It’s a summer affair for young ladies who dream of becoming Miss Bahamas, and this year they will have to win over a judge who has already conquered the Universe. Miss Universe Leila Lopes will be among an impressive panel of judges who will choose the country’s newest beauty ambassadors during the official preliminary pageant to Miss Universe and Miss World, scheduled for Sunday July 29th at Atlantis, Paradise Island.
Already more than twenty women have applied to enter the pageant, however organizers are calling for more entrants as they will have to go through a screening process in order to make it to the Miss Bahamas stage. “Our experience has been that you have to start with a larger number of applicants if you want to have a good number of entrants,” says MBO President Michelle Malcolm. “We want the best of the best to be bold and come forward. Who knows? Maybe Leila will be helping to choose her successor, and that could very well be you!” The organization is hoping that it will have a minimum of 20 competitors this year. “Our past and present queens have done well for themselves, receiving worldwide recognition for their efforts. However, for each of them it all began by filling out an application form, which can be found at www.missbahamas.net. It’s the first step to what can be an incredible journey for two lucky young women,” stated Miss Malcolm. Anastagia Pierre is the reigning Miss Universe Bahamas, while Sasha Joyce wears the title of Miss World Bahamas.
A screening is scheduled for May 19th (venue to be announced), at which time applicants will be interviewed one- on-one by MBO officials. Applicants will need to bring along a Bahamian passport, birth certificate, a valid police record, a pair of high heels and a swimsuit of their choice. A non-refundable application fee of $100 will also be due payable. Naturally born females between the ages of 17 and 25 who are of Bahamian ancestry and/or citizens of The Bahamas may enter the Miss Bahamas Beauty Pageant. Contestants must be at least 17 years old by Coronation Night. However, all women crowned queen must be at least 18 years old and under 24 by February 1st in the year that follows their coronation. Candidates must be single, must not have children, nor have ever been pregnant or given birth. Minimum height requirement is 5′ 3″ and maximum height requirement is 6′ 2″. Weight must be proportionate to height. Candidates must be beautiful in face and figure, intelligent, and charming, while possessing poise, a pleasing character, and high moral convictions. The Miss Bahamas Organization reserves the right to refuse an application or dismiss a contestant, using the Organization’s codes and regulations as the basis for its decision.
Meanwhile Daronique Young – who placed first runner up to Sasha Joyce in last year’s competition – will represent the Bahamas at this year’s Miss World pageant. Several factors led to this development, including changes in the dates of both the Miss World and Miss Universe pageants, and the pending general elections here in The Bahamas. Miss World, which is normally held in November/December, was moved to August of this year, while Miss Universe – normally held in August – was moved to December. “The Organization felt it best to not try to go head to head with a general election”, explains Miss Malcolm, “so we opted to have it later in the summer to allow time for the election frenzy to pass. This worked out well as far as the Miss Universe pageant is concerned; however it presented a challenge for us regarding the early date of Miss World.” MBO sought and was granted permission by the Miss World office to send the runner up from last year’s pageant to this year’s finale in Inner Mongolia, while the winner from the 2012 Miss Bahamas pageant will compete in next year’s Miss World. “We are confident that Daronique will represent us well,” said Miss Malcolm of the pageant veteran. “She’s the complete package – beauty, brains, body, and one of the sweetest personalities you would ever want to meet.”
Daronique was thrilled to learn the news of her good fortune. “I’m beyond excited!” she exclaimed. “My dream has always been to enter Miss World, and I had planned to enter the Miss Bahamas pageant again to pursue that dream. I’m blessed that the dream has come to me instead, and I look forward to representing my country to the best of myability.” Daronique leaves for the pageant on July 17th. An unveiling of her wardrobe will be held closer to her departure date.