost his job over the vulgar comments (Lewis Friedman, the writer who referred to former Miss USAs as "c**ts") ... when so many others were complicit.

Mallory's got a strong suggestion for what should happen to Haskell and the Board of Directors, and who should step up and take charge.

Miss America Trump Screwed Us On Climate, Charlottesville

9/11/2017 7:00 AM PDT

The new Miss America says President Trump missed the boat on climate change -- and her fellow contestants went after POTUS too during the Sunday night competition in Atlantic City.

Cara Mund, Miss North Dakota, went directly after Trump when she was asked about the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord -- saying it was wrong to take us out of the negotiations ... especially because there's evidence of climate change.

Unlike other beauty pageant contestants in recent years -- it was a remarkably succinct and informed response. Likewise, Margana Wood, Miss Texas, took a jab at the Prez over Charlottesville.

The Miss America crown is just the first step for Cara ... who says she wants to be the first female Governor of North Dakota.

No swimsuit competition for that race.

Miss America Contestants Answer Tough Political Questions Trump, Clinton, Immigration

9/12/2016 6:37 AM PDT

Gotta hand it to them ... Miss America contestants broke the mold this year and answered questions on the fly about divisive issues, including Clinton, Trump, immigration and National Anthem protests.

Check out the video ... the judges were tough and the contestants only had 20 seconds each to form thoughts and deliver. 

Pretty impressive.

Ex-Miss Alabama Tearful Confession ... Dallas Cop Killer Was a Martyr

7/12/2016 6:50 AM PDT
Breaking News

The first black woman to be crowned Miss Alabama feels no remorse for the families of the 5 Dallas cops who were assassinated ... and she thinks their killer is a "martyr."

Kalyn Chapman James, Miss Alabama from 1993, posted a rambling and tearful video in which she's clearly torn about Micah X. Johnson. She repeatedly says she does NOT condone violence, but also says "something has to be done" about the deaths of black men at the hands of police officers.

In full tears, she claims she's not the only one who feels this way.

James was a top 10 finalist for Miss America in 1994.

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