Phases of Competition
There are five areas of competition in the Miss America Organization. The total score breaks down into one-third speaking
ability, one-third talent, and one-third modeling and poise.
The same panel of five judges will score each area of competition. Each contestant is scored individually, not
comparatively. Each competitor is scored immediately after each phase of competition. The Olympic Scoring System is
used. Scores are 1-10, whole numbers only. The high and low scores are dropped.
A note on wardrobe selection: Always choose something that suits your personality, is age appropriate, and is something
that you would select to wear out in public. You are judged on the total look, not the outfit itself or price of the outfit. Choose
a style, color, and fit that is becoming to you.
Interview - 35%
The interview will be conducted during the day of the pageant. It is 35% of the total score. Attire should be what you would
wear for a job interview: pants, skirt or dress, but NO interview suits. You will be introduced as you enter the room and will
speak from a podium. The six minute interview will begin immediately. Questions are on general topics, current events,
and items from your short fact sheet. 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’s Outstanding Teen, positive
role model, 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).
Lifestyle and Fitness - 10%
This area of competition is worth 10%. The lifestyle and fitness outfit must be a t shirt that we will provide you at
orientation. This should be worn with modest black shorts and tennis shoes of your choice. Remember this is a family
oriented show. No embellishments on the outfit are permitted (IE – rhinestones). The wardrobe must be approved. The
Miss Washtenaw County Program has the authority to ban any outfit that is deemed inappropriate. Contestants may not
use oil or glitter on their bodies.
The judges are looking for: overall first impression, beauty of face and figure, walk, posture, poise and grace, does the
outfit compliment the young woman wearing it, statement of physical fitness and health, sense of confidence and comfort
in your ability to compete in this phase of competition, display of energy, charisma, and expression.
Talent - 35%
Talent is 35% of the total score. The time limit is two minutes. Music needs to be on CD. The contestant must begin and
finish onstage. No live animals or dangerous props (fire baton or swords) are allowed. All props must be functional and
an integral part of the talent. 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
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 value.
Eveningwear - 15%
This phase is 15% of the score. The contestant’s total look (not the price of her gown) and stage presence is taken into
The judges are looking for: overall first impression, sense of confidence, walk, posture, carriage and grace, personality,
stage presence, beauty and sense of attractiveness, and appropriateness of the evening wear.
On Stage Question - 5%
This area is worth 5%. This question will be from random questions written by other contestants.
The judges are evaluating your extemporaneous responses to the on stage question, poise, confidence, and comfort level
in speaking before a large audience.