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July 11, 2014
Dominica retains Miss Carival crown

For the second consecutive year, the delegate from Dominica has taken home the Miss Carival crown.

Francine Baron captured the 2014 Miss Carival title at Victoria Park on July 4, following in the footsteps of 2013 winner Leslassa Armour-Shillingford.{{more}}

Speaking with reporters after the show, Baron expressed her happiness over the win and said she hopes it can be used to inspire others, as pageantry requires a lot of self motivation.

Having competed in the PJD2 Caribbean pageant and walking away empty handed, the queen noted that pageants can take a toll on one’s emotional state.

“I got really, really depressed and really crushed and it took a lot out of me to get back my motivational path and tell myself that ‘you did it once and you can do it again. Don’t let one result bring you down’ and this is proof. This is what I try to show my students every day,” the educator said.

In addition to being crowned queen, Baron was awarded the titles of Miss Congeniality and Best Swimwear.

The 20-year-old emerged on stage in a sheer turquoise cover-up, which later revealed a well-fitted turquoise swimsuit adorned with silver and white beads. Her winning swimsuit was accessorized with large, white clam shell earrings.

According to Baron, being consistent in all categories helped her to secure the crown for Dominica, for yet another year.

“They told us something earlier. The points add up and that is how you find the winner,” she explained.

“It’s not about who did the best in certain segments, it’s who got the most points so when I heard that, I said okay, consistency is the game. You just have to be really average or you have to be really good in almost all, to succeed and I think maybe some persons did better in certain rounds, but as long as you are consistent, it usually pays off. It always pays off as a matter of fact.”

In fact, the Dominican delegate revealed that she caught the flu after getting wet during a motorcade and felt that once she was able to sing for her talent well, everything else would go smoothly.

Despite Baron’s commendable talent performance, it was Miss St Kitts and Nevis, Kaeve Armstrong’s singing act, that stole the show and copped the Best Talent category.

In the talent segment, Armstrong presented “I Who Have Nothing” and displayed her aptitude for several genres of music when she executed a soulful ballad with a rap diversion in the middle of her performance, which had the crowd erupting in loud cheers.

Armstrong, who was named first runner up, was able to confidently answer her interview questions, earning her the Best Interview award.

The second runner up position was awarded to Miss Antigua and Barbuda, Raynel Carroll, who also won the Best Evening Wear category.

Carroll’s dress was a cream-coloured one, which featured a number of shimmering lace appliqués and sheer cutouts. The dress, which had a keyhole and plunging V in the front, was designed to signify the 365 white sand beaches that play a big role in Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism industry.

The Most Photogenic award was given to Miss St Lucia, Amy Stephens and Most Community Spirited award went to Miss Guyana, Kiswana Jefford.

Having been able to secure the crown for Dominica for the second time in a row, Baron hopes that the 2015 delegate will feel no added pressure to do the same.

In fact, the beauty queen vows to help in whatever way she can and let the next contestant know that “as long as you put your best foot forward, you are a winner in my eyes and to the Dominican public.”

“I hope that my winning anything doesn’t put any pressure on anyone, because I know what it’s like. I know how it feels so whoever is next, I’m going to work with them. I’m going to make it a point of duty to tell them, you don’t have to be a winner all the time,” she said.

Baron hopes to compete in three other pageants in the near future and revealed that when she returns to Dominica, she will be busy preparing for those shows.

The other contestants in the 2014 Miss Carival pageant were Miss Barbados Zhane Padmore; Miss Jamaica Daneille Black; Miss Martinique Alexandra Chastel; Miss Venezuela Genesis Valera Seijas and Miss St Vincent and the Grenadines, Shadeisha George.(BK)