Toole makes final five at Miss America
She didn't take the crown. Nonetheless, Miss Alabama Melinda Toole, did beat out 47 other contestants to make it into the top five at the 2007 Miss America Pageant, broadcast live on CMT Monday night.
Toole, fourth runner up to the winner, Miss Oklahoma, was chosen Miss Congeniality by viewers who texted or e-mailed their votes in.
She was one of three Miss Congeniality finalists who were chosen by their fellow contestants during the program's “beauty boot camp.” The camp was held in 2006 in Los Angeles and aired on CMT and sister networks in the days leading up to Monday night's telecast.
The Samford University honor grad was also a finalist for the Quality of Life Award for her outstanding community service.
Toole was chosen Miss Greater Greenville in 2004 and became a popular speaker at local schools, clubs and churches as she shared her platform on Character Education.
“I can't imagine a more perfect candidate for Miss Congeniality than Melinda. As one of the contestants said on ‘Pageant School,' I really don't think that girl has a mean bone in her entire body. She is just so kind and gracious,” Miss GG Scholarship Board Director Sue Arnol,d said.
Arnold and her fellow board members and their family members met for a Miss America Party at Ashley Thigpen's home Monday night and enjoyed cheering their girl on.
“We thought she represented us here in Alabama in fine fashion, as well or better than anyone else we've had,” Arnold said.
“The state director, Nan Tennenbaum, absolutely loved her. She says Melinda is one of the best, most responsible, smartest gals she has ever worked with.”
Toole, who will continue to fulfill her duties as Miss Alabama through June 2007, has been accepted for a teaching position at Homewood Elementary School, Arnold says.
“We would have loved to have seen her win it, but God obviously has other plans for Melinda. We just wish her all the best in whatever she does.”