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Top 12: Partridge gains ground in bid for Miss America crown

Former Miss Auburn and reigning Miss Washington Devanni Partridge, waving to the crowd at the Auburn Good Ol
Former Miss Auburn and reigning Miss Washington Devanni Partridge, waving to the crowd at the Auburn Good Ol' Days Parade, will be competing for the Miss American crown this weekend.
— image credit: Reporter file photo

Auburn's Devanni Partridge is making a good first impression during the Miss America Pageant week.

So good, in fact, that her competition chose the reigning Miss Washington and former Miss Auburn to be a contestant in the final 12 of the pageant. The 53-woman field revealed its popularity vote following preliminary competition this week.

Partridge, 21, daughter of John and Shirlee Partridge, will vie for the prestigious Miss America crown in Las Vegas, Nev. The finals are Saturday (5 p.m. tape delay, The Learning Channel) in the Theatre for the Performing Arts at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

Contestants from all 50 states along with the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will compete for the title.

Coupled with her competition's vote, the public now can play a part in improving Partridge's position. As one of the 12 chosen likely to succeed by her colleagues, Partridge will be among the dozen women profiled in TLC's one-hour, behind-the-scenes special tonight, "Miss America: Behind the Curtain". The program will air at 7 p.m. (repeated at 9 p.m.).

Following tonight's program, the public can vote for their favorite contestant by text. The voting period is from 7:58 p.m. to 2 a.m. (See instructions below.)

The top four recipients after the public text vote period will earn a guaranteed top-15 spot in Saturday's finals.

"To be highlighted among the 12 out of the 53 is huge," John Partridge said from Las Vegas. "She's had a phenomenal experience.

"I've never seen my daughter so poised," he continued. "She said she's having the experience of her life. Until you get here and meet all the top girls, you don't realize the incredible caliber of girls your daughter is associated with."

According to John Partridge, his daughter performed flawlessly during the talent segment. Devanni Partridge, a classically-trained pianist, performed Malagueña, a classic Spanish flamingo folk piece.

Devanni Partridge also performed well during the interview and evening gown portions of the competition, her father said.

The trip has been an incredible experience for the Partridges.

"It's just phenomenal. As a parent, it's off the charts," John Partridge said.

"We will leave extremely proud if nothing more happens. You just feel like your daughter will give it her all."

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For more contestant and program information, visit http://tlc.discovery.com/tv/miss-america/miss-america.html.

Vote for Devanni

Watch TLC today, then vote for Partridge via text immediately following "Miss America: Behind the Curtain."

To cast a vote via text, send the state name of the contestant you want to vote for to 97979 during the voting period." (Voting will be open at 7:58 p.m. PST today and end at 2 a.m. Saturday. Voting times and dates are subject to change at TLC’s sole discretion without notice. There is a five-vote-per-person limit during the voting period per originating telephone number.)

Fans also can vote for Partridge's "green campaign" entry online by going to her Web site, www.misswashington.org, click on her photo, click on "Vote for Devanni" then select WA and submit.

Partridge's green campaign currently is fourth among the entries and within 100 votes of third place.

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