Marcia Rowe, Gleaner Writer
Student named Miss Ja Caribbean Talented Teen 2012
After the rigours of pre-judging, fast-track competitions, live performances followed by a question-and-answer segment on stage, Kabrena Robinson was crowned Miss Jamaica Caribbean Talented Teen 2012.
The Saturday evening pageant, which got off to a late start, began with a field of 23 of Jamaica's most talented teens. The ultimate goal was to walk away, not only with the title, but the opportunity to represent their country at the annual Miss Caribbean Talented Teen Competition. And so with dances, songs and predominantly dub poems, they entertained relatives, judges and fans.
Aba Sykes, Miss Jamaica Caribbean Talented Teen 2011 and her first runner-up Candise Bulli, kick-started the pageant with the welcome as well as announced the first appearance of the contestants. The contestants in their opening number performed a dance routine that was hammed by a few - dancing was not their strength. Before making their exit, each introduced herself to the delighted audience.
Appearance number two was the talent segment. And without a doubt, most of the pieces were of a high standard, especially the poetry selections. A few contestants showed their talents in singing. Others danced but fell short in creativity and smooth transition in their choice of music. Thus, it was not surprising that the contestants who chose to dance failed to make the top five.
They later returned wearing evening gowns. One after the other, they strutted down the length of the stage at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre in St Andrew. MCs Raine Seville and Roneisaha James alternated in voicing their bios. And shortly after the parade of gowns, the top 10 were announced.
The final test came in a question-and-answer section format. Except for a few, most were forceful in their responses. However, grammatical errors spoilt the party for some.
Subsequently, the sectional prizes were announced. Kabrena Robinson was adjudged Best Talent and The Most Congenial. She was also the recipient of a medal for her punctuality, along with eight others.
Two other interesting sectional prizes were the Walkathon and Academic Award received by Shaw-Codling, the youngest contestant in the group. Other sectional prizes were First Runner-up Talent (Morgan), Most Aware (Cox) and Most Disciplined (Shaquella Headley and Olivia Mills).
The fast-track competitions were not to be outdone in the arena of interesting titles. There was Involvement won by Johnson and Best Advertisement won by Morris. The familiar People's Choice Award won by Dixon completed the fast-track list.
After a short period of entertainment from the Mennonite Melodies and the dance trio Card Unit, followed by a farewell speech and walk from outgoing queen Sykes, the top five and the winner were announced.
The Gleaner spoke to an extremely elated Kabrena Robinson after her coronation. She considers the opportunity to represent her country a remarkable privilege. The Hampton School lower sixth-form student said her piece actually turned out better at the pageant than during rehearsals. She related that the rehearsal journey produced lots of tears. She also credited her family and friends for helping and encouraging her.
Oshin Morgan was the first runner-up and Shannon Johnson second runner-up. Afreya Cox in fourth place and Jevoi Harvey in fifth completed the top five.
Miss Jamaica Caribbean Talented Teen pageant is in its third year. It began when the pageant's event manager and co-emcee James, saw an advertisement on Facebook. She noticed that there was no entry from Jamaica. She contacted the organisers in St Kitts and as they say, the rest is history.
James, who is also a University of Technology marketing student stated that she has seen growth in the number of participants as well as the standard of the selections.