Viewers to vote yes or no on Miss America swimsuits

August 22, 1995|By Knight-Ridder Newspapers

The Miss America contest is not a beauty pageant, it is a scholarship competition, the organizers say.

Apparently, somebody forgot to tell the entrants. The most controversial part of the pageant, the swimsuit competition, is just fine with them. In a poll released yesterday, 42 of the 50 Miss America contestants said they did not have a problem with waltzing around in public in swimwear.

"Considering the current trends toward health and fitness, I think the swimsuit competition is more relevant than ever," wrote Paula Knoll, Miss Minnesota.

Very much in the minority was the reaction from Miss Montana, Amanda Granrude: "A veiled strip show," she wrote.

This year's swimsuit "controversy" has been generated by the Miss America Organization itself. In an attempt to whip up interest in the pageant, organizers have announced there will be a phone-in poll for viewers during the first 90 minutes of the Sept. 16 pageant.

If viewers vote to cancel the swimsuit section, a production number will be substituted.

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