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Most Popular Pageant Interview Questions (and Answers)

25, July 2013

Pageant Interview is the most important phase of competition. How you do inside the interview room will determine how judges will score you throughout the competition. Because of this we are going to cover the 3 most popular questions that judges ask and how to answer them. (Read: Everything You Need to Know to Succeed in Pageant Interview)

Click to Download 233 More Popular Pageant Interview Questions

Let’s examine the must-know pageant interview questions and answers. Remember that these answers should be made your own. Memorizing my answers are not going to do you any good come your time to shine. These pageant answers are just here as a guideline help you create your own response. The judges are not going to remember exactly what you said anyways but they will remember how you made them feel when you were in the interview room. After reading this you can also read our expanded version of this article by clicking, "Top 25 Pageant Questions Asked by Judges in Every Pageant"

Top 3 Most Popular Pageant Interview Questions and Answers

Why should you win this pageant? Example Answer: The reason I should win is because I will make a great titleholder. To me a great titleholder understands that being a queen is a job and part of my job description is to actively and creatively promote this pageant. So if I were to be chosen, I would bring more awareness to this pageant by actively recruiting girls to try to win my crown next year. Breakdown: Judges love to see a girl with confidence and with a plan. By including in your answer that you know you need to promote the pageant you are showing initiative. The judges and the director will both get excited by the prospect of having a titleholder who is actively promoting the system in the community. Another reason why this answer works is that judges can follow up to ask more questions on how you plan on promoting the system, to which you will need to be prepared to answer. (Read: How to Answer "Why Should You Win This Pageant")

Who is your role model? Example Answer: My role model is my mother because of what she had to overcome in her life to reach the level of success that she is currently enjoying. Breakdown: Remember, that the judges do not care who your role model is as long as you are confident in your answer and can back up that answer with sound logic. Though this answer is simple it gives the judges space for a follow up questions such as "Can you give me an example of something that your mother overcame?" By using the format above you do not dominate the conversation and you give the judges enough space to ask follow up questions if they are interested in learning more about that topic. (Read: Pageant Question About Being a Role Model)   3. 

Why did you decide to compete in this pageant? Example Answer: My hope is to gain more confidence and to increase my professional network so that I can create more opportunity for myself and others in the future. Breakdown: Here, as in most cases inside of interview your specific answer doesn't matter. So if your answer is that you want to be a famous singer and you want as much stage time as possible to practice then that's great too. You just need to know "why" you are competing.

Questions About Media

How can we teach kids to be safe on social media?   Lexi (lexnicolehughes): We can tell kids that what they do now on the internet can affect them forever. This is called a digital footprint. When you walk across the sand your footprints leave a mark but eventually the waves come and wash it away- it will never be there again. This is different than your digital footprint because your digital footprint will be with you forever. With my platform, "What Size is Your Digital Footprint?" I teach kids about ways to stay safe on the internet and social media. Kids can stay safe by never posting anything that they wouldn't be proud of in the future. What you post on social media is a representation of you, so it is better to be safe than sorry and always remember to think before you click. The judges would like this answer best because she offers some specific examples of how to stay safe online and ties the answer to her personal platform.

What is your favorite award show to watch? Chinkey (miss_messyhead): My favorite award show that I love watching is the Fempowerment Women Achievers' Awards. It has an Indian origin. It's an initiative to applaud the achievements of women from different sectors for their hard work, creativity and innovation. I think it's amazing to get appreciated for the good work we do and this motivates us to do even better. I wish to make it at least in the nominations of the award in future. The judges would like this answer best because she has a personal, unique reason for her choice and explains it with obvious passion.

What TV show would you recommend for my next binge watch?   Zeycan (zeycan_rochelle): I recommend "Being Mary Jane." It shows the real-life struggles of an ambitious woman who put everything on the line for her career. She suffers the repercussions of not having a family of her own like she had wanted and having to support the family she grew up with because they lack the ambition she has. I believe this is a show pageant girls can relate to because it takes a lot of discipline, sacrifice, and compromise to chase your dreams. It's not easy being a woman in today's world where you're expected to have a career and a family, but this show explains how balance is necessary and fulfilling. The judges would like this answer best because she explains her choice in relation to the pageant world and explains how pageant participants might be able to relate to the character in her chosen show.

With several former titleholders being featured in magazines, if you had the opportunity to be on the cover of any magazine, which would you choose and why? Emma (@emma_rose_lewis): I dream being featured in Vogue because of its rich history. In addition, I want to reach a vast audience who has an interest in fashion, change and women’s issues. I’d love to speak about my platform, my strange life and love for fashion as a way of communication. Emma's answer stood out because of the several points she addresses to back her choice. When you are in the interview or on stage, it is important to explain your answer in as much depth as possible with the time you are given to show the judges who you are!

Do you believe professional athletes are paid too much?   Justice (justice_kelley): As someone who studied entertainment, sports and promotional management, I understand the economic impact sports have on our communities. Through sports, cities gain tourists from opposing teams, jobs are created within stadiums and there are plenty of athletes who give generously to the community. So, I believe that our athletes are not paid too much considering the revenue that is generated from them. The judges would like this answer best because she uses personal experience and background knowledge to back up her opinion.

What famous person would you most like to meet? Gaby (gaby_condo): Hands down, I would want to meet Ellen DeGeneres! Not only is Ellen a quirky, down-to-earth woman who makes people laugh, she also has an amazing heart. I feel that Ellen uses the privileges she has to bring blessings into other people's lives. Ellen's heart and compassion for others are traits that I wish to acquire at a level equal to her. I would hope that meeting with her could jump start some of my various community projects at a national level! The judges would like this answer best because her answer is thoughtful, well-worded and personal to her.

"Sesame Street" welcomed a character who has autism, but are people with disabilities adequately represented in media? Those with disabilities are rarely recognized in the media but I'm glad they're beginning to change that! When children with disabilities watch the new character on "Sesame Street," they can relate to her and begin to realize that nothing's wrong with them, which can help boost their confidence in themselves. Eventually, people can learn how to accept anyone or everyone for who they are. The world can't be any more beautifully diverse than that. The judges would like this answer best because she shows knowledge about the topic and has a confident, well-worded answer.

Who is your favorite Disney princess and why? Faith (faith_allen99): My favorite Disney princess is Belle from Beauty and the Beast. She is my favorite princess due to the fact that she is confident in herself and is protective of those she loves. I also admire her adventurousness and her impeccable intelligence. Her compassionate nature is one that I identify with in my own life. Belle is a great role model for young girls of all ages. Pageant queens are given this opportunity to "play princess” for young girls to look up to and become role models for them just as these strong Disney princesses are their role models. The judges would like this answer best because she related her answer to herself and to pageantry.

Would you rather read the book or see the movie? Courtney (courtneyxroy): I would rather read the book! As a writer, it's important that I'm able to use my imagination to turn words into a mental picture. By reading, I'm strengthening my mind, enhancing my vocabulary, and encouraging an active imagination. These are all important factors that everyone can benefit from. The judges would like this answer best because she uses a personal reason to back up her answer.

Should judges have the ability to view contestants' social media accounts before the pageant? Stephanie (realstephaniebrown): Absolutely, I would even encourage them to do so! As a delegate, you should always have your best self on display and this is especially true for social media. I think it's important for judges to get a behind-the-scenes look into who the delegate really is instead of who she projects herself to be for the five minutes she's on stage. Social media would be a great way to see a delegate's involvement with her platform, her extra-curricular activities, and her hobbies and interests. They would also get the opportunity to see if the girl they choose really embodies the system's brand and if she is the role model that the system is looking for. The judges would like this answer best because she states a clear opinion and backs it up with several examples.

