From stage number one at the beach to stage number two on the football field, the day’s event switched gears and prepared for the Miss Jamzone International Pageant. This time the Fusion Sound Company was responsible for delivering the hits and jams (no pun intended) for the evening. After a few minutes of skilled juggling and making the crowds extremely hyper, the pageant’s MC Mondale Smith made his way on stage. He welcomed us all to the coveted event and then informed us that Miss Brazil opted out of the procession (we wonder why). Mr. Smith then introduced the delegates as they made their way on the stage in the form of dance, and announced their names and countries of representation. After their piece, local male group G – Money performed the Jamzone Theme Song. It was a mix of lyrical skills and hype beats that got the crowd moving, but they failed to continue the stellar performance when they belted other hits of their own.
The MC casually faded them off – stage as he reclaimed the microphone and gave a quick message about safe sex and HIV/AIDS. He then made way for the next performer, an overseas based rapper called Colin Banks. According to the crowds’ response, he was better than the G – Money Federation so he milked his time on stage by doing remakes of international hit songs like “Hustle Hard” by Ace Hood and “Black and Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa. He didn’t stay long either as Mondale Smith quickly returned to introduce the first official segment of the second wave of the pageant (the first being held at the National Cultural Center on August 17, 2011). It was a cultural showcase of each delegate’s country by way of a costume. Most costumes seemed conventional but Miss Guyana (Jovan Wilson) stood out with her water jug as headwear and Miss St. Kitts and Nevis (Fatisha Imo) did her piece on stilts. After seeing so many pageants we at Guyanlive.com are a little hard to please. Jory was next on stage and produced the best performance of the night, hands down. He did old and new tracks and even teased us with a bit of freestyle, throwing insults at Jamaican flop Vybz Kartel. Even the DJ’s refused to play Kartel’s lyrics, but that is another story. After Jory’s skilled performance we saw the contestants showcase their beauty and poise yet again in the fantasy swimwear segment. The ladies were all attired in pieces that represented their fantasies, from a healthier earth to their country’s blue waters; the audience was continuously thrilled by the showcase. Subsequent to that section, the vibes of the Fusion Sound Company took us into the second half of the evening’s pageant.
We were welcomed into the second half of the show by Linden’s very own Genesis and Lady Diana, who refreshingly performed tracks that shouted skill, experience and innovation. The crowd agreed and cheers and screams bellowed from every corner. The reigning queen, Miss Lesa – Gayle Wee Tom, gave her final walk as queen in a stunning swimsuit and even said a few words. She encouraged other young women to be themselves and be confident in what they do, she praised Guyana and the Hits and Jams Family for their support and given opportunities and she even spilled a bit of her personal life, telling us all that she took her prize money to pay for her grandmother’s surgery last year. The masses cheered and “awwed” as she poured her heart out. It then came time to give individual prizes to the delegates before announcing the final four. The Beautiful Body Prize went to Miss Trinidad and Tobago, Davia Chambers; the Best Gown Prize went to Miss St. Kitts and Nevis, Fatisha Imo; Miss Congeniality was given to Miss Trinidad and Tobago and Miss Venezuela, Kenlly Aranguren (which is a bit confusing because she speaks only Spanish), in a tie; and Miss St. Kitts and Nevis took away InEfx’s Miss Popularity Prize also, which was a pair of exquisite gold earrings. After some suspense the final four was decided upon by the judges (some of whom were at the first leg of the pageant), and they were; Miss St. Kitts and Nevis, Ms. Trinidad and Tobago, Miss Venezuela and Ms. Guyana. The crowd went hysterical, some saying that Venezuela did not belong there and others being elated that Guyana made it that far.
Some more music kept us company and they prepared for the final question segment, which was prepared by all the judges and ladies had to reach into a hat and pick a question that they would then answer. At the end of this exciting section everyone except Ms. Venezuela was a favorite, but Guyanalive.com thinks the language barrier had something to do with that. Then, it came time to announce a winner! Nails were being bitten and nerves were being pushed to the limit as the crowd patiently waited for Mondale Smith to reveal the results. The judges took some time in their deliberations and even went backstage for a while, we presume to take a final look at the four beauties. As they lined up on stage next to each other, the results were being read: Ms. St. Kitts and Nevis gained the third runner up spot, Ms. Venezuela copped the second runner up spot (more shock and awe), and…a long pause and pent up anticipation and frustration, Ms. Guyana secured first runner up which made Ms. Trinidad and Tobago, Davia Chambers, the new Miss Jamzone International Queen 2011. The look of disbelief on Jovan Wilson’s face was priceless, for it seemed that she thought she had the judges eating out of the palms of her hands. However, we believe that the response to the final question, which she failed to properly answer, was her kryptonite. The noise that represented both disgust and praises was ear – splitting, as the new queen was being crowned and made her first official “Reigning Walk”. The DJ from the Fusion Sound Company delivered his congratulations on behalf of Guyana and the Hits and Jams Group before playing a Mavado track that started the after – party.
