PEOPLE's Jess Cagle Joins Miss America Competition Judges Panel with Jordin Sparks & Thomas Rhett
The 2018 Miss America Competition is shaping up to be the most star-studded yet.
Officials with the popular contest have announced that singer Jordin Sparks, model Molly Sims, singer Thomas Rhett and PEOPLE Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle will all join the celebrity judges panel this year.
“I am honored to participate as a judge for the Miss America Competition this year,” said Sparks, 27. “I understand the pressure that a competition brings and I’m lucky it’s given me the unique perspective on the hard work that the contestants have to put in to get to this point. No doubt they are all strong women and I look forward to hearing the platforms they represent.”
Fifty-one women will compete for the title from all across the United States, including the District of Columbia, and the panel will evaluate the contestants’ performance in the evening wear, fitness, lifestyle, talent and interview categories.
“I’m so excited to be a judge at this year’s competition and am happy to participate alongside an organization that is an advocate for women’s education,” said Sims, 44. “I’m looking forward to seeing all the young women who have come this far and hearing more about them and their interests!”
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“I’m extremely happy to be sharing the hosting duties once again with my friend Sage Steele,” Harrison said in a statement. “Sage is a true professional whose quick wit and charisma lights up the stage and the show.”
Added Steele, “I can honestly say that co-hosting Miss America last year was one of the most memorable events I’ve been a part of in my 22 years in this business. These young women are so inspirational to millions across the country, including my own daughters, and yours truly.”
The 2018 Miss America competition will air live on ABC from Atlantic City, New Jersey, this Sept. 10 at 9 p.m. ET.