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Miss California pageant welcomes a new twist on opening night

Miss Los Angeles County Brandee Mills shared the top award for preliminary talent with an acrobatic routine to ‘My Shot’ from the ‘Hamilton’ play.
Miss Los Angeles County Brandee Mills shared the top award for preliminary talent with an acrobatic routine to ‘My Shot’ from the ‘Hamilton’ play. jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

The 95th edition of the Miss California Competition kicked off with a twist (the swimsuit portion was replaced by an onstage question), another twist (this one a body-pretzel talent performance) and yet another twist (a tie for best preliminary talent).

This marked the first time in the pageant’s history – which includes the last 25 years in Fresno – that the contestants did not parade on the stage in swimwear as part of the physical fitness competition. Instead, it was replaced by an on-stage question that was basically an extension of the private interview the 41 hopefuls have taken (or will take) part in.

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The Miss California princesses sang the national anthem to kick off the 95th annual Miss California Competition at the Saroyan Theatre. JUAN ESPARZA LOERA jesparza@vidaenelvalle.com

Thursday (June 27) marks the second and final evening of the preliminaries at the Saroyan Theatre, with the successor to Miss California 2018 Mackenzie Freed being crowned on Saturday. The Miss California Outstanding Teen contest will take place on Friday (June 28).

Miss Los Ángeles County Brandee Mills, who twisted her body into astounding positions while moving to the music of ‘My Shot’ from the ‘Hamilton’ play tied for best preliminary talent.

Mills tied with Miss Orange County Katherine Reaves who sang the opera classic ‘La Traveata.’

The award for preliminary evening gown/social impact initiative statement went to Miss Marín County Jane Kennedy, who showed off a white gown with long sleeves.

This year’s competition includes seven Latina hopefuls.

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