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.
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:
- Overall first impression
- Qualities and Attributes
- Knowledge and Understanding of
her Platform Issue - in a manner of national public interest
- Ability to fulfill job responsibilities
- Sense of accomplishments (above
and beyond statement of achievements on fact sheet)
- Confident and commanding presence
- Personality, appearance and attractiveness
- Validated opinions and responses
- Communication (speech, vocabulary
Other important points to remember, each contestant will stand behind
the podium and address the panel of five judges. 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:
- Opening statement
- Fact sheet
- Relevant issues facing women
- State issues relevant to the contestant
- Role and responsibilities
- Current events
- Career 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:
- Selection & Performance (distinguishes
personality & skill)
- Interpretive ability: Technical
skill level (execution, technique, synchronization, and control)
- Stage Presence (on-stage personality)
- Total of all elements (including
costume, props, music, voice, use of body and choreography)
- Did you enjoy the presentation?
Each contestant is allowed two minutes 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 Swimsuit (15%)
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:
- First impression
- Beauty and attractiveness
- Lifestyle statement of strong
physical, emotional, and intellectual health
- Walk, posture, poise and grace
- Sense of confidence and composure
- Display of energy, charisma and
- Qualities & Attributes
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.
Evening Wear (20%)
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:
- Overall first impression
- Sense of Confidence
- Personality and Stage Presence
- Walk, posture, carriage and grace
- Sense of style and appropriateness
of the evening wear
- Beauty, sense of attractiveness
- Qualities & Attributes
On-Stage Question (5%)
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 relevant to the contestant's
personally selected platform issue or fact sheet.
Judges will be evaluating on the following criteria:
- Overall “First Impression”
- Extemporaneous responses to on-stage
interview question (relevant to her personally selected platform issue or fact sheet)
- Pay 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
- Will young people see her as a
role model who is reflective to today’s generation?
Once the scores have been calculated,
the judges will be given a list of the top 5 highest scoring contestants at that time. Only names will be listed, not
their total score. At this point each judge will rank each contestant in the order in which they believe each should
finish in the competition. Judges will consider the job responsibilities and requirements and choose the contestant
they believe to be the best woman for this job by awarding her the first placement, the second best with the second placement
and so on until are spots are filled. A first place ranking is awarded 10 points, second place is awarded 5 points,
third place 3 points, fourth place 2 points and fifth place 1 point.
The outcome of the pageant is based solely on the scores
from the final ballot. These points will NOT be added to the scores from previous competitions.
Ties 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 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
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
- 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
- Serve as a program ambassador and P.R.
- Articulate platform position and personality
in a manner of public interest
- Champion an institutional platform
- Represent commercial sponsors
- Make appearances, travel, and be graceful
- 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.