A TEENAGER has taken her first steps to being crowned Miss Sunderland.
Performing arts student Jennifer Foulds was named Miss Passion nightclub in the first heat of the beauty competition.
The 17-year-old, from Grangetown, said: “They announced the winners in reverse order, and I really thought they had finished when suddenly he called my name. I just couldn’t believe it. I am so excited.”
Judges for the Passion heat were Newcastle Vipers John Schwarz and Liam McAllister, men’s suit designer Patrick Joseph and reigning Miss Sunderland Tamzin Cummings – who came fourth in last year’s Miss England competition.
The next heats take place on Saturday and Sunday at the Bridges.
The winner of this year’s Miss Sunderland competition will become the face of the Bridges and will win a modelling contract with Glam R Us, teeth whitening from Olivers Dental Studio and free hair styling for a year with Reds Hair Stylists.
Jennifer will compete in the final on May 20, with Passion heat runners-up Holly Lyons, from Easington Colliery, Chelsea Summerson, from Red House, and Stacey Steele, from Biddick Hall, South Shield.
The final will be held at Rainton Meadows Arena, and feature X Factor winner Joe McElderry.
Joe said: “I have never forgotten just how friendly and loyal the support is from the North East. I can’t wait to perform again back home.”
Miss Sunderland organiser Simon Robertson said: “We have been working on this for some time, and when we discussed who we wanted to headline he was always top of our list.
“What Joe has achieved since winning the X Factor is fantastic. He is a local hero and having that North East connection was important to us.
“It will be a magnificent final and we hope to raise even more for our chosen charity Grace House North East Children’s Hospice.”
Tickets range from £25 to £75 and can be booked by calling 584 8630.
There is still time for girls to enter one of the competition’s six heats. Visit www.misssunderland.co.uk for more information.