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Preliminary judges for Miss America 2016 pageant announced

Preliminary judges for Miss America 2016 pageant announced

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The preliminary judges for this year’s Miss America competition in Atlantic City were announced Thursday.

Seven people in the entertainment, fashion and political industries will be tasked with narrowing this year’s pool of 52 contestants representing their states and territories to 15.

The judges will evaluate the contestants during preliminary contests Sept. 8-10 in five categories: lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit; evening wear; talent; interview; and on-stage questions.

Those 15 women will compete Sept. 13 in Boardwalk Hall, and a new Miss America will take over the title from Kira Kazantsev. A celebrity judge panel, which will be revealed at a future date, will be in charge on the final night of competition and will crown the new Miss America.

The preliminary judges are:

BRIAN EDWARDS: Talent producer, notably for three Emmy Award-winning shows, author of “Enter Miss Thang.” He worked as a publicist for Joan Rivers, Donna Summer and former Miss America Vanessa Williams.

JAMES BROWN III: Brown has an extensive resume, with titles such as actor, model, creative director and fashion editor. He’s also performed on Broadway in the shows “Rocky,” “Wicked,” and “Memphis,” among others.

JENNI PULOS: This Greek-American actress, comedian, rapper has Emmy acclaims as well, as the co-executive producer for “Flipping Out” and “Interior Therapy” on Bravo.

KYLENE BARKER McNEILL: The first Miss America crowned out of Virginia, Barker McNeill became a business owner and entrepreneur at 23 years old.

LANNY GRIFFITH: Griffith is the chief executive officer of BGR Group, and is the founder for Trust for the National Mall in Washington D.C. He worked closely with both Bush administrations.

NOAH ALEXANDER: The highest-awarded sales professional in the U.S. for men’s fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna. He served as a guest judge for Miss America’s Little Black Dress Contest in 2008.

RACHEL ZALIS: Zalis has a background in style and fashion journalism. She’s a style contributor for “E! News,” “Access Hollywood,” “KTLA Morning News” and Women’s Health Magazine. She was also an editor at Glamour and Cosmopolitan magazines.

Contact: 609-272-7256

Twitter @ACPress_Tracey

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