(Photos by Subhash Haimraj)
Stunner Xamiera Kippins was crowned the new Miss Earth Guyana ahead of five other contestants when the curtains came down on last Saturday night’s affair into the first hour of Sunday morning at the Natural Cultural Centre (NCC).
The show began shortly after the scheduled eight o’clock hour, with a rousing cultural presentation before the introduction of the six vying beauties to the small and excited audience looking on. The batch of seven contestants to have taken part in the preliminaries was down to six and they were: Gabriella Chapman, Oriana Castello, Luann Pellew, Akisha Payne, Anita Baker and Xamiera.
Though they would have had the costume preliminaries at the Aracari Resort, they gave a second display at the NCC. Each of the contestants was tasked with coming up with a superhero name that encapsulated the part she would play in protecting earth.
Beginning was Gabriella as ‘Iridescence’ in a bodysuit of cracked-ice, hologram fabric embellished with beads and stones to represent the minerals of Guyana. Oriana followed as ‘The Guardian of the Earth’ in her costume covered with sequins. Her headdress which was adorned with blue crystalline embellishments carried the colours red, white, green and blue in representation of Earth’s fire, minerals, forest and water. Luann made her way onstage as ‘Opallios’ the element warrior in translucent colours including red, green, white, blue and orange said to aid in her protecting the planet. ‘Guardian of Ouora,’ Akisha, wore a costume complete with a shield, mask and spear. ‘Mother Gaia,’ the earth goddess, Anita’s corset represented her strength and acted as a shield for the earth. Her arms which were covered by weaves and vines forming a glove said to be a capturing tool for intruders while her cape allowed for disguise at her behest. Xamiera, adorned with thousands of glass beads, gems, sequins and natural indigenous seeds complemented by feathers, bamboo, woven cotton and thousands of seashells was Empress of the Rupununi.
They next went on to enthrall the crowd in the swimsuit segment, which led into the elegant part of the night, the Evening Gown Segment.
Gabriella lit the stage in her fiery-red, shimmering, fishtail gown. Oriana also wore a glittering fishtail piece, embellished with many sequins. Her gown finished in a train that swept the floor as she walked. In her white angelic gown that began in gold at the neck down to her waist, Luann floated across the stage mesmerizing the audience. Akisha strutted in her floral off-shoulder gown that finished in a fishtail also. Anita’s green and silver gown was swoon-worthy. Xamiera’s dazzling royal blue and gold gown completed with a slit along her thigh almost all the way to her hip and a fishnet train.
In the hashtag category, each contestant selected a slip of paper from a glass bowl that had hashtag and a word relating to the earth. The words were #Renewable, #ClimateChange, #Environment, #Nature, #EcoFriendly and #Earth. Each contestant definitively explained what their word meant. Following the tallying of the scores the top four were chosen: Anita, Luann, Akisha and Xamiera.
After a ten-minute interval, the beauties were serenaded by Mohan Singh doing a cover of a Bollywood song. Then it was time for the final question. While their competitors were taken out of the NCC and out of earshot, the ladies were, one at a time, asked the same question: “Technology makes life very convenient, but it is also being blamed for certain environmental problems. How do you propose to find a balance between technology and earth preservation?”
Of all the answers, the best came from Xamiera who took the time to touch on the positive and the negative sides of technology before stating how she would find a balance between technology and earth preservation. This answer won her the coveted crown.
The contestants picked up awards in the following categories: the Beauties For A Cause award went to Anita and Xamiera; in costume: Oriana (bronze), Akisha (silver) and Xamiera (gold); for eco-friendly: Xamiera (bronze), Gabriella (silver) and Luann (gold); for evening gown: Akisha (bronze), Luann (silver) and Xamiera (gold); in swimwear: Luann (bronze), Akisha (silver) and Xamiera (gold); in talent Gabriella took the bronze medal, Akisha silver and Xamiera gold. The People’s Choice Award went to Akisha.
The judges arrived at their decisions of the placements of the top four as 19% of pre-judging scores were added to them, and the queen would have received 1% from the People’s Choice Competition. Seventy percent of the score was tallied in regard to the preliminaries prior to the coronation night while the two Beauty For A Cause winners automatically received places in the top four. Except for the 19% of score belonging to the pre-judging category all other scores were wiped after the top four were announced.
Miss Guyana Earth and her court will share $1,000,000 in cash and prizes inclusive of a trip to Kaieteur Falls in August, bouquets, one-year ownership of title and crown, weekend stay, all-inclusive at the Aracari Resort, makeup sessions with Clinton Duncan, branding opportunities with sponsors, endorsement by international environmental agencies, beauty products and tokens among other prizes.
Xamiera will represent Guyana at the international leg of the pageant on November 3. The host country has not yet been announced.
The pageant was judged by Roshini Boodhoo-Persaud, Lawshana Prescott, Dr Kelsie Young, Fazil Rahaman, Stephanie Persaud and national director, Dave Persaud.
Sponsors DemBake, Caribbean Wind and Sun Inc, Aracari Hotel and Resort, Precise Printing and the Ministry of Social Cohesion were acknowledged.