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Miss Macon director tips off Kelly Ripa about Miss America Betty Cantrell

In this file photo, April Montgomery sings the National Anthem during a rally in Rosa Parks Square. Montgomery won a trivia contest Friday on Live with Kelly and Michael.
In this file photo, April Montgomery sings the National Anthem during a rally in Rosa Parks Square. Montgomery won a trivia contest Friday on Live with Kelly and Michael. wmarshall@macon.com

Miss America Betty Cantrell is headed for an appearance Tuesday on “Live with Kelly and Michael,” but the famous hosts got tipped off about her talent on Friday.

Kelly Ripa said Monday morning that she enjoyed having a little “inside intel” from a trivia caller on who was going to win.

“I was like, ‘Oh, Miss Georgia is going to win,’” Ripa said during her live broadcast. “I had it in my back pocket, so it was like I was a psychic in the house.”

On Friday, the show’s Pop Quiz segment called the executive director of the Miss Macon Pageant, April Montgomery, who routinely applies online for the show’s contests but had never been phoned.

“So what do you do with your spare time in Macon, Georgia?” asked Ripa, who gasped to learn that Montgomery volunteers with the Miss America organization.

The call to Montgomery followed Cantrell’s win Thursday night in the preliminary talent competition.

Montgomery sang the praises on live television of Cantrell’s beautiful voice and opera performance the night before.

“Oh my gosh. April, that is so exciting,” Ripa exclaimed. “So she might be on our show Tuesday because Miss America will be here.” (The show airs in the Macon area at 9 a.m.)

Michael Strahan, a former NFL player with the New York Giants, will likely ask Cantrell about her “Deflategate” answer during the pageant.

Montgomery explained that the state has been waiting for a successor to the late Neva Jane Langley Fickling, who was Miss America 1953.

“Georgia has only had one Miss America, so we’re ready to be back on that map,” Montgomery said to Ripa’s amazement.

“You are kidding me,” Ripa said. ”I would think of Georgia having lots of Miss Americas because I know there’s lots of different pageants and pageant opportunities, right?”

The hosts went on to pop the morning’s trivia question about Steven Tyler’s appearance the day before.

Just like the Miss America contestants on stage Sunday, Montgomery had just 20 seconds to answer.

Montgomery knew Tyler sang along with a street performer in Moscow, and she won a $7,000 trip to Miami Beach.

“Congratulations,” Ripa said.

“You’re a sweetheart and we are so happy that you won,” Strahan told her.

Montgomery was called on her 16th wedding anniversary with her husband, Shawn, and she chose audience member No. 16, who won a $500 Shutterfly gift certificate.

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303 and follow her on Twitternote>

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