Difference between Miss America and Miss USA

Key Difference: Miss American and Miss USA are two completely different pageants. Miss USA is a beauty pageant, whereas Miss America is a scholarship pageant. The main difference between them, however, is the fact that the winner of the Miss USA competition gets to go on and compete in the Miss Universe pageant, while Miss America does not.

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difference between miss america and Miss USA

Beauty pageants have their lovers and their haters, but the fact remains that beauty pageants have been around for nearly a hundred years and they are not going anywhere, anytime soon. Miss America and Miss USA are two such pageants. While many people believe that the two are synonymous, the truth is that Miss American and Miss USA are two completely different pageants. First and foremost, Miss USA is a beauty pageant, whereas Miss America is a scholarship pageant. Due to this Miss USA is often criticized for focusing more on beauty whereas, Miss America claims that it is a program that “exists to provide personal and professional opportunities for young women to promote their voices in culture, politics and the community.” See Gorgeous Vs. Beautiful

While Miss America claims to be more focused on intellect, the winners of both competitions get a scholarship. However, Miss USA gets some added benefits as well, such as one year of free rent in Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in New York. This is mainly because the Miss USA pageant is owned by Donald Trump, the business mogul. Whereas, the winner of Miss America gets to “travel about 20,000 miles a month, changing her location every 24 to 48 hours. She tours the nation, speaking about topics significant to her and those affecting the United States and the world.” 

See: Beautiful Girl Vs. Sexy Girl 

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difference between miss america and Miss USAThe main difference between them, however, is the fact that the winner of the Miss USA competition gets to go on and compete in the Miss Universe pageant, while Miss America does not. Furthermore, the Miss America pageant is older than the Miss USA pageant. In fact, the Miss USA pageant was started when Yolande Betbeze, winner of the Miss America pageant in 1951, refused to pose in swimsuits for publicity pictures. This caused Catalina Swimsuits to pull their sponsorship off the pageant and create the rival Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. See: Pretty Vs. Beautiful 

Comparison between Miss America and Miss USA:

 

Miss America

Miss USA

Started in year

1921

1952

Type

Scholarship pageant

Beauty Pageant

Started by

The Businessmen's League of Atlantic City to keep tourists on the boardwalk after Labor Day

Catalina Swimsuits as a promotional tool

Owned by

Non-profit organization

Donald Trump (acquired in 1996)

Run by

Miss America Organization

Miss Universe Organization

Headquartered at

Linwood, New Jersey, USA

New York City, NY, USA

Contestants

Contestants from the 50 United States, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

51 contestants representing each state and Washington, D.C.

Requirements

  • Contestants in the Miss America system are between the ages of 17 and 24.
  • Contestants must be an American citizen.
  • Contestants may not be married or pregnant.
  • Contestants must meet residency requirements for competing in a certain town or state.
  • To become Miss America, a contestant must first win a local competition and then compete to represent her state, a process requiring personal commitment, hard work and talent.
  • A woman may compete at the state level more than once, but may only compete in the national Miss America competition one time.
  • Contestants must meet character criteria as set forth by the Miss America Organization.
  • Contestants must be in reasonably good health to meet the job requirements.
  • Contestants must be able to meet the time commitment and job responsibilities as set forth by the local program in which you compete.
  • Contestants must be at least 18 years of age and under 27 years of age by February 1st in the year they hope to compete in the Miss Universe or Miss USA competition.
  • Contestants must be an American citizen.
  • Contestants may not be married or pregnant. They must not have ever been married, not had a marriage annulled nor given birth to, or parented, a child. The titleholders are also required to remain single throughout their reign.
  • Contestants may compete more than once in the state competition, but only one per year.

Competition

Preliminary competition

  • Lifestyle and fitness in a swimsuit: 15 percent
  • Evening wear: 20 percent
  • Talent: 35 percent
  • Private interview: 25 percent
  • Onstage question: 5 percent

 

Final competition

  • Composite score: 30 percent (top 16)
  • Lifestyle and fitness in a swimsuit: 20 percent (top 16)
  • Evening wear: 20 percent (top 10)
  • Talent: 30 percent (top eight)
  • Onstage question (top eight)
  • Final ballot: The top five are ranked by the judges, with the total score determining the winner.

According to Wikipedia, the modern pageant consists of a preliminary competition held a week before the pageant when all contestants are judged in swimsuit, gown, and interview competitions. From this, semifinalists are chosen, and they are announced during the live broadcast of the final competition. These semifinalists then compete in swimsuit and evening gown, and the finalists are chosen. These finalists then proceed to the final question portion of the competition. The runners-up and winner are announced at the end of the telecast.

Image Courtesy: missamerica1933.com, diversitynewsmagazine.com

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