SIXTEEN finalists were selected from a field of 19 at the eliminations and Sashing of the Miss TEEN Jamaica Contest, two Sundays ago at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel before a capacity crowd.
The girls first appeared in swimwear and introduced themselves to the delight of the audience. While the girls changed into talent wear, Christina Lee-Fatt, TEENage violinist, wowed the audience with her superb performace of Daylight at Solas Market (arranged by Paulette Bellamy) and Rememberances (by John Williams from the Schindler's List).
For the talent segment, the girls sang, danced, recited and one contestant did gymnastics.
The dynamic Althea Hewitt then took to the stage and gave a scintillating performance. She hit some very high notes as she was cheered on by the audience.
Then came the evening wear and talent segments.
The contestants were locked away as each girl appeared on stage and was asked the question: Which outstanding Jamaican (male or female) do you admire most and why? The responses included: Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, former Prime Minister Edward Seaga, Yendi Phillipps, Usain Bolt, and the late Louise Bennett-Coverley. One contestant had the audience on their feet when she stated: "Portia Simpson Miller, because she made it to prime minister in a male-dominated country."
It was then time to welcome dance group UNT, who had patrons at the edge of their seats applauding throughout the performance and at the end earned for them an encore.
The judges took some time to deliberate but the audience was patient. The girls beamed as each name was called and they were sashed by their sponsors.
The judges were: chief judge, Barbara Thompson (Attorney-at-Law), Nicola Henry (personal assistant to Senator Tom Tavares-Finson), Juliet Myers (businesswoman) and Clifford Anglin (logistics manager at KCT Services Ltd).
The contest is celebrating 32 years and the finalists will be vying for top prizes of a $400,000 scholarship courtesy of University College of the Caribbean, a trip to the United States of America and a wardrobe. The grand coronation show will be on Sunday, July 22, 2012 at the Wyndham Kingston.
This year's theme: "Celebrating Jamaica's 50th year of Independence -- Unearthing the gems of Jamaica".
For further information visit: www.missteenjamaica.com.