Be a Great Pageant Judge – Part 2

Posted by ValerieHayes. Date: . Category: Competition.

USA2012_4385-LOnce you’ve been a judge once, you’ll want to judge again.  Here’s the second post in a two-part series with tips so you can be a great pageant judge!

5Take notes about each contestant.  If there are more than five contestants in a competition division, you probably need to take notes on the contestants.  This will help you to remember any red-flags or stand-out performances during the interview or on-stage competition.  This is especially helpful if you’re judging a multiple-day, multiple-division pageant.  For confidentiality purposes, remember to turn in any notes you’ve taken to the Judges Coordinator when you turn in your judges notebook after the pageant.  Just a quick note here and there will help you remember which contestant really impressed you!

6. Remember to smile.  Remember to smile at each contestant during your questions and answers in the interview and while they’re competing on stage.  Everyone one appreciates a friendly face during a pageant and this is your chance to practice your “queen” skills by encouraging others.  Directors want all their contestants to have a positive experience at the pageant and it’s not your job to be intimidating or a scary.  Regardless of the contestant’s skill level, remember to give them the courtesy of a smile!

7. Judge the contestant based on the pageant criteria.  When you’re assigning the point values or actual score for each contestant, keep in mind the pageant criteria.  For example the criteria for a local festival pageant might be less stringent than for a large state USA pageant.  And the expectations for a national pageant are much higher than the expectations for a local preliminary.  Don’t give an inappropriately high or low score based on your personal pageant background or competition experience.  Your scores should be relative to the pageant and the expectations for this particular group of contestants.  Accurate, thoughtful scoring will earn you an invitation to judge again in the future!

8. Maintain confidentiality of pageant scores.  It’s sometimes tempting to provide a little “helpful feedback” to a favorite contestant or to express support to a contestant you’d like to see compete again. Remember that as a judge you are expected to respect the confidentiality of the pageant and not share your scores or comments directly, or indirectly, with contestants or their family members.  Also, a judge should never speculate or share impressions about how a fellow judge may have voted.  Additionally, while you may be providing encouraging feedback, contestants are so physically and emotionally drained immediately after the pageant that any positive feedback leaves them confused and wondering why they didn’t win the pageant if you, as a judge, said they did a great job.  If you really feel that your feedback may be helpful for a contestant, share your feedback with the pageant director or their pageant coach who can share this information with the contestant under the right circumstances.  Not respecting the confidentiality of pageant scores is completely inappropriate, confuses contestants, always gets back to the pageant director and is the fastest way to shut down your career as a pageant judge.

Click here to read Part 1 of How to Be a Great Pageant Judge!

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