Barbuda’s scintillating six took to the stage on Saturday night but only one could be crowned Ms. Harney Motors Barbuda Caribana Queen. That honour went to Asha Frank, daughter to founder of the opposition aligned Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM), Mackenzie Frank.
Frank beat the other five contestants to take the interview, question & answer, costume and swimwear segments. The talent segment went to second runner up, Rhoda Nedd, while first runner up, Kerreanna Baltimore, won the eveningwear segment.
Baltimore also received the Digicel People’s Choice Award.
Frank’s win comes against a backdrop of controversy after a recording of Barbuda Council senator, Emerick John, surfaced earlier this month. The audio footage revealed John, who was allegedly speaking to another contestant, claiming that Frank would not win the crown because of her father’s political persuasion.
The clip was quickly circulated on social media and caused BPM Chairman, Trevor Walker to ultimately call for John to be removed from the Barbuda Council’s Cuture Committee.
However there seemed to be little of John’s earlier sentiment in Caribana City on Saturday as a large crowd of cheering supporters rushed to the front of the stage as Frank received her crown.
Her performance even seemed to have changed Emerick John’s tune.
“She won. She deserved to win” he told OBSERVER media. She did a fantastic job.”
When asked about the debacle, the newly crowned queen said John’s comments never fazed her.
“I’ve always thought I should try to do my best and it’s really more embarrassing for the person who made the comments than it is for me,” she said.
Now that the Ms. Barbuda Competition is behind her Frank must turn her attention to the Miss Antigua Barbuda pageant in Antigua.
“To be honest, I hadn’t really thought that far ahead. I didn’t think that this would ever actually happen,” she said. “I’ll have to go back and meet with my trainers because thanks to them I’m here.”
Both Frank and her first runner-up Kereanna Baltimore will compete against six finalists from Antigua in the inaugural competition on July 27. The winner will go on to represent Antigua & Barbuda in the Jaycees Caribbean Queen Show.