Brett Eldredge Coached Cole Swindell

His Advice for Miss America Gig: Poker Face

Miss Arkansas Savvy Shields won the Miss America title on Sunday (Sept. 11) night.

But look who was in the judge’s seat: Mr. Country Music, Cole Swindell.

When Swindell was asked to be on the judges’ panel, he obviously said yes, even though he wasn’t sure how he qualified.

“For a country artist to be on something like that is a big deal,” he told Billboard. “I’m honored — there’s gonna be a lot of people watching like, ‘Who the heck is this guy?’ In my situation, that’s a good thing!”

In order to get himself ready for the pageant, he looked to fellow country artist Brett Eldredge for help, because he was a judge last year.

“His advice was to work on my poker face, because you can’t let them know what you’re thinking,” Swindell said. “You’ve got all these beautiful girls walking towards you, and you can’t look at them like, ‘Wow!’ You have to kind of play it cool.”

“These girls, they work so hard,” he said. “I just hope if I’m asking a question, it’s a reasonable one — not something hard. I would feel so bad, you know? Putting somebody on the spot like that! I wouldn’t want to answer any of them. And there they are, on live TV and their answer impacts whether they win or place.”

Swindell also joked that once it was announced that he’d be there on the show with the 52 contestants, the guys in his life were very, well, encouraging.

“I think I got more texts about it from my buddies than I did after any of my No. 1 songs,” he laughed.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.