Should pageants display the scores of contestants Publicly?

“This pageant is rigged like hell. I am no more going to follow this.”

“Miss Venezuela was kept out from the finale intentionally because organisation knew that she would win if she becomes a finalist.”

“Organisation keeps Miss Philippines in Top 5 because they have followers. Politics.”

“How could Miss Angola place over Miss Venezuela? She doesn’t even look half beautiful. Something Fishy”

“Host delegate always places in the finale even if she doesn’t deserve.”

“All the African girls were kept out from the finale. Racist pageant”

“Miss Russia placed in finale because the main sponsor of the pageant is Russian.”

This is what we hear after the conclusion of almost all the pageants, be it national or international. We haven’t seen a pageant where people have settle down with the results without questioning the integrity of the contest or even the winner, people are free to have opinions you see!!! Moreover, there have been instances, where co-contestants and related people have often accused the winner of pleasing organisers in unethical ways. However, things never come to conclusion because these are speculated opinions and none of them are proven facts.

Should pageants display the scores of contestants Publicly?
Miss World 2010 Top 5

Every year people are left in a curiosity about  how does Miss World picks up Top 5/7 from Top 10/15 because there is no onstage competition. And if it is pre-decided during interview round then what’s the point of calling people’s choice to join the Top 10 when anyway she isn’t going to make it further? We don’t doubt the integrity of Miss World selection system but how do people know the selection criteria with better clarity?

This year we had a controversy where people accused Miss Grand International 2016 of having rigged Top 5. The reason was that there were no computers for judges and they were writing scores on papers. The time span to declare elimination was very small to compute the scores manually. While there is no proof of Top 5 being rigged, it does raises eyebrows when we think on this.

Similar controversy was highlighted at Miss Earth 2016 where the winner was accused of pleasing the sponsors and being given the best gown of the night to make sure she wins. This lead to so much of controversy that it ate up all the joy of the organisation to enjoy the conclusion of the pageant. Again, there were no hard and fast statements to prove these facts but it ignited unnecessary debates in pageant circuit.

Sheena Monnin, Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012, later resigned.
Sheena Monnin, Miss Pennsylvania USA 2012, later resigned.

One of the biggest controversies we saw in recent years was at Miss USA 2012 when Sheena Monnin, Miss Pennsylvania, accused Miss USA 2012 results being rigged. She mentioned that she had seen Top 5 list lying backstage during the final rehearsals. Co-incidentally the Top 5 in the list were the same girls who eventually made it to Top 5. The controversy went on for very long and the organisation even planned to sue Sheena for 5 billion Dollar suit. Things weren’t proven yet..!!!

Should pageants display the scores of contestants Publicly?
I Am She 2012 Top 3

Another major controversy that surfaced up was at national pageant at I AM SHE 2012, where Urvashi Rautela was crowned as the winner. Urvashi Rautela fumbled to answer the question during the Top 10 round where she had difficulty understanding the question and Judge Herman Baweja had to repeat the question thrice. The fellow contestants made huge noise stating how can a girl who didn’t even properly answer the question won the contest. Later on Urvashi was dethroned due to falling short of age criteria at but the controversy about mystery of her crowning still didn’t die.

So if we try to analyse this matter in a bit of detail, the root cause that we find is the lack of transparency of organisations with contestants and the general audience regarding how they are selecting winners and finalists. Even if we believe for a moment that all pageants follow ethical practice and crown the winners as per judges’ score, how do we verify that? Who authenticates that the scores weren’t manipulated? The contestants who missed the cut or may be who placed as runner-up will always keep believing that they were robbed, because they don’t know what went wrong? All we need is simple disclosure of scores, is it hard if you wish to stay ethical? No. Let’s see pros and cons of this aspect in pageant.

Why do we need transparency in the system of selecting Pageant Winner?

Should pageants display the scores of contestants Publicly?
Preliminary scores of Sushmita Sen from India, eventual winner of Miss Universe 1994
  • The basic trust on the brand comes when you are transparent in all your communications, the scoring of contestants is no different to that. Miss Universe used to show the scores for preliminary till late 90s and they used to show break up of judges scores for finale till 2001. But later on they went on to showing only average scores from 2002 onward which they discontinued for 2006 and from 2011 onward. Now this makes the result a bit harder to believe at times.
  • If the countries are not told in what section they are failing every time, how do we expect them to grow? For example, Miss Barbados doesn’t place at Miss Universe or Miss World generally, if they know where they lose scores every time, they might just prepare for it a bit more seriously.
  • It raises excitement factor in the game when the scores are displayed live during the contest is on because it gives relative idea of how each girls are being reviewed by judges rather than being clueless till end regarding who is winning and why?

Why organisation may chose to be discrete about scores?

Should pageants display the scores of contestants Publicly?
Miss Earth 2010, Nicole Faria from India says that pageants often shows favouritism towards few girls.
  • Since pageants are going to select an ambassador who will represent the brand for one year, it is important for them to chose a winner who is grounded and humble. A great performer in finale may not always be the good representative of organisational value. Hence, organisation at times may play safe by crowning an average performer with humble nature than great performer with bad attitude.
  • If the scoring is released in details, like how each judge is scoring girls, it might lead to bashing of certain judges for giving extremely low or extremely high to a particular girl. It would be a disadvantage to the image of a judge; hence they might just wish to avoid the controversy.
  • If a girl gets an overall score of 5.5 or 6.1, it could be very much embarrassing for her to see it and also it might demotivate her from participating in further into the pageants.

But in any case, we still believe that Pros outweighs Cons because ultimately it’s about the trust and hard work of the participants that needs to be respected in the end and that can only come when the result of the pageant is portrayed in a fair way.

What is your opinion? Do you believe pageants should be displaying the scores. Vote now.