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No worry for MUJ as Miss Universe introduces paid voting system

Local organisers campaigning for votes in hopes of securing Top 21 spot

Published:Thursday | April 29, 2021 | 12:12 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer

More than 70 candidates are vying for the prestigious Miss Universe title this year, and voting has already started for people to choose their favourite delegate to earn a spot as one of the Top 21 semi-finalists.

Organisers of the local Miss Universe Jamaica (MUJ) pageant are rallying for support for Miqueal-Symone Williams in the voting process.

“She is an extremely hard worker and deserves everyone’s support,” said Mark McDermoth, pageant director and MUJ co-franchise holder.

The delegate profiles were made public on the official Miss Universe app, and voting has been going on for almost three weeks, he shared.

“The voting process is simple, visit the Miss Universe website, download the app and just vote for Miqueal. Or download the app from Google Play Store for Android users or the App Store for iPhones users … let’s vote Miqueal into the Top 21 … vote, vote, vote,” McDermoth implored.


The Miss Universe candidate with the highest number of votes will automatically be included in the Top 21, but unlike previous years, where persons could vote as many times as they liked, he pointed out that each voter is entitled to one free vote.

“There is a charge for additional votes,” he said, adding that countries with larger populations usually garner the highest numbers.

Three additional votes are valued at US$1, and there are voting packets from 20, 45, 95, 240 and 500 votes that cost up to US$100.

However, McDermoth said the paid pageant voting system does not mean Williams is at a disadvantage.

“Traditionally, countries like those in Southeast Asia have a history of leading in the votes, because of the number of citizens and the deep interest or involvement in pageant culture – they eat, drink and sleep pageant,” he expressed.

“I, and the rest of the team, feel Miqueal will get in because of her natural attributes, but we still want persons to vote nonetheless. Let’s all show support for her and for Jamaica; please vote,” he continued.

It’s near impossible not to be drawn in by the personality and beauty of the 2020 MUJ pageant winner. The words kind-hearted, charismatic and passionate are often used to describe Williams, who began her career as an international model at the age of 21 and has worked with fashion industry powerhouses, including L’Oréal and Armani.

Williams is currently getting her suitcases packed for her trip to Florida as she prepares for the grand coronation of the 69th Miss Universe pageant, which is to be held at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood on May 16. She is scheduled to leave the island next week, and a mini-documentary titled Miqueal’s Journey to the Crown will air on Flow 1 TV this month.