Today kicks off a short mini-series of posts leading up to Miss America 2017!!! Over the course of this series we’re going to chat about several things to keep in mind as we lead up to the first night of Prelims on September 6th!
Today’s topic = Judges!
Now – Every good pageant girl out there knows the cardinal rule of pageant judging…
“Different Judges – Different Results”
I’m someone who firmly believes there are usually 2-3 ladies who could win the title of Miss Whoever (state or national – sometimes locally too). On any given day, given any different panel of judges, the results may or may not be the same. Even though judges are given guidelines for each area of competition – when it comes down to it, judging is an extremely subjective practice.
In addition, Miss America is employing a two panel judges system again this year. Just for a brief history, two panels have most recently been used for Nina and Betty – but it was a single panel that selected Mallory, Kira, and many other titleholders through most of the 2000’s (dual panels used in the early 2000’s, the 90’s and some of the 80’s).
I’m not here to debate the validity of a 2 panel vs a 1 panel system (although I do have my opinions about such), rather – I’m going to use this time to talk about the panels themselves and what I believe each panel will be looking for in our new Miss America… So – Let’s get started!
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS PANEL…
- Sometimes the prelim panel is full of people who are high-level experts in their field – which makes them extremely cerebral, and super targeted in their area of expertise. NOT THIS YEAR! I think this prelim panel is full of some very well-rounded individuals. Not just talent dynamos or interview gurus, but this prelim panel has people who excel in several areas of life. And THAT is a big advantage (IMHO)… Why? Because (again, IMHO) several of these judges would be a great fit for a finals night judge. To me, that adds an element of consistency.
- This panel is super BALANCED. In the past, we’ve seen prelim panels that lean one direction or the other politically, or many of them are from a particular area of the country, or all have a thing or two in common. Believe it or not, I see a real cross-section of beliefs, ages, backgrounds and involvement in this panel – and I think that’s a good thing! It provides a great deal of balance – which means, we should get well-rounded contestants and everyone has a chance at the Top 15.
- If I have to give a name to this panel, I’d call it, a “charisma friendly” panel… meaning… I can easily see this panel leaning towards ladies who have that ever-elusive “it” factor. Several of these judges have risen to the top of their respective fields, not just because they’re great at what they do – but because they have that extra “it factor” which allows them to be national television contributors. If you’ve got “it” – then you know how to spot “it” from a mile away… And I think these judges will choose ladies who have that special charisma factor in their favor.
That’s the prelim panel who will be interviewing the contestants and judging them on every phase of prelim competition. It’s the panel above who will select the Top 15 finalists.
We’ll have a completely different set of judges for Finals Night – And those judges are the people who will actually select our new Miss America!
Before I get to my assessment of the Celebrity/Finals Night panel, let me answer a quick question…
For those of you who’ve been wondering… It’s my understanding that even though the Finals Night panel isn’t in attendance for the preliminary competition (and obviously, they don’t select the Top 15) – This panel DOES see the interviews for the Top 15 prior to judging the pageant on Sunday night. Now, it’s also my understanding that they don’t see ALL 10 minutes of each interview (because, that’s like, 2.5 hours of watching videos of pageant interviews)… But, they see ‘enough’ to understand each woman’s personality and her ability to communicate.
If I’m wrong about judges seeing an “edited version” of the Top 15 in interview, you’re welcome to send me a private message and I will correct myself… No problem 🙂 Ok – Back to the Finals Night panel…
FINALS NIGHT – Celebrity Panel:
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS PANEL…
- There are a LOT of women! With only 2 men, this panel will likely crown someone who isn’t “hot” and “hot only”… She’s going to have to be a woman of substance with a personality that comes to life on-stage. A female-heavy panel will likely crown someone a bit different than a male-heavy panel would – it’s a matter of just personal preference.
- This panel is RESILIENT. This panel knows what it’s like to get knocked down, or to have things fall apart. Each of them has been through several ups and downs in life – times when life was good, and times when things didn’t work out. But the common denominator is – when going got tough, they didn’t quit. Personally, I think that means they’ll reward someone who is vulnerable enough to share about her shortcomings, and can learn from her own mistakes. Those who can prove they’re been able to “get back up, dust themselves off, and try again” are in great shape.
- This panel understands HARD WORK. Many folks on this panel have been working for YEARS to get to where they are today… Even the “Hollywood Types” on this panel didn’t just become famous overnight – It’s been a looooong process in the making. And when you put in that much time to get where you want to be – it automatically means you’ve had to make sacrifices. I believe this panel will reward someone with a strong work ethic and someone who can show her dedication to the job of Miss America – because she already knows what it’s like to work hard.
And there you have it! Bottom line – A prelim panel can fall in love with you, but with a second round of judges, you need to be well rounded enough to impress another group of folks in each category as well!
My best advice? Focus on giving your best in your own performances, relax every chance you get, be confident in your own abilities (after all – you freaking made it to Miss America!) and enjoy making memories that will last a lifetime!
The contestants who do that will shine above the rest – And trust me, the judges can’t help but notice a woman who shines on stage!
By the way, just like we do every year, we’ll be making our very own predictions for the Top 15, Top 10 and Top 5 at Miss America this year!!! If you’d like to see our predictions for Miss America 2017, they’re only available through Pageant Junkies Premium… just click here to join. 🙂
Now – In case you’re ready to dive in the deep end and fully eat, sleep and breathe ALL THINGS Miss America between now and September 11th, you can find our previous Miss America predictions right here (ahhh, the memories…). Our site is also searchable through the search bar on the homepage if you’re looking for a particular year to reminisce… 🙂
On the other hand – In case you’re brand new to the whole “Junkie Experience” and are just learning about how slightly obsessive we really are with this whole predictions thing, you can catch up in a hurry by checking out our state predictions from this past summer… Just check this link here…
GOOD LUCK LADIES!!! Junkies are cheering for each and every one of you!!!
Carrie Lakey is kind of obsessed with Miss America…
So are 18,000 of her closest friends.
As an avid fan of the Miss America Organization, Carrie began
publicly predicting pageant winners over 10 years ago.
Now, she’s galvanizing an online movement of fans
known as “Pageant Junkies”.
Learn more about the Junkie Nation
by clicking here.