This weekend I had the honor of judging the Mrs. Oklahoma America pageant with three other fabulous judges, one including my husband. After the event my husband made one of those jokes “well babe, that’s the last of my pageant judging days.” I laughed and jokingly agreed “You don’t have to worry, because me too!”
I haven’t judged in some time, and now I remember why.
I absolutely love the pageants, the systems, the directors, the staffs, meeting new pageant circle friends, seeing old ones, and most importantly seeing my pageant sisters/family! Also, not to mention a little overnight get away with the hubby with out kiddos! Love it…
BUT… there are the cons that are hard. Very, very hard for me and I’m sure every judge. We all have a soft heart. We are all human. Being the person behind a table in charge of picking ONE person and basically telling all the others that this is maybe not their year, SUCKS!
Just saying, it down right stinks!
I don’t like it.
Honestly there wasn’t a contestant I didn’t love in any pageant I have judged. Each girl this weekend had something uniquely different about them that I thought was impressive, so who am I not to give a million crowns away. Oh gosh, I’m telling you it’s tough for me. I was in a funk all Sunday.
It’s tough too because I’ve been there more times than most. Off the top of my head, I can quickly count a total of 12 times I’ve competed and was not the lucky one that night. I can also can count a total 6 times that I was the lucky girl to have walked away with the crown. Like ANY Sparkle girl, my losses outweigh my wins. This is life. This is what has helped my success.
Out of those over DOZEN times I have lost let me tell you what I have not done and the #1 reason why I hate judging: THE AFTER THE CROWNING AWKWARDNESS.
I have never approached a judge or asked for my scores. Ever. I didn’t win so I really just didn’t care. Now scores is one thing I know a lot of girls especially if they do the same system ask for them to see how much they’ve improved or the areas they need to improve in. But approaching a judge after the crowing is a no-no. It solidifies maybe the actions the universe took that evening.
The AFTER CROWNING when girls come up to the judges to share comments or questions about their performance is not proper. Heck who am I or ANY judge to critique?! Exactly.
I mainly say this though because there is a time and a place. A friendly hello and Thank You for their volunteered time, yes. But asking about their interview, comments about wether they found you were a tough or easy judge, sharing how they could or couldn’t tell how you felt about them, sharing how you made them feel as a judge, oh my goodness the list is endless. And this list is for the director, not the judge, and definitely not that evening.
It’s all awkward and extremely uncomfortable. Heck the contestants at that time have no idea if a judge was their number one fan or not one at all. There is a time and a place. That time is AFTER you get scores for a professional feedback from the director or staff.
A judge feels AWFUL after wards, if they are anything like me. Asking them for immediate feedback is not ethical. They volunteer their time and by the time a pageant is over their head is spinning with sparkle, and they are exhausted.
Don’t be that girl, girls. I say this because truthfully that outcome had nothing to do with you nor them! It was just in someone else’s timing.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, different day, different time, different judge, different girl… different winner. There is nothing I couldn’t do but feel for every one of those girls and I felt like I was them and wasn’t the lucky one times a dozen for every one of them that night.
Judging has it’s uncomfortable times, that’s why I don’t like it.
Funny, I felt VERY uncomfortable pageant time because come to find out after agreeing to judge months prior, 3 pageant acquaintances I knew of signed up to compete. I do not like judging SPARKLE girls I know of, but with over 23 years in the SPARKLE world and the Social Media world we are in today, I’m not sure you’ll find anyone I don’t know of unless they are a first timer.
A few things here I’d like to point out those girls actually have it harder on them, the bar is higher, you expect more from them. As a judge too you make sure you ethically do everything just and fair. As the contestant, I’m sure they feel just as uncomfortable and awkward, I know I did when I was judged in the past by Sparkle acquaintances.
Turns out, one of those contestants ended up being the lucky one that night. She won that night because she did a wonderful job. But I couldn’t help but be sad for the girls that walked away not that one. This started to weight me down on my drive home, until I thought of a silver lining here that is something EVERY SPARKLE girl could learn from here.
I’ve watched that lucky winner that night compete probably 4 times, when she didn’t win. Never once not happy for the winner, never once down on herself, never once nasty or passing blame, never once sour about the system, judges, or director. If anything I thought back, she always supported the new winner and continued promoting any system after. This is a winners spirit.
The SPARKLE world is a very small world. I’ve seen some people have their names get called for a runner up spot, and their face …well not so happy. These reactions get noticed ladies, their caught on camera and film and could possibly follow your name. The after math gets noticed. The Sparkle world is too small for it not to come back to you. Thinking about this made me feel a little better about my guilt of the dozen no’s and the one yes I had to hand out, because this lucky girl this one night really has showed a true spirit of a winner all along.
Judging is tough girls, it stinks. Just realize those judges are probably more nervous than you, and feel very uncomfortable in the position they are in to chose just one. Give them space, don’t run up to them afterwards it’s just as awkward and uncomfortable for them and honestly they probably feel awful and just as crushed WITH you.
SPARKLE girls if your reading this and competing soon something to think about: Next time you see a judge, a pageant staff, or sponsor in the audience THANK THEM for their volunteered time and for making your experience one to have. That would make their day, because it’s just as nerve wreaking on them.
Happy Monday Mom Queens!