MOUNT VERNON — With this year’s theme “My Favorite Things,” 31 contestants from around Knox County participated in the 46th Annual Knox County Junior Miss Scholarship Program on Friday night at the Memorial Theater.
The night’s festivities began with each contestant introducing themselves and sharing their favorite food, book, thing or favorite activity with the audience.
Jessica Riley of Danville High School said her favorite food is Buffalo Wild Wings. Katie Merrilees of Mount Vernon High School said her favorite thing to do is to create art work. Casey Bonsignore, MVHS, said her favorite things are bubbles.
The scholarship program recognizes overall excellence in Knox County seniors. Judging is in five areas — interview, scholastic, talent, fitness and self-expression.
The talent portion of the program, which is 25 percent of the total score, focuses on originality, technical ability, appropriateness of the selection, custome and stage presence during the performance.
MVHS’s Kimberly Reitsma mesmerized the audience with her original piano composition, “Path We Take.”
The first-ever rap performance in the scholarship program was performed Friday by Shauna Burrows, MVHS, to the music of “Successful” by Drake.
Kara Mills, DHS, had the audience clapping along with her baton routine to the song “All These Things I Have Done,” by the Killers.
Emily Mickley, DHS, got the crowd excited with her dance tribute to the late Michael Jackson. Her choreography encompassed a mix of Jackson’s hip moves to his greatest hits.
During the self-expression portion of the program, which is 15 percent of the judging criteria, contestants were asked one of several questions provided Thursday evening. Questions were of social, economic, global, political or environmental importance. Judges look for the contestants’ ability to communicate, naturalness of carriage, confidence, posture and poise.
Fitness is another portion of the program the audience is able to see first hand and makes up 15 percent of the scoring criteria. The judging for this portion is based on coordination, stamina, agility, posture and carriage during the aerobic fitness routine. Contestants performed a choreographed routine they have been rehearsing for six weeks to songs “I love Rock-n-Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, “Everybody Dance (Gonna Make You Sweat)” by C&C Music Factory, and “I Like to Move It” by Reel 2 Real.
The interview and scholastic portions of the scores are not seen during the two-night program. The judging criteria for the interview looks at perception, sense of values, clarity of expressions, concern and interpersonal skills of the contestant, and counts for 25 percent. As for the scholastic portion of the program, qualified educators review and rate transcripts, scholastic test scores, class rank and college entrance exams, and is 20 percent the judging criteria.
The night concluded with the presentation of the following awards: Spirit Award — Bridget Fawcett, MVHS; Taylor Bennett, DHS; Janelle Mickley, DHS; and Haley Ward, MVHS; Ron Staats Community Service Award — Moriah Secrest, MVHS, Central Knox County; and Kaitlyn Boggs, FHS, Greater Knox County; Be Your Best Self Award — Samantha Hollar, East Knox High School, Greater Knox County; and Katie Merrilees, MVHS, Central Knox County.
The program will continue tonight at 8 at the Memorial Theater and will conclude with the announcement of the Central Knox County and Greater Knox County Junior Miss for 2010. Tickets can be purchased at the door.