The Miss Universe Barbados 2019 pageant was awesome! The entire production was flawless, swift and highly professional.
At 10:33 p.m. on Saturday night at the Hilton Barbados, a beaming Shanel Ifill was crowned Miss Universe Barbados 2019. The 20-year-old University of the West Indies student won the hearts of both the judges and the crowd to beat a field of eight other delegates.
Shanel was impressive throughout the night both in her swimwear and her beautifully designed and fitted evening gown.
Her smarts came to the fore as she answered both questions posed to her on the big night. The deciding question asked to the top three contestants was: “What current global situation would you lend your voice to as Miss Universe and why?”
Shanel’s response: “There is so much going on in the world right now but I would definitely have to lend my voice to the fires that are happening in the Amazon. Some 26, 000 fires rage on in the Amazon and that is literally 20 per cent of the world’s oxygen system not only decimating the forest itself but there are tribes that live within the forest that has been completely decimated. They are like gone. They can’t be found; it caused genocide on some of the tribes. So I feel as though, for me, that would be where my purpose would lie…”
The crowd erupted with cheers and screams of approval both during and by the time she had ended.
She graced the stage with her presence for the announcement of the winner as the top three contestants stood nervously awaiting the final result. Prior to pageant night, all nine delegates would have been interviewed one on one and those marks would have contributed to the final score.
First, runner-up went to Beviny Payne who well-deserved to be in the top three. She looked splendid in her green evening gown as well. Payne is the perfect choice to perform the duties of queen should Ifill be unable to do so.
The second runner-up was Hilary Williams who also won the People’s Choice Award. That award was well justified as the crowd clearly loved her.
The Top 3 were chosen from a field of a Top 5 which was named earlier in the night after a question-and-answer segment. The other two contestants in the Top 5 were: Alexandra Ortiz and Jeunessa Banfield.
Miss Photogenic went to Kristen Asha while Jeunessa Banfield copped Miss Congeniality.
The pageant production was nothing short of excellent. There was full use of multi-media throughout the night. Presenter for the night Media Specialist Gaynelle Marshall did a fabulous job keeping things flowing.
The Director of Media Relations and PR made comments and smart remarks that were clearly designed to keep the contestants calm and focused.
The pageant was held before a packed audience that included Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training Santia Bradshaw and other dignitaries.
All on the Miss Universe Barbados team, led by National Director Brian Green, should take a bow for what could only be described as a top-notch, world-class show staged on this small rock. (IMC)
Please see also Pages 28&29 In the fashion section.