Bikini-clad beauty pick of bunch

Franklin County News - - News - By AARON GOILE

While most peo­ple have packed their swim­suits away un­til next sum­mer, Wa­iau Pa’s Melissa Mis­son is still proudly wear­ing hers.

On Satur­day night she wore it so well that she won the NZ Ralph Swim­suit Model of the Year fi­nal in Pan­mure.

Com­pet­ing against 15 other women from around the coun­try, Melissa wowed the judges to take top hon­ours and progress to the Aus­tralian ver­sion of the event in the Gold Coast in May where she will go up against 23 Aussies.

The event fea­tures two rounds – Af­ter Five and Swim­suit and as well as parad­ing in th­ese, Melissa is aware that the ladies must in­tro­duce them­selves well and show a bit of per­son­al­ity.

‘‘You get judged on a num­ber of things – how well your out­fit com­ple­ments your fig­ure, the mu­sic you choose, your hair, nails, con­fi­dence, if you speak well and how well you cap­ture the au­di­ence.’’

The com­pe­ti­tion will be fierce with the top 12 con­tes­tants set to fea­ture on the 2010 Ralph cal­en­dar, with the win­ner earn­ing the trea­sured cover shot as well as tak­ing home $20,000 in cash and prizes.

While Melissa works dur­ing the week in a key ac­counts/ sales as­sis­tant role for freight com­pany Kuehne + Nagel Lim­ited at Auck­land Air­port, a big chunk of her spare time is taken up with dance classes and gym ses­sions to help her stay at the top of her game.

With the ex­tra added in­cen­tives this time round, Melissa said she has al­ready stepped up her prepa­ra­tions.

‘‘I’m just ex­er­cis­ing a lot and try­ing to eat prop­erly.

‘‘I will also be try­ing to get a lot of sleep,’’ she said.

While her trip is all ex­penses paid, Melissa and her boyfriend plan to stay an ex­tra cou­ple of nights to un­wind.

Af­ter first com­pet­ing in beauty pageants at 15 while still at Rose­hill Col­lege, Melissa has gone from ‘‘strength to strength’’.

First plac­ings at Ms Pauanui 2006, Miss Matarangi 2006, Miss Kings­lan­der 2008 and Miss Sa­fari Lounge 2008 have al­ready stood her in good stead, while she has been a keen par­tic­i­pant in Miss Franklin and Miss Franklin Uni­verse.

Melissa will be looking for a spon­sor for this year’s Miss Auck­land pageant, while the Miss Indy, Miss Best Model Aus­tralia, Miss Lin­gerie Model of the Year, Miss D1NZ and Miss Hawai­ian Tropic ti­tles will also be firmly in her sights.

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