FAQsFrequently Asked Questions about Miss USA & Miss Teen USA Pageants
Becoming A Contesant
How Do I Become A Contestant?
The Miss South Carolina USA® and Miss South Carolina Teen USA® Pageants are open to all young women who meet the eligibility requirements (found here).
Do I have to win a Preliminary Pageant to compete?
You do not need to win a preliminary title or have previous pageant experience to participate.
Do I need to have pageant experience to compete in a Miss USA or Miss Teen USA state pageant?
On the contrary! Quite often our competitors are the “girls next door” with little or no pageant experience. Almost on an annual basis we have girls winning that have never competed with us before. For instance, Vanessa Minnillo had never competed in a pageant before she competed and won Miss SC Teen USA. She then went on to win Miss Teen USA and has since embarked on a remarkable career in the entertainment industry.
How Do I Sign Up?
Click HERE to Apply or click on the Apply tab at the top of this page.
When is the last day to apply?
The last day we will be accepting contestants is 4 weeks prior to the pageant date.
Will the pageant be televised?
Right now there are no plans to televise the state pageant, however the pageant shows will be streaming live online at PageantVision.com.
Judging & Criteria
How is the Pageant judged?
Each contestant will be judged in three areas of competition: Interview, Swimsuit, & Evening Gown. Judging criteria includes character, poise, confidence, and personality.
For more detailed information please visit our Judging Criteria page.
Is there a talent portion of the competition?
No, there is no performing talent competition. There are three equally scored categories, including Interview, Swimsuit, & Evening Gown.
Are there any height or weight requirements to compete in the pageant?
Absolutely not! Whether you’re 4 feet tall or 7 feet tall, it doesn’t matter. In the swimsuit portion of the competition, the judges will be looking for physical fitness, which includes a healthy and fit body. There’s usually a wide range of body styles and types for the Top 15 Finalists each year. We’re looking for outgoing, intelligent, confident, and attractive young women who are excited to represent the state of South Carolina.
Am I too old or too young to enter the pageant?
Never at any time are the judges directed to consider age when choosing a state winner. Age is only a factor in determining which division you will compete.
How many contestants compete in the state pageant?
The number of contestants vary from year to year. However, typically we have between 40-70 contestants in each division.
How does Sponsorship work?
Collecting sponsorship is very important. It takes a time commitment on your part. You start with a list of potential sponsors such as friends and family members and their employers, etc. Plan your strategy, and make a plan to succeed! Schedule appointments to collect your sponsorships. When approaching potential sponsors, explain your goals, your desire to improve yourself by participating in the Miss South Carolina USA pageant, the charities you believe in and the scholarship opportunities. Let them know what your experience will entail. This will be extremely beneficial in developing your communication skills. This is an essential characteristic to have if you’re going to be the next Miss South Carolina USA or Miss South Carolina Teen USA.
Our goal is for contestants to collect 100% of the sponsorship fee. This is a tax-deductible advertising expense for those businesses that assist you with sponsorship. If you work hard on collecting sponsorship, it is possible that you will not incur any expenses out of pocket. In addition, hard working contestants receive material item sponsorships, such as a dress, tanning, a haircut, etc.
What if I raise more sponsorship money than the required sponsorship fee?
If you raise more money than required for your entry fee, you may use the extra funds to cover any additional expenses associated with the pageant. Your overage may be used to purchase Spotlight ads in the program book, or may go to purchasing your wardrobe, or may just give you a little extra spending money.
What should I do if a sponsor gives me cash for my sponsorship fee?
If you receive cash contributions for your sponsorship fee, you may put that money into a money order or send a personal check. Please DO NOT send cash through the mail at any time.
What if I simply cannot afford to compete?
We explain how to obtain sponsorships and offer many fundraising ideas to cover competition costs—including entry fee and wardrobe. Your family, friends and local business leaders will be supportive, when you share your goals with them.
Do I need a pageant coach to help me prepare?
Even though some contestants wish to seek expert advice, we do not see this reflected in the overall outcome of the pageant. Focus on being your “personal best!”
Do I need to shop the pageant sponsors when preparing for competition?
No. However, we do our best to seek out the best of the best when it comes to our sponsors. We provide our sponsor information to you as only as a resource. We NEVER allow our sponsors to discuss with us who their clients are.
Do I have to spend a fortune on outfits?
Not at all! You do not need to spend a fortune on swimwear, an interview outfit, or an evening gown. It is most important to find outfits that you will feel confident in and that best suit you and your personality. The personal choice of gowns have spanned from simple, to elegant, to hand beaded. However, it is never the gown that the judges are scoring; it’s the young women wearing it. Again, several contestants have been able to secure a gown sponsor to assist them.
Do I need a different gown for finals than the one I wear for Preliminaries?
What is the Opening Number outfit for?
At the beginning of the show for the pageant, each contestant will be introduced to the audience during an upbeat, choreographed introduction number (contestant will not sing, and the choreographed moves are very easy – you do not need to be a dancer). The Opening Number outfit will coincide with our theme each year.
What type of photo should I use for my official state pageant photo in the program book?
Most contestants will submit a professional “head and shoulders” style photo. However, a professional photo is not necessary. Just make sure there are no distractions in the background in your photo and that you are the sole subject.
A 5×7 or larger color photo should be emailed (firstname.lastname@example.org) or mailed to the pageant office no later than 6 weeks prior to the pageant weekend.
What happens if I can’t get my registration materials in before the deadlines?
Deadlines are very important to us in order to make timely program preparations. However, we realize that unexpected circumstances can arise and that the collection of sponsorship may take longer than expected. Therefore, extension on due dates are available when needed. If you need an extension, please call or email the pageant office.
When will this years contestants’ photos be posted on the website?
The photos will be posted on the state pageant website approximately one week prior to the state pageant. The photos will be judged for Miss Photogenic by various national media outlets, modeling and casting agencies.
When will the semi-finalists be named?
If I am not named as a semi-finalist, will I still be in the pageant finals?
Yes. The non-finalists will still participate on stage throughout the evening.
Do I need to pay for my meals during pageant weekend?
Do I need to pay for my hotel room during pageant weekend?
No. Your hotel room during the pageant is provided for you by the state pageant. If you choose to arrive the night before or stay the night after the pageant, your room for those nights would be at your own expense.
How many other contestants will I room with at the hotel?
Will I have time to visit with my family, friends, and out of town guests during pageant weekend?
Once you check in, contestants will have a packed schedule of activities, interviews, rehearsals, and shows. We recommend you plan on arriving early or staying an extra day in the host city to enjoy the experience with your guests. Time permitting, we will make every effort to include designated family meet and greet opportunities.
If my family or friends want to attend the pageant, where do they stay?
What should my family and friends wear to the pageant?
How do my family and friends get tickets to attend the pageant?
Ticket information will be listed on the Theater & Tickets page closer to the date of the pageant.
When will the Miss USA & Miss Teen USA pageants be televised?
The Miss USA national pageant is typically televised in the Spring or Summer of each year. The Miss Teen USA national pageant, is typically produced in July/August of each year, but is not always televised. In 2008, the Miss Teen USA pageant began web-casting live from the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.
Do only the winners get selected for various modeling/talent opportunities and career benefits?
Not true! On a regular basis we receive requests from modeling agencies and casting companies looking for young ladies for particular opportunities. We often recommend previous contestants to fill the requests.
If I win, will it interfere with school?
We make school the number one priority! Our program only encourages your success! Almost all of your appearances, celebrity events, and charity work will take place during the weekend and will be scheduled in advance.