Chien, Amir win preliminary rounds in pageant

June 15, 2000|By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

Miss College Park Deborah Chien received the talent award and Miss Bethesda Sonia Maria Amir received the swimsuit award Thursday night as preliminary competition in the 65th anniversary Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant began at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.

Chien, 23, performed Pablo de Sarasate's gypsy-inspired "Ziguerweisen" on the violin. She is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory and Johns Hopkins University.

She is the daughter of Chia-Ling and Christina Chien of Lutherville, Md.

For winning the preliminary talent award, Chien received a $600 scholarship and a plaque.

For the swimsuit portion of the competition, Amir wore a one-piece blue swimsuit with an ornamented front.

Amir, 24, is a second-year graduate student at the University of Maryland University College in College Park.

She is the daughter of Javed and Clemencia Amir of Beltsville, Md.

She received a $125 scholarship and a plaque.

Chien and Amir are among 26 contestants vying for the Miss Maryland title and the right to represent the state in the nationally televised Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., in October.


The new Miss Maryland will be crowned Saturday night.

On Thursday night, half of the contestants participated in the talent competition, which counts for 40 percent of the score. The other half participated in the swimsuit and evening gown competitions, which together make up 30 percent of the score.

Earlier in the week, each contestant had a personal interview with a panel of judges. The interview counts for 30 percent of the score.

On Thursday night, the audience got a taste of the interviews during "informal interviews" of half of the contestants, who were seated on couches on stage. Each were asked two questions about themselves and their platforms.

Miss America 1987 Kellye Cash was mistress of ceremonies and performed several songs.

Miss Maryland 1999 Keri Schrader, Miss Maryland 1997 Jaime Fox and Miss Antietam 1998 Samantha Spates also performed.

The second round of the preliminary competition begins 8 p.m. today at The Maryland Theatre.

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