Miss America scraps swimsuit competition

The Miss America pageant says it is dropping the swimsuit competition in favour of an interactive session between judges and contestants.

The group announced Tuesday it is eliminating the swimsuit competition and making changes to its evening wear section, no longer requiring contestants to wear gowns.

Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America who leads the group's board of trustees, says it will no longer judge women on their appearance.

Rather, she says, it's what comes out of their mouths that counts.

The organization says the contestants will highlight their achievements and goals in life and how they'll use their talents, passion and ambition to perform the job of Miss America.

The changes will take effect with this year's broadcast on Sept. 9 from Atlantic City, New Jersey.