Long Island captures Miss World Bahamas Title in Exciting, Interactive Pageant
By George Ratliffe, Miss Bahamas Organization
Jul 28, 2016 - 4:59:01 PM

The contestants open the show in a performance with Dyson Knight and Rik Carey. Photo: Tariq Cartwright

Contestants, Television and Theatre Audiences help to pick new queen with Historic Live Voting

Nassau, Bahamas – After an exciting night with more twists and turns than a suspense novel, Long Island beauty Ashley Hamilton emerged the new Miss World Bahamas on the evening of Sunday July 24, besting a field of 9 contestants to capture the coveted title and crown. The capacity crowd gathered at the Grand Ballroom of the Melia Nassau Beach hotel was literally sitting on the edge of their seats on more than one occasion throughout the night, as the Miss Bahamas Organization (MBO) rolled out its new format before a live television audience including real time voting and social media interaction. To say the pageant was a nail biter is an understatement.

The show began with an upbeat performance by Dyson Knight and Rik Carey of their hit song “I come to party” before being joined on stage by the Miss Bahamas contestants in a fun opening dance. One by one, the contestants introduced themselves to their cheering fans that came armed with homemade signs and placards in support of their favorites. Hosts Jerome Sawyer and Leslia Miller-Brice ably led the audience throughout the night, joined by television commentators Ianthia Smith and Brittany Culmer who reported on the social media commentary as it came in, and also reviewed scores.

Dyson Knight and Rik Carey performing live at The 2016 Miss Bahamas Beauty Pageant. Photo: Tariq Cartwright

The swimsuit competition offered a treat – the crowd lapped it up as the legendary Ronnie Butler performed a never-before-heard version of the classic Bahama Rock. The contestants rocked the stage wearing Floridita swimwear much to the delight of the “Godfather of Bahamian music” who strayed from the song on more than one occasion to voice his approval. Next up was the elegant Debonaire Boutique Evening Gown competition which featured the contestants in gowns of their own choice being serenaded by Julien Believe.

A number of special awards were handed out:

Miss Photogenic – Miss World Staniel Cay, Shanice Burrows

Miss Amity – Miss World Exuma, Aria Romer

Best National Dress – Miss World Long Island, Ashley Hamilton

Best in Evening Wear – Miss World Long Island, Ashley Hamilton

Best in Swimsuit – Miss World Long Island, Ashley Hamilton

Most Talented – Miss Paradise Island, Pischia Adderley

Multimedia Award – Miss Bimini, Bryneeah Gray

The People’s Choice – Miss Cat Island, Rotalya Williams

Outfit of the Day Challenge Winner – Miss Staniel Cay, Shanice Burrows

Miss Popularity – Miss Eleuthera, Geena Thompson

MBO Spirit Award – Miss Exuma, Aria Romer

Miss Bahamas Top Model – Miss Long Island, Ashley Hamilton

Bahari Spokesmodel winner – Miss Eleuthera, Geena Thompson

Haus of RvR Spokesmodel winner – Miss Long Island, Ashley Hamilton

Myles Munroe Beauty With A Purpose Scholarship – Miss Cat Island, Rotalya Williams

Pageant hosts (Director of Pageant Affairs) Leslia Brice and (MBO VP) Jerome Sawyer invite Miss World Bahamas 2015 Chantel O'Brian on stage to give a few remarks. Photo: Tariq Cartwright

It was then time for the first cut of the night, and this is where the drama and excitement began. Four of the five semifinalists were announced and interviewed – Miss World Eleuthera Geena Thompson; Miss World Long Island Ashley Hamilton; Miss World Cat Island Rotalya Williams; and Miss World Staniel Cay Shanice Burrows – leaving five young ladies wondering if they would be the last to be called into the semifinals. They had to wait for a commercial break to end before finding out that the fifth semifinalist was Miss Paradise Island Pischia Adderley who was then interviewed by host Jerome Sawyer. As part of the new format, the remaining contestants then got a chance to make one last appeal before the public was given the power to “instantly save” one contestant. The public then voted in real time using the new Miss Bahamas app, and the contestant chosen to advance to the Top 6 was Miss Exuma Aria Romer who was also interviewed by host Jerome Saywer. It was then time to announce the Top 3 – Miss Long Island, Miss Cat Island, and Miss Paradise Island.

