What does it take to make it at the national level of competition? The judges for the 2013 Miss America Competition will tell you it takes more than just a pretty face.
What does it take to be Miss America?
Katie Stam Irk: As soon as they walk into a room, they need to capture the audience, be well-spoken, and understand the ability to relate on a deep and personal level.
Mary Hart: She does not have to be a perfect person, but a young woman who has relatability and compassion. She needs to be able to sit down and talk with a sick person one day, and the next day, the president. Our next Miss America has to have all that in one package, so that she can represent the youth of today.
Sam Champion: I’m looking for the young woman who can take a positive edge on celebrity.
Cheryl Burke: I’m trying to find someone I can relate to as a young woman myself—someone who can go anywhere in the country and relate to everybody.
Bradley Bayou: I’m in the fashion business, and I think we’ve set a bad image for the world today. I’m trying to find someone who is inspiring to everybody, not just physically.
What is success for Miss America, during her year and after?
Katie Stam Irk: Success can be defined differently for each Miss America. For me, I wanted to accomplish as much as I could as a Children’s Miracle Network advocate and with the Military USO, here and abroad. I knew if I felt that I was able to accomplish as much as I could for those jobs, I was successful. The job of Miss America was about connection. If I felt like I was able to connect with a four-year-old to a forty-year-old, then that was success.
Do you think ten minutes is enough time for the interview?
Katie Stam Irk: The job of Miss America is a job of first impressions, whether you have ten minutes or ten seconds. Each person she comes into contact with needs to walk away and say, “That’s why she’s Miss America.” It is very appropriate that it’s a ten-minute interview.
Daymond John: I would be asking them a business question, and then throw them off by asking them to tell us a joke. One girl said, “What does a fish say when it walks into a wall? Dam.” Then we could switch to a pro-choice, pro-life question.
Get more interview advice from co-national judging consultants Marvin Blum and Alyson Sulpizio in the June 2013 issue of fourpoints!