By Carlena Knight
Glitz and glam filled the arena at the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG) on Wednesday night when the 59th edition of the Jaycees Caribbean Queen Show took place.
The event saw seven contenders from Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, and the British Virgin Islands vie for the crown – but it would be Miss St Kitts and Nevis, Nekirah Nicholls, who came out on top to take the title.
There was no doubt that the crown would be going to Sugar City as Nicholls cleaned up, winning four out of the five judged segments – best interview, best performing talent, best modelling skills in evening wear, and best swimwear.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Chronna Khan placed first runner up, while St Lucia’s Wenia Verneuil was second runner up, after being adjudged the best dressed in evening wear.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Brianna Anthony did not place.
The newly crowned queen spoke with Observer at the ARG, aka ‘Carnival City’, after her win.
“It feels amazing. I really had to be resilient throughout the process … The win feels good because I am now able to use that platform for something that I am absolutely passionate about which is financial literacy education.
“So, I will be able to bring awareness throughout the region about the importance of it,” Nicholls said.
She also had a message for people back home.
“First, I want to say thank you so much for all of the support that I have received thus far throughout the journey. I love you guys so much, and I am thoroughly grateful for all the support,” she added.
Nicholls also won the award for the contestant who stayed true to the theme, while most photogenic and best cultural wear went to St Lucia.
Haiti’s Paul Anne Estima was voted Miss Congeniality.
The latter three awards were not judged segments.
Meanwhile, Miss Antigua and Barbuda, Brianna Anthony, despite not taking home the crown was upbeat after the competition.
She said it was an honour to represent the twin island nation.
“I am elated. I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to represent my country. I believe that I went out there, put my best foot forward and represented my country to the best of my ability,” she told Observer. Anthony added that she has no plans to end her pageantry career here, and is now focusing on competing in other regional and even international pageants.