Swimsuit-less Miss America pageant is under way

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As the new Miss America, Franklin receives a $50,000 scholarship and a year-round job as the new face of the competition.

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!

"It took a lot of perseverance to get here and I just want to thank my lovely family", Nia said.

The swimsuits are gone, but there has been plenty of controversy surrounding this year's competition that could keep viewers tuning in. The choice of wardrobe is now open, so everyone can express their own very individual style. "My mom and my dad, who is a survivor of cancer". "I've already seen so many young women reaching out to me personally as Miss New York asking how they can get involved because I think they feel more empowered that they don't have to do things such as walk in a swimsuit for a scholarship".

The rest of the top five included Miss Connecticut, Bridget Oei; Miss Florida, Taylor Tyson; Miss Louisiana, Holli' Conway; and Miss Massachusetts, Gabriela Taveras. ABC will broadcast the crowning of Miss America in a live broadcast Sunday night hosted by Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba.

In December, the Huffington Post revealed emails that showed former CEO Sam Haskell mocking competitors with misogynistic language.

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Organizers have announced sweeping changes for 2019, including the controversial elimination of the swimsuit portion of the event.

In a letter to past winners, published earlier this year, however, Mund wrote: "Our chair and CEO have systematically silenced me, reduced me, marginalized me and essentially erased me in my role as Miss America in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on a daily basis".

The former Miss America, Cara Mund, says the two have bullied and silenced her, claims that the women deny.

Gretchen Carlson, a 1989 Miss America victor who went on to become a TV commentator and the pageants' current chairman, said in a statement that Miss America would "represent a new generation of female leaders focused on scholarship, social impact, talent and empowerment". "After a while, the patterns have clearly emerged, and the sheer accumulation of the disrespect, passive-aggressive behavior, belittlement and outright exclusion has taken a serious toll".

Mund only appeared at the very end of the pageant before the next victor was crowned.

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