MISS UNI­VERSE AUS­TRALIA

Glitz, glam­our and nerves

ME - - Front Page -

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

from left).

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