Kurt Campbell is 'Mission Catwalk' winner
Sadeke Brooks, Gleaner Writer
Season four of 'Mission Catwalk' was almost cancelled because of a shortage in sponsorship, but the show's executive producer, Keneea Linton-George, can now smile as a new winner has been crowned.
On Saturday, the show's finale was aired on TVJ with Kurt Campbell being named the winner. But Linton-George said the season was on the brink of cancellation due to monetary challenges.
"This was one of the most challenging years. It was hard for TV shows to get sponsorship. We were literally on the brink of cancelling the season. We found a way to do it and we can see ourselves getting to season 10," she told The Gleaner, noting that the crew had to make a few changes for the show to work.
After weeks of designing and a massive fashion show at Devon House with outfits from the top three - Jamaican Kurt Campbell, Guyanese Andy Cummings and Barbadian Carla Gittens - Campbell was announced as the winner. And when the announcement was made on Saturday at a private viewing, also held at Devon House, Campbell cried.
"I am excited," Campbell said. "It is still soaking in. But I was confident from I laid out the last clipboard of the collection that was presented," he told The Gleaner.
He was later presented with his prizes, which included an opportunity to showcase a collection at the Milan Fashion Week, courtesy of Campari; $500,000 funding to start a clothing line from National Commercial Bank; industrial sewing equipment valued at $200,000 from Singer Jamaica; a fashion editorial in Jamaque Pariadis magazine; a scholarship to pursue the fashion programme at the University of Technology; internship with a regional design house; and a Samsung Galaxy Tablet courtesy of Digicel and Samsung.
However, Campbell was not the front-runner throughout the season. In fact, it was Carla Gittens, who eventually fell to second place. Nonetheless, Linton-George said she was happy with Campbell's win.
"I was totally blown away. He did well throughout the season, but he had his ups and downs. He was in the bottom at least twice, but he grew from it," she said.
"Carla was more consistent throughout the season. Even though her collection was beautiful, it was exactly what we expected. But Kurt pulled out the big guns and totally blew us away. It is nice when you get a shake-up."
With season four now complete, Linton-George says she is now looking forward to season five.
"Next year, we are planning for it to be the all-star season. We are going to post online for our fans to select who they want to come back," she said, noting that some of the contestants would be selected by the organisers.
Linton-George also stressed that she would have to make next year's prizes as exciting as possible, to entice the previous contestants, some of whom have won the competition before.