Miss Music City Shelby Thompson of Franklin, the daughter of Miss Chattanooga 1977 Eunice Belew Thompson, and Miss Chattanooga Chandler Lawson were talent co-winners at Friday's final round of preliminaries at the Miss Tennessee Pageant in Jackson.
Miss Lawson, a recent graduate of UT-Chattanooga and incoming first-year student at the University of Tennessee School of Law, sang Adele's Turning Tables while Miss Thompson, also a recent graduate from UT-Knoxville, performed the aria "Ah! Je veux vivre!" from Romeo and Juliet.
The win for Miss Thompson was especially poignant with it occuring just two days after the death of her grandmother and former Chattanoogan Jackie Belew. Meanwhile, Miss Lawson, who was the first runner-up at last year's pageant, not only won her first preliminary in three years of state competition, she was also awarded the coveted Miss America Organization State Community Service Award for her implementation of 5 Loaves 4 Kids in her hometown of Tullahoma.
The Friday preliminaries capped off three nights that have been dominated by area representatives. Miss Shelby County Hannah Disterdick of Chattanooga and Miss Scenic City Kyndall Covington won Wednesday's and Thursday's respective swimsuit preliminaries.
The finals will be held tonight starting at 9 p.m. and aired online at www.livestream.com/eplustv6 where the field of 36 contestants will be reduced to the top 15 until Miss Tennessee 2012 is revealed at approximately 11 p.m.
The winner will receive a $13,000 scholarship, become the state spokesperson for Character Education and will represent Tennessee at January's Miss America Pageant.