Inaugural Miss Grand Palladium Crowned
Twenty-six-year-old entertainment coordinator Nicolette Livingston walked away with the first ever Miss Grand Palladium title, in the pageant which was held at the hotel at Point Estate in Lucea, last Thursday night.
There were wild cheers from members of the hotel's entertainment department, who sprinted onstage in celebration when Livingston, who is known across the resort as 'Foxxie', was announced as the winner ahead of seven of her co-workers, including her runners-up, Leona Glenn and Nordia Simmonds, who placed second and third, respectively.
In addition to the crown, Livingston, who also copped the Most Aware sectional prize, took home the winner's prize of $100,000, a flat-screen television, a smartphone, weekend package for two at Bahia Principe Jamaica and appliances, among other gifts. The Most Talented award went to Simone Grant Martinez. The other four contestants in the pageant were Janel Brown, Angella Grant, Shelisia Miller and Melonie Thompson.
"The reason I entered this pageant is simply because I knew I could do it. However, the competition was very tight so after a while, I wasn't sure," Livingston told The Gleaner, following the show.
"There was an urge in me to show the people of Palladium a side of me that they haven't seen before because I am in the entertainment department, and so my job entails that I be an entertainer, so a lot of people this evening are surprised because they have never seen me before in that capacity," she added.
The mother of two, who has her roots in Maggoty, St Elizabeth, said this was her fourth time entering a pageant. She said she first entered a pageant at age 15 and later won the Miss North-West, St Elizabeth, title a few years ago, and placed second in a pageant while a student at the University of the West Indies.
Livingston said she was not surprised that her fellow contestants all gave her bear hugs and planted kisses on her cheeks in a show of support for her win, as she always got along well with them.
"The relationship was good. I am a funny person naturally, so my personality welcomes a lot of people. I just know how to interact and get along with a lot of people, that's my character," she said, adding that during her reign, she would be using her status as Miss Grand Palladium to make representations for the development of staff members.
Human resources manager at the resort, Sheryl Wilks, told The Gleaner that she is hoping to have a much bigger show next year. She said the pageant was staged in a bid to showcase the female members of staff, many of whom have been blazing a trail of excellence at the resort.
"Grand Palladium has more than 1,400 staff members, most of them being female, so we thought it would be great to have something that features just females. A lot of what the female team members do here is what we would consider as male-dominated jobs, and so we wanted to showcase that," Wilks said. "The theme of the competition was 'Phenomenal Women - Making it Happen'. We have females dominating in what was once male-dominated jobs like maintenance, kitchen ... we have lifeguards who are females; the plumbers are mostly females ... and the females in these units are the stars in these areas. And so, we wanted to show that anything men can do, women can do it and also excel."