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Misses Missouri, Texas Win Preliminaries In Miss America Pageant

September 11, 1986

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) _ Miss Texas Stephany Samone belted out a jazzy version of ″Stand By Your Man″ to win the talent division and Miss Missouri Tamara Tungate prevailed in the swimsuit competition in preliminary contests Wednesday at the Miss America Pageant.

Performing before a crowd of 6,500 at Convention Hall, Miss Samone, 25, of Dallas performed the Tammy Wynette hit wearing a raspberry-colored, Western- style jumpsuit adorned with shimmering silver bugle beads.

A sophomore at the University of Texas, Miss Samone has appeared in small parts on the TV show ″Dallas″ and in a movie about a beauty pageant entitled ″All-American Beauty.″

She has also released two single records which made the Billboard, Cash Box and Record World charts.

Miss Tungate, 21, of St. Peters, Mo., who wore a purple swimsuit in competition, is a college freshman majoring in business.

As a high school junior, she volunteered to participate in a program to desegregate St. Louis’ public schools.

Preliminary competitions in the swimsuit, evening gown and talent divisions are held on the three nights previous to Saturday’s nationally televised pageant finals.

The 51 contestants representing every state and the District of Columbia are divided into three groups. Each group appears nightly before the panel of eight judges for competition in one category.

Winners of preliminary talent awards receive $3,500 scholarships. Swimsuit winners are awarded $2,500 scholarships.

Winning a preliminary competition is a sign that a contestant will likely be among the 10 finalists on Saturday.

The names of the women who win the preliminary evening gown competitions are kept secret in order to heighten the suspense for Saturday night’s show, when a successor to Miss America 1986 Susan Akin of Meridian, Miss., will be crowned.

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