UNDER THE canopy of the blue sky, accompanied by searing sun rays, 21-year-old Roshelle McKinley fast-tracked her way into the top 15 of the Miss Jamaica World (MJW) competition.
The 5’9″-tall contestant achieved this feat on Sunday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel poolside when she was declared winner of the Jergens Beach Beauty Fast Track Competition, the second in the series of such competitions.
The competition got off to a late start. An apology was given by MC Weston Haughton. Thereafter, each of the 20 contestants, on the announcement of their name, made their way around the alluring water of the pool. They were to repeat the act as a group twice for the judges, who scored them on figure, synergy, sex appeal and proportion.
Subsequently, attired in assorted coloured swimwear and stilettos and facing their anxious family, friends and well-wishers, the Miss Jamaica World 2015 Beach Body top five contestants were proclaimed: Talia Soares, Jovi Jaja, Cavell Campbell, Roshelle McKinley and Royanne DeSilva, “in no specific order”, Haughton chimed.
This was followed by the announcement of the sectional prizes. And it seemed the writing was on the wall. Soares won the prize for Best Skin Tone, Jaja won Best Legs and McKinley was adjudged Best Figure. However, when the top three of the overall competition was announced, there was a twist; Jaja was out and DeSilva was in. She was declared third-place winner and Soares placed second.
The Gleaner spoke to Soares and McKinley later. McKinley said winning the competition meant a lot to her, as she had to focus on so many other things, “and to be in the top 15 is an accomplishment”. Soares, too, is very busy, as she is one of the faces of TVJ’s weekly entertainment show, Intense. She explained that time management is key and if you want anything in life, you have to work hard for it.
“And it is worth waking up early and going to bed late at night because the outcome is indescribable.”
And the “indescribable outcome” goes beyond physical appearance as was shared by Miss Jamaica World franchise holder, Laura Butler, who was also one of the judges on the day.
“Since 2013, we have introduced for the first time in its history, full educational scholarships. The girls will walk away with scholarships to the University College of the Caribbean, London University and Florida International.”
She also said the contestants will have training that will include their career development and life skills. Training in self-defence is also included and non-swimmers will benefit from aqua-aerobics sessions.
Butler, who has a background in education, in speaking with The Gleaner, further shared, “In truth, only one girl can walk away with the crown of Miss Jamaica World, but we want to make sure that every young woman who has taken their time, their sacrifice and hard work, walk away feeling that it was well worth her time. That is the way we are going. We are still a bit off as it is still a lot of work.”
Some fun is also thrown into the experience as the ladies will be heading to Water Land and Chukka Tours, as well as spending time at a hotel.
This year, as done previously, the MJW Grand Coronation will take place at the Montego Bay Conference Centre in St James on August 15. Persons outside of Montego Bay will benefit from special hotel rates and will be able to travel by Knutsford Express to the Second City.
They will, in addition to supporting their favourite contestant, see the reigning Miss World, Rolene Strauss, who will be in attendance, along with Julia Morley, CEO for the Miss World franchise. Their visit is a part of the organisers’ mandate to showcase Jamaica as a tourist destination. Both will tour the island.
The next Fast Track event will be the Fitness Competition at the Spartan Health Club on July 29.