Four tie for swimsuit honors in second night|[7/21/06]

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 21, 2006

A four-way tie in swimwear shocked the audience and contestants in the preliminary competition of the 2006 Miss Mississippi Pageant Thursday night at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

Miss Dixieland Amanda-Paige Whittington of Mize, Miss Meridian Ashley Buckman of Bay Springs, Miss Tupelo Amy Bright of Tupelo and Miss W Ashley Nicole Owen of Columbus all tied for the preliminary win in swimwear, while the sole talent winner was Miss Byram/Tri-County Taryn Foshee of Clinton for her piano performance of &#8220El Cumbanchero.”

&#8220In my opinion, there could’ve been a four-way tie in talent. I can’t believe it happened this way,” said Foshee, 21. &#8220I’m extremely relieved, ecstatic and very humbled.”

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The four winners of swimwear were not as surprised to see themselves all on the stage together.

&#8220It’s hysterical because we’ve all four lived near each other our whole lives and we’ve been working out together forever,” said Buckman, 21.

&#8220We were all winners, and it is such a great group of girls, but it was tough competition as well,” said Whittington, 24. &#8220I’m so excited because I worked my butt off if you really want to know the truth.”

&#8220It’s great because we’re all so competitive, and for all of us to win feels so great,” said Bright, 18. &#8220I feel like all the hard work has finally paid off.”

&#8220It’s amazing and so exciting because we’ve worked so hard, and I knew God would work it out,” said Owen, 19.

Each of the four swimwear winners receives a $200 scholarship and the talent winner receives a $300 scholarship, all from the Miss Mississippi Corporation.

The preliminary competition is judged in evening wear, talent, swimwear and on-stage question. A winner is named in talent and swimwear each preliminary night. Scores from the preliminary nights will determine the Top 10, along with judges’ interviews earlier in the week. The Top 10 will be announced at the beginning of Saturday’s live telecast of the pageant starting at 8 p.m. on WLBT-TV3.

The Top 10 will compete again in areas of evening gown, swimwear and talent Saturday.

Nearly all of the 2,000 seats at the convention center were filled Wednesday and Thursday nights, and pre-sale show seats are expected to sell out for tonight and Saturday, business manager Winky Freeman said.

Out of 43 women ages 17 to 24 competing for the Miss Mississippi 2006 title, only one will be crowned Saturday. She will advance to the Miss America Pageant, which will be in Los Angeles Sept. 5-13.

The Miss Mississippi Pageant is in its 71st year and this is Vicksburg’s 49th year as its host city.