Sunday, July 8, 2012

The current judging format used by Miss World pageant – the Scoreboard – was first used in 2011 edition and was generally well received by fans around the world. The Scoreboard, though not without flaw, was hailed for its transparency (something that Miss World pageant had always been criticized about before) and even considered by some fans (including us) as one of the best judging format in the world. Therefore, it is a no surprise that the same format would be used again for the upcoming 2012 edition.

However, due to complexity of the format compared to the judging format in other pageants, Miss Universe for example, some fans found it rather difficult to fully understand how the format and the scoring work. To help those fans, we write this article to explain how the Scoreboard at Miss World works. Most of the explanation in this article is taken from pageant expert Joseph Vitug who, in his review Miss World 2011, wrote a special chapter regarding this new format. So without further ado, let’s take a closer look behind the Scoreboard of Miss World pageant.

  Miss World 2011 Scoreboard

To help understand the explanation, please take a look at the picture of Miss World 2011 Scoreboard complete list above. As you can see in the picture, the elimination system in Miss World pageant is done in 3 rounds - the Preliminary, the Semifinal, and the Final - each with its own scoring format. In addition, there are also 5 special mini competitions known as Fast Tracks (according to the plan the 2012 edition will add 1 more event, bringing the total of Fast Tracks into 6 events) which will give bonus points for the contestants during the Preliminary. And here are the overview for each of these components and how it affects the overall Scoreboard.

1. The Preliminary

In this round, each contestants will have a personal with the judges. However it is not only their communication skill that would be judged. Instead the judges will score them in 3 categories - the first being beauty, grace and charm - the second being intelligence, poise and personality - and the third being figure and deportment. Each judge would score them from 6 to 10 points in each category and, unlike in Miss Universe which uses decimal numbers, the scores are given in whole numbers. Therefore the minimum score that a contestant could earn from a judge is 18 points (if she was scored 6 in all 3 categories) and the maximum score is 30 points (if she was scored 10 in all 3 categories).

The scores from all the judges would then be tabulated into a single Preliminary score. Since in 2011 there were 7 judges, the maximum Preliminary score that could be obtained by a contestant is 210 points. Miss Venezuela (and eventually Miss World 2011 winner) won the Preliminary round of 2011 edition with 191 points, only 19 points short from the perfect score. On the other side, Miss Austria and Miss Croatia received 126 points, and if you calculated you would find out that both of them had an average of 6 points, which means they got the minimum Preliminary score for 2011 edition.

 Miss Venezuela topped the Preliminary interview round in 2011 with 191 points

2. The Fast Tracks

Prior to 2011 edition, winner of each Fast Track event will automatically qualify for the Semifinal. But in 2011, the winner is no longer guaranteed a spot in Semifinal. Instead, the winner and all other contestants shortlisted as finalists for a particular Fast Track would earn bonus points towards their Preliminary score.On one side it may feel that the power of Fast Track is reduced as it no longer guarantee an automatic spot. But on the other side, the Fast Track now becomes more influential in determining the result, as now, not only its winner, but also all its finalists would be affected by their placement in the said Fast Track.To illustrate the drastic difference of the two formats, let's take a look on Miss Zimbabwe in 2011. During Preliminary she placed in 39th place and though she did not win any Fast Track, she managed to accumulate 56 extra points by placing in 3 out of 5 Fast Tracks and thus, entering the Semifinal in 9th place. If the old format is used instead, she would have remained in 39th place and would not advance to the Semifinal.

For each Fast Track, the points would be distributed as the following - 20 points for the winner, 18 points for second, 17 for third, 16 for fourth, 15 for fifth, 14 for sixth, 13 for seventh, 12 for eighth, 11 for ninth, 10 for tenth, and 5 points for the rest of the finalists. This point distribution is applied for 4 out of 5 Fast Track events, which are Sports, Talent, Beach Beauty, and Top Model.

The only deviation for this distribution is Beauty with a Purpose, which carries a higher points. For this particular event, the points would be distributed as the following - 30 points for the winner, 28 points for second, 27 for third, 26 for fourth, 25 for fifth, 24 for sixth, 23 for seventh, 22 for eighth, 21 for ninth, 20 for tenth, 10 points for the rest of the finalists, and 5 points for any contestants who did not make it as Beauty with a Purpose finalist but had a project / presentation submitted for the Fast Track.

If the old format was still used, Miss Zimbabwe would not become a Top 15 semifinalist in 2011

3. The Semifinal

Once the Preliminary and all Fast Tracks scores revealed, a selected number of contestants (15 contestants in 2011 edition) with the highest combined scores will advance to the Semifinal. Unlike Miss Universe, the scores that a contestant has accumulated in the previous round would not be reset to zero. it would be carried over to the Final. For this round, the judges would rank the semifinalists from the best to the last and their rank would be translated into points as the following - 50 points for first place, 40 points for second, 30 points for third, 20 points for fourth, 15 points for fifth, 10 points for sixth and seventh, 5 points for eighth to tenth, and 2 points for eleventh to fifteenth.

Out of all rounds in Miss World elimination system, the judging criteria in this round is the most vague one. No one (aside Miss World Organization themselves of course) actually know what is the base used by the judges to rank these semifinalists from first to fifteenth. But the most speculated criteria is the overall visual stage impression of these contestants during the Grand Final. Hopefully Miss World could make this clear by having an onstage competition in place of Semifinal round for the 2012 edition.

 The 15 contestants of 2011 edition with the highest combination scores from Preliminary and Fast Tracks

4. The Final

After the Semifinal scores revealed, another elimination would occur and leave us with even a smaller group of contenders (7 contestants in 2011 edition). At this point, the judging is down to the final question where each contestants would have one final chance to convince the people that matter the most - the judges - that she is the one. Just like the Semifinal, once again the judges would rank the finalists from the best to the last and their rank would be translated into points as the following - 50 points for first place, 40 points for second, 30 points for third, 20 points for fourth, 15 points for fifth, 10 points for sixth, and 5 points for seventh. From there, all the scores will be combined and the one with the highest score would be crowned as the new Miss World.

It is interesting to note that due to the large gap of points distributed to the contestants on the top of the judges rank and to those on the bottom during the Semifinal and Final round, the contestants who are rated high by judges in these two rounds would likely place higher even if they started out in the bottom. A clear example was Miss Korea in 2011. She entered the Semifinal in 13th place, but thanks to judges who rank her in fourth during the Semifinal, she gained 20 points and advance to the Final in an overall 4th place. Miss Ukraine was not so lucky. She entered the Semifinal in 4th place, but in the judges rank she only placed eleventh, giving her only 2 points extra and make her fall to an overall 9th place in the Scoreboard.

The lucky 7 contestants on the top of 2011 Final Scoreboard

So that's all you need to know about the Scoreboard format for Miss World judging. Hopefully this article would give you a better understanding on how Miss World chooses its winner. In about a month from now we would see the Scoreboard once again determine the fate of the upcoming Miss World 2012 contestants. Who will come on the top this time? Stay tuned!

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