Pageant pain

Pageant pain

Linton-George surprised Miss Ja not in top 10

Observer writer

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

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Keneea Linton-George, former coordinator of Miss Jamaica World, is surprised Miss Universe Jamaica Iana Tickle Garcia failed to place in the pageant's grand final on Sunday.

“I didn't watch the programme because I forgot. But when I woke up today [yesterday], I found out that Miss South Africa won, and it was a big thing. I am so surprised that Miss Jamaica didn't even make top 20 or top 10 because she is a beautiful girl. I assumed that she was going to place. I am truly surprised,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

The competition, which featured participants from 90 countries, was held at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. Zozibini Tunzi, 26, of South Africa was crowned Miss Universe while Madison Anderson of Puerto Rico and Sofia Aragon of Mexico copped second and third, respectively.

Two days before the final, controversy swirled about Miss Jamaica's attire for the costume segment. Many believed the costume, dubbed Annie Palmer: The Legend of Rose Hall, was disrespectful to Jamaica's African heritage.

While Linton-George said it is difficult to judge another designer's work, she believes that moving forward, it is best to create a design that gains public approval.

“It is a beautiful dress. Every designer is entitled to their own expression. That dress was certainly something outside of the box, but I think the issue is the theme; it's not the traditional costume that you would see Miss Jamaica representing the country in. You just have to stick to what works. You want to be able to create a costume that can be easily interpreted without somebody have to explain what it means… you have to please the masses,” she said.

Designed by Uzuri International, the elaborate white gown featured ruffles from the waist down, colossal feathers across the shoulders, and a gem-studded headpiece.

In an official press release issued yesterday, the Miss Universe Organisation rebutted allegations that they glamorised slavery through the costume.

“With this year's costume, we never sought to glorify slavery, nor promote witchcraft or any of the folk tales Annie Palmer has been accused of. Instead, what we sought to do, as have the pantomimes, books and articles written about her, was to just tell the story of another part of Jamaican history without endorsing, glorifying or celebrating her deeds or the atrocities of slavery…” part of the statement read.

Last year, Emily Maddison, who won the Miss Universe Jamaica title, sported a costume titled Records In Track which paid homage to Jamaica's track athletes.

In 2017, Davina Bennett, who was Miss Universe second runner-up, wore the costume Martha Brae (named after the famous river in Trelawny) an ode to Jamaica's biodiversity.

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