Miss Arkansas 2017 reacts to Miss America changes

Miss Arkansas 2017 reacts to Miss America changes
Miss Arkansas 2017 Maggie Benton release a statement following announced changes to the Miss America Competition Tuesday. (Source: MissAmerica.org)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Miss America contestant and Jonesboro native has released a statement regarding new changes coming to the competition.

It was announced on Tuesday by the organization that there will be no longer be swimsuit or evening gown portions of the program.

Miss Arkansas 2017 Maggie Benton stated the following about the announcement:

Change is rarely easy, and I think it will take some time for many people who have been invested in the Miss America Organization to make this adjustment. With that being said, I'm hopeful that these changes will be positive. I so trust our Miss America leadership, and I know that there is a force of women working for the good of the organization at the end of the day. I'm excited to see the outcome!

Instead of swimsuits, the competition will feature a live interactive session between contestants and judges.

What's being deemed "Miss America 2.0" is scheduled for Sept. 9.

The Miss Arkansas pageant will see the change in 2019. Miss America Trustee Jessie Bennett said the changes will first begin at the national competition. She said the change will not impact the 2018 Miss Arkansas pageant, which begins next week.

KAIT will air the Miss Arkansas pageant live on KAIT 8.1 on Saturday, June 16.

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