|What are the eligibility requirements for entering the pageant?
If you are single (never married), never given birth, never have adopted a child, you are not a parent/guardian to any other adult or minor person, you are a United States citizen, a resident of the state of Maryland, and you are at least 18 but still under 27 as of December 31, 2015, you are eligible to apply to become a contestant in the 2016 pageant..
Are there any height or weight requirements?
There are no required height, weight or measurements that qualify you to compete. It is important to remember that it is not about any particular body size, shape, or frame. Rather it is about maintaining good health and overall physical fitness. Remember, there is no perfect body type!
How many contestants will be in the pageant?
The number of contestants changes daily as new contestants apply and choose to participate. We will not know the final number of participants until the registration process is completed on the first day of pageant weekend.
How do you decide who receives a letter in the mail to apply?
We use marketing consultants who assemble mailing lists for our use. They use information they gather from many various sources such as school-related activities, modeling agencies, cheer camps, community activities, surveys, magazine subscriptions, general mailing lists, etc.
What happens after I submit my photo & information?
We review all entries received and submit selected entries to a member of our staff who will contact the applicants for a brief telephone interview. After your interview, a review committee will consider your application. They will determine if they feel you would make a good candidate for the title. If you are accepted to participate in the pageant, you will receive the registration materials via e-mail.
What are the costs associated with the pageant?
Each contestant is responsible for paying a registration and sponsorship fee, which covers your participation in the pageant and all Pageant Weekend activities. If selected as a contestant, we will give you information on obtaining sponsors to help defray your costs.
Where can I get sponsors?
Sponsors can include, but are not limited to your family, friends, local businesses, fraternal organizations and clubs, schools, etc. You may secure sponsors from anywhere in or out of the state. If accepted, you will receive paperwork to help secure your sponsors. Sponsorship can also help defray costs for entry fee, wardrobe, etc.
Will the pageant provide my wardrobe?
No. Each contestant is responsible for bringing her own wardrobe to pageant weekend. This allows you the versatility and freedom to pick a wardrobe that best flatters your body as well as to choose a wardrobe that fits and highlights your individual personality. Read more about the wardrobe requirements and view sample items.
Do I have to spend a lot of money on my wardrobe or purchase it from pageant sponsors?
No, you do not have to spend a million bucks to look like a million bucks! It is more important to select outfits that make you feel confident, that best suit your body type and personality. Each year the personal choice of gowns spans from simple to elaborate. Many young ladies choose to use homecoming/prom gowns, or swimsuit and interview outfits that they already own, while others choose to purchase new outfits; some from pageant sponsors. It is never the clothes the judges are scoring; it's the young woman wearing it. Information from our pageant wardrobe sponsor are provided for your information and benefit only and contestants are not required to utilize them.
What is the judging criteria for the pageant?
Interview- (1/3 of overall preliminary score) You will appear before the panel of judges in a private setting for a brief interview. The judges will use this opportunity to consider your personality and overall presence. This is your chance to impress each judge with your opinions, ability to communicate, and overall sense of self. They will not be looking for rehearsed answers. They will have an Interview Form that you previously completed to use as a reference, but questions may be asked on any topic.
Swimsuit- (1/3 of overall preliminary score) The judges will be basing their decisions on over all physical fitness and the poise with which you carry yourself during this competition. Physical measurements are not considered in the judging. Choose a one (or two-piece for MISS contestants) suit in any solid color in a conservative style of good taste.
Evening Gown- (1/3 of overal preliminary score) Judges focus on stage presence, elegance, poise, overall appearance, and sense of fashion and style. No single detail of the gown, hair or make-up should garner attention. The overall effect should be a reflection of your personal style. You will need one evening gown. Choose your BEST color, a style that looks great on you and will show well on stage.
Each category consists of 1/3 of the overall preliminary score. Those contestants with the highest scores will advance to the semi-final round of judging consisting of swimsuit and evening gown, each of which then represent 50% of the score. The five contesants with the highest final scores will advance to the Top-5 where they will be asked an on-stage question written by a member of the judging panel. The final question and spotlight review will determine their final placement until the winner is announced. For more detailed information, please see our Judging page.
Can anyone assist me during the pageant weekend, with my wardrobe or hair & make-up?
Only contestants and staff are permitted in your hotel room, in the dressing room or backstage during the pageant weekend. Each contestant will share a room with another contestant. In order to keep the weekend organized, on schedule, and enjoyable for all participants, we have elected to limit the persons allowed into the contestant rooms to other contestant's and chaperones only. There will be chaperones in the dressing rooms to assist you with some of your wardrobe changes.
Contestants are prohibited from bringing their own personal hair and make-up stylists - they are not allowed back stage or in your hotel room nor are you allowed to enter anyone else's hotel room during pageant weekend, including your parent's. This is strictly from a security standpoint - we must know where you are at all times. Additionally, if everyone brought their own personal assistants, we would not fit in the hotel! There will be a team of professional make-up artists and hair stylists present at the pageant. You will have an opportunity to meet them and discuss pricing and specific styles before the pageant weekend if you choose to use their services.
Are tattoos or body piercings allowed?
Tattoos and piercing are a statement of your individuality, and it is up to you whether you choose to show them. If either are visible while in your competition wardrobe, you may remove your body jewelry or cover tattoos with body make-up if you desire. Judges are not told to look upon someone negatively because of tattoos or piercing, but judging is a subjective process done by each individual differently.
What does the winner receive?
The biggest prize is the prestigious title of Miss Maryland USA or Miss Maryland Teen USA and the opportunity to represent our state at the national MISS USA or MISS TEEN USA pageant! Our prize packages differs from year to year according to sponsors that are obtained. We are continually striving to improve the prizes offered. For look at last year's prize package go to the Prizes page of this site.
What happens if I should win and how much time is involved?
Time involved should you win depends on the individual person. There are certain responsibilities that accompany the privilege of becoming a titleholder. The biggest committment is your responsibility to represent the state in the national MISS USA or MISS TEEN USA pageant. This can vary from a one to three week trip where your travel expenses, competition wardrobe, and preparations are included in your prize package.
In addition to preparing and competing in the national pageant, we make every effort to obtain appearances for titleholders locally and throughout the state. These include speaking engagements, parades, charity events, galas, trade shows, etc. We realize that your education, career and family are a high priority, so we do our best to accommodate your schedule when arranging appearances.