BREAKING: 9pm 6-21-09 Miss Shreveport, Katherine Putnam Crowned Miss Louisiana 2009 Sat. Night

MONROE, LA From The Times (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town) BREAKING: 2009 MISS LOUISIANA PAGEANT 9pm 6-21-09 Miss Shreveport, Katherine Putnam, was crowned Miss Louisiana 2009 Saturday night in Monroe, La.  

Firsst runner up, Hope Anderson, Miss Louisiana at Monroe was the winner of the preliminary swimsuit-fitness preliminary Friday. She will take Putnam’s place if for some reason she is unable to serve as Miss Louisiana.

Miss Lafayette Kenley Minchew, a talent winner Friday night, was named second runner-up, Miss Natchitoches City of Lights Courtney Haynes was third runner-up and Miss Port City Joy Thomason was fourth runner-up.

The finals, televised live across the state from the Monroe Civic Center’s Jack Howard Theatre, began with 29 contestants introducing themselves in an opening production number.

Shortly after the evening started, the competition came to a close for 19 of the contestants as the field was narrowed to 10 semifinalists according to the Times.

The semifinalists who were not among the five finalists were Miss Watermelon Festival Brittany McGehee, who won the first-night talent preliminary Thursday; Miss Bossier City, Erica Durr; Miss Crescent City New Orleans, Lacy Thibodeaux, Miss North Louisiana Bayou, Brandy Hotard; and Miss Spirit of the Red, Ravayna Tracey.

The top 10 were named based on the judges’ scores from the two nights of preliminaries and Wednesday’s interview sessions. They participated Saturday in a fresh round of talent, swimsuit/fitness and eveningwear competition. Once the five finalists were named, they each answered a final question before the judges named Putnum as Miss Louisiana.

Putnam, 22, attends the University of Louisiana at Monroe with a major in piano performance. She put that talent to work, playing the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Putnam’s platform is the miracle of music.

Miss Louisiana Gulf Coast Lauren Lachney was named Miss Congeniality at the pageant Saturday. TV viewers casting votes on the Internet favored Miss la Bonne Terr Meghan Melder. Miss Louisiana Jazzland Mandi Ridgdell won the Miracle Maker Award.

Judges for the Misss Louisiana Pageant were Taryn Foshee, E. Lynn Harris, Amanda Mainord Reeves, Stephanie L. Barnes and McNeil Chestnut.

Saturday night’s finals concluded a week of activities that started with the Miss Louisiana’s Outstanding Teen Pageant. Kelly Bernard, 16, who represented the city of Monroe, won the title.