Miss Mississippi 2001: Jones County, Southern back in winner’s circle

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 13, 2001

At left, Miss Southern Jennifer Adcock plays Chopin’s “Revolutionary Etude in C Minor” to win Thursday night’s talent competition. At right, Miss Jones County Beth Richards walks to her win in Thursday night’s swimsuit competition. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[07/13/01] Thursday brought another night of preliminary wins for two Miss Mississippi contestants with ample experience.

Miss Southern Jennifer Adcock, 20, followed up her Wednesday night swimsuit win with a preliminary talent win, and Miss Jones County Beth Richards, 22, took the win in the swimsuit competition, her third in three years.

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“I kind of felt like I had some expectations to live up to,” said Richards, an Ellisville native competing in her fourth Miss Mississippi pageant.

For Richards, the key to her repetitive swimwear wins lies in staying in shape all year.

“I try to make it a lifestyle,” said Richards, who finished third-runner up in last year’s pageant as Miss Southern. “But, everybody tries to step it up before getting on statewide television in a bathing suit.

“I’m very excited. It’s good to see all the hard work pay off,” she said.

Richards, a senior at Ole Miss, wore a purple two-piece swimsuit and will receive a $200 scholarship for the preliminary win.

After being awarded a $200 swimsuit scholarship for her figure Wednesday night, it was Adcock’s fingers that earned her $400 at Thursday night’s competition as she wowed judges with a masterful piano performance.

Adcock played Chopin’s “Revolutionary Etude in C Minor,” a piece she first heard in the fourth grade and instantly fell in love with.

“It’s been one of my favorite songs ever since,” said Adcock, a senior at the University of Southern Mississippi. “I told my mom that one day I was going to play it in front of a lot of people. This was my first time to perform it in public, so I was really excited about tonight.”

While Adcock’s dual preliminary wins would seem to make her a shue-in for Saturday night’s final competition in which only the top 10 will compete, she’s shying away from making any predictions about the rest of the pageant.

“You just can’t ever say,” she said. “Anything can happen.”

Friday night’s preliminary will be the last chance for the 39 prospective title-holders to impress the judges before their scores are tallied and the field is slimmed to the 10 finalists for Saturday night.

Also, Friday night’s preliminary will feature Miss Vicksburg Melanie Sanders’ talent performance. Sanders, who has won her talent preliminary the past two years, will perform “Maybe This Time” from “Cabaret.”