BUDDING beauty queen Rebecca Wilson is the latest girl to be announced as a finalist in Miss Sunderland.
The 17-year-old, from Ashbrooke, beat off stiff competition to win the Miss Pandora heat of the city pageant.
After impressing judges, the college student won the chance to strut her stuff at the Miss Sunderland final which will take place at Rainton Meadows Arena on May 20.
Rebecca, who is studying travel and tourism at St Peter’s College, is hoping to follow in the footsteps of current title holder Tamzin Cummings who is the city’s most successful beauty queen yet after coming fourth in Miss England.
Rebecca said: “It would be amazing to win the overall title and represent my home city at Miss England. My mam entered me in the contest and I was pretty gobsmacked when I won the heat.
“This is the first time I’ve done any modelling but it’s such a great experience.”
Laura Lawton, 17, from Pennywell, and Rebecca McGeekie, from Darlington, were named as runners-up in the heat which took place at the Bridges shopping centre.
They were out to impress the judging panel which included Bridges centre manager Andrew Bradley, bespoke suit designer Patrick Joseph, Miss Sunderland 2010 Tamzin Cummings, Mark Black of Sun FM and Rachel Mather, of family-owned jewellers Collinsons, who opened the Pandora Sunderland store last year.
Patrick Joseph said he was impressed with Rebecca’s “top-to-toe style, elegance and model height”.
Heats are taking place across the city to unearth more than 20 beauties aged 17-24 to take part in the Miss Sunderland final which features a performance from X Factor winner Joe McElderry.
As well as representing Sunderland at Miss England, the overall winner will become the face of the Bridges, taking part in marketing campaigns for the shopping centre.
She will also scoop a modelling contract with Glam R Us agency, teeth whitening from Olivers Dental Studio, Pandora goodies and free hairstyling for a year with Reds Hair Stylists.
Simon Robertson, organiser of Miss Sunderland 2011, said: “We must not forget that this is for charity too and I am hoping for a magnificent final. We hope to raise even more for our chosen charity Grace House North East Children’s Hospice. It is a wonderful cause.”
Tickets for the show: £25 for the show only, £50 for a four-course meal plus the show and £75 for VIP tickets are available from 584 8630.
To enter the contest visit www.misssunderland.co.uk