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St. Pete native will be presenting Oscar statues

If you see a long-winded acceptance speech during Sunday's Oscar presentation, pay attention if an attractive woman leans in and gently starts steering the winner from the stage.

It could be St. Petersburg native Talesha Byrd, who will have a hand in doling out Hollywood's most coveted awards.

Byrd, 30, earned a spot as one of three trophy presenters, formerly known as "trophy girls," and will hand over Oscar trophies to the winners during Sunday night's 84th Annual Academy Awards show.

"I'm really excited. I've done the MTV Movie Awards and the VH1 People's Choice Awards, but this one is very prestigious," she said. "It's the Oscars – you really can't get much bigger than that."

So how does one get chosen as a trophy presenter for the Oscars?

"There's a huge audition – sort of like a beauty pageant," said the 1999 graduate of Lakewood High School. "There's a casting call that drew about 200 girls and then there's a callback, which is then narrowed down to three."

The model and aspiring actress is restricted from divulging which awards she'll actually hand out, but family and friends here will have an opportunity to catch several glimpses of her throughout the evening.

"I'm one of three trophy girls, so I'll be giving out about 10 awards," she said Friday, just after leaving rehearsal.

Does she have a favorite movie or actor that she's rooting for on Oscar night?

"I like sci-fi and action movies, so I'm always excited to see Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington," said Byrd, adding that for the past two years, she's worked as a reporter doing Red Carpet interviews for CBS.

She's currently a model for L.A. Modeling Agency and has been in 8th and Ocean, a reality show based in South Beach that focused on the life of models.

Byrd, who lives in Los Angeles, also worked for the New York Modeling Agency and Irene Marie in Miami and once traveled abroad with a girl band, Heaven Sent, considered the Supremes of Europe.

She'll also appear in a new NBC series, Fashion Star, which premieres March 13.

For Byrd's mother, Carol Osgood, its another shining moment for her daughter, who's been modeling since 19.

"For me its exciting, but she's used to it," said Osgood who said she has no special festivities planned for Oscar night.

"I just tell my close friends when she's going to be on TV."

Watch her work

The 84th Academy Awards will air on ABC (WFTS-Ch.28) at 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

St. Pete native will be presenting Oscar statues 02/24/12 [Last modified: Friday, February 24, 2012 7:09pm]
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