With first night of Miss Mississippi competition finished, who walked away with preliminary wins?

Published 9:09 am Thursday, June 6, 2024

The first round of the Miss Mississippi Competition preliminaries got underway Wednesday night at the Vicksburg Convention Center, with Miss Mississippi State University Morgan Nelson winning in the evening gown phase and Miss Madison County Gracie Bassett taking top honors in talent.

Nelson, who is a Vicksburg resident, said she was excited when she heard her name called.

“I was just so elated,” she said. “I was just so excited.”

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In choosing her gown for the competition, Nelson said she wore a mermaid-style dress she found after a lot of searching.

“I looked at a multitude of dresses and this one kind of stood out to me. Once I stepped into it, I knew this was the one,” she said. “I felt the most confident, and I felt the most pretty in it. So, I decided that I wanted to take it onto the stage, and I’m so excited that I did.”

As the winner of the evening gown phase of the competition, Nelson is the recipient of a $400 scholarship provided by the Miss Mississippi Corporation.

Bassett said she was surprised when she heard her name called as the preliminary talent winner.

“I’m just so thankful,” she said.

For the competition, Bassett performed “Mephisto Waltz No. 1” by Franz Liszt on the piano.

Bassett said she has been playing piano since age six.

“I have taken lessons continuously for that time, so that’s been about almost 15 years now,” she said. “I started learning pieces of my talent song two summers ago and just learning here and there the parts that I might want to put into my talent selection initially, so I could only estimate (I’ve played it) a few thousand hours between the time that I started and now.”
As the preliminary talent winner, Bassett is the recipient of a $500 scholarship provided by the Miss Mississippi Corporation.

Scoring for the preliminary nights are as follows: 30 percent for private interview; 20 percent for talent/HER Story; 20 percent for health and fitness; 20 percent for evening gown and 10 percent for on-stage question.

For the final night of the competition, the top ten contestants with the highest scores will re-compete for the crown. Scores for the final round are 30 percent for the composite score; 20 percent for talent/HER Story; 20 percent for Health and fitness; 20 percent evening gown; and 10 percent for the on-stage question.

The Miss Mississippi Competition preliminaries will continue at 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday at the Vicksburg Convention Center, 1600 Dr. Briggs Hopson Blvd. The final round of competition and crowning will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets are $40 for Thursday’s preliminary; $50 for Friday’s preliminaries and Saturday’s final round of competition. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 601-638-6746.

The competition will also be live streamed at www.missmisslive.com. The cost is $20 for each night of the preliminary rounds; $35 for the final night of competition; or $85 for all four rounds of competition.

The final round of competition will also air on WLBT-Jackson, WLOX-Biloxi, WMC Bounce – Memphis, WTVA-Tupelo, WTOK- Meridian and WDAM-Hattiesburg.