ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Tenisha Sebastian, Alana Michael, Kimberly King, Daveile Payne Abbott, Ranee Laronde and Andrena Athill are the six delegates who will be vying for the Queen of Carnival crown this year in a show, which will be guided by the theme, Unleash Your Creativity.
The contestants were unveiled Wednesday night at the Media Launch of Carnival 2012 at Grand Royal Antiguan Hotel.
“Expect the unexpected.” That’s the only promise the delegates made during the ceremony, as they have no plans to share details on how they plan to wow those who attend the show on Monday, July 30.
The six contestants were among an initial batch of 11 queen hopefuls who underwent vigorous screening, training and judging before the final cut.
Shane Marsh, chairperson of Queen of Carnival Sub-committee said, “The 11 delegates were all really, really good and the six we (have left) edged out the others. They were judged in question and answer, performing talent, and swimsuit segments. I have six beautiful and intelligent girls and without a doubt I can say this year’s carnival will be one of the best.”
Marsh, who has trained many contestants in previous pageants, said this year’s organisers have changed the rules to give the delegates more room to be creative and to do the things that would make them comfortable on stage in their talent and swimwear segments.
“Over the years, the girls were only allowed one stage prop and the same colour swimsuit in either two-pieces or one piece. Now this year, we are changing all of that. If it is you need 10 props to make that talent the winning performing talent then so be it.
“For swimsuit, we are giving the young ladies the opportunity to be creative along with their dressmakers. We just want the young ladies to be comfortable and to be in what is most comfortable on stage so they can perform their best. They don’t have to follow our theme, they can create their own theme,” Marsh said.
Over the years, the organisers’ main problem has been to secure sponsorship for each delegate. So, this time around, Marsh said a sponsorship cocktail would be held so the potential sponsors, some of whom have already come forward, will get to meet and choose the delegate they wish to have represent them.
On the night of the show 20-year-old Sebastian would be first on stage. She is a graduate of Ottos Comprehensive School and Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute.
The second delegate would be Payne-Abbott, who is overseas and hence was unable to attend the unveiling ceremony. She graduated from Christ the King, Florida Memorial University and is currently a student at the Florida International University.
Laronde, 20, an Ottos Comprehensive school and Antigua State College graduate would appear third on stage on the night of the pageant.
Michael, 24 who completed Christ the King, Antigua State College and American Intercontinental University, enjoys Language Arts.
Delegate number five, 20-year-old King, has graduated from Antigua Girls High School, Antigua State College and is currently chasing a professional certificate through the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
Delegate number six is 21-year-old Athill. She attended Christ the King, Antigua State College and University of Perugia in Italy.
Carnival officially kicks off with the opening parade on July 28 and will climaxed with Last Lap on the evening of August 7.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)