Miss Universe Jamaica North East crowned
Wearing the sash Miss Ace Loans, Candice McLeod was crowned Moon Palace Jamaica Grande Miss Universe Jamaica North East 2016 at a lavish ceremony held at the five-star resort recently.
First runner-up was Chanice Clarke (Miss Cool Oasis), with Kadeem Baker (Miss Spectra Systems Ltd) as second runner-up.
"Words can't explain how it feels. It's an overwhelming feeling; I'm excited, I'm happy, everything in one," McLeod told TODAY shortly after her crowning.
She attributed her victory to her strong will and desire to succeed. She also gave credit to those who helped her along the way.
"There are so many people I'd like to say thanks to - it would be too much to name. I would just like to say thank you to all my supporters. Mr Oral Heaven, of course, I must thank him. He has been a trainer for me. He has been a coach. He has been everything for me throughout this pageant."
A confident McLeod went on to say that she expects to bring the national crown home to the north coast.
"North-East Jamaica should expect the crown. I'm confident about that, and confidence is what I need," she said.
Meanwhile, title sponsor, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande, was very pleased with its experience, and working with regional franchise holder Shelle Parchment and her team.
"It was a total success," said Guillermo Oliva, the hotel's director of sales.
"These types of events help to put the name of the company on the map. It also gives us the opportunity to bring a little bit back to the community and to this beautiful island."
"The girls were beautiful. Their response to the questions were very smart. I think the judges had a difficult time choosing the winner, " noted Parchment, who described the event as a success.
"It has been a success, and it was an amazing night," Parchment said.
"The girls looked amazing, and I was very impressed that all these people from Ocho Rios came out to support us. I was really, really impressed with that."
"I must say thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't say enough thanks to Moon Palace Jamaica Grande for coming on board to support us."
All-girl reggae band Adahzeh performed well for the audience, the largest seen in the competition's three years. In the audience this year were American football players James Anderson (New Orleans Saints), Anthony Harris (Minnesota Vikings) and Brian Banks (Atlanta Falcons).