1980s

Andy Gibb performed for the audience and the Junior Misses participating at the 1980 national finals. One year later, the format known as "theater in the round" was introduced for the finals and its television broadcasts. Mary Frann returned for the finals in 1985 to co-host with Bruce Jenner. The outreach program "Be Your Best Self" became the official platform of the America's Junior Miss program in 1987. America's Junior Miss 1980 Julie Bryan Moran hosted the finals in 1988, the program's final time as a yearly event on a major television network. The national finals were moved from the Mobile Civic Center arena to the theater section in 1989. Among the Junior Miss participants in this decade who would become well known were Georgia's Julie Moran, who would anchor the syndicated TV program "Entertainment Tonight" and 1986 Junior Miss Debra Messing of Rhode Island, whose acting career led to earning one of the leading roles in the sitcom "Will & Grace". At the end of the Eighties, the name of the program was changed to "America's Young Woman of the Year" to renew interest, but it was later realized that this new identity was unlike the long established brand of America's Junior Miss that interested many participants. The name "America's Junior Miss" would be restored in 1993.

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