In today’s episode, I’ll talk all about the best way to choose your contestant number.
It doesn’t take long after your first pageant until you start to question the validity that all contestant numbers are equal. In pageant land, it’s long been thought that being contestant number 1 is sure death. There is some true to that argument, but there are 3 additional sides to the argument of which contestant number should I choose? if given the option. Some pageants assign contestant numbers, others draw from a hat, others draw from a hat for the women to choose their own number. If that’s you, listen up. Here are the 3 sides to the Contestant Number decision and how you can apply each to help you choose your contestant number.
Set the Bar
Leading the pageant as contestant number one is no easy task. You are the first to break the ice and set the bar for the rest of the contestants. If you are in the beginning half of the competition, you absolutely must set a precedence beyond the others. This works well for the girl that is super strong in the first area of competition I’ m talking, head and shoulders above the competition. If you made it to the finals in season 6 of So You Think You Can Dance, and your competition opens with talent, you need to choose contestant number 1. You will set the bar so high that everything else will be a disappointment. If, however, you are doing a flute diddle-dum-dee and you haven’ t been playing since the 3rd grade, then you should avoid being placed in the first half of the line up.
The next side of the story, which is why most people avoid the first half of the line up is the idea that judges tend to give low numbers at the beginning with hopes of leaving space to be wow’ed by a surprise 10. If you are a mediocre contender (which you never should be, you should always be the stand-out winner) then being in the first half of the line up is absolute death by low scoring. You will get unfairly low scores and be remembered as not being the “wowzer” in the middle, so you’ll continue to get lower scores. If, however you are average at most areas of competition, but the first area of competition is your strongest, then being contestant number one isn’t so bad after all. If you nail your interview and there are few that can impress beyond you, you’ll be the favored one going into the on stage competition, which will eliminate the need for low scoring.
Leave an Impression
The other side of those sides is the idea that you want to be last in the line up in order to leave a lasting impression. For someone who competes similarly to others or doesn’t have a stand-out’ phase of competition, this is a fine place to be – but to be the final contestant is not ideal. You’ll fade into the sunset of tallying scores and rushing to catch up from the judge’s bench. However, this is excellent placement for someone who is very different from the other contestants. If everyone has a Sherri Hill high-low spangly fun fashion dress and you strut out in a salsa costume, you will be the most exciting part of the show and highly anticipated. Of course, if you walk out in a pigeon costume, you will be anticipated, but not in a positive way that scores well. That’s a risk you have to be willing to take.
These little things that happen at the judge’s table are not things you can control. Some pageants tell the judges to not compare and just focus on the individual, but that’s tough to do in reality. Plus, some judges are rooting for the underdog and just looking for reasons to give more points to the girl that falls and recovers or the one that grew up on a pig farm. Others have it set in their mind what they believe a queen is and anyone that challenges that or doesn’t fit into their box and ends up with lower points. You never know what will happen on the day of your pageant and how your placement will affect your scores and personal presentation.
It has to be said that if you are the strongest most stand-out, hands down winner in every phase of competition, then it doesn’t matter where you are in the line up. If you open the show, you’ll get some low scores the first round and the next round they’ll score you fairly. If you are in the middle you’ll be anticipated and not easily forgotten. If you’re in the end, you’ll be a “wowzer” show-stopper and before the ink dries on the last girl’s 7, you’ll have a 10.
And that, my dear is how you win a pageant.
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