by Latoya Burnham
They called themselves the Beacons of the Pine, and on Saturday night as all lights shone in Parkinson Memorial School hall, shine was exactly what they did, and admirably.
In undoubtedly one of the better organised school pageants, the Mr. and Miss Parkinson show began shortly after its 6:30 p.m. scheduled start, and once it got underway flowed smoothly and with an abundance of talent, both among the 10 contestants as well as the other entertainment acts.
From the time patrons arrived, the Daryll Jordan Secondary School steel orchestra kept impressive beat, thrilling those on the red carpet and earning them rousing applause.
The pageant itself saw the girls gracing the stage first, wrapped in the schools colours of green and yellow, over black tights, while the boys entered dressed in all black for the opening number that ended with introductions of the ten contestants.
From this point it was clear that there were quite a few favourites. In fact, all of the contestants, whom hosts Sheldon Hope and Nicole Cumberbatch explained were the finalists after several rounds of competition, had their own followings. Though the 10 were paired for the competition, each competed for top spots individually.
At the end of the evening, coincidentally couple number four — Shaquwn Thomas and Christopher Alleyne — walked away with the coveted Mr. and Miss Parkinson titles, ahead of second placed Alicia Lloyd and Kadeem Maynard and third placed Rickelle Edwards and Stefon Holder.
Best Talent was claimed by Lloyd and Holder, both of whom did dramatic presentations, the first a self-penned piece titled Good Girl Getting Better and the other a Jeanette Layne-Clark special, Royal Refrain. Both dramas were well-received by the full hall which included a number of students.
Timisha Byer and Akhnaten Burrowes won Best Pair Project for their refurbishment of the remedial room; while Byer, along with Maynard won Best Gown and Best Formal Wear respectively. Byer’s green and blue Gail Bascombe creation, which she based on her own personal struggle as a young girl, was indeed a beautiful work of art which was worn very well; while Maynard’s orange tribute to the late Malcolm Marshall, was also very creative, with a white waistcoat depicting a cricket scene, against a turquoise inside shirt.
Mr. and Miss Photogenic went to Lloyd and Burrowes; Most Disciplined — Holder and Maynard, Most Congenial.
In a pageant that was both well-organised, carefully managed and beautifully executed, the only blur on the night would have been the question and answer segment, which despite the prejudging sessions over past months, would sure to have impacted on the final standings. Too many of the contestants fell down in the category, not sure how to answer the questions posed or visibly struggling with putting their thoughts into words.
But one could not fault their talent, their casual or formal wear, nor the individual entertainment acts, which from Faith, with her Rihanna selection, Stay; to old scholar Mylon Clarke’s sax number and especially the school pop band, Revolution with their enjoyable set, all deserved true standing ovations and more than 15 minutes in the spotlight.
At the end of the night, the organising committee should stand proud with what they accomplished, with the contestants and moreso with the projects each couple undertook, all of which saw the refurbishment or physical improvement in some area of the school. [email protected]