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Royalty Crowned After Three Days Of Events

HOLLYWOOD - Suraiya Youngblood, 18, and Mercedes Osceola, 15, were crowned the 1999-2000 Miss Seminole and Junior Miss Seminole, respectively, on Aug. 14.

Relying on experience to win the crowns, the two young Tribal members earned the judges' nod by tallying up points in the etiquette, essay, personal interview, presentation, traditional and overall appearance, talent, and impromptu question categories.

The pageant began on Thursday with a Pool Party in which the contestants were judged on their personal introductions and etiquette. Friday the contestants were judged in a more formal setting at Porcao's restaurant in Miami.

The main event, on Saturday, seemed to come too quickly, as some of the contestants realized that rehearsing in front of an empty auditorium is different from the actual event.

All in all, each contestant did very well in a particular category. Tommie Jumper Hawk won the Talent portion with her Native American Flute piece "Flight of the Hawk," and Cherelee Hall was awarded Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants.

The contestants were judged by Sharon White, Miss Tuscarora Princess 1965; Danielle Behe, former Miss Florida; and Joe Quetone, Executive Director for the Florida Governor's Council on Indian Affairs.

In the end, it was Youngblood and Osceola who were consistent in each category, giving polished answers and well-rehearsed presentations. Congratulations to the new Seminole Tribe Princesses Suraiya Youngblood and Mercedes Osceola.

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