State & Region

Miss Illinois 2018 to compete in first Miss America contest without swimsuit competition

Grace Khachaturian
Grace Khachaturian

The first Miss Illinois to compete fully clothed in the Miss America contest is from Champaign.

Grace Khachaturian, 21, won $10,000 in scholarships at the state competition on Saturday night, according to a news release. She will compete in the Miss America contest in September.

Organizers of the national competition announced on June 5 that the contest's format would change, focusing instead on contestants' chosen social causes while wearing clothing that makes them feel confident. There will not be a swimsuit or evening gown competition in the 2018 contest.

“We are not going to judge you on your outward appearance,” Gretchen Carlson, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization, said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday. “We are moving it forward and evolving it in this cultural revolution.”

The Illinois contest did include both swimsuit and evening gown competitions.