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Miss SVG contestants meet the press at Young Island Resort

Miss SVG contestants meet the press at Young Island Resort

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Cheryl Rodriguez happy with Miss SVG contestants’ progress

“We are very happy with their progress… We know we have some touching up to do still, but we are going to make the most of these three weeks to come!”

With three weeks left until one of the most hotly {{more}}anticipated events in the Vincy Mas calendar, Cheryl Rodriguez, head of the Beauty Shows Committee, is working overtime to ensure that the eight Miss SVG contestants put on an excellent show for patrons on May 30.

At the ‘Meet The Media’ event held at Young Island Resort on Saturday, May 9, the young women taking part in this year’s competition were interviewed by members of the media, who were hoping to get a better idea of what to expect on the night.

This year’s hopefuls are Miss French Verandah Precious Abraham, Miss Metrocint General Insurance Company Ltd Melicia Antoine, Miss Lotto Vickeich Charles, Miss Agricultural Input Warehouse Chantal Dells, Miss Mustique Company Ltd De Yonte Mayers, Miss Play 4 Deshia Murray, Miss Dipcon Engineering Donna Nelson, and Miss LIME Anika Robinson.

Rodriguez said that since Last November, contestants’ training has included personal and professional development, time management, protocol, deportment, decorum, table etiquette, self-esteem, and communication skills.

“They have been cooperating,” insisted Rodriguez. “We have our little challenges here and there, but we deal with them; we don’t allow things to fester… Miss SVG is a very challenging and demanding pageant!”

Additionally, the contestants have been improving their fitness levels, and keeping abreast of current affairs — not only locally, but also regionally and internationally.

Miss SVG 2014 Shadeisha George, who also attended the event, told SEARCHLIGHT that although she finds the contestants this year to be more reserved than last year’s batch, she is confident that they will perform well at the pageant, and is “looking forward to what they have in store”.

George also said that she has been involved in a lot of charity and volunteer work during her reign as Miss SVG, including work with Special Olympics SVG, the Children’s Ward at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and the Girl Guides Association.

“I feel like I have had an eventful reign!”

PRECIOUS ABRAHAM,

19, from New Montrose

Q: How has the experience of taking part in Miss SVG been so far?

A: At first, I thought it would have been an easy road, but it’s not; it’s a lot of hard work and dedication. I expected to be more frustrated at this point, but so far, so good!

Q: What are you bringing that’s different from the other contestants?

A: I’m very friendly and sociable and good with crowds. Also the fact that I have natural hair… I am more proud and confident of who I am, and what I have become.

Q: Your response to those who say pageants are outdated and exploit women?

A: I don’t think it’s exploitive or outdated because it’s… a part of our culture. Our culture is who we are, and it makes us the people we are today… it helps to boost your confidence… so that people see you have a cause or that you’re different, and it gives you exposure also.

Q: If you could visit any country right now, where would you go?

A: Hawaii. I like the culture there, I like the way that they dress… their culture is so different from what we have in St Vincent.

Q: Favourite book/genre of literature?

A: Romance. I’m a very affectionate person…

Q: If you could come back as an animal, which would you choose?

A: A lion. They are very territorial. I see them as being very strong… confident.

Q: If you won $1 million dollars, what’s the first thing you would spend it on?

A: My father is my role model, my mentor, and he always tells me that when I get my pay cheque, I need to get him the most expensive car. So I would first look into getting my father what he needs.

MELICIA ANTOINE,

22, from Clare Valley

Q: How has the experience of taking part in Miss SVG been so far?

A: It’s been an educational experience. I’ve also met a lot of people in authority, who I know would be able to help me. Also, I’ve made bonds with the fellow contestants.

Q: What are you bringing that’s different from the other contestants?

A: I’m a model and also a pageant lover, so my experience from modelling makes me stand out.

Q: Your response to those who say pageants are outdated and exploit women?

A: I think that pageantry has more to do with self and being able to show your ability. If that is something that you love, you should stick to it because it helps to bring out your talent, elegance and poise.

Q: If you could visit any country right now, where would you go?

A: USA. It’s where most of my family members are and I have not seen them in years. I miss them!

Q: Favourite book/genre of literature?

