Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba has been tapped to host the 2019 Miss America Competition. She’ll be joined by television personality Ross Mathews as co-host for the competition. Mathews will anchor reports from backstage and provide commentary and updates from the arena floor and a skybox position at Boardwalk Hall.
“I am honored to be invited to host ‘The 2019 Miss America Competition,’” said Inaba. “I choreographed the Miss America Competition for years and am thrilled to be this year’s host. I’m humbled to have the chance to be part of an evening that will give young women the opportunity to further their education and crown a new Miss America. I have always been a fan of the Miss America Organization that consistently encourages women to be strong, intelligent and radiant women in the world,” she added.
“Since I’ll never get to compete for the Miss America crown, this is the next best thing,” said Mathews. “I feel like a lucky fan who won a golden ticket and gets to stand on stage alongside the gorgeous Carrie Ann Inaba and 51 incredible women knowing that one will be officially crowned the new Miss America. It’s a dream to be asked and I am beyond excited to get to Atlantic City. Who knows? Maybe the winner will even let me try on the crown!”
This will be the first competition since the Miss America announced sweeping changes for 2019, including the controversial elimination of the swimsuit portion of the event. It also comes amid turmoil within the organization and calls earlier this month by former Miss America winners Suzette Charles (Miss America 1984) and Heather Whitestone (Miss America 1995) for the resignation of board chairman Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America herself, when they confirmed Cara Mund’s claims that Carlson bullied her and others. Carlson has denied the allegations.
The 2019 Miss America Competition airs live on ABC from Atlantic City’s Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall on Sunday, September 9 at 9 PM EDT.