Miss Mississippi ready for Thursday’s Miss America finale

Published 5:10 pm Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Last Wednesday, Miss Mississippi Mary Margaret Hyer made her way to Uncasville, Conn. to compete in the Miss America Competition.

The Hattiesburg native will be the first Miss Mississippi to compete in what the Miss America organizers are calling “Miss America 2.0.”

“We have been pleased so far,” Miss Mississippi Corporation Executive Director David Blackledge said of this year’s changes.

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Miss America 2.0 includes not only a change of venue, moving from Atlantic City to Uncasville but also changes to the competition itself.

The Miss America Organization will no longer judge candidates on appearance and have eliminated the swimsuit phase of the competition, as well as the evening gown phase.

In lieu of the swimsuit competition, candidates will have a live interactive session with the judges, where they will have the opportunity to highlight their achievements and goals in life.

The evening gown competition phase will now allow candidates the freedom to express themselves in evening attire of their choosing while also discussing how they plan to advance their social impact initiative.

Hyer’s impact statement is “Advocate, Celebrate, Donate: Decreasing the Donor Organ Deficit.”

In an interview after being crowned Miss Mississippi, Hyer said, her impact statement is very personal.

“This is a huge passion of mine, and it is something I feel so strongly about since it has affected my life personally,” Hyer said.

Hyer’s grandmother had been diagnosed with kidney failure in 2010 and eventually received a kidney from Hyer’s mother.

One aspect of the competition that has not changed is the talent phase, and on Monday night, Hyer had the opportunity to showcase her talent.

“She did very very well,” Blackledge said.

The final competition of the Miss America Competition will air Thursday at 7 p.m. on NBC.