We are now selecting contestants to participate in this year’s MISS MARYLAND USA® and MISS MARYLAND TEEN USA® state pageant, the official preliminaries to the prestigious MISS USA® and MISS TEEN USA® pageants.
The 2020 Miss Maryland USA® | Miss Maryland Teen USA® pageants will be held November, 2019.
MISS MARYLAND USA CONTESTANTS
- Must be at least 18 but under 28 years of age as of December 31, 2019.
- Must never have participated in a previous national MISS USA Pageant.
- May only compete in one MISS USA State Pageant (including the District of Columbia) per pageant year.
MISS MARYLAND TEEN USA CONTESTANTS
- Must be at least 14 but under 19 years of age as of December 31, 2019.
- Must never have participated in a previous national MISS TEEN USA Pageant.
- May only compete in one MISS TEEN USA State Pageant (including the District of Columbia) per pageant year.
- Must not be married, never have been married, and never have had a marriage annulled. Must never have given birth to a child, cannot be pregnant or be a parent.
- Must be of good health and moral character.
*Must be a citizen of the United States, and at least one of the following must be true:
- (1) Must now reside in Maryland as your permanent and primary residence for the full period of at least three (3) months immediately prior to the beginning of the state pageant (although you may have attended college or University elsewhere);
or (2) Must have resided in Maryland as a full-time student at a school, college or university for one entire semester, trimester or summer session immediately prior to the beginning of the state pageant, and you are still enrolled as a full-time student at a school, college or university and will continue to reside in the state (although you may have spent or be spending the summer in another state).
- Must agree, that if selected to represent Maryland in the MISS USA or MISS TEEN USA pageant, you will participate in that pageant, and will abide by all the rules and regulations governing that pageant. If you win the MISS USA pageant, they must agree to participate in the MISS UNIVERSE PAGEANT, and to abide by the rules and regulations governing that pageant.
- No contestant or any member of their immediate family can be employed by or work as a volunteer for IMG Universe, LLC, IMG Worldwide, LLC d/b/a the Miss Universe Organization, any State Director in the MISS USA and/or MISS TEEN USA Pageant system, NBC Inc., or any of its subsidiaries, Ernst & Young, or any of its subsidiaries. (If contestant or any member of their immediate family is employed by any of the foregoing or any firm or corporation controlled or affiliated with any of them, then they must notify the state director immediately, in writing, so that their eligibility may be determined.
- Must agree that if you win or succeed to the state level title or the national title of MISS USA or MISS TEEN USA, you will not participate in any other pageants during the time you hold any of these titles, unless authorized in writing by IMG Universe, LLC.
- Must be willing to release, unconditionally and forever, any claim against IMG Universe, LLC, Its parent and affiliated or related companies and their respective officers, directors, partners, employees, agents and assigns, which they may have by virtue of their participation in their state pageant, or by any use of their name, likeness, voice, and/or biography in connection with their state pageant, including use in promotional and advertising material.
- Must understand and agree that all issues as to eligibility shall be determined by IMG Universe, LLC, and they must agree to abide by that determination both as to themselves and other applicants.
Categories of Competition
Each Contestant will compete in three equal phases of preliminary competition: Interview, Swimsuit/Active Wear and Evening Gown. The results from these preliminary phases of competition are added up, and the contestants with the highest composite scores become semifinalists. The number of semifinalists will be determined by the total number of contestants in the competition and is typically 15. Scoring is based on the following:
- Interview : Pageant judges spend time with each delegate to learn about her successes, talents, goals and ambitions. Attention is focused on her poise, charm, self – confidence and her ability to communicate, as well as the substance of her answers. Preliminary interviews are conducted individually in front of the entire judging panel in a private and closed setting. You will have a two to three-minute interview with the panel of 5 or 7 judges. It’s very comfortable and conversational. Contestants are judged on thir communication skills, and personality. They are NOT judged on their opinions or personal beliefs.
- Swimsuit (MISS) / Activewear (TEEN): Attention is focused on beauty of face, figure, physical fitness, stage presence and the confidence with which each contestant carries herself. Numerical measurements are not considered in the judging. There is no perfect body type!
