Two countries, Guyana and Trinidad, will not be participating and up to Saturday evening when organizers hosted their press conference to reveal, in person, the contestants, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Antonio Maynard, said that he had not been provided with any particular reason for the “no show” of the two delegates. He however indicated that this would not affect the competition because, in any case, they are more comfortable working with 9 or 10 girls, from a production basis.
It is not the first time that contestants have, at the last moment, not participated so Maynard said that his committee was not taken by surprise that this year, someone elected not to enter, only days before the show.
The 8 visiting contestants arrived here on Saturday, ahead of Monday’s pageant scheduled for the carnival Sugar Mill, in Warner Park. Some were met at the airport by the local representative, Pernelle Abraham and the reigning queen, Junika Berry, who represented the host island in 2012.
Since arriving, they have been kept busy with competition rehearsals, a press conference and planning meetings with show organizers.
Carrying the banner for sister island Nevis is Irveeka Nisbett. This is only her second pageant, having won the Miss Teen contest during the 2013 Culturama celebrations in Nevis. “I think I am feeling great and I think I am going to represent my island very well and the folks in Nevis are rooting for me. I am just so excited. A lot of Nevisian fans will be coming down and they are well prepared to be here for the show,” stated Nisbett, in an interview with MiyVue.com.
The 17 year old said that she is not nervous or have any concerns at this stage because she loves the stage and when she is on the stage she maintains a constant smile. She said that in the future, she will not rule out a run for the Miss Culture Pageant; but that will be many years from now. One thing is for certain, said Nisbett, “After this, I am not done with pageants”.
It is expected that the pageant will be another tough one for the nine Caribbean delegates but there will be extra pressure on Pernelle Abraham, as most Kittitians will be expecting a ‘three peat”. St. Kitts produced the winners in 2011 (Siobhan Phipps) and 2012 (Junika Berry).
Speaking with Abraham, she told MiyVue.com “I think that I have had a great level of preparation and I have been doing a lot of hard work. However I also think it’s going to pay off on the night of the show. Since the other contestants have arrived and I have had the opportunity to meet them, I have not been discouraged but it has made me think that the competition is that much closer and I need to really be at my best.”
This year marks 34 years of the pageant.