The former Miss America returns to the competition three decades after resigning her post
The latest judge of the 95th Miss America pageant has been revealed – and it’s a bit of a shocker!
Vanessa Williams is joining the judging panel of this year’s competition.
The former beauty queen made history in 1983 as the first African-American woman ever to be crowned Miss America, but was famously forced to resign 10 months into her reign after nude photos from her past appeared in Penthouse.
“For years, I’d walk into an audition and feel the judgment,” Williams told PEOPLE in 2012 of the aftermath. “I was a scandalous Miss America. Vanessa the Undressa. But I silently thought, one day you’ll see what I’m made of.”
In a lengthy interview with GMA”‘s Robin Roberts, she said: “That s one of the problems I ve had to deal with for my career. Not only being a Miss America, but a scandalous Miss America.”
In the three decades since the scandal, the recently married star has gone on to become a Grammy-nominated singer and Emmy-nominated actress (for her role on Ugly Betty).
Williams will join six other celebrity judges including Zendaya, Brett Eldredge, snowboarding bronze medalist (and fellow newlywed) Amy Purdy and Taya Kyle, author and wife of the late U.S. Navy Seal Chris Kyle, when the competition airs live on ABC on Sunday at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.