One of the Miss Mississippi contestants was in the top 13 of American Idol, another was chosen by First Lady Michelle Obama to speak about childhood obesity. They have studied abroad, and received national honors. But this week, all 42 young women are focused on becoming the next Miss Mississippi.
Miss Spirit of the South, Jasmine Murray is no stranger to pageants. She won the title of Miss Mississippi's Outstanding Teen in 2007. She is a singer and one of the highlights of her life was making it to the final 13 of American Idol when she was 16 years old.
"It really just humbles you because that opportunity is so amazing. Not everyone gets to have that type of opportunity to be up on that stage in front of 33 million people on television," Murray said.
Miss Dixie, Marie Wicks is a student at Ole Miss. She studied in France with stops in Switzerland. She was 3rd runner up to Miss Mississippi last year. Wicks says she is excited to perform on the stage. She will compete in talent Thursday night.
"My piano piece is the 3rd movement of the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven and it's just a very passionate piece," said Wicks.
Miss Mississippi State was 4th runner up in 2011, she performs in talent Wednesday night.
"I want to get my talent over with because there is a chance you will get sick later on in the week and I did get sick last year so I'm sort of trying to prevent that," Stephanie Stanford said.
Miss Madison County, Chassidy Sumler won a talent preliminary and made the top 10 last year. She will perform the same song this year, "I Will Always Love You" made famous by Whitney Houston. Sumler says singing the song is a tribute to the late singer who died in February.
"She had an amazing voice and I wish I could live up to her but it's definitely a challenge and I love the song so I decided to sing it again," said Sumler.
Wednesday night winners in talent and swimwear will be announced following the first round of preliminary competition. The final dress rehearsal for the pageant was held Tuesday night. Preliminary competition starts Wednesday night at 8 at the Vicksburg Convention Center.
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