THAG's bachelors' auction heat up city
Bachelorettes flaunt culinary skills By Isolese Ross
Stabroek News
August 18, 2002

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Temperatures rose in the Rupununi Room of Hotel Tower on Thursday night as Guyana's most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes stepped up to the auction block for the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) annual auction.

The auction got off to a late start, about one hour and 15 minutes past its 7:30 pm schedule. The incentive for persons bidding was that they would receive a free dinner with the person they 'bought'.

By 8:45 pm there were about 100 people in the Rupununi Room most of them sitting on the white plastic chairs arranged in a V-shape. The others were mingling and standing in groups on the stage, bar and other corners of the room, the bachelors and bachelorettes among them. Soft romantic music filled the room, beneath an excited buzz and the tense anticipation that permeated it.

A few women looked uncomfortable, as if they were doing something scandalous. The dress code for the evening seemed to be casual although there were a few glitzy pieces. There were a few female minors but they were chaperoned by adults, or at least it appeared that way.

Hotel Tower had outdone itself. Almost everything was in cream and gold, from the unlit twirling bell-dropped chandeliers to the long cream curtains with triple gold loops. The room was also painted in cream with gold squares on the ceiling. There were light bulbs in the ceiling, which provided a soft glow. Scenic nature paintings with gold rims adorned the walls; two of which formed the backdrop of the stage, which was about eight inches high and took up more than a quarter of the room. A plant on either side of the stage completed its simplicity.

Twenty-five minutes later about 20 persons entered including the Miss Guyana World 2002 contestants. Five minutes later the music changed to party style with dancehall and hip-hop. The Miss Guyana World delegates modelled designs created by Derek Moore in two main colours, black and maroon.

Then the chairs were removed and the bidding was set to begin.

The first bachelor was Carlos Adams, dressed in a cream suit. After some dancing and strutting, he was auctioned off for a mere $1,000 and TT$10. He was followed by Gavin O'Brian who, attempting to please, removed his jacket. He did not do much better than Adams, going for just $2,500. Next came Colin Mentis whom appeared to be popular with the crowd, judging from the screams and applause when his name was called. A definite crowd-pleaser he danced, stripped, paraded and even pulled a woman from the crowd onstage, who he told to sit on a chair, at the centre of the stage, so he could dance on her. She smilingly accepted, fanned herself and mockingly trembled. The crowd screamed and clapped with delight but after all that hard work, he was auctioned off for only $3,400.

Temperatures continued to rise and even the air conditioner that had given the room a cool feel earlier seemed non-existent. Shad Fernandes was next and with him came a major hike in the bids. He appeared shy; not wanting to take off his jacket as women screamed for him to do. Well, maybe the women found that shyness very appealing or maybe it was his good looks, but his bid of $12,000 was the highest thus far. James Churaman came next. James for the most part just sat on the chair that was placed in the centre of the stage. He appeared to be the strong silent type and women fell for it. He was auctioned off for $15,500.

The crowd was then told that they were going to start bids on the bachelorettes and later return to the bachelors. This was the first time that THAG had included bachelorettes in the auctioning. The women did not openly welcome the change in models but the few men present did.

There were four women in this segment - Nadia Spence, Lydia Fraser, Cheryl Morgan and Olive Gopaul - and bidding was to be different. They had each prepared a dish and the men would bid on the dish without knowing who had cooked it: the women would later be revealed. This ploy did not work and after some confusion, the women were sent on stage while their dishes were displayed on a small table before them. Spence prepared a trifle, Fraser some cookies, Morgan a red pepper and spinach quiche and Gopaul a dish comprising vegetables and meat.

Fraser's cookies got the highest bid of $33,000, followed by Gopaul's dish that went for $16,400. Morgan's quiche was auctioned off for $12,500 and Spence's trifle went for $7,600.

It was now time for the remaining men to be auctioned off. Surendrat Ramsagan, also a crowd-pleaser, danced to the hoots, laughter and screams of the women and to further entice his crowd he went over to a woman in the crowd who placed a bill in her pants waist and took the money from her using his mouth. The women loved him and wanted more. But this was not reflected in his final bid, which was one of the lowest at $4,600. Next came Dax Kissoon, one of the best dancers of the night, he 'bubbled' like crazy and was auctioned off for $11,700. He was followed by Guillaume Warney, who was auctioned off for the highest bid at $40,520. He spent his time on stage twisting to music and the women seemed to love it.

Sunesh Mickoo, a shy-looking lad was next and he was quickly auctioned off for $3,200. The next bachelor to be auctioned off was Shannon Murray, who looked like the youngest of the lot. His good looks and his six-pack stomach proved very appealing to the female crowd. He was auctioned off for $21,320. Kumar Chintaman and Craig Fortier followed him and were auctioned off for $2,400 and $4,500 respectively.

Everything came to an end by 11:20 pm. But not everyone left immediately, some milled around speaking with the bachelors and bachelorettes, maybe trying to change their status.