Raymond also copped the award for Most Talented and the People’s Choice Public vote (Photo: Bryan Cummings)
THE second time seems to be the charm for Chantal Raymond. After a previous attempt at the Miss Jamaica World title in 2008, she decided to give it a shot this year, and on Saturday night, walked away with the title, prizes and the opportunity to represent Jamaica at Miss World in Sanya, China, later this year.
Just minutes after her coronation, it was an excited, yet extremely composed Raymond who explained to the Observer that she did not feel that she gave the contest her all on her first attempt. "This is something I have always wanted to do, however the first time I did it for the fun. This time, however, I was more determined to put in the work required to get the desired results," she stated.
She clearly gave it her all from the opening number and by the end of the night she was reaping the benefits. Second place went to 23-year-old student Kerry Moxam, while architecture major at Utech, 21-year-old Amanda-Lee McCreath was third. Both these contestants enjoyed a large following on Saturday night.
The three-hour show comprised the segments that have become customary for these pageants — swimwear and evening gown parade and interview. The night was punctuated with the inclusion of recording artistes I-Octane, Cherine Anderson and Wasp, who all represented themselves well.
Harvard Law School graduate, 24-year-old Chantal Raymond, copped the Miss Jamaica World crown on Saturday night inside the ballroom of Kingston’s Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. She won from a field of 16 contestants. She will go on to represent Jamaica at the Miss World pageant in Sanya, China, later this year. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)
The strains of Shaggy’s Strength of a Woman ushered in the elegant eveningwear parade, which saw the contestants wearing glittering gowns courtesy of Bling Bling. For some, this was where the contest ended, as the field of 16 contestants was cut to 10.
The winners of the fast-track mini competitions who gained automatic entry into the top 10 were then announced. Raymond won both the Talent competition and the People’s Choice Public Vote, Kerry Moxam — Beach Beauty, Salome Campbell — Model, Deandra Doyley — Sport and Shanique Mongal who took the Beauty with a Purpose Award. They were joined by Amanda Lee McCreath, Samantha Moore, Simone Poot, Simone Barrett and Alexia McLean. McCreath would later win the award for Most Aware, and Poot was voted Most Congenial by her fellow contestants.
The judges then chopped the group in half, and those left standing where Raymond, Moore, Moxam, McCreath and Poot.
Raymond, a graduate of the prestigious Harvard Law School, was definitely among the night’s favourites inside the ballroom of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. She seemed to have sealed her fate from here on with her calm, clear and concise response to the question posed by judge Karen Harriot-Wilson, who asked her thoughts on what was required for local actors to make it on the international stage. Raymond called for Jamaicans at home and abroad to lend support to this group as a means of assisting their career. This left her a clear front-runner. However, the other finalists were determined not to be push overs. Moxam, the beauty from Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, and Poot, the attorney educated in The Netherlands were also stand-outs.
The show, staged and produced by Weston Haughton, lacked the panache and style of previous years. Paula Ann Porter’s excellent skills came in handy as she was able to fill gaps in the show though interviews and ad libs.
Raymond will seek to continue Jamaica’s rich heritage at Miss World. Jamaica has won the crown on three occasions: Carole Joan Crawford – 1963, Cindy Breakespeare – 1976 and Lisa Hanna – 1993.
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