July 24, 2014
Six women will vie for the title of Miss Universe Bahamas and seven will compete for the Miss World Bahamas crown during double-header pageant on Saturday, August 3 at the Grand Ballroom at the Atlantis Resort.
The contestants were revealed at a pageant launch event on Sunday, July 20 at the John Watling's Distillery for the event that is being held under the theme Beauty Personified.
With girls representing different islands to give the pageants a national appeal, Miss Bahamas Organization (MBO) Director of Media Relations Jerome Sawyer, says the quality of contestants has improved.
"We've always been happy with the contestants that we've gotten, but they're now coming from a broader cross section of the country," said Sawyer.
District directors within respective islands selected two contestants with ties to their district to enter the pageant, which Sawyer said took the pressure off the MBO in terms of recruiting.
With the addition of the district directors to the organization, Sawyer said the contestants now have a better support system, other than just their sponsor and families.
The MBO director of media relations said he also found it interesting that more contestants opted to enter the Miss World Bahamas pageant over the Miss Universe Bahamas pageant which spoke to just how much the Miss World Bahamas brand had grown after they took the pageant under the MBO umbrella.
"I think the public will be pleased with what they see in the preliminaries," said Sawyer.
The women will compete for "lavish" prize packages, including representing The Bahamas at the Miss Universe and Miss World pageants, a wardrobe, with designer Ashley LaurenKerr leading the way, jewelry, airline tickets and spa packages.
Miss Universe Bahamas Contestants
Toni Bethel -- Eleuthera
Toni, who has a degree in Criminal Justice, has always had a passion for Bahamian culture. This down home girl loves to fish, and is very close to her family and friends. Toni also enjoys public speaking, reading, cooking, acting and traveling.
Fun facts: Toni took part in Youth in Parliament in 2007, and can speak Spanish.
Tomacina Culmer -- Grand Bahama
Tomacina, who is affectionately called "Tomi" by friends is no stranger to the modeling world, having won the second season of the Campari Caribbean Poster Girl competition. However, she is also a down to earth tomboy-of-sorts, who studied carpentry and joinery in high school, and later went on to study automotive technology at BTVI. Tomacina also enjoys playing flag football, sewing, and singing, and is the lead singer in the band, B12. In her free time, she is also a Brownie volunteer at the Freeport Primary School
Sport: Flag football
Fun Fact: Tomacina once did a photo shoot where she was dressed as a construction
Ominique Burrows -- Long Island
Ominique is not one to blend in with the crowd, and believes in always being herself and having her own unique style. Not only is she an entrepreneur with her own pastry business called, Sea Treats, but Ominique can also speak Spanish, and is also an experienced flute player, who loves fashion and reading.
Food: Anything home cooked
Fun fact: Ominique was the winner of the "Beauty Schools of America Model
Competition" in 2009.
Gabrielle Wong -- Ocean Cay
Gabrielle is a beauty with brains and brawn. She not only graduated as valedictorian of her high school graduating class, but she was also an accomplished track and field athlete. She has since put down her cleats, but she is still a big dance and Junkanoo fanatic, and is a member of the Culture Junkanoo Group. Gabrielle is also very active in her church, and in her free time, she enjoys writing poetry, reading, song writing, and modeling.
Food: Chicken Alfredo with Mushrooms
Fun fact: Gabrielle was her high school's head girl and has visited China.
Rokara Hepburn -- New Providence
Rokara comes from a family of statuesque beauties. Her cousin, Walteia Rolle was the first Bahamian to be drafted into the WNBA, and she is determined to make her mark on the world. An avid gardener, Rokara also loves to sing, jog, write poetry, and model. In 2012, she was also named the face of Nu Woman magazine.
Color: Red and black
Food: Shrimp alfredo
Fun fact: Rokara goes jogging every day.
Diandra Brown -- Paradise Island
Diandra is a model and actress who has appeared in the Bahamian film "Hurt people, hurt people". She is also a singer who has recorded two songs with the group Breakthrough. Diandra is a preacher's kid, and is very active in her church. She is passionate about health and wellness through proper eating.
Fun facts: Diandra is handy with handicraft. She's very good at creating arts and crafts products.
Miss World Bahamas contestants
Pylara Russell -- Andros
Pylara is studying medicine at the College of The Bahamas and aspires to become a gynecologist with the goal of one day opening her own private practice. She is active in her church where she is a member of the dance troupe. She'd like to one day meet Naomi Campbell whom she describes as an inspirational woman of color.
