Can a Jamaican win Miss Universe?
Posted by Dresonic on March 25, 2007
Jamaica has won the Miss World pageant on at least 3 occasions – Carol Joan Crawford, Cindy Breakespeare and Lisa Hanna. Others have come close, or served as Ms World when the reigning queen could no longer serve.
Interestingly, however, Jamaica has never won the Miss Universe crown, despite representatives of the quality of Kimberley Mais, Sandra Foster, Nicole Haughton, Sanya Hughes, Christine Straw, Trudy Ferguson and Rachel Stuart.
“Why?” is the obvious question. The answer however, might not be as obvious.
After all, 4 top 10 finishes (including two top 6 and a top 4 finalists) since 1989, is not something to be scoffed at, especially given the many countries which have never placed in the top 10. However, Jamaicans back winners.
As a people, we have little regard for second or third. The long history of success associated with the Miss World pageant (Crawford won in 1962), makes it naturally more attractive to Jamaicans, both from the standpoint of entry to the event, as well as public perception of the relative value and importance of that event as opposed to Miss Universe. Interestingly, Miss Universe is by far the bigger and better-known event internationally. In fact, Miss World is hardly known in America, the world’s largest and most important media and commercial market.
But is there any difference in the quality of the girls? At the end of the day, it’s the winner who counts. Certainly Kimberley Mais, Sandra Foster, Rachel Stuart, Nicole Haughton, Christine Straw and Sanya Hughes can hold their own against just about anyone for beauty and intelligence. Could it therefore be preparation?
In a country like Jamaica, where very limited resources are available to send beauty queens to international pageants (as opposed to countries like Venezuela or the US, where resources appear to be unlimited, even extravagant), there is probably little difference in the preparation of national beauty queens for the ultimate pageants.
The Trump organization is a company that is all business. There is a clear trend in which the delegates have done well by becoming Miss Universe have had the competition staged in their countries either just before or just after their success. Recent examples are Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and Puerto Rico. Is this coincidence or is there any link between hosting and success relevance in the results?
It is also a fact that host countries pay up to and in excess of US$5million to stage the event. Whether or not this actually has any bearing on the result is moot, but it is natural that this question will be asked in the circumstances. However, despite its inability to find the kind of required resources to host the international pageant, Jamaica has made it into the top group on a number of occasions. One could therefore assume that as Pulse steps up its efforts that sooner or later, Jamaica will achieve the desired results.
Could 2007 be the year? This year’s group is diverse and interesting with no obvious favourite. Beauty, brains and cultural relevance are key assets to be found in this year’s contestants. Most of the finalists have or are close to completing baccalaureates with the intention of pursuing post graduate studies. From Liberal Arts to History to Business Management, these contestants are accomplished, assertive and confidently driven.
Among this group are: Jodi Ann Anderson, Mikayla Ashman, Renee Burgess, Theresa Jameison, Stacey Ann Kirlew, Rave Kia Stephens and Marsha Gaye Reynolds who also happens to be one of the two Jamaicans living in New York. Her counterpart, Tiffany Smile based in the tri-state area is herself an accomplished candidate having been a professional ballet dancer for 14 years. She is now a realtor.
Lisa Vassel and Kamoya Levy work in administrative roles while simultaneously attending school with the view of pursing their first degrees.
Amicha Anderson and Esther Beckford are artists in their own right; the former plies her trade in the fashion and beauty business as a professional make-up artist and the latter specializes in decorative wall finishes. Two science based professionals Sydonie Mc Bayne (a medical technologist) and Alicia Griffith (an environmental and health specialist) are also among the group.
Sanique Vaccianna is the sole radio and television personality in the title quest. And, for the first time in Miss Jamaica Universe’s history, there is a bonafide Rastafarian making a claim for the title – Zahra Redwood. Redwood has earned a degree in biochemistry and works as a quality control officer.
With this group representing the best of Jamaica’s talent and rich diversity, tonight’s coronation show should yield a delegate worthy of doing the country proud in the international finals on May 28 in Mexico.
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