Kaveh Holder and Amaya Howard captured the most titles to emerge as overall winners last Saturday evening when the annual St Michael School model search came off at the Martindale’s Road secondary school.
After dominating in the Home, Designer, Varsity and Gems segments of the show, it did not come as a surprise when the pair walked away eventually with the lion’s share of awards.
Before the evening’s MC Brian Lashley could even announce the winners, a large number of supporters, sensing victory for Kaveh and Amaya, gathered near the stage to await the official result.
Shouts and tears of joy erupted in the packed St Michael School hall when the dynamic duo was crowned. The decision of the highly qualified judging panel was well received.
The judges were Troy Arthur, Sharon Sargeant, Christina Yearwood, Malcolm Smith, and Kim Jones with Adzil Stuart as the chief judge.
Kaveh was voted Challenge winner (African day), People’s Choice, Best Gem, and Best One Caribbean. Amaya captured People’s Choice, Best Gem, Best One Caribbean, and the Designers segment.
Also impressive on the night were first runners-up Menelik Babb and Shonya Ward. Ward and Babb copped Best Varsity, while Babb took the award for the designer segment.
Karlos Yearwood produced the 2017 edition of the SMS model search. He told Bajan Vibes the chosen theme of Home “was meant to show different areas of people connecting.”
The contestants ventured throughout the Caribbean during the first segment which was themed regional unity, then shifted the focus back to home, specifically their school, where they showcased the school spirit in the various segments.
Karlos told Bajan Vibes he was “ beyond impressed with how far [the contestants] have come”. He said they started the competition “a little nervous”, but carried themselves in a manner that “you would not have believed they were nervous”.
Following their win, Kaveh and Amaya spoke to Bajan Vibes. The pair said they rehearsed every day leading up to the show.
Kaveh said, for him, focus and fitness represented the most difficult part “ but I executed on the night”.
Amaya said the rehearsals provided a good sense of what the actual show would be like. Still, on the actual day of the show, she said, “coming up to the school I really felt it.”
It was by relying on each other to overcome whatever fears they had about participating in the show, that proved critical eventually to their win.
“I told Kaveh backstage that if we win, we are going to dinner,” said Amaya.