FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — During the preliminary competition for Miss California, CBS47 had exclusive access to the contestants’ interviews with the judges discussing their social impact initiatives and follow-up questions.

The final three featured contestants were:

  • Taylor Yamane: Miss University Heights
  • Cristina Bequer: Miss Yosemite Valley
  • Maaikee Pronda: Miss Fountain Valley

Miss Fountain Valley Maaikee Pronda was asked about her volunteer efforts for her social impact , “S.T.E.M. powered – Empowering Youth through S.T.E.M.  This was Maaikee’s third time competing at Miss California having won two previous local titles. As a Filipina-American, she says representation is important in competitions such as Miss California.

“It’s an honor to be 100 percent Filipina and represent my country,” says Pronda. “Pageants are huge in the Philippines, but besides that, it’s important for young girls to see someone there they can look up to and say hey, she looks like me.”

There are two preliminary competitions where candidates compete in onstage interviews talking about their social impact initiative (15%), talent (35%), and red carpet evening wear (15%). Prior to these competitions, each candidate had a 10-minute press conference-style interview with the judges, weighted at 35%.

Scores from the preliminary competitions and the interviews were tallied. Based on this, the candidates were trimmed from 31 to the top ten semi-finalists plus one “people’s choice winner” from online voting, making for a top 11.

Don’t miss The Making of Miss California: The Road To The Crown on July 10 at 8:00 p.m. on CBS47, and watch for opportunities to meet the contestants on their path to becoming Miss California.