September 8th 2013 Lexi Wilson was crowned Miss Bahamas Universe, beating out seven contenders in a blitz for the crown. Her court, Shanae Strachen (3rd runner up), Tavette Darville (2nd Runner up), Chantel O’Brien (1st runner up)This was a controversial year for the Miss Bahamas Organization as rumors and scandals of surrounding this years pageant were heightened, but there’s nothing like a good pageant scandal to hype up a pageant…right?
The final night was a spectacular event, choreographed by Lawrence Carroll. The contestants got onto the stage for their opening number where they gave us a taste of their dancing skills by performing the Caribbean slide with Julien Thompson (Julien Believe). The crowd went ballistic as their favorite contestant introduced themselves and their sponsors. The show was hosted by Jerome Sawyer( photo shown below), Vice President of Media Relations of the Miss Bahamas Organization.
As the night went on, we got to meet the distinguished panel of judges, Rafa Delfin, director of Critical Beauty, Jodi Kolar, popular stylist from Palm Beach, Florida, Michelle Collie, Miss Bahamas 1996, Amanda Lindroth, interior designer, Ashley Lauren Kerr, CEO/designer of fashion line ASHLEYLauren, Dr. Greg Neil, the official cosmetic surgeon of MBO , Calvin Sepulveda Onassis, fitness trainer from Puerto Rico and Leslia Miller Miss Americas 2004 and 1st runner in Miss Bahamas Universe 2004. These judges scored the contestants on three categories: Swimsuit, evening gown and the killer…Interview. The total score from these preliminary events determined who would advance to the top four. Those contestants were Chantel O’Brien, Tavette Darville, Shanae Strachan and Lexi Wilson.
After the parade of evening gowns and the announcement of the top four, special awards were presented. Crystal Glinton (Best Smile), Vandia Sands (Original Float), Tavette Darville (Miss Congeniality, Miss Popularity, Spirit Award), Shanae Strachan ( Miss Photogenic, Critical Beauty Award, Best Costume).
Many people took to social media to vent about the shocking scores at the final night. I was shocked that my final picks, Vandia and Crystal did not make it into the top four. I was even in more shock at Shanae’s low placement in the pageant. After listening to her final answer, it was clear that she had lost the crown, however I was expecting 2nd runner up. There were echoes that Shanae was the strongest, most experience contestant, but the judges let us know that everything that glitters, is certainly not gold!
This pageant was such a pleasure to watch and not to mention, gossip about. We can’t wait until next year’s pageant and see which brave souls are ready to plunge into pageantry history!