There are five areas of competition in the Miss America Organization. This is a review of each phase of competition and the judging criteria. The same panel of five judges will score each phase of competition. Each contestant is scored individually, not comparatively and is scored immediately after she completes each phase of competition. The Olympic Scoring System is used. Scores are 1-10, whole numbers only. The high and low scores are dropped. The remaining scores are combined and percentages figured. The total score for each contestant determines the result of the competition. If we have 10 or more contestants the judges will then cast a final ballot. When our contestant list is finalized, and numbers confirmed, we will notify the contestants and explain the final ballot process.
PRIVATE INTERVIEW The interview will be conducted on the day of the pageant. It is 30% of the total score. Your wardrobe selection should be age appropriate and stylish interview attire. Choose something that you would wear for a job interview. You will be introduced as you enter the room and will speak from a podium. Immediately following the introduction the contestant will step to the podium and present a brief 30 second introduction and Community Service Initiative (CSI) overview. Following these remarks the assigned judge will begin the interview. When the nine minute and thirty second time limit has elapsed you will be offered a chance to clarify anything or make a closing statement of up to 30 seconds. Questions are on general topics, current events, items from your fact sheet, and from your community service essay. This is your opportunity to let the judges get to know you. The judging will emphasize your poise in handling the questions and how well you articulate your beliefs on the issue, not the position you take. The judges are looking for: overall first impression, qualities and attributes of Miss America, positive role model, knowledge and understanding of CSI, ability to fulfill job responsibilities, confident and commanding presence, personality, appearance and attractiveness, validated opinions and responses, ability to express feelings and defend beliefs, energy, intelligence, and communication skills (speech, vocabulary, and grammar).
ON-STAGE QUESTION This phase of the competition is an extension of the private interview and is worth 10% of the total score. The question is written by the judges after each interview. The question will be about your Community SErvice Initiative (CSI). The time limit to answer the question is 20 seconds. Contestants will wear their opening number outfit. The judges are evaluating your extemporaneous responses to the onstage question, sense of empowerment, and passion for your CSI. Other judging criteria include poise, confidence, and comfort level in speaking before a large audience.
TALENT Talent is 20% of the total score. The time limit for your talent is ninety seconds. The candidate must begin and finish onstage. No live animals or dangerous props are allowed (fire baton or swords). All props must be functional and an integral part of the talent. No enhanced lighting is allowed. When choosing your talent music and content keep in mind the values and image of the Miss America Organization. The Miss Washtenaw County Program has the right to ban music, movement, costume, or content deemed inappropriate. The judges are looking for: overall first impression, interpretive ability, technical skill, stage presence, totality of all elements including costume, music, and choreography, quality of the performance, and entertainment
HEALTH and FITNESS This phase of competition is 20% of the total score. Contestants must wear athletic wear from the Rebel Miss America Red Collection. Upon receiving your application for the local pageant, a discount code for the Rebel apparel will be provided to you. Each contestant will present a pre-blocked, high energy stage routine with movement and posing. It will not exceed 20-30 seconds. Judges are evaluating overall first impression and dynamic presence. Does the contestant radiate health, high energy, engaging vitality, and a sense of confidence.
EVENING GOWN This phase is 20% of the total score. The contestant’s entire look and stage presence is taken into consideration. You are not judged on the gown itself or the price of the gown. Choose a style, color, and fit that is becoming to you. The local pageant will choose walk pattern and timing. The judges are looking for: overall first impression, sense of confidence, walk, posture, carriage and grace, personality, stage presence, beauty and sense of attractiveness, appropriateness of the evening wear.
In all phases of competition the judges are instructed to evaluate contestants by asking these question:
Does this contestant possess the qualities and attributes of Miss America?
Can she do the job?
Will she be difficult to manage once she has the job?