Contestant #4 Kinia Blyden, below, takes the crowd to India during the International Wear segment; Blyden poses after winning the Miss St. John Festival Queen 2011 title, above.
Four beautiful St. John Festival Queen contestant transported the crowd at the Winston Wells ball field on Saturday night, June 25, to Greece, India, Scotland and even Jamaica.
The International Wear segment of the St. John Festival Queen Selection Show on June 25 was one of the highlights of the evening for all four contestants. Worth 100 points, the segment also went a long way toward determining who took home the crown after the entertaining competition wrapped up close to midnight.
Not surprisingly, it was the contestant who won for Best International Wear, Best Talent and Best Evening Wear who was named St. John Festival Queen 2011 — Contestant number Four Kinia Blyden.
While the show was originally slated to include five young ladies vying for the crown, contestant number three dropped out just one week before the show. (See sidebar above.)
Undaunted, the four remaining contestants wowed the audience with their poise, talent and exuberance. Contestant number one Charise Dowell shook off early nerves during her presentation speech, which was worth a total of 25 points, to regain her confidence and introduce herself to the crowd.
Contestant number two, Niesha Paul promised to entertain the crowd while contestant number four Blyden took the audience down her road to success, where she had “the car in high gear with a positive attitude.”
Contestant number five Akela Frett invited the crowd to watch her blossom on St. John as she showed off talent and poise during the show.
Featuring the impressive St. John Committee Dancers, the contestants, 2010 St. John Festival Queen Shante Monsanto Weeks and choreography by Lester Warner, the Introductory Presentation set the tone for a great night.
Dowell strutted her stuff during the Swim Wear segment, worth 50 points, in a turquoise one-piece cutout suit adorned with silver appliques and accessorized with a sheer silver sarong and a bright pink flower tucked behind her ear.
Paul was a picture of daintiness in a flower-printed halter v-neck maillot with a belted waist. Blyden’s original lime green strapless on-piece suit was crafted by St. Johnian clothier Karen Samuel.
Samuel also created Frett’s brightly-colored strapless one-piece suit which she set off with an oatmeal colored crocheted wrap.
In a tribute to Love City, Dowell was covered in gold and flower petals as she sashayed across the stage as the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite during the International Wear segment of the show.
It was bagpipes and tartan for Paul who whisked the audience away to Scotland as she shimmied across the stage in a horse-drawn carriage with a castle and Loch Ness Monster in the background.
Blyden, decked out as multi-armed Hindu goddess of power Durga was a crowd favorite as she took the audience on an exotic voyage to India. Frett embodied the Jamaican flag in an impressive segment dedicated to the island nation.
All four contestants impressed the audience as well as the judges during the Talent portion of the night, worth 100 points full of excellent dancing and twirling skills.
Dowell donned a body-hugging turquoise floor length gown with hundreds of sparkling crystals for the Evening Wear segment, also worth 100 points. Paul chose a sparkling magenta number off-set with intricate silver straps. Blyden shone like a star in a white fitted strapless gown with crystals and glittery appliques while Frett embodied the “Lady in Red” in a stunning cherry-colored backless column gown.
The judges did an impressive job meting out points and the results were in just as Cool Session Brass Band was wrapping up their last number.
Dowell was named Miss Photogenic and Most Cooperative and Paul was named Miss Intellect and First Runner-up. Frett took the title of Miss Congeniality while Blyden scored big with Best International Wear, Best Talent and Best Evening Wear on her way to be named Miss St. John Festival Queen 2011.