The event started nearly three and a half hours past its original scheduled time at 8:00pm.
For Shakira, as well as the small audience scattered across the Sporting Complex this marked the end of an ordeal, which for some audience members lasted as long as seven hours.
According to the reports, aside from the well laid out seating arrangements it was clear the organizers were behind the scheduled time.
Lighting and sound equipment arrived at the same time patrons were filing into the Centre, and for the next three and a half hours, patrons sat and were treated to a course in how to set up lighting and sound for an event, as technicians moved without urgency, rigging lights and running sound cables.
This long wait, without explanation, prompted outbursts from disgruntled patrons who broke into spontaneous applause and chanted “start the show” on a number of occasions.
When the wait finally ended near 11:30, what would ensue was a poorly-produced event, sound defects, poor lighting and long breaks, which added further insult to the already tired and worn-out audience members.
Although the tempo lifted during the appearance of the beauties, due to the presence of their personal cheering teams of family and friends, these never really soothed the old wounds.
The show limped along, finally reaching the top 10 finalists at about 1:00 am. At this point, of the 17 contestants, Jameela Geddes — Miss Fit Farm, Kadyan Salmon — Miss Skylan Airways, Shakira Martin — Miss Fiction Lounge, Tamara Cox — Miss Absoya ’62, Tiffany Trotter — Miss MegaMart, Peta Gay Simpson — Miss Hezrog Seal Limited, Debbie Lee Baker — Miss Susie’s Bakery, Kaiya Mantague — Miss Golden Hanger, Natasha Brown — Miss Isree’s Chic and Chantal Zacky — Miss Wyndham Kingston Hotel, all made the cut.
The audience was then treated to the eagerly-anticipated interview with the top five contestants — Trotter, Martin, Simpson, Zacky and Salmon.
It was now possible that Zacky, who appeared to be a front-runner, may not make the cut, while sleepers emerged. The elegant Salmon brought her modelling experience to the fore and handled her question well regarding the biggest impact the trip to Miss Universe in Brazil would have on her. Trotter with her huge cheering section was clear and concise in response to the proposal to put members of the police force in schools to assist with discipline. And even though eventual winner Martin jokingly mentioned “world peace” in her answer, she did well enough to seal her fate.
At this point, the announcement of the winners was still more than an hour away.
The tempo of the evening reached its highest when American rap star Ludacris took to the stage for what was a tight but refreshing set, which had the younger members of the audience on their feet, despite the hour.
With ‘Luda’ out the way, the audience was only too happy to hear the results they had waited hours for.
But first came the sectional prizes. Chantal Zacky — Best Body, Gabrielle Alexander — Most Congenial, Most Photogenic — Tiffany Trottter, Best Smile — Kaiya Mantague, Best Skin Tone — Debbie Lee Baker and Most Aware — Shakira Martin.
The final results were Simpson — fifth, Troter — fourth, Zacky — third, Salmon second and Miss Jamaica Universe 2011 Shakira Martin.
(Parts of this article were written with content submitted in a Jamaica Observer publication)