Miss Mississippi: Harper wins in prelims with handmade dress
Published 7:02 pm Friday, June 21, 2019
For the second night in a row there was a tie during the Miss Mississippi preliminary competition.
Miss Deep South Mary Hulbert and Miss Pearl River Valley Michaela Harper tied for first place in the evening wear and social impact statement phase of the competition.
This is Harper’s first and last time to compete for the title, she said, since she will age out for next year’s competition. The preliminary victory was even more special, she said, since she had to put a little extra effort in behind the scenes.
“I was in utter disbelief. I had been so self-conscious about my evening gown because I had to make it,” Harper said.
Harper said there was a mishap with the original gown she planned to wear, which made it necessary for her to find a suitable dress.
“I had to find a dress that fit, and then I added the cape myself and bedazzled it. So I was nervous it would not be up to par, but receiving this award makes me feel over the moon,” she said.
Like Harper, Hulbert was excited to share the stage as one of the winners of the evening wear and social impact statement phase of the competition.
“I cannot believe it. I am still in shock. This is my first year ever (to compete) and I just came into this with an open mind to do my best, so this is a shock to me, and I am still so excited,” Hulbert said.
During this phase of the competition, candidates shared with the audience their social impact statement, which Hulbert said she appreciated.
“Instead of just walking, I believe this is a way for us to talk about what we are passionate about, so I think this is a good implement to the program,” Hulbert said.
Miss Rhythm & Blues Dana Wesley won the talent competition. Wesley sang her version of “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” from the musical “Show Boat.”
“It was unbelievable,” Wesley said, after hearing her name called as the talent winner on Thursday night. “This is my fourth year to compete in Miss Mississippi and my very first time to win a preliminary. I am so thankful and this is something I have prayed for.”
In an effort to succeed in her performance, Wesley said she took up cardio.
“It helps with breathing and when you are nervous on stage it helps with the capacity to sing full notes,” she said.
During Wednesday night’s preliminary round of the competition, Miss Dixie Molly May and Miss Northeast Mississippi Lexie Harper tied for talent and Miss Riverbend Mary Margaret Hyer won the evening wear and social impact statement.
Friday night wrapped up the Miss Mississippi Preliminary competitions.
At 8 p.m. Saturday, the final phase of the competition will be held. The top 10 candidates with the highest scores will be named and then they will re-compete in all phases of the competition except for the judge’s interview, with one being crowned the winner.