A: Romance. It just puts you in a relaxed mood…

Q: If you could come back as an animal, which would you choose?

A: A tiger. I love how a tiger attacks people, in this stealthy way. I’m not saying that that is me, but I love the way they do it. I love their colour and their stripes.

Q: You’re stranded on a deserted island. What three things would you like to have?

A: My cell phone, water and food.

VICKEICH CHARLES,

20, from Spring Village

Q: How has the experience of taking part in Miss SVG been so far?

A: It’s been a really great one; I’m learning new things, experiencing new things. I hope that the experience I’m having now, I would take it with me in my future endeavours.

Q: What are you bringing that’s different from the other contestants?

A: I’m going to be outstanding in everything I do. I intend to bring uniqueness… creativity and passion.

Q: Your response to those who say pageants are outdated and exploit women?

A: I don’t think it exploits women. It’s an opportunity for us to build ourselves as young ladies, to experience new things and meet new people. It gives you an opportunity to build your self-esteem and confidence in other areas of life that will be beneficial to our own personal development.

Q: If you could visit any country right now, where would you go?

A: Los Angeles (California). It’s beautiful. Based on what I’ve been seeing on television, I think it will be a fantastic experience.

Q: Favourite book/genre of literature?

A: A book by Michelle Green… it’s a book about the development of women. I think it’s great because it tells you the values of women, and how we should live… what is our purpose as women in society.

Q: If you could come back as an animal, which would you choose?

A bird… so I can overlook the earth.

Q: If you won $1 million dollars, what’s the first thing you would spend it on?

A: I am not a selfish person… I will help to enhance my community.

CHANTAL DELLS, 21, from Vermont

Q: How has the experience of taking part in Miss SVG been so far?

A: This is my first experience in a pageant, and thus far it [has been] overwhelming. I am getting to learn so many different things, travelling to so many different places. Recently we got to visit the Buccament Bay Resort and that experience was brilliant. Apart from that, I am enjoying things that will go through with me throughout my life, building my self-confidence, getting along great with the other girls…

Q: What are you bringing that’s different from the other contestants?

A: Confidence and consistency for each and every category.

Q: You response to those who say pageants are outdated and exploit women?

A: It is not this at all. Pageantry gives you more experience of so many different things. You get to be a role model to young people…

Q: If you could visit any country right now, where would you go?

A: USA… I would want to see the first Black President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.

Q: Favourite book/genre of literature?

‘A: Twelfth Night’ by William Shakespeare. I’m a lover of drama, so this captures my attention. He is able to bring about universal themes such as love and maturity in a way that no other author was able to do. He is my literary genius.

Q: If you could come back as an animal, which would you choose?

A: Dog… because a dog is seen as man’s best friend, and I love being a friend to people. And also because they are so cute and cuddly – especially when they are puppies. Cute and innocent!

Q: If you won $1 million dollars, what’s the first thing you would spend it on?

A: I am in support of campaigning against violence against women… I would create an organization for women who believe that they are not supposed to be silent on such an issue… they will be able to voice their opinion.

DESHIA MURRAY,

19, from Fitz-Hughes

Q: How has the experience of taking part in Miss SVG been so far?

A: So far, it’s been very exciting. I have been in a pageant before but this has been extraordinary. I was in the Miss North Leeward pageant in 2013.

Q: What are you bringing that’s different from the other contestants?

A: I am bringing our (Fitz Hughes) culture. Where I am from, I believe we are just different… more exciting…our culture is much more fabulous than the more urban areas.

Q: Your response to those who say pageants are outdated and exploit women?

A: Everyone has their views on different things but I believe that beauty pageants are a time for you to express yourself – just as other shows during Carnival. It doesn’t only prepare you for the show, as a young lady, but also for life… the exposure is great.

Q: If you could visit any country right now, where would you go?

A: Canada… because there is where a lot of my family are… I miss them very much.

Q: Favourite book/genre of literature?

A: I love Nancy Drew novels… When you read [those books], you can visualize what you’re reading.

Q: If you could come back as an animal, which would you choose?

A: Cat. Cats find ways to get through small places; they are observant.

Q: You’re stranded on a deserted island. What three things would you like to have?

