|Subject: My Format Ideas for Miss America Broadcast|
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Date Posted: 23:04:28 10/12/14 Sun
Overall, the biggest problem I have with the telecast is that what the general "non pageant" public sees does not represent what the program is all about, it is often demeaning to the contestants (this year in particular), and a viewer who didn't understand the ins and outs of MAO judging will generally not understand how or why the winner wins. So to address these concerns, and to get some self-respect back in the program, here's what I would suggest. Note: It's highly likely this format would require more than 2 hours, but hey, it's one night a year. And all the live awards shows usually take 3-4 hours, so I don't think the length is a big deal.
Contestant intros: Girls introduce themselves, mention their educational background/status, and identify one benefit of the program (other than scholarships) that they have received from competing in the program. (Note: In rehearsal, the contestants, would each have to identify 3 main benefits, then one would be chosen by the producer for each girl, so everyone doesn't say the same thing. Also, the order of intros would be non-alphabetical to separate those contestants who did mention similar/same benefits.) Finally, for each girl, there would be a super on-screen showing how much scholarship money she had earned to date from MAO, including any awards presented during pageant week.
Top 15: Personally, I prefer seeing 15 compete on final night over 10. The more the merrier. And I may be in the minority on this, but I think the eliminations after each competition make for a more exciting show. The top 15 would be based strictly on competition scores from the 5 areas of prelim competition. There would be composite attribute scores, but those wouldn't come into play until the top 5. So the 15 semi-finalists would actually start the night even - all prior scores eliminated.
Also, there would be no switching to a 6-10 scale on final night, and competitions would be judges at face value, NOT taking into account their ability to do the job. As far as I'm concerned, their ability to do the job is captured in their interview score, and to a lesser extent in the other 4 competitions combined. If they have made the top 15, chances are they can do the job of Miss America, some better than others of course, but no one at that point would be an embarrassment to the organization.
The only scoring change I might suggest is to increase on-stage question to 10% and cut swimsuit to 10%. Also, on-stage questions would NOT be about their platform (mostly what you get are girls repeating the 30-45 second "sound bite" about their platform they have all perfected by the time they get to MA. As a result, in about 80-90% of the cases I've seen personally, their answers don't directly answer the questions they're asked. So instead of platform questions, I would focus on questions they might actually get asked as Miss America - interesting items from their resume, current events - but only if they are directly relevant to young women (i.e., nothing about ISIS, but education funding, sexual assaults on campuses, frat & sorority hazing, how millenials plan for their careers in an uncertain economy, rising costs of higher education, should everyone go to college, etc.)
So the top 15 are announced in random order, and still photos of each girl in ss and gown are shown, as well as a very brief sound bite from their interview.
Top 15 would first compete in evening wear (20% of their final night score). Based strictly on that competition, 12 would be announced as moving forward to the 2nd phase of competition, and 3 would be eliminated. And the 3 eliminated would be announced in placement order, 15th thru 13th. Each eliminated girl of the night would be given 20 seconds to express her feelings at that point. (I believe 99% of all contestants would say something positive, but if the occasional rogue contestant is bitter and shows it, so be it. I think it reflects poorly on her as an individual, and not on the program.) Now, since most people don't see Miss America live and in person, evening wear would also serve as a "videogenic" competition and judged not only on how the girl looks live, but on how her looks translate to video. The judges would view videos of each contestant's evening wear presentation, which might take the format of a "red carpet" appearance with a "reporter" asking about her dress. (Please, no more Tony Bowls or anyone dressing ALL the contestants.) The reason I put evening wear first, is that it would most likely eliminate the semi-finalists who are the least attractive. The 3 eliminated contestants would receive "Emerald" scholarships of a certain value (higher than any non-finalist scholarship).
