LINWOOD, NJ (Dec. 8, 2011) – The 2011 Miss America Pageant presented by DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse promises to be an exciting event with the announcement of the strikingly diverse panel of national judges. Daytime Emmy Award-winning hosts of “The View” – Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd revealed the diverse panel of national judges for the 2011 Miss America Pageant on this morning’s show. This year’s panel of seven esteemed judges includes an accomplished talk show host and comedienne; a Miss America turned veterinarian, broadcaster and philanthropist; an executive producer of one of the hottest shows on TV; an award-winning dancer and choreographer; a beloved actress, Golden Globe Nominee and health advocate; an orthopedic surgeon turned shoe designer; and a multi-platinum selling country music artist. They will evaluate the contestants from the preliminaries through the final night of competition, which will broadcast live from Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on SATURDAY, JANUARY 15 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET/PT) on ABC.
This year’s panel of judges is comprised of experts from each of the fields that a young woman must excel in, to be named Miss America. Miss America must be talented, intelligent and well-spoken, a leader, have a commitment to her community, be contemporary in her style and fashion – a relatable and individual ‘it girl’ who can connect with today’s modern woman, as well as being physically fit. To determine who will be Miss America 2011 the following panel of judges has been selected:
From the Field of Interview – Joy Behar: Behar is an accomplished broadcaster comedienne and cohost of ABC’s The View and host of The Joy Behar Show on HLN. In addition to television, Behar has made numerous appearances in film and theatre. Behar is the recipient of several awards; most recently GLAAD’s “Excellence in Media Award (2010), Daytime Emmy Award (2009) as Outstanding Talk Show Host for The View and the Real Beauty Award from AWRT and Dove (2007).
Behar’s second children’s book, Sheetzucacapoopoo: Max Goes to the Dogs (Dutton Juvenile, 2009) is the follow-up to her New York Times bestseller Sheetzucacapoopoo: My Kind of Dog (Dutton Juvenile, 2006). S he is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Joy Shtick: or What Is the Existential Vacuum and Does It Come with Attachments? (Hyperion, 2000).
From the Field of Community Service/Instrumental Talent – Miss America 1990 Dr. Debbye Turner Bell: Since her year, Dr. Turner Bell completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in May 1991 at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has served as a motivational speaker to more than a half million students at hundreds of schools, youth organizations and college campuses and has served on several local, state and national Boards. Dr. Turner Bell also enjoys her role in broadcast journalism as a staff correspondent for CBS News where she has been dubbed The Early Show‘s resident veterinarian sharing a wealth of advice about quality pet care. Turner Bell is also called upon to cover breaking and developing news from time to time for The Early Show and the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. She also hosts the television magazine program, 48 Hours on WE. In 2002, Dr. Turner Bell garnered an interview with President and Mrs. Bush at the White House for a Pet Planet segment about the first family’s pets. Although she is not currently in clinical practice in veterinary medicine, she has promoted responsible pet ownership and proper veterinary care for pets through PSA’s, news features, and workshops. Dr. Turner Bell has carried her message of pet care and motivation as far away as Rome, Italy and Johannesburg, South Africa.
From the Field of Star Power – Marc Cherry: Marc Cherry is the Creator and Executive Producer of ABC’S multiple-award winning program, Desperate Housewives. Cherry began as a personal assistant to Dixie Carter on the set of Designing Women and early success as a writer soon followed.
His writer/producer credits include the beloved television classic The Golden Girls and the sequel to the series, The Golden Palace. He also served as writer and executive producer on the television comedies Some of My Best Friends, The Crew and The Five Mrs. Buchanans. Cherry has a development deal with ABC Studios, producing under the banner Cherry Productions.
From the Field of Fitness/Dance – Tony Dovolani : Dovolani moved to the U.S. from Kosovo when he was 15 and began attending Fred Astaire Dance Academy where he found his passion for dancing. Since that time, Dovolani has been a strong and successful competitor in the ballroom dancing world. Dovolani joined the hit ABC series, Dancing with the Stars in its second season and quickly became a fan favorite. Dovolani’s film credits includes the role of, ‘Slick Willy’ in the hit film Shall We Dance, where he was also a dance instructor on the film. His most recent achievements include a 2006 Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Choreography for Dancing With the Stars, PBS’ 2006 America’s Ballroom Challenge Rhythm Champion, Emerald Ball Open’s 2006 Professional America Rhythm Champion and 2006 United States Open Rhythm and World Rhythm Champions with Elena Grinenko.
From the Field of Health and Beauty – Marilu Henner: Marilu Henner has starred in more than 30 films; six Broadway Shows; two classic sitcoms, Taxi and Evening Shade is a five-time Golden Globe Nominee as well as a New York Times Best-selling author of eight books on health, fitness, and lifestyle improvement. She has hosted and executive produced three talk shows and has hosted and guest-starred on many TV shows in addition to being “Talk Show Guest of the Year.” In fall 2010, Henner was the subject of a two-part special on 60 Minutes and will be seen in the Hallmark Movie Mulligan, as well the feature film Vamps scheduled for release this summer. In addition, she has spoken before Congress in Washington on several occasions as an expert on dietary supplements, women’s cardiovascular disease, deadbeat parents, the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 2010 and she was one of only two private citizens selected to contribute to the shaping of our Government’s food pyramid.
From the Field of Fashion – Taryn Rose: Rose is an orthopedic surgeon turned shoe designer who combined fashion and function and changed the footwear industry forever and launched a multimillion dollar shoe brand. Rose is currently introducing her new brand, High Heel Power for HSN and has teamed with Neiman Marcus to introduce Haute Footure, a footwear collection for women who love fashion and worship their feet. Rose has been featured on numerous television programs and in all of the top publications in the country. She has been recognized for numerous honors and has served on a variety of panels, most recently: panelist at the 2009 Pink Magazine “Fall Empowerment Series”; chosen by Martha Stewart as a panelist for the 2007 Women’s Entrepreneurial Conference; The 2006 Compass Award by The Women’s Leadership Exchange group and first-ranked in Women’s President’s Organization and Fast Company’s 2005 “25 Women Entrepreneurs Changing the Game.”
Close to her heart, Rose regularly participates in projects to support Breast Cancer Research, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Clothes Off Our Back, United Cerebral Palsy and Research Foundation, Lynne Cohen Foundation and Step Up Women’s Network.
From the Field of Vocal Talent – Mark Wills: Wills is a multi-platinum selling country music star with eight top 10 hits including “Nineteen Something,” “Wish You Were Here” and “Don’t Laugh At Me” which were all nominated by the Country Music Association for Single, Song, and Video of the Year. Wills won the Academy of Country Music’s award for Top New Male Vocalist in 1998. In 2002, his single, “19 Something” spent six weeks at No. 1 and was Billboard’s top country hit of the year and was the second most played song of the 2010 decade. He is the host of the hit television series 3 Gun Nation on the Versus Network. He has made multiple Christmas trips to Iraq to perform for our military. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Kelly and their two daughters.
About the Miss America Organization:
The Miss America Organization is one of the nation’s leading achievement programs and the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance. For more information, go to www.missamerica.org.
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