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Beauty queen 'transformed'

Andrea Tanner (click for larger version)
September 22, 2010 - Debating whether to compete in this year's Miss Teen USA contest, Andrea Tanner decided to pull her "beauty queen" pageant dress out at least once more. Rresults were even better the second time.

Tanner was placed in the "top 15" last year. On Sept. 11 in Ann Arbor, Tanner was placed in the "top 5" as the fourth runner up.

"I was amazed I even got fourth, I didn't think I was going to make top five at all," she said. "Actually I didn't think I was going to make top 15."

To make it into the top five, Tanner had to finish the sentence "I would never …" Her answer was "I would never go against God."

"I'm a Catholic, so I totally believe in God and He literally got me through the whole entire thing," she said. "He really did."

Tanner said she decided to do it again because of the "fun and great experience" she had the year before.

"I had the dress and I wasn't going to go out and buy a dress because pageant dresses can get really expensive and I only wore it once," she said. "I sent in my stuff and got accepted."

Once accepted, she began training both physically and mentally, which included answering questions, walking everyday in her heels, seeing her trainer twice a week and going to the gym every other day.

"I was always busy doing pageant stuff up until the pageant," she said. After I was really relaxed and was like 'wow, I can finally settle down.'

Not quite, she received a casting call for Transformers 3 being filmed down and Detroit and got the job.

"I've been on set for the past week. I'm just an extra, so I'm kind of in the background, but I think I actually got a pretty good part where you'll be able to see me," she said. "It's amazing and I can't wait for the movie to come out on July 4."

Tanner said she thought the movie "Real Steel" also being taped in Michigan, had a casting call of 300. Transformers she said only had about 50, so she felt "pretty lucky" and honored to get picked.

As if things couldn't get any crazier, she is also juggling her modeling career and being a regular high school junior.

"It's hard balancing my career and school because a lot of it's during the week," she said. A lot of my agencies have understood that I'm only 16. I'm a junior in high school, so I need to at least finish high school."

However, Tanner was excited when she was went to a casting call and was accepted to model for a catalog shoot with "Cheer USA" in October.

"I love being in front of the camera. I also love meeting all the people in the industry because there is millions and millions of people," she said. "You can meet someone and they can just tell something about you, so they just pass your name on. There is really no other way to get around unless you start getting your face out there by telling people about yourself."

Tanner also is involved in charity work for "Calling All Angels," SCAMP, and Lighthouse.

She also took some time this year to be a counselor at church camp, which reminded her of childhood when her brother was her counselor.

"Now I was the counselor to all these little kids, it was so much fun just telling them about God and helping them understand," she said. "We had an amazing time, and I fell in love with all the kids."

When not busy practicing for pageants, on movie sets, or doing modeling shoots, Tanner works at Frosty Boy off Sashabaw Road and enjoys time with her friends. She is still very close with Catherine McGee, who was crowed Miss Teen USA last year.

"I'm so happy I met her, she is someone you can always go to and talk to. She's always the person who runs and gives you the biggest hug ever, even when she's seen me the day before," Tanner said. "She is just the nicest girl I've ever met."

She and McGee also share a common love for hunting, fishing and both have pet peacocks they're raising. As to whether or not Tanner will compete in Miss Teen USA again next, year she isn't going to say one way or the other right now, but it's a "maybe."

"My life ambition as this point is to be the best I can be, have inner success and be true to myself," she said. In the future I would love to have a career to working with Special Ed children in education."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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