The Next Miss America: Olivia Pope? Pageant Contestants Weigh In

MISS AMERICA 2016 - Miss America contestants visit Times Square on their way to Atlantic City, 9/1/15. The "2016 Miss America Competition," celebrating its 95th anniversary returns to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall for a live broadcast on SUNDAY, SEPT. 13 (9-11pm, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Ida Mae Astute) 2016 MISS AMERICA CONTESTANTS

The Miss America competition is celebrating its 95th year this Sunday. To mark the milestone, we asked this year’s Miss America contestants to choose the television characters they’d like to see accept the crown. The most common response? Why, Scandal‘s Olivia Pope, of course! Plus, see the other fictional females who were voted.

SCANDAL - ABC's "Scandal" stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

Olivia Pope/Scandal

Olivia Pope, Scandal

Six of the contestants we polled responded with the Scandal showstopper. “Olivia is educated, confident and wears the white hat,” says Miss Michigan, Emily Kieliszewski. “She’s a gladiator for what’s right and does it all with style and class.” Miss Ohio, Sarah Hader, adds, “She’s beautiful, intelligent, graceful and diplomatic. She’s also quick on her feet and witty.”





PARKS AND RECREATION -- "One Last Ride" Episode 712/713 -- Pictured: (l-r) Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt -- (Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC)

Leslie Knope/Parks and Recreation

Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

“Nobody has more loyalty, love and energy than Leslie Knope,” Miss D.C., Haely Jardas, explains. “She’s always thinking about what she can do for others and what she can do to make the world around her a better place. She’d probably explode when you tell her she won, but then she’d change the world.”

As for Miss Rhode Island, Allie Curtis, she identifies with the Parks and Rec character on more than one level. “As an aspiring public official, and because my platform is women in politics, I have always connected with Leslie Knope’s character. She is a genuine leader with a servant’s heart, and that is Miss America.”

Lucy Ricardo, I Love Lucy

Surprisingly, 1950s icon Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) was the third most mentioned character. “Lucy would make a beautiful Miss America because of her originality, humor and wonderful style,” Miss California, Bree Morse, says. “She is a timeless example of a classy woman with a bit of sass, just how a Miss America should be!”

Grey's Anatomy

Meredith Grey/Grey’s Anatomy

Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy

Brains and beauty? Sounds good to us. “Meredith is determined, focused and strong-willed,” says Miss New York, Jamie Macchia. “She stands up for what she believes in, and that is exactly what a Miss America should do.”



Rose Nylund, The Golden Girls

While she would be the oldest Miss America, well, ever, we can’t deny how awesome she would be. Miss South Carolina, Daja Dial, completely agrees: “Betty White is a goddess! Period!”

SUITS -- "Priviledge" Episode 506 -- Pictured: Meghan Markle as Rachel Zane -- (Photo by: Shane Mahood/USA Network)

Rachel Zane/Suits

Rachel Zane, Suits

“Rachel Zane is a young female professional, a go-getter, and an aspiring lawyer,” says Miss Massachusetts, Meagan Fuller. “She isn’t perfect. She’s constantly learning. She’s smart, sassy, sexy and sweet—everything I see as Miss America.”



"The Deconstruction" - Alicia faces an uncertain future when she is forced to resign as State's Attorney in the wake of a voter fraud scandal. Also, R.D. (Oliver Platt) hires Diane and Cary to argue against two ultra-conservative lawyers for a test case involving mandatory minimum sentencing, on THE GOOD WIFE, Sunday, April 26 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT), on the CBS Television Network. . Pictured (L-R) Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick and Chris Noth as Peter Florrick Photo: JOJO WHILDEN©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Alicia Florrick/The Good Wife

Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife

“Alicia exhibits strength, perseverance and intelligence, a woman worthy of representing the nation as Miss America,” Miss Missouri, McKensie Garber, says.




Topanga, Boy Meets World

Miss Washington, Lizzi Jackson, picked Boy Meets World‘s Topanga as her frontrunner. “Topanga has brains, poise and beauty,” she says. “What truly makes her Miss America material however is her strong sense of self. Topanga didn’t change her values for anyone, even at a young age.”

Rachel Green, Friends

Jennifer Aniston would make an amazing Miss America, even today, but Rachel Green is the perfect candidate. As Miss Illinois, Crystal Davis, puts it, she has the “total package!


MARVEL'S AGENT CARTER - ABC's "Marvel's Agent Carter" stars Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter. (ABC/Bob D'Amico)

Peggy Carter/Marvel’s Agent Carder

Other Notable Mentions for Miss America:

  • Gloria Pritchett, Modern Family
  • Peggy Carter, Marvel’s Agent Carter
  • Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Rayna James, Nashville
  • Robin Scherbatsky, How I Met Your Mother
  • Skyler White, Breaking Bad
  • Rory Gilmore, Gilmore Girls
  • April Carver, Chasing Life

Miss America 2016 airs live on Sunday, September 13 at 9/8c on ABC.