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Talent Takes Miss and Mr. St. Croix Over the Top

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Dec. 18, 2006 — Yairia Bermudez and Julio Petersen III were crowned Miss St. Croix and Mr. St. Croix in an action-packed show Sunday in front of a capacity crowd.
"I worked hard," 17-year-old Bermudez said after accepting the crown. She credited her talent, in which she depicted a "fire bird," as the best part of her performance. Petersen, a 17-year-old vocal major at the University of the Virgin Islands, also said he believed it was his talent that put him ahead of the other contestants. "I'm happy, full of emotions," Petersen said as he was crowned.
The new Mr. St. Croix wowed the audience with an original song and artistic depiction of a young man killed by violence who then rises from the dead to ask all who would listen: "What would David Hamilton Jackson say?" when confronted with the violence that abounds in today's society.
The UVI vocal major said the skit and song was created by Timothy Graphenreed, who is an arranger and composer with numerous Broadway credits.
For her talent section, Bermudez appeared on stage as a "fire bird" in a cage. Dressed in an elaborate costume of red and yellow feathers, the diminutive Bermudez, who stands 4'8" tall, commanded the stage with her interpretive dance. Bermudez also captured the titles of Miss Popularity, Miss Intellect and Best Cultural Costume.
Best Cultural Costume and Mr. Intellect also went to Petersen.
Capturing the first runner-up position was 17-year-old Melba Moore, a senior at St. Croix Educational Complex. Moore was also named Miss Congeniality.
Edrina White, 21, a 2004 St. Croix Educational Complex graduate, was named second runner-up and Miss Photogenic.
Third runner-up was Jawana Goodwin, 20, a 2006 graduate of St. Croix Central High School.
John Williams, who at age 18 was the youngest person ever to capture the title of Crucian Festival Calypso Monarch in 2004, sang his way to a second-place finish in Sunday's contest. Williams was also named Mr. Congeniality.
Sonny Ortiz, the 17-year-old St. Croix Central High School class president, was third runner-up and won the titles of Mr. Popularity and Mr. Photogenic.
The pageant, which was held at the Island Center for the Performing Arts, began about 5:30 p.m. and did not conclude until close to midnight.
The opening production number saw the contestants performing a spirited dance sequence to a Brazilian beat. The gentlemen were dressed in red vests and black pants, while the ladies sizzled in red-and-black mini-dresses with satin accents.
Bermudez's cultural costume was outfitted with replica windmill blades attached to the back. The full skirt featured layers of gingham ruffles with a fitted sleeveless bodice and a jaunty straw hat was set on her head.
Moore chose to honor the V.I. flag and popular landmarks in her cultural costume. The white background of the dress featured the eagle on the bodice and appliqu

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