Is your Instagram account public or private? Why? Alex (alexxelainee): My personal account is private so that I can control who is seeing my pictures. Since some of the things that I post include the name of my college or my younger sister's high school, I like to know who has access to that information in order to keep both of us as safe as possible. With that being said, my titleholder page is public because I am trying to reach the biggest audience possible to spread the word about my platform. Also, since that page is public, I monitor what is in the pictures and make sure not to include specific locations, especially if it is somewhere that I frequent. Unfortunately, the world that we live in is just not safe enough to be able to put your information out there for everyone and trust nothing will happen. The judges would like this answer the best because she gives a detailed answer with specific, meaningful reasoning.

Do you believe that social media is ultimately a positive or a negative? Haley (haley.geiger): Though I've been able to see both the good and bad sides, I truly believe social media is a good thing! It keeps you connected with your friends and your community, but perhaps most importantly it can show you things you've never thought of before. For example, the ALS ice bucket challenge that took the internet by storm a few years ago opened my eyes as well as those of hundreds of thousands of internet users to the horrors of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Before the challenge, the disease was typically one not many knew or spoke of unless they or a loved one was suffering from it. This is just one of many examples I could list, but social media can show people what life is like through another's eyes or allow them to see something they've never encountered before, and I think that can help lead to more informed and compassionate generations in the years to come! The judges would like this answer the best because it states a clear opinion and gives a specific example.

Who is your favorite superhero? Talisha (realtalisha): My favorite superhero is three year old Auburn Grace. At just one year old, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, so rare in fact, she's only the 14th person to be diagnosed with it. Through my organization, Models for a Cure, I was able to raise over $1000 for her and her family. Today I am happy to say she is cancer free! Inspired by her courage, tenacity, and strength I turned her into a real-life superhero in my book "The True Adventures of the Super Amazing Auburn!" She will forever be my favorite superhero and I hope that I can be even half as strong as her one day! The judges would like this answer the best because although she does not choose a superhero in the traditional sense of the word, she takes control of her answer and the direction she wants the interview to go in. 

Who is your favorite fictional character? Hallie (Halliequinn13): My favorite fictional character is definitely Dug from the Disney movie "Up." He reminds me of myself. I am easily distracted but I am very loyal to those around me. And of course, he's adorable. The judges would like this answer the best because she relates her answer and character choice to herself.

What is your favorite song? Medina (medina_marie86): One of my all-time favorites has been Van Halen's "Dreams." I first heard it when I was seven or eight years old. It was in the ending scene of the original Power Rangers movie when they are watching the celebration fireworks. The words and musicality of the song are just so beautiful and inspirational. It's something you don't hear nowadays in popular music. The driving guitar, the heavy REAL bass drum on the back beat, the sheer power in Eddie Van Halen's voice... No modern artist has been able to duplicate that and every time it comes on the radio or on my iPod it's volume up! If you have never heard it I highly recommend looking it up. The judges would like this answer the best because she uses a story to explain her answer and has a unique, memorable choice.  

In a movie about your life, who would you want to play you? Kierstin (amor._.aeternus): I would want Emma Watson to play me. She speaks out for what she believes and is an amazing role model. I hope to one day be as influential as she is. The judges would like this answer the best because see chooses a specific actress and explains what she likes about her. What would make this answer better would be to explain why Emma Watson is the best fit to play HER specifically. Details can make or break an answer!

Who is your favorite person to follow on social media and why? Federica (@federicastelluci): My favorite person to follow on social media is @theashleygraham, every time I have a bad day or feel my confidence is weakening I rewatch her posts and feel totally empowered. Her #beautywithoutsizes campaign is amazing and it really is changing lives, mine for example. Empowering young women and reminding them to love the body they live in is a very important responsibility we should all have. We love this answer that focuses on confidence and empowerment.

What game show would you like to be a contestant on? Haley (haley.geiger): I'd love to be on "Jeopardy!" I'm a big fan of trivia and am actually pretty good at it, so I think it'd be fun and interesting to put my skills to the test. Also, a fun fact about my family is that my dad tried out for "Jeopardy" a few times, so not only could I get help from him before I went on the show, but it would also be like carrying on a family legacy! The judges would like this answer best because her answer is unique in the way that she has very specific reasoning and tells the judges something about her/her family in the process.

When should a child be allowed his/her own social media accounts? Nevaeh (discoveries.happen): As someone who was finally allowed to have social media in seventh grade, I believe that children should have social media no earlier than 10 years old. They should experience other things in their life and be active in their communities, not spend their quality time in front of a screen. Not only will the limiting of social media encourage them to get active and go outside, it has also been proven that children who spend less time scrolling through social media feeds are happier. The judges would like this answer best because it is personal, knowledgeable and clear.

What is your favorite TV show?  Rachel (@maltesespartan): I would say How I Met Your Mother and Parks and Rec. they both have similar yet different messages, primarily being the importance of friendship and companionship. How I Met Your Mother, while compared to friends really is a relatable sitcom, Parks and Rec. sheds hilarity on today's political issues, which we could also use now and then. Just like stated above, even with such a simple question, you want to be able to impress the judges and make them feel like they know you better after your answer, and this answer did just that! Not only can we see that this contestant has a sense of humor but is always well-rounded in the sense that she is great with people and stays up-to-date with current events, just by the way she analyzed both shows. 

If a national T.V. network gifted you with 60 minutes of airtime, how would you use that time? Bridget (@mrssuffolkcounty2017): With 60 minutes of airtime, I would promote my platform, you are not alone: raising awareness for PMAD (perinatal mood and anxiety disorders). I would talk to experts to help educate others about symptoms, risk factors and what to do if you have a PMAD. I would also share my personal story of having postpartum depression and anxiety after the births of my children and talk to other moms who went through it as well. This answer is great, especially for a titleholder. Judges want to know that you will use your time in the spotlight to make a difference and this answer states that she will do exactly that! This is a great question to do one of two things; make it personal and allow the judges to know more about you or connect it to the title and show the judges why you are there.

Questions About Your Platform

How did your platform topic become important to you?   MacKenzie (osnapitzkenzie): I had a ground-shaking "light bulb" moment reading a book over the summer that made me immediately decide to change my platform after three years. The book "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg brought to my attention all of the unique obstacles I am going to face as an ambitious woman entering a male-dominated career field. As a result, I've decided to use my platform to educate women on how to succeed as a woman in the workplace and how to begin changing the conversation concerning women's issues in society. The judges would like this answer best because it was well-worded, personal and unique.

What is your favorite community service project you've been a part of? Allie (allieee2017): When my platform was "Stamp Out Stigma: Eliminating Mental Health-Related Stereotypes," I was granted the opportunity to help bring "The Selfies Project," to life. Youth members of our local clubhouse submitted selfies that we then had printed on canvas and turned into an art exhibit. The message behind this was to show our community that you cannot tell an individual has a mental illness just by looking at them because they are just like everyone else. I enjoyed being able to inspire others by using my personal experiences, and seeing the impact our project made. The judges would like this answer best because her answer was personal and explains the reason why this event was so important to her.

What have you already done to promote your platform? Amanda (stitchqueen_amandavs): Every fall for the past three years, I hosted free sewing lessons for children ages eight and up. During class, the girls learned how to sew pillow cases and neck pillows. They made one for themselves and several of each for Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. I also hosted two Christmas pageants that collected toys for the hospital and encouraged young people to volunteer locally through Instagram. Together, we are turning ordinary activities into something extraordinary and impacting our community. The judges would like this answer best because she is detailed and really shows how much work she has put into her cause.

