GRANDVIEW - Beads were thrown, masks were worn and in the end a new Grandview Junior Miss court was decided. Saturday night, after a Mardi Gras themed program, Jody Davis was named 2004 Grandview Junior Miss, along with co-finalists Tara Collins and Jae Mains.
The three members of the new court were selected from a group of 12 girls who spent the evening putting their best foot forward for the judges. Throughout the program the girls were judged in five different categories, including interview, scholastics, talent, fitness and poise. The interview and scholastics categories were judged before the program began on Saturday night.
The 12 girls taking part in the program this year were Liz Razo, Crystal Barrera, Kesha Cruz, Rosie Madrigal, Mari Cornejo, Lita Cervantes, Crystal Segovia, Cheyanne Trevino and Jessica Varner, as well as Davis, Collins and Mains.
The program started with an opening number to "When the Saints Come Marching In," which featured the 12 contestants running through crowd, tossing beads and setting a festive tone for the rest of the night.
After running in and introducing themselves to the crowd filled with friends, relatives and community members, the girls went directly into their fitness routine, which was choreographed to a medley of Mardi Gras-themed songs, including "Carnival" by Bo Diddley, "I Want to Do It All" by Teri Clark and "Mardi Gras" by Queen Ida. During the routine, the girls showed off their coordination and stamina doing push ups, kicks and stretches, all while smiling and showing the judges that they were having a good time.
Also getting into the act was 2003 Junior Miss Linsley Grow, who performed a tap routine with her younger sister Allison Grow. The two sisters took to the stage and entertained the crowd with their fancy footwork.
Following the performance, Mistress of Ceremonies Gretchen Chronis introduced the five judges for the evening, which included Lisa Erickson of Sunnyside, who works at Cascade Natural Gas; Kevin Goetz of Coulee City, who works for Goetz Wheat Ranches; homemaker Jennifer Goetz of Coulee City; homemaker and 1986 Grandview Junior Miss Denise Maljaars of Prosser; and Highland School District employee and 1983 Grandview Junior Miss Princess Christina McDaniels of Tieton.
During the talent portion of the night, each of the 12 contestants took to the stage for 90 seconds to show the judges what they do best, be it singing, dancing or giving a dramatic performance.
Collins started the talent portion off with an a cappella vocal solo to "Amazing Grace," followed by a hip hop dance routine performed by Mains. Razo took to the stage dressed in a bright pink top and white pants to sing "When You Say Nothing at All." Barrera danced to "Que Ricmo No Pare," while Cruz did a funk dance. Madrigal, dressed all in black, gave a dramatic performance entitled "Hard to Say Goodbye," during which she mourns the loss of her best friend. Cornejo showed off her dance skills through a spirit dance, and Cervantes performed a soliloquy titled "Empty." Segovia took center stage in a poodle skirt, saddle shoes and a pink sweater to perform a dance to the song "Lollipop." Trevino, wearing a mint green dress, signed to the song "My Immortal," followed by Davis who played "A Whole New World," on the piano. Varner concluded the talent portion of the evening, dressed in a Yankees baseball shirt, singing "I Want to Do It All."
During poise, each of the 12 girls had a chance to choose their own evening gown as they prepared to perform a short group dance routine, complete with masquerade masks, before being asked an impromptu question by Chronis. The girls answered questions ranging from which television character they would most like to trade places with to what they worry about.
After a brief intermission, it was time to begin presenting awards. This year Grandview Junior Miss Chair Cookie Shannon presented the Friend of Junior Miss award to the Grandview School District for all of their help when it comes to using school facilities throughout the year for different Junior Miss activities.
The Be Your Best Self award, whose recipient is chosen by the Junior Miss Committee based on a girl's reliability, helpfulness and promptness during the period leading up the program, was presented to Davis. The Spirit of Junior Miss award, which is voted on by the contestants, was presented to both Davis and Mains.
The category awards went to Collins for talent, interview and poise; and Davis for scholastics and fitness.