Festivals minister disappointed with the Miss Antigua Barbuda Pageant

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Daryll Matthew, the minister of Culture and National Festivals, is disappointed with this year’s Miss Antigua Barbuda Competition. He shared his thoughts during a postmortem carnival interview on OBSERVER AM yesterday.
“The Queen of Carnival Show needs to come back. I am really dissatisfied with the Miss Antigua Barbuda Pageant. I do not believe that a pageant like that is properly placed in our carnival festivities,” the minister said.
“There is no problem having a pageant like that for the purposes it was started for but just not in our carnival festivities, so we need our queen show back,” Matthew proclaimed.
This revelation by the minister of his displeasure with this year’s queen show came weeks after he had praised the committee that was responsible for organising the event and specifically internationally acclaimed designer and pageant coordinator Calvin Southwell who played the role of National Director of the 2018 Miss Antigua Barbuda Pageant.
The festivals minister had said that he understood the confusion voiced by members of the public concerning the show because there were times during the show when he, too, was confused as to what was going on. Matthew said that he thought that certain aspects of the show could be improved but overall, he felt that it was a good production.
However, Southwell had called earlier to the Voice of the People programme to defend this year’s changes to the pageant. Southwell first distanced himself from one of the biggest areas of confusion – the titles given to the three crowned young ladies. Southwell had originally wanted to crown the delegates as Miss Antigua and Barbuda Regional, Miss Antigua and Barbuda International, and Miss Antigua and Barbuda. However, the decision was made by the chairman of carnival, Maurice Merchant, to crown the queens as gold, platinum and silver.
Matthew also revealed that he spoke to Southwell and highlighted the fact that the public neither expected nor understood the structure or format of the show, and it was not only the name of the titles for the winners that was the issue.
Southwell said he was attempting to bring an international feel to the local pageant while ensuring that the country could be represented in various regional and international shows throughout the year. He said that knowledge of international pageant rules would enlighten all as to why the pageant was conducted so that it resulted in three title holders.
He added that he would not accept the job of producing the show next year unless certain things are changed. He did not specify what elements need to be changed.

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