- Evening Gown : Each contestant wears a gown she has chosen for herself. Attention is focused on each contestant’s overall appearance, self-confidence, and the beauty she brings to the gown of her choice. She is evaluated on grace, poise, style, stage presence, and overall-impression. Judges are instructed to evaluate the contestant, not the dress she is wearing.
Preliminary results from the private interview, swimsuit (Miss) / activewear (Teen) & evening gown stage presentations are tallied and audited on Saturday night after the preliminary show concludes. On Sunday, the MISS MARYLAND USA & MISS MARYLAND TEEN USA Final Competition kicks off with the opening production number followed by the parade of evening gowns. Soon after, the semi-finalists are announced and they will again compete in swimsuit (Miss) / activewear (Teen) and evening gown and the judges will narrow the field to a group of five finalists.
One final on-stage question for the remaining Top-5 will be conducted by the Emcee. They will then appear on stage for group judging and have a spotlighted “Final Look” when each judge will independently select their winner, 1st runner-up, 2nd runner-up, 3rd runner-up, and 4th runner-up in each age group. These events lead up to the crowning of the new Miss Maryland USA and Miss MarylandTeen USA! All contestants will participate on stage several times during the show. Even if they are not selected as Semi-Finalists, there will be several other honors to award that evening.
The judges are looking for the young ladies to represent Maryland throughout the state, as well as, nationally and internationally. The contestant who wins may not have scored the highest in any one particular category but will do well in all events. They will be young women who possess the entire package of poise, personality, intelligence and beauty. They should understand that, along with the prizes and glamour, there comes a responsibility to the pageant system, sponsors, community, and to the state of Maryland. They automatically and instantly become role models. It is certain to be a year of personal growth and maturing.
Each contestant will need rehearsal clothing (sweats, sweatshirts, jeans, tennis shoes, etc.) in addition to a fun outfit to wear to the Saturday night dinner and dance. The required competition and stage wardrobe is as follows:
- Private Interview: You should select an outfit that you find appropriate for a job interview, and that reflects your personality. The outfit should make you feel comfortable and present yourself in a sophisticated and self-confident manner. Some examples include: slacks and a sweater set, pants and a blouse, a skirt with a coordinating top, etc. The outfit can range from casual to business oriented.
- Swimsuit (Miss): Contestants choose their own swimsuit. MISS contestants may chose between a solid colored one or two-piece suit. Adequate coverage is required; Brazilian cuts and thongs are not allowed. Swimsuits may be any appropriate style, and design, and there are no color restrictions. Although we ask that the suit be solid in color, there may be a small embellishment or trim of another color.
- Activewear (Teen): Contestants choose their own two piece activewear attire. TEEN contestants are required to wear black capri style athletic pants. A solid black sports bra or full length athletic style workout top is also required. Tops with cap sleeves or full length sleeves are not permitted.
- Evening Gown: All contestants must have a full-length evening gown of their choice. The style, design, and color are up to you. It can be elaborate, or very simple. Choose something that makes you feel beautiful. Your gown should represent YOUR own personality and taste. Remember that you can look like a million bucks without spending a million bucks! Teens are encouraged to wear gowns that reflect a more youthful style and look than the Miss contestants.
- Opening Production Number : MISS contestants will wear a solid BLACK cocktail dress with any black, gold or silver heel of her choice. TEEN contestants will wear a solid colored cocktail dress in any shade of PINK with a nude, gold or silver heel of her choice. All shoes should be secure on the foot and comfortable enough to dance in.
JUDGING & CRITERIA
How is the MISS MARYLAND USA® and MISS MARYLAND TEEN USA® Pageant judged?
Each contestant will be judged in three areas of competition; Interview, Swimsuit and Evening Gown. Judging criteria includes character, poise, confidence and personality.
Is there a talent portion of the competition?
No, there is no performing talent required. There are three equally scored categories, including interview, evening gown, and swimwear.
Interview– (1/3 of overall preliminary score) You will appear before the panel of judges in a private setting for a brief interview. The judges will use this opportunity to consider your personality and overall presence. This is your chance to impress each judge with your opinions, ability to communicate, and overall sense of self. They will not be looking for rehearsed answers. They will have an Interview Form that you previously completed to use as a reference, but questions may be asked on any topic.