What change do you want to make in the world? Haley (haley.geiger): A change I would like to bring about is making the world a more artistic place! Art has a vital role in our culture and in the social and cognitive development of each generation, but I've noticed that school systems tend to overlook the arts in favor of sports. I know through 13 years of personal experience that activeness in the arts can provide many social and educational benefits and turn even the shyest person into a more social and well-rounded individual. Through my platform Awareness of the Arts, I encourage students to take part in the arts and encourage schools to facilitate more artistic programs so our society will be able to reap the benefits of creative and well-rounded future generations. The judges would like this answer best because she relates it to her personal passions and her platform. She doesn't just WANT to make a change, she IS making one!

Questions About Your Location

If I visited your city, where would you take me?   Faith (faithalyssa27): Plant City's annual Florida Strawberry Festival! A family affair occurring the first two weeks of every March, the strawberry festival is the richest part of my city's heritage. People from all across the world visit every year – I once met a woman who came all the way from Canada! From prestigious country artists like Willie Nelson, to Parksdale's famous shortcake, the festival is guaranteed to bring joy to anyone and everyone. The judges would like this answer best because of the appealing wording, as well as the fact that she chose an event unique to her specific town.

What is one thing you would change about the city you live in?   Maggie (maggieabaldwin): If I could change one thing about my city, it would be the divide between the conservatives and liberals. Especially with the recent election, everyone seems to be looking down on the people who do not share their point of view. When I go to school, even the students who are not yet eligible to vote are divided based on who their parents supported. My fear is that the political divides in my city will not get better over time. I don't want anyone to feel isolated or alone because of their political beliefs. Everyone should feel like their opinion matters. The judges would like this answer best because it is personal, relevant and backed up by reason.

What is your state/country known for?   Medina (medina_marie86): Besides some of the GREATEST sports teams in the world (the Steelers and Penguins of course), Pennsylvania is known for being a historical state. It is home to the Liberty Bell, Gettysburg battlefield, as well as Ft. Pitt and Ft. Necessity. Not only that, but the Dutch Apple Pie is to die for. Top it off with a scoop of Very Vanilla from Penn State Creamery and some Hershey chocolate syrup and you have a sweet treat on a humid Pittsburgh day. The judges would like this answer best because it is memorable, fun and descriptive.

How would you like the global community to view your country? Sadie (sadiepulman): Wales is small and often mistaken as part of England rather than its own country. I would love the world to recognize us as the unique and wonderful country that we are. In a land of equality, unity and bravery, all are provided with opportunities, health care and educational grants. The busy cities contrast with the beautiful country land and mountains. There is not a single part of Wales that is not beautiful. We are passionate, patriotic and full of personality. In the land of our fathers we are truly great. The judges would like this answer the best because it is detailed, powerful and explains her country's unique draw.

What is one word to describe your country? Accepting. We accept there are good and bad in the world. We support equality, LGBT rights and free speech. We accept that people make mistakes and give them a chance to rehabilitate themselves. We support our poor and accept that they need help to get back on their feet. We accept refugees and welcome them with open arms. We accept change and embrace it. The judges would like this answer the best because she provides specific examples to back up her chosen word.

Where would be your dream place to live? Jenna (jennajudah): Never would I have ever thought that my dream place to live would be where I am now... back in my hometown! When I moved away I swore I was never coming back, but moving home has shown me what a wonderful place Ozark is to be young, have a family and enjoy life. Right where I've been my whole life is where I'm meant to be. Living in a small town is great for many reasons but my favorite is being surrounded by friends and family along with the low living expenses! The judges would like this answer the best because it is specific and her reasoning behind it is personal and detailed.

What was the greatest issue your country faced this past year? Medina (Facebook): The greatest issue we have faced is ourselves. The true colors of America are on full display and they are not red. white and blue. With the current political and ideological climates in America, things like trust and common decency have been replaced with accusations, lies, white power movements, and an "all about me/ my way or the high way" attitude. Women are against men, men are against women, the rich are stomping on the heads to the less fortunate, and racial tensions are higher than they have been in almost seventy years. WE, the American people, are our greatest issue right now and have been for longer than we care to admit. My hope is that we can come together as one nation again, and I pray it doesn't take another terror attack like 9/11 to make it happen. This answer has a touching, passionate, and educated tone and that is the perfect approach to this kind of question.

Questions About Women

Which woman in YOUR life inspires you?   Maria (maria_hilger): My mom was my largest inspiration. She died two months ago from a rare disease called MSA. She showed me how to be strong, caring, understanding and how to always believe in myself. Even though she could only talk through a machine the last few months of her life, she taught me how to choose my words carefully and know that what I said could affect people greatly. My mother was an amazing inspiration to not only me but our whole community. The judges would like this answer best because it is personal and explains why her mom's life lessons meant so much to her.

Are dress codes imposed unfairly on women? Emily (embritt): I think dress codes are important in certain situations. I strive to keep a sense of style, grace and poise in all professional situations. I do believe that some aspects of school dress codes can be a bit outlandish. Young girls are going through a time of self-understanding, so their clothes may be an outward perception of their personality. Certain outfit choices aren't appropriate for a school or business setting, but clothing should never stop a young girl from getting an education or make her feel uncomfortable. The judges would like this answer best because although it talks specifically about school dress codes instead of dress codes in general like the question does, she has a concise, clear response that states an opinion and reasoning.

What do you consider feminism to be and do you consider yourself a feminist? Yvannah (yvannahhh): Although I consider myself a feminist, I stand with liberal feminism rather than radical feminism, which is the unpopular definition that many who are unfamiliar with feminism refer to. As a liberal feminist, I believe in setting women at the same standards as men in exchange for the same rewards without placing women in higher regard than men. As a woman in STEM, I believe that being a feminist is crucial to making my way into the medical field along with being treated justly outside of my profession. With feminism, I truly believe that everyone, men and women, are able to reach their true potential. The judges would like this answer the best because it is confident and she relates her answer to her own life.

Which specific issue regarding women's rights is most important to you? Jackie (jkoraedu): Women's rights to fair pay is a pressing issue. According to statistics, there is a pay gap in nearly every occupation. Being transparent that this is a real issue by presenting the facts to all parties is what is going to bring change. Women are vital to the economy and workforce. We balance so many areas in life and to be paid equally for the same work is well overdue. The judges would like this answer the best because she chose a specific issue and her answer is concise and well-organized.

#Metoo trended on social media to bring awareness to sexual assault. What is one positive and one negative of the movement? Zeycan (@zeycan_rochelle): The positive of the #metoo movement shows that victims are not alone, that as women, we are in this together because to a degree we have all been a victim and we can be there to encourage and lift others up for something we too have experienced. The negative is that it’s now aware that so many girls have been victims and this is a problem much larger than imagined, there’s a big epidemic in how men feel they are justified in making comments without implications. Now that we are aware of the magnitude of the issue, we can collectively come together to stand against sexism and control that is so commonly used. This answer is incredible! She not only answers the question by providing both a positive and negative of the movement, but she also provides a solution to close her statement. Judges are looking for titleholders that are not only aware and opinionated, but that are determined for change, and this answer demonstrates all of the above.

What is the goal for the Times Up movement? Kayla (@kayla_faith01): The goal is simply in the name. The clock is up for ignoring such a prevalent issue in our society and it is time get the rates of sexual harassment down. Women are beginning to empower other women and we are now on the rise. Women should never be seen as lesser than men in any shape or form. We are intelligent, powerful and important. Times up and we are showing everyone who we are and what we can do. We do not deserve to be sexually harassed. This answer is confident, stern and straight to the point. The judges love a contestant who knows how she feels and owns it with her answer!

