The countdown is on until the breathtakingly beautiful Chantel O’Brian crowns her successor. The Pageant Diaries stole a moment of her time to reminisce about her year as Miss World Bahamas and to get a sneak peek into the next chapter of her life.
PD: Winning the Miss World Bahamas Crown was an amazingly powerful moment for you, the entire theatre got so emotional about it. Tell me what that journey to the crown was like!
MWB: Yes, it most definitely was an emotional win! I think over the years I’d even become a sentimental favorite for some people. Going through the process with the prelims were exhilarating, but nerve wrecking at the same time! I mean, I competed 2 times before, it was now or never! Hearing that it was my time was relieving, I could relive that moment over and over again. God has a way of making things happen in his time. I had to trust the moment and make it worth it. From extreme workouts, interview practices, runway rehearsals and being true to myself it was a growth experience. The best part to getting my crown was knowing that my platform would expand. It was time to touch lives, make memories and leave a legacy.
PD: Who would you say was the most motivational or your biggest cheerleader leading up to the crown?
MWB: That would most definitely be my mom. It’s one thing to dream but to have someone dream with you and support your dream? That’s special. She’s the first queen I’ve ever met and I think had she not been on board I may have not tried again.
PD: You’ve made some INCREDIBLE strives at that Miss World pageant. No other representative made quite such an impression, I mean, you brought the Bahamas to China! How did you manage to accomplish such a major win?
MWB: China, was amazing. In a country where the culture is so bold and beautiful that’s what I had to embody. Competing in a pageant of that caliber, you realize that it’s a mind thing; you have to stay focus and believe in your ability throughout. It was overall an experience of a lifetime because I was able to make lifelong friendships and take a piece of each country’s culture with me. I’m proud to say however, although, there were over 120 contestants that I was able to stand out in a such a way that is memorable.
PD: Memorable is an understatement. You were a powerhouse! Outside of performing next to our local superstar Julien Believe, what was the most significant moment that you will never forget during your time competing in China?
MWB: I can’t choose just one. Ha. It was being able to make the top 30 in talent! I actually learned my choreography a week before leaving for China! Kevanna and Preston are lifesavers! It was a fun dance that showed my personality. It’s all about showing your inner self, I think that worked in my favor.
PD: Oh, absolutely! Now you’re back home and we can see you are truly leaving your mark, you’ve been nominated for a Bahamian Icon award. That’s incredible!
MWB: I’ve followed the Bahamian Icon Awards and to be nominated is an honor already. The caliber of people nominated is impressive! I thank God for the recognition and being the first beauty queen nominated is major for me. Persons can vote for me by visiting the Bahamian Icon Awards Facebook page and clicking on the link that leads to the People’s Choice voting page. Vote over and over! At least 100 times and share with friends. Lol. Before leaving for China, our outer islands were tragically affected by Hurricane Joaquin and that’s where my work began with my title. Being true to what I love, I organized a charity fashion event that raised funds and were given to the College of the Bahamas for students whose families were affected. Then it was being able to spread myself around by doing little organized things like youth workshops, youth seminars, awareness for Lupus. I had the pleasure of working with the Sir Victor Sassoon Heart Foundation as well and that was a highlight for me. Even with my reign ending I still have things planned because I believe in philanthropy and hope to join international organizations like Smile Train and Make a Wish. Eventually, I’d like to have my own Youth Development Center as well.
PD: Wow, did we tell you how amazing we think you are?! The official launch of the Miss World contestants are set to begin, what are you looking forward to the most now that you aren’t going to be competing
MWB: I’m actually looking forward to crowning night! I’ve seen the ladies vying for the title and they all offer something different to the crown’s legacy. I’d like to see who dominates Beauty With A Purpose category, however, I know that each of these ladies were chosen because they honestly have what it takes. I’m not too sure on launch and preliminary details but I’m sure pageant lovers will enjoy. There’s a reality show aspect now included that I think is pretty creative.
PD: Of course I have to ask ( as cliche as this maybe) what advice to have going forward for the current contestants, and for potential contestants in the near future?
MWB: To the contestants, stay true to who you are, learn and improve and use this experience to coach you in different areas of your life. And to the lady that wins the title, this crown is what you make of it. I had to learn that after winning. If one of the main reasons of winning isn’t to serve then you’ll be wasting a year of your life. Give back and expect nothing in return, maybe you’ll be lucky to gain more than you imagined. You may feel challenged but you can overcome any obstacles! MBO has only one title this season which I think is good, she’ll be able to have their overall attention and can maximize her sash power. Internationally, be every girl. Each judge is different so try to relate to a different woman. Be several queens all in one, stay focus and stay in prayer. To potential contestants, prepare for each preliminary, join for the experience but compete for the win! Not everyone will support the journey but you’ll be doing it for yourself and your passion, remember that. Hey, I’ll put a bet in and say our next queen will do extremely well with a placement in advance!