52 WOMEN. ONE MISS AMERICA. THE COMPETITION BEGINS WHEN TLC PREMIERES "COUNTDOWN TO THE CROWN" ON JANUARY 2, 2009
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, AMERICA GETS TO JUDGE AND PLACE FOUR GIRLS INTO THE PAGEANT FINALS
Los Angeles, CA � Last year, TLC and Miss America gave the pageant contestants a
"Reality Check" and showed what it really takes to win the ultimate dream of
becoming Miss America. This year, the stakes are even higher � a chance to win a
spot in the pageant's coveted "top 15" � when the 52 state titleholders live together
and face a series of competitions in TLC's COUNTDOWN TO THE CROWN. The fourpart
reality series kicks off Friday, January 2, 2009 at 10 PM (ET/PT).
Each one-hour episode, hosted by Tyler Harcott, finds the contestants living on the
majestic Queen Mary ocean liner and navigating through a series of team and
individual competitions that help them prepare for the pageant and prove they have
what it takes to be a modern-day Miss America. Through it all, viewers at home get
to know the girls, and ultimately have a hand in voting four contestants into the
"Miss America continues to evolve to reflect today's young woman, and remains
incredibly forward-thinking as it develops a new generation of intelligent,
thoughtful, and passionate contestants," said Art McMaster, President/CEO of the
Miss America Organization.
THE GOLD SASH
Joining Tyler are two consultants - Kym Douglas and Antthony Mark Hankins � who
guide the women through their experience and decide who is best prepared to
become 2009's Miss America. Through the challenges, the 52 contestants are
expected to push their personal limits in an effort to win a gold sash, possibly
advancing them into the top 15 at the Miss America pageant, which airs on TLC live
from Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on Saturday, January 24.
Voting, which begins after the 15 gold-sash finalists are selected, will be conducted
online at TLC.com/MissAmerica, and via text messaging.
"For the first time ever, America has the chance to be a judge and select four of the
contestants they think deserves to make it into the pageant," explains Brent Zacky,
VP of Development at TLC. "By giving viewers the chance to get to know the girls
during COUNTDOWN TO THE CROWN, we are confident that four great contestants
will take the stage in January to compete for the Miss America title."
Each week's episode welcomes a guest consultant who spotlights one of the key
pillars that create a successful Miss America contestant. These consultants also have
a hand in selecting that week's gold sash winner.
Episode 1: premieres January 2, 2009 at 10 PM (ET/PT)
Guest consultant: Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989 and host on Fox Network's
FOX AND FRIENDS.
� Team Challenge: Quest for the Crown, a scavenger-style race through the ship.
� Individual Challenge: Pitch Perfect. The table's set to determine the girls' ability
to remain composed, form an argument, and listen as well as she speaks.
Episode 2: premieres January 9, 2009 at 10 PM (ET/PT)
Guest consultant: Shakara Ledard, renowned supermodel
� Team Challenge: Fitness First Obstacle Course � the teams face off in a fun
endurance race to the end.
� Individual Challenge: Runway Photo Shoot. Which girl has mastered her poise
and confidence on the runway?
Episode 3: premieres January 16, 2009 at 10 PM (ET/PT)
Guest Consultant: Clinton Kelly, from TLC's WHAT NOT TO WEAR. Clinton will also
reprise his role as a special correspondent for the Miss America pageant.
� Team Challenge: Miss American Shopper. Will it be retail rivalry when each team
has to share one shopping budget?
� Individual Challenge: Little Black Dress returns with a fashion-forward eye on
personal style and resourcefulness.
Episode 4: premieres January 23, 2009 at 10 PM (ET/PT)
Guest Consultant: Susan Powell, Miss America 1981
� Team Challenge: Miss America's Got Talent. It's a talent showdown as the teams
perfect a routine and compete against each other.
� Individual Challenge: Rock the Runway, where all of the planning pays off in
their final chance to secure a sash.
COUNTDOWN TO THE CROWN is produced for TLC by Tijuana Entertainment.
Executive producers are Troy Searer and John Foy.
TLC's innovative docu-series and reality-based programming include favorites Jon & Kate Plus 8,
Little People, Big World, What Not to Wear, and LA Ink. The channel introduced Miss America Reality
Check in 2008, which helped drive the Miss America Pageant to its highest rating in years. TLC
defined home design with Trading Spaces and continues to renovate the genre. TLC's daytime lineup
includes the Emmy Award-winning A Baby Story as well as Take Home Chef, featuring one of People
magazine's Sexiest Men, Curtis Stone. The channel is available in more than 96 million homes in the
US, nearly 8 million homes in Canada and through the website at www.tlc.com. TLC is part of
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISAD, DISBD, DISCK), the world's number one nonfiction
media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries.
About Miss America
The Miss America Pageant - and the scholarship program itself - is among the most enduring
endeavors in modern American history. From its humble beginnings as a "bathing beauty'" contest in
the 1920s, the Miss America Organization today is one of the nation's leading achievement programs
and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss
America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in
cash and scholarship assistance, helping young women all across the country to reach their dreams
and goals. For more information, go to www.missamerica.org.