Top 12 would compete in talent. Now this might be confusing, but I'll suggest it anyway. The 12 talents shown on the broadcast live would be the 12 highest scoring talents of the pageant. Some of the final night 12 would certainly be in that group, but some wouldn't. This way, the most talented non-finalists would be showcased instead of contestants who are strong in everything but talent. For the contestants in the top 12, who don't have "top 12" talents, 30-second clips of their prelim talent performance would be shown, and their prelim talent score would carry over onto the final night tabulation. It's the best way I can think of to stop making the talent competition a joke to the rest of "non-pageant" America. Talent would account for 30% of the final night score. Again, the eliminated contestants would be announced as finishing in either 12th place or 11th place overall. They eliminated duo would receive "Ruby" scholarships - higher value than "Emerald" but not as much as the 10 survivors will get. During talent, there would be pop-ups on the screen but they would be more like "graduated Magna Cum Laude in 3 years" and not "is afraid of the dark." Every pop-up fact would be something that makes the contestant look good, not silly.
The top 10 would be determined based their combined scores from talent and evening wear. So the actual split in scores at that point is 60% talent./40% evening wear, so you most likely eliminate the least talented contestants among those remaining. The top 10 would compete in swimsuit, accounting for 20% of the final night score, primarily because no one wants a chubby Miss America. In this case, contestants would be judged not only on their live presentation, but on photos taken while they model. The judges would view the digital photos as well as the live presentation, so this becomes a "photogenic" competition as well. The audience would see the digital photos when the judges do, so they can make their own evaluations. After swimsuit, 3 finalists would be eliminated, and identified as 10th, 9th and 8th place. This elimination would be calculated as approximately 42% talent, 29% evening wear and 29% swimsuit. The 3 eliminated contestants would receive "Sapphire" scholarships - again, more than the Ruby and Emerald awarded to already eliminated semi-finalists.
There would be 7 finalists remaining after swimsuit. Each of these 7 would participate in the 4th and final round of competition, on-stage interview. Notice it says "interview" not "question." A journalist or former Miss A would be given the job of conducting a 2-1/2 minute interview with each of the top 7. About 3/4 of the interview would be devoted to getting to know the contestant, based on info from her resumé. The remaining 45 seconds or so would be a current event question, preferably of the same type as the prelim on-stage questions - items of concern to young college women, not world crises that are more suited for the President or Secretary of State. (Personally, I think it's great, in a way, that the pageant forces contestants to learn about current events, but really, when was the last time any of you saw a Miss America being questioned about the Middle East - there's always a crisis there - or solving the problems in our messed-up political system or the economy. If they really knew the answers to those kinds of issues, then the prize shouldn't be a scholarship, it should be a position in the President's Cabinet! Seriously!)
Now the person conducting the interviews would have been given all the contestant resumés and platform statements ahead of time, to prepare the more personal questions they wanted to ask. The current events questions would be on a "Wheel of Fortune" spinning wheel or a dartboard, and the contestants would spin the wheel or throw the dart, and whatever question was closest would be the one they get - so it doesn't look fixed for anyone. Plus it might lend itself to funny moments (say a girl can't hit the dartboard to save her life.) Also, each of the final 7 would be assigned a number based on the random order in which they were called, and the questioner would draw numbers out of a fishbowl to determine the order in which the final 7 were interviewed. The on-stage interview would count for 30% of the final night score. I would borrow the old USA sound-proof booth and have the girls called out of there one at a time. They leave the stage after their interview. The on-stage interview is a chance for the audience to get to know more about each finalist, and an opportunity for the contestants to express their individuality.
So at this point (are you still awake?), there is one final elimination based on all 4 competitions - 30% interview, 30% talent, 20% swimsuit, 20% evening wear.) 5 finalists are announced as the 20XX Court Of Honor, and 2 are awarded "Diamond" scholarships, more than the other semifinalists but less than the top 5. They would be identified as 7th and 6th place.
