Thirty-two years after Vanessa Williams became the first Black Miss America, the beauty queen-turned singer-turned actress will be making her triumphant return to the ceremony… but this time, as a judge.
According to Variety, pageant officials announced earlier this week that Williams would be serving as head judge alongside a slew of other celebs, including teen superstar, Zendaya.
“Oh how the years go by…” Williams tweeted. “Back to Convention Hall after 32 years to judge the #MissAmerica pageant this Sunday night.”
Williams’ 1984 victory was flanked by scandal 10 months into her reign after nude photos of her were sold to—and published in—Penthouse magazine. She was forced to resign from her title as she faced public shaming and bullying from the public at large.
“People would ride by the house and beep things and yell stuff,” Williams recalled on Good Morning America during an interview with Robin Roberts. “They took down the sign in Millwood, New York: ‘Home of Miss America.'”
But, as she says, the dust always settles. Williams went on to star on shows like Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty and has been nominated for a whopping 11 Grammys. We have a sneaking suspicion that she will bring some flavor to this year’s pageant.
“It’s a new day there,” Williams said on GMA. “There’s a lot of people that do feel that I should return…And they are inviting me back as an example of, ‘This is what can happen to you in your life.'”
Miss America airs Sunday, Sept. 13 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. Will you be tuning in?