DAHLIA Harris — co-franchise holder of the Miss Jamaica World pageant — says despite Khalia Hall not advancing to the top 40 of the Miss World pageant, there is still reason for Jamaicans to be proud.
“Through Toni-Ann Singh, Jamaica has the distinction of the longest hold on the Miss World Crown. We've also had a long streak as holders of the Caribbean Queen of Beauty title. In as much as we benefited from the love and support of other nations, we are happy to extend same to this year's winners. I'm excited to see who will finally be crowned by Toni-Ann,” Harris told the Jamaica Observer.
The top 40 finalists were announced on Friday. They include: Argentina (Amira Hidalgo), The Bahamas (Sienna Evans), Botswana (Palesa Mofele), Brazil (Caroline Teixeira), Cameroon (Audrey Monkam), Canada (Svetlana Mamaeva), Chile (Carol Drpic), China (Jiang Siqi), Colombia (Andrea Aguilera), Cote D'Ivoire (Olivia Yacé), Czech Republic (Karolína Kopíncová), Dominican Republic (Emmy Pena), Ecuador (Ámar Pacheco), England (Rehema Muthamia), France (April Benayoum), Guinea (Nene Bah), Hungary (Lili Tótpeti), Iceland (Hugrún Birta Egilsdóttir), India (Manasa Varanasi), Indonesia (Carla Yules), Ireland (Pamela Uba), Kenya (Sharon Obara), Madagascar (Nellie Anjaratiana), Malaysia (Lavanya Sivaji), Mexico (Karolina Vidales), Mongolia (Burte-Ujin Anu), Nepal (Namrata Shrestha), Nicaragua (Sheynnis Palacios), Northern Ireland (Anna Leitch), Paraguay (Bethania Borba), Philippines (Tracy Perez), Poland (Karolina Bielawska), Puerto Rico (Aryam Díaz), Somalia (Khadija Omar), South Africa (Shudufhadzo Musida), Sri Lanka (Sadé Greenwood), Trinidad and Tobago (Jeanine Brandt), United States (Shree Saini), Venezuela (Alejandra Conde), and Vietnam (Đo Thi Hà).
The finalists will compete on March 16 at the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum of Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, Harris said Hall is content with her effort, despite the outcome.
“She is obviously disappointed but she is happy that she gave it 100 per cent, and represented Jamaica to the best of her ability,” she added.
Toni-Ann Singh created history by being the first queen to reign for two consecutive years, due to the cancellation of the grand coronation last year due to COVID-19.
For the co-franchise holder, there are no ill feelings towards the judges' decisions.
“It was a very competitive field. I'm sure the judges made the best decision that they could, given the constraints of COVID-19,” Harris continued.
In hindsight, she added that the pageant season, though more difficult than usual, was still highly successful.
“Though it was our most challenging year due to COVID-19 and lack of sponsorship, we were still able to execute the activities while introducing new events. We could not have hosted the grand final without major assistance from the Ministry of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport. Khalia's participation in Puerto Rico would also not have happened without our partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board,” Harris told the Observer.