Go ahead and cancel those weekend plans, because Miss USA 2017 is upon us, and I'm eager to see which state will take home the coveted title. But besides obsessing over the infamous Steve Harvey pageantry flub, or the accomplishments of this year's contestants, I've taken a keen interest into just how the participants are being judged this year. And after doing so, I'm left wondering, why doesn't Miss USA have a talent portion? Well, according to the competition's official website, a mixed scoring of their performances in the preliminary interview, swimsuit, and evening gown rounds help to identify the semi-finalists. And during the live broadcast, whoever rocks the swimwear, evening gown, final question, and final look the best will ultimately take home the crown.
So, after a little research, the answer to my initial question became clearer than ever: the contestants have plenty of other things on their plate. So much so, that perfecting a gymnastics routine or piano selection for the audience's pleasure seems so trivial.
Name the last time you cared whether your surgeon knew how to ride a unicycle, or had the voice of a goddess. I'll be the first to admit that this analogy sounds a little extreme. But, I'm guessing that's the same approach IMG Miss Universe, which runs the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants, took when curating the show. Each contestant is well-rounded in their own right — from being aspiring scientists to serving in the United States military. Not to mention that upon grabbing the Miss USA title, the lucky winner has a year-long, jam-packed schedule of philanthropy initiatives to carry out and a Miss Universe pageant to prep for. Having a hidden talent takes a backseat to more important qualities the winners should possess — like how poised, dedicated, accomplished, and determined they must be to truly represent the organization.
Just take 2016's title winner Deshauna Barber, for example. Alongside serving as Miss USA, Barber was also required to fulfill her prior Army Reserves commitment and train two days out of the month with her unit. She pretty much puts the "magic" in #MagicalBlackGirl. Oh, and don't get me started on 2017 Miss USA contestants. These young women have more than enough tacked onto their already busy schedules, like medical school and full-on careers.
And while perfecting a showman craft sounds like a total pageant must-have, the Miss USA contestants just don't have the time for it.