Contestants in all Miss America preliminaries at the local and state level compete in five areas:
Talent (35% of total score)
Contestants perform a 90-second routine of their
own choosing. Some possible talents include all types of singing, dancing, gymnastics, instrumental music, dramatic or comedy
monologues, baton twirling and ventriloquism. Other talents that can be performed solo on a stage are also possible. Phone
or e-mail us if you have a question about your talent presentation. Scoring is based on contestant's talent selection
and performance as it distinguishes both her skills and personality, interpretive ability, technical skill level
(execution, technique, syncronization, control), stage presence and the totality of all elements (including costume, props,
voice, use of body, and choreography).
Personal Interview (25% of total score)
Each contestant participates in an individual 10-minute press conference-style interview with our
panel of judges. There are typically 5 to 7 judges on a panel. Contestants are questioned on their background as presented
on their fact sheet, their educational and career goals, their opinions on current events and social issues, and their interests,
hobbies and extracurricular activities. Scoring is based on overall first impression, validated opinions and responses in
context, poise, personal appearance and attractiveness, personality, intelligence, style, emotional control, speech, vocabulary,
grammar, ability to have a confident and commanding presence; knowledge, understanding, and ability to articulate her platform
issue, sense of accomplishment, ability to fulfill job responsibilities of Miss San Diego/Miss California, and whether the
contestant has the qualities and attributes of a Miss America.
Evening Wear (20% of total score)
Each contestant appears on stage in an outfit of her own choosing,
representative of what she would wear to a formal "after five" social event. Pantsuits, cocktail dresses and evening
gowns are all appropriate for this phase of the competition. Scoring is based on overall first impression, sense of confidence,
personality and stage presence, walk and posture, carriage and grace, appropriateness of attire, sense of style, sense of
attractiveness, beauty, and charm.
Lifestyle & Fitness in Swimsuit (15% of total score)
Each contestant briefly appears on stage in a one- or two-piece swimsuit and footwear of her own
choosing. The Executive Director of the pageant must approve swimsuits prior to competition. Scoring is based on overall first
impression, statement of strong physical fitness and health, sense of attractiveness and presence; display of energy, charisma,
and expression, sense of confidence and composure.
On-Stage Question (5% of total score)
The On-Stage Interview phase of competition is comprised of questions of a general nature and wil be neither platform-related
nor something taken from the private interview. The objective is to evaluate the contestant's ability to think on her
feet and answer a question of general interest to people her age, including but not limited to local, state, and national
current events. Scoring is based on overall first impression and the judges should ask themselves: 1. Did the contestant answer
the question in the context in which it was asked? 2. Can she handle the pressure of speaking on stage in front of an audience?
3. Will young people see her as a role model who is reflective of today's generation?.
Top Five - Final Ballot
From the above 100%, the Top Five Finalists will be named. The Top Five Finalists enter the final round of competition
with zero points. The judges will then rank the contestants in the order they individually believe the contestants should
finish on a Final Ballot.
judge will rank the Top Five contestants on a Final Ballot. A first place vote is worth ten points, a second place vote is
worth five points, a third place vote is worth three points, a fourth place vote is worth two points and a fifth place vote
is worth one point . The total of the Final Ballots alone will determine the outcome of the pageant. The high and low scores
on the Final Ballot will NOT be dropped. All judges’ votes count on the Final Ballot.
In 1989, the personal platform concept was introduced as part of the competition,
with each state titleholder choosing an issue of importance to her and to society. Through in-depth interviewing during the
local, state and national competitions, each contestant is evaluated on her commitment to her chosen issue. Examples of platform
issues have included child advocacy, volunteerism, domestic violence, literacy, diabetes, awareness, eating disorders and
our nation's homeless.