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Miss Dominica grabs lion’s share in Miss Carival

Miss Dominica grabs lion’s share in Miss Carival

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With a clean sweep of three of the four judged categories, it was no surprise when Miss Dominica Leslassa Armour-Shillingford was crowned Miss Carival 2013, last Friday.{{more}}

Even the heavy downpour of rain that intermittently brought the show to a halt could not put a damper on the performances of the 19-year-old.

She walked away with the Best Talent, Best Evening Wear and Best Interview categories.

“I didn’t really expect to win,” Armour-Shillingford said. “Everybody comes here hoping to win, putting their best foot forward, but the competition was so tough, I knew that it was anyone’s game and that I would have to bring my best if I wanted to succeed”.

Armour-Shillingford, who attended the St Vincent Girls’ High School in 2008, had a large group of local supporters at the fence screaming for her, each time she made an appearance on stage.

“The support was great,” the queen said. “I really have to thank the Vincentian population for being so positive for my performances”.

Although the other contestants performed well in the talent segment, it was the Dominican beauty who was able to captivate the audience with an effortless routine that fused poetry, modern dance and ballet.

In an emotional and expressive talent performance, Armour-Shillingford highlighted the scourge of domestic violence and took the audience on a journey out of oppression and into the elation of freedom, a journey she portrayed ‘en pointe’.

“Domestic violence is dear to my heart. I’ve experienced it in my home and it was definitely something that I wanted to speak out about,” she said.

“The fact that it was coming from within is what I think really helped me to secure that prize and also the mix between performance poetry, creative dance as well as ballet en pointe…is a combination that not many pageant stages have seen”.

In a figure flattering green gown that was adorned with delicate floral lace and fittingly entitled “Mother Earth”, Armour-Shillingford also earned the judges’ nod for Best Evening Wear.

The outstanding young woman again wowed the audience and judges with articulate and well thought through answers in the interview segment, which earned her Best Interview.

She was also judged to be Miss Photogenic.

Armour-Shillingford, who currently holds the first runner up title in the Miss Caribbean World pageant, will begin preparations for the Miss Jaycees pageant, as well as Miss Caribbean Culture pageant, which will both take place at the end of July.

“It does prepare me more to know what regional pageants are like and just being on the stage can never hurt,” the beauty, who has taken part in two pageants previously, said.

Miss St Vincent and the Grenadines Shara George gave a good account of herself and copped the second runner-up position. She was also awarded Best Swimwear.

The first runner-up position was taken by Miss St Kitts and Nevis Zinga Imo.

Despite the language barrier, Miss Dominican Republic Rosa Martinez was able to capture the Miss Congeniality and the Most Community Spirited awards.

The other contestants were Miss British Virgin Islands, Shari De Castro; Miss Jamaica, Kabreena Robinson; Miss Barbados, Dannyele Teneel Leslie; Miss St Lucia, Janelle Desir; Miss Venezuela, Yaimer Armes and Miss Trinidad and Tobago, Janelle Thongs.

Guest appearances were made by various Vincentian performers, including veteran calypsonian Alston “Becket” Cyrus, and Aretha Shallow, who teamed up with Arabesque dancers and steel pan player Rejhaun Baptiste. Rodney Small and Saeed Bowman also serenaded the crowd with steel pan music.

Miss Carival 2013 will receive US$4,300 from the Carnival Development Corporation, as well as gifts and prizes from various local business houses. (BK)

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