For bookings, email and notate which titleholder you are
AREAS OF COMPETITION
Many people feel this is the most important aspect of competition, simply because it is the only chance the judges have to meet with you one-on-one and visit with you about things that are important to you. They want to get to know the real you! Your questions can include a wide variety of topics such as world affairs, local politics, your family, and career goals and how you intend to achieve them, and of course, your platform! So know it inside and out!!!
In the Miss pageants you will have a 45-second opening...tell the judges about yourself along with other pertinent information.
Be ready for 8 1/2 minutes of rapid questions. At the end of this period, contestants will be asked if there are any additional issues that they would like to comment on or clarify. There is an optional 45-second closing that is to be used to discuss issues that as of yet have not been discussed. It is not to be used to tell the judges why you should be the winner of this pageant. If not, the interview ends at this point. Interview lasts a maximum of 10 minutes.
In the Teen pageants you will have a 30-second opening...tell the judges about yourself along with other pertinent information. Be ready for 7 minutes of rapid questions in a press conference style and in not particular order. At the end of this period, contestants will be notified by the timekeeper. No concluding remarks will be made.
How do you prepare?
Really research and develop your platform issue. Keep current on all aspects of it.
Get to know yourself, feel good about who you are, accept your challenges and work to overcome them. Be honest with yourself and others.
Make a concentrated effort to keep up on things that are going on in the world around you. Develop your opinions on how you feel about those issues. Read a newspaper every day, watch CNN and other news programs. Get the family and friends involved here, also. Many of them may have a few more minutes a day than you do. Have them stay current and have them quiz you. Make sure they also have the correct answers.
Get active in your community and school, and actually get out there and promote your platform. The experience of speaking in front of strangers will work wonders. Take advantage of every opportunity available to you. Join a Toastmasters or other speaking club, even if it?s temporary.
Things to do in your Interview
Listen carefully to each question. Respond to the judge who asked you first, but maintain eye contact with the entire judging panel. Handle difficult or awkward questions with confidence and skill. It is also okay to say, I'm sorry. I do not know the answer to your question, if you should be asked something you know nothing about. Don't be afraid to let your sense of humor and personality shine through. Relax, visit and have a conversation with the judges.
REMEMBER TO KEEP YOUR ANSWERS CONCISE ENOUGH TO ANSWER THE QUESTION. DO NOT RAMBLE ON. You will waste valuable time. Project your voice. Speak clearly and distinctly, using good grammar. Enter and exit the room, and stand during your interview, with good posture and confidence. You may use the podium; stand in front of it or move to the side...whichever is most comfortable to you.
Dress for the job you want. Wear a nicely tailored business suit or dress appropriate for you. Make sure it is a complimentary color for you. Check yourself from head to toe and make sure everything is exactly as you want it. SMILE and have FUN!!! You have the judges' undivided attention, so use it to your best advantage.
Things not to do
Don't be shy and reserved or exhibit nervous behavior, for example clenching fists, swaying, playing with your hair or clothes. Do not chew gum. Avoid using teen age slang terms...you know, ya, okey, like! Don't ramble on. Don't wear wrinkled clothing, chipped nail polish, extreme make up or scuffed shoes.
Criteria for Judging
(25% of score) Qualities and attributes of Miss America; Overall first impression; Personal appearance; Intelligence; Validated opinions; Speech, vocabulary and grammar; Responses in context; Style; Emotional control
Your performance cannot exceed 2 minute limit. Pre-recorded accompaniment tapes should be of professional quality, and you will be required to have two (2) tapes. Talent is a vehicle by which judges can discern and measure a contestant?s commitment and discipline to her stage performance.
How to Prepare
Be creative with your talent selection, don?t be afraid to use new material. Make it enjoyable to watch and comfortable to perform.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.
PERFORM, PERFORM, PERFORM.
Take advantage of every opportunity to perform your talent (i.e. church, school, community events, family gatherings, bridge clubs, etc.) Ask other professionals for their help and opinions. Exhibit confidence in whatever talent you perform. The stage is yours for those 2 minutes so exhibit a commanding presence, and leave them wanting more!
Things Not to Do
If you should lose your focus during your talent presentation continue on as if nothing is wrong. Chances are you are the only one who will notice.
Criteria for Judging
(35% of score) Technical skill level (execution, technique, etc.); Personality; Interpretive ability; Stage Presence (on-stage personality); Totality of all elements (costume, props, voice, use of body, choreography)
LIFESTYLE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
This area of competition allows the contestant to show her dedication to physical fitness and good nutrition. Miss America changes cities every 18-24 hrs. and she is on the road making appearances in excess of 360 days during her year of service. She has to be in good physical condition to keep up with that grueling schedule. Good nutritional habits are also a must.
The Miss contestants will compete in a swimsuit of their choice. Swimsuits may be one or two-piece styles, but should be worn in good taste. Make sure the suit is lined, as the stage lights are strong. Remember it is the Miss America title you are competing for. Shoes must be worn, preferably contemporary sandals, the heel height of your choice. The Executive Director has the ability to determine if the swimsuit is appropriate for the stage.
