The former Miss America is returning to Atlantic City for the 95th anniversary broadcast, this time as head judge for the 2016 Miss America Competition set to air live on Sunday, September 13 on ABC. She joins host Chris Harrison, co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet, Music Curator Nick Jonas and celebrity judges Brett Eldredge, Taya Kyle, Danica McKellar, Kevin O’Leary, Amy Purdy and Zendaya.
“Vanessa Williams made history by becoming the first African American to win the competition when she was crowned Miss America 1984, and she went on to conquer the worlds of music, Broadway, television, and film,” said Sam Haskell, Executive Chairman & CEO of the Miss America Organization. “It is a great honor to welcome her back to the competition as our Head Judge.”
Her reign as Miss America 1984 was marred when Penthouse magazine bought and published unauthorized nude photos of her. The incident forced her to relinquish her title, and she was succeeded by first runner-up Suzette Charles seven weeks before a new winner was crowned. She went on to earn a Golden Globe, Grammy and Oscar for Best Original Song for her platinum single “Colors of the Wind,” from Disney’s Pocahontas. In addition, she earned four Emmy nominations, 17 Grammy noms, and a Tony nomination, among others.
The 2016 Miss America Competition airs live from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Sunday, September 13 at 9 PM ET on ABC.