OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - A new Miss Wisconsin will be crowned in Oshkosh this weekend, but as Action 2 News has reported, when she heads to Miss America in the fall, she will not be competing in a swimsuit competition. The Miss America Organization announced last week candidates would longer be judged on their outward physical appearance.
Final rehearsals are underway in Oshkosh as Miss Wisconsin prepares to crown its newest title holder. Twenty-seven women are competing for a chance to represent the Badger State at Miss America.
"They've been working so hard and preparing for months, putting in hours of interview prep and talent prep and it's all leading up to this one moment and they're all excited to get out there and show the judges what they've got," says McKenna Collins, Miss Wisconsin 2017.
And while the women will don bathing suits as part of this weekend's competition, it's winner, because of the changes at the Miss America level, won't have to wear one in September for the national pageant.
"A lot of the girls were disappointed, I think, because they had worked so hard to get to this point. They wanted to showcase their hard work," says Jeanne Schmal, Executive Director of Miss Wisconsin.
But state officials see the changes as a good thing, recognizing the bathing suit portion of the pageant only counted for 10% of a candidates score.
According to Schmal, "Instead of looking at it as a revolution, which I think some people do, it's more of an evolution. It's something that's kind of transitioned through the years and has come to this point now and maybe it's high time."
The changes will give the women, the judges, and the public an opportunity to concentrate more on the good they can do versus how good they can look.
Schmal adds, "They'll see what they're about inside. They'll see what their character is like and what they can do for their communities and their country in the event of Miss America."