By this time next week, one of the 86 stunning contestants in the Miss Universe 2016 Pageant would have been crowned.
More than anyone else, Barbados is rooting for its Shannon Harris to be that lucky lady, anxious to serve up a welcome befitting a queen if she wins the heart of the judges.
From all reports on the hectic trail to the prestigious final in Manila, The Philippines, Shannon has caught the attention of international cameras, experts and pageant aficionados.
For example, while attending last Monday’s Miss Universe Governors Ball at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, well-known fashion blogger Nick Verreos placed Shannon at number seven on his Sashes and Tiaras: Miss Universe 2016 Governors Ball Evening Gowns: My Top 15 Best!
“Shannon wore this gown from Miss Universe sponsor Sherri Hill and it looked GORGEOUS on her. The fit-to-flare dress featured a blush/nude design with vertical layers of crystal beading and oversized gold embellishment toward the horsehair-trimmed hem. The gown fit her PERFECTLY and she looked like a runway model for one of Sherri Hill’s shows,” he wrote, giving Shannon a score of 9.25 and advising Hill’s public relations department to “hire her for one of your next NY Fashion Week shows–or at least, to do a web look book!”
Another fashion blogger, Jessie Capuchino, also described Shannon as a “strong contender” from the Caribbean.
“Shannon is one of the buzzed about candidates since her crowning as Miss Universe Barbados. Have you seen her wearing Carnival costumes? Well, she has a killer body so it won’t be difficult for her to flaunt it out on the swimsuit preliminaries. She also has charity works to boot, which at this point in time [is] a key ingredient in creating a good impression in beauty pageants. I can see that she can cruise easily into the top 15 if she shows a strong performance in the closed-door interviews and preliminaries,” he remarked.
And if the Kaleidoscope of Pageantry People’s Poll was the deciding factor, Shannon would win the coveted title.
Since the poll got underway, Shannon has taken the lead over her counterparts. Figures up to the time of publication showed that she had secured more than 237 250 votes more than her closest Caribbean rival, Miss Belize.
In one interview published on the official Miss Universe website, Shannon shared that she was basking in the strong home support and ready to bring home the prize.
“The pressure is on, Barbados is very, very excited . . . and we feel like we have a good chance, so I am ready to represent my country,” she said.
The first preliminary is set for tomorrow night.
All 86 contestants will compete in swimwear and evening gowns before judges at the Mall of Asia Arena. The scores from the night’s event, along with an interview portion, will help to determine the top 12 during the Miss Universe broadcast.
The grand finale will be hosted by Emmy Award winner Steve Harvey and will feature body activist Ashley Graham as backstage host.
Good luck Shannon!