Naturally, there is some criticism to be expressed. First, we thought that last year’s event was larger but we believe that is in part fault to the no – show of Vybz Kartel. The Guyanalive.com team believes Guyanese lost faith in the H&J name and refused to show up to be given more broken promises, which brings us to the next point. The DJ’s (from Stereo Sonic and Fusion Sound Company) absolutely refused to play any Vybz Kartel song in response to the disrespect he showed this nation, but at the after party we heard tracks from “Di Teacha”. Are we all talks and no actions or do we think that we are too reliant on his music? We suggest that they make a decision and stick with it, period. Then, why were there no portable toilets on the premises? I heard many females complain of the inconvenience of walking quite some distance to stand in line at a crowded bathroom for a lengthy duration. The portable potties would have alleviated this to some extent. And last, we are a little disappointed in the MC Mondale Smith. We usually expect work of high caliber from this media personality, but he was at times out of place while hosting the pageant. His unnecessary and lewd jokes and interactions with the audience sometimes reduced him to sheer arrogance. We recommend that he maintains his professionalism even at a beach, since the delegates and judges saw reason in the level of importance to do so. All in all though, we give it a 7 out of a possible 10 on the Guyanalive.com scale, which brings the grand total score of the Jamzone Summer Break to a possible 7 out of ten also. We are fully aware that Hits and Jams is capable of much bigger and better things so we will wait patiently as 2012 rolls around. Keep up the great work folks and remember to learn from your mistakes.
View pictures from this event at --> GuyanaLive.com Gallery
By - Patrice Wishart
As patrons filled the seats at the National Cultural Center on August 17, 2011, excitement filled the air as they prepared to watch what has been proposed as the best pageant in local history. At around 8:30, the National Anthem (first and last stanzas) was sung by a local boy group, officiating the beginning of the Miss Jamzone International Pageant – Part 1. The reigning queen, Ms. Lesa – Gayle Tom, was brought in by oiled, buff young men to the beats of African drums, as she introduced herself and spoke about her past year on a voice – over recording. She strutted from end to end of the stage, while letting the gathered subliminally know that the next winner has enormous shoes to fill.
It was after this that the delegates danced their way to center stage to the melodies of African music as they introduced themselves. Naturally, Miss Brazil and Miss Venezuela both had translators, since they speak Portugese and Spanish respectively. However, their translator did not do them justice as she failed time and time again to relate the statements and questions by our MC’s throughout the show. We at Guyanalive.com hope she wasn’t paid, since that would have been a waste of money. The 11 delegates were; Ms. Latisha Greene of Antigua and Barbuda, Ms. Kenlly Aranguren of Venezuela, Ms. Rhea Cummings of Barbados, Ms. Deandra Doyley of Jamaica, Ms. Davia Chambers of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Patrish Lionel of St. Lucia, Ms. Fatisha Imo of St. Kitts/Nevis, Ms. Ellen Lima of Brazil, Ms. Marcia Baptiste of Dominica, Ms. Stacey Norine Ceder of Suriname and Ms. Jovan Wilson of Guyana. From the inception, the crowd’s favorites were all the delegates except Ms. Brazil and Ms. Barbados. We then met the MC’s for the evening, the beautiful and intelligent Ms. Tamika Henry, a former Miss Guyana Universe, and Mr. Godfrey Munroe, a National Table Tennis Star and a horrible orator. He stuttered, slurred, fumbled, rarely looked up at the audience or the cameras and had poor choices of words. He was tolerated for the first half of the show but the audience became annoyed by the second half. After we got to know the evening’s MC’s we then saw a vibrant African dance by the Classique Dance Company, who is set to embark to the United States of America very soon to put on a grand show. At this interval Ms. Henry decided to inform us that the theme for the show was “African” in nature, since this is The Year for People of African Descent, but there will be other cultural pieces. We then had an opportunity to meet the judges of the competition: Mr. Kemraj Persaud, Mr. Alan Donovan, Dr. Ingrid Cox – Pierre, Mr. Gordon Mosely, Mrs. Patricia Woolford and Mr. Ramesh Geer, who we do not envy since their task before them is one of great proportions.
It then came time for the Swimsuit Segment of the pageant and their jealous eyes and wagging tongues. The suits, designed by local fashionista Pat Coates, fit the ladies superbly and they wore them with sheer grace and pride. That being said the masses’ favorites were Ms. Brazil, Ms. Dominica, Ms. Guyana, Ms. Suriname and Ms. Trinidad and Tobago. There were cheers and groans as each contestant came on stage and showed their curves (of their smiles and their bodies) but those mentioned ladies received a more favorable response. Following that epic segment, we were all thrilled by an amazing Indian dance by a local group called the Dancing Delights. They swayed and shook to the sounds of cultural Indian song and the crowd roared with appreciation. Let us just say that we think the Miss Jamzone International Pageant had the best lighting, sound and special effects of any pageant we have seen in some time (and we have seen quite a few), despite the audio glitches which at times became frustrating. Many blame the staff and equipment of the National Cultural Center, but we refuse to speculate.