Crowd Falls in love with Janelle

Explosive from the start with a fabulous finish! Quite a fitting description for the 2012 Carnival Queen Pageant. Now that the show has been reviewed in one line, perhaps this is the point we reveal the winner if you haven’t already heard. Of course that would mean you’d miss out on all the intricate details of the night! Contestants all looked as if they were having a grand time from the start with an introductory dance to Gloria Estefan’s “Wepa”.
Undeniable was the fact that Janelle Desir shone from the start.
“I will not be outdone,” were the first words of comical master of ceremonies ‘Pringles’ and he came onstage, chair in hand, set to take his place next to 1998 Miss Universe Wendy FitzWilliam. “She’d got six inches, I’ve got 22!” For the rest of the night the MC duo made quite the fitting pair; Pringles kept the audience in good spirits and Wendy was pleasing to the eye! The show flowed with no real hitches and the swimwear segment was unlike any other we’re seen in recent years.                 Contestants paraded onstage not only to live music from DYP, but alongside Teddyson John who performed “Land of Whine” simultaneously onstage! The entertainment factor was definitely taken to new height, though some felt there was too much going on at one time, taking the attention away from the ladies.                 Nevertheless Sadia, Janelle and Kershara were the top three in that category, judging from preliminary comments from the audience! Former carnival queens including, Soriah John, Candy Nicholas, Iva Satney, Cathy Daniel, Tenele Thomas-Wolfe and Marilyn Wilkinsee introduced contestants for the talent segment.
Miss Cultural Community Sadia Hippolyte was on first and hers was by far the most humorous and well received performance of the night that had to do with reality of political favour to supporters when it came to securing certain jobs. Her character was ‘the man on the street’ comically dressed in red pants and a yellow shirt, not quite sure which party he had to impress to get a job in the ‘STEP’ program. Hers was a soliloquy that captivated the audience from start to finish, speaking about the power in the hand of her character—he’d certainly been through it all. Sadia was completely in her element with aspirations to be an actress and if the audience had their say, she’d have won the best talent award!  Miss 1st National Bank Sheena Francis brought up a number of relevant issues in her talent that questioned where the creativity in carnival had gone. She suggested St Lucia carnival was dead, even staging a funeral addressing the audience effectively as if they were friends and family who’d come to mourn. “Let’s have a moment of silence for carnival,” she related, urging St Lucians to embrace their culture. Miss Super J IGA Janelle Desir shared a powerful message that had to do with the lack of tolerance for gays, which is a big issue in the Caribbean. The Teletubbies theme song and Buju Banton’s “Boom Bye Bye” made quite an interesting mix to start things off and she played the part of a young girl, who felt stifled because her mother wanted her to dress up and act like a girl, when she felt she really was meant to be a boy. A real emotional battle unfolded onstage and hers ended with the song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” Miss Gros Islet Business Community Tamica Gaskin was one of the contestants who’d had her brush with controversy (due to some sexy pictures) but on Saturday the 20-year-old redeemed herself and certainly proved her worth. She played the part of a breast cancer survivor who struggled with her identity. Her character had gone from being crowned Miss World and Miss Universe to having to deliver motivational speeches.
After going through quite an emotional battle that helped her discover herself again, her character decided she wasn’t going to let what she’d been through shape the person she was today expressing: “This won’t break me. I am a breast cancer survivor.” Her performance started and ended with the song, “I Am Beautiful.” Miss Columbian Emeralds Kershara Williams came on dressed provocatively, down to her midrift revealing top, shorts, fishnet stockings and lace up boots. Soca music invaded the Cultural Centre and the contestant came on as if ready to get right into it, then surprising stopped and addressed the audience directly: “You all waiting for me to ‘bruk it down’ You see me and base I can split and tremble.” Kershara’s piece had to do with society’s tendencies to rush to judgment of others without taking the time to get to know them and their circumstances first. “I’ve got you thinking now,” she expressed. “That’s what we need to do, don’t just look and judge. Concentrate on being positive. Stop living for others, only you can make you happy . . . Stop living in fear of what people may say or do, focus on you.” Her performance faded out into Etana’s “People Talk.” Miss Castries Business Community Ashlei Alcide’s piece had to do with holding onto faith that a change was going to come, no matter the circumstances and she rendered Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.” Her bluesy performance ended with a remixed line from the 60s hit: “There were times I thought St Lucia wouldn’t last for long, but now I think we can carry on.”
Miss Piton Sherwinner Eleuthere told the tale of a young girl who’d grown up in poverty stricken conditions who resorted to becoming a prostitute later in life after being sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend. “Do you think every little girl grow up lucky like you?” She asked the audience, breaking down as she retold her character’s life story.” In the end, Sherwinner’s character changed her life and conveyed the message: “Woman is priceless; no man can pay for us. Woman is not for sale!”
At the end of it all a deserving Best Interview award went to Tamica Gaskin, Miss Photogenic to Sherwinner Eleuthere, Miss Congeniality and Best Swimwear; Sadia Hippolyte, Best evening Wear and Talent; Sheena Francis and Best Costume Janelle Desir (Monarch of the Skies). Members of the public cast their votes and at the end of the night Janelle Desir was the People’s Choice award winner. The ladies who stood out most at Saturday’s show definitely earned their glorifying moment. First runner up was Sadia, followed by Kershara and Tamica in second and third runner up spots respectively. Newly crowned Miss Carival Roxanne Didier Nicholas passed the crown onto Janelle Desir who was 2012 carnival queen with 305.5 points!

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