With the final 5, the competition scores are now eliminated and the "composite attribute" scores assigned after prelims come into play. They account for 50% of the final results. The other 50% is based on the final ballot the judges now fill out. The big difference with the current final ballot is that it isn's so heavily waited to the winner ( e.g., 10 pts for 1st, 5 for 2nd, then 3, 2, 1. Rather it would go back to the traditional ballot weighting - 10 pts for 1st, 8 pts for 2nd, 6 pts for 3rd, 4 pts for 4th and 2pts for 5th. I think this weighting makes it less likely that a judge can bury "their choice's" closest rival.)
So while the judges are balloting additional non-finalist talent winners are announced (the ones who actually performed during the talent competition would have been announced at that point) with brief clips of their talent, along with non-finalist interview winners, and overall winners in every competition.
Finally the four runners-up and the winner are announced.
[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
- several nos! (NT) -- Reg, 04:26:00 10/13/14 Mon
- The only thing I agree with is showing the top rated talents, the rest sounds like a convuluted mess that would confuse everyone, even the judges. (NT) -- No name, 06:13:27 10/13/14 Mon
- Many NOs! Talents are NOs. Intros are good idea but won't work. And the scoring system won't work either. The on stage question however is a good idea and the foe being the contestants choosing I'm all for. (NT) -- No name, 06:59:46 10/13/14 Mon
- Some very good ideas! I think it would be way too long of a show for our short attention span public, though. This would showcase the girls and the organization so much better! (NT) -- No name, 07:15:49 10/13/14 Mon
- Some good ideas, but so complicated! I think there should be 1:30 video clip of each of the 10 semifinalists that includes them talking about their platform, talking about their career ambitions, and clips from their interview with the judges. Also after they announce the 10 semifinalist they should have an "off the cuff" fun conversation with the host/emcee. USA/Universe did this years ago with Bob Barker (who was probably the best pageant emcee ever). The rest of the show should be more glamour & talent concentrating on the top 10. As for demographics, tv always wants the 18-34 crowd, but pageants do not appeal to this crowd at all any more. (NT) -- No name, 08:19:30 10/13/14 Mon
- I've always thought that if they insist on doing any kind of America's Choice or reality show element it should be a vote for which talents you want the see on the live show. Which would showcase more girls but not affect the outcome. (NT) -- No name, 08:38:22 10/13/14 Mon
- The simpler the better....since MAO is determined to go on interview...I say take the Top 12 interviews into the Top 15, then take the two highest remaining talent scorers and the highest remaining swimsuit scorer. Then start them all even...and count 25 percent final night talent, 25 percent final night evening gown, 40 percent final night talent and 10 percent final five question. That way there are a lot of high interviews in the mix plus since they are starting even after prelims, the television audience won't be completely lost. (NT) -- No name, 09:24:28 10/13/14 Mon
- Ernie - I want to get to know you. How can we correspond outside of this voyboard? (NT) -- No name, 12:58:03 10/13/14 Mon
- Damn, I'm worn out reading all this. This is more confusing than the pageant itself. Ha (NT) -- No name, 15:00:16 10/13/14 Mon
- Were you drunk Ernie? lol But seriously, toooooo complicated. Hate the dart board thing and the gem stone levels. (NT) -- But I do agree that some major revamping needs to be done, 15:08:58 10/13/14 Mon
- Some people might like to see live, onstage Q&A but I would show a Q&A from their actual interview with the preliminary judging panel. (NT) -- No name, 15:15:08 10/13/14 Mon
- Interesting system Ernie....but the only way the Top 15 would start out TRULY even is if there is a separate panel of judges on the final night...otherwise, the same judges will just throw points at contestants who they liked in interview...somewhere in there, you may have suggested a separate panel. (NT) -- No name, 17:31:08 10/13/14 Mon
