by Donna Sealy
When the roar of the big “ninja” bikes filled the air at Plantation Garden Theatre last night, patrons attending Miss Big & Beautiful 2012 knew they were in for a great show.
Patrons screamed as the five contestants – Mecheale Reid, Tracey Collins, Nahketa Harris, Julia Mascoll and Katrina Blackman – rode in on the back of the bikes wearing black “leather” hot pants, jackets and heels. They screamed when they walked to the stage, introduced themselves and then left the same way they came.
But it was Miss Structure Boutique, Katrina Blackman, who stamped her dominance on the competition from the get go as she signalled that she was indeed the one to beat. She was confident but not overly so, she flirted with the audience and took them on her unstoppable journey to the crown. The only segment where she looked nervous was in the formal wear when she wore her Pauline Bellamy designed sleeveless “sumptuous” orange satin and multi coloured tulle gown, which “embraced all the colours of a tropical sunset”.
She also faltered in the question and answer session, which left some of her supporters very nervous. That apart, Blackman had the majority of patrons in her hands and she found favour with the judges.
At the end of the night, the 24-year-old woman racked up 1,813 points, 17 more points than second placed Harris (Miss Harmony) who scored 1,796 and 36 more points than third placed Mascoll (Miss La Femme Fashion Factory) to win a treasure trove of prizes that included a trophy, gift baskets, $1,000 cash, jewellery, and a workout session at a popular gym.
The judges agreed she had the Best Casual Wear, Best Lingerie and Best Formal Wear, while she was the pick of the photographers and copped Miss Photogenic. She was also awarded Miss Facebook after the people voted on the pageant’s Facebook page leading up to the contest.
In addition to the 30-year-old Harris placing second, she took home the Best Talent prize for her Indian and Barbadian fused dance called The Whisper. She was great and demonstrated great technique in her belly dancing routine. When the music switched to Kirk Brown’s Drop It, she showed no hesitation in doing just that to the delight of the audience.
She never appeared nervous, seemed to have fun on stage, especially in the lingerie section, and was always a major contender. She answered her question confidently and maintained eye contact with the audience.
Thirty year-old Mascoll seemed comfortable on the stage in every round. She was a “hot” policewoman in her leather thigh-high red lace up boots in the lingerie segment, with her hand cuffs and walkie talkie, and an elegant temptress as in her white sparkling chiffon Asian-inspired Shannon Ashley designed gown.
Her talent, which was a dance routine that included sign language and fire sticks to Adele’s Set Fire To The Rain, was also well received.
Miss La Femme Fashion Factory was judged the Most Improved contestant and had the best essay.
Although she did not place, Reid took home the Miss Congeniality prize. Her blue and green sequined and chiffon Lucy Lui gown was also a hit with the audience as was Collins’ purple and fuchsia Lester Welch gown.
It was a great show that included the talents of Mia Cumberbatch and Adaeze, Rebel Dan, New Motion and Adrenalin Dancers, Shanique West, and four-crown monarch Mikey who brought several women to their feet with his performance.