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Judging Information

Private Interview: 25% of score

The judges’ panel will meet each contestant for a private interview.  The judges will ask questions for 10 minutes. Questions will range from a number of areas including political and social issues, personality, personal platform, situational, behavioral and off-the-wall questions. The interview portion is designed the the judge to get to know the contestant. Her intelligence, presence, speaking ability and commitment to her platform will all be taken into consideration.

Criteria for Scoring:
Overall “First Impression”
“Naturalness” and relevance that would be of interest to her peers and to the Miss America constituents and markets
Strong communication competencies (speech, vocabulary, grammar
Validated aspirations, opinions and responses
Personality, personal appearance, attractiveness and physical beauty
Leadership and sense of accomplishment
Knowledge of and commitment to a community service advocacy issue
Qualities, abilities and sincere desire to be Miss Northern Lights and Miss Wisconsin



On-Stage Question: 5%


During the pageant, each contestant will be asked an on-stage question in front of the audience. This area of competition is designed to see if the contestant can handle the pressue of being a spokesperson for the organization. 

Criteria for Scoring: 
Overall “First Impression”
Ability to articulate both a sincere, engaging personality and her opinions
Confidence and stage presence
Ability to answer question in the time allotted and in context
Do people want to listen to her?
Potential spokesperson for the Miss America Organization


Talent: 35%  


The one phase of competition which separates the Miss America Organization from other pageants is the talent competition. Contestants will each be asked to perform a talent selection lasting no longer than 1 minute and 30 seconds. Talents can range anywhere including singing, dancing, monologue, gymnastics, cheer routines, instruments, baton twirling etc. This area of competition is designed to see whether or not the titlehold will have the true talent ability to represent the program for the entire year. Talents should be expressive and entertaining and should represent a contestant's technical skill and creativity.

Criteria for Scoring:
True talent and entertainment abilities
Interpretive ability
Technical skill level (execution, technique, synchronization, control)
Stage presence and on-stage personality
Totality of all elements (including costume, props, voice, use of body, choreography)


Evening Wear: 20%


Eveningwear competition allows the judge to consider the contestants physical beauty, charisma and stage presence.  A titleholder must have the commanding presence to direct attention to her in a positive way when she meets with business, community, political and non-profit leaders. The cost of the evening gown is not considered during this competiton. The judges will be looking for a girl, not a dress. 

Criteria for Scoring:
Overall “First Impression”
A beautiful demeanor and presence
Sense of confidence and stage presence
Walk, posture, carriage and grace
Style and personality
Appropriate, contemporary evening wear
The contestant’s total look


Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit; 15%
The longest-running tradition in the Miss America system is the Swimsuit Competition. This area of competition is designed to see how well the contestant maintains a lifestyle of good physical health. The contestant’s energy, charisma, and confidence are also considered. To be clear, this area of competition is NOT to highlight the thinnest contestant.  It is about being TRULY physically fit. 

Criteria for Scoring: 
Overall “First Impression”
Physically fit
Sense of confidence and presence
Drive, energy, charisma and composure
The swimsuit and the young woman should complement each other


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