When Miss Tennessee Brianna Mason takes the Miss America stage Thursday night, she'll have plenty of Chattanooga supporters cheering her on.
Mason, 24, is from Nashville, but her grandparents, Roderick and Eva Jeanette Morton, live in Chattanooga, along with other relatives from the Ghidden and Morton families. Her mother, Tiffany Morton Mason, is a 1989 graduate of Tyner High School who works for the Tennessee legislature in Nashville. Dad Reggie Mason is assistant principal at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee.
The competition will air on NBC at 8 p.m. Thursday, live from the Mohegan Sun resort in Connecticut. For the first time, a livestream of the preliminary competitions is being made available. For a fee, viewers may register to watch Sunday and Monday nights as the 51 contestants showcase their talents, answer onstage questions and make their social-impact pitches.
› Preliminary events: Livestream at 7 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Dec. 15-16; $30 each night (find the link to register at MissAmerica.org).
› 2020 competition: Airs live at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, on NBC and NBC.com.
Mason, a classical pianist, is scheduled to perform in the talent competition on Sunday night. She is to take questions from the judges and explain her social-impact mission on Monday. Her platform is autism awareness.
Mason is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She was a first-grade teacher at Hobgood Elementary in Murfreesboro when she won the Miss Tennessee competition in June. She is the first black woman to claim the title.
The Bessie Smith Cultural Center will host a free Miss America Watch Party starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19. The competition is scheduled to air live at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Admission is free to Thursday's watch party. Popcorn and sodas will be for sale for $1 each.
Access Hollywood" hosts Kit Hoover and Mario Lopez will host Thursday's two-hour telecast. "Superstore" co-star Lauren Ash, "Queer Eye" culture expert Karamo and singer/songwriter/actress Kelly Rowland will serve as judges.
Nia Franklin is the reigning Miss America.
Contact Lisa Denton at email@example.com or 423-757-6281.