The road to the title
Miss World UB Lydia Cooper, Miss World Ocean Cay Rotalya Williams and Miss Crystal Cay La’Tiqua Smith, in no random order, emerged among the top three in the costume competition as a number of preliminary competitions were held over the last week in the lead-up to the Miss World Bahamas finale.
Cooper’s costume depicted a Lucayan warrior; Williams’ costume was representative of Grammy’s kitchen – the place where everyone goes to find the best eats and most tasty treats – and was designed by David Rolle; and Smith’s costume was representative of a crystal sea goddess.
Kishlane O’Brien, costume competition judge, said this year’s costumes did not disappoint.
“We have come to expect intricately made costumes and fine craftsmanship. This year’s costumes did not disappoint. We were really impressed with creativity and the level of finishing,” said O’Brien, who was one of three judges.
Costumes were judged on originality, creativity, craftsmanship and presentation.
The winner of the costume competition, which was held rooftop at The Pointe, will be announced during the Miss World Bahamas finale.
Williams and Smith again emerged among the top three, again in no random order, of the Flying Dutchman Swimsuit at the Compass Point Beach Resort, along with Miss Eleuthera Nyah Bandelier.
Contestants took to the catwalk to display their runway skills, confidence and physiques in swimwear by Bahari Bahamas and were judged on body symmetry, fitness, poise, stage presence and modeling skills.
Scores from the swimsuit competition account for 25 percent of a contestant’s score to advance to the top four.
Miss Bahamas Organization (MBO) officials say titleholders are expected to be fit, and carry themselves with confidence and grace. But knowing that as nobody is perfect, titleholders are expected to have the panache to accentuate their positive attributes and demonstrate a personality that shines. They say the swimsuit competition is designed to showcase this ability, while critiquing the beauty of their physical appearance and their general fitness level, and that a hard body is not required or desired, but rather a lean, toned figure.
Williams and Bandelier, along with Miss New Providence Jerchovia Moxey, emerged top three in the Commonwealth Fabrics Top Model competition during which contestants modeled designs by David Rolle and Dr. Patricia Pratt.
They were judged on runway skills and stage presence, with emphasis placed on the candidate’s runway/catwalk skills; and judges were looking to ensure that the contestants knew how to carry the breathtaking designs in the way the designer intended for the clothing to be worn.
The final preliminary, the evening gown competition, will be held on Sunday, May 19, at Balmoral Club, Sanford Drive. Tickets are available from contestants or at the door.
From a contestant who describes her childhood as a struggle because she was bullied in school due to her size, and the hardship her family faced after her father had to leave the country, leaving the welfare of the family to her mother who didn’t have a full-time job, and the family having to bounce from apartment to apartment as a result, including a stint with family who didn’t treat them well, over the span of three-and-a-half years; to another contestant who was placed in the Ranfurly Home for Children, a time which she can now look back on as amazing because of the opportunities she was given, which she said changed her life; to others who spoke of childhoods that were simply amazing and filled with exciting, adventurous, family time – the eight contestants that comprise this year’s cohort for the Miss World Bahamas crown are as varied as they come.
Carissa Francois represents Abaco; Shakera Hall, Balmoral Island; Edneka Farquharson, Cat Island; La’Tiqua Smith, Crystal Cay; Nyah Bandelier, Eleuthera; Jerchovia Moxey, New Providence; Rotalya Williams, Ocean Cay; and Lydia Cooper, the University of The Bahamas, are the contestants competing for the 14th Miss Bahamas Organization (MBO) title under the presidency of Michelle Malcolm.
Reigning queen Brinique Gibson will crown the next young lady that will represent the country at the 69th Miss World Pageant in Thailand in December. This will be the first time in the history of Miss World that the month-long festival and final will take place in the “land of smiles”. The Bahamas will be among the 130 Miss World delegates represented.
The Bahamian representative will be crowned on May 26 at the Atlantis resort under the theme “Reflections: Be the change you want to see”. A series of preliminary competitions will be held leading up to the grand finale at the Atlantis’ ballroom at 8 p.m.
Past winners of the crown include Deandrea Conliffe (2006), Anya Watkins Mousis (2007), Tinnyse Johnson (2008), Joanna Brown (2009), Braneka Bassett (2010), Sasha Joyce (2011), Daronique Young (2012), De’Andra Bannister (2013), Rosetta Cartwright (2014), Chantel O’Brian (2015), Ashley Hamilton (2016) and Geena Thompson (2017).
In determining the winner, the top four scores will be considered in the following categories: judges’ interview (30 percent), swimsuit (25 percent), evening gown (25 percent) and public vote (20 percent) – the public vote is not cumulative, and treated as one judge, so the contestant with the highest number of votes will earn 10 points from the public, the second highest will earn nine points, the third highest will earn eight points and so on.
In the Aliv head-to-head people’s fast track, the public vote will serve a second purpose, and that is to fast track one contestant to the top five.
MBO has introduced a new concept to achieve this – in round one, the contestants are split into two groups of four and are interviewed; the two contestants receiving the highest number of votes from each group will advance to round two of the challenge. The contestant who receives the highest number of votes in round two will be named the people’s choice winner and automatically advance to the top five of the competition.
A sixth contestant will be given a chance to advance to the semifinals as a result of an instant save vote on the night of the pageant. The viewing public alone will determine the lucky contest by voting for the young lady they wish to see continue in the competition. The contestant receiving the highest number of instant save votes will then complete the top six.
Once the top six are determined, all scores will be thrown out and the semifinalists begin competing again on equal footing. They will be interviewed on stage, after which the judging panel and public votes will determine the top three.
The top three will then face the final question. The judging panel and public will then be asked to decide who the new queen will be with both the judges’ score and the public vote based on rank, with the public treated as one judge. The contestant receiving the highest number of votes in this round will receive 10 points from the public; the second highest votes will get nine points and the third highest vote will get eight points. The points will be combined with the ranks voted by the judging panel, with the winner receiving 10 points, first runner-up receiving nine points and second runner-up receiving eight points to determine the winner and runners-up placements.
The winner will represent The Bahamas at the Miss World pageant which started in 1951 and has inspired and empowered thousands of women to use their talents to support the poor, sick and disadvantaged through its “Beauty With A Purpose” charitable program. Miss World is not a traditional beauty pageant, but rather a platform for women from across the globe to raise awareness and funds in aid of humanitarian causes.
Sunday, May 19
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Evening gown competition
Sunday, May 26
8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. – Miss World Bahamas finale
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.