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Taking On "Today"

Local student hopes to be the next Meredith Viera.

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Somewhere between TheatreWorks productions such as First Site and the middle school drama club, 7th-grader Deidra Shores has gone missing. Where in the world is she?

The Colonial Middle School student is in New York City, sitting alongside Natalie Morales, Al Roker, and Ann Curry, in hopes of winning the Today show's "Kid Reporter" contest.

After promotions about the contest began airing on Today in early October, Vanessa Conner, Shores' mother, mentioned the contest to her daughter.

"It took me two hours to shoot the video," Shores said. "I was running around Memphis like a mini paparazzo."

In the third week of the competition, Shores became a semi-finalist with her parody of Today's popular segment, "Where in the World Is Matt Lauer?"

From those 16 semi-finalists, Shores became one of four finalists. And, with that, she made her way to the Big Apple.

During her first trip to the Today show, Shores met singer Rod Stewart, the entire cast of Today, and the other finalists.

"I wasn't really nervous, just mostly excited. Ann was the first to talk to us," Shores said. "They showed us a room full of submissions from the contest."

Shores will be on Today Thursday, November 5th, and Monday, November 9th, when the finalists will each report a news story. Judging will end the following day.

While the contest hasn't convinced her to become a news anchor, Shores has taken a liking to the camera.

"I like to do anything to help with my talent," she said. "I could do anything, but acting is really cool."

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