Charmed: Johnston crowned Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen
Published 6:22 pm Sunday, April 25, 2021
The third time was the charm for Miss Central Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Tori Johnston.
After being named second runner-up the first year she competed in the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Competition and then first runner-up the next, Johnston’s “climb up the ladder” paid off. Sunday, the 18-year-old Jackson Preparatory senior was crowned 2021 Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen.
“I was in utter disbelief and shock when I heard my name called,” Johnston said. “I already had in my head that I wasn’t going to win and so I am so grateful to, number one, my Lord and Savior, and second, my family because they have believed in me the entire time.”
Johnston, who had been named a talent winner in the second of two preliminary competitions held Saturday, wore a red evening gown for the talent phase of the competition and sang “Tomorrow” from the Broadway musical “Annie.”
In an interview following her preliminary win Saturday, Johnston said she chose the song because it “gave meaning to the difficulties of the past year.”
“This year, I think in this pandemic, I wanted to sing the song ‘Tomorrow’ because it is exactly what we needed to hear,” she said.
During her reign, Johnston said she wants to further the organization’s brand and promote her platform — Shining A Light On Special Needs — with as many appearances as possible.
The winner of Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Competition is awarded a $5,000 scholarship and will go on to compete in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Competition. This year the national competition will be held July 25-30 in Orlando, Fla.
At the beginning of Sunday’s competition, the top 10 finalists were named. Each competed once again in the lifestyle and fitness, talent and evening wear/on-stage questions phases of the competition.
Miss Deep South’s Outstanding Teen Cameron Davis was named the first runner-up and was awarded a $2,000 scholarship. Miss Pine Belt’s Outstanding Teen Madison McCarter was the second runner-up and received a $1,200 scholarship.
Miss Pride of the Prairie’s Outstanding Teen Grace Travis, who won two preliminary competitions Saturday, was third-runner up and received a $900 scholarship.
Miss Delta’s Outstanding Teen Hannah Briscoe rounded out the top five and received a $600 scholarship.
Among the remaining finalists, who each received a $400 scholarship, were Miss Modern South’s Outstanding Teen Meredith Adams, Miss Presley Height’s Outstanding Teen Grace Hendrix, Miss Metro Area’s Outstanding Teen Mary Kate Nelson, Miss Pontotoc Ridge’s Outstanding Teen Ava Partridge and Miss Delta Crossroads’ Outstanding Teen Brooke Bumgarner.
The finale also saw the final goodbye of Jane Granberry, who served as Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen for 2019 and 2020. The 2020 competition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Granberry, a freshman at the University of Mississippi, who had won the 2019 title, was asked to serve a second year.