Who would you like to see be the first female president? Haley (@haley.geiger): As long as the candidate is qualified and truly suitable for office, it doesn’t matter who the candidate is. Nowadays, we see lots of people suggesting celebrities, male and female, for office based solely on their popularity through the media. We shouldn’t elect the leader of our country based on how they act on TV but rather based on the merit behind their political opinions and the plans they have to better our country and the citizens within. I would absolutely love to see a female president, but I only think someone should be president if both their character and their political opinions and plans are truly worthy of the Oval Office, regardless of their gender. The judges would love this answer! While Haley does not give a specific name to who she would like to see be the first female president, she lists qualities that she would like to see in whoever that person it. An audience and a panel of judges will appreciate this because it shows that she cares about the president being someone with morals and values.

Does the Women's March make you proud to be a woman? Mariam (@mariam9426): Yes, it does, because it shows that not only do we talk the talk, but we also, pun intended, walk the walk. This generation understands now more than ever that it is not enough for our voices to be heard, but our presence, as well as our actions, must be felt. A march of women from all walks of life united in progression towards one direction demonstrates just that. This answer is both light-hearted and powerful, and combining the two is sometimes difficult. This is an approach that judges love to see when answering about controversial topics.

Questions About Being a Titleholder

What would you like to be remembered for as a titleholder? Aleya (aleyagilley): I would like to be remembered as the girl who stood for the silent. As a victim of bullying and anorexia, I don't want to stay silent for others who are now in my place. I want to be remembered as the girl who united kids together to show the consequences of bullying and the effects it has on people. I want to be known as the girl who put an end to bullying and suicide. The judges would like this answer best because it is powerful and personal. 

If crowned the next titleholder, what is a goal you'd have for your year of reign?   Marylyn (mazzy_slays): If I were crowned as your titleholder, I plan to spend 100 hours of my time at my local soup kitchen, 9 hours a month and any more hours I can. I will use my platform in my attempt to raise double the amount that I have raised so far for the United Nations Children's Fund and I will make it my goal to visit all of the local schools in my city to talk to them about my journey, school and the importance of balancing school and life. I also plan to run a minimum of three charity fundraising events within my school and of course, represent this system to the absolute best of my ability. The judges would like this answer best because she outlines specific goals that are measurable and high reaching yet obtainable.

What is one mistake that could cost a girl the title and how can it be avoided?   Katie (katie.hodges): What she posts on social media! Social media is something we use to communicate and get ourselves out there and show what we are doing out in our community. If a titleholder or a future titleholder is posting negative things or inappropriate pictures on her social media, I don't think she should be given the title. As titleholders we are role models and that means we should be posting positive things everywhere. I have a specific topic for each day of the week and I post something that correlates with the day's topic. Wednesday for example is Workout Wednesday, so I post tips about working out or pictures of me doing the workout I did to help get people excited about working out and show how easy it is. Those are the things we titleholders should post, not something negative. The judges would like this answer best because her answer is specific and she relates it back to herself and her personal story as a titleholder.

What does being a titleholder mean to you? Hannah (hannahb1999): Being a titleholder means representing my title with the best attributes that I have in me – courage and honesty, along with kindness for others. Gaining confidence with each and everything I do. Showing that the title will not be an empty one. Showing that my title means something. It represents me and who I am as a person. I couldn't love being Teen Miss Alabama United Southeast more. The judges would like this answer best because her answer was specific and personal. 

What quality should a titleholder NOT have? Kaitlyn (kaitlyndimples): Selfishness. I know how easy it can be to become selfish when you wear a crown at an appearance and every little girl wants to speak to you. You begin to focus on yourself instead of your platform and the real reason you're making an appearance. A titleholder must stay humble within her reign; remember all the directors, staff, sponsors, and family that have given her the opportunity to wear that crown and stay true to who she really is. The judges would like this answer the best because it is eloquently worded and honest.

What message would you spread as a titleholder? Delilah (delilahv_mrsguam): My message as a Mrs. titleholder supports my platform of women's empowerment, specifically focusing on motivating working mothers in the tug of war over choosing family versus career. As a representative for career moms, I am passionate about spreading the message that we shouldn't have to choose to conform to the societal norm of what the ideal image of a mother should be, but rather use family to flourish career and use career to flourish family. The judges would like this answer the best because it offers a well-worded, meaningful and personal explanation.

What appearance would you most look forward to making if crowned? Amanda (stitchqueen_amandavs): I am a stitcher for Cook Children's Medical Center, which means I don't normally get to interact with patients when I volunteer. However, as a titleholder, I can apply for what the hospital terms "celebrity status" and visit with patients. As someone who suffered from anxiety and depression as a child, I look forward to the opportunity to cheer up patients who may be facing these conditions in addition to treatment for life-threatening illness. After all, research shows that positive mental health contributes to the rate at which we heal, meaning those who think positively recover more quickly. The judges would like this answer the best because her answer is personal and fully explained.

What is one thing about winning a title you would not be looking forward to? Lexy (lexyhorton): As a girl who has competed in numerous pageants with many wins, but also many losses, I know the feeling of traveling 100 miles just to walk away with nothing new except a frown on my face and a feeling of jealousy. Winning a title is an exceptional feeling, but the hardest part is knowing that there are a hundred other girls going home the same night without a win across the country. However, as a competitor in the Miss America Organization, I have learned to appreciate loss so that I may grow from the girl I was yesterday into the Miss America I know I will be one day! The judges would like this answer the best because it is confident and unique. 

Why are you worthy of the title? Hannah (hannahtburris): I do believe that I am worthy of this title as I am a wonderful role model for the younger generation. I feel that I embody determination and perseverance for all that I want in life, that I am someone who can represent this title for all that it stands for and I am determined to be the best titleholder that I can be! The judges would like this answer best because she is confident and gives specific examples of why she is ready to be a titleholder. 

What experience in your life do you feel makes you best equipped to be a titleholder? Courtney (courtylynnk): In my short life, so far, I've run into some interesting experiences while working in radio. From being a Guest Ring Master in a circus to meeting and interviewing several celebrities, I've had to learn how to think on my feet. I would be the perfect titleholder for any pageant because I'm very comfortable speaking in front of a large amount of people, engaging in new conversations, and being able to mesh well with people of all different backgrounds. The judges would like this answer best because she uses specific examples and relates them to traits she believes a titleholder needs. 

How would you use your title to benefit others? Louisa (louisaelisabeth): The message of my pageant is "Beauty in Diversity." I will use the international title as a platform to encourage others to embrace their unique traits by talking to schools and sharing my own experiences on social media (more specifically, on my YouTube channel). The judges would like this answer best because she ties in her pageant's motto and makes her answer specific to her.

What is the main characteristic a titleholder should possess? Haley (@haley.geiger): Dedication. A titleholder is nothing if she isn't dedicated to her system, her title and the community that helped raise her to her potential. I've always tried to fuel everything I do with dedication and passion, and I truly believe that if you want to be an effective and memorable titleholder, you have to show unwavering dedication towards every opportunity relating back to your system. This answer is straight to the point and demonstrates how she herself possesses the characteristic that she mentions: dedication. First, she states the word. Second, she describes why the characteristic is important. And last, she explains how she possesses that characteristic in her daily life and as a titleholder.

Why does the title need you? Amanda (@stitchqueen_amandavs): My mission in life is to leave a mark on the world one good deed at a time, which is the core of my platform Ordinary Can Be Extraordinary. As Ms. Titleholder, I will take the crown with me into hospitals where I will visit sick children as well as to fundraisers, 5ks and other events. Together, we will spread the word that an ordinary act of kindness can achieve extraordinary results if targeted in the right way. This answer shows how the title aligns with her values and goals. She uses words like "we" and "together," talking about what her and the title will accomplish with one another!

