The task may prove to be difficult for the Georgia native, who will have to decide between the many beautiful young ladies after the talent, bathing suit and Q&A portions of the competition. Thankfully for Swindell, his buddy Brett Eldredge has previously been in his shoes, having judged the competition last year, and has some advice for the “Middle of a Memory” singer.
“I would just tell him to do his best poker face when these pretty girls are walking out,” Eldredge told Sounds Like Nashville with a laugh.
In all seriousness, however, Eldredge admitted that judges can’t let anyone in on what they’re thinking.
“You have to keep a straight face and you don’t show your cards, but you can’t give away your favorite one and you just have to be a pro judge,” he explained. “Cole is a really smart guy. It’s really hard when some of these pretty girls are walking towards you and you get little butterflies, because they’re walking right towards you, walking around in gowns and they’re answering the questions and the swimsuit competition and all of that. It’s pretty intense, but it’s really cool. Cole is a really smart guy, and he’ll charm them. He’ll do great.”
Swindell will be joined by fellow celebrity judges Mark Cuban (Shark Tank), actress Sara Foster (VH1’s Barely Famous), and former Miss America Sharlene Wells Hawkes. Chris Harrison (ABC’s The Bachelor and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire) and Sage Steele (ABC’s and ESPN’s NBA Countdown) will serve as co-hosts.
The 2017 Miss America competition will take place on Sept. 11, 2016 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.