Nagra Plunkett, Assignment Coordinator
Twenty-one-year-old Anita Baker was on Friday evening announced as one of two finalists who will represent Jamaica in the Island People's Elite Model Look Caribbean finals in Trinidad on November 12.
Baker, who hails from the parish of Clarendon, was chosen as Elite Model Look Montego Bay from a field of 34 girls during the casting calls at Coral Cliff Entertainment Lounge in Montego Bay.
"It's kind of unexpected but I am excited," Baker said of her win.
The past student of Edwin Allen High School said she has been modelling since age 15 and has always dreamt of making her debut on the international stage.
She has found herself on the path to that dream, as the three girls from the Elite Model Look regional finals will advance to the international competition in Shanghai, China, on December 6, 2011. There, the contestants will vie for the top prize of US$325,000 worth of modelling contracts.
Baker - a resident of Negril, Westmoreland, for the past four years - will begin reading for her bachelors degree in general management studies at the University of the West Indies in January, as part of her preparations for life after modelling.
"I would like to do some management role in the tourism industry and also get a chance to act."
The field of 34 hopefuls, who ranged from ages 14 to 24 years, had to do an individual introduction and a catwalk for the four-member judging panel. They were then put in groups of seven from which the top 10 girls were selected and then an overall winner.
Judge John Bilboa, director of Elite Model for Latin America and the Caribbean, described Baker as having the complete package.
"She has great facial bone structure, she photographs well and I also liked her runway walk as her body flowed, and she was elegant and confident at the same time," Bilboa told The Gleaner.
"We had a nice turnout and I was actually surprised with the quality of the girls that participated."
Bilboa was also assisted on the judging panel by Nadine Kanhai of Island People, Trinidad; Montego Bay's Cecile Levee, entrepreneur and Iberostar Resort and Spa's human resources manager, Anthony Ferguson. The model search moved to Kingston on Sunday, where the second girl to represent Jamaica was sought.