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Saturday , July 17 , 2010
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A step closer to Tilottama crown
(Clockwise from top left) Contestants wait for their turn during the preliminary round of Sananda Tilottama; the three judges prepare to fire questions at the contenders; a contestant from Rourkela fields questions and the finalists pose for photos on the ramp. Pictures by Sanjib Mukherjee

Bhubaneswar, July 16: One of the most talked-about beauty pageants in eastern India had contestants from the state vying for the crown as Dabur Gulabari premium Sananda Tilottama today held its first preliminary round in the city.

Sananda is a sister publication of The Telegraph.

Damsels from various parts of the state participated in the event held at Hotel New Marrion here.The contestants were visibly excited as they faced the judges. It was clear how eager they were to walk the ramp during the finals.

As many as 143 girls applied for the contest. The contest began with a ramp walk. Judges Smita Mohanty and Madhumita Mohanty, both actors, marked the contestants for their appearance, confidence level and presence on the stage. Though there were few eliminations after this round, over a hundred made it to the second round.

This was all about personality, attitude and intelligence. The girls short-listed for this round went through a gruelling question-answer session.

“The contestants were really good. Most of them had good speaking abilities. They are confident and groomed,” said Smita Mohanty. “We were looking for poise and how they carried themselves on the ramp. Our questions were based on general knowledge, fashion, politics and so on,” said Madhumita Mohanty.

While 10 girls made it to the final round of the prelims, eight were selected for the mega prelims to be held in Calcutta on July 22.

“I’m very excited about having made it to the next round. Being a contestant in the pageant comes as a huge boost for my modelling career,” said Reshma Mahapatra, who has been selected for the mega prelims.

“It is a big platform for me. Thank god I survived the question-answer round,” smiled Reenita Patra, who was also selected. The fashion circuit of the city is abuzz with activly, believe the participants. “It’s good that Bhubaneswar is hosting a national pageant,” said Sriya Chhotray, a contestant.

While the preliminary rounds in Jamshedpur and Guwahati are already over, the prelims in Calcutta will be held on July 20. The mega preliminary round will see short-listed contestants battle for a place among the 10 finalists.

The finalists will undergo a month-long training in figure correction, diet, dance, ramp choreography, diction, etiquette and so on.

The contestants selected at the Bhubaneswar preliminary are Prerna Prajapati, Reshma Mahapatra, Chhabi Mahali, Sriya Chhotray, Reenita Patra, Poonam Dhal, Sunita Garabadu and Laxmipriya Shukla.

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