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Miss America pageant dropped swimsuit competition - and the ratings are disastrous

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The Miss America pageant garnered very low ratings after retooling and cutting out the swimsuit competition in June. (Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions)

The ratings are in for the new Miss America pageant since they axed the swimsuit competition, and they are not good.

Here's how the show did

The Miss America pageant aired on Sunday from Atlantic City, New Jersey, and it had the worst ratings its ever had for airing on a broadcast network.

The broadcast was down 36 percent in the key demographic of ages 18 to 49, and down 19 percent in total viewers, placing the Miss America pageant in fourth place for the night.

The pageant was retooled after former Miss America Gretchen Carlson was brought on to be the new chairwoman of the board of trustees of the Miss America Organization. Carlson announced the controversial decision to cut out the swimsuit competition in June.

“We’ve heard from a lot of young women who say, ‘We’d love to be a part of your program but we don’t want to be out there in high heels and a swimsuit,’ so guess what, you don’t have to do that anymore,” Carlson said at the time.

“Who doesn’t want to be empowered," she added, "learn leadership skills and pay for college and be able to show the world who you are as a person from the inside of your soul.”

Carlson was forced to deal with a controversy arising out of accusations from Cara Mund, the previous Miss America, that she had been bullied and manipulated.

Mund said that Carlson “systematically silenced me, reduced me, marginalized me, and essentially erased me in my role as Miss America.”

Nia Franklin of New York won the pageant on Sunday.

Here's a local news video about controversy at the Miss America pageant:

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