By: Flynn Bush
Delayed by a week from the scheduled September 11th date, the 2021 Miss Cayman Islands Universe Pageant ended up being a night of elegance, beauty, and much inspiration. The Westin Hotel Ballroom where it had originally been planned to accommodate 500 persons inside had a very different feel and atmosphere on Saturday, September 18th.
There was a maximum of 100 persons, due to new regulations, that were allowed to be inside. So, each contestant had a small contingent of family and friends sitting close to the stage. Beside the supporters, the limited number of media personnel, VIPs, and pageant organizers made for a very up-close-and-personal experience. In addition, there was also a seating area set up outside for 200 guests able to watch the pageant on closed circuit television and enjoy views of the contestants as they came out during each segment for a lineup.
There had been a lot of build up to this evening and the anticipation hung in the air like a mist. The nine beautiful young ladies made this event an unforgettable one. From the opening dance number, each contestant showed the poise and confidence that would make this a very difficult competition to predict.
However, there were some who started to show early signs of being in true contention for the crown. The first segment of the night that counted towards the total score was the swimsuit segment. Those who seemed to score well emerged as the favorites in some people’s minds and, with 25% of the total score tied to this segment, increased the anticipation in the room.
The evening gown competition also accounted for 25% of the total score and all nine contestants were on their A game for it. Nine beautiful gowns on nine beautiful ladies who all exhibited grace and composure. In this segment, it appeared as if the scoring would be tighter than the swimsuit section.
For the third segment, the contestants each were posed with a question and their answers, and the effectiveness of their communication, were judged to account for another 25% of the total score. Since each young lady was asked the same question, it was easier for the audience to compare the responses and some contestants showed why they should be considered for the crown as they communicated their replies effectively and with conviction. These three segments were to be counted along with the scores from the morning interview segment, worth 25% also, to determine the overall order of finish for the contestants. Nerissa McLaughlin, Aleya Solomon, Georgina Kerford, Tania McLean, Kimberly Carlos, Antanika Ebanks, Markita Ebanks, Aliyah Harrison and Ashley Crowe
Finally, it came time to announce the awards and the winners. There were seven individuals prizes and they were Most Improved (Aliyah Harrison); Miss Congeniality (Markita Ebanks and Ashley Crowe, tie); Best Legs (Georgina Kerford and Aliyah Harrison, tie); Most Photogenic (Georgina Kerford); Best Smile (Ashley Crowe); Best in Gown (Georgina Kerford and Aliyah Harrison, tie); and the People’s Choice (Aliyah Harrison).
For the overall placement announcement, tension rose among the spectators and contestants alike. When it come down to it, it was obvious that the overall performance of these young ladies was accounted for, as it should be, as the contestants who scored exceptionally well on more than one segment were at the top of the table. The Second Runner-up position ended in a tie between Aliyah Harrison and Ashley Crowe. The first Runner-up position went to Kimberly Carlos who had apparently scored well on the question-and-answer segment.
The young lady who had shown great poise, confidence and a great performance across the board was the overall winner. Thus, the 2021 Miss Cayman Islands Universe, Georgina Kerford, was crowned and sashed. Truly a fitting choice, and a queen that will undoubtedly represent our country with grace. Then the audience caught a glimpse of what is to come as Georgina took her first walk as queen.
Check out our Friday Publication for more pictures from the event.