Difference between Miss U.S.A. and Miss America

Updated on June 28, 2017

Although both are held in the United States, Miss U.S.A. and Miss America are actually two different pageants. In what ways are they different? This article will discuss the many differences between the two.

Descriptions

Miss U.S.A.
Miss U.S.A. 2016 Deshauna Barber and the other candidates

Miss U.S.A. started in 1952 as a contest held by Catalina swimsuit as one of its marketing campaigns. The company came up with the contest in 1950 when Yolanda Betbeze (the winner of Miss America) turned down the offer to pose for pictures wearing a swimsuit which was supposed to be printed in the newspaper. Catalina decided to withdraw their sponsorship from Miss America because of this and saw an opportunity to create their own contest where all candidates were required to wear only Catalina swimsuits.

Donald Trump owned the pageant for 19 years since 1996 but sold the rights to WME/IMG in September 2015. The broadcast rights were also acquired by Fox from NBC.

Miss U.S.A. requires their contestants to be between ages 18 and 27. During the competition, each candidate is introduced not only by her name but also by her title which includes her state and the acronym U.S.A. (e.g. Miss Texas U.S.A., Miss Maine U.S.A.). The pageant contestants are judged in four areas: swimsuit, evening wear, final question, and final look.

The winner of Miss U.S.A. is awarded a one-year contract with Miss Universe Organization, which means she gets to represent the country and compete with the other contestants in the Miss Universe pageant. The winner is also be required to travel within the country and abroad to be an ambassadress of peace, health, and public awareness of AIDS. She also needs to be present during sponsorship events, media tours, and charity events.

During her reign, the winner receives numerous benefits such as a cash allowance, beauty products, beauty services, apparel, wardrobe consultation, fitness services, healthcare services, and an apartment in New York City from the sponsors. In addition, she gets a scholarship for New York Film Academy, a modeling portfolio, special access to galas, casting calls, modeling gigs, and fashion shows in New York City.,

If the Miss U.S.A. winner fails to accomplish her duties for whatever reason, the 1st runner-up will take her place.

Miss America
Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields and two other contestants

Miss America started in 1920 in Atlantic City, New Jersey as an activity that was intended to attract tourists after Labor Day. It was originally called “The Fall Frolic,” and was held every September 25th. In 1940, it was officially changed to “Miss America” but still stayed in Atlantic City.

Miss America is owned by a non-profit organization with the same name based in New Jersey. The organization is an advocate of education for women and a provider of scholarship assistance to young ambitious women in the country.

The contestants of Miss America should be between ages 17 and 24. During the competition, the candidates are identified by their states (e.g. Miss New York, Miss Rhode Island). They are judged in different areas such as talent (which is actually 35% of their overall score), swimwear, evening gown, and final question.

The winner of Miss America is granted a scholarship worth $50,000. She also needs to travel to different places in the country to promote her chosen platform of interest.

Miss U.S.A. vs Miss America

What, then, is the difference between Miss U.S.A. and Miss America?

The two pageants are owned by two different entities. Miss U.S.A., a pageant which started in 1952, is currently owned by WME/IMG. Miss America, a contest that started in 1920, is owned by a non-profit organization called Miss America Organization which is based in New Jersey.

Miss U.S.A. accepts contestants between ages 18 and 27. The successful candidates will be given the title “Miss (name of state) U.S.A.” and will then be judged in different categories such as swimsuit, evening wear, final question, and final look. To be qualified for Miss America, the contestants need to be between ages 17 and 24. The contestants are given the title according to their respective states (e.g. Miss New York). Aside from swimwear, evening gown, and final question categories, Miss America also has a talent portion.

The winner of Miss U.S.A. gets to compete in the Miss Universe pageant. She must travel to promote peace, health, and public awareness of AIDS, and be present during sponsorship events, media tours, and charity events. Additionally, the winner receives a salary; beauty products; beauty services; clothes; styling; fitness services; healthcare; a New York City apartment; a New York Film Academy scholarship; a modeling portfolio; and special access to galas, casting calls, modeling gigs, and fashion shows in New York City.

The winner of Miss America gets a $50,000 scholarship so she can pursue her education. She also must travel to promote her chosen advocacy.

Comparison Chart

Miss U.S.A.Miss America
Started in 1952 as a contest held by Catalina swimsuit as one of its marketing campaignsStarted in 1920 in Atlantic City, New Jersey as an activity intended to draw tourists after Labor Day
Owned by Donald Trump from 1996-2015; owned by WME/IMG from 2015 to presentOwned by a non-profit organization called Miss America Organization in New Jersey
Contestants are between ages 18 and 27Contestants are between ages 17 and 24
Candidates are judged in categories such as swimsuit, evening wear, final question, and final lookCandidates are judged in categories such as talent, swimwear, evening gown, and final question
Candidates are given titles that include their state and the acronym U.S.A. (e.g. Miss Alabama U.S.A.)Candidates are given titles based on the state they come from (e.g. Miss Alabama)

The winner can compete in the Miss Universe pageant; travels to promote peace, health, and public awareness of AIDS; is present during sponsorship events, media tours, and charity events; receives a salary, beauty products, beauty services, clothes, styling, fitness services, healthcare, a New York City apartment, a New York Film Academy scholarship, and a modeling portfolio; gets special access to galas, casting calls, modeling gigs, and fashion shows in New York City

The winner gets a scholarship worth $50,000 so she can continue her education; she also must travel to promote her chosen advocacy