All hail Queen Roxanne!

Digicel's Roxanne dances to victory!

For years St Lucia has been producing what we call the National Carnival Queen pageant, since before 1950 I am told. So by now one would think that the show would be executed perfectly or as near that as possible, n’est-ce pas?
Judging by Saturday night’s search for a Carnival Queen, however, we seemed to have learnt nothing from post mortem meetings or reviews. This year’s Carnival Queen pageant was a long, drawn out affair with the audience visibly tired, some actually sleeping and yawning in their seats and many leaving before the results were announced, opting instead to watch from their homes as the show was carried live on Choice TV.
The slow pace, the less than exciting hosts and the lack of top class entertainment made the event seem as if it had been put together overnight. Then there was the stench from the National Cultural Centre carpet, no doubt remnants from the party soca preliminaries held there during the week. That “water-powder” mix must have really set in.
What still remains evident from the show, however, is that St Lucia has some talented and beautiful young women, who if given the chance, shine, even under the pressure of being exposed to what has been described as the worst crowd—the St Lucia crowd—where even at a classy show such as this the “hesalops” keep coming. Let’s face it, some people come to these pageants to jeer, laugh and point, and truthfully sometimes that’s what makes the whole event fun.
There were crowd favourites from the beginning of the show, among them Miss Digicel Roxanne Didier Nicholas, Miss Lucelec Sherry Etienne and Miss Super J Consuelo Dupal. But as the show went on the other contestants began to make their mark as contenders, including Miss Cultural Community Tara Edward, Miss Castries Community Nicole St Croix, Miss Baron Foods Bernadin St Rose, Miss St LU Metals and Plastic Manufacturers Trudy Mathurin and Miss Gros Islet Community Jenita Joseph.
After a late start, the contestants wowed in their opening dance number and the swim wear segment but Roxanne clearly stood out as she showed off her dancer toned shape and Tara’s legs seemed to go on for miles. Others had to be given props however for having the guts to strut their stuff confidently despite their cups having runneth over.
The talent segment was impressive as Tara opened things up with a dynamic drama which spoke to the heart of some of the social issues affecting St Lucia including crime. Jenita Joseph focused on the issue of domestic violence and the chains that bound some women to their attacker. Roxanne danced the way she knew best and to her credit continued dancing even as her music got cut off midway. Bernadin’s plea for her hometown of Soufriere could have done with some editing while Trudy decided to tell the audience the story of her life as a caterpillar that changes into a butterfly. She even took a chance and ziplined her way across the cultural center stage. Consuelo’s dramatic piece saw her as a “crazy” woman in jail explaining how she got to be that way. It was a piece full of everything that made a great drama—humour, sex and a moral lesson in the end. Nicole danced for the earth and St Lucia and Sherry made the rough decision to sing. The audience was thoroughly entertained in this segment.
The rest of the show saw the contestants in costumes and evening wear, followed by the question segment. The questions were simple enough but as usual, let’s just say nervousness got the better of some of the contestants.
In the end the island’s new Carnival Queen Roxanne Didier Nicholas was crowned. She was followed by Consuelo Dupal as first runner up, second runner up Tara Edward and third Nicole St Croix. Trudy Mathurin was voted Miss Photogenic while Miss Congeniality went to Sherry Etienne. Roxanne won four categories—best swimwear, talent, interview and evening gown.

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