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Miss Universe Jamaica semi-finalists selected

Observer writer

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Sixteen semi-finalists were yesterday selected to participate in the Miss Universe Jamaica pageant. The elimination process, which took place at the AC Hotel Kingston, saw 21 hopefuls — from a field of more than 70 who applied — reduced to 16. These 16 semi-finalists also include the five regional queens.

However, after another elimination round, which will be done on October 2, only 10 will go through to the finals, which is scheduled to be held virtually on October 30.

Mark McDermoth, national director of Miss Universe Jamaica, said the novel coronavirus pandemic has affected sponsorship for this year's staging of the pageant.

“It's another pandemic year for us and so we are having to do things differently. It's a challenge. The biggest challenge is not having sponsors on board because everyone's feeling the pinch of the pandemic. And so you are now having to be creative more than ever,” said McDermoth.

“We had to reduce the number of contestants. Even though we've selected 16 here today, we're doing another challenge to whittle it down to ten. And so we'll run the competition for about a month with 10. Doing a pageant in a pandemic means that the pageant has to work for the nation. And so, more than ever now, we're having the ladies go into the depths of their altruism projects and enhance lives within their communities and make a difference,” he continued.

McDermoth is excited about a partnership that the pageant has formed with the AC Hotel Kingston, as well as the contributions by a few sponsors. Cacdemode, a swimwear line from Vietnam, is the official swimsuit sponsor for this year's pageant. Other sponsors include Design Essentials, make-up artiste Oneil Baugh, dentist Dr Sharon Robinson, and Dr David Lambert, the official physician for the pageant.

The sixteen semi-finalists are Lloydann Daley; Lauren Less; Aaliyah Barnett; Kaydean Sterling; Lincia Haughton; Thalia Malcolm; Keronica Lewis; Kimmarie Spence; Avery Campbell; Francine Grant; Titania Mycko; Deana Soares, Miss Universe Jamaica Central; Trishani Weller, Miss Universe Jamaica East 2021; Trudy-Ann Peart, Miss Universe Jamaica Northeast; Jianna Thompson, Miss Universe Jamaica Northwest; and Chavelle Kavanaugh, Miss Universe Jamaica West 2021.

The current titleholder, Miqueal-Symone Williams, finished in the top ten of the Miss Universe pageant in May.