Leaf River becomes only double prelim winner|[07/13/07]

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 13, 2007

The final night of preliminary competition for the Miss Mississippi 2007 crown ended with Miss Leaf River Valley Natalie Goldman, Tuesday night’s talent winner, taking the swimwear honors.

The win makes her the only contestant this year to take both talent and swimwear preliminary honors.

Miss Heritage Kimberly Morgan was the talent winner as preliminary rounds concluded.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

In talent, Goldman performed a lyrical dance to Josh Groban’s &#8220You Raise Me Up.”

&#8220I cannot believe this,” she said Thursday night. &#8220I never dreamed this would happen.”

She was a nonfinalist talent and swimwear winner when she competed in 2005.

Goldman, 22, is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. She said her talent helped her prepare for the swimwear portion of the contest.

&#8220Dancing is my cardio – I do an hour every day,” she said.

Morgan, 24, is a graduate of Alcorn State University and teaches music in the Quitman County School District. She performed &#8220Summertime” from &#8220Porgy and Bess.”

Morgan portrayed Bess with the Natchez Opera Festival while in college.

Thursday’s preliminary was not characterized by the ties of the previous nights, with only one winner in each category. Tuesday saw a three-way swimwear tie and a two-way talent tie. Wednesday night, there was a three-way talent tie.

&#8220I honestly thought there would be a five-way tie,” said Morgan. &#8220I feel overwhelmed. There were just so many talented, beautiful girls.”

Both women are second-year contestants.

The preliminary talent and swimwear portions of the competition will help determine Saturday’s Top Ten. Preliminary talent counts 35 percent, while swimwear counts 15 percent. Those scores, together with evening wear, on-stage question and an off-stage judges’ interview, will be brought forward as a composite score for Saturday night.

Other talent preliminary winners include Miss Mid South Catherine Carter, Miss William Carey University Elizabeth Goff, Miss New South Anna Elizabeth Tadlock and Miss Itawamba Community College Amanda Fleming. Other swimwear preliminary winners are Miss Northridge Stephanie Batchelor, Miss Tougaloo Jasmine Chardae Hughes, Miss Pontotoc Tara Tutor and Miss University Amanda Harmon.

Miss America chairman and Mississippi native Sam Haskell honored Vicksburg for hosting the Miss Mississippi pageant for 50 years on Thursday night. He is married to Miss Mississippi 1977 Mary Donnelly Haskell, who will perform during the pageant.

Celebrations for the 50th pageant continue tonight, as the annual Miss Mississippi Parade rolls down Washington Street, from Veto Street to China Street at 7. The 47 contestants and former queens will be honored at the Queen’s Ball at the Rainbow Casino immediately following the parade.

The Top Ten, as decided by the preliminary scores, will compete on Saturday in swimwear, evening wear and talent.

Miss Mississippi 2007 will be crowned on Saturday night at the Vicksburg Convention Center. She will be the 50th queen to be crowned in Vicksburg.