10 Celebrity Beauty Queens (You'll Never Guess Who Got Their Start in Pageants!)

What do Vanessa Williams, Diane Sawyer and Honey Boo Boo have in common? We'll give you a hint: It has to do with tonight's Miss America Pageant.

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Vanessa Wiliams

What do Honey Boo Boo and Diane Sawyer have in common? An interest in foreign policy? A passion for eating “Sketti?” Nope. It’s beauty pageants!

That’s right. The seasoned journalist was a tiara-toting beauty queen in her younger years. While it’s not likely that Sawyer spent her childhood swigging Go-Go juice like Boo Boo, she did earn the title of America’s Junior Miss in 1963.

But Junior Miss Sawyer is not alone.

In honor of the Miss America Pageant, which airs tonight, we’ve rounded up the surprising stars that used to work the pageant circuit before they were famous.

Sure, you probably know about Vanessa Williams, but a major male heartthrob? An Oscar-winning actress? Yep, at one point these big-time celebs were all about the pageantry glitz.

And can you guess which beauty queen lost her crown after a nude picture scandal emerged (long before beauty queens taking off their clothes became the norm)?

Find out which stars got their start as beauty queens here.

Watch Kelly Ripa learn how to be a beauty queen in the video below.

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