HOW DO I BECOME A CONTESTANT?

Miss California USA® and Miss California Teen USA® are open to all young women who meet the eligibility requirements (see requirement list below).  You do not need to win a preliminary title or have previous experience to participate.

How do I sign up?

Click the “Apply” link on this website to submit your information for consideration to our office.  A authorized representative will call you to conduct an interview.  A limited number of girls will be accepted into the program. Contestants will be designated a community to represent in the state competition.

When is the last day to sign up?

The last day we will be accepting contestants for the 2018 state competition is September 22, 2017 unless the spaces fill up sooner. The 2018 event will be held from December 1-3, 2017 and the contestant orientation will be held on October 1, 2017.

Is there an entry fee?

Yes, the entry fee to participate is $1,795.00.  The entry fee includes ALL of the following:

Leading up to the Contestant Orientation on October 1, 2017:

  • Your photo (one which you submit to us) in our contestant facebook album
  • Regular conference calls with state directors Pam Wilson & Alex Kuty for preparation and coaching
  • Invitation to be apart of our private contestant facebook group
  • Receive regular contestant newsletters via email
  • Invitations to exclusive contestant events across the state (optional but fun to attend)
  • Your sash with area of representation (as soon as you are paid in full)

Contestant Orientation on October 1, 2017 at the Westin Long Beach Hotel:

  • Contestant Orientation and preparation day for the Pageant including choreography and activities
  • Photo session for your program book headshot (unless you would like to submit your own photos)
  • Participation in photo and video shoots for footage to be used in the shows
  • Opportunity to meet with Disney Casting and Newmark Models as well as other agencies and scouts
  • Discounts from various sponsor in attendance
  • Meet and Greet with the Miss California USA staff, former Miss California USA’s and Miss USA’s
  • Your sash with area of representation (if you were not mailed it sooner)

Pageant Weekend December 1-3, 2017 at the Westin Long Beach Hotel and Terrace Theater:

  • Competition sash
  • All meals from check in to check out
  • Hotel from required check in to check out (rooming with another contestant)
  • Official Headshot on MissCaliforniaUSA.com and in Pageant Magazine
  • Participation in preliminary (Dec. 2) and finals (Dec. 3) show
  • Professional and celebrity judges panel and press exposure
  • Hair and makeup professional artists touch ups on Sunday, Dec. 3 for the Finals show
  • Swag bag filled with amazing gifts valued at more than $500!
  • Photos taken with contestants to be used throughout the year on our social media

We offer an early registration discount of $200 off the entry fee for contestants who pay a deposit of $500 by March 1, 2017 and $100 off to contestants who pay a $500 deposit by July 15, 2017.  Contestants are responsible for their own expenses traveling to and from event weekend and orientation.  Tickets for your family and friends to the pageant shows are not included in this fee and will be sold by the theater box office as the event approaches.

What do I win?

Our titleholders win the opportunity of a lifetime to represent California at the national Miss USA® and Miss Teen USA® competition in addition to $4,500 in travel and wardrobe allowance, numerous other prizes and memories to last a lifetime. In addition, Miss California USA will win a $5,000 educational scholarship and Miss California Teen USA will receive a $3,000 educational scholarship. * Conditions Apply.  Check out our Prize Packages page for a detailed listing.

Will the pageant be televised?

We anticipate the 2018 state pageant will be televised and details will be announced at a later time. The pageant will also stream live online.

What organization is Miss California USA® and Miss California TEEN USA® a part of?

We are a part of the Miss Universe® Organization which is owned by WME – IMG.  For more information on our vision and mission click here.

JUDGING & CRITERIA

How is the competition judged?

Each contestant will be judged in three areas of competition; Interview, Evening Gown, Swimsuit for the Miss contestants and Active Wear for the Teen contestants. Judging criteria includes character, poise, confidence and personality. Each category is 1/3 of the overall score.

Is there a talent portion of the competition?

While many of the contestants are talented in many different way, No, there is no performing talent required and it is not a part of the scoring.

Are you only looking for perfect “10’s”?

Absolutely not! Whether you’re 4 foot tall or 7 foot tall it doesn’t matter. In the swimsuit or active wear 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 10 Finalists each year. We’re looking for outgoing, intelligent, confident, attractive young women excited to represent the beauty of California.

Do I have to have experience to enter?

Not at all, in fact most of our contestants are newcomers and many state titleholders were first time competitors. No experience is necessary and the Top 10 Productions staff will help make sure you are prepared and ready for the event weekend!

