||Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 - 1:45:37 AM
Winner Cherel Williamson, and seen far right with her mother. (Photos by Draf Design Photography)
Nassau, Bahamas - On Saturday September 17th 2016 I had the opportunity to attend the Miss Universe Bahamas 2016 contest which is now owned and operated by Michelle Collie and was held at the Albany.
Ten of the most stunningly beautiful and intelligent, personable ladies competed for the crown. They were as follows: Erika Adderley Miss Brickell Management; Ashley Hanna Miss Windermere; Rokara Hepburn Miss Grand Isle Resort; Whender LaFrance Miss Golden Gates; Alexandria Pinder Miss Zafiro Events; Danielle Pratt Miss Grand Bahama; Chivvaun Smith Miss Seventeen Shop; Crystal Stubbs Miss Happy Hair Boutique; Cherell Williamson Miss Island Game; and Selvinique Wright Miss Starfish Bay.
The pageant was a sell out and the hosts, Tiffany Forbes and Bernard Ferguson did an excellent job throughout the evening. The setting at the Albany Resort was very unique, with the pageant being held in a closed in area on the beach. The audience was asked to put their hands up if they had ever attended a pageant were their feet touched the sand, and this of course drew smiles and chuckles.
The contestants first competed in National costumes which represented the Flamingo, The Bahamas Flag, the Coat of Arms among others, and were the most spectacular costumes ever. The winner of the costume event was Selvinique Wright, Miss Star Fish Bay.
A brief slide presentation was given showing former Miss Universe Bahamas representatives. Looking as beautiful as the day she won, Brenda Major Barry, the first Miss Bahamas from 1961 was introduced and gave a brief talk.
This year's contestants then appeared in evening gowns, which were some of the most stunning ever. The swimsuit presentation followed, and the young beauties rocked the stage with svelte hour glass figures. Comments such as, "I am glad I am not a Judge!" came from the audience. Those who had that difficult task were track and field star, Eldece Clark; fashion stylist Kedar Clarke; Paola Gavira Miss Cali Colombia 1993; artist Antonius Roberts; and Kate Rose British gymnastics champion.
Winning the Miss Photogenic award was Miss Starfish Bay Selvenique Wright. Miss Brickell Management Erica Adderley won the Best Smile award. Miss Zafiro Events Alexandria Pinder won the Miss Congeniality award. Chivvaun Smith won the Living Beautifully award.
Then came the announcement of the Top 5 which were: Miss Grand Isle Resort Rokara Hepburn, Miss Brickell Management Erika Adderley, Miss Seventeen Shop Chivvaun Smith, Miss Island Game Cherell Williamson, and Miss Starfish Bay Selvenique Wright. Following a question and answer by each of the five, next came the final round of competition were the Top 3 were announced.
(Photos by Draf Design Photography)
The Top 3 where Miss Brickell Management Erika Adderley, Miss Seventeen Shop Chivvaun Smith and Miss Island Game Cherell Williamson. Each of the girls then answered the same question, "What do you believe is the relevance of Beauty Pageants in today's society?"
Next the beautiful Toria Penn, Miss Universe Bahamas 2015 made her final walk and there was a brief video presentation recapping her year-long reign. Then came the moment of truth, as the final results were handed in and the winners were announced.
The 2nd Runner-up was Miss Brickell Management Erika Adderley. The two remaining finalists Chivvaun Smith and Cherell Williamson stood holding hands, and the first Runner-up was announced as Chivvaun Smith, as a shocked Miss Island Game Cherell Williamson stood in disbelief as she was announced the winner. The crowd went wild!
Miss Williamson will compete in the Miss Universe contest in the Philippines in January 2017. She has won a year's membership at the Albany. Through the pageant's partnership with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, over her year of reign, Cherell will work with Tourism promoting Islands of The Bahamas, something that previous queen used to do up until 2001.
This year's pageant was one of the best ever, and all expectations are that Miss Universe Bahamas 2016 Cherell Williamson will do well at Miss Universe. She has the overall beauty, charm, intellect, and personality for the global stage. I wish her well on her journey!
About the author: Neil Alan Craig is the creator of the
Miss Bahamas Blast from the Past Facebook
page which covers Miss Bahamas and the history of pageantry in The
Bahamas from 1961 to present. Neil began following pageants in the
Bahamas in the 1980's, and as a hobby began researching the history of
Bahamian pageants. Neil has contributed to many international pageant
websites including Pageantopolis, where a Miss Bahamas section was
created, and has judged local pageants including Miss Bahamas Universe
in 2009, Miss Earth Bahamas and Miss Teen Bahamas 2010, Little Miss
Bahamas 2010, Miss Earth Bahamas & Miss Teen Bahamas 2011, Little
Miss Bahamas 2013 and Miss Bahamas Teenager 2014. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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