Miss America Pre-Game Show

The big day has arrived!  Tonight America will crown a new princess who will carry 90 years of tradition to every corner of the country.  Just like last year, I have evaluated the contestants to the best of my ability, trying to find the best jewels among the field of diamonds.  Although all of the ladies will be winners tonight, only one can take home the crown.

Here’s what you can expect when watching the competition tonight.  First, the judges will reveal the 12 finalists based on their scores in the preliminary competition.  Then, two more contestants will be selected based on the pre-competition voting on the introduction videos.  The fifteenth and final contestant will be selected by an anonymous vote of the other contestants.

Before the rounds begin, each contestant already has a “composite” score based on their performance in the preliminaries.  This composite score is comprised of the interview (25%), swimsuit (15%), evening wear (20%), talent (35%), and the onstage question (5%).  The composite score counts for 30% of the contestants’ final night score, which determines who is crowned Miss America.  So before the final night competition starts, 30% of the score has already been decided.

The first round is the swimsuit competition.  The ladies will parade in their most revealing summer attire with millions of viewers across the country watching them.  Not an easy task!  Confidence and attitude are essential.  The swimsuit round counts for 20% of the overall score.  After the first round, the three contestants with the lowest overall score are eliminated.

The second round is the evening wear competition.  The twelve remaining contestants will put their style and poise on display in their most exquisite evening gowns.  Grace and elegance will make the difference.  The evening gown competition counts for 20% of the overall score.  After the second round, the two contestants with the lowest overall score are eliminated.

The third round is the talent competition.  This is a big one.  Only ten contestants will be left.  The talent competition is worth 35% of the overall score, so this is a great opportunity for contestants who are lagging behind to mount a comeback.  Each contestant will show off her skills in front of the largest audience they’ve ever performed for.  Preparation and, of course, talent is the key here.  When the dust settles, only the top five contestants will move on to the final round, but we will not find out who those five are until the next round.

The final round is the onstage question.  All ten remaining contestants will line up together, not knowing when (or if) their name will be called to answer one of the final five questions.  There will be little time to react.  In a split second, each contestant will go from nervously waiting to hear her named called to walking to the front of the stage to answer a surprise question.  Although the final question is only worth 5% of the contestant’s score, it is the last impression the judges will have of them.  Being concise, thoughtful, and quick on your feet are necessary to make that last impression a good one.

After the onstage question, all bets are off.  The scores disappear and the judges are left to rank the top five contestants 1-5 based on their overall impression of their performances during the night.  In that sense, the fifth-place contestant has just as good of a shot at winning as the first place contestant (theoretically).  The final ballots are tallied, and the results are announced.  Fourth runner-up, third runner-up, and second runner-up are called first.  That will just two well-deserving young ladies standing in the middle of the stage, holding hands, neither knowing which of them is fixing to become the next Miss America.

Any questions?  Ok, I think we are all ready for an amazing night!

Now, I present to you my top 15 contestants for the title of Miss America.  Unfortunately, this year the preliminary competition was not made public online or on TV, so I did not have the benefit of watching the contestants in action before choosing them.  My choices are based on the contestants’ intro videos, their public appearances, their platforms, their talents, and their personalities.  Here are my choices:

1.  Miss Oklahoma

2.  Miss New York

3.  Miss North Dakota

4.  Miss Hawaii

5.  Miss Wisconsin

6.  Miss Colorado

7.  Miss California

8.  Miss Tennessee

9.  Miss Mississippi

10.  Miss North Carolina

11.  Miss Arkansas

12.  Miss Virgin Islands

13.  Miss Minnesota

14.  Miss Florida

15.  Miss Missouri

Like last year, I will also be posting pulses on my iPhone with my live reaction as the competition goes along.  Tune in on ABC at 8 pm CT to see how it all plays out!  May the best lady win!

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