Judging Criteria


Category Description Possible Points
Judges’ Interview This is the personal, in-depth interview with the entire judging panel. The interview should last no more than 30 minutes. Answers should be clear, concise, and to the point, as this is a short period of time. The judges want to see if the contestants are well spoken and can think on their feet. Interview questions may cover leather, personal history, personal viewpoints, lifestyle, or anything related to BDSM/leather/kink or community. Interviews are closed to the public. 50
This is hands-on portion of the contest. The public may observe this part, but may not participate or otherwise engage the contestant. The contestant will be provided a pair of beat up, worn, and challenging military boots. The contestant will shine one boot out of the pair. Another individual will shine another boot out of a second pair. The contestants will have one hour to complete this portion. Afterwards, all pairs of boots will be presented to the judging panel for a blind viewing and judging. The panel will not know which boot was done by the contestant until the technical interview. The contestant must provide all the supplies needed. The judges are looking at skill and technique. They will also be looking at the final product and will inspect the results of the techniques. 40
Technical Interview This is the contestants’ time to show off exactly how much they know about bootblacking. They’ll be answering questions from our judges about how and why they shined their boot the way they did. Contestants shouldn’t be shy, but rather show off their knowledge of their craft and clue the judges in on some of their secrets. Contestants will be asked about individual selection and use of various products as well as technique 40
90 Second Introduction Contestants will have approximately 60-90 seconds to introduce themselves on stage. This segment will be judged, as this is the first opportunity for the contestant to wow the audience. 20
Pop Question / Hot Wear Contestants should dress in whatever they feel makes them look and feel the hottest and sexiest while bootblacking. This could be jockstrap, corset, torn jeans, full uniform or cruise leather. It could be full leather or nearly nude. Keep in mind the NC nudity law: one inch strip up the butt crack, no visible genitals, and nipples covered. The contestant will field a surprise question from the Emcee, ranging from fun to serious and not necessarily about bootblacking. The pop question could be about history or something specific to our region. 30
Formal Image / Speech This is the contestant’s best dressed look. This does not necessarily mean they have to wear leather. A formal fetish look will work. This is the look they would wear if attending a formal event such as a dinner, contest, or formal gathering. Each contestant’s speech is 3 minutes maximum (Point deductions for going over) and may be about anything the contestant feels passionate about – leather community, their pet cause, or and LGBTQIA+/leather/fetish/kink issue. Again, this is an opportunity for the contestant to exhibit stage presence, their speaking and self-expression ability, poise, and self-assurance with the audience. Contestants do well to put practice and thought into their presentation. Practice! 40
Interpersonal Skills Each contestant will be judged on personal interaction during the weekend. This includes attitude, friendliness, courtesy, and cooperativeness towards others. This is the customer service, guest relations, and flair portion of the competition. The judges want to see how well contestants relate to people in a public setting. During shine times, they will be observing how contestants handle interruptions, guest issues, mentoring opportunities, and social situations. They want to see one-on-one guest interaction. They will also be looking at flair. This is what competitors do to set themselves apart from the other competitors, their “shtick”, or what kind of show they put on. This category will be judged last. 30
Total Possible Points 250