Miss America 2014: Meet the contestants
The 2014 Miss America pageant takes place in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Sunday, Sept. 15 and will air live on ABC at 9 p.m. ET.
Chris Harrison of the network's dating series "The Bachelor" and Lara Spencer from its morning show, "Good Morning America" are hosting the competition show, in which 53 contestants from all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico, Washington D.C. and the Virgin Islands will compete for the crown.
(See official headshot PHOTOS of all 53 Miss America 2014 contestants.)
The judges are ex-'N Sync singer Lance Bass, Barbara Corcoran of ABC's "Shark Tank," Carla Hall of the network's daytime series "The Chew," New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire, violinist Joshua Bell, comedian Mario Cantone and Miss America 2005 Deidre Downs Gunn.
Among the 53 contestants are Miss Kansas, Therea Vail (pictured above, right). She is a sergeant in the U.S. Army who is also the first pageant participant to show her tattoos. Others who sport them have opted to cover them up.
In a preliminary contest on Tuesday, she walked the runway in a red bikini that showed a tattoo she sports down the side of her torso, which reads: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."
Another competitor is Miss Florida, Myrrhanda Jones (pictured above, left). She sported a leg brace -- following an ACL injury -- while performing a baton twirling routine in a skimpy outfit during another preliminary contest on Thursday. The Miss America competition features a talent portion.