Shannon stars talent show
Negril, Westmoreland — After a long hiatus, the much anticipated staging of the Miss Beaches Negril Talent and Awareness Competition brought the resort town of Negril to life on April 26 as hundreds of spectators gathered at the Negril Hills Golf Club to cheer on their favourite 'woman of power'.
After much pageantry, it was Wedding Planner Shannon Irving (Miss EGAS) who sang, modeled and talked her way to the top, trumping eight of her colleagues to earn the coveted title.
"One of my most memorable moments in my journey throughout this competition was the opportunity I received to rub shoulders with some of the most influential women in tourism," Irving said. "It was truly an honour to meet people who are shaping the face of our Jamaican product through their work...I too wish to be empowered and have that outstanding impact. Now that I have earned this title I feel accomplished, honoured, humbled and motivated to do even more," she said.
Held under the theme "Changing the world-one woman at a time", the show opened with the contestants' well received dance interpretation of Beyoncé'sTill the end of time followed by a parade featuring the ladies paying homage to women they admire; the likes of Maya Angelou, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Mary Jane Seacole and Nanny of the Maroons.
Local acts Eklectic Dancers, Legend Squad, Tino Stewart and Akeliah Vassell kept the crowd entertained with their multi-faceted performances. It was showstopper Romain Virgo who most strongly rivaled the popularity of the pageant contenders however, as he belted crowd favourites such as "Don't you remember" and "System", adding a few sultry dance segments with female fans.
The intense and colourful talent segment spoke of proud black women, mothers struggling to shape the futures of their children, the fight against physical and emotional abuse of women and children. Master of Ceremonies Weston Haughton kept the momentum going with his quips and entertaining presentation. At the end of the night Irving was awarded Most Aware and Best Smile, while Most Talented and Most Congenial went to crowd favourite Monique Patterson (Miss Clarke's Hardware) from the Dining Room department.
Leading sponsors for the event included JUTA Negril, Caribbean Producers Jamaica Ltd, Sandals Negril, Sandals Resorts International, and Dolphin Cove, Uzuri International, Margaritaville Caribbean, Transwest Ltd.,
Island Routes, Club Mobay, Executive Ground Ambulance Services, Vybz 96 FM, Sandpiper Entertainment, Reggae Hut, Value Master Supermarket, Clarke Hardware, Usain Bolt Tracks & Records and Guardsman Ltd.
The new queen's lucrative prize package includes a five night/six day stay for two at any Sandals Resort, $25,000 cash, a scholarship tenable through the Sandals Corporate University, a couple's massage, trophy and appliance.
First runner-up from the Bar department Alecia Richards (Miss CPJ) walked away with a three night/four day stay, cash and other prizes. Third place went to Simone Morris (Miss Club Mobay) from the Snap Shots® Department.
"We (the Beaches Negril Sports and Social Club) wanted each person to walk away learning something new and to become more of a consummate professional," said Pageant Chairperson and Weddings Manager Nickesha Greenfield.