Questions About Mental Health and Mental Strength

How can we fight stigma surrounding depression?   Alex (alexuihlein): Mental health is actually my platform! At age 12, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, so I know first-hand that mental illnesses are no laughing matter. 25 percent of adults and 20 percent of adolescents live with a diagnosable mental health disorder yet less than half of them actually receive treatment due to the stigma associated with mental illness and the lack of access to treatment. The first step in eliminating this stigma is the start the conversation. With my platform, I work with multiple mental health organizations to educate others on the facts of mental illness and help encourage others to seek necessary treatment. As President Bill Clinton once said, "Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all." Let's eliminate that shame by educating ourselves about mental health and being compassionate towards those who live with mental illness. The judges would like this answer best because her answer is personal and she shows she knows and cares a lot about the subject.

How do you handle disappointment?   Jewel (jewel_lindemann): I handle disappointment by thinking of the quote, "Everything happens for a reason." Sometimes things just aren't meant to work out and it does not mean you're not good enough. It means that it's not your time yet. Thinking of that quote when I'm disappointed is a pick me up and helps me realize that I am strong and will continue. The judges would like this answer best because it is concise yet powerful and motivational. 

When do you feel most confident? Emily (embritt): I feel most confident with myself when I am completely educated on a subject. For example, in nursing school there are always situations where critical thinking is important. I love being able to confidently figure out the solution to a problem or to know the answer to a question. I am confident when I am presented a scenario or asked a question and I know that I can convey my knowledge clearly to my audience. The judges would like this answer best because she uses a specific example and makes her answer personal.

Everyone has fears. How do you face yours? Dawn (metalsporks): I get up out of bed in the morning. Living with an invisible, chronic illness can be very frightening, especially when you don't know how your body will react day to day. However, for other types of fear, I take a deep breath, square my shoulders, and face my fear head on. Having a child helps me overcome my fear as I know I want to show my daughter how to be a strong woman and having my faith helps me in times of struggle as I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. The judges would like this answer the best because she is honest and shows dedication to being a role model.

If your name is not called as the winner, how will you respond? Merrickaus (merrickrandy): I believe that we all have a purpose. If my name is not called, it does not mean I am unworthy of the title. It does not mean I am not good enough and that I did not work hard enough. It means having that title was the fate of someone else's life. I have been in the position of my name not being called more than one time. In that situation, you must show love and support to the person whose name has been called. Be gracious and kind because they worked hard and it was their dream too. We should never be rude or show anger towards those who have won. Having the chance to compete and grow in who you are as a person is a win in my book as well. We must find the beauty in every moment even if that moment seems like defeat. Gain strength from what is perceived to be a loss, and become better than you were the day before. The judges would like this answer the best because it was reflective, well-worded and shows her strength.

What do you worry about? Kayla (kayla_faith01): Disappointment is something I'm constantly scared of. I worry that I'll disappoint the people I love and those I hold close to my heart. I've always been cautious of everything I do, and normally, when making decisions, I ask myself if I will be disappointing someone if I do it. I've learned to deal with this however, by living life with the glass half full and learning to let others accept me for who I am and not who others want me to be. The judges would like this answer the best because she explains her worry but turns her answer into a positive by explaining how she handles it.

The Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" has received heavy criticism for its depictions of rape and suicide. What is your opinion about such graphic depictions? Kelsey (kbaile): I think the show is incredible and I am so happy that these topics are being shown and discussed. Having struggled with mental illness myself, I feel like it is so important to depict a show in which a similar story is told. These subjects have been taboo in our classrooms and in our conversations. If we had been educated as children then these instances might be rarer and we would at least be better equipped to deal with the situation. The series had scenes that were hard to watch, and they should be. We shouldn't shy away from rape and suicide. We need to stand up against sexual abuse, stand up when we see the signs of struggle and be there for our friends and peers. Two answers were chosen to reflect the way that people with differing opinions can develop equally well-worded answers with meaningful, personal reasoning.

Suicide recently became the second leading cause of death among teenagers. What actions should be taken to help struggling teenagers? Kelli (kkdancer93): The stigma of mental illnesses needs to end. Teenagers, and everyone for that matter, should not be afraid to seek help if they are struggling. They should have a safe place to go and talk to someone that can help them. Depression is an illness and it should be treated without judgment. Also, even if people do want help it is expensive and hard to find within a timely manner. Mental health services should be better covered by insurance. Kids are extremely impressionable and so conversations should happen in families and at school about what to do if they or a friend are showing signs of depression. All these things can save lives. The judges would like this answer the best because she offers specific ways to lower suicide rates and her answer is well-worded and strong.

What is hard about being a teen? Medina (medina_marie86): I am a dance instructor for a local middle/high school dance team so I work with girls ages 12-18. Today's teens face a lot more pressure to look and act a certain way in order to be accepted by their peers. They lack maturity that isn't instilled in them by their parents because the parents want to be friends instead of someone in authority. Not only that, teens now constantly struggle with self-acceptance, focus, and discipline while the need for instant gratification rises and respect for adults, those in authority and the notion of consequences for their actions decreases. I have seen a drastic change in such a short period of time in the way teens are raised and are allowed to behave and it makes me thankful for the strict and structured parenting I fought against for so many years.

How do you handle embarrassment? M'Tajia (mtajia.ka): Of course experiencing embarrassment is terrifying, but I have to remind myself that it isn't as awful as it seems. When they say, "One day you'll look back at this and laugh," they are definitely right because today I laugh or hardly remember my embarrassment. I try to handle embarrassment as though it is just a normal, everyday part of life. The judges would like this answer the best because although a personal example would have strengthened it, it is well-worded, sends a positive message, and shows her willingness to accept embarrassing moments and move past them.

How do you de-stress? Haley (haleygeiger): Anything related to the arts is my favorite way to de-stress! Almost any form of art, be it singing, dancing, writing, or painting, is very easy for me to lose myself in and forget all my troubles, giving me a creative outlet to release all my negative emotions and come out with something creative and positive. With my platform Advocacy of the Arts, I hope to encourage and inspire students to take advantage of art clubs and classes within their schools so they can find a similar passion and creative outlet through it just as I have. The judges would like this answer best because she gives a well thought out answer and relates her answer to her platform.

What intimidates you? Lacy (@lacy.russell): I try not to let anything intimidate me anymore. Working in critical care you see things that are terrifying. Nothing scares you more than when your patient looks like they are going to crash and you're afraid the doctor will yell at you (trust me, it's happened). You have to be able to ask questions and ask for help. Experienced nurses and doctors used to intimidate me. Once I looked past the hard exterior, I convinced myself that they were inexperienced at one point in their life, I came to the realization that I needed their expertise. Knowledge can be intimidating, but the minute you open yourself up and be receptive to what they have to say, that's when you better yourself. Knowledge is powerful. Lacy's answer is great because she shows strength and also goes into depth about her career. Judges love to hear when contestants are inspired by their careers.

When was a time you encountered negative peer pressure and how you overcame it? Anna (Facebook): As a victim of bullying my entire life, it is very hard to choose just one moment. The most memorable one is when I overcame it all. At age 16 I was sitting at home crying when I felt love coming from God and decided that I did not need everyone to like me. I did not need to listen to my peers jeering at me. I decided I would let it fall to the ground and live my life how I saw fit. As long as I am happy with myself I will always be the bigger person. This answer stood out from the rest because it goes deep into her story and how she overcame her moment of peer pressure. Judges want to know that you are resilient, strong-willed and, when faced with negative situations, have the ability to do the right thing.

