Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas and Austin & Ally star Laura Marano will both be judges for the 2017 Miss America Competition. The event will include 52 women competing for not only the crown, but also for scholarships.
Both Gabby and Laura are 20 years old. They will join entrepreneur Mark Cuban, actress Sara Foster, singer-songwriter Cole Swindell, and former Miss America Sharlene Wells Hawkes, as celebrity judges.
Chris Harrison (ABC’s The Bachelor) will return as the host, with Sage Steele (ABC and ESPN’s NBA Countdown) as the co-host.
Gabby Douglas recently represented Team USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She won gold in Women’s Team All-Around with the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team, the “Final Five.”
Olympic Gold Medalist: Gabby Douglas
Photo Credits: AP Photo/Gregory Bull
“Miss America has been such an amazing event for so many years and I am excited to have the opportunity to judge the competition this year,” said Gabbie in a statement. “The contestants are a great example of strong women across America and I especially look forward to hearing the platforms that each of them will represent!”
Laura Marano starred as Ally Dawson in Disney Channel’s Austin & Ally from 2011-2016. She also has a hit single “Boombox” and appeared in the movie, Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip.
Disney Channel ‘Austin & Ally’ Star: Laura Marano
Photo Credits: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images North America
Laura said to Yahoo! Style, “I am so excited. You have no idea. When I found out a month ago, I was freaking out.” When asked about what she is looking for in a winner, she said that there are two qualities: passion and eloquence.
— Miss America Org (@MissAmericaOrg) August 22, 2016
The 2017 Miss America Competition will air live from the Atlantic City’s Boardwalk at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 11, on ABC.
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