To become Miss Mississippi, a contestant must first win a local pageant competition. The role of a local titleholder is a great privilege that comes with great responsibility. We are pleased to extend to you this information that should answer any questions you may have regarding the 2017-2018 local pageants. This document and forms are designed to be applicable for all local pageants. For specific information and deadlines for local pageants including their dates and locations please contact the specific local director for the pageant of interest. Click for a Local Director Information

The Miss America Scholarship Pageant system is the world’s largest source of scholarship assistance for young women. Each year millions of dollars in scholarships are made available to young women at the local, state and national levels combined. Scholarship Pageants also offers the opportunity for young women to grow as individuals. It is an experience that can be exciting and interesting. It can sharpen your talents, round your personality and strengthen your character.

Miss Mississippi should be an example of the high standards of young womanhood of our state and the principles of the Miss America Pageant Organization. She should see herself as a “public servant” not royalty. She should be one who is committed to helping others, a role model others can look at and want to pattern their lives after. This process requires personal commitment, hard work and talent. All contestants at the local, state or national level will demonstrate their speaking, vocal, musical, dance or dramatic abilities before a live audience. The five categories of each Miss America local, state, and national competition are: talent, evening wear, on-stage question, interview, and physical fitness while wearing a swimsuit. Each contestant should have a platform issue of importance to her and to society and spends her year of service advocating her issue before the media, business people, public officials, civic and charitable groups, and others.

A $100.00 Service Requirement for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Service, one of the four points of the Miss America Crown, has always been important to contestants striving for the opportunity to be Miss America. To build on this, contestants competing at any level in the Miss America system will be expected to raise a minimum of $ 100.00 to support the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the Miss America Scholarship Fund. This is not an entrance fee, but rather a service requirement to participate in Miss America sponsored pageants. Each contestant will log onto to create her personal fund raising web page. There will be prompts for you to set a goal and email friends and relatives to ask for support. There will also be a tutorial to help you through the process. If you would rather complete this service requirement via paper check, please contact the local director of the pageant you are entering for more information.

All local pageants are judged as follows:
Personal Interview - 25%
Talent Competition - 30%
Swimsuit Competition - 10%
Evening Wear Competition - 15%
On Stage Question - 20%


Each contestant must have a platform issue that she would focus on as her field of service should she became Miss Mississippi. A platform is a cause or organization that the potential contestant is passionate about and volunteers her time to improve her community. The national platform for Miss America is the Children’s Miracle Network. Please complete the “Platform Essay Form” detailing your personal platform that is enclosed in the packet.

Take some time to think about issues of importance to you, ones that you feel strongly about. Choose a topic of substance and value; an issue you think could influence people or make a difference in society. Some examples of past platforms include AIDS Awareness, Child Abuse Prevention, Breast Cancer Awareness, Organ Donation and the list goes on and on!! With the new service requirements for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, you might consider adopting CMNH as your personal platform. 
The best advice that we can give you is to choose a platform that can be supported by a 501(C)3 Non-profit Organization. A few examples of a 501(C)3 non-profit organization include: The American Red Cross, United Way, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Make – A – Wish Foundation and the American Cancer Society. There are numerous non-profit organizations out there. It is just wise to select a platform that is marketable.


Wardrobe for interview should be
a. Dress or Business Attire
b. Shoes

Be careful of the color you select. You will be very close to the judges. Check your make-up so that it is natural and attractive. Keep in mind “The All American Woman Look.” This is not a “dress-up” playtime. No cocktail suits or dresses are allowed. Remember you are applying for a job!

Each contestant will have a 10-minute interview with five judges. During this time, you will have an opportunity to talk about your interests, future plans, goals and your platform. They will ask questions on current events, education, and your personal choices and opinions. The judges will have a copy of your platform questionnaire, as well as your contestant application. They will also be noting your vocabulary, voice, general knowledge, personal appearance and how you handle yourself on a one-to-one basis.

If you are asked something that you do not know, say so. Be yourself!! Don’t be fake! The time starts at the time you enter the room. You will stand at a podium across from the judges and the interview will begin. There will be no opening statement. The interview will last until the 9 minute 30 second point in the timing process. At the 9 minute 30 second mark, you will be asked if there are any additional issues that you would like to comment or clarify or close with something that you did not get to discuss in your interview. This segment will only allow for undiscussed issues. If you have nothing more to discuss, the interview ends.

