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franklin county times

Junior Miss: Preliminary winners announced

By Staff
HEAD OVER HEELS Abby Banahan of Pascagoula bends over backwards Friday while performing a salsa dance to the song "Oye" during the talent portion of the 2005 Mississippi Junior Miss program at the Temple Theatre.Photo by Kyle Carter / The Meridian Star
July 31, 2004
By Ida Brown / special sections editor
Enthusiasm was high Friday night both on and off the stage of the Temple Theatre as 41 senior high school girls from around the state competed in the 2005 Mississippi Junior Miss Program.
In the second night of competition, contestants were re-energized as an audience of family and friends cheered, whistled, yelled words of encouragement and even clanged cow bells to show support.
The evening began with a high-energy production introducing the contestants, with reigning Junior Miss Christina Myers of Madison County singing. "Lights, Camera, Action" is the theme for this year's program.
After the introduction of state Sen. Terry C. Burton as master of ceremonies, contestants participated in several preliminary categories.
Contestants were divided into two groups Diamond and Sapphire. The Diamond group participated in fitness and self-expression, while the Sapphire group competed in talent.
Talent presentations varied from piano to ballet to vocal performances. Before each contestant's presentation, a prerecorded introduction by their roommate was featured that also included well-wishes such as"good luck," "break a leg" and "I love you."
The physical fitness routine, choreographed by Meridian dance instructor Suzie McCraw, included a high-energy, vigorous routine of complex dance moves, as well as exercises such as push-ups, crunches and jumps to a medley of pop and rap songs.
During the self-expression preliminary category (formerly called poise), contestants, dressed in evening gowns, were asked what issue in the upcoming presidential election would influence their vote and why. Answers include the candidates' stands on education, moral values, jobs and the war in Iraq.
After intermission, special entertainment was provided by Sheila Terry Keyes, Mississippi's 1980 Junior Miss, who performed two selections.
Presented under the auspices of the Mississippi Junior Miss Program, the state competition is governed by America's Junior Miss and contestants are judged on the same criteria on local, state and national levels.
The state program continues tonight with the naming of the 2005 Mississippi Junior Miss. Curtain time is 8 p.m.

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