Questions About Hobbies and Interests

What is your favorite extracurricular activity you've been a part of?   Ally (alexxelainee): My favorite extracurricular that I'm a part of is my college's admissions ambassador program! As an ambassador, I am considered the "face" of my college. When someone comes to my school, I am the first face they see and the first impression they get of the people on campus. This is such a rewarding experience for me because I am part of a student's decision on whether or not to come to my school. We answer questions, take them on tours of the campus and really make them feel at home. I love being an ambassador because my tour guide freshman year was what persuaded me to choose this college and I like that now I can be that person for other students! The judges would like this answer best because she explains her activity in detail and explains why she loves it in a personal way.

What is the craziest thing you've ever done? Rebecca (misscarboncounty_wy): One of the craziest things I liked to do in college was walk around campus after my theatrical makeup class without washing my face. I did it after almost every assignment, but the best was zombie day. I had to go to the financial aid office to ask about a scholarship, and the worker was so calm for a solid minute before finally asking what was wrong with my face. I had skin hanging off, blood dripping from my mouth, the works, but I loved showing off my makeup skills and making a few people on campus smile along the way! The judges would like this answer the best because she tells a story and her answer is unique and personal.

What is your favorite way to get the weekend started? Medina (Facebook): Sleeping in as long as my body will let me followed by a large mug of good coffee. Because first, we have the coffee, then we do the stuff! These all sound like great ways to spend the weekend! Medina gave a little extra personality in her answer, which is why her answer is our favorite. Like stated before, this may be a simple question amongst many other questions that could be asked, but do not let simple questions deceive you – they are equally important as the tough ones! This answer is a great example of how to let the judges get to know you and show a little personality that could make the judges giggle!

Questions About Careers

What is your dream job?     Kelli (kkdancer93): My dream job is to be an NFL cheerleader. I remember the first time I saw the Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders, I was about five years old and I looked to my mom and said, "That is going to be me one day." I have worked hard my entire life to be the best dancer and performer that I can be and am excited to try to make that dream come true this year. It would be an honor to be an ambassador for my team and my community and to inspire young girls like the cheerleaders did for me when I was a child. The judges would like this answer best because she uses a personal story to explain her answer and gives meaningful reasoning for her dream.

Are people overworked in today's society? Lainey (lainerlys): I absolutely believe people are overworked in our society. When I worked a salaried job, it provided me just enough money to cover my necessary expenses. However, I was expected to work 65-70 hours a week for no additional compensation. I am all for working hard (I got my first job when I was 13), but there are some practices and expectations that are unacceptable. The judges would like this answer best because she backs her opinion up with details about her own experiences.

Questions About School

Should schools have increased security measures implemented?   Jenna (jennajudah): Yes! When I was a senior in high school, our school doors were always unlocked and wide open. There is one instance in particular that has always stuck with me. An intruder came into the school screaming and being very forceful. All students were on lockdown for hours. It was terrifying. Students, along with their parents, should feel that school is a safe place to be. As a college recruiter now, my college does not have police on campus and there are many days that I am on campus alone. I believe needing a student or staff ID to open a door is a way to safety, as well as having police or security on campus in case of any intruder or treat. The judges would like this answer best because she uses personal experience to back up her answer and offers a potential solution for improvement.

Is college necessary for success? Jenna (jennajudah): I personally believe college is important for success. When I started college at 18 years old, I had no clue who I was. Going to college, sitting in classes, meeting people I've never seen before, speaking in front of 100's of people in speech class... these things have helped me become the successful person I am today. Without my college experience, I would not be in the great position I am. College taught me dedication, time management, determination, skill, and educated me for the "real world." I am beyond blessed I had the opportunity to gain a higher education and I wish everyone had the same opportunity! The judges would like this answer the best because she makes her answer specific to her and states a clear opinion.

How would you handle a bullying situation in which you were the victim? Jessica (jhope24601): I've actually been the target of bullying and have used my story as the base for my platform, "The No Gossip Zone." I personally dealt with it by telling my parents and talking to my theater director since that was where the bullying was occurring, and because it was gossip, I also dealt with it by not spreading anything myself. In my platform, I encourage kids to 1. Tell an adult, 2. Don't spread it yourself, 3. Ask the person who the gossip is about if it's true or false. Thus my story has been able to bring about good as I have been blessed to talk to over 100 students about this topic! The judges would like this answer the best because she uses it as a teaching moment and relates her answer to her platform.

What is a goal you have for this school year? Grace (gracem_316): My goal for this school year is to work on opening opportunities for my future. I plan on taking classes that will prepare me for potential college and career choices. In addition, I will be more involved with Business Professionals of America and with pageants to help work on my public speaking and presence. The judges would like this answer best because she is concise and specific. 

Which is more important to you: school or community service? Kristen (kwoodley3): I have been lucky enough to have always had the two very integrated. A huge part of being a student athlete is service and in my time participating in NCAA Division 3 athletics, I was able to be a student, an athlete and work hard within my school's community to give back. As someone who can afford a higher education when there are so many who can't, I think I should do everything I can to help make the world a better place. The judges would like this answer best because she uses specifics from her own life to back up her opinion.

Given the evidence that concussions from playing football can cause brain damage, would you support legislation that outlaws full-contact football in schools? Lainey (lainerlys): As a Traumatic Brain Injury advocate of many years, I would not support a ban of any sport. Sometimes those sports are the reason a kid goes to college or attends class every day. Instead, we are better off focusing on funding research for preventative measures and looking at how our schools can protect students after a TBI, specifically in work load reductions and doctor-required clearances. The judges would like this answer best because she provides a clear opinion right away and then backs it up with reasoning and a suggestion. 

What are the positives behind being a student-athlete or an involved student? Allie (@allieee2017): Throughout high school, I was involved in several different clubs and organizations. As I was a student who moved several times throughout my school career, being involved allowed me to adapt quicker to new situations and taught me life skills such as time management, public speaking and team-building. The judges will love this answer because it allows them to get to know the contestant on a deeper level as well as demonstrate the kind of titleholder she will be. In her answer, she explains how she was involved and the strengths that came from those experiences. Ending her answer, she lists characteristics that she has acquired through these experiences, all of which are characteristics that are looked for in a future titleholder.

What is your favorite thing you have learned about in school? Mary (@sndevseetheart08): By far journalism. I was on the newspaper staff for three years in high school. It was my original major in college and I got to work for ESPN and meet Walter Cronkite. Programs I learned in high school got me internships in Phoenix because they were just starting to use them. Even our college paper didn't use them yet. I was PR chair for my sorority as well. I changed majors but after college and in grad school I wrote for my sorority's national newsletter and became the editor for it along with developing two newsletters for clubs I was in and marketing materials for our program. Finally, journalism brought me to Pageant Planet and I've been here two years. I love writing and telling stories and honestly regret changing majors but for 15 years I've been in journalism and don't plan on leaving anytime soon. You can tell they she genuinely enjoyed her time in school, which can be an inspiration to those you meet throughout your reign as a titleholder.

Do you think that a college education is worth the price? Marybeth (@missmarybethmaselbas): A college education is one of the most important and beneficial experiences a person can have. Without college educations, we would not have doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, people who truly make a difference in the world and improve the lives of those around them. However, the cost associated with a college education in the United States is appalling. As the most influential country in the world, we should be doing a better job of guaranteeing a higher education to our citizens at much lower costs, if not for free. The crippling debt most college students face causes them to not have opportunities to contribute to our economy and society for they must spend every last extra cent they have in order to achieve their dreams and repay their loans. College education is worth a lot, but it isn’t worth the emotional and financial distress most graduates fall into upon completing their degrees. The judges will love this answer because it shows both sides of the issue. Not only does the answer have a reasoning as to her "no" and "yes," but it also provides somewhat of a solution to the issue! Judges love an answer that is equally weighed as well as provides a solution; it shows how well-rounded the contestant is.

