Get Ready to Rock: Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen competition begins Saturday

Published 2:46 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2023

From evening gown selection to rehearsing their talents, 16 young women have been getting ready to compete in the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Competition, which gets underway Saturday.

Also preparing for the competition are Jennifer Tillotson and Nancy Robertson, producer and co-producer of the competition, respectively.

Both women spent countless hours deciding on a theme for the show as well as the music that will be used.

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“This show is definitely a team effort,” Robertson said. “Jennifer develops the theme, then she bounces ideas around with me and always comes up with an outstanding production design plan for the show.”

This year’s theme for the 2023 MMOT is “Rockin’ and Rollin’ on the River.”

Tillotson said the title evolved from songs she keeps for consideration when planning a show.

“I’ve had the songs ‘Rollin’ on River’ and ‘Mississippi Queen’ in my idea bank for a long time. When I decided to use them this year and began selecting songs to complete the show, I thought, ‘This show is rockin’ and we live on the river.’ So, that’s how the title evolved,” she said.

The production also has a couple of Elvis Presley favorites — “Can’t Help Falling In Love with You” and “Blue Suede Shoes,” which will be used during the Petite Magnolia Belles performance.

Serving as emcees for the competition are Austin Crabtree and 2022 Miss Mississippi Emmie Perkins.

Perkins will also perform during the show, as will 2022 MMOT Cameron Davis.

“Our male vocal entertainer is Cody Nelson,” Robertson said.

Featured dancers are Gabrielle Andrews, Jayla Hicks, Helena Wallace and Samantha Bailey. Vicksburg native Taylor Thomas will serve as choreographer for the production and her assistant is Ann Garrison Thomas.

“There is also a great team of volunteers who assist with a million other little things, and Jennifer and I both enjoy seeing friends who come once a year to assist in making everything look and sound great,” Robertson said.

The volunteers include Kimble Slaton and his sound production crew and Andre and Diane Huff, who are in charge of lighting.

Robertson admitted that being producer and co-producer for the MMOT Competition can get “tedious” with 12-to-14-hour days. But she and Tillotson love having the opportunity “to get to know and watch the contestants shine their light on our stage. Also, working with a fabulous choreographer, sound technician, lighting expert, amazing emcees, fabulous dancers, an unbelievable journalist and wonderful performers makes our job a joy,” she said.

The first of two preliminary competitions for the MMOT competition begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 22. The second starts at 7:30 p.m.

During the preliminary rounds, all 16 contestants will compete in the interview, evening wear, fitness and talent phases of the competition.

On Sunday, April 23, at 2 p.m., the top 10 contestants will be named, and they will compete again in the final round of competition. One of these young women will be crowned 2023 Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen.

All competitions are held at the Ardis T. Williams Sr. Auditorium, 901 Monroe St.

Tickets for the competition are $75, or $25 for each of the preliminary rounds and $40 for the final round of competition and crowning. Tickets are available at the Miss Mississippi office, 820 South St., or at the door. For more information, call 601-638-6746. 

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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