Bailess to judge Miss America

Published 10:59 am Monday, August 22, 2016

A Vicksburg native has been tapped to serve as one of the 2017 Miss America judges.

Katherine Bailess, the daughter of Bobby and Natalie Bailess, will be one of seven preliminary judges for the competition.

“I am so honored to be a judge for the Miss America Pageant. I grew up performing in the Miss Mississippi pageant as a young girl. This gave me so much respect for these young women and all of the hard work they have to do to get to this point.”

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Bailess, who now lives in Los Angeles and is most recently known for her role as Kyle Hart on “Hit The Floor,” is a graduate of St. Aloysius High School. After focusing on dance and musical theater at Mary Mount Manhattan College in New York, Bailess went on to study at the William Esper Studio’s two-year intensive program.

She has also held recurring roles on shows such as “Anger Management,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “One Tree Hill.” She also stars in the popular web series, “Sh%t Southern Women Say.”

Bailess is one of seven judges who will serve on the panel over the course of three days of preliminary competitions.

“Judging will occur Sept. 6, 7 and 8, and it will be this panel who will score the 52 contestants in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City and whittle that list down to the Top 15,” the Miss America website stated.

This will be Bailess’ first time to judge a pageant, she said.

“It is so exciting that my first pageant to judge is the Miss America Pageant.”

Other preliminary judges include Rob Bowman, a well-known music director; Debbie Bryant Berge, Miss America 1966; Dr. Jennifer Caudle, an assistant professor at the School of Osteopathic Medicine at Rowan University; Nicole Lapin, a New York Times bestselling author; Deanna Siller, a partner and global strategy leader at Gensler, an architecture, planning and consulting firm and; David Zinczenko, the founder and chief executive officer of Galvanized, a media company focused on health and wellness.

The top 15 contestants will go to compete for the title of Miss America 2017.

The live event will be broadcast on ABC Sept. 11.

The eventual titleholder, who will take the crown from current Miss America Betty Cantrell, will be selected by the celebrity finale judging panel.

Several members of the finale judging panel were announced earlier in August, and included entrepreneur Mark Cuban, actress Sara Foster, country singer-songwriter Cole Swindell and Miss America 1985 Sharlene Wells Hawkes.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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