Mississippi, Illinois win on second night of pageant prelims

Posted: Thursday, October 12, 2000

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- Miss Mississippi Christy May won in swimsuit and Miss Illinois Jennifer Powers in talent Wednesday in the second night of preliminary competition leading up to the 80th annual Miss America Pageant.

Powers, 21, won a $4,000 scholarship with a rendition of ''Quando M'en Vo'', from the opera ''La Boheme.''

May, 24, won a $1,000 scholarship.

In preliminaries, the 51 contestants are divided into three groups and take turns competing in swimsuit, talent and evening wear competition over the three nights.

Miss Alaska, Audrey Solomon, competed in the talent competition on Tuesday and the evening gown category Wednesday.

Each night, the winners of swimsuit and talent are announced at the close of the 2 1/2-hour show. The evening wear winners aren't announced to prevent the public from figuring out the top 10 contestants early.

On Tuesday, Miss Hawaii Angela Baraquio won in swimsuit, and Miss Louisiana Faith Jenkins won in talent.

The pageant finals air Saturday at 8 p.m. EDT.

The pageant winner will be chosen by a panel of six celebrity judges and one member of the public. Melanie Brock, a 46-year-old utility company marketing director from Lansing, Mich., was chosen as the winner of the Miss America Instant Celebrity Judge sweepstakes, sponsored by ABC-TV and USA Weekend magazine.

''I knew I'd never be on stage,'' Brock said, adding that she had watched the pageant since childhood. ''I'm just honored and privileged to be here.''


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