Danielle Crosskill is Miss Jamaica World 2011

Simone Morgan

Monday, September 12, 2011

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"EX T R E M E LY ecstatic!"

That was the initial reaction of newly crowned Miss Jamaica World Danielle Crosskill, just minutes after her announcement as winner of this year’s pageant.

"The overall experience for me has not only been amazing but has been one of great fulfilment. It has taught me lessons that will carry me through a lifetime," added the 25-year-old beauty, who wore the sash Miss Ocean Spray.

Crosskill was an audience favourite from the moment she stepped onto the stage in the Weston Haughtonchoreographed opening number, Daughters of the Elements, and this continued throughout the night.

By the time the official announcements were made at near 11:30 pm, there were wild cheers coming from Crosskill’s supporters which signalled that it was over. This left second place for Miss Osmosis Kayla Mendes and third place for Miss Neutrogena, 23-year-old Chantel Davis. The top five was rounded out by Miss Usain Bolt Tracks and Records Zahra McGraham and Miss Appleton Jamaica Rum Chavoy Gordon.

The title and crown may well have gone to Gordon had she not fallen prey to that unforgiveable trap in the pageant world — the on-stage interview. Gordon, the fivefoot-11-inch ebony beauty failed was asked her views on the false-start rule in track and field by former Miss World Cindy Breakspeare. She first asked that the question to be repeated then made a first attempt to respond when nerves seemed to have gotten the better of her as she folded. She then requested of a now enraged audience if she could restart her response, but MC Denise Hunt thanked the contestant at which time she made her exit.

The beauty was later recalled to the stage to answer her given question but she failed to redeem herself. A mixed reaction was what came from the lethal crowd as some applauded Gordon for her effort while others booed. Based on the number of awards won it was clear that the only setback in Gordon not claiming the crown was her ‘false start’.

She Walked away with a number of the night’s sectional prizes including Most Aware, The Beauty With a Purpose Award, Best Legs and Best Skin Tone.

The dreaded interview was not a problem for eventual winner Crosskill, who effortlessly reeled off the single sentence she would use to entice a foreigner to visit Jamaica. But it was the eventual second-place winner Mendes, who gave the answer of the night. The young law student articulated clearly what she sees as the benefits of living in a democratic society, which she noted was "choice, voice and change".

Held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, the competition which commenced minutes to nine o’clock, event had earlier seen the 20 finalists parading in swimsuits designed by The Mushroom and the glitzy eveningwear segment with gowns designed by Uzuri International.

The 20 finalists were reduced to the top 12 , which is a departure from the normal top 10, due to what was said to be an exceptionally high standard this year.

The eventual top five combined with Maya Wilkinson, Lianne Chung, Arielle Foote, Dahlia Dwyer, Rene Harris, Roxanne Elliot and Lisa Williams to have a go at the title.

Miss Dunns Electrical Lisa Williams won the award for being the most congenial contestant while the People’s Choice Award went to Gabrielle Blackwood. Special recognition was also given to Miss Deaf International Cassandra White.

It was almost 11:30 pm when outgoing queen Chantal Raymond made her final walk. While the judges completed their deliberations, Raymond used the opportunity to offer words of wisdom to the 20 finalists noting that they one didn’t to be crowned queen to leave a lasting and positive impact on the world.

Crosskill will represent Jamaica at Miss World in London on November 6. Jamaica has copped the Miss World title on three occasions — Carole Joan Crawford in 1963, Cindy Breakspeare in 1976 and Lisa Hanna in 1993.


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