Olivia Jordan, Miss USA World 2013 went on to become Miss USA 2015. Pageant Hop

Back when there were only two major pageant systems, contestants would pick a pageant and compete in it until they won or retired. But today, with so many wonderful pageant systems, you can compete in an endless number of pageants. But you shouldn’t just enter a pageant on a whim. You don’t want to get a reputation as a crown chaser, right? To switch pageants strategically follow my Smart Steps to Successfully Pageant Hop.

1. Be Aware of the Pageant’s Opinion of Other Pageants

There are many pageants systems who don’t care what other pageants you’ve done previously or are currently competing in. But there are still some old school pageants who frown on pageant hoping. If the ultimate title you’re seeking is with a pageant system that doesn’t approve of pageant hopping, you may need to find another way to improve your skills. Unfortunately, some pageants turn up their noses at other systems and will not think highly of you if you compete with their arch rival. So if this is the case, just stick with the pageant of the title that you ultimately want to win.

2. Read the Contestant Contract.

Okay, I totally get it. You’re excited about entering the pageant and don’t want to read through a boring contract. But the contract is where you’ll find out if pageant hopping is going to be a problem. Many pageants only restrict their national level titleholders from competing in other pageants. But there are pageants with a clause preventing you from competing if you already hold another title. In order to compete, they may ask you to resign that title. And if you win in some pageants, even at the local level, you’re prevented from competing in another system until you resign or crown your successor.

You don’t want to compete in a pageant, win, and then realize that your win prevents you from competing for your ultimate title. Then you’ll have to resign your new title, and you’ll get labeled as a crown chaser. And I know you’re much too classy for that. So, take the time to read the contestant/titleholder contract to successfully pageant hop without drama.

Oh…and before I move on…let me save you some heartache. If the director doesn’t have a contestant/titleholder contract but verbally tells you it’s okay to compete in another pageant, get it in writing. I don’t care if it’s in an email, written on a paper napkin, or scrawled in crayon on a scrap of paper. A local or state director may not be aware of the national rules, and they may be making a promise they can’t keep. If you have it in writing, the next level up is more likely to honor the director’s promise, so you don’t end up in an embarrassing situation.

3. Select Pageants Based on a Strategy

The number one reason contestants compete in multiple pageant systems is to rapidly increase competition skills. Sure, practicing at home is great, but your skills are really put to the test under the stress of competition. But you shouldn’t just randomly enter every pageant you hear of. If you jump around and compete in unrelated pageants, you won’t actually increase your skill set. For example, maybe your goal is to win a Miss America title. If you enter a pageant with a 60-second personal interview, no fitness competition, no onstage question you’re wasting your time. You should focus on pageants that include Talent, Interview, and Swimsuit since those are the most challenging aspects of any Miss America competition. So, focus on pageants that score similar skill sets and to improve skills and boost your scores.

4. Don’t Compare Pageants During Your Interview

If you list titles or awards that you’ve won in other pageants on your contestant resume, you’ve opened the door for judges to ask you to compare pageant systems. The judge might say, “I see you’ve competed in the Miss Wonderful pageant previously, why did you decide to compete in this pageant?” Or they could ask, “It looks like you’ve competed in a number of pageants. Which one do you like best?” This is a trick question, which means you shouldn’t answer the question as asked. Instead of comparing pageants, you focus on talking about what appealed to you about this particular pageant. You could say, “The Miss Volunteer pageant has a reputation for community leadership and would enable me to extend the reach of my platform. I’m also excited about the trip to Ecuador to help build homes for orphans.” End of answer. No comparisons.

5. Be Considerate When Juggling Multiple Titles

It’s best to proceed with consideration when holding multiple titles. If you already have a title, and win another title, you should notify both systems of your other title. When Pageant 1 schedules an appearance, you should appear in your Pageant 1 crown and sash. If you schedule an appearance, decide which title most closely relates to that appearance. And please don’t make the mistake of appearing in more than one title at the same appearance. Don’t show up at an event, take a pic in Title 1 crown and sash, do a quick change, and then pose for another photo in Title 2 crown and sash. Directors everywhere will roll their eyes when they see your pics on social media and you’ll get a reputation as a shady titleholder. Just make sure everything’s on the up and up and that you keep both directors in the loop.

The majority of my private VIP contestants cross over from one pageant to another. The decision to pageant hop can be an important part of any skill development strategy. But we evaluate the different pageants to determine which ones will make a real contribution to our overall plan. By following the Smart Steps to Successfully Pageant Hop, you can broaden your abilities, improve your ability to compete under pressure, and become the titleholder you always knew you could be.

You’re going to be FABulous!

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