MISS UNIVERSE AUSTRALIA
Glitz, glamour and nerves
Under the bright lights and watchful eyes of the judges at Doncaster’s boutique hotel Beau Monde International, Amanda Tucker drew on her modelling experience as she took to the stage for the Miss Universe Australia preliminary finals.
Amanda, 23, was one of 32 girls who were invited to compete for a hotly contested place in the top 10 state final, in front of hundreds of spectators and last year’s Miss Universe Australia, Tegan Martin.
This was Amanda’s second year competing in the event, but she said that didn’t make it any less daunting as she and the other girls paraded in cocktail gowns, swimwear, evening gowns and were put in the spotlight in the question-and-answer section.
“It was still just as nerve-racking as last year and the competition was just as tough,” she said.
While in last year’s event at the Sphinx Hotel in Geelong there was a relaxed vibe, she said this time around tensions rose a bit higher.
“The atmosphere in every heat is different. All the girls are very standoffish to start with but once rehearsals start and they start to mingle it is a nice place to be,” Amanda said. However, she said it was a bit like being back in high school with small cliques forming from the get go.
So, what inspires her to take part in the event?
“I do like the glamour side, it’s not every day you get to wear a $600 gown.
“The more bling the better in these competitions; I searched for at least seven months for my last dress. I went to Melbourne, Sydney Rd, Doncaster and even online, but I ended up finding it here in Shepparton at Brides and Maids.
“Tina and her team were very helpful and (assisted) in altering the dress (to) the way I wanted it.”
While she didn’t advance to the next round, Amanda has already been invited to compete in the Miss Tourism pageant heats in Victoria and Western Australia this year.
Although she will continue to compete in pageants for the time being, Amanda’s aspirations to join the police force will take centre stage once she has completed her studies.
Story: Rhiannon Gavalakis Photography: Mike Chang
Amanda sparkled in this jewelled
Sherri Hill cocktail dress (also pictured above sixth