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Watching the results Doubly cool

Photos by Joe Whiteko / PNB

Twice in a span of 50 days, Amanda Pennekamp of South Carolina was just a shout away from becoming Miss USA. And twice she didn't make it.

The first time was on a Los Angeles stage on April 12, 2004, when she and Shandi Finnessey of Missouri were the last two contestants left standing in the Miss USA Pageant. Ms. Pennekamp's name was called as first runner-up, and Ms. Finnessey went on to compete at Miss Universe.
"We love you, Amanda"Almost tasting success
The second time was on June 1, when Ms. Pennekamp and many of her friends gathered in Columbia, S.C., to see the Miss Universe competition on a wide-screen television. They watched as the field was winnowed down to Ms. Finnessey and Australia's Jennifer Hawkins.

It was a tense moment. Everyone knew that if Ms. Finnessey won Miss Universe, the Miss USA crown would fall into Ms. Pennekamp's lap. "My life's a little bit on hold," the South Carolinian had told PNB a few days earlier, and now her whole future seemed to hang in the balance.
Will she or won't sheAnticipation
What do you think?You know what happened, of course. Ms. Hawkins won Miss Universe. Ms. Finnessey was first runner-up and remained Miss USA. And Ms. Pennekamp, the gorgeous brunette in front of the TV screen, remained Miss South Carolina USA. It had to be tough, but her chin was up, and her smile was warm.

Luckily, Ms. Pennekamp's story doesn't end here. This young actress will soon be on other stages in Los Angeles, and you will be seeing her on your TV screen. That's our prediction. She deserves no less.

Oh ...

well ...
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