by MIKE CHAIKEN
The Miss America Organization made waves this past week when it announced that the Lifestyle and Fitness—the swimsuits—phase of competition are no more.
However, as the 25 women competing to be Miss Connecticut stepped on stage for the pageant’s 90th anniversary, swimsuits appeared once again—albeit for the last time ever. So fans, family, and friends watched as the competitors for this scholarship pageant paraded before judges in gold and silver bikinis (and the occasional one-piece). Occasionally, presenters and hosts made it clear that this weekend was a historic moment as the bikinis will be hung up for the last time in MAO.
Nakiya Davis Troth, the executive director for Miss Connecticut, explained prior to this weekend’s competition at The Palace Theater, “The information we have received from the MAO office is swimsuit will be removed from the competition and there will be some changes to evening wear. Not that (evening gowns are) going to be removed but there will be some changes made. They no longer want judging to be based on a girl’s physical appearance.”
“We are contracted with (the Miss America Organization ) and when they make the changes they happen in September so beginning in September we will run our local pageants and our 2019 state pageant by the new guidelines and rules that are put forth by the Miss America Organization,” said Davis-Troth. “However, this weekend, we will be celebrating our 90th anniversary and these young women will be competing in the way they always have, in four phases of competition including swimsuit.”
As for preparing Saturday’s winner, Bridget Oei of Hebron, for this revamped version of the pageant, Davis Troth said, “Miss America is 52 young women that come together who are incredible and absolutely amazing and we want to send our best representative there. So that’s what we are focusing on here in Connecticut— getting the very best Miss Connecticut we can get based on the criteria that we have now for her to be judged on.”
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN
This is what the audience saw at The Palace Theater in Waterbury during the preliminary competition for the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Pageant on June 8. This was the final Lifestyle and Fitness (swimsuit) competition of the pageant’s 90 year existence.