By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
WITH nine competitive youthful beauties ready to take the stage, Miss Teenager Bahamas will officially host their first ever pageant on June 29 at the Wyndham Crystal Palace Resort and Casino.
After Anishka Lockhart, the pageant’s founder, acquired the Miss Teenager Bahamas franchise in 2012, she searched for a young lady that was skilled in modelling, involved in the community, had a stellar stage presence and was passionate about being an ambassador for their country.
Ms Lockhart came across Shavon Hailey Nottage, who had just won the Junior Miss Grand Bahama pageant. After a brief chat and closed screening with her pageant colleagues, Ms Lockhart chose Shavon to be the first Miss Bahamas Teenager. Shavon went on to place in the top five at the international stage, the Miss Teenager Universe pageant, which served to put the Bahamas on the map for the Miss Teenager franchise.
On June 29, this year’s contestants will compete for a chance to win the Miss Teenager Bahamas crown and the opportunity to win the Miss Teenager title for the Bahamas when the international event takes place in Paseo Cayal�, Guatemala City, in August.
As a part of the Miss Teenager festivities, the contestants took part in the Betsy Johnson Costume and Spokes Model High Fashion show as well as a National Costume Double Header Competition held at the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) last Sunday.
The Pageant Diaries, a Facebook site for all things pageant in the Bahamas, told Tribune Entertainment the event was “beautiful to witness”.
The organisers said the contestants worked very hard to represent their country in the best way possible.
“I thought the girls put a lot of effort and thought into their work. They went from small pieces that had impeccable detailing, to huge Junkanoo-like pieces. There were a top three chosen for the National Costume as well as the Betsy Johnson Costume and Spokes Model part of the competition,” said a Pageant Diaries spokesperson.
The top three in the National Costumes were Miss Teenager Berry Islands Savannah Burrows, Miss Teenager Bimini Amber Roberts and Miss Teenager New Providence Shanice Toussaint.
The top three in the Betsy Johnson Spokes Model competition were Miss Teenager Abaco Lakeisha Curry, Miss Teenager Paradise Island Andrea Bowleg and Miss Teenager New Providence Shanice Toussaint. The official winners will be announced on the pageant night.
“The event brought out a very decent crowd,” said Pageant Diaries. “A lot of supporters of the contestants came out and cheered them on. I have to point out that some of the costumes may look familiar to some pageant followers. Savannah Burrows’ costume was styled like Miss Bahamas Lexi Wilson’s costume when she took part in Miss Universe. Amber Robert’s costume looked almost like Shanae Strachan’s Miss Universe Bahamas costume. In the Betsy Johnson part of the show, the girls came on in their high fashion pieces and showed what Betsy Johnson is all about. From the colours to the prints, they did it well putting all the fun trends together.”
The pageant enthusiast said from what has been demonstrated at the events leading up to the final, people seem to be very excited for the show and everyone is rooting for their favourite girl.
“All of the girls are named after islands in the Bahamas, which hasn’t been done like that in a while. The float parade was held last Saturday and they had to incorporate Androsia print fabric in their outfits. I have to say a huge thanks to the Guest List, who sponsored the outfits for the girls at the launch event held on June 1 at the BNT; another huge sponsor for us,” said Pageant Diaries.
Excited for the future of Miss Teenager Bahamas, Pageant Diaries said it is unfortunate that some people may think there are too many pageant organisations in the Bahamas.
“No one says there are too many athletes or too many artists, they always highlight pageant queens. The work that these girls put into pageants is hard work and people do not know what goes on behind the scenes to deliver the end results. This issue gets to me because it is so much work and effort that people are not aware of. These girls really set the bar high for teen pageants and they all look good.”