9. Having more runners up at the front of the stage than there are contestants at the back. No one wants to be one of the only two contestants who didn't win anything, and it's really uncomfortable for five to be at the front while two girls are standing back there. Try to keep even numbers! I understand wanting to give many girls the chance to place as runners up, but it could really make the two non-placers feel bad.
8. Poorly placed entertainment. The girls backstage don't need the filler of entertainment right after intermission. They need the most time to get ready for talent- girls have to warm up, change into costumes, etc. Put the filler there!
7. The dead time waiting for the auditors to tabulate. Put some more filler there- invite a visiting titleholder to sing, the reigning Miss or Teen to perform her talent, or have the winner do her farewell then. That way, the girls backstage don't have to stand in their high heels for 30 minutes when they're called onstage.
6. Calling the runners up in the wrong order. An honest mistake, but makes things less suspenseful and could be embarrassing!
5. Talent music not working. Make sure you put your music on quality cds, carry a back up, and make sure that it works exactly the way you want it to at rehearsal!
4. Really complicated opening numbers. There are some girls for whom dancing doesn't come naturally, and the girls already have a lot on their minds that night. No extremely difficult dances, please!
3. Wardrobe malfunctions! Practice practice practice in your outfits before you hit the stage. There is nothing more embarrassing than wardrobe malfunctions! And I say this as someone who nearly lost her pants during Miss VA talent rehearsal!
2. Crooked crowns and backward sashes! In the heat of the moment, it's hard to remember!
1. Small audience! I know most people can't help this, but it is so weird to be competing in a pageant with 20 people in the audience! If you're a visiting titleholder, contribute to the clapping!