Swimsuit (Miss) / Athleticwear (Teen)– (1/3 of overall preliminary score) The judges will be basing their decisions on over all physical fitness and the poise with which you carry yourself during this competition. Physical measurements are not considered in the judging.
Evening Gown– (1/3 of overal preliminary score) Judges focus on stage presence, elegance, poise, overall appearance, and sense of fashion and style. No single detail of the gown, hair or make-up should garner attention. The overall effect should be a reflection of your personal style. You will need one evening gown. Choose your BEST color, a style that looks great on you and will show well on stage.
Each category consists of 1/3 of the overall preliminary score. Those contestants with the highest scores will advance to the semi-final round of judging consisting of swimsuit and evening gown, each of which then represent 50% of the score. The five contesants with the highest final scores will advance to the Top-5 where they will be asked an on-stage question written by a member of the judging panel. The final question and spotlight review will determine their final placement until the winner is announced.
Are there any height or weight requirements?
There are no required height, weight or measurements that qualify you to compete. It is important to remember that it is not about any particular body size, shape, or frame. Rather it is about maintaining good health and overall physical fitness. Remember, there is no perfect body type!
Do I have to be a “Pageant Girl” to enter?
Not at all, in fact most of our contestants are newcomers to pageants.
What are the costs associated with the pageant?
Each contestant is responsible for paying a registration and sponsorship fee, which covers your participation in the pageant and all Pageant Weekend activities. If selected as a contestant, we will give you information on obtaining sponsors to help defray your costs.
How does “Sponsorship” work?
Collecting sponsorship is very important. It takes a time commitment on your part. You start with a list of potential sponsors such as friends and family members and their employers, etc. Plan your strategy, and make a plan to succeed! Schedule appointments to collect your sponsorships. When approaching potential sponsors, explain your goals, your desire to improve yourself by attending the Miss Maryland event, the charities you believe in and the scholarship opportunities. Let them know what your experience will entail. This will be extremely beneficial in developing your communication skills. This is an essential characteristic to have if you’re going to be the next Miss Maryland USA or Miss Maryland Teen USA.
Sponsors can include, but are not limited to your family, friends, local businesses, fraternal organizations and clubs, schools, etc. You may secure sponsors from anywhere in or out of the state. If accepted, you will receive paperwork to help secure your sponsors. Sponsorship can also help defray costs for entry fee, wardrobe, etc.
Our goal is for contestants to collect 100% of the sponsorship fee. This is a tax-deductible advertising expense for those businesses that assist you with sponsorship. If you work hard on collecting sponsorship, it is possible that you will not incur any expenses out of pocket.
What happens after I submit my photo & information?
We review all entries received and submit selected entries to a member of our staff who will contact the applicants for a brief telephone interview. After your interview, a review committee will consider your application. They will determine if they feel you would make a good candidate for the title.
When will the national pageant be televised?
The MISS USA® national pageant is typically televised in June each year. The MISS TEEN USA® national pageant, is typically produced in July/August of each year, but is not always televised.
When will the semi-finalists be named?
The semi-finalists in the pageant will be named during the first portion of the pageant finals on the last day of the pageant weekend. No one will know who the semi-finalists are until that moment in the pageant finals show.
If I am not named as a semi-finalist, will I still be in the pageant finals?
Absolutely. All contestants will participate in the gown review, special awards, naming of the semi-finalist and the crowning of the new titleholders. You will be on stage at many times during the pageant finals, even if you are not named as a semi-finalist.
Do I need a different gown for finals than the one I wear for preliminaries?
No. We highly recommend wearing the same gown for both preliminaries and finals. Nearly all contestants at the state pageant wear the same gown for both.
What is the “Introduction or Opening Number Outfit” for?
At the beginning of the show for the pageant, each contestant will be introduced to the audience during an upbeat, choreographed introduction musical number (contestant will not sing, and the choreographed moves are very easy – you do not need to be a dancer). MISS contestants will wear a solid BLACK cocktail dress with any black, gold or silver heel of her choice. TEEN contestants will wear a solid colored cocktail dress in any shade of PINK with a nude, gold or silver heel of her choice. All shoes should be secure on the foot and comfortable enough to dance in.
If I win, will it interfere with school?
