Forget Kerry — this is serious!!

The Associated Press reports the Miss America pageant is making some changes: The Miss America pageant is pulling the plug on its talent competition, eliminating the amateurish two-minute routines that have come to feature cheesy stunts such as tractor driving and trampoline jumping…. The talent routines, introduced in 1935 to help make Miss America something ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast.

The Associated Press reports the Miss America pageant is making some changes:

The Associated Press reports the Miss America pageant is making some changes:

The Miss America pageant is pulling the plug on its talent competition, eliminating the amateurish two-minute routines that have come to feature cheesy stunts such as tractor driving and trampoline jumping…. The talent routines, introduced in 1935 to help make Miss America something more than a beauty contest, became mandatory in 1938 and have been ever since. But the routines — sometimes spectacular, more often not — have generally turned off viewers. Most typical were the baton twirlers, opera singers and piano players. But through the years, contestants have ridden horses on stage, stomped on broken glass, jumped on trampolines or driven tractors. The talent routines once accounted for 40 percent of a contestant’s score; they were 20 percent by last year. The routines will still be included in the three nights of preliminary competition leading up to the televised Saturday night crowning. The casual wear, swimsuit and evening wear elements of the contest, which last year counted for 10 percent of a contestant’s score, will each count for 20 percent this year, McMaster said.

Tractor driving? I’m going to miss tractor driving? Well, there’s always the Mrs. America pageant — which is just a convenient way for me to link to Emily Yoffe’s amusing account of how she won the Mrs. Washington, D.C. pageant.

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner

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