- I would prefer a 2nd panel for final night, but not the so-called "celebrities". Instead, both panels should be made up of people who are experts in one or more areas of competition - performing arts, educators, journalists, fitness, public speakers. With 2 panels, I would allow both to have a say in the final choice - 50% based on prelim panel composite attribute scores, final panel based on their ballot rankings. (NT) -- Ernie, 18:37:36 10/13/14 Mon
- I thought exact same thing. Only works with two judge panel. (NT) -- No name, 08:45:28 10/14/14 Tue
- America is already confused on scoring. I am so confused by this. I think a better rout would be to have preliminary competition first, interviews last, then drop the people's choice, judges save crap. The ones with good TRUE talent and a good interview will pull forward. No bias of what will make them a good title holder in the scores. (NT) -- No name, 17:40:56 10/13/14 Mon
- very good . i hope you will try for a job at mao (NT) -- No name, 20:18:59 10/13/14 Mon
- Every one of these ideas is terrible. (NT) -- Throw out all prelim scores. Announce top 10, have them all compete in ss, eg, and talent. Name top 5, have short interview with each one. Announce ru's and winner., 21:09:14 10/13/14 Mon
- i love this (NT) -- No name, 23:20:49 10/13/14 Mon
- 10 SEMI FINALIST, all 10 compete in all fields of competition including the final question, carry over the preliminary scores, name the runner ups and finally Miss America (NT) -- No name, 06:54:57 10/14/14 Tue
- One thing I strongly disagree with is sticking the microphone in the face of a contestant just eliminate. In this day of reality TV, the networks just hope and pray that someone drops an f-bomb or rips apart other contestants. Those who take the high road will reel off some sort of canned answer about "being humbled and grateful" or "we all love each other" which will only serve to promote the stereotypes of the pageant. (NT) -- No name, 11:15:47 10/14/14 Tue
- Thanks to Ernie for taking the valuable time to post a detailed proposal on here. Though we may not agree with each specific, it offer a constructive alternative for us to look at. (NT) -- No name, 12:21:40 10/14/14 Tue
- Great ideas! (NT) -- No name, 15:38:17 10/14/14 Tue
- I would like to see the Top 10 Swimsuits, the Top 10 Talents, the Top 10 Evening Gowns compete on the last night, NO SCORING. Use Prelim Scores in Interview, Talent, SS, EG and OSQ to determine the Top 10. Announce the Overall Top 10, Any of these should be qualified to win Miss America, ask a FINAL QUESTION to be judged, Judges rank the contestants, announce the RUs and Winner and Go Home. Announcing the Top Swimsuits, Talents and EGs would be three exciting announcements. (NT) -- Just an idea, 23:35:13 10/14/14 Tue
- MAO needs to return to why it was successful in the first place: an entertaining and simple pageant where the majority of Americans only want to see pretty girls perform in talent, SS and beautiful gowns. When you try to be something you are not, i.e., scholarship program as opposed to beauty pageant, you not only lose the public’s interest but also open yourself up to endless snark and ridicule on social media. (NT) -- ureka smoke, 08:31:48 10/15/14 Wed
- Too confusing! (NT) -- No name, 09:54:27 10/15/14 Wed
- "As far as I'm concerned, their ability to do the job is captured in their interview score, and to a lesser extent in the other 4 competitions combined. If they have made the top 15, chances are they can do the job of Miss America, some better than others of course, but no one at that point would be an embarrassment to the organization." (NT) -- YES!!!! Love many of your ideas, especially this comment!, 10:23:18 10/15/14 Wed
- Love it! (NT) -- No name, 10:44:31 10/15/14 Wed
- Although I agree with a lot of your ideas, overall this is way too confusing. As it is now, I see no reason why they have to eliminate contestants after swimsuit. As others have mentioned, I think the top 15 should compete in swimsuit and gown and then they should choose a top 10 to compete in talent. The top 10 should perform in the order that they are called out after the first elimination round. I don't know why it's necessary to have this surprise element regarding who's going to perform next in talent. This would also give the contestants a little more time to warm up back stage. I also like the idea of a top 5 discussion, similar to what they did the years that Kate, Nicole, Heather, and Angie were crowned. (NT) -- WI fan, 04:27:51 10/16/14 Thu