1st June 2011
There are certain perks to this job that I do and I get to do things I wouldn't normally get to do and judging Miss Sunderland is one of those. Now when it was first mentioned I was more than happy to do it and thought it would be easy, I couldn't have been more wrong! There were a number of heats that I was involved in before the final, the first of which took place in the Bridges. I remember being very relaxed and looking forward to it and thinking this will be fun. As the girls started to come down the runway it became very apparent I had underestimated the task in front of me, it was going to be really tough to choose between them. Also I realised that this was a huge compittion and I would not only be judging how these girls looked but possibly crushing their dream.
So after a number of months judging the heats with a few disagreements between the judges we had a our thirty finalists. It took place at the Rainton Meadows arena, which looked fantastic, it was a Vegas Showgirl theme and looked the business. I was right down the front on the judges table with cameras on me projecting onto two big screens at the side of the stage, my first thought, don't drop soup all the way down my tie! My fellow judges were sponsors of the event as well as Miss England, Mr England and the current Miss Sunderland, it is fair to say I was feeling very self concious.
Over three rounds we judged the girls and found out a bit about them. It was tricky to remember all of them, but we did have a brouchure with all of them in to refresh the memory. Now over the months I had realised what I needeed to do and as the girls came along put a little star next to the girls I thought could win. By the end I had starred eight girls! So I just had to put them in order of who I liked the most. To be honest our winner Phillipa Attle stood out from the start and she had stood out in her heat as well. It's also a great relief when you realise your choice matches that of the rest of the judges. When Phillipa was announced as the winner we all had to wing it a bit as friends and family were eager to get on stage, it weas lovely to see how much it meant not only to Phillipa but to her family and friends also.
So what did I think of my first experience judging? I thouroughly enjoyed it. I surprised myself how much I got into it and would be disagreeing with other judges and fighting the corner of girls I had never met. It was a great compitition to be part of and I think we found a girl who can be a real role model and represent Sunderland in exactly the right way, and who knows we might even have a Miss England on our hands.
Posted by Mark Black at 11:38am