Thu | Aug 17, 2017

JCDC crowns new festival queen

Published:Friday | August 12, 2016 | 8:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence
Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte (left) and Actress Karen Harriott catches up during intermission at Sunday's finals of JCDC Miss Jamaica Festival Queen.
Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2016 Kyesha Randall is flanked by first runner-up Miss Westmoreland Feleisha Samuels (left) and second runner-up Miss St Mary Monique Robb.
Festival Queen 2015 Chereese Ricketts, makes her final appearance as queen.
Bass guitarist of Adahzeh, Chevanese Palmer, does a split at the end of the band's performance.
Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2016 Kyesha Randall being crowned by last year’s queen, Chereese Ricketts.
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JCDC's Miss Jamaica Festival Queen was worth the wait, what with great presentations and performances at Sunday's staging of the 2016 event.

Due to the predicted storm, the highly anticipated cultural event was pushed back by one week, but that did not deter individuals from showing up and cheering on their parish queens.

Hosted by Debbie Bissoon, who was quite a charmer, she kept the mood light and fresh as the event began with an opening dance presentation by Delroy Rose and Company. This was followed by a first look at the queens as they introduced themselves.

Following this, it was then time for what the competition is known for the talent segment. They pulled out all the stops and had the crowd thoroughly entertained as they showcased their talents in singing and drama. The recurring themes were Zika, Jamaica's beauty and womanhood.

EXCEPTIONAL QUEENS

It was a hard decision for the judges as this was an exceptional crop of talented contestants. But, in the end, Miss Trelawny Kacia Whilby with her monologue Skitta Justiss, focusing on the Zika virus, was the winner. It was also a crowd-pleaser. Other sectional prizes included Most Congenial, which was given to Miss St Mary Monique Robb; Miss Westmoreland Feleisha Samuels was awarded Most Active in her Community; Most Poised went to St Catherine's Godiva Golding. There were also awards for Most Popular on Social Media and Culturally Aware, which went to Miss Portland Kristina Newby and St James' Kyesha Randall, respectively.

Before the top five were announced, the audience was in for a treat in the form of all-girl reggae band Adahzeh. Their performance had the audience dancing and singing along to their wide selection from various genre. Everyone would have appreciated an encore, but the show had to go on.

The top five finalists included Miss St James Kyesha Randall; Monique Robb, Miss St Mary; Miss Westmoreland Feleisha Samuels; Miss Clarendon Meisha Richardson and Miss St Catherine Godiva Golding.

All were then asked one question that addresses Jamaica, and Randall's confidence resonated in her answer, so it came as no surprise when she was crowned Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2016, with Miss Westmoreland Feleisha Samuels as first runner-up and Miss St Mary Monique Robb as second runner-up.