2013 VIRGIN ISLAND CARNIVAL PRINCESS SELECTION SHOW

A large crowd braved the rain and overcast skies to show their support for the three lovely and talented Contestants who were vying for the title of Virgin Islands Carnival Princess at Lionel Roberts Stadium on Sunday March 31, 2013. The three young girls did not disappoint as they thrilled everyone with their charm, poise, skills and intellect. They may have been small in number but they were indeed large in performance.

By the end of the evening, Contestant #1, LaZonique Phillip, an 11 year old 6th grade student attending Ulla F. Muller Elementary School was crowned 2013 Virgin Islands Carnival Princess. The other two Contestants, equally thrilling, were Contestant #2, Shania A. Lewis a nine year old 4th grade student of Calvary Christian Academy and D’Quana S. Lewis, also nine years old, who attends Gladys Abraham Elementary School and is in the third grade.

The Contestants were judged in the categories of Presentation, Sportswear, School Uniform Couture (a new category), Talent, Evening Wear and Question and Answer. Following the opening remarks by reigning 2012 Prince and Princess Timoy Hodge and T’Keyjah Austrie, accompanied by the Rays Dancing Divas, it was show time. For the Presentation segment, the three Contestants depicted tropical themes as they introduced themselves to the supportive audience. As each young lady spoke, her group of supporters could be heard with their loud cheers.

The Sportswear category saw, by coincidence, each young lady displaying a sport related to the sea. LaZonique Philip portrayed the sport of Blue Marlin Fishing, dressed in lime green and blue with a bright orange vest. Shania Lewis chose the Olympic sport of Open Water Swimming and she was dressed in white with the United States and Virgin Islands flags shimmering on her outfit. D’Quana Lewis depicted Scuba Diving and was dressed in a yellow and white diving outfit with scuba gear attached. They were all impressive. The new segment, School Uniform Couture, was well received by the audience as each young lady gave her school uniform a creative and unique twist.

The much anticipated Talent segment did not disappoint as the Contestants were all thrilling and entertaining as they showcased their skills. La Zonique, who won this segment, displayed her vocal skills as she sang three Calypso tunes and rounded it off with her rendition of the popular Disney tune, ‘A Whole New World”. Shania Lewis was equally pleasing as she performed as a Mocko Jumbie and sang, twirled her baton, ribbon, flag and ring individually while dancing on her stilts. D’Quana dramatized a young girl exploring items found in her mother’s bedroom and used these items as she played the ukulele, sang in Spanish then performed as Tina Turner. The three Contestants proved that they were very talented young ladies.

The always popular Evening Wear segment showed the poise and elegance of these young girls. They all wore full length ballroom gowns that shimmered with crystals and rhinestones. LaZonique wore a gold and white gown entitled A Golden White Serenade. Shania chose her favorite color of neon pink for her ruffled, shimmering gown, which won her the Best Evening Wear award. D’Quana wore a pastel green gown that was chosen because of its soft color for Easter. Each Contestant glided on stage with grace and poise as their gowns shimmered in the bright lights.

Question and Answer was the final judged segment. Each Contestant answered the same question which was selected randomly by Contestant #1. That question was ‘What advice would you give to a friend who is being bullied by a classmate but is afraid to report it”? They each showed poise as they gave their respective answers, each basically agreeing that they would report it to someone in authority such as a principal.

Mistress and Master of Ceremonies were Aniska Tonge and Rick Grant. There were performances by Rays Dancing Divas, Prince Short Shirt, Mini Caribbean Ritual Dancers, K-Victoria and Anonymous Gems. Musical entertainment was provided by Fusion Band. Despite the uncertain weather, the supporters turned out in large numbers and showed their appreciation and support for the three brave young girls who were outstanding in their performances. It was indeed A Tropical Scene for Carnival 2013, because rain is part of the tropics!

2013 VIRGIN ISLANDS CARNIVAL QUEEN SELECTION SHOW

It was a clear tropical night of beauty and splendor as five talented and beautiful young ladies gave remarkable performances as they competed for the title of Virgin Islands Carnival Queen on Saturday night, April 6, 2013 at Lionel Roberts Stadium to a large audience. By the end of the night, 17 year old Adisha Penn, a senior attending Charlotte Amalie High School, emerged victorious. It was a keenly contested event, and throughout the night, there was no clear cut winner as each young lady showed her strength in various segments.

The young ladies were judged on stage in the categories of Introduction Speech, Swimwear, Cultural/Historical Costume, Talent, Evening Wear and Impromptu Question and Answer. Judged prior to this event were the segments of Presentation, Promotional Campaign and Personal Interview which were included in the overall scores of the Contestants.

