The New Miss Belize and the candidate disqualified after a fight
On Friday we introduced you to the candidates vying to be the next Miss Belize. The pageant was held at the Bliss Auditorium in Belize City on Saturday night and the winner was Roaring Creek’s Destinee Arnold. It was a well attended pageant, but not everyone appreciated the outcome. There was a physical fight, a disqualification of a candidate and oh yes, the much anticipated question and answer section where queens are separated from the other delegates. Freelance Reporter Duane Moody reports on all the drama surrounding the crowning of a new Queen of the Jewel.
On Saturday night, the Bliss Auditorium was the venue for the 2012 Miss Belize Pageant. Nine delegates from across the jewel competed for the crown and title. The event started with the Opening Number:
The delegates then sashayed on the stage in their swimwear.
The final five were then chosen and it was time for the final question. And then came the announcement of who will take home the crown and title as Miss Belize 2012: Port Loyola’s Maryam Abdul-Qawiyy or Roaring Creek’s Destinee Arnold.
Destinee Arnold, Miss Belize 2012
“I said wow I did it. I did it. It is surreal. I don’t think it hit me. It still hasn’t hit me yet because this is my dream. You finally reached it and you got it. Telling yourself that wow is this real? Is this real? And then you are like yeah; I’m representing my country. Getting there it was difficult at times. I was constantly battling myself because I am used to being around my family during the process and the positive energy. At times there were negative energies around and it was hard for me to be able to keep on telling myself it’s going to be okay and to keep motivating myself. I definitely think that I’m bringing something different—something different that they haven’t seen before. I know I am a beauty queen, but I’m not the average beauty queen that wakes up and puts a full face of makeup, gets dressed up. I’m very casual. I wear my hair wild, have no makeup on and still have a beautiful smile on my face because I love natural beauty. And I think going to these international pageants, I’m going to show them the natural beauty of Belize and all that Belize has to offer and to be humble.”
“As the reigning Miss Belize, I want to promote education; that is something that is very important to me and is very important to our country. That is something that is going to be pushed with me and paying attention to our youth and our families. It is very important that we realize what we do today will affect our future and our future is our youth so we have to pay close attention to them.”
But a pageant is not without its controversy and the delegate from Orange Walk, eighteen year old Negrill Crawford, was disqualified after her mother reportedly attacked one of the directors of the Miss Belize Organization.
Orson Elrington, Marketing Director, Miss Belize Organization
“She has been disqualified from participating in any competition that Queen of the Jewel holds as well as she is being disqualified from her position and her placement in the competition. Article eight of the participation contract says that any behavior that constitutes disrespect or lack of sportsmanship by any delegate and their guests will result in the delegate immediate disqualification from the pageant. Lack of sportsmanship and disrespect conduct includes and is not limited to verbal or written slander of the pageant its staff or any other contestants. She also violated article thirteen of the agreement which says delegates will always conduct themselves in a professional manner while attending all queen of the jewel events; that will not bring discredit or result in the adverse publicity to Queen of the Jewel. This is extended to family, friends. Family and friends are encouraged and expected as well to carry themselves in support of our rules and regulations. Delegates will automatically be disqualified if any family member, fan or friend conducts themselves in a dis-favorable manner at any Queen of the Jewel event. We’ve proceeded to pursue criminal charges against the individuals—the friends and family of those of the delegate.”
And to the rumors of the winner not being a Belizean, National Director of the Queen of the Jewel Organization, Opal Enriquez clarified.
Opal Enriquez, National Director, Miss Belize Organization
“Destinee is a thoroughbred Belizean because what constitutes being a thoroughbred Belizean is that both your parents are of Belizean descent. Both of Destinee’s parents were born and raised in Belize—not just in Belize but roaring Creek. And Destinee’s mother was pregnant with her when she left her. You cannot punish a child for the choices of their parents. So if they chose to live somewhere else, it doesn’t make Destinee any less Belizean.”
And for the special awards given out at the pageant: Jenna Bernard was voted People’s Choice through the text votes, Miss Congeniality was Maryam Abdul-Qawiyy, Most Photogenic was Carmelita’s Arbunie Clare and best costume was won by designer Gabriela Garcia of Orange Walk. Duane Moody for News Five.