The Teen contestants will compete in black biker bottoms that have a minimum of a five (5) inch inseam. The top will be an athletic /aerobic type top in any SOLID color. This includes-no type of trim or contrasting color. Also, any type of logo on either piece must be covered and hidden from view.
Things to do
Select a swimsuit that fits you well and supports you without riding up. Practice walking in front of a mirror in your swimsuit to become more confident and to adjust your stride so that your gate is spirited but natural. Watch your posture! Shoulders back, stomach in. Practice your turns so that you can complete them naturally without losing eye contact with your judges. (If you find your suit continually rides up you may want to purchase firm grip to help hold it in place.)
Criteria for Judging
(10% of score) Qualities and attributes of Miss America; Overall first Impression; Statement of physical fitness and health; Overall physique which is pleasing to her height, weight and bone structure; Sense of attractiveness and confidence; Stage presence; Technique; including walk, posture and grace.
This is the elegance and grace portion of the competition. Keep in mind during evening wear competition that it is you being judged, not the evening clothes you are wearing. This is, however, a time for your stage presence to shine. Relax, be yourself and let your true beauty shine through. Let the audience see your self confidence and poise and personality and let them shine ?beyond the footlights. You will be asked two on-stage questions during this competition. These questions are taken from your platform or fact sheet. Generic fun questions may also be used. This is an opportunity for your audience to see how you think on your feet.
How to prepare
Select a gown that you would feel comfortable wearing for an evening out on the town for a formal occasion. Make sure it fits properly (no puckers or creases). Select a color and fabric that look good on you. Make sure you feel comfortable in the gown. You should wear it...it should not wear you. It doesn?t have to be beaded or expensive to look like a million bucks on you.
Things to do
Practices walking in your gown until you become so comfortable in it that you feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. Make sure you practice in the shoes you will be wearing in competition. Take shorter steps if you are wearing a long gown. Walk more slowly and with a commanding presence, and take care when making your turns to not dip your shoulders. Maintain eye contact with your judges and audience.
Criteria for Judging
(15% of score) Qualities and attributes of Miss America; Overall first impression; Sense of confidence, personality and stage presence; Technique, including walking and posture; Appropriateness of attire; Sense of attractiveness.
The casual wear phase of competition is designed for the contestant to present herself as a dynamic, contemporary, beautiful and 'natural' young woman. The competition should reveal if the contestant reflects a young woman in either the Teen or Miss age bracket. This is an opportunity to see if the contestant can connect with the audience. The casual wear should compliment the contestant's personality and express her style and preferences. Judges are not to judge the casual wear itself and keep in mind that what is 'casual wear' in a metropolitan area may not be the same as 'casual wear' in a rural area. Her casual wear (not the value of the casual wear) should complement the contestant's individuality.
How to prepare
Prepare by practicing your best style of a model walking on a runway. Practice strong eye contact and performance techniques to communicate and connect with the audience. The executive director will instruct you on what is expected at each local pageant. This is the category to have fun with and show your personality.
Criteria for Judging
(10% of score) Overall 'first impression': sense of confidence: personality and stage presence; sense of style; ability to be reflective of women of her generation; ability to naturally draw young people to her by her presence and charisma; will young people see her as a role model who is reflective of today's generation and does she have the ability to 'connect' to individual in the audiences?
ON STAGE QUESTION
There will be only one on stage question. It will be general in nature and not related to your platform. This is an opportunity for the judges to get to know another side of you in a public setting.
Things to Do
Practice by having family and friends ask you general questions centered around you.
Criteria for Judging
(5% of score) Qualities and attributes of all title holders is the ability to demonstrate a sense of composure, confidence and intelligence when speaking in public. Remember there are no right are wrong answers?just confident answers.
Selecting Your Platform-Community Service Issue Search your heart and soul to find the one issue that you honestly believe in so strongly that you would live and die by it. If your conviction runs that deeply, no one will be able to challenge it.
The biggest mistake contestants make is they don't think far enough in advance. Select an issue of National Importance. Why are you wasting your time thinking of something that will sell on the local level? Don't you want to be Miss America? Then think like Miss America! Don't prepare a local project that has to be re-done if you are selected Miss Texas, and then re-worked again when you proceed on to become Miss America.
DO IT NOW!
Focus on the complete picture. The same projects that can be supported locally can be supported nationally, and will be. Do it and see! Select your platform and make a difference! Letting your passion for your project shine through will make you feel so good about yourself and what you are doing that your project can't help but be a success. Develop an action plan and implement it. Have it up and running by the time you compete. Yes, you will have to work fast!!! Keep in mind, Miss America hits the ground running on the night she is crowned and doesn't get to slow down until her year of service is complete. That's the job you're applying for, isn't it?
Each contestant will be scored against herself. The judges will assign a score from 1 to10 in each area. It will then be multiplied by the appropriate percentage to get the final score for that area of competition.