Miss America Apologized to Vanessa Williams on Live Television (VIDEO)

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13: Executive Chairman and CEO for Miss America Sam Haskell III and Vanessa Williams speak onstage during the 2016 Miss America Competition at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 13, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for dcp)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – SEPTEMBER 13: Executive Chairman and CEO for Miss America Sam Haskell III and Vanessa Williams speak onstage during the 2016 Miss America Competition at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 13, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for dcp)

This is pretty amazing. Miss America invited Vanessa Williams to perform and be Head Judge at this year’s event, which took place in Atlantic City on Sunday, and was televised on the ABC network.

Vanessa won the crown in 1984, but when Penthouse got their hands on some nude photos she took before she participated in the pageant, there was a media firestorm. Ultimately Vanessa was forced to relinquish her title. Sure. Parade girls around in bathing suits and evening gowns. Judge them on their looks and–let’s get real here–their f*ckablity. But if the winner dares not uphold the image of the “good girl,” she’ll be shamed and humiliated until she’s forced to resign.

But the funny thing about Vanessa Williams–she didn’t disappear. She went on to a long and mega-successful career as a singer and actress. It was the best revenge on the hypocrites who ran her out of town, so to speak. One man from the Miss America organization, Sam Haskell III remained friends with Vanessa over the years, despite the controversy. Now he’s the Executive chairman and CEO for Miss America. Not only did he invite Vanessa to make a triumphant return to Miss America, BUT HE APOLOGIZED TO HER on behalf of the organization on live TV!

“You have lived your life in grace and dignity and never was it more evident than during the events of 1984 when you resigned,” said Haskell who pointed out that nobody involved with the organization now, was involved with the unfortunate situation. He went on to apologize, nonetheless, “On behalf of today’s organization, I want to apologize to you.” Haskell also apologized to Vanessa’ mother, who was sitting in the audience and added, “I want to apologize for anything that was said or was done that made you feel any less than the Miss America you are and the Miss America you always will be.” The crowd stood up and roared their approval. Vanessa said she did the best that she could during that time, and thanked him for the “unexpected” apology.

Who could have imagined, 32 years ago, that Miss America would eventually welcome her back with an apology? Sure, Vanessa is one of the most successful winners the organization ever had, but it would have been just as easy to treat the situation like water under the bridge, and never speak of it again. It’s probably a mixture of Haskell’s admiration for and friendship with Vanessa, and an attempt to bring Miss America into the 21st century to a hipper, younger, more broad-minded audience. We’re talking young folks who don’t blink an eye at the naked escapades of Miley, Rihanna, Gaga et al.

Vanessa served as Head Judge and opened the show with a performance of “Oh How the Years Go By.” She joined host Chris Harrison, co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet, music curator Nick Jonas and celebrity judges Brett Eldredge, Taya Kyle, Danica McKellar, Kevin O’Leary, Amy Purdy and Zendaya.

In other news…a new Miss America was crowned, Miss Georgia, Betty Cantrell. Ain’t she darling? If you’ve got some nekkid pictures floating around out there, honey, rest easy! You won’t be fired.

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13: Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell wins the 2016 Miss America Competition at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 13, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for dcp)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – SEPTEMBER 13: Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell wins the 2016 Miss America Competition at Boardwalk Hall Arena on September 13, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for dcp)

Betty Cantrell is a student of Mercer University. During her year as Miss America, she will serve as spokesperson for Healthy Children, Strong America. Along with the coveted title of Miss America 2016, Cantrell won a $50,000 scholarship provided in part by Joseph Ribkoff Inc. and the Miss America Organization to continue her education. For the talent portion of the competition, Cantrell performed the operatic vocal performance of “Tu Tu Piccolo Iddio.”

First runner-up in the competition was Miss Mississippi, Hannah Roberts, who earned a $25,000 scholarship.

About mj santilli 35052 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!