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Bright Future: Newest Miss Vidalia puts others first

Vidalia — Caring, Godly and positive.

Those were the three adjectives Vidalia High School Senior Erin Fuller chose to best describe herself Saturday to a panel of judges.

The answer, Fuller said, came pretty easily to her because it was one she had practiced repeatedly in her preparation for the Miss Vidalia Pageant.

“I chose Godly because I’m a very Christian person, caring because I’m always concerned about others and positive because I try to see the better outcome about everything,” Fuller said. “Other than standing in front of half of Vidalia with a microphone, I really wasn’t that nervous about answering that question.”

Fuller, 17, competed against 10 other seniors who were judged in a variety of categories including interview, evening gown, casual wear and dance.

Being a member of the dance team at VHS made the dance competition the easiest one of all, Fuller said.

“The dance competition was the easiest part, because I’ve been dancing all my life,” she said. “I’m terrible at interviews, so that was the thing I was most nervous about.”

Just hours before the pageant at the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center, Fuller sat down in front of a panel of three judges to conduct her interview.

Luckily, Fuller had a secret weapon she didn’t even realize.

“All of the judges really liked my shoes,” she said laughing. “I think that was like an icebreaker because it helped me just kind of open up to the judges.

“I think the shoes definitely got me in.”

Apart from asking about her black heels with ruffles, Fuller said the judges asked her a variety of questions including why she wanted to be Miss Vidalia.

“I told them that I always strive to be a role model for younger kids, and that I thought I could continue to do that as Miss Vidalia,” Fuller said. “I want to show the younger kids coming up from the junior high school that they don’t have to get in trouble to fit in or any of that.”

Following the interview, Fuller took to the stage and competed against the other contestants before being selected to continue with the other top five contestants.

Those contestants moved ahead to the final round of questioning on stage in front of the audience.

A list of five questions, including the three adjectives question, were given to the contestants ahead of time to allow them to prepare their answers.

Fuller said she had practiced all of the questions thoroughly at home, but not knowing which one she would get was nerve-wracking.

“That was the worst part just because I didn’t know which question I was going to get,” Fuller said. “Once they called out the adjectives question, I felt pretty good about it.”

And in the end her preparation, dance skills and possible shoe selection paid off as Fuller beat the runner up, Laura Perilloux, by just two points.

“I was really surprised just because I thought Laura was going to get it,” Fuller said. “I knew it would be close, but I had no idea it would be that close.”

Fuller is the daughter of David and Dawn Moss and John and Amanda Fuller.

She plans to study neonatal nursing at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, La.

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