Tears, tantrum at Miss Universe Jamaica final - 18-y-o Isabel Dalley takes 2016 crown
This year's coronation of Miss Universe Jamaica on Saturday, August 27, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, was a comedy of errors and coincidences. There was a country plunged into darkness due to a widespread blackout, a half-empty ballroom, and 22 of the 23 finalists present.
Isabel Dalley was crowned Miss Universe Jamaica 2016. First runner-up was Krystal Pitt, while Renae Roye, Miss Quiet Jamaica, completed the top three.
Despite the traffic-inducing blackout, other issues seemed to have affected the pageant as one contestant was notably absent from the line-up. Kadeem Baker, Miss All Signs, was not present.
When The Gleaner asked co-franchise holder Mark McDermoth about her absence, it was revealed that Baker had contracted the Zika virus.
After the 22 contestants introduced themselves, there was a video tribute to the recently deceased Miss Universe Jamaica 2011 Shakira Martin. Franchise holders McDermoth and Karl Williams outlined their decision to include Martin's sickle cell anaemia disease awareness initiative as part of the winner's portfolio.
The most anticipated segment of the pageant, the interviews, took an interesting turn this year, as the decision was taken to ask the top three ladies the same question.
With Quiet Jamaica earphones on deck, Isabel Dalley (Miss JSW), Krystal Pitt (Miss Exquisite Windows) and Renae Roye (Miss Quiet Jamaica) responded in turn, each believing that Usain Bolt should be made a National Hero.
In the final parade only 21 of the 22 ladies lined up on stage. Dujonette 'DJ' Smith, her face fixed in a scowl of disappointment, only came back on stage to be sashed as recipient of Best Swimwear.
Singers Cameal Davis and Andre Palmer performed.
Though the country was steeped in darkness and the audience in the ballroom of the Jamaica Pegasus was not at capacity, though Baker was thwarted by a viral pandemic, and even though DJ Smith threw a tantrum, 18-year-old Isabel Dalley tearfully collected her winnings as Miss Universe Jamaica 2016, amidst cheers, jeers and flashing lights.
The show surely went on.