7:47am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Gabby Douglas Joins Miss America Judges Panel
Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas has joined the panel of judges for the 2017 Miss America pageant.
The Miss America Organization, Dick Clark Productions and ABC said Monday that the gymnast will be joined by singer-actress Laura Marano (Disney Channel's Austin & Ally, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip) as judges for the Sept. 11 event.
Douglas won back-to-back gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, one of only two U.S. gymnasts in history to accomplish such a feat.
"Miss America has been such an amazing event for so many years and I am excited to have the opportunity to judge the competition this year," Douglas said. "The contestants are a great example of strong women across America and I especially look forward to hearing the platforms that each of them will represent."
Previously announced judges include Shark Tank's Mark Cuban, Sara Foster (VH1's Barely Famous), singer-songwriter Cole Swindell and former Miss America Sharlene Wells Hawkes. Additional judges will be announced in the coming weeks.
As previously announced, Chris Harrison (ABC's The Bachelor) is returning as host, with Sage Steele (ABC and ESPN's NBA Countdown) joining as co-host.
The Miss America pageant is scheduled to air live from Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall at 9-11 p.m. ET (tape-delayed PT) on Sunday, Sept. 11, on ABC.
DCP and the Miss America Organization will collaborate on all creative, marketing, sponsorship, licensing, ticketing and distribution elements of this year’s show. Tony Eaton and Tall Pony Productions will produce the pageant.