A: Food… a companion, not a boyfriend – someone to keep my company. I can’t think of a third.

DE YONTE MAYERS,

19, from Victoria Village

Q: How has the experience of taking part in Miss SVG been so far?

A: It’s really new because I’m new to pageantry, so it’s been a lot of new, exciting experiences for me… I’m having fun!

Q: What are you bringing that’s different from the other contestants?

A: I’m quirky, and I believe that I bring my quirkiness to the stage… I think I have a light in me that will just draw Vincentians to me on the night of the show.

Q: Your response to those who say pageants are outdated and exploit women?

A: I don’t believe that… All of us are here voluntarily. It’s not as if someone forced us to do this. Some of us are doing this because we genuinely love pageantry, we love going on stage and showcasing ourselves… what we have to offer.

Q: If you could visit any country right now, where would you go?

A: India! I’ve always been in love with India – their tradition, culture, the way they dance, the way they dress… they are a great example of a culture that has kept going strong even in the face of so many Western influences. St Vincent could learn from that, to embrace our culture.

Q: Favourite book/genre of literature?

A: ‘The Perks Of Being a Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky. He’s an awesome writer. I really identify with Charlie (the protagonist). He faced a lot of struggles as a young person… he didn’t let any of his adversities get him down; he rose triumphant and was able to live a normal, fulfilling life.

Q: If you could come back as an animal, which would you choose?

A: A peacock because they are beautiful… one of the most majestic birds on earth and they are awesome.

Q: You’re stranded on a deserted island. What three things would you like to have?

A: My Kindle with a never-ending battery, lifetime supply of food and water, and a locket that my father gave to me before he passed – it’s really dear to my heart.

DONNA NELSON, 22, from Green Hill

Q: How has the experience of taking part in Miss SVG been so far?

A: It has been great. I’ve been enjoying the photoshoots and dressing up and looking pretty. But I know pageantry is not all about that. It’s more hard work, and takes a lot of dedication – especially when it comes to the physical demands and fitness.

Q: What are you bringing that’s different from the other contestants?

A: My figure… I’m the shortest. It’s not something that is seen often in pageants. Mostly, you would see tall and slender ladies, but I’m very short. Plus, I’m bringing something very unique for my talent.

Q: Your response to those who say pageants are outdated and exploit women?

A: I strongly disagree. If you look at other regional shows or even Miss Universe, everyone has a swimsuit category… people wear swimsuits to the beach, and even as part of their Carnival costume.

Q: If you could visit any country right now, where would you go?

A: Venice (Italy). It is very beautiful… I would love to experience it.

Q: Favourite book/genre of literature?

A: Romance. They give you a bit of experience on how to deal with relationships… Today, relationships seem to be meaningless in terms of persons not being committed to their partner.

Q: If you could come back as an animal, which would you choose?

A: A bird. They can fly and I would love to travel all over – so it would be less expensive.

Q: If you won $1 million dollars, what’s the first thing you would spend it on?

A: I’d build a house for myself and my family.

ANIKA ROBINSON, 21, Lodge Village

Q: How has the experience of taking part in Miss SVG been so far?

A: It is a learning process and every day you experience something different…

Q: What are you bringing that’s different from the other contestants?

A: I have talent, confidence… I know I can do this, and I know I can carry home the crown

Q: Your response to those who say pageants are outdated and exploit women?

A: I don’t think it’s outdated at all nor exploits women in general… looking at the pageant from outside, persons may think contestants only dress up, go on stage and look pretty, but for some of us… you get to be groomed into a young lady… so to me it makes you become more ladylike – someone who persons can look up to in the future.

Q: If you could visit any country right now, where would you go?

A: Paris (France). I’d like to see the Eiffel Tower; be able to climb it and see the entire city. Experience the love, as Paris is the city of love, and the language – I’d love to hear it.

Q: Favourite book/genre of literature?

A: Twilight series by Stephenie Myer. I found them to be very interesting… it captivates your attention… when each book was finished, I was like ‘I want the rest!’

Q: If you could come back as an animal, which would you choose?

A: A bird… I’m free to go where I want to with no restrictions.

Q: You’re stranded on a deserted island. What three things would you like to have?

A: Food, water and clothing.

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