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The 8 Most Unusual Pageant Talents

The good news is that pageant talents are getting more unique, even if judges don’t always reward thinking out of the box. The bottom line is that in many systems, if your talent displays skills or is entertaining, you can succeed with it.

You have to think carefully about the type of pageant, the backgrounds the judges are likely to have, and how you can get the audience excited about your routine. Here are 7 unusual pageant talents- what others have you seen?

Roller Skating

miss dc, miss america, pageant talent
Miss DC Allan Rose

One of the most popular performances of roller skating happening in the Miss America 1989 pageant with with Tammy Kettunen, but Miss DC Allyn Rose brought it back for a recent revival. Given that most girls fear slipping in swimsuit shoes, kudos for putting wheels on what tends to be a slippery stage.

Twirling Rifles

One instance of this happened in 1982 at the Miss America pageant, but I haven’t seen example lately. Pageant rules have gotten more strict about what is allowed and not allowed on stage, but it would be cool to see someone perform this talent.

Speed Painting

This talent might be unusual, but it’s also one of the most interesting ones to see. It’s hard to do anything in 90 seconds or 120 seconds these days, but painting takes it to another level. I think it’s great that more unique pageant talents are hitting stages across the country more often.

Marimba and Rarely Seen Instruments

Instruments just don’t appear enough on pageant stages. Piano seems to be a popular choice, but I’d love to see a contestant on an electric guitar or a drum set. Pageants get a bad rap for being too dated, and it’s time we saw some more modern music selections or use of less popular pageant instruments.

Jumping Rope

Done right, this is definitely a talent, and I was thrilled it got some airtime when a recent Miss Hawaii, Lauren Cheape, took home the preliminary talent award at Miss America.


If you’ve got skills in terms of karate or some other kind of martial arts, take them to the stage with a great piece of music and you could really stand out in the talent competition. I’d love to see more karate in pageants!


Pushing the envelope, Miss World contestant Queenierich Rehman performed beatboxing mixed with singing for her talent.

Playing Cups

Kira Kazantsev certainly got a lot of attention for her cups routine, but a lot of press felt like Miss Ohio’s ventriloquist act was more unique. According to Lindsay Weber, Miss Ohio’s award-winning ventriloquism was the “strangest talent act” at the Miss America pageant this past year.

I disagree, because obviously it was entertaining enough to capture an award and there have also been a handful of notable ventriloquists in recent pageant history. Playing the cups, however, was something most people had never seen done while sitting and singing on a pageant stage.

There’s never been a better time than now to think about whether you’ve got a unique talent that could perform well on a pageant stage!

Which dress do you like better?

One thought on “The 8 Most Unusual Pageant Talents

  1. Miss Sacramento County 2013 Ashley Newman also did Ventriloquism for her talent both locally and at Miss California. Her routine was fantastic.

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