Contestant #5, Sharie de Castro was crowned Miss BVI 2012/2013 after competing against four other beauties at a packed Multipurpose Sports Complex on Sunday, August 5.
de Castro also captured Miss Congeniality, the People's Choice award, Miss Poised, Best Talent, Best BVI Promotional Speech, Best Personal Interview and Miss Intellect.
The newly crowned Miss BVI will take home a car, a scholarship, a trip with the BVI Tourist Board, a trip to the Miss Universe Pageant and $5,000.00 in wardrobe.
Miss BVI 2012 Sharie de Castro
Photo Credit: Clifton Skelton/BVI Platinum News
First runner-up went to contestant #4, Anna John, who also captured Miss Photogenic, Best Swimwear, Best Cultural/Historical Costume and Best Evening Wear.
Second runner-up went to contestant #2, Michelle Parsons.
Miss Popularity went to contestant #1, Lavanta Thompson.
The first runner-up will receive $5,000.00 cash and an ipad, while the second runner-up will receive $2,000.00 cash and an ipad. The other contestants will each receive $500.00 cash and a laptop.
The five beauties competed in Introduction (40 points), Swimwear (50 points), Cultural/Historical Costume (80 points), Talent (100 points), Evening Wear (75 points) and Question and Answer (90 points).
The pageant's opening sequence saw the five delegates clad in free-flowing two-piece outfits, dancing to Showtime's 'BVI, blended with hip hop music.
After the Introduction segment, the beauties moved to the Swimwear segment which saw the contestants showcase various versions of what appeared to be the mandatory use of the colour orange.
Thompson donned a two-piece held together with horizontal straps. Parsons picked a self-designed one-piece swimwear, while Donovan fitted a two-piece swim wear with one strap that ran from the front to the shoulder and down the back of the outfit.
John wore a two-piece held together separately. The top piece featured a strap that hugged the shoulders. de Castro fitted her petite body into a cross-strapped two piece outfit that connected to the back.
The contestants had to stretch their creativity during the Historical/Cultural Costume segment. Coincidentally, both Thompson and Parsons followed the same compass directions that saw them highlight the historical sinking of the RMS Rhone in BVI waters.
Thompson's outfit showed the steam ship that travelled between the West Indies and the United Kingdom and also incorporated a great sloop in her headwear. The bottom piece of her costume depicted elements that can be found at the bottom of the sea where the Rhone sunk.
Parsons wore a replica of the RMS Rhone as part of her headwear and said that the ruffled blue and shiny fabric of the bottom piece of her costume depicted the waves of the sea that claimed the famous trade ship. She also re-enacted the sinking of the ship and the captain's mayday call as the ship sunk in BVI waters. The replica of the ship in her headwear split into two pieces to mirror the fracturing of the Rhone as it sunk.
Donovan took the audience away from tragedy to the tasty sugar cane produce and its many uses which she depicted in her outfit. Most of the sugar cane presence was incorporated in her headwear.
John's costume was two-fold, with a front dedicated to history and the back dedicated to culture. She wore a crown which depicted the history of the British Monarchy and the Queen's coronation. The front of the costume showcased the BVI flag complete with St. Ursula and the 11 lamps.
At the back of the costume, John incorporated many elements, including the national tree, the white cedar; the national bird, the turtle dove; the oleander; a pot of peas soup and the heritage dancers.
de Castro opted to showcase the hibiscus. Acknowledging that it was not the national flower, she nonetheless spoke of the importance of the flower to the Virgin Islands and its many uses.
The Talent segment saw Thompson set about to focus on the culture of the BVI, displaying a Facebook page where she sought to depict a user of the page clicking through photos. She also portrayed local musical steps in her dance sequence.
Parsons danced to a gospel selection and took a huge risk in starting her performance behind a screen with a light effect to create a silhouette. She emerged from behind the screen to deliver an emotional dance using colorful ribbons.
Donovan's talent took the form of a monologue and dance feature entitled, 'I Believe' which spoke to the issues confronting the youth today, especially crime.
John set the stage for her talent segment by projecting herself as a lawyer who was trying to present her case on which music was better for the Territory's Emancipation Festival. Selecting what type of soca music was better, she showed her versatility on the steel pan, playing music from Barbados, the USVI and the BVI on four different sets of pans spaced on the stage. At one point, she even played music from the botton of a pan.
Dance moves came in the form of a Bernie dance to the locally-produced 'Bernie' soca song. She exited the stage shaking two bottles to Showtime's 'Shake Your Bottle'.
de Castro showcased her poetic prowess by embodying the character of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and using various characters from the famous story to project the general theme of the BVI finding its way back home. During the performance, she shifted gear to render a selection of 'Over the Rainbow' on violin. She returned to her poetic feature, embodying her career as a teacher and asking how much she makes, as she held money in her hand.
"What do I make? I make a difference; do you?" was the questioned asked at the end of the performance. The answer was a resounding cheer from the audience.
The contestants all looked stunning in the Evening Wear segment. There were no trip-ups as they each glided gracefully across the stage.
Thompson wore an off white dress with a shimmering effect. The dress featured a diagonal shoulder fit with a low cut back.
Parsons wore what she termed 'purple pleasure', drenched in shimmering segments with crisscrossed back straps and a low cut back.
Donovan donned a magenta gown with crystals, adorned with rhinestone accessories.
John seemed to fit perfectly in a light gold colored dress designed by her chaperone, Kareem-Nelson Hull. The dress opened up to an extremely low v-cut to the back with light, free-flowing fabric lining the lower portion of the dress which also carried intricate shapes to the front.
de Castro showcased a dress that a married turquoise blue bottom with a shimmering topped. However, the intention did not quite materialize as it appeared that the bottom portion was just tacked on to the top piece.
Question and Answer
The Question and Answer segment was tricky as the first contestant, Thompson, basically selected the question that the remaining four contestants also had to answer. Thompson handpicked one of three envelopes holding the questions.
The question she selected was - how do you believe competitions such as the ongoing London Olympics are essential to international relations?
It was definitely one of the toughest questions posed at the Miss BVI pageant and all the contestants struggled.
Donovan said that the ongoing competition will bring the BVIslanders out to see what type of talent they have for themselves.
John in her response said that it really helps to promote and sell the country. She appeared to be headed in the right direction or could have stopped it there, but then she added that "more people coming into the county equal more money".
Perhaps the best answer to the question came from de Castro, who essentially answered that it is imperative that going to events such as the Olympics helps the countries to learn more about each other and that in speaking and interaction, people will be able to learn how to thrive better.
Judging from the audience, they too agreed that her answer may have been the best.
Prior to show, they were all judged on the BVI Promotion, Personal Interview and Professional Attire segments.
Last week Sunday at the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall, the ladies competed in the BVI Promotion segment and the goal was simply to sell the BVI as a destination that tourists would be moved to visit. The points total for that segment was 90 points.
Personal interview with a total of 100 points and Professional Attire worth 50 points were judged together for a total of 150 points.