SEVEN contestants, on Saturday, put on a grand show at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) as they competed to win the highly sought-after Miss Jamzone Guyana 2022 title.
Edging ahead of all her competitors was 21-year-old Amel Griffith, who copped the crown.
The curtain went up revealing a sea of pink as all seven delegates glided onto the stage in their sleek pink robes to an afro beat tune, motioning through their dance routine and boldly introducing themselves to the cheering crowd.
Jasmaine Asannah, Jade Mercurius, Shaniya Decosta, Amel Griffith, Phelicia Adams, Omaiah Hall, and Jada Jones were this year’s gladiators.
Certainly, the delegates brought their fans as pockets of supporters for each contestant shouted the names of their favourite in a deafening cacophony emanating from the auditorium. The pageant was back after a two-year break due to COVID-19.
Amid the noise, it was Assanah, Hall, Griffith and Adams who were, at least, guaranteed to walk away from the pageant as crowd favourites.
What followed was the swimwear segment which saw all the delegates donning identical pink two-piece bikinis, walking to different soca songs.
The segment, which seemed to be the most anticipated aside from the actual crowning, was the talent segment.
It was during the talent segment that much of the crowd sang with one voice that the competition was stiff, as all delegates brought their ‘A’ game.
Kicking off the talent segment was Asannah who sang works by local starts Jackie Jazz, CKush, and Nekeita.
Mercurius performed a moving spoken word piece on mental health and suicide which shifted the mood in the theatre, as she peeled numbers off her all-white ensemble, bringing emotional flare to her dramatization.
Decosta, who donned a sheer and purple gown, delivered a stellar performance of Beyonce?’s “Listen” while Griffith opted for a spoken word piece on Guyana. “Not a blade of grass,” Griffith bellowed as she wrapped up her performance. The crowd returned similar cries.
Adams also delivered a spoken word piece along with an African inspired dance complete with on-stage drummers as live props.
Hall, gifted with song and an entrant in this year’s Mashramani Soca Monarch competition, performed her original song “we feting”. Closing the talent segment was Jones who opted for a liberation-inspired interpretive dance piece.
Infused in this year’s pageant organising was an element of tourism awareness. Each delegate represented one of Guyana’s townships.
Griffith, Asannah, Hall, Decosta and Adams had better costumes. Griffith represented the town of Anna Regina with her Randy Madray piece featuring an extravagant head piece. The audience was awe struck by the homage to the strength and beauty of the market woman archetype.
Randy Madray appeared to be the designer of the hour as Hall also donned one of his works which featured a large back piece that showed a working pork knocker in the rear as she represented the mining town of Mahdia, known for gold mining activities.
In the announcement of special prizes, Asannah copped the “Miss Social Media” and “Miss Summer Body” titles while Griffith landed the “Best Fantasy Swimwear”, “Best Talent” and “Best National Costume” bragging rights.
As the competition came closer to an end, Amel Griffith, Jasmaine Asannah and Omaiah Hall were named the final three. It was now time for the final question.
Mistress of Ceremonies, Feliz Roberts, asked each of the three finalists: “what stood out to you the most when you were researching your town?”
Coming out victorious from that segment was Griffith whose response noted that it was the agriculture in Anna Regina which, she said, played a role in the design of her costume. She realised the power and ability of the town’s people to make their livelihoods through working the soil.
In the end, Griffith walked away with the highly sought-after crown, a new car, and several other prizes, which, in her case, could never be considered “consolation prizes” as she is the Miss Jamzone 2022 queen.