Are there any height or weight requirements to compete?

Absolutely not! Each contestant is an individual and the judges are looking for body proportion and personality, not a specific body measurement.

SPONSORSHIP

How does “Sponsorship” work?

Finding sponsorships is a way to offset your personal costs to participate, including the entry fee.  We suggest to start with a list of potential sponsors such as friends and family members and their employers, etc. Sponsorship and the pageant the entry fee is the SAME.  There is one total fee of $1,795.00 to participate. There are no extra costs after the entry fee besides an opening number dress which will be your to keep.

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 California USA event, 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 California USA or Miss California 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. We have a detailed sponsorship packet that will guide you through this process that you will receive once you are a registered contestant.

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.  Extra sponsorship money above the entry fee amount should be paid by the sponsor(s) directly to the contestant.

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. If your cash collected exceeds the sponsorship fee then you do not have to send in the additional cash.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

When will the national competition be televised?

MISS USA® is typically televised in late spring/early summer each year on FOX. The MISS TEEN USA® national pageant, is typically produced in July/August of each year, but is not always televised and does stream live online.

When will the semi-finalists be named?

The semi-finalists will be named during the first portion of the finals show on the last day of the event weekend. No one will know who the semi-finalists are until that moment.

If I am not named as a semi-finalist, will I still be in the finals?

Absolutely. All contestants will participate in the gown review, special awards, naming of the semi-finalist and naming of the titleholders. You will be on stage at many times during the finals show, even if you are not named as a semi-finalist.

Do I need a different gown for finals than the one I wear for preliminaries?

No. We highly recommend wearing the same gown for both preliminaries and finals. Nearly all contestants wear the same gown for both.

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 musical number (contestant will not sing, and the choreographed moves are very easy – you do not need to be a dancer).

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.

I have to spend too much on outfits!

Not true. You do not need to spend fortunes on swimwear, an interview outfit, and 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, elegant to hand beaded. But 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.

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.  If you need an extension, please call or email the Top 10 Productions office.

Do I need to pay for my meals during pageant weekend?

No. All of your meals throughout the state pageant weekend are provided by the state pageant. Although all of your meals are provided, we do recommend that you are prepared for any additional snacks that you may want to have handy.

Do I need to pay for my hotel room during the event weekend?

No. Your hotel room during the event is provided for you. You will be roomed with one other contestant in a room with two beds. 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?

Each contestant is paired with one other contestant in order to share each hotel room. Each room will have two beds, so each contestant will have their own bed. In order to be respectful to the contestant with whom you are sharing the room, only the two of you are allowed in your hotel room (no family or friends allowed at any time).

Will I have time to visit with my family, friends and out of town guests during pageant weekend?

From the time you check in to the pageant the 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, the state pageant makes every effort to include designated family meet and greet opportunities.

If my family or friends want to attend, where do they stay?

Friend’s and Family rates are usually available at the host hotel but guests are welcome to stay anywhere in the host city that works  best for them.

How do my family and friends get tickets to attend the pageant?

Ticket information will be listed on the website once they have been set, usually through TicketMaster.com.

How many contestants compete at the state pageant?

The number of contestant vary from year to year, but no more than 210 contestants will be accepted to compete for the Miss title, and no more than 120 contestants will be accepted to compete for the Teen title. The average is 80 teens and 120 miss.

What should my family and friends wear to the pageant?

We recommend anything from business casual to formalwear for the pageant preliminaries and pageant finals.

CONTESTANT ELIGIBILITY

When will the national competition be televised?

MISS USA® is typically televised in late spring/early summer each year on FOX. The MISS TEEN USA® national pageant, is typically produced in July/August of each year, but is not always televised and does stream live online.

When will the semi-finalists be named?

The semi-finalists will be named during the first portion of the finals show on the last day of the event weekend. No one will know who the semi-finalists are until that moment.

If I am not named as a semi-finalist, will I still be in the finals?

Absolutely. All contestants will participate in the gown review, special awards, naming of the semi-finalist and naming of the titleholders. You will be on stage at many times during the finals show, even if you are not named as a semi-finalist.

Do I need a different gown for finals than the one I wear for preliminaries?

No. We highly recommend wearing the same gown for both preliminaries and finals. Nearly all contestants wear the same gown for both.

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 musical number (contestant will not sing, and the choreographed moves are very easy – you do not need to be a dancer).

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.