Donald Trump Doesn't Own Miss America & The 2017 Competition Made That Very Clear
It might seem a little confusing at first, but Miss America — which airs on Sunday, Sept. 11 — is not the same pageant as Miss USA, or even connected to it in any way. That means that unlike Miss USA, which as part of the Miss Universe Organization was owned by Donald Trump for years before he sold it to WME/IMG in 2015, Miss America has never been associated with Trump — and the host of this year's broadcast, Chris Harrison, made sure the entire country knew it on Sunday night.
"This is the one, the only, the original Miss America competition," he declared early on in the program. "We are not affiliated with any other TV competitions or any presidential candidates."
While it's easy to get Miss America and Miss USA mixed up (they're both American beauty pageants that crown one winner, after all), they're actually two entirely different contests. For one, besides the obvious non-Trump connection, Miss America prides itself on being the "largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women in the United States," their website boasts, since the winner of the crown wins a whopping $50,000 scholarship to further her education. In fact, while Miss America and Miss USA judge on many of the same criteria — those bathing suit and evening gown portions of the evening are found in both — Miss America focuses heavily on community service and education.
Since Harrison made a point to distinguish Miss America as having zero affiliation to Trump, hopefully this means that the contestants will also not be asked which presidential candidate they will be voting for — an incredibly controversial (not to mention awkward) moment that happened to Miss Hawaii in the Miss USA 2016 pageant this year. One can only hope!