How the competition is judged, the winners


The Miss Tennessee Pageant is back this year after the 2020 COVID-19 hiatus – and it’s in Memphis.

Thirty representatives of Miss Tennessee from across the state descended on Bluff City for rehearsals, public appearances and three nights of competition.

The competition takes place July 1-3 at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis.

Here are five things to know about Miss Tennessee.

What is the Miss Tennessee scholarship competition?

First officially hosted in 1938, Miss Tennessee is an annual tradition, with the winner representing the State Volunteer in the Miss America Pageant. Although it’s often described as a competition, the organization itself calls it “the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Competition … working to empower young women through education and service.”

According to event officials, the Miss Tennessee / Miss America contestants “contribute tens of thousands of hours of community service each year and have raised more than $ 18 million for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals and scholarships. Miss America since 2007 “.

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Feb. 15, 1948 - Turning her back on Hollywood scripts again, Barbara Walker, Miss America of 1947, instead works on college textbooks at the Memphis State Library on February 15, 1948. Barbara's last rejection ballot went to David O. Selznick, who asked him to discuss a contract with him in New York.  Miss Walker replied that she was

Notable Miss Tennessee Winners

The first, and perhaps the most famous, Miss Tennessee was Barbara Jo Walker. Walker, who represented Memphis, was crowned Miss America in 1947. By the way, Walker – later known as Barbara Jo Walker Hummel – was the mother of musician Andy Hummel, bassist for the Big Star band of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. .

It would be another 40 years before a Miss Tennessee won Miss America again. In 1987, Kellye Cash, also representing Memphis, won the title of Miss America 1987. She too had a connection with the music of Memphis: she is the great-niece of Johnny Cash. Kellye Cash would go on to pursue her own musical career as a gospel and country artist.

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1987 Miss America Kellye Cash and her great-uncle, country western star Johnny Cash, sing a duet during a program welcoming Ms. Cash back to Jackson, Tennessee, where she won the Miss Tennessee crown earlier this year, October 17, 1986.

Miss Tennessee 2019 makes history

Perhaps the most recent Miss Tennessee pageant was the most historic of all time. Miss Tennessee 2019, Brianna Mason, became the first black woman to win the crown in the event’s 80-year history. Mason, 23, a Nashville native and a college teacher, won in what was her fourth attempt in the competition.

Miss Greene County Brianna Mason is crowned Miss Tennessee in the final round of the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Contest at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee on Saturday, June 29, 2019.

How is the Miss Tennessee pageant judged?

A panel of judges will decide who will win the coveted Miss Tennessee title. The judging criteria for the preliminary rounds are broken down with 35% focused on the private interview, 15% for the stage interview / social impact pitch, 35% for the talent part and 15% for the red carpet / outfit. evening.

Things are weighted a little differently for the Finals, with the evaluation criteria dropping to 40% for the Composite Score, 10% for the Stage Interview / Social Impact Pitch, 35% for Talent, and 15% for the Social Impact Pitch. red carpet / evening wear.

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How to watch Miss Tennessee – online and in person

The Miss Tennessee 2021 event takes place July 1-3 at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Preliminary rounds begin Thursday and continue Friday, starting at 7:30 p.m. on both evenings. The finals are scheduled for Saturday, also at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets to attend the competition in person are $ 50 per night for a mezzanine. Three-night passes range from $ 135 to $ 175 for floor and orchestra seating.

All three nights of the competition will be broadcast live via Miss Tennessee’s social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.

For more information, visit the official Miss Tennessee website at

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