The 2019 Miss America Pageant made a controversial move this year in dropping the swimsuit portion of the competition and that decision apparently was not popular with viewers.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the pageant lost 36% in the 18-49 demographic compared to last year’s numbers (which, to that point, were an all-time low) and in the overall viewership losing 19% to 4.3 million. In comparison, the Sunday Night NFL game between the Packers and the Bears averaged 19.6 million for NBC.

While ratings for the pageant have been trending downward for years, its hard not to believe that eliminating one of the pageant’s signature competitions caused at least part of the decline. The Atlantic City based pageant has been roiled with controversy over the past year, with an email scandal bringing down the CEO, with former winner Gretchen Carlson taking the reins. Proclaiming that the competition welcomed “women of all sizes,” Carlson eliminated the swimsuit portion of the pageant which had been a staple since the pageant’s founding in 1921.

With cratering ratings, it will be interesting to see if swimsuits are brought back or if the pageant calls it quit for good.

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