UD's Heather Lehman prepares to compete for Miss America
UD's Heather Lehman


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2:37 p.m., Jan. 14, 2010----Heather Lehman, a student in the University of Delaware Honors Program and winner of Miss Delaware 2009, is heading to Las Vegas for the Miss America Pageant on Saturday, Jan. 30.

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Her official send-off event will be Friday, Jan. 15, at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino in Dover, Del.

Lehman is a 20-year-old junior at UD majoring in political science and minoring in theatre, and aiming for a career as a lobbyist. She says, "My theatre background has allowed me to loosen up and let my personality shine though," while her knowledge gleaned from other classes has been helpful in the pageant interview process.

When asked how she is feeling about the upcoming competition, she said, "I've felt every emotion in the book. Now I'm mostly excited and eager."

Lehman is the 68th Miss Delaware, but hopes to be the first from Delaware to win the national crown. She will be arriving in at Planet Hollywood and Casino in Nevada on Jan. 21 for a series of rehearsals and appearances before the big day.

Judging the competition will be actress Vivica Fox; Miss America 2002 and vocalist, Katie Harmon; 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist in gymnastics, Shawn Johnson; six-time Grammy nominee, Dave Koz; radio personality, Rush Limbaugh; actor, comedian, and Humanitarian of the Year, Paul Rodriguez; and Brooke White, a seventh season finalist of "American Idol."

Lehman will be privately interviewed by the panel of judges on Tuesday, Jan. 26, regarding her work with the community service platform, Character Counts!, a character building and education program for elementary school children. In the past six months as Miss Delaware, she has been doing mock interviews to prepare. That night, Lehman will compete in the swimwear and evening gown categories.

On Wednesday, Jan. 27, Lehman will perform her rendition of "Adele's Laughing Song" for the talent portion of the competition, and the following day will be the on-stage question and answer.

On Friday, Jan. 29, TLC's "2010 Miss America One Hour Special" at 10 p.m. gives nationwide viewers the chance to learn more about the contestants and vote for their favorites. After the special, Americans can cast their votes and the top four of 12 selected by the candidates themselves will be automatically placed in the pageant's top 15.

On Saturday, Jan. 30, at 8 p.m., Mario Lopez will host a live broadcast on TLC of the pageant and crowning from Planet Hollywood and Casino.

Article by Jamie Hannigan