What judges are looking for in the next Miss Georgia - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

What judges are looking for in the next Miss Georgia

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The preliminaries for the 2013 Miss Georgia Pageant kick-off tonight (June 19) at the Rivercenter. Eighty-one young ladies are competing for two different titles: Miss Georgia and Miss Georgia's Outstanding Teen 2013.

While family members and friends come to Columbus to cheer on their favorite contestant, the pageant's judges also come from several locations.

Some may assume that pretty face, height and thin body are some of the most important traits a woman should have to win the title of Miss Georgia. However, the judges say that looks are not everything.

Jack Cooper, President of the Miss Oklahoma organization and judge's chair for the Miss Georgia pageant, says they want the contestants to embrace healthy body, and healthy lifestyle to set an example for others.

"We just look at how well they represent themselves overall," says Cooper. "We don't look at shoes or the outfit, we look at the entire package. We want to look at the true intention of the individual to see if they are prepared for this job. Again, Miss Georgia is a job. It's not just a small event. You do this for an entire year if you are selected."

Marina Harrison Cooper, a former Miss Maryland and Miss America contestant is in Columbus as a judge this year. She's excited for the contestants and also agree that judges' main concerns are not the brand or the price of the gown and shoes.

"I wore old dresses when I was in pageants," says Marina. "My mom sewed them for me, and I knew it was more important to show the judges who I was. And that's who we are looking for really. I'm looking for someone who's having fun. Someone who's here for the right reason. Someone who can truly show us who she is."

As for the questions the judges ask, they say they do not try to ask difficult questions. Instead, they try to ask questions that are relevant to the contestants' platform.

Charlie Curry Vantramp, a former state director for Miss Washington Organization, says the judges receive information about the ladies a month before the pageant.

"We look through the notebook that has the contestants' information and try to be familiar with them even before we meet in the interview room," says Vantramp. "We want to get a good idea of who these ladies are, so we can ask relevant questions. We do not expect the ladies to know everything. However, we look at how they answer these questions and how they can think on their feet even in some stressful situations. Also, their opinions do not have to match ours, but they need to support their thoughts with facts of their own."

The contestants are judged on their evening gowns, swim suits, talents and their ability to answer questions on stage. The judges say they take their jobs seriously, and they look forward to seeing the contestants give their best. The winner will be crowned Miss Georgia this Saturday, June 22.

The winner will get to participate in Miss America this September at Atlantic City, New Jersey.

To purchase tickets to the pageant, visit the box office at RiverCenter. For more information, visit www.missga.org

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