The search continued Wednesday night for Miss South Carolina 2021 with the second round preliminary winners being selected.
Miss Richland County Payton Deal won the rookie talent award, given to the woman with the highest score who has not competed before, with a lyrical dance. The evening gown competition went to Miss Midlands Emily Wakeman.
Miss Sparkle City C.J. McDermott won in the talent competition with a baton routine.
In the Miss South Carolina Teen competition, Miss Greer High School Teen Ella Kate Brannon won the rookie talent award, Miss Georgetown County Teen Hannah Young won for evening gown and teen talent award went to tap dancer Messiah Moring, Miss Spartanburg Teen.
Each winner accumulates points toward being named a finalist. Fifteen will be chosen for the final night competition and one will be selected by people voting on the Miss South Carolina website. It costs $1 to enter.
The evening was filled with lots of dance and singing and not as many contestants playing instruments as they did Tuesday.
In all, 41 women are competing for the title of Miss South Carolina and 35 for Miss South Carolina Teen.
Miss South Carolina 2021 will earn a $60,000 scholarship, the highest of any state pageant, Margie Watkins, the pageant media committee chair, said.. Organizers have raised $187,000 that will go to the academic scholarships for contestants. Each participant gets $2,000.
Miss South Carolina 2019 Morgan Nichols said she has accumulated $84,000 in scholarships and intends to study biotechnology and business at Johns Hopkins University.
Miss South Carolina board chair Erin Gambrell was awarded the Elizabeth Stokes Ellis Award for her involvement in the community and for the MIss South Carolina organization.
On Thursday, preliminaries begin at 7 p.m. Friday is the final night for Miss South Carolina Teen. It begins at 8 p.m.
During the preliminaries, the contestants are placed in small groups based on a draw to perform their talent, show their evening gowns and talk about their platforms.
Winners Tuesday night were Miss Clemson, Anna Newton, for talent and Miss Greater Greer, Jada Samuel, for evening wear.
In the Miss Teen competition Tuesday, Miss Capital City, Dabria Aguilar, won for talent, and evening gown went to Muskaan Makkar, Miss Dorchester County Teen.