Finals tonight in Miss Mississippi Pageant
Published 12:34 am Saturday, July 12, 2014
Veteran competitors were the winners in Friday night’s preliminary competition at the annual Miss Mississippi Pageant held at the Vicksburg Convention Center.
Miss Turtle Creek Jordin Johnson and Miss University of Southern Mississippi Kimberly Page tied for talent preliminary and Miss Riverland Jasmine Murray was the winner of the swimsuit preliminary, making her a double preliminary winner after winning talent Wednesday.
Johnson, a 22-year-old Meridian native performed a lyrical acrobatic dance to Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.”
Johnson said she was a competitive dancer, a gymnast and cheerleader and decided to combine all three elements in her performance.
Johnson said she has put in many hours of practice preparing for the competition.
“I have worked really really hard every day. I would go to the studio and gym everyday after school until 8:30 or 9 at night, she said, and being on stage and winning talent just shows that all that hard work has paid off.”
Johnson is a student at the University of Southern Mississippi and is pursing a degree in nursing.
Page, a 21-year-old Ellisville native said she has been singing all her life and was glad she chose to perform “I (Who Have Nothing), which was based on the Italian song “Uno Dei Tanti” and released in English by Ben E. King in 1963.
“I have been wanting to sing this song for several years — this is my fourth year and it had always been our second choice and I guess it should have been our first choice, “she said.
Page is pursing a degree in communications from USM.
Wearing a two-piece white swimsuit trimmed in gold Murray said, “Wow I am honored again.”
The 22-year-old Columbus native said she has been training six days a week with a trainer to get in shape for the competition and has made physical fitness part of her lifestyle.
Murray is a student at Mississippi State University and is pursuing a degree in broadcast communication.
Miss Mississippi 2014 will be crowned in a live televised broadcast tonight at 8 on WLBT-TV3.
The competition will begin with the announcement of the top 10 finalists.
Preliminary scores in talent, swimwear and questions, including on-stage and off-stage interviews, are combined to make a composite score, which determines the top 10. Those women will compete in every category except private interview.
The preliminaries began Wednesday night.
The swimsuit winners were Miss Historic South Randi-Kathryn Harmon, from Amory and Miss Dixie Carol Coker, from Blue Springs. The talent winners were Miss Riverland Jasmine Murray, from Columbus, Miss Mississippi State University Laura Lee Lewis, from Brookhaven and Miss Deep South Caroline Conerly, from Hattiesburg.
This year’s theme for the pageant is My Mississippi and features songs made popular by Mississippi artists, from country to blues o rock and roll. Katie Stam Irk, who was crowned Miss America in 2009 is serving as the emcee for the 57th annual competition in Vicksburg.
Performers for the show include native Katherine Bailess, who plays Kyle Hart in the VH1 television series, “Hit the Floor,” Kimberly Morgan Miles, who was Miss Mississippi 2007, Greginald Spencer, Jason Miller, the Miss Mississippi Pageant dancers and the Miss Mississippi Magnolia Prince and Princesses.
The state pageant is a preliminary for the Miss America competition, which will be held in Atlantic City in September.
Mary Ann Mobley, the first Miss Mississippi crowned in Vicksburg went on to become the first Miss America from Mississippi. Three more Miss Mississippi winners have gone on to win the Miss America title — Lynda Lee Mead of Natchez in 1960, Cheryl Prewitt of Ackerman in 1980 and Susan Akin of Meridian in 1986.