Next stop, Miss World - Gina Hargitay refocuses on global crown after Sunday's victory
Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
Mere minutes after Gina Hargitay was crowned Miss Jamaica World 2013, the 18-year-old queen sent a strong message to the international community stating, "It's about time Jamaica had another Miss World and I hope that I can be that Miss World".
Oozing with confidence, the Jamaican beauty, who has spent most of her adult life in Europe, removed the number two sash she wore on the catwalk, replacing it with a permanent position, number one!
Her next hurdle is to walk in the footsteps of former Miss Jamaica World game changers, Joan Crawford, Cindy Breakspeare and Lisa Hanna. All three women returned home with the Miss World title.
Hargitay already has a lot going for her, having copped sectional prizes for being 'Most Aware' and 'Best Smile'. She humbly admits that she came into the competition to win.
"Coming into the pageant, my hope was to win," she said, adding that obviously the competition was stiff, particularly from the other two princesses, Jenaae Jackson and Amanda McCreath.
"I originally saw them as front-runners, and with Jenaae giving such amazing answers to the questions asked, I knew it wasn't easy," she admitted.
Jackson was crowned the first runner-up, and she also took home the coveted prizes for 'Best Figure' and 'Best Skin Tone'. If any other person had the ability to upstage the queen it was Jackson, who was a crowd favourite and a worthy contender.
Jackson was the most confident of the lot, and even sang to the audience while showing how she would promote Brand Jamaica if she had to.
Second runner-up Amanda McCreath was awarded the 'Beauty in Business' prize, an award that focuses on good business sense.
Other sectional prizes were awarded to Christine Davis, who won 'Best Legs', Stephanie Harrison, 'Most Congenial' and Latoya Johnson 'Most Sociable', one of the two new sections which takes into consideration the large role that social media plays in marketing.
As beautiful and as fabulous as the contestants were, Hargitay was the clear winner early in the competition, and the response regarding the person she most admired cemented the deal.
She bowled over the audience, giving her an edge in the awareness, when she spoke of her admiration for Nelson Mandela - father to the world.
"I admire the fact that after almost three decades of being incarcerated, he (Mandela) came out of prison and although he must have been frustrated and angry, he opposed the government in a non-violent way," she said, pointing out that his actions showed the world what can be achieved without violence.
The 18-year-old wants to pursue a degree in history and politics and recently completed her A-levels in chemistry, history and German. Her mother is Jamaican and her father is from Hungary.
Not only did the cosmopolitan beauty take home the title, but a brand new Suzuki Kizashi motor car, courtesy of Stewart's Auto Sales, and a scholarship for either the University College of the Caribbean, University of London or Kursk State Medical University.
Her prizes, which are many, includes a Miss World wardrobe, training package from Fusion Consulting Limited, film training with Max Earle Frame by Frame, Spartan Health Club gym membership, business class tickets courtesy of Fly Jamaica, a Russell's tennis certificate, a Nirvana Magazine $500,000 modelling contract and hair maintenance by Suzanne Wilson.
Miss Jamaica World 2013 sponsors included The Gleaner Company Ltd, CVM Television, Hope Zoo, Sportsmax, ODPEM, Amstar Destination Management Company, the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Phase III Productions, Success Jamaica, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Breakthrough Communications.