FRESNO, California ( Ever wondered how judges determine the outcome of Miss California? Here is an overview of how the competition is structured and how the winner is decided.

The 2021 Miss California competition had 31 candidates, ages 20 to 25. They were divided into two groups. There were six judges, three from the Fresno area and one each from Colorado, Hawaii, and Southern California.

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.

Judges assigned each of the top 11 a composite score based on everything observed during the competitions and interviews. This composite score carried over to the finals and was weighted at 40%.

On finals night the top 11 competed again in an onstage interview (10%), talent (30%), and red carpet evening wear (20%).

After these scores were tallied, the top 5 continued in the competition.

The final five then participate in a final conversation with the judges, which included a pitch from each candidate for her social impact initiative, plus one question related to the requirements of the job of Miss California.

Following this conversation, each judge ranked the top five according to how the judge believed that a candidate should finish in the competition. Each judge gave top ranking to the candidate that he/she believed was best qualified for the job of Miss California.

This final five ballot alone determined the outcome of the competition. The top five were announced as 4th runner-up ($2500 scholarship), 3rd runner-up ($4000 scholarship), 2nd runner-up ($5000 scholarship), 1st runner-up ($7000 scholarship) and Miss California 2021 ($20,000 scholarship).

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.