The private interview is designed to allow insight into the contestant’s ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the title holder and to express and distinguish her beliefs. The judges are looking for confident and commanding presence, personality, appearance, validate opinions and responses, and communication skills. Interview counts for 25% of the total score.


You must perform your talent within a ninety seconds (90) maximum time limit. There will be absolutely no exceptions to this ruling. The production staff will make all final decisions regarding talent presentations. Your talent will be timed during production practice.

Your talent presentation must be live; the use of film is prohibited. There will be no duplication of talent presentations during the entire pageant. Examples: Two contestants cannot singing the same song or two contestants cannot dance to the same song.

Talent selections will be approved on a first come, first approved basis so get your paperwork turned in early. The first contestant to get all of her paperwork in will have her talent approved. If you are performing a medley, each song within that medley must be listed on your application. Please be specific on your application regarding your talent. The form asks, what type of talent will you present? Please be specific. Don’t just put “Singing” or “Dancing”. State the title of the song and any pertinent information.

Contestants will be allowed only two (2) practices of their talent presentation. We will go through talent practice immediately after completion of your interview. No other contestants will be allowed in the auditorium during your talent practice. If your talent requires accompaniment, you must provide us with two (2) CDs. A piano is available for pianist.

You will be furnish with the either a hand held microphone or a stand microphone for your talent performance. If other types of microphones are needed contact the local director of the pageant you are entering. 

Costumes should be in good taste. Costumes with ornaments, beads or anything that would drop on the stage need to be corrected. This may be dangerous for yourself and other contestants.

Coaches, friends or family members may not at any time assist you during the pageant! The pageant production staff will be there to help you in any way we can. Absolutely no parents and friends will be allowed backstage at any time except to bring in clothing no later than one (1) hour before the pageant and immediately following the pageant to remove clothing.


The talent competition is an insight into the contestant’s preparatory and performance skills. The judges are looking for the interpretive ability and technical skill level along with the stage presence and personality. Talent counts for 30% of your overall score.


Swimsuit Style
Swimsuit may be one or two piece swimsuits of your choice – no particular brand or designer. There will be no thongs or string bikinis allowed. All swimsuits must be in good taste and approved by the production committee at check-in. We do not permit the use of oil on a contestant’s arms, legs or back in Swimsuit Competition. Stockings are prohibited. 

To remain consistent with the Miss America regulations, you may decide to wear heels, sandals or go barefoot during the swimsuit competition.

Physical Fitness in Swimsuit Competition counts as 10% of the overall total points. Swimsuit competition is limited to a 20 second walking, turn and pause. The judges are looking for the contestant’s lifestyle statement concerning physical health and nutrition, their sense of confidence and composure, and the way they present themselves by their walk, posture, grace, energy, charisma, and expression.

Traditionally, evening wear has consisted of a long gown. We want you to feel good and comfortable. Choose the gown that you feel the most attractive wearing. This phase of competition is not scored on the most expensive, exquisite, or detailed gown. The judges are instructed to judge you on Overall “First Impression”; Beauty and Sense of Attractiveness; Sense of Confidence; Personality and Stage Presence; Technique (Walk, Posture, Carriage and Grace); and Appropriateness of Evening Wear. This counts as 15% of overall judging.

Local pageant winners, Miss Mississippi and Miss America now spend most of their hours addressing groups both large and small. As an advocate of your platform and ambassador of the Miss Mississippi program, your ability to speak is critical. The evaluation process at each level of competition should include segments in which each contestant has the opportunity to speak extemporaneously before an audience on some subject of which she has knowledge. Contestants will be required to answer one question on stage, and this question will relate to current events. This question will be drawn from a bowl and these answers are scored. Smile – show your personality and energy. Project and be natural. Enjoy yourself!!! On-stage question counts for 20% of your overall score.


Contact the local director for the specific local pageant you will be entering for general information about location, detailed itinerary for the pageant, rehearsal times, production number information, photos, and deadlines. 



Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Organization was organized to encourage positive achievements by helping to nurture and build the scholastic achievement, creative accomplishment, healthy living and community involvement of our state’s youth. 

Among its initiatives, the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Organization hosts a state competition intended to encourage and reward the talent, communication skills, community service and academic achievement of girls between 13 and 17 years of age.

The Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Organization has also established community-based initiatives and mentoring programs aimed at helping our state’s youth build character and gain skills necessary for success in the real world. In partnership with committed adult volunteers, community and business leaders, as well as participants from the state competition, the Organization continues to implement programs aimed at helping young people develop strong values, leadership skills, social conscience, self-worth and conviction about their own potential.

The Organization’s mentoring and community-based initiatives are available to all young people between the ages of 13 and 17.

Funds raised by the Organization are being used to fund scholarships for deserving young women according to guidelines established by the Organization’s Board of Directors in accordance with Internal Revenue Service rule and regulations. Funds are also being used to establish and develop the Organization’s mentoring programs and community-based initiatives.

The Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Organization awards scholarships to individuals on a basis of academic merit and civic and social achievement. Scholarships are awarded without condition or obligation to provide future services.

MAOTeen National Platform – Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Since 2008, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has been the official National Platform of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Program. Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, Inc. has chosen Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) as the official national platform to further reinforce the efforts that have been so successful on the national level for the Miss America Organization. CMNH is a non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children’s hospitals. Donations stay local and create miracles by funding medical care, research, and education that saves and improves the lives of 17 million children each year.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospital Participation

A website similar to the Miss America/CMNH website has been established for teen and assists with tracking funds raised on behalf of teen contestants’ fundraising efforts. The web address is 

All teen contestants competing at the local/state & national level are REQUIRED to complete a profile at the address regardless of whether or not they choose to help raise funds. There is clause in the “Application and Contract for Competing in the 2017 State and Local Pageants of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition” that outlines this requirement.

Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Local/State Contestant Requirements and Forms 2016 – 2017

Contestant Eligibility – MAOTeen Competition

• To compete at any level of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Program, a potential contestant must never have competed in any of the National Finals of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen.

• To be eligible to compete in a MAOTeen Local/State & National pageant, the contestant and her parent(s)/legal guardian must agree to and comply with the following:

 Age/Education Eligibility Rules
 Residency Rules
 Citizenship
 Language
 Other Personal Characteristics
 Contractual and Other Obligations
 Minimum Documentation Rules, and any special requirements of the State or Local Organization
 Please refer to the current “Application and Contract for Competing in the 2017 State and Local Pageants of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition” (Contract) for complete details

Application and Contract

Each pageant contestant is required to complete the “Application and Contract for Competing in the 2017 State and Local Pageant of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition” (State/Local Contestant Application and Contract) BEFORE entering each Local/State Pageant. All national contestants must complete the National Application.

Becoming Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen

In order to become Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen a potential contestant must: 

• Enter, compete and win a local, or “open/sweeper” local title. For specific information and deadlines for local pageants including their dates and locations please check the Miss Mississippi Web pagecontact the specific local director for the pageant of interest (refer to local director contact information table – either enclosed or link to the table). 
• Compete and win the state title

MAOTeen, Inc. does not permit the appointment of any titleholder.

The Role of Miss Local/State’s Outstanding Teen

Miss Local/State’s Outstanding Teen will have many roles during her year of service. She will represent her Local/State Organization, the National Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Organization, the young women she competed with, and all young people her age, as well as promoting her chosen Platform Issue and acting as an ambassador for our official National Platform of the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Program, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. She must accept these responsibilities by always conducting herself in an “Outstanding” manner.

Miss Local/State’s Outstanding Teen may be called upon to appear at a variety of functions throughout her state, where she will be asked to speak, possibly perform her talent, and interact with people of all ages. At all of these appearances, she must be gracious, well-spoken, attractive and well groomed in an age-appropriate way, approachable and friendly in order to meet the public’s expectation of a titleholder.

Competition Categories

As stated in the State/Local Contestant Application and Contract, all State/Local Contestants must compete in all phases of the competition at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen State/Local pageants.

