An event, which was touted to be a history-making moment for five young ladies of the twin-island Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, eventually turned out to be a nightmare.
This, among others, was the sentiment expressed by some contestants who competed in the first ever Miss World St. Kitts/Nevis Pageant held at the Marriott Dome on Saturday, March 7.
The night saw not only the contestants complaining, but also members of the large audience who was first turned off by the late start. Of course, like any other pageant, there are minor glitches that cause a late start but, according to many patrons, minutes to 10 o’clock was just overbearing when it was known that the event was scheduled for 8:00 p.m.
According to one contestant, Donella Dias, who was not far from leaving the Dome moments before her Talent appearance, the organisers made fools of them on the night of the show. She claimed that nothing was properly organised, and even when it was 8:00 p.m. the swimsuits for the opening number were not distributed.
She went on to say that the organisers promised to provide everything for each segment, with the exception of the Talent which the girls had to provide for themselves. Dias pointed out that on the night of the pageant a number of promised items were not provided and the contestants had to resort to their own footwear.
Dias added that the hairstylist who was assigned to the contestants did not turn up and they all had to request the service of the one assigned to the models. She also stated that there was only one makeup artist for over 10 models and the five contestants.
SKNVibes also spoke with Tesia Burton, the Second Runner-up, who said there was a lack of communication between the organisers and the contestants. She said “only one girl knew everything” while the other contestants were left in the dark.
Burton, who did not appear on the stage in the Introductory segment, said it happened because she was not told by anyone that they were ready to start the show, as she was busy in the bathroom trying to get into her swimsuit.
She added that her swimsuit did not fit and she had to stretch it to make it wearable. “We did not get to fit our swimsuits before the night of the show after weeks of asking” she said.
Burton said that after the first appearance and with all the commotion backstage, she was totally upset, turned off and did not care what the outcome was. She did not want to reappear on the stage. She said the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Chevaughn Richards, kept putting the blame on the organiser, Eversley Liburd, while Liburd in turn blamed Richards.
Burton said that the only reason she decided to go through with the show was the thought of the people who were there to support her.
Richards however gave a totally different version of what transpired on that night. The PRO said she was surprised when she arrived at the Dome and found that the girls were not there, but at the hotel getting their hair and makeup done.
Richards said she was at the venue earlier that evening but had to leave to tend to some urgent business, which she stressed was not on her behalf, but was necessary. “I then however left specific instructions of which none were followed upon my return” she added.
“I worked very hard on this show. I did my part and had to pick up in areas that were not mine; but I am not pointing fingers at anyone although all are being pointed at me. Many shows experience problems. This is not the first, but the important thing is that in the end there was a show”.
She explained that everyone had a role to play and one person could not be blamed. She added that the contestants knew what they were responsible for.
When asked about the contestants not being able to fit their swimsuits until it was time to go onstage, Richards said it was a blatant lie and she is disappointed in the person(s) who said that.
“All of the contestants fitted their swimsuits starting from the Thursday prior to the pageant, with the exception of Sidamo Jones who could not make it down from Nevis. One contestant even fitted hers at my house,” she stated.
Commenting on the hairstylist who did not show up, Richards said, “These things happen at last minute. People sometimes decide not to show up for whatever reason, but that was not on our behalf.”
Richards however wished all the contestants best of luck in the future. She also congratulated the winner and the runners-up and hopes that the pageant gets better over the years, as this was the first.
Speaking with the organiser, Liburd told SKNVibes he had no comment to make except that every pageant has its hiccups.
“You just have to take what you have and make it work. There was indeed backstage drama and that would not have happened if persons did what they were supposed to do. I am already thinking about next year and that is what is important,” he said.
In many people’s opinion, Venetta Zaker deserves wearing the crown but the poor organisation of the show was a complete turnoff for them. Some patrons were very loud in their comments as they were heard saying, “Well ‘sa’ if ah knew this is what ah was coming to I woulda stay home.” Others said “thank God for the Okolo Dancers”, who brought some life to the first ever Miss World St. Kitts/Nevis Pageant. (sknvibes.com)