Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter
On a night when the final announcements went by at almost bullet speed, it was Deanna Robins who shot past favourite Trishauna Clarke to be crowned Miss Jamaica World at Saturday's staging of the competition that was held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
Skipping a top-five announcement and even another round of tougher questions as is customary, the chair for the prospective winner was placed on the stage. The top-10 finalists were then called to the stage: Trishauna Clarke, Adrianna Bryan, Deanna Robins, Rashida Beckford, Lauren McKay, Shona Bewley, Kelly-ann Diedrick, Claudiann Berry, Lauren McClure, and Chevell Powell.
In a somewhat hasty manner, it was announced that Lauren McKay was fifth, Shona Bewley in fourth, and Rashida Beckford third. The surprise came when Trishauna Clarke, who was a clear favourite throughout the night and leading up to the competition, was announced as the first runner-up behind Deanna Robins.
While many of the patrons in the room remained silent, a group of people cheered for Robins as she was being serenaded by Singing Melody.
When the noise abated, with the crown secured on her head, an elated Robins finally spoke.
"I'm speechless! I am so happy! I am so overwhelmed! It's been such an amazing journey' and I am so thankful I pulled out with the crown. Nobody really expects to win Miss Jamaica. There are 20 other beautiful girls who are all wonderful, so I am really honoured to have this crown on my head right now," she told The Gleaner.
As for the Miss World pageant that takes place in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China, in August, Robins hopes to be successful.
"I hope I do well. I really want to bring back the crown for Jamaica 50. It would be a great birthday present," she said.
Earlier in the evening, the contestants did their opening piece and also paraded in bikinis. Singing Melody followed with Collide. Footage of the Miss ATI competition was also shown, with Chevell Powell being crowned the winner of that contest. During the commercial breaks for the show, which was being aired live, patrons were treated to bloopers by the contestants.
Then, upon their return to the stage, the 20 finalists paraded in evening wear while Alaine sang and played the piano. As Robins touched the stage, the horns were near deafening. Lauren McKay also got a good response, but the crowd was not half as loud as they were when Trishauna took the stage in a body-hugging silk red dress.
Later, Robins copped the Best Smile award, Bryan won Best Skin Tone, Clarke won Best Legs, and Beckford was awarded Most Aware. Robins was also the winner of an essay competition.
For the fast-track competitions that determined some of the top-10 finalists, Clarke was first in the beach beauty and sports categories. Also with two wins was Bryan, who was placed first in the modelling and talent sections. Yet she was not among the top-five finalists. With only one of the fast-track wins, Rashida Beckford got the 'Beauty with a Purpose' title.
Although the audience was not privy to the contestants answering tough questions on this occasion, they got to hear contestants answering simple questions about themselves.
After a raunchy performance by iCandy, who wore a very short dress that turned heads, presentations were made to former Miss Jamaica World winners Dr Allison Barnett-Cross, Imani Duncan-Price, and Tonoya Toyloy-Williams.