Miss Guyana Pageant was a disappointment
Stabroek News
April 19, 2002

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Dear Editor,

On Saturday April 13, I got all dressed up (in my locally designed outfit) and, along with my husband and a good friend proceeded to the National Cultural Centre (with great anticipation and excitement) for an evening of entertainment and relaxation. Lo and behold, at the end of the evening I was stressed, my friend had a terrible headache and we were all disappointed at a show which promised so much but delivered very little! I have since heard the promoters on national television declaring what a good show it was and that everything went "well". To those people I would say that the quality that is indicative in the term "well" is relative. Some of us (and I suspect the majority) in the audience expected a 'pageant' of a much higher standard, particularly since so much 'hype' (and boasting) was done prior to the show. While I applaud the efforts of the organizers for a "fair" attempt, for me, a high standard or good quality would have been reflected in the following:

1. The commencement of the programme at the scheduled time - 7 p.m.

2. A properly decorated stage that appeared clean.

3. The use of decanters with water for the judges instead of having plastic bottles on the nicely decorated tables (except the intent was to advertise for DDL!)

4. A properly planned programme so that at the intervals between the various presentations the audience would not have been forced to stare at a blank, dowdy stage. For example, the very entertaining cultural items that were all scheduled before the various sequences by the delegates should have been interspersed during these intervals. It would also have been useful to eliminate some of the unnecessary speeches which only served to delay the programme and frustrate the audience. Those who were asked to speak should have been given specific instructions with regard to content and the time allotted. In fact, the only "speech" that may have been necessary was for the Minister of Tourism to bid welcome.

5. An MC who was thoroughly au fait with the planned proceedings.

6. Evening gowns that were resplendent and truly indicative of some degree of creativity. Never before have I seen so many horrid/hideous/offensive/pitiful/appalling/revolting/repulsive or just plain horrible gowns simultaneously on one stage! This definitely does not say much for the 'designers?' involved here! Recommendation - allow the contestants to choose their own designers! I am certain that if this was done the results would have been very different. In fact, it is my view that all but four of the contestants were effectively eliminated by the simple act of the promoter(s) having control over the designers and beauticians! As a consequence, the contestants had no influence over what gown they wore and the choice of hairstyles etc.! So, based on the final presentation, and given the preference for a certain "look" Mia Rahaman was clearly the winner since the other girls were practically eliminated from the competition.

7. A clear indication of the 'rules of the game' which would have engendered more rational expectations from the audience. This is done at all international pageants - so why not here?

8. Overall, a simply 'seamless' and well coordinated presentation would have sufficed!

While I would in no way pardon some sections of the audience for what I consider to be downright disgraceful behaviour, I think the general organization of the pageant left much to be desired.

By the way, where was the last Miss Guyana, Universe - Morvinia Sobers? Why wasn't she invited to participate in the preliminary activities? Shouldn't she have been the one to crown the new queen? Or was it more economical to pay Ms. Kwelagobe to do this?

Yours faithfully,

J. A. Joseph