How should schools handle bullying? Bliss (@ameerahfussell): Bullying needs to be taken more seriously. Today I feel that it is not. Children all over America are being bullied to the point where they feel they don’t deserve to live and commit suicide. This is unacceptable. We should be creating an open environment in schools where if you are being bullied, you can freely say something and get help without repercussions and if you see some being bullied, you can freely do something without repercussions. This answer is great! Short, sweet and to the point. This answer has an answer, facts, an explanation and a solution – full of substance!

Do you think scholastics should be a part of pageant judging criteria? Paige (@thepaigejenson): I believe it’s important to work just as hard in school as it is to work on any other area of competition. After all, aren’t many pageants, first and foremost, scholarship programs? Sure, countless opportunities arise from being a titleholder, however, the reason so many women compete in pageants is the opportunity to pursue further education. Educated women mean powerful women. This answer does a great job of highlighting how most pageants have scholarship-based awards, backing the idea of having scholastics be a significant part of judging criteria. The judges will appreciate this because it shows her knowledge of the industry.

Questions About Beauty and Fashion

What is your favorite color to wear?   Amanda (stitchqueen_amandavs): Throughout the years, I have participated in many personality inventories and one of my favorites was the color wheel, which determines the "color" of your personality. Considering my personality is blue, thoughtful, analytical, and process driven, it is no wonder my favorite color to wear would be any shade of blue or teal. The judges would like this answer best because it is unique and tells the judges more about her personality.

What is your #1 beauty tip? Jenna (jennajudah): My number one beauty tip is to take care of your skin! After having many spots removed, I am very careful with my skin care! I always make sure my moisturizer has SPF and I apply sunscreen any time I am going outside! I also make it a point to get checked every six months with my dermatologist. Taking care of my skin makes me feel confident with or without makeup or a tan! The judges would like this answer the best because she not only gives great advice but makes her advice personal and relevant to her own experiences.

How would define "beauty"? Sarah (sarahb314): In my opinion, beauty means having both confidence and kindness. It's true what people say about having inner beauty: it only shines with care and compassion. Other people will only see that shine if a person has the confidence to show and believe in themselves. It's so important to be true to ourselves and others because everyone has their own special shine that the world is excitedly waiting to discover. The judges would like this answer the best because she presents her thoughts clearly and recognizes that there is beauty within everyone.

At what age should a girl start wearing makeup on a daily basis? Peyton (@peytonsavannah): I started wearing makeup when I was 13. When I tell you how much it boosted my confidence, I’m not exaggerating. I used to hate my appearance and just a small bit of concealer, mascara, and maybe some blush helped so much. Four years later and I’m an aspiring cosmetologist/MUA. I want to help teach young girls and inspire them to be the most confident version of themselves, makeup or no makeup. This answer is great! The judges will love this answer because not only does she give her personal perspective, but she follows with a reasoning as to why she feels makeup can be worn at any age, for any reason and how she will use her title to discuss confidence amongst young women. Personal and empowering!

What is your favorite product in your cosmetic bag? Zeycan (@zeycan_rochelle): I’m in love with my red matte lipstick. When I put it on I feel like a #PowerWoman and that I can conquer the world. Fear leaves, courage comes and everything seems attainable. I feel respected and bold, like a leader who’s being watched. It makes me feel like the titleholder before winning the crown and reminds me to do everything with brevity and integrity. This answer is amazing! Who knew a simple question about cosmetics could lead into such a powerful answer. Her answer not only answers the question, her favorite product, but also explains why it is her favorite product and even connects it to being a stronger leader and titleholder. The judges will appreciate the sincerity and thought behind this answer.

Questions About Relationships

Tell me about someone you've met through pageantry. What do you like about them? Jackie (jhthurlow): That's a tough question because throughout my six years of competing in pageants I have had the opportunity to meet quite the variety of ladies who have been so inspiring with their drive and passions. I truly believe that pageant girls are the hardest working and kindest individuals you could meet. One individual in particular who I met recently is Mrs. St. Paul United States. I now refer to her as my soul sister and the amount of dedication she has invested into her personal platform is inspiring. Plus, her energy on stage and the compassion she shows everyone is infectious. She's a great reminder of how to truly embrace "Minnesota Nice." The judges would like this answer best because it is specific, has a conversational yet professional tone, and explains multiple admirable qualities of her chosen person.

Is it acceptable for a couple to never get married? Lainey (lainerlys): As a former wedding coordinator, I met couples who were madly in love and ones who believed marriage would fix their relationship issues. I also have close family and friends who are unmarried but own property together and have kids with their significant other. I personally hope to get married someday, but it's not my place to tell everyone they must be. As long as the individuals involved are happy, then it's none of my business. The judges would like this answer best because it is personal and gives an honest, clear opinion.

Is your family supportive of your pageant participation? Ashley (ashleyelainemonasmith): Unfortunately, in the beginning, they would not even attend my pageants. I won my first two titles without a single person I knew there to congratulate me. I got involved in pageants for the first time at the age of 21 and my family felt like I was wasting my time and money on something that was only concerned with external beauty. It has taken two years of seeing how much more the Miss America Organization is and how it has made me a better person and helped me pay for college for them to finally start attending pageants and encouraging me in general. It was hard to be the only girl at orientation without her "pageant mom" there, but it has made me truly understand what real commitment is. Not only that, but it has shown me how important it is that as a titleholder I spread the word about how much good pageant organizations can do. The judges would like this answer the best because she is honest and shows dedication to her pageant organization.

Is it appropriate for a titleholder's significant other to attend their appearances? Aubree (mrs.north.haven): As a Mrs. titleholder, not only does my husband attend many events with me, but so do my children! I specifically seek out family-friendly community events so that my daughters can see the importance of being involved in volunteerism and serving others. The judges would like this answer the best because she uses her own personal situation to back up her answer.

What family member do you admire and why? Hannah (hannaahhh._): I admire each and every person in my family but my mom is the one that inspires me the most. My mom is one of my best friends and always has the most amazing advice. She doesn't give me sympathy after a loss of a title I really worked hard for. She tells me to pick myself up and go right back at it for next year. She encourages me to be the best I possibly can. Not only is my mom intelligent, beautiful, kind, funny, positive, and hardworking, she is caring and always puts me before anything else. I hope that I can one day be just like her and inspire others the way she has inspired me. The judges would like this answer the best because it is personal, well-worded and she provides detailed reasoning.

Who knows you best? Lyndsey Hylton: I would say that I know myself best and that I am proud of the fact that I am able to say that. For so long I ignored what my emotions and body would tell me and often times I would end up breaking down. I have learned from my past and I am very proud of how far I have come with that. The judges would like this answer best because she is transparent and demonstrates growth.

Who is the first person who talk to when you are upset? Jenna (jennajudah): My mom. It's a very typical answer but anytime I feel anxious, scared or nervous she is the first person I call. Even if we are both just sitting on the phone not saying a word, just having her there brings me peace. The judges would like this answer best because she is genuine and the answer is short and sweet.

Should titleholders be allowed to be public about their romantic relationships? Haley (haley.geiger): So long as they present their relationship in an appropriate manner, I don't see why not. With the modernization of pageant systems, titleholders are seen less as unrealistically perfect and more like real, everyday women. Girls shouldn't have to keep who they love tightly locked up during their year of reign. Rather, they should embrace the things they are passionate about and show the public who they really are without the crown and the sash. The judges would like this answer best because she provides a clear, confident opinion and reasoning to back it up.

Would you rather go on a date with an athlete, a doctor or a movie star? Sarah (sarahd_gb): A doctor! As an athlete myself, it's nice to get some time away from sports. Plus, a doctor would be pretty handy for fixing all my sports injuries! The judges would like this answer best because it is plenty short enough to fit in an onstage question time limit but is still specific to her and witty.

Do you think we will see the number of marriages decline in America over the next 10 years? Autumn (@autumnnstewart): From a sociological standpoint, marriage is currently on the decline. Child and family sociologist have been doing studies on the family and marriage comparing marriages from today to marriages in the 1950s, the decade of a perfect family, proving that in the 50s the marriage rate was high and the divorce rate was low. The studies today still prove that the divorce rates are low, however, marriage rates are low as well. In our society today most people side with cohabitation, living together, rather than becoming officially married. At the rate our society is going marriage rates itself will continue to decline, however, this does not affect the rates in which families are growing and changing. While typically you want to avoid lengthy answers, when it comes to questions like this, a more in-depth answer is acceptable. First, she puts herself in a professional role to help explain where her perspective is coming from. She then provides facts to back her point of view. Last, she has an optimistic ending to her answer, showing the judges her positive attitude and understanding. 

How would your best friends describe you? Medina (@medina_marie86): Medina is very opinionated and honest to a fault. If you ask her for the honest to goodness truth about what she thinks, don't get mad if it's not what you want to hear. She doesn't sugar coat anything. Medina is real. She isn't going to change herself for anyone or anything...not a man, not a title, nothing. She is loyal, trustworthy and will bend over backward for anyone even when she knows they wouldn't do that for her. She lives with a passion and tenacity unseen by many in her generation and is the queen of resiliency. Basically, Medina is a mess of gorgeous chaos and you can see it in her eyes. This answer is great! It is creative and different to answer questions from a third-person perspective, however, the contestant put herself in her friend's shoes like the question asked and gave a detailed answer. The judges will love this approach.

Questions About Portions of Competition

What is the relevance of having a fitness portion of competition in pageants? Kirby (selfke99): Fitness is all about not taking shortcuts to get the results you want! The relevance of a fitness portion in a pageant is to ensure that the titleholder will always go the extra mile and will be dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle and way of thinking! As a two-time state champion in track and field, I fully understand what it means to be determined and dedicated. This portion of the competition is crucial to not only finding someone who is hardworking but to find someone who embodies the qualities of a leader. The judges would like this answer the best because she shows what qualities are important in a titleholder and makes her answer personal by telling the judges a fact about her own fitness. What is the relevance of the swimsuit area of competition? Craig (@bodybycraig): To be a leader and role model to young women, you’ve got to walk the talk and be a lean, mean protein machine! Outer fitness reflects hard work, personal discipline, commitment to living a healthy, high-energy lifestyle and being the best you can be on and off stage. Your physique is a reflection of the inner you. True queens never settle for second best from themselves! All of these answers are great! Craig's answer is great because he definitely knows what he is talking about considering the swimsuit area of competition is his expertise! Why is evening gown an important part of the competition? Grace (@gracem_316)Evening gown helps show off the poise and elegance of each young lady. It is a chance for them to show their personality and charm, along with testing them on how well they carry themselves in front of an audience. Grace did a wonderful job at answering this question! The judges will love how much the contestant sees in just one particular round of competition. When asked a question like this, the quality of your answer will give the judges a sense of how seriously you take that area of competition and it may make them look for you during that area of competition.

Questions About Holidays

What is your favorite holiday and why? Kelsey (@kelspsu): I would say New Year's Eve because it is a day to reflect on the lessons we learned from the previous year and a chance to set goals for the new one. Short and sweet, however, bold! The judges will love this answer because it shows that the contestant is both a goal-setter and someone who likes to learn from their past. 

What are you doing to give back to the community this holiday season? Alyssa (@alyssa_hassler): Holidays are a busy, exciting time in so many peoples lives. However, holidays can also be filled with stress, heartache and financial issues. This holiday season I am giving back to others as much as I can. I will be volunteering with the Salvation Army, ringing bells and helping collect funds for their charity. I also plan to host a toy drive to collect items to take to my local hospital's pediatric floor for the children who are in the hospital during the holidays. My platform is SIDS awareness because my best friend lost her baby girl to SIDS two months ago and I want to help her make a change and help her speak out! By bringing joy to other kids, I know it will help her and bring some peace to her! The judges will love Alyssa's answer because she provides multiple ways she will be serving her community and wraps up her answer by introducing her platform. This kind of question is a great opportunity to discuss your platform and what have had and continue to do with that specific issue. 

If you could get rid of any holiday, what would it be and why? Cassie Paradise (Facebook): Probably Valentine's Day. You don't need a day just to tell someone you love them and shower them with gifts. You can do that any day or time; we have 365 days to show the ones we love, that we love them. I also feel that on Thanksgiving, there should be less emphasis on the food and more about truly being thankful for your friends, family and health. This answer is great! Not only does Cassie give one answer, but she gives two! Often times, we find that when a question like this is asked, people tend to disregard the "why" part of the question. It is important that you really listen to the full question you are asked.

What are your Halloween traditions? Heather (Pageant Planet, staff): I am personally not a fan of Halloween, but people in the UK are crazy for it so we have created a Halloween pageant to raise money for the National Autistic Society. This answer is great! Questions like this one allow you to give the judges a short and sweet answer that will show them a bit about you and what you choose to do on specific holidays. While it may seem simple, it can show a lot about your character! 

What is your favorite Halloween movie? Aubree (@aubree_leeann): Twitches! I love fantasy storylines and how the two work together to save their families dimension. The judges will love this answer because she is quick and enthusiastic to know her favorite Halloween movie at the top of her head. She also gives a brief but precise explanation as to why the movie is her favorite and still finds a way to show that it is Halloween related.

Some states are considering changing Columbus Day to "Indigenous People Day." What are your thoughts about the possibility? Laura Simmons (Facebook): 1492 is a year that many people remember because Columbus sailed the ocean blue. People have been living in the Americas for far longer. 1492 is the year that people were murdered and tortured for living on their own land, and I think that we need to honor them with Indigenous People Day. The judges will appreciate this answer because Laura demonstrates both her knowledge and passion towards the historical event. Her answer has education information followed by her personal opinion to give her credibility.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Nithy (@nj.richel97): I am thankful for the life that God has gifted me. I am thankful for everything that has happened to me this year, it doesn't matter whether it was good or bad because they are making me grow as a better person. The judges would love this answer because it shows genuine gratitude! We at the Pageant Planet are thankful for all of our followers and for the pageant community.

What is your New Year's resolution? Erin (@road.to.nam.mi): My New Year's resolution is to be the best titleholder for my community. I want to reign with pride and lead by example. I also want to nourish my body. I want to get the right amount of exercise, sleep and healthy food for my body. I want to cut out fast food and junk food and start to feed my body the right fuel. This answer is ambitious and insightful, this is exactly what the judges are looking for in a titleholder. Use this time to show the judges that you are ready for change and growth!

What is your favorite song to listen to around the holidays? Pakkala (@pakkalaashipala_): Joy to the World, because it affirms us that Jesus' birth is synonymous with the word "joy." Hand in hand with joy is peace, happiness, understanding, tolerance and all that is constructive and positive. This answer is beautiful! Use this as an opportunity to be light-hearted and show the judges your personality through music.

What is your dream Valentine's Day date? Amber (Facebook): Rolling around in a ball pit with sparkly balls and pugs jumping around. This answer is wonderful! Questions like this are supposed to be fun and light-hearted. The interview room is typically known for being serious and tense, so when you get a fun or easy-going question, take advantage of the opportunity to show the judges the fun side of you.

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