the end of the first night of preliminary competition Wednesday, an overall talent winner and a rookie talent winner were chosen for the Miss Missouri Pageant, and an overall and rookie evening wear and on-stage question winner were chosen for Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teen.
Making her fifth appearance in the Miss Missouri Pageant and second runner-up last year, Miss Fleur de Lis Katie Moeller, was the overall talent winner. She was also a preliminary talent winner last year. The 24-year-old played a classical violin titled "Csardas Gypsy Dance."
Moeller, has been playing the violin since she was five-years-old. "I heard a little girl play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and begged my mom to let me play," Moeller said. It took her two years to convince her mom to let her play the violin.
The veteran contestant said the Miss Missouri Pageant changed her life. She is the morning co-anchor for CBS affiliate in Jefferson City. Before the pageant she would not go before an audience. Two years into the Miss Missouri Pageant she gained her confidence. "It (Miss Missouri) changed my life. It made my career possible," said the St. Louis native.
Miss River City Shelby Steingraeber may have won the rookie talent award, but this is not her first time on the Miss Missouri stage. In 2012, her senior year in high school, she was crowned Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teen. She has also appeared in production numbers in previous Miss Missouri Pageants. The 22-year-old first-time Miss Missouri Pageant contestant recently graduated from college and thought it would be a good time to compete in the pageant. Steingraeber performed a vocal/piano to "You Don't Know Me." Due to technical difficulties she repeated the performance at the beginning of the second half of the program at the request of the judges. She said having to do her talent again did not upset her, that she has been performed since she was 12 years old thins like this happen.
Steingraeber said she was surprised she won and felt grateful. "I feel lucky to be among all these incredible women," she said.
In the evening gown competition for the Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teen, Miss Springfield's Outstanding Teen Heleena Haberer wore a teal gown with a bodice covered in rhinestones and crystals. "It reminded me of a Cinderella gown," said the 16-year-old. Last year she was second runner-up in the OT pageant. "It is an honor to be back and see old friends and meet new friends," she said.
Haberer is a senior at Branson High School.
Miss Heart of Louis' Outstanding Teen Leah Forst was the rookie winner in evening gown for the OT pageant. She wore a turquoise fit and flare mermaid gown. The 16-year-old is a junior at Marquette High School in Chesterfield. Forst said she runs, eats healthy and is a member of the high school lacrosse team to stay fit.
Other contestants in the talent competition and their talent were: Miss Pony Express Hailee Beemer, lyrical dance to "Run;" Miss Gateway St. Louis Angela Porcelli, tap dance to "Beat It;' Miss Kansas City Ashley Thakur, violin to "Carmen Fantasy;" Miss Nodaway County Avori Henderson, aerial silks to "Lachrimae;" Miss Mark Twain Ashley Monasmith singing to "Wrecking Ball;" Miss Northwest Marissa Jarnagin, jazz dance to "I Am A Good Girl;" Miss Spirit of St. Louis Maddie Steele, vocal to "Defying Gravity;" Miss Crown City Holly Enowski, xylophone to "Hungarian Dance#5;" Miss Heart of St. Louis Aimee Stockard, acrobatic/jazz dance to "Run The World;" Miss Texas County Ashley Cummins, lyrical dance to "Run;" Miss Heartland Brittney Sears, vocal to "California Dreamin';" Miss Heart of the Ozarks, Katelyn Lewis, vocal to "Memory;" and Miss Mid-Missouri Megan Pennington, piano to "Whitewater Chopped Sticks."
Contestants also competing in the Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teen evening wear and on stage question were: Miss City of Fountains' Outstanding Teen Kylie Haas; Miss Route 66's Outstanding Teen Grace Clark; Miss Mid-Mo's Outstanding Teen Anamei Langston; Miss Spirit of St. Louis' Outstanding Teen Sophie Reiss; Hannibal's Outstanding Teen Ashley Krueger; Miss Texas County's Outstanding Teen Athena Hood; St. Joseph's Outstanding Teen Michelle Swink; Miss Fleur de Lis' Outstanding Teen Jessica Harper; Miss Southern Missouri's Outstanding Teen Allisyn Neal; Miss Metro St. Louis' Outstanding Teen Addyson Wilgus; and Miss Greater Springfield's Outstanding Teen Shea Smith.
Serving as emcees for the evening were Jim Dye and Miss Missouri 1995 Erin Phillips Engelmeyer.
The pageant continues tonight at 7:30 p.m. with the Miss Missouri contestants in swimsuit competition; and the crowning of Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teen.