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Miss Hooters International 2005

Miami Beach, Fla.

Photos by Paul Fong / PNB

Anna Burns
The winner, Anna Burns

"It is a short walk from the hallelujah to the hoot," the great novelist Vladimir Nabokov once wrote. He was talking about how fame is fleeting, especially for a writer.

But if the author of "Lolita" were alive today, and if he were a pageant fan, he might rework his famous line. He might say, "It's a short walk from Hooters to hallelujah!" Well, he might.

The 2005 Miss Hooters International Pageant, held in Miami Beach, Fla., was enough to make anyone shout for joy. It was, for one thing, a celebration of the beach-style restaurant chain that has made "waitress" a synonym for goddess.

And it was a celebration of the women themselves. Angels from around the world put down their spicy wings and slipped into bikinis to vie for the crown. You had to be a real Hooters girl to be in this contest, you couldn't just look like one.

The winnerThe crownTop five
The winner (left) and the 5 finalists (above)
The winner, Anna Burns, 23, the December Hooters calendar girl, was a feast for the eyes. But there were a few moist eyes in the room, too. Because she represents a town that is in the thoughts of many -- Fayetteville, N.C., a military community that has sent thousands of men and women to war. Many a customer who goes out the door may soon be facing danger. But they leave with good memories.

Ms. Burns will soon be in the way of many cameras. In addition to her huge prize package, she gets to represent Hooters for a year. But if she ever looks more lovely than on the night when PNB photographer Paul Fong captured her in her new crown, it will really be something. And we'll tell you all about it.

Sarah Coggin, Miss Southwest, who was on the cover of the 2005 Hooters Calendar, was the first runner-up. Ambar Martinez, who represented Venezuela, was the second runner-up, and the third runner-up was Stacie Burns, Miss San Antonio. Beverly Mullins, representing Tampa, was the fourth runner-up. The Ms. Congeniality award, voted for by the contestants themselves, was won by Megan Edinger of Statesville, N.C., and the Ms. Photogenic went to Kami Payne of Rome, Ga.
Anna Burns
Ambar Martinez of Venezuela
Stacie Burns
Stacie Burns, Miss San Antonio
Beverly Mullins
Beverly Mullins, representing Tampa
Anna Burns
Anna Burns
Sarah Coggin
Sarah Coggin, Miss Southwest.
Ambar Martinez
Ambar Martinez, represented Venezuela.
VIPs were there, and not just from the Pageant News Bureau. The event was hosted by emcee extraordinaire Jim Gibson, one of the few men ever to command a PNB cover. The judges included TV personality Brooke Burke, Leeann Tweeden of "The Best Damn Sports Show," NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., NBA player and sportscaster John Salley, Major League Baseball player and broadcaster Rob Dibble, Lisa Dergan and Chris Rose from "The Best Damn Sports Show," NFL quarterback Rodney Peete and Nick Valvano, CEO of The V Foundation for Cancer Research. The pageant also featured an appearance by Martina Andrews, who was Miss Hooters International 2004.

And to think it all started with tight orange shorts! What would Nabokov say?
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