Round one of preliminary competition at the Miss Mississippi Pageant Wednesday ended with two winners. Laura Lee Lewis, Miss Dixie won in talent, Katie Busby, Miss Vicksburg in swimwear.
Taking this walk on the Miss Mississippi runway is the hope of every contestant on this stage, all 44.
Wednesday night, after listening to songs made famous by Whitney Houston, Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis, and watching dancers, the judges made their decision. The winner, Laura Lee Lewis, Miss Dixie.
"I've been singing since I was 3," said Lewis. "My Mom is a voice teacher, she's a musician, so music has been a part of my life for a very long time."
Lewis' platform is Mentoring Matters. She had surgery to correct a condition that affected her jawline from birth. Lewis says she knows the pain of being bullied and wants to help others.
"I learned it’s what's right here that's important and I focus on that," added Lewis. "And I'm so glad I learned that at a young age because it’s what makes you stronger."
In swimwear, each contestant is judged on grace and poise. Miss Vicksburg, Katie Busby, is a nursing student who says she made changes in her lifestyle that included diet and going to the gym.
"Last year I did not make Top 10 but I did win the non-finalist swimwear competition," said Busby. "So that was great, but this year I wanted to do a little bit better and win swimsuit night altogether."
The contestants compete again through Friday night in swimwear, talent, evening wear and on stage question. The hope is impressing the judges enough to make the TOP 10 Saturday night.