The Top 3 finalists then faced an identical final question to determine who would be the new queen, and this was perhaps the most exciting and surprising twist of the night. Not only did the judges vote for the contestants, but so did the viewing and theatre audiences and their fellow contestants! When all of the votes were counted, the long legged beauty from Long Island was named the winner, with the titles of 1st princess going to Pischia Adderley and 2nd Princess going to Rotalya Williams.

The new Miss World Bahamas is no stranger to pageantry, having held the title of Miss Teen Earth Bahamas. Standing at 6’ 1” tall, she is not only beautiful but brainy too. Ashley is an aspiring lawyer and is currently employed as a legal assistant at Delaney Partners. In 2014 she graduated Cum laude with a Bachelor's Degree in History from The University of Florida. She was also a recipient of the Shelby Davis Scholarship in 2011 and holds an International Baccalaureate Certificate from the Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific, Victoria, British Colombia, Canada. She was also granted the United World Scholarship in 2009 and has been an Honors Student all of her academic career. By winning the title, Miss Hamilton receives a prize package worth more than $80,000 and the chance to represent The Bahamas at the world’s largest pageant, Miss World in Washington D.C. this December.

Miss World New Providence Andrea Bowleg makes eye contact with Bahamian music legend Ronnie Butler during the swimsuit portion of the show. Photo: Tariq Cartwright

- Music artist Julien Believe opens the evening gown portion while Miss World Acklins Zoie Hanna takes the stage. Photo: Tariq Cartwright

Top Left: - Miss World Acklins Zoie Hanna in her evening gown during the show; Top right: - Miss World New Providence Andrea Bowleg poses in her evening gown; bottom left: Miss World Bimini Bryneeah Gray in her evening gown receiving the Multimedia Award; Bottom right: Miss World Staniel Cay Shanice Burrows received both the Miss Photogenic & Outfit of The Day awards. Photos: Tariq Cartwright

Miss World Exuma Aria Romer was awarded with Miss Amity & the MBO Spirit award.Photo: Tariq Cartwright

- Miss Eleuthera Geena Thompson being given a cheque worth $5,000 from Bahari Bahamas. She also has a one year contract and was also awarded with Miss Popularity. Photo: Tariq Cartwright

Miss World Long Island Ashley Hamilton being given a cheque worth $4,000 from Haus of RVR. She will become the new face of the brand while also taking home awards for Best Costume, Debonair Evening Gown competition, Sands Beer Swimsuit competition and The Top Model competition. Photo: Tariq Cartwright

- Miss World Bahamas 2015 Chantel O’Brian awarding Miss World Cat Island Rotalya Williams with her trophy and bouquet for 2nd Princess. Photo: Tariq Cartwright

Miss World Long Island Ashley Hamilton & Miss world Paradise Island Pischia Adderley await to hear the final results. Photo: Tariq Cartwright

Miss World Long Island Ashley Hamilton is crown Miss World Bahamas 2016 by Miss World Bahamas 2015 Chantel O'Brian. Photo: Tariq Cartwright

(L-R): MBO President Michelle Malcolm, Fashion Editorial Director of Profiles 98 Magazine and pageant judge Walter Greene, Miss Commonwealth Bahamas 1993 Sadye Francis, Miss World Bahamas 2015 Chantel O’Brian, 2nd Princess Miss world Cat Island Rotalya Williams, Miss World Bahamas 2016 Ashley Hamilton, 1st Princess Miss World Paradise Island Pischia Adderley, Island Game CEO Pete Deveaux and proprietor of PTG Marketing & Modeling Agency Pia Rolle come together for a picture. Photo: Tariq Cartwright

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