This Pageant Doesn't Include A Talent Competition

by Courtney Lindley
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On Sunday, the 2017 Miss Universe pageant will return to Fox. Despite last year's crowning blunder, Steve Harvey will also return, alongside backstage host Ashley Graham. While the international beauty pageant draws substantial crowds, some viewers might be tuning in for the first time. Maybe because they are curious to see the kind of organization President Trump used to own, or maybe because they are just plain curious. Either way, while you watch, you may wonder: Why is there no talent portion in the Miss Universe pageant? It simply isn't part of the criteria.

Naturally, viewers will expect certain things to happen within the international beauty pageant. Thanks to pop culture and the media — and practically every movie ever made about the subject — we often associate beauty pageants with the following things: bikinis, questions about saving the world, and of course, special talents. But as you'll find, that's not the case for Miss Universe.

More than 85 contestants from around the globe will compete for that crown. According to Miss Universe's website, "three days of preliminary interviews and a swimsuit and evening gown presentation show (streamed live prior to broadcast) help select the semi-finalists who will be named during the final night event and will go on to compete in Swimwear, Evening Gown, Final Question and Final Look." As you might have noticed from that description, again, there's no talent portion.

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Domestically speaking, things are slightly different. Where Miss USA doesn't have a talent portion, the talent portion makes up 35 percent of the contestant's overall score for the Miss America competition. The answer for why some pageants include it and others don't is simply dependent on what appears to just be the organization's preference. And it's also subject to change.

For instance, as of 2014, the Miss World competition decided that they would no longer feature a swimsuit round, as they felt it was too superficial and "didn't really have a purpose." Miss World evaluates contestants on their charity work, athleticism, and you guessed it, talent. Miss Universe does not. To each their own, as they say.

Even though the contestants might not be showing their "talents" during Miss Universe, the three-hour event will still have some performances. R&B group Boyz II Men and Grammy nominee Flo Rida will both take the stage. Plus, for the second time in a row, fans can actually give their input. You can vote for your favorite contestant, and better yet, your vote will be counted (along with the votes from the judges) to determine the winner.

Just don't judge them too harshly for not showing you how well they can (or can't) hula hoop.