LifestylesPulse

Four vie for Miss Bahamas Universe crown

Four women will vie for the title of Miss Bahamas Universe for the right to represent The Bahamas at Miss Universe in Eilat, Israel, in December.

Peteché Bethell (Miss Eleuthera), Chantel O’Brian (Miss New Providence), Alea Sweeting (Miss Cat Island) and Danielle Dean (Miss Acklins) will take to the stage on Sunday, October 3, in the Grand Salon at the Rosewood, Baha Mar.

Anthony Smith, Miss Bahamas Universe Organization national director says while the field is small, he describes the competing women as “compelling.”

“Quality is the watchword, constantly,” said Smith.

“The point is to find and present a young woman who is not going to be cookie cutter. She must be compelling enough so that her visibility is without question and her platform resonates not only with our Bahamian people, but those in the international community.”

Bethell, a lawyer, holds a Master of law and Bachelors in psychology and law joint, all obtained with distinction and completed with full academic scholarships.

An advocate for education as a means to opportunity and connection, Bethell who stands five feet 11 inches hopes to expand her impact through diplomacy and public policy.

She has founded the Power Passion Purpose Project (“P3”), a nonprofit organization which provides 1:1 mentorship and networking opportunities to girls in senior school. She also serves as a mental health ambassador for The Bahamas Red Cross.

Bethell describes herself as a health and fitness fanatic, and a champion for body diversity. She has lived in three countries, and traveled to 33 others.

Sweeting, a clinical psychotherapist has earned her Master’s degree and has a passion for youth counseling and early childhood development.

Sweeting is bilingual, having spent time in Costa Rica, and enjoys cooking healthy meals, but as a foodie, says she also enjoys eating foods that are not as healthy.

She also refers to herself as a rabbit mom.

Dean, a third-year journalism student, is passionate about following her dreams.

Through her non-profit organization FADLS (Fight Against Depression and Low Self-esteem) she aims to uplift and motivate those people struggling to achieve mental health.

Dean is a lover of self-help books, motivational content, journaling, sports, nature, dogs, and spending quality time with loved ones.

She is also the owner of Wraps by Adrianne, a small business specializing in custom-made head wraps and scarves.

O’Brian who has a Bachelor’s degree in business enterprise, wears many hats – motivational speaker, marketer, model, entrepreneur and a Christian. She founded P.S. O’Brian Consulting – a pageant, etiquette, runway coaching and consultation agency. She also offers services in marketing and branding.

She considers charity and mentorship to be at the core of her identity having been born into humble beginnings.

O’Brian is the co-founder of “The Leading Ladies Project” and the creator of “The Final Crown” – a faith and pageantry vlog.

Through her initiatives, she advocates for underprivileged youth by promoting confidence and the self-worth needed to both realize and achieve dreams.

O’Brian believes anyone can make a difference, no matter where they started from.

In selecting the national title holder, the women have gone through two months of training and will have to undergo private interviews from the five-judge panel on Saturday, October 2, the day prior to the final. The judges will combine the contestants’ preliminary scores with the final night scores in determining the winner. The women will participate in the opening dance, swimsuit segment and evening gown events on finale night.

With COVID-19 protocols in place, only 100 patrons will be allowed into the venue for the finale which starts at 6 p.m. Fully vaccinated patrons have to produce their vaccination card, while unvaccinated people will have to present a negative antigen test taken at either Doctors Hospital, Family Medicine Center or Lyford Cay Hospital.

As the four women gear up for the final stretch to the national title, Smith said COVID has had positive and negative effects on the pageant.

“The positive is that we all were forced to be innovative and creative in our execution of production, as well as expediting process for selection,” said Smith, “However, that came with great financial cost because if you do not have a ticketed event, it makes it that much harder to garner returns on your investment, and draw sponsorship that appreciates the promotion and campaigning that comes along with pageantry.

“This year, and this particular competition was actually supposed to be another screening, but pageant goers and contestants wanted fans to see them. So, we came up with a happy medium of having to promote the top four from the private screening, with a finalist competition for all to enjoy. Smaller audience, but in a very contained and serviceable way.”

At the start of the process, MBU kicked off with a screening of 16 applicants, according to Smith.

“[The year] 2020 presented an unprecedented task for those in pageantry, as many national directors under the Miss Universe brand opted either to select an ambassador or produced a screening as another option.”

The Miss Bahamas Universe Organization opted to screen contestants last year when Shauntae Miller won.

Tickets for the Miss Bahamas Universe pageant are available at Signature Styles, Marathon Road, or from contestants.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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