Beauty contest winner displays talent for singing

By Joseph Aldridge

Vivian Nouri loves Mount Maunganui and it would seem that Mount Maunganui loves her.

The 22-year-old from Auckland was crowned Miss Mount Maunganui for the second time in three years yesterday. In 2009 she placed third, and in 2011 she was second.

As well as parading on stage in her purple bikini, Miss Nouri sang a song - a strong and polished a capella version of Hurt by Christina Aguilera.

Other contestants sang, played the cello, skipped and played the ukulele during the talent section of the competition, but the judges said Miss Nouri's performance was just too good.

A real estate agent by profession, Miss Nouri would like to become a professional singer.

"I want to do it professionally, I've always wanted it since I was little. I'm trying to pursue that dream at the moment, hopefully working with Sony Music soon and we're recording a demo at the moment, so hopefully that goes on to bigger things."

Miss Nouri, who was also named Miss Global Teen New Zealand in 2011, said she still felt nervous before taking to the stage.

"I was definitely nervous, backstage I was too nervous to come on stage but because I was last it kind of made it easier.

"Waiting for the results was scary as well, you never know what can happen."

First runner-up Amelia Borley sang a version of Feeling Good by Nina Simone, a capella. The 19-year-old art student from England was on holiday in New Zealand with her family.

Second runner-up, Sophie-May Church from Tauranga, showed her skipping skills on stage. The 18-year-old trainee teacher placed second in a national skipping competition in Australia when she was younger but hasn't skipped competitively for over three years.

The Little Miss Sunshine competition was won by 10-year-old Meila Foley-Gillies from Mount Maunganui.

The Aquinas College student also won the competition last year but won't be able to compete next year because she will be over the age limit.

Dad Willie Gillies, visiting from Germany, said he was proud of his daughter.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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