The Miss USA pageant added three new hosts on Tuesday after its final host dropped out, and the pageant confirmed that Sunday’s competition will stream online in addition to its broadcast on the Reelz network.
Reelz announced the new hosts on Tuesday evening after the last host left standing, Jeannie Mai, pulled out of the competition this week. The new hosts are Entertainment Television personality and game show host Todd Newton, former Miss Wisconsin USA and television host Alex Wehrley and OK!TV host Julie Alexandria.
They replace Mai, longtime “Dancing With the Stars” performer Cheryl Burke and MSNBC Live host Thomas Roberts. The pageant also lost its Latin hosts for its Spanish broadcast. Roselyn Sanchez and Cristian de la Fuente were among the first to sever ties with Trump.
Newton broke the news on his Twitter page late Tuesday.
“As a TV host, there are few stages more iconic than that of Miss USA,” he wrote. “Politics play no part. For me it’s all about putting on a great show.”
The Miss USA organization still has a lot of work to do before the pageant this Sunday in Baton Rouge. The organization has lost a slew of supporters since Trump said in a presidential campaign speech that Mexico was sending people who brought rape, drugs and crime into the United States.
While Miss USA has replaced its three hosts, the pageant still has not announced any new performers or judges. All of the scheduled performers dropped out of the pageant by last week and only a few judges remain.
Rapper Flo Rida, singer Natalie LaRose and country artist Craig Wayne Boyd all canceled their performances for the pageant, according to The Associated Press.
East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden said last week that he was not involved in helping Miss USA scout performers or judges.
Mai initially said last week when Burke and Roberts dropped out of hosting that she disagreed with Trump’s statements, but would continue to support the pageant. She added that she would not “abandon these women when they need our support now more than ever.”
But Mai had a change of heart this week, saying she had thought Trump would no longer be involved in the show’s production. One of the factors that she said changed her mind was Trump’s online spat with reigning Miss Universe Paulina Vega.
Trump called Vega a hypocrite after the pageant queen said she was offended by his statements about immigrants but did not offer to give up her crown.
“It is clear that Mr. Trump’s actions have and will continue to distract focus away from the real stars of the show — the women involved in the pageant,” Mai wrote on Instagram.
Miss USA’s supporters started sprinting away from the pageant after Univision and NBC canceled their broadcasts.
Trump has also lost a long line of business partners. ESPN is among the most recent to dump him, and the network is moving its ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic on July 14 from Trump National Golf Club to another golf course in Los Angeles.
The Reelz channel — available to AT&T, DirectTV and Dish Network customers — stepped in late last week and announced it would air the pageant. Reelz CEO Stan E. Hubbard said his decision to broadcast the pageant was not political and that he disagreed with Trump’s statements.
The Reelz channel is not available to Cox Communications customers, who make up a large portion of television watchers in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans.
The day after Cox said it had no plans to add the Reelz channel to its lineup, Miss USA confirmed that people without access to Reelz would be able to watch the winner be crowned on the Miss USA website.
Miss USA President Paula Shugart said last week that the Miss USA pageant would stream online if other options did not pan out, but she said that before Reelz stepped in to air the program. Tuesday was the first time Miss USA established that the pageant would broadcast on television and online, and the organization changed its online ads to reflect it.
The Miss USA contestants will strut across the stage in their swimsuits and ball gowns and crown a new winner at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Baton Rouge River Center. Many tickets are still available on the Ticketmaster website, with prices ranging from $75 to $200.
The Miss USA preliminary competition is at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, and the preliminary pageant will stream live on the Miss USA website. All 51 contestants will compete in their evening gowns and swimsuits, and the results will determine who makes the top 15. Tickets for the preliminary competition are also available on Ticketmaster for $50 each.