Miss America 2021 has been slammed by furious viewers for its ‘terrible’ production amid sliding ratings and the elimination of a swimsuit round.
The competition was attacked on social media by unimpressed viewers who claimed it was a ‘dumpster fire’ in terms of productions, saying it felt like they were watching a ‘botched rehearsal’.
During Thursday night’s finale, Emma Broyles, Miss Alaska, claimed the centennial crown and a $100,000 college scholarship at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The contest took place over five days and Miss Alaska topped a field of 51 contestants, representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia, to win over the crowd.
But as the much-anticipated finale marked the competition’s 100th anniversary, viewers were left underwhelmed, slamming the production as a ‘fail’.
Miss America 2021 has been slammed by furious viewers for its ‘terrible’ production amid sliding ratings. Pictured: Miss Alaska Emma Broyles is crowned as Miss America 2021
During Thursday night’s finale, Emma Broyles, Miss Alaska, claimed the centennial crown and a $100,000 college scholarship at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut
The contest took place over five days and Miss Alaska topped a field of 51 contestants, representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia, to win over the crowd
The criticism comes after the contest made a number of changes in 2018, including getting rid of the swimsuit round and no longer requiring contestants to wear evening gowns, in a bid to be more inclusive.
It also experienced its own #MeToo scandal in late 2017, while TV audiences dropped to an all-time low of 4.3million people in 2018.
This year, disappointed viewers hit out at the contest’s ’embarrassing’ production value, and for ending the show before the newly crowned Miss America was given a bouquet of flowers or did the famed walk.
One person wrote: ‘Are we watching the actual broadcast or is this a botched rehearsal?’
Another tweeted: ‘No flowers, no walk, what a perfect wrap up of the most embarrassing #MissAmerica production.’
While a third added: ‘I literally feel so bad for these contestants tonight.
The competition was attacked on social media by viewers who claimed it was a ‘dumpster fire’ in terms of productions, saying it felt like they were watching a ‘botched rehearsal’
‘They deserve so much more than what this awful broadcast is showcasing, especially for the 100th year.
‘I have never seen worse production in my life! So cringey, it’s hard to watch.’
And a fourth fumed: ‘I thought this was a beauty pageant. Where’s the swimsuit and evening gowns? Voting on TikTok videos and screeching violins??’
A fifth commented: ‘I will defend Miss America (with a critical eye on its shortcomings) until my dying breath BUT this production is a MESS! I feel bad for the candidates.’
A number of viewers expressed their disappointment that there was no longer a swimsuit round, which was scrapped in 2018 to be more inclusive.
Viewers hit out at everything from the quality of the sound, the microphones to the ‘transitions’, while others questioned why the show no longer had a primetime TV slot.
The popular competition has historically been featured in a primetime television broadcast but was available only to stream this year via NBC’s Peacock service.
Organizers said the decision was aimed at attracting younger and more affluent viewers who are accustomed to watching media on digital devices rather than on traditional television.
Miss Alaska Emma Broyles waves in confetti after being crowned Miss America on Thursday night
The competition has been featured in a primetime television broadcast was available only to stream this year via NBC’s Peacock service. Pictured: Miss Alaska is crowned as Miss America
Emma Broyles reacts while Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier places the winners sash on her after she was announced as winner on the competition’s 100th anniversary
‘We look forward to entering the streaming world with Peacock this year to help introduce our 51 outstanding individuals to a younger, broader audience and showcase their unique personal stories,’ Shantel Krebs, a former Miss South Dakota and current chief executive of the Miss America organization, said in a statement.
The move also follows a slump in viewers to record lows and the elimination of the swimsuit round to take account of a new wave of female empowerment.
TV audiences dropped to an all-time low of 4.3million people in 2018, when the swimsuit round was eliminated, and fell again to 3.6million the following year.
It experienced its own #MeToo scandal in late 2017 when internal emails came to light that contained sexist comments on the weight and appearance of some of the contestants.
Miss America began in 1921 as an Atlantic City beauty pageant but has since moved away from solely judging on appearances, placing a new focus on leadership, talent and communication skills.
In 2018, Gretchen Carlson, the chairwoman of the Miss America board of directors, announced that Miss America would ‘no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance’.
Criticism follows a slump in viewers to record lows and the elimination of the swimsuit round. Pictured: Miss Alaska (left) reacts as she is announced as the winner of Miss America 2021
Emma Broyles (center), Miss Alaska, stepped away with a $100,000 college scholarship after beating 50 contestants to win the crown
Newly-crowned Miss America Emma Broyles reacts while speaking to media after winning the 100th Anniversary of the Miss America Pageant at the Mohegan Sun Arena
Carlson said Miss America would be a competition rather than a beauty pageant as they scrapped the swimsuit portion and contestants were no longer required to wear evening gowns.
Instead contestants will be asked to wear any attire that makes them feel confident, expresses their personal style, and shows how they will advance the role of Miss America.
At the time, Carlson said: ‘We’ve heard from a lot of young woman who say, “We’d love to be a part of your program but we don’t want to be out there in high heels and a swimsuit”.
‘So guess what, you don’t have to do that anymore.’
The swimsuit competition was be replaced with an interactive session with the judges, in which the women are asked to demonstrate their ‘passion, intelligence, and overall understanding of the job of Miss America’.
The event hands out millions of dollars in college scholarships to its winners every year.