The five young ladies vying for the title of 2013 Virgin Islands Carnival Queen were Contestant #1, Marlyka D. Williams, a 17 year old senior attending Charlotte Amalie High School, sponsored by the Virgin Islands Carnival Committee, Contestant #2, A’Yana K.Phillips, a 17 year old senior also attending Charlotte Amalie High School, sponsored by the Virgin Islands Carnival Committee, Contestant #3, Pia M. Nicholson, a 17 year old senior attending St. Peter and Paul Catholic School, sponsored by Pronto Cleaners, Contestant #4, 17 year old Adisha O.M. Penn, a senior attending Charlotte Amalie High School, sponsored by the Virgin Islands Carnival Committee and Contestant #5,18 year old T’Andra L. Garnette a senior who attends Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, sponsored by Choice Wireless.

The theme “A Tropical Scene for Carnival 2013” was visible throughout the night. The Opening Production and Presentation was lively and colorful, as each Contestant was dressed in bright, tropical colors as they performed an energetic routine then in introduced themselves to the appreciative audience. They were accompanied by 2012 Carnival Queen Savannah Lyons-Anthony and back up dancers.

For the Swimwear segment, the young ladies wore iridescent one piece swimsuits of shades of blue, green, pink and orange, with some variations and accessorized according to their own style. They exhibited poise and flair as they strutted across the stage individually, then performed a choreographed swimsuit routine to the delight of the large, cheering crowd.

The Cultural/Historical Costume Segment was varied, informative and entertaining. Marlyka Williams was the winner of this segment with her costume in which she portrayed the “Keeper of Culture”. She was beautifully outfitted as a madras doll, and attached to her costume was a mocko jumbie and cultural dolls. A’yana Phillips cleverly portrayed a Caribbean Lobster, which is a favorite Virgin Island seafood, and was quite impressive as she crouched across the stage imitating the movements of a lobster. Pia Nicholson illustrated “Pia’s Tropical Delights”, with her costume which displayed a variety of healthy, tropical fruits that are found in the Virgin Islands. Adisha Penn portrayed the popular Virgin Island “Fraco Stand” with its rainbow of tropical flavors and the bottom of her costume opened and lit up to display the different “fraco” drinks. In her costume, T’andra Garnette paid tribute to Virgin Island musicians including Jamesie and Nick “Daddy” Friday, who were displayed on her costume as if they were actually performing.

The Talent Segment, which is always a crowd favorite, showed the Contestants performing a variety of skills. Marlyka Williams displayed her artistic skills as she hand painted a tropical scene to musical accompaniment and showed a few dance moves. A’Yana Phillips was a Carnival Genie and she played the bongo drums, steel pan and performed a dance routine. Pia Nicholson performed on three different types of steel pans in her ‘Tropical Dream”. The winning talent was performed by Adisha Penn, who displayed her mocko jumbie dancing skills and played the violin and flute. T’andra Garnette performed a dance routine as she appeared as an alien. The large crowd was clearly impressed by the skills of these young ladies.

For the Evening Wear Segment, another crowd favorite, the young ladies were all poised, sparkling and regal as they elegantly displayed their breathtaking gowns. Marlyka Williams chose a red/orange fitted gown with an accordion train and decorated with thousands of beads and crystals. A’Yana Phillips won Best Evening Wear as she sparkled in her gown entitled “A Diamond Fusion of Simplicity and Sophistication”. Her sparkling mermaid gown fitted smugly to her body and had an aqua blue chiffon train. Pia Nicholson wore a tropical multi-colored fitted gown decorated with glittering crystals. Adisha Penn was a “Tropical Bouquet” in her evening wear with a fitted, sparkling bodice and skirt made of layers of ruffles. T’Andra Garnette was a “Diamond in the Sky” in her silver and blue fitted gown decorated with lots of sparkling crystals. The audience showed their approval as they applauded each contestant in their gorgeous gowns.

The final segment that night was the Impromptu Question and Answer. Each Contestant randomly selected a different question of various topics and appeared confident as they gave their answers. After the final walk of 2012 Carnival Queen Savannah Lyons-Anthony, it was time for the decision by the judges to be announced. The Master and Mistress of Ceremonies were Rashidi Clenance and Deborah “Shugga” Reese, who were hilarious and kept the audience laughing the entire night. The National Anthem and Virgin Islands March were performed by Lorna Freeman. Musical Entertainment was provided by Spectrum Band. Special thanks are extended to Cardow Jewelers who are providing a $5,000 scholarship to the winner. Special thanks are also extended to the sponsors Pronto Cleaners, Choice Wireless and the Virgin Islands Carnival Committee. Special acknowledgement must be made to two young Virgin Islanders who contributed to the success of the Carnival Queen Selection Show. They are Grey Samuel, who was the choreographer for the Production Number and Esonica Veira, who was the modeling coach for the Contestants and also choreographed the Swimsuit Routine. It was “A Tropical Scene for Carnival 2013” and all of the young ladies must be applauded for their outstanding performances.

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