Sport: Track and field
Fun facts: Pylara is pretty good with a sewing machine and even won a national award for clothing construction.
Cymphony Lockhart -- Bimini
Cymphony graduated valedictorian of her class, and hopes to one day become a behavioral analyst, psychologist or counselor. She describes herself as a quick learner who is determined to achieve her goals. Cymphony enjoys singing, and was part of a gospel group which captured first place at the National Arts Festival. When she's not singing she enjoys a challenging game of ping pong.
Fun fact: The most unusual thing Cymphony has ever done was randomly breaking out into a song and beat box routine for a group of strangers.
Krishanna Culmer -- Eleuthera
Krishanna is a pageant veteran who comes from a family of beauty queens. Every female in Krishanna's family, including her mother, has participated in pageants. She placed first runner up in the 2009 Miss Teen Bahamas Pageant and has also competed in Miss Earth Bahamas, and Miss Global Bahamas. Her ambition is to become a lawyer.
Color: Black and red
Food: Steamed fish
Fun fact: As a child, Krishanna was intrigued by the movie Mary Poppins, and even tried to emulate the fictional character. One day she went on the roof of her home with the umbrella and jumped off. Krishanna describes herself as "peppy" and says she never lets anything dampen her spirit.
Rosetta Cartwright -- Grand Bahama
Rosetta hails from Sweeting's Cay, a small cay near Grand Bahama Island. She is a Dean's List student at the College of the Bahamas. She is passionate about inspiring others to remain positive in the face of difficulties. She would like to meet Lupita Nyong'o, whom she says inspired her not to give up on her dreams.
Food: Cracked lobster
Fun facts: Rosetta loves watching cooking shows and is convinced that she is a master chef. Her mother disagrees. Rosetta is not afraid of getting physical if need be. She once had to help free a boat that became stuck on a sand bank while trying to get home. Rosetta is known to serenade her friends as her way of trying to brighten their day.
Shanae Strachan -- New Providence
Height: 5' 10"
Shanae Graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor's of Business Administration in Hospitality Management at the age of 19. She is passionate about the development of women and girls as they strive for equality, nationally and worldwide. Shanae has travelled extensively, and has volunteered in Bulgaria, Peru, and Uganda.
Food: Anything Thai
Fun facts: Shanae has been modeling since the age of 8, and has walked the runway of hundreds of fashion and designer shows. Shanae is a trained fire dancer and has rushed with the Saxons Superstars Junkanoo group for the past eight years. While living and studying abroad, Shanae worked for U.S. Congressman Charles B. Rangel.
Chantel O'Brian -- Ocean Cay
Height: 5' 7"
Chantel is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Marketing at the College of The Bahamas. She is an accomplished model, and has appeared as the face of several campaigns. Chantel has also competed in several pageants, including the 2013 Miss World Bahamas pageant where she placed 1st runner up. She is very close with her mother and says she wants to continuously make her proud.
Food: Chicken fettucine
Fun facts: Chantel has a famous face. She has served as the Face Of Eye Candy Makeup Co.; the Face Of Roses From Concrete; and the Face of Adele 13 Crotchet and Swimwear Accessories.
Rontre Rolle -- Paradise Island
Height: 5' 10"
Rontre's philosophy is life is a journey, and the only way out is to move forward and not look back. She says her proudest moment was going to college because she was able to prove wrong the people who doubted her abilities as a child. She loves to sing and dance, and is an active volleyball and softball player.
Sport: Volleyball and softball
Fun fact: Once while in college, Rontre stood in the middle of the main floor and sang to everyone who walked by.
Friday, July 25 -- Top Model
Where: British Colonial Hilton, Bay Street
Time: 8 p.m.
July 26 - National Dress/Costume
Where: Pompey Square, Bay Street
Time: 4 p.m.
July 27 -- Swimsuit
Where: John Watlings Distillery, Delancey Street
Time: 6 p.m.
August 1 -- Evening gown/talent
Where: St. Joseph's Hall, Boyd Road
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $50 VIP, $35 general
Finale double header
August 3 -- Miss World Bahamas, Atlantis Grand Ballroom
Time: 3 p.m.
August 3 -- Miss Universe Bahamas, Atlantis Grand Ballroom
Time: 7 p.m.
Tickets: $75 VIP, $50 deluxe, $35 preferred
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