Tom Bergeron might be America’s host, but he certainly isn’t the Miss America Pageant’s host. He only did the show once and he explains the reason why he wasn’t invited back.
In an interview with HuffPost Live on Wednesday, Bergeron told quite the tale about his experience in 2003.
He explained to host, Nancy Redd, “Here’s the thing. It wasn’t my fault. We were in Atlantic City and we were doing our rehearsals and everything before the live show, and I’m backstage looking over some notes, and all of a sudden I start getting a really nice neck and shoulder massage.”
That forbidden massage was handed down by “one of the Southern state contestants, who shall remain nameless,” Bergeron shared. “I said, ‘That’s a really nice shoulder massage.’ And she said — and I quote — ‘And if I win, a full body massage.'”
Yikes! It’s pretty well-known that there are strict rules for the hosts and the judges of the pageant to not fraternize with the contestants. While this incident wasn’t instigated by the Dancing with the Stars host, he made the mistake of telling the story on a talk show soon after the event.
Bergeron said, “Oddly enough, the Miss America people never invited me back.”
The winner that year was Miss Florida, Ericka Dunlap. Chris Harrison was the host the following year. The Bachelor host returned to the show in 2011 with Good Morning America anchor, Lara Spencer, cohosting with him beginning in 2013.
Watch Tom Bergeron explain his backstage Miss America dilemma: