Contestant Information

Would you like to compete in the Miss Tennessee pageant?  Everything you need to know is listed below.

If you don’t find the answers to your questions below and you would like someone to contact you with more information or to answer additional questions, please email Miss Tennessee

Can I be a contestant for the Miss Tennessee pageant?  (For Tennessee TEEN Pageant information, click here!)Consistent with the job responsibilities and the Miss America philosophy, women are being sought with the best composite of the following qualities and attributes of Miss America:

  • Role model who cares about her role and other women’s roles in society;
  • Physically conscientious women with a confident and commanding presence;
  • An ambassador and public relations representative of the Miss America Organization;
  • Considered both talented and intelligent;
  • An activist on issues she deems important;
  • Independent and eloquent communicator with the courage of her convictions;
  • Accomplished individual whose diversity represents a composite of the “Best of Modern Women.”
  • A leader by virtue of her experiences;
  • One who takes personal pride in physical fitness and health.
  • Raise $100 donation for Miss America and the CMN (Children’s Miracle Network)

What are the requirements of a contestant?

A young woman may compete at the local and state level more than once, but may only compete in
the national Miss America competition one time. Eligibility is as follows:

  •  High school graduate or equivalent by June 30th
  •  Resident of Tennessee for the last six months
  •  No younger than 17 at the time of the local competition
  •  No older than 24 by December 31 of the year before she would be crowned Miss America
  •  U.S. Citizen
  •  Female, never been married or pregnant
  •  Registered as a full-time student within the franchise area of the pageant she wishes to enter for at least six months OR employed full time (minimum 32 hours per week) within the franchise area of the pageant she wishes to enter OR employed part-time (minimum 16 hours per week) and attend school part-time (minimum 6 hours per week) for at least six months prior to the local competition date.

Entry Information: In order to compete in a local preliminary for Miss Tennessee for the first time, you must complete a series of forms.  Once completed, many of the completed forms may be reused when competing in other official local preliminaries. A description of the forms are listed below (forms can be found on the Downloads & Forms page)

Contestant Contract – You must complete an official contestant contract. This contract indicates your understanding of the Miss America Scholarship Program, the rules and guidelines along with the responsibilities of title holders.

Contestant Resume – Part of the application process is to complete a “Contestant Resume.” This fact sheet will provide the judges with some information for use in the interview process.

Contestant Platform – In addition to the fact sheet, you will need to submit a one page description of your platform issue. This will help the judges gain valuable insight to your platform and your involvement.

Other Requirements – Local preliminaries may also have specific requirements of their participants. Review the specific local preliminary details on the Find A Local Pageant page.

What are the areas judged?

Contestants in all Miss America preliminaries at the local and state level compete in the following areas:

State/Local Judging Overview

Preliminary Night of a Multi-Night Competition:

25% Private Interview

5% On-Stage Question

35% Talent

20% Evening Wear

15% Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit

100% Total

All competitions are scored on a scale of 1–10 using whole numbers with each contestant’s high and low score in each category dropped by the auditors.

For Final Night of a Multi-Night State Competition

Composite scoring is required in all multi-night competitions.  Composite scoring is done on a scale of 1–10 using whole numbers only with each of the semi-finalists’ high and low scores dropped by the auditors.

Final Night Scoring of a Multi-Night State Pageant

30% Composite

30% Talent

20% Evening Wear

20% Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit

100% Total

Final Night Top Five Finalists

On the final night of a multi-night competition, Talent, Evening Wear, Casual Wear, and Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit will all be scored on a scale of 6–10 using whole numbers with each contestant’s  high and low scores dropped in each phase of competition. From this 100%, the top five finalists will be named.  The top five finalists enter the final round of competition with zero points.  The judges will then rank the contestants in the order they individually believe the contestants should finish on a final ballot.

Each judge will rank the top five contestants on a final ballot.  A first place vote is worth 10 points, a second place vote is worth five points, a third place vote is worth three points, a fourth place vote is worth two points and a fifth place vote is worth one point.  The total of the final ballots alone will  determine the outcome of the pageant.  The high and low scores on the final ballot will NOT be dropped.  All judges’ votes count on the final ballot.

Review in General Categories

Prelim Night of a Multi-Night Single Night Pageant
Speaking 30% 30%
Talent 35% 35%
Beauty 35% 35%

The final ballot allows each judge to assess the contestant’s overall abilities to meet the public’s expectations and the program’s necessary requirements of a titleholder.  This will help us reach our goal  of selecting our program’s beautiful, talented, well-spoken, and intelligent role models.

What scholarships are available?

The scholarship fund is based on a rich scholastic tradition which has been the cornerstone of the Miss America program since 1945. Today, educational achievements and public service continue to be the primary objectives for the Miss America and the Miss Tennessee organizations. The Miss Tennessee Scholarship Foundation, Inc and local pageants award over $100,000.00 in cash scholarships to our participants each year. There are many levels of participation available to businesses and individuals who wish to support the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Foundation.

Are there different types of pageants?

CLOSED pageants have specific geographic eligibility requirements, based on where you live, attend school or work.  Any young woman may run in an OPEN pageant regardless of where she lives within the state of Tennessee, so long as all other eligibility requirements are met.


What do I have to do with CMN (Children’s Miracle Network)?

Each contestant must register on the CMN website at and get $100 in donations for each local.  Once a contestant has raised $400, they do not have to continue the fundraising if they want.  Should a contestant win a local pageant, she then should raise $250 to compete at the state pageant.

What pageants are available? 

Several pageants are available across the state. Just visit he “Find A Local Pageant” page to see all the locals.