Forget dark horse. Kara Lord was not even being mentioned in the lead up to the Miss Guyana Universe pageant, but from the time she emerged on stage at the competition’s finals on Saturday evening, she sold herself a winner, and the judges conceded.
At the start of Saturday evening’s event, the leggy Georgetown girl, who one day hopes to become a psychologist, emerged to demonstrate that she was ready for the Samba party at the Miss Universe pageant in Sao Paulo later this year, and nobody worked the stage as much as she did. She came out to win it, and win it she did!
When it came down to what really mattered, the judges picked Kara over the five other finalists, and she was left in complete shock, as was so many others.
It seemed that right from the start, the judges had their eyes on the gorgeous Madonna Ghanie, who never faltered until it came to the final question. Before she was announced a finalist, Madonna had already secured two of the three special prizes in the pageant, that of Miss Body Beautiful and Best Smile.
Asked what she would change about Guyana if she were to become President, Ghanie said “nothing” adding that the current President was doing a “perfect” job. From then on, you knew the crown was not within reach for her.
Kara Lord preached the message of unity, and said that she would seek to achieve harmony in all areas of life so the country could really live true to its motto: One People, One Nation, One Destiny.
Roshini Boodhoo, a crowd favourite for the crown, played it safe in answering the question, sticking close to her platform message to promote awareness about breast cancer with the aim of reducing its incidence in Guyana. That answer left no one guessing that Boodhoo, a Biology student at the University of Guyana, had given up what had been a determined run for the crown.
Mahaicony girl Judith Sullivan was also a strong contender for the crown, and started off her answer by saying that she would seek to change the way Guyana is perceived overseas and the crowd erupted in approval. But then, the host somehow foolishly thought it would be best to lower the microphone away from Sullivan’s mouth. And sure enough, the host insisted on doing the same thing again! It left Sullivan struggling to complete her thought and ended up being long-winded, perhaps unable to connect what she had said before.
Seromanie Choomanlall, who made her presence felt, said, though not in the most eloquent of ways, that she would address unemployment in the country.
Ayana Harris, a darling of beauty pageants, lost out on the crown the second time around. She placed strongly behind Melesa Payne back in 2007, and ended up in the fifth place this time around.
Another favourite heading into the pageant, the elegant Ayana strutted her stuff confidently, but the judges did not believe her final answer was the best. She said that if she were to become President, she would work on the education system, since she sees children as the future of Guyana.
And so, after a dreadfully long pageant, sprinkled with doses of disorganization, Kara Lord, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of the West Indies, was named Miss Guyana Universe 2011, and was clearly flattered by the decision. She will represent Guyana at the Miss Universe Pageant in Sao Paulo on September 12.
Aneesha Benjamin was named Miss Congeniality. The other contestants were Cynthia Singh and Diana Hussain.
The event itself could have been held up as one of the best yet by franchise holder Odinga Lumumba. It was packaged well, and had it not been for the rain, maybe things would have finished beyond the four and a half hours or so.
But Lumumba and whoever is advising him by now, should know that if you’re doing an outdoor event, you have to cater for, yes, the rain!
The crowd seemed not too bothered about running for shelter every now and then, but the sound system was not properly protected, so after the first bout of rain, it took a while before things could get going again. And every time the rains came, it was the same dash for cover, and the same long wait for things to get back together when everyone was seated.
The judges were evidently very agitated, and kept egging on the hosts to speed things up, but to no avail. And you know how they say it rains “cats and dogs” sometimes? Well, it appears a cat and dog did fall from the sky, unless the management of the venue, Princess Hotel, has some other explanation as to what the two creatures were doing on stage during the show. It was totally unacceptable.
For those who didn’t leave before the end of the show, Jamaican reggae singer Christopher Martin swept the ladies off their feet.
As for Trinidad cross-over band Karma, Ravi B tried his best to cheer up a bored and tired crowd towards the end of the event and if it meant asking the band’s newest member to take off his shirt and wine, he did it. And once the energy level was up a bit, he decided to spike things a bit by taking off his shirt and taking a plunge in the pool! It might have been wild, but that’s Ravi B, and it was a poolside show after all.
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