the local level of the Miss America program there are five areas of competition: Interview, Talent, Physical Fitness
in Swimsuit, Evening Wear and Onstage Question. We will explain each area of competition and what the judges are looking
for during that particular phase. We will also attempt to explain the scoring process. Please let us know if you
have any questions.
Private Interview (25%)
This phase of competition
is held before the on-stage competition and counts for 25% of the overall score. During this portion the judges will
have an opportunity to learn as much as possible about the contestant -- her "qualities and attributes"; her commitment to
advance her platform issue as a role model; her ability to express and distinguish her beliefs; and her ability to fulfill
the "job responsibilities". The judges will be evaluating each contestant on these specific areas:
and Understanding of her Platform Issue - in a manner of national public interest
to fulfill job responsibilities
of accomplishments (above and beyond statement of achievements on fact sheet)
and commanding presence
appearance and attractiveness
opinions and responses (in context)
(speech, vocabulary and grammar)
Other important points to remember, each contestant will stand behind
the podium and address the panel of five to seven judges. The judges will begin asking contestants questions.
The question and answer portion will be 9 minutes and 30 seconds. Then the contestant will be given 30 seconds
to make a closing statement of her choice. Judges will then award the contestant an overall score on a scale from 1
to 10. The high and low score will be discarded for each contestant and the rest will be averaged.
Interview questions could be based upon the following:
issues facing women
issues relevant to the contestant
goals and personal ambitions
A contestant may respond to a question with "I don't know" and the
contestant is to wear "business attire" that is appropriate for her age and for a job interview.
Talent is not an end in itself, but rather an insight into the contestant's
preparatory and performance skills. The talent competition acknowledges the quality of the performance, the technical
skill level, stage presence and the interest and entertainment value. The judges will score each contestant on a scale
from 1 to 10 at the conclusion of her talent performance. The high and low scores will be dropped and the rest will
be averaged by the auditor.
The following is a list of specific scoring criteria:
& Performance (distinguishes personality & skill)
ability: Technical skill level (execution, technique, synchronization, and control)
Presence (on-stage personality)
of all elements (including costume, props, music, voice, use of body and choreography)
you enjoy the presentation?
Each contestant is allowed 90 seconds to perform her talent
selection and talents should not exceed this time limit. Talent can include anything from singing, dancing, playing
a musical instrument, baton twirling, gymnastics, acting, martial arts demonstration, magic acts, or any other type of performance.
Props must be small enough for the contestant to carry herself. No talent that could inflict injury is allowed and no
live animals are allowed onstage. If you have more specific questions, please contact the directors.
Physical Fitness in
This phase of competition is designed to see how well the contestant
maintains a lifestyle of good physical fitness, emotional and intellectual health. Her sense of confidence, attractiveness,
and presence must be considered in the scoring.
Here are specific criteria the judges will look for:
statement of strong physical, emotional, and intellectual health
posture, poise and grace
of confidence and composure
of energy, charisma and expression
- Qualities &
Contestants in the Miss division may choose to wear either a one
or two piece swimsuit. Either type must be modest and all swimsuits are subject to the approval of the pageant committee.
Contestants will be on-stage no longer than 35 seconds in their swimwear. The contestant should wear a shoe with a reasonable
size heel for comfort. Contestants will not be on-stage in a group in their swimsuits. Judges will score each
contestant immediately after she has modeled her swimsuit on a scale of 1 to 10. The high and low scores will be dropped
and the rest will be averaged by the auditor.
This competition is designed for the contestant to make an on-stage
statement of her compelling charm, presence and personality. Her beauty, sense of style, composure and allure must be
projected across the footlights. The contestant's total look is to be considered. The evening wear (not the value
of it) should compliment the contestant
Judging will be on the following criteria:
and Stage Presence
posture, carriage and grace
of style and appropriateness of the evening wear
sense of attractiveness and charm
The On-Stage Interview phase of
competition is designed for the contestant to make an on-stage statement of her interests, opinions and aspirations.
The judge is to only consider the answer to the question. The question should be about a relevant topic
Judges will be evaluating on the following criteria:
responses to on-stage interview question (relevant to her personally selected platform issue or fact sheet)
special attention to whether or not the contestant answered the question in the context in which it was asked and whether
or not she has the charisma
young people see her as a role model who is reflective to today’s generation?
Ties for winner and runners up will be
broken as follows: The contestant with the highest score in Talent will be given the higher placement, if both
contestants are tied in talent then interview scores are used to break the tie, followed by evening wear, then casual
wear, then swimsuit, then onstage question. Unless a tie exists in all phases of competition judges do not reballot.
Should a tie exist in all five phases of competition each judge is to be given a listing of the contestants who are tied
and each judge indicates individually who they feel should be awarded the higher position.
If you have any questions about any phase of
competition please let us know.
This section is to give you some insight into what we call "Miss America jargon".
These are terms and phrases that may not be familiar to someone who is new to the Miss America system. If you have any
questions about these, please let us know.
Qualities & Attributes
These are characteristics that judges use to determine whether or not a young lady would be an effective titleholder.
Essentially, these are qualities that "Miss America" should possess
and they are evaluating participants based upon that. Qualities & Attributes are taken
into consideration by the judges during the Private Interview, Swimsuit, Evening Wear and Overall
Composite phases of the competition. Talent is judged strictly on the criteria outlined to the left of this page.
Here are the specific "Qualities & Attributes" judges
are looking for:
- Role Model
- Accomplished (Distinguished Achievements)
- Leader (Mobilizes and Inspires)
- Communicator (Courage of Convictions)
- Beauty (Attractive with Confident and Commanding Presence)
- Talent and Intelligence
- Energy Including Charisma and Expression
These are "ideals"
that each contestant should strive to attain.
This term is pretty much
as it sounds, it outlines what is expected of each titleholder. Anyone who wins a title
in the Miss America system should be considered qualified to handle the following job responsibilities:
- Serve as a program ambassador and P.R. rep
- Articulate platform position and personality in a manner of public interest
- Champion an institutional platform
- Represent commercial sponsors
- Make appearances, travel, and be graceful under pressure
- Encourage other young women to challenge their own talents
This is an issue of national importance for which
a contestant chooses to become a spokesperson. Types of platform issues include: AIDS Awareness, Breast Cancer
Awareness, Literacy, Child Abuse, Mentoring, Character Education, Voter Awareness, Music Education, and any other issue
that faces our nation today. A good platform should be something that the contestant can not only volunteer with in
her community, but can also become a spokesperson for on the national level. Contestants should strive to become involved
in their platform on a local, state and national level. They should also align themselves
with a national non-profit organization that they could partner with should they become Miss America. The most important
thing about a platform is that a contestant should be extremely passionate and dedicated to her platform. A contestant
should not choose an issue just because it is a "hot topic" in the headlines. Contestants should choose an issue they
care about deeply and are personally affected by in some way. A platform should become an extension of the contestant
herself, it is really the most important aspect of the Miss America system because it is the issue that the contestant will
champion during her year of service.