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Miss SWOSU Competition & Judging

Scoring Percentages for Local Competition

Activity Scoring Percentage
Private Interview 35%
Red Carpet Evening Wear 15%
On Stage Interview/Social Impact Pitch 15%
Talent 35%

The Private Interview (35%)

  • A podium will be used.
  • Candidate will introduce herself to the judges.
  • Interview is 10 minutes, 9:30 seconds of question and answers then stopping at the 9:30 mark for a 30-second closing statement.
  • 30 seconds to close this phase of competition.
  • If discussion ends before the 30 seconds are up, then the interview ends.

Total length of interview can be up to 10 minutes.

Each candidate will begin standing at a podium. Once she has begun speaking, she has the option to stay behind the podium the entire 10 minutes, or, she can move to the side or in front of the podium to make her points, statement or answers. She may then move back behind the podium if she chooses, she can move at her will, just as long as she does it naturally and does not look like a robot or mannequin! The questions asked during the interview will let the judges see the following from the candidate.

  • Allows insight into the candidate’s ability to fulfil the responsibilities outlined in the job description and contract.
  • Provides the opportunity to learn as much as possible about the candidate’s qualities and attributes to fulfill the titleholders position.
  • Allows insight into the commitment to advance and execute on her social impact initiative and have a year of service – not celebrity.
  • Allows insight into the commitment to continue her education.
  • Allows insight into the ability to express and distinguish her beliefs and have a true knowledge of the world around her.
  • Ability to get sense of accomplishments above and beyond the resume.

No questions are off limits. If a candidates does not know the answer to a question, it is recommended the candidate respond “I do not know.” Positively do not try to bluff your way out. The judges do not count off for an honest answer unless there are too many “I don’t know.” The judges want the candidate’s to be “real and natural.”


Private Interview is the judges opportunity to learn as much as possible about the candidate, her qualities, and attributes to be Miss SWOSU. This is the chance for each candidate to “articulate” her social impact position and personality. It is also the candidate’s time to respond to questions and demonstrate her understanding of the relevance of Miss SWOSU and Miss Oklahoma or Miss America, and give her thoughts on relevant marketing ideas to promote the organizations. The interview segment is designed to help the judges determine if the candidate can handle the role of Miss SWOSU/Miss Oklahoma/Miss America and to be a corporate spokesperson/role model/advocate.

Red Carpet Evening Wear (15%)

The Evening Wear phase of competition is designed for the judge to assess the candidate’s beauty, poise, grace and commanding stage presence. The candidate’s total look is considered. Her evening wear (not the value of the evening wear) should complement the candidate’s individuality.

  • Allows a look into how a candidate exhibits her own personal style, attitude, personality, grace, presence and confidence while making her own statement about her mission for the job.
  • Allows a look into composure, confidence, the attention she captures on the state. Her command of the stage, presence and how she appears in the spotlight.
  • Allows ability to judge first impression reaction.
  • Allows a look at posture and carriage.
  • Allows a chance to hear a candidate’s presentation of her social impact initiative.
  • Statement cannot exceed 10 seconds.

On-Stage Interview/Social Impact Pitch (15%)

Demonstrates candidate’s ability to project her interest, opinions and aspirations.

  • Advancing the same criteria as the private interview by bringing it on stage in an interactive energetic way to showcase each candidates’ intelligence, personality, charisma and aptitude for the job.
  • Allows the audience to truly get to know the candidate.
  • Allows ability to see how these discussions take place in a public forum showcasing the ability to communicate, stage presence, commanding presence and repeatability.
  • Allows ability to determine if the candidate cannot simply answer the question asked, but build on a conversation from the private interview.
  • Allows the ability to see if candidate can serve as a role model and is reflective of her generation.
  • Note: On stage interview is a continuation of the private interview.
  • Answer should be no more than 20 seconds.

Talent (35%)

  • Allows insight in the candidate’s preparatory and performance skills.
  • Looks at selection of talent presentation, as well as the performance.
  • Looks at interpretive ability and technical skill level including execution, technique synchronization and control.
  • Allows insight into stage presence and on-stage personality.
  • Allows a look at the totality of the elements; costumes, props, music, voice, use of the body and choreography.
  • Look for how enjoyable and relatable the performance is.

Guidelines and Requirements

The time limit for talent presentation is 90 seconds. This time limit is set by the Miss American Organization. Nothing longer will be accepted, and this will be strictly enforced! Candidates should plan a performance that will not exceed this limit.

Talent Accompaniment Music

Whether your talent is vocal, dance, piano, violin, acrobatics, twirling, etc., the music used to accompany your talent must be covered under the license agreements of BMI/ASCP or be considered Public Domain.

There can be no duplication of a talent act among candidates. A candidate may not include in a vocal medley, the same song another candidate is planning to sing as a solo or as part of a different medley. The same song, however, may be used in a different talent type, for example: played on a musical instrument or use as accompaniment for dance by another candidate.

Talent music is reserved for candidates on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Accompanying Oneself with a Pre-Recorded Track

A candidate may pre-recorded herself as a back-up vocalist (if she is performing a different talent than vocal), or instrumental accompanist and use that track to accompany her live talent performance. For example, a candidate dancing to a pre-recorded track of her singing or playing an instrument. However, it cannot be announced to the judges that the accompaniment track contains any performance by the candidate. A talent cannot be performed electronically (i.e. video tape) or with live accompaniment.

Regardless of the talent performed, the background track cannot have voices, instruments, or other noises which mimic the talent of the candidate. (Example: A vocalist may have background vocals with “oohs and aahs” or other background lyrics, but cannot have a track with a voice singing the melody line for the candidate to sing along with. The same would be said for instrumentalists, dancers, and any other talent which could provide for an unfair advantage it a judge could not delineate from the talent on the track versus the live performance of the candidate.)

Double Talents

Candidates are only judged for what is performed live. If a candidate wishes to perform a double talent, for example-singing and dancing, or singing and piano playing, she must perform both live on-stage. However, if a candidate dances to a pre-recorded track of her singing, she is only judged on her dance and it is not announced that she is singing on the track.

Original Works or Material Talents

Any candidate who presents a talent act that involves her own original work; i.e., music arrangement, song writing, authorship, dramatic reading, etc., must have notarized authentication that she created the work in order for it to be approved for the competition.

Published Literary Material Talents

Any talent presentation involving the reading of literary works (i.e., dramatic reading), requires the candidate to research and contact the author and/or publisher for a written “Permission letter.”


A candidate may not present lighting plots. The production staff will determine all lighting.


Hand, stand, head or lavaliere microphones are available at this time.


Only the candidate will be permitted on stage during her talent performance…no other person can be part of her act!

Removing clothes on stage

The national ruling concerning the removal of any clothing during a talent act is any clothing removed be done so in good taste! The Miss SWOSU Competition Board will make all final decisions and clearance on all talent acts during rehearsals.

Props Use & Restriction

No props will be permitted unless they are absolutely functional! Any article brought on stage must actually be needed. Non-functional props tend to distract from the performance.

  • No mood setters or background enhancers.
  • No props that imitate those used in a Broadway or screen version of your music.
  • No props that require excessively large stage areas and complicated setting up.
  • No use of motion pictures, slides or projection of any kind.
  • No live animals.
  • No props involving safety hazards, such as any form of liquids or fire; or props that could create sparks, along with swords and/or knives; sharp projectiles, bow and arrow, etc.
  • No lighting enhancements.
Final Scoring

The scores from these competitions determine the winner and runners-up.