Pageant scores can be encouraging or detrimental to a contestant depending on a lot of factors. Some contestants are devastated if they don’t achieve perfect scores. Other contestants can be ecstatic with an above average score. The big questions really is, “what do those numbers mean?”
I’ll never forget judging a double header pageant and a distraught mom came up to me afterwards asking why her daughter’s scores were so much lower for one pageant over the other. I have clients send me their scores after pageants and be proud or question their skills. Are there “Russian judges” in pageants? Let’s explore all of these.
A judge is just that, a judge.
Directors are on the lookout for judges. They can pull them from all walks of life. I have seen current and past queens, business men, husbands of queens, fitness experts and modeling agents all be judges. Their experience with pageantry can range from 20+ years in pageantry as a contestant to absolutely zilch. They may know what perfect “pretty feet” look like or not. A judge may be attracted to brunettes over blonds or short verses tall girls. They come with their own likes and tastes. All of these are factored into how they will judge contestants.
You are different at each competition.
If you compete in multiple pageants; you know that everyone has off days. Heck, if you are living, you know everyone has off days. The day you, or your daughter, competes may be a day that they are tired or stressed. On the other hand, it may be a day you woke up and felt like a million dollars. Either one of these attitudes will effect how you connect with those judges. As a matter of fact, I have frequently seen the runner up at one pageant win over that queen at the next pageant.
How the judges scores is different from one judge to the next.
At this point, I have years of judging under my belt as well as years of emceeing pageants and watching judges. I have personally known judges to have a scale of 5-8 while another judge uses a scale of 7-10 all on the same 1-10 scale. Each judge will have a different median. I have been called the “Russian judge” because I don’t give out perfect scores very often, while other judges will give out 1/3 to ½ or more in perfect scores. If you average the scores, you’ll see that they are similar. Sure, there will be a few exceptions where one judge loved a contestant and another didn’t. That’s just part of the pageant experience.
A judge’s score does not determine your self worth!
Let me say that again, a judge’s score does not determine your self worth. The mere fact that you got on that stage, you did something that thousands of girls and women only ever dream of doing. You have learned poise, new skills and improved yourself. If anything, your self worth should have gone up. You should be so very proud of how you did no matter where you placed.
If you are a parent, you also should be so proud of your child.
At a recent pageant, I asked all the parents who had ever competed in a pageant to stand up. In a room of about 50 adults, only one had ever competed in a pageant. If your child is competing, they are doing something that even you wouldn’t do. So remember that the next time you want to criticize them.
Are judge’s scores useful? Maybe.
Remember, they are only the opinions of a small group of people on that specific day. It may tell you areas you need to improve. For example, if you score low in one area, but scored high in others, that could indicate an area for improvement. If your score was about equal in all areas, you need to look at what you could do differently and what you have learned this time. Your scores may indicate a need for you to get more help with a coach. How you choose to use the scores will make all the difference at your next pageant. Use them to improve your skills.
The only difference between you and the winner is a crown
I wish I could put this on a billboard or write it in the sky. Yes, you worked hard. Maybe you didn’t win. That does not make you less of a person. The winner simply was chosen by a specific set of people that very night. We have a saying in pageantry, “different day, different judges, different outcome.” Anything can change the outcome of a pageant. The winner was picked at that exact time due to everything coming together. That does not make them a better person or you a worse person.
So, before you open those judge’s scores, ask yourself why you are even bothering to look at them. Will it help you be a better person or a better competitor? Will your sense of self worth change due to a set of numbers? What will you do with those numbers? Answer these questions first. If they are not going to be helpful, don’t look. I have one friend who has never looked at her scores and has been highly successful and won multiple titles. So, you decide if those scores are worth it.