We make school the number one priority! Our program only encourages your success! Almost all of your appearances, celebrity events, and charity work will take place during the weekend. Time involved should you win depends on the individual person. There are certain responsibilities that accompany the privilege of becoming a titleholder. The biggest commitment is your responsibility to represent the state in the national MISS USA or MISS TEEN USA pageant. This can vary from a one to three week trip where your travel expenses, competition wardrobe, and preparations are included in your prize package
I have to spend too much on outfits!
Not true. You do not need to spend fortunes on swimwear, an interview outfit, and an evening gown. It is most important to find outfits that you will feel confident in and that best suit you and your personality. The personal choice of gowns have spanned from simple, elegant to hand beaded. But it is never the gown that the judges are scoring; it’s the young women wearing it. Again, several contestants have been able to secure a gown sponsor to assist them.
How do you decide who receives a letter in the mail to apply?
We use marketing consultants who assemble mailing lists for our use. They use information they gather from many various sources such as school-related activities, modeling agencies, cheer camps, community activities, surveys, magazine subscriptions, general mailing lists, etc.
What happens if I can’t get my registration materials in before the deadlines?
Deadlines are very important to us in order to make timely program preparations. However, we realize that unexpected circumstances can arise and that the collection of sponsorship may take longer than expected. If you need an extension, please call or email the state pageant offices.
Do I need to pay for my meals during pageant weekend?
No, all of your meals throughout the state pageant weekend are provided by the state pageant.
Do I need to pay for my hotel room during pageant weekend?
No. Your hotel room during the pageant is provided for you by the state pageant. You will be roomed with one other contestant in a room with two beds. If you choose to arrive the night before or stay the night after the pageant, your room for those nights would be at your own expense
How many other contestants will I room with at the hotel?
Each contestant is paired with one other contestant in order to share each hotel room. Each room will have two beds, so each contestant will have their own bed. In order to be respectful to the contestant with whom you are sharing the room, only the two of you are allowed in your hotel room (no family or friends allowed at any time).
How many contestants compete at the state pageant?
The number of contestants changes daily as new contestants apply and choose to participate. We will not know the final number of participants until the registration process is completed on the first day of pageant weekend.
Are tattoos or body piercings allowed?
Tattoos and piercing are a statement of your individuality, and it is up to you whether you choose to show them. If either are visible while in your competition wardrobe, you may remove your body jewelry or cover tattoos with body make-up if you desire. Judges are not told to look upon someone negatively because of tattoos or piercing, but judging is a subjective process done by each individual differentl
Can anyone assist me during the pageant weekend, with my wardrobe or hair & make-up?
Only contestants and staff are permitted in your hotel room, in the dressing room or backstage during the pageant weekend. Each contestant will share a room with another contestant. In order to keep the weekend organized, on schedule, and enjoyable for all participants, we have elected to limit the persons allowed into the contestant rooms to other contestant’s and chaperones only. There will be chaperones in the dressing rooms to assist you with some of your wardrobe changes.
Contestants are prohibited from bringing their own personal hair and make-up stylists – they are not allowed back stage or in your hotel room nor are you allowed to enter anyone else’s hotel room during pageant weekend, including your parent’s. This is strictly from a security standpoint – we must know where you are at all times. Additionally, if everyone brought their own personal assistants, we would not fit in the hotel! There will be a team of professional make-up artists and hair stylists present at the pageant. You will have an opportunity to meet them and discuss pricing and specific styles before the pageant weekend if you choose to use their services.
What does the winner receive?
The biggest prize is the prestigious title of Miss Maryland USA or Miss Maryland Teen USA and the opportunity to represent our state at the national MISS USA or MISS TEEN USA pageant! Our prize packages differs from year to year according to sponsors that are obtained. We are continually striving to improve the prizes offered. This year, we have over $1 MILLION in college scholarships and prizes to be awarded!
What should my family and friends wear to the pageant?
We recommend anything from business casual to formalwear for the pageant preliminaries and pageant finals.
How do my family and friends get tickets to attend the pageant?
Ticket information will be listed on the website once they have been set.
If my family or friends want to attend the pageant, where do they stay?
They may stay in the pageant’s “Host Hotel”. Friend’s and Family rates normally apply.