Tue | Oct 19, 2021

Miss Universe Jamaica chooses top 10

Decision forces judges to put one semi-finalist, two finalists on the list for 2022

Published:Tuesday | September 28, 2021 | 12:11 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
The Miss Universe Jamaica top 10 (from left): Kim-Marie Spence, Lauren Less, Kaydean Sterling, Jianna Thompson, Chavelle Kavanaugh, Keronica Lewis, Aaliyah Barnett, Daena Soares, Trudy-Ann Peart and Trishani Weller. They were selected last Saturday to move
The Miss Universe Jamaica top 10 (from left): Kim-Marie Spence, Lauren Less, Kaydean Sterling, Jianna Thompson, Chavelle Kavanaugh, Keronica Lewis, Aaliyah Barnett, Daena Soares, Trudy-Ann Peart and Trishani Weller. They were selected last Saturday to move on to the finals.
Mark McDermoth, co-director of the Miss Universe Jamaica pageant, is in deep thought as he goes over the list of finalists.
Mark McDermoth, co-director of the Miss Universe Jamaica pageant, is in deep thought as he goes over the list of finalists.
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Ten ladies are now vying for the Miss Universe Jamaica crown. Out of the 16 semi-finalists, only 15 could make it to last Saturday’s elimination presentation, says pageant director Mark McDermoth. Lloyd-Ann Daley, who was selected from the overseas applicants by participating in an interview session with the judges virtually, was unable to make the trip to Jamaica.

“We wanted to make sure all the ladies whom we selected had a face-to-face interview before progressing to the top 10. Zoom would not have worked again, [so] in good faith, Lloyd-Ann was given an opportunity to return next year as one of the semi-finalists,” McDermoth told The Gleaner.

Even with one less semi-finalist, choosing the 10 ladies that would go on to the finals on October 30 was a hard task, he said.

“After the presentations and the various rounds, inclusive of the opening statements, presentations and swimsuit challenge, what we saw, we actually wanted to choose a top 12. When we were finished with judging, that’s what we arrived at, but we knew we couldn’t do that. It really gave us grief,” he said.

“The pandemic has basically forced us to run into the top 10 from the outset. The safety and economics of it all was a major deciding factor; it is more practical and economical to do the competition the way we are now, considering transportation for the group and accommodation and, of course, the overall logistics of hosting the event.”

EARLY TRAINING

The top 10 selected are Kim-Marie Spence, Lauren Less, Kaydean Sterling, Jianna Thompson, Chavelle Kavanaugh, Keronica Lewis, Aaliyah Barnett, Daena Soares, Trudy-Ann Peart and Trishani Weller. Meanwhile, two of the semi-finalists, Lincia Haughton and Thalia Malcolm, have been given automatic spots in the top 10 for 2022 if they choose to re-enter.

The finalists will have a session with American actress and runway coach Lu Celania Sierra on October 6. Haughton and Malcolm will also benefit from the session, says McDermoth, so that they can start training early for next year.

“We believe in their potential, and that is why we have invited them to join us for our first training,” he said. “A one-on-one session will be conducted prior to the sashing to give each of the finalists an assessment of what their strengths and weaknesses are, as we are moving very quickly.”

The sashing of the 2021 Miss Universe Jamaica finalists is scheduled to take place this Saturday, October 2.

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com