GUYANA’S good streak at international pageants this year is continuing, with well-known make-up artist, turned pageant contestant, Tenisha Garnett-Billington, winning the Mrs Tourism International crown two weeks ago at The Theater Center in New York, New York.
After representing as Miss Tourism International Guyana, the 23-year-old beauty bested 12 other contestants to collect the crown, donning a stunning Derek Moore turtleneck evening gown.
“I was just so surprised when I won because I felt super nervous the entire time. I am usually my biggest critic, so I’m a lot harder on me when it comes to judging myself. It was definitely hard for me to tell whether I won or not in those last few minutes before they announced it, but when they did, I was so happy,” the overseas-based Guyanese said.
The pageant saw the contestants being judged over a period of two months on video interviews and a charity cause, and also encompassed evening gown, swimwear, model of the year, national costume and Coney Island costume segments.
Aside from taking the overall title, she also walked away with the prizes for best “Evening Gown”, “Media Presentation”, “Video Interview”, “Fun fashion (costume)”, “Swimwear”, “Pageant Day Interview” and a trophy for the Mayor’s choice “Mermaid Award (Coney Island)”.
Although Garnett-Billington has been around the pageant world for some time now as a makeup artist, this was her first time trying her hand as a contestant herself, and she just cannot stop gushing on what a wonderful experience it was.
“I had a lot of fun. I knew how pageants usually go because I’ve worked at so many pageants as a MUA, and for some reason, I thought it would not have been a whole different experience for me, but it is definitely a different feeling when you’re a contestant. I feel like I grew even more as a woman and most importantly, I got to help the needy which was an amazing feeling,” Garnett-Billington shared.
Though now overwhelmed by her surprising win, it almost never happened, since she had always been somewhat reluctant to enter the pageant stage. The Organisation had been trying for some time to get her to enter the pageant, but she admitted that she’s always been just a little too skeptical.
“I was asked by the Miss Tourism Organisation to compete. They’ve been asking me for a few years now but after getting in touch with my husband they were both able to talk me into it,” she revealed.
More to her credit, she did most of her training and preparation for the pageant on her own, with a few pointers from veteran pageant trainer, Derek Moore.
She’s now focused on her new journey ahead as queen.