The judging categories and the applicable percentages for each category on the Local level are as follows:

• Private Interview – 25%
• Lifestyle & Fitness – 15%
• Talent – 35%
• Evening Wear/On-Stage Question – 25%

The judging categories and the applicable percentages for each category on the State level are as follows:

• Private Interview – 25%
• Scholastic Achievement – 10%
• Lifestyle & Fitness – 10%
• Talent – 35%
• Evening Wear/On-Stage Question – 15%

Private Interview

The Private Interview phase of competition is an opportunity for the judges to learn as much as possible about the contestant – her personal qualities and attributes to be Miss Local/State’s Outstanding Teen; her level of communication skills; her opinions; her sense of accomplishment, poise, and presence as well as her ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the position the judges have been requested to fill.

Criteria for Scoring in Private Interview:

Overall “first impression”; exceptional communication skills; including speech, vocabulary, and grammar; a confident and charismatic personality; ability to express and distinguish her beliefs; attractive and stylish in an age-appropriate manner; leadership and sense of accomplishment; and knowledge and understanding of her platform issue. Can the judge envision the public, and the especially young people, being positively impacted by the contestant?

Lifestyle and Fitness

The Lifestyle and Fitness competition is designed to determine the level of fitness of the contestant and to obtain a glimpse into her daily routine and lifestyle. The contestant’s drive, energy and presence are likewise considered.

Criteria for Scoring in Lifestyle and Fitness:

Overall “first impression”; physically fit; dynamic presence and attractiveness; and sense of confidence and self-assurance. Can the contestant complete the presentation with vitality,, energy, spirit and charisma? Does she meet the public’s expectation of a titleholder?


The Talent phase of competition provides an insight into the contestant’s preparatory and performance skills. Consideration is given to whether the contestant’s talent selection fits these skills and her personality. The Talent competition acknowledges the quality of the talent being presented, the technical skill level, and the stage presence of the contestant.

Criteria for Scoring in Talent:

Overall “first impression”; technical skill level; entertainment value; interpretive ability; stage presence and on-stage personality; and total of all elements (music, costume, props, voice, choreography). Will the judge be proud that he or she selected this young women when she performs her talent if she is selected as the titleholder? Did the judge enjoy the presentation?

Evening Wear/On-Stage Question

The Evening Wear/On-Stage Question phase of the competition is designed for the judges to assess the contestant’s beauty, poise, grace, and commanding stage presence, as well as for the contestant to make an on-stage statement of her interests, opinions, and aspirations in answer to a question selected by the contestant. The judges will consider the contestant’s answer to the question asked when scoring this phase.

Evening wear should be appropriate, stylish, and elegant. Extremely low necklines and backlines are not appropriate. High skirt slits are not appropriate and can be embarrassing for the contestant and the judges.

Criteria for Scoring in Evening Wear/On-Stage Question:

Overall “first impression”; sense of confidence, composure, and poise, personality and stage presence; walk, carriage, posture, and beauty; sense of style and age-appropriateness of the evening wear. Does the contestant take command of the stage by simply walking onto it? Can the contestant handle the pressure of speaking on stage in front of an audience? Special attention must be given to whether or not the contestant answered the question she was asked, and did she have the ability to make the audience want to listen to her. The contestant’s total look, grace, charm, and ability as a spokesperson and role model must be considered.

Scholastic Achievement – MAOTeen State Pageants

In keeping with the MAOTeen Program’s mission, the MAOTeen Organization believes the “scholastic achievement” must carry some weight in the judging process.

Prior to the competition, the scholastic judges will be asked to review the following three documents from each contestant:

• Official Report Card (for 7th and 8th grade students only), or Grade Transcript
 The report card/transcript must come directly from the contestant’s school in a sealed envelope
 Documents for homeschooled students must come form the institution overseeing the contestant’s academic studies
• Contestant’s Resume – Fact Sheet
• Contestant’s Platform Statement

The Scholastic Achievement category is to be judged by a different panel of judges from the competition panel of judges. The Scholastic Achievement scores are not to be shared with the on-stage-pageant competition panel of judges.

General Information

Potential contestants should contact the local director of the specific pageant the contestant is interested in competing in for general information regarding location, time, rehearsal, deadlines, production issues and photos.