TV Article

No Hit, Miss

Should ''Miss America'' be more like reality TV? -- The creators of ''Fear Factor'' offer suggestions on how to make the long-running beauty competition more exciting to viewers

Forget world peace — it's time to save yourselves, pretty ladies! On Oct. 18, ABC allowed its contract with the Miss America competition to expire, leaving the 84-year-old pageant without a television sponsor for the first time in 50 years. (Although the Sept. 18 broadcast drew a record-low 9.8 million viewers, reps for the pageant — er, scholarship program — say the decision was mutual.) We'd hate to see Vaseline smiles and double-stick tape vanish with nary a pageant wave, and so in the interest of rescuing the beauty queens from almost certain obscurity, we asked Fear Factor executive producers David Hurwitz and Matt Kunitz — the men who invited Miss USA contestants on their show to drink fermented squid guts — for their thoughts on spicing up Miss America in the sexed-up age of reality TV. Here are their appropriately unhinged suggestions.

Do away with satin sash. Instead, wrap contestants in boa constrictor inscribed with home state.

Set swimsuit competition in locked underwater cage.

Keep evening gown competition on runway — airplane runway. Ladies must walk down wing of a plane while it's landing.

Winner's bouquet swarming with killer bees.

Originally posted Nov 05, 2004 Published in issue #791 Nov 05, 2004 Order article reprints