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Taya Kyle, Kevin O'Leary, Amy Purdy join celebrity judging panel for 95th anniversary broadcast of Miss America

by jmaloni

Submitted

Thu, Aug 13th 2015 11:10 am

Voting now open for "America's Choice"

The wife of the late U.S. Navy SEAL "American Sniper" Chris Kyle, author Taya Kyle, will join entrepreneur, businessman and star of ABC's "Shark Tank," Kevin O'Leary and 2014 Paralympic snowboarding bronze medalist and motivational speaker Amy Purdy to judge the 2016 Miss America Competition. They join previously announced judge and country star Brett Eldredge. The 2016 Miss America Competition returns to Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall Sunday, Sept. 13 (9 p.m. ET), on the ABC Television Network. The evening will be filled with glitz and glam as 52 women compete for the coveted crown and scholarship.

For the first time in Miss America history, fans have the opportunity to cast their vote entirely on social media for "America's Choice." The winner of "America's Choice" will move forward to the top 15 in the competition. Fans can vote on both Facebook and Twitter by posting a status and/or tweet with the name of the state they are voting for and the hashtag #MissAmericaVote. Voting is now open and closes at 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday, Sept. 10.

"The Miss America Organization provides millions of dollars in annual college scholarship assistance, making it the largest scholarship program for women in the United States," Kyle said. "I am honored to be a part of an organization that not only helps the contestants, but their communities and children, as well. The women who compete in this program contribute tens of thousands of community service hours annually and have raised over $10 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and Miss America scholarships."

"The Miss America title is a remarkable platform and an extraordinary opportunity for any woman that is awarded it," O'Leary said. "As a judge, I'll be looking for the woman that can best articulate how she will use this opportunity to advance a charity that will help others and/or build a business that will employ Americans, and above all use the title to encourage other young women to do the same. There is a reason that the Miss America Organization has been around since 1921: It has helped young women make a difference for multiple generations. I'm very proud to be involved."

"Miss America celebrates strong women who are passionate about serving as an advocate for their communities and strive to make a positive impact," Purdy said. "I'm honored to be part of an organization with such a long and dedicated history of giving back."

Additional hosts and judges for the 2016 Miss America Competition will be announced in coming weeks.

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