Glitz and Glam: An Insider’s Look at the Pageant System

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People assume things about the pageant industry; whether good or bad, they are not always true.

The pageant industry is a $5 billion industry in the United States. Many people don’t understand the concept of festival pageants. Festival pageants are a little different than the normal everyday beauty pageant. Festival pageants include the hair, makeup, and evening gown, but does not have a swimsuit or talent event.

On the judging scale, the judges base their scores on overall appearance, onstage introduction, personal interview, beauty, and choice of evening gown. Like other industries, we do have different systems. In the pageant world you can choose from the USA system, the America system, and the festival system.

What’s the difference? Well, the difference may not be expected to seem big to the outside observer, but they truly are when you are the contestant. The USA pageant system consists of swimsuit, interview, onstage question, and evening gown. Whenever you win a state title, you will then go on and compete for Miss USA. If you were to win Miss USA, you would then compete for Miss Universe.

The America pageant system is a rather unpopular system at present. The America system consists of talent, swimsuit, and evening gown. Teen Contestants will not have a “formal” title such as Miss America. Teen’s will win, for example, “Miss Louisiana’s Outstanding Teen”.

Lastly, and my favorite, is the festival system. Festival system pageants are not extremely different, but the style of a year’s reign is very different. As a festival queen, you will represent either a state wide festival or just citywide festival.

I am the 2011 Teen Miss Louisiana Mardi Gras Festival Queen. I represent all of the Mardi Gras celebrations throughout the entire state of Louisiana. If you were to ask someone if they’ve ever watched a pageant, you may be surprised at their answer.

When asked if she had ever watched a pageant, Anna Remondet replied, “I have only been to one but have watched many on TV.” Surprisingly, festival pageants do not cost that much money compared to a USA or America system pageant.

If you were to make a list of prices and preparation for a festival pageant, it would look something like this: Dress: $200; Hair and Makeup: $100; Entry Fee: $100; Interview Suit: $150; Stockings: $5; Interview and Evening Gown shoes: $100. Total: $655. Remember, once you buy your stockings, shoes, dress, and interview suit, you will not have to purchase these again unless you feel the need to or the judges do not like your picks.

Miss USA or Miss America System pricing: Dress: $1000; Swimsuit: $500; Interview Wear: $100; Sports Wear: $100; Opening Number: $300; Shoes: $500; Stockings: $5; Hair and Makeup: $350; Entry Fee: $1000. Total: $3,855.

Coming from your 2011 Teen Miss Louisiana Mardi Gras Festival Queen, Adrienne Elizabeth Childress, always remember, friends don’t let friends celebrate Fat Tuesday anywhere else than our back door.