The Miss Guyana Universe pageant competition kicked off on Thursday night with the intelligence segment and in keeping with recent history provided some much-needed comic relief for viewers.
The segment was aired live on NCN Channel 11, with the two interviewers for the night - NCN's 'Guyana Today' host, Indira Badal and the man behind Capitol News, Enrico Woolford - going easy on the delegates who did not seem to appreciate it.
They may have been nervous, the delegates that is, but that was no excuse for not answering the questions asked. Some of them chose not to think, rattling off answers that seemed to have been 'pre-recorded' in their brains. Otherwise, they gave responses like, "Yes, I think so..." and finished off with the 'beauty queen' smile as though they had said something very clever.
The Scene found it difficult to give any delegate a thumbs-up in this segment, although Omega Narine might just have been half an inch ahead of the others. Tall and stately, Omega has a presence and she knows it. Asked what was her best asset in the pageant the beauty gushed: "Ohhh, it has to be my legs". So judges please pay close attention to her legs during the swimsuit segment tomorrow. She did say afterwards that her intelligence is also an asset since she is, "highly intellectual."
Natasha Prakash, the girl from Washington DC, was a mess of nerves, faltering although she has a degree in communication. Her platform was the importance of children staying in school, but on Thursday night it seemed she had forgotten why they should. And she attributed this to her nervousness and to Woolford asking her a "hard" question. But if you must know she has two beautiful sisters and children don't necessarily have to stay in school to be successful.
Contestant Christa Simmons said her favourite colour of pink could be seen as a form of empowerment for women. Though she did say that women needed to educate themselves.
Shenella Bourne from the West Coast 'Demawawa' is in the city to obtain her degree in CXC. Added to which, she loves rice, Spanish rice, cook-up rice, fried rice, you name it; she loves it. Her platform is autism and she seemed to have rehearsed, uhmmm that should be researched it well. Should she have her way, as queen she would tell us more about it.
Lavonia Springer is interesting. A former national footballer, she said she played football because it kept her out of trouble and helped build her self esteem. Her platform is child labour but she should have focused on the question that was asked, instead of making use of the pre-recorded answer.
Lavern Spencer from New Amsterdam, hopes to one day become a psychologist and when asked what steps she has taken to achieve this goal, said the fact that she is a music instructor and nursery school teacher makes that goal reachable.
Allana Ernest is into prayers and she hates chocolates and ice cream. Why? Well, yuck, chocolate just does not "taste nice", and ice cream makes her upset. She is a trainee nurse and she chose the profession because she loves body parts and the diseases affecting the body.
The other contestants are Sonjie Marslowe, Queenith Dundas, Melinda De Santos and Rene Chester. One other, Ellen Ann Bellamy, dropped out of the contest. Well she just never returned to training and the pageant co-ordinators have heard nothing from her in weeks.