Preproduction shows off the fitness of Miss Mississippi contestants

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, June 17, 2018

“Simply the Best” is the theme for this year’s Miss Mississippi Pageant and yesterday the 49 contestants were at the Purks YMCA filming the preproduction of the show.

“The show has a sporty like feel,” executive producer of the pageant Jaynie Fedell said, and is geared towards showcasing how the contestants need to be physically fit.

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Fedell said in light of the Miss America Organization making the decision to remove the swimsuit portion of the competition from the pageant, they still want the contestants to be fit.

“And this opening video portrays them as being fit. They are not wearing swimsuits, they are wearing workout clothes,” Fedell said.

During the day, contestants rotated in their respective groupings to the Y, for the filming.

Fedell said the idea behind the preproduction number, which is where each contestant will introduce herself and the title she represents, was to allow the TV viewing audience the opportunity to see what can be produced here in Mississippi.

The preproduction number is similar to the one the Miss America Pageant has done to introduce the contestants to its viewers, she said.

“I sometimes like to mirror what Miss America does so the girls can have the feeling of what to expect if they are chosen to go to Miss America,” Fedell said.

“And it’s kind of fun to do a preproduction number. One girl told me she liked it because it took a little of the pressure off.”

Fedell said she likes changing up the productions each year, “Because no one likes seeing the same old thing each year.”

And one of the biggest changes this year will be reflected in the number of entertainers.

Vocalist Johnathan Brannan will be this year’s only featured performer, Fedell said, because she wanted to focus more attention on the contestants.

“And we are very fortunate this year because (the reigning Miss Mississippi) Anne Elizabeth (Buys) is talented in two areas, which are dance and vocals, so we get to use her in both areas, so we really didn’t need any other entertainers,” Fedell said.

Serving as emcee for the show will be Miss Mississippi 2010 Sarah Beth James.

The Magnolia Princes and Princesses will be back this year, and Fedell said, the children will be showcased in one large production number giving ample face time to each little one.

One very important change this year to note, Fedell said, is the start time of the pageant.

During the preliminary competitions, which are held Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, this year’s pageant will begin at 7 p.m. with a preshow at 6:30.

In years past the pageant began at 8 p.m., but Fedell said the earlier start time would prevent the princes and princess from being so tired.

“It is exhausting for the children when the show runs late,” she said.

And an earlier start time will allow the contestants a little more time to visit with parents and friends following the competitions.

However, the final round of competition and crowning, which is Saturday, will still begin at 8 p.m. Audience members are asked to be in their seats no later than 7:30 p.m. since it will be aired live on WLBT.

For more information or tickets to the Miss Mississippi Pageant, call 601-638-6746 or visit

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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