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Kris Jenner among panel of Miss America judges

By Oskar Garcia

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 7 2011 3:32 p.m. MST

LAS VEGAS — Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner is on a panel of seven judges who will pick next year's Miss America during a pageant in January in Las Vegas.

Jenner, a star of cable reality show "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," will join "Meet the Parents" actress Teri Polo and ABC's lifestyle anchor Lara Spencer on the panel announced Wednesday.

Also judging the pageant will be "Dancing With the Stars" dancer Mark Ballas, "The Bachelor" executive producer Mike Fleiss, "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition" host Chris Powell and Raul de Molina, a former photographer and host of Univision entertainment news show "El Gordo y la Flaca."

The pageant's finals are scheduled for Jan. 14 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and will air live on ABC.

The judges will interview the state contestants and judge them in preliminary competitions during the week leading up to the pageant, eventually picking a winner based on looks, talent and interviewing skills.

This year's winner, Teresa Scanlan of Nebraska, won at age 17 and is the youngest Miss America since the pageant implemented age limits in 1938.

The pageant will be hosted by "The Bachelor" host Chris Harrison, who's at the start of a two-year deal hosting the competition.

Miss America started in 1921 as a bathing revue. Today, the Miss America Organization touts itself as the country's largest provider of scholarships to young women, giving more than $45 million last year.

Oskar Garcia can be reached at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia .

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