Jamesette Anglin, a poised, confident 16-year-old, has taken the title of Miss Teen Cayman Islands. The second youngest of four children to James and Daisy Anglin, Jamesette represented West Bay in the pageant and is now making a name for herself as a pageant queen as well as local singer.
The Caymanian Weekender caught up with Jamesette to find out how she felt about her pageant experience and what she’s up to next in her academics, her singing and, of course, her reign.
CW: Is pageantry something you have been interested in for a long time?
JA: Well, I entered Our Little Miss and went overseas and won third place for Most Talented when I was 10 or 11. My aunt Miriam Anglin and my father, James Anglin, my managers, entered me in that to promote me for my singing.
It wasn’t necessarily pageantry that I wanted to do but Miss Teen is a big thing down here and with my singing I had to make a sacrifice with my social life; I couldn’t really go out as much and I didn’t get to do a lot of things, so I saw this as a way to make new friends and expose myself to the stuff that I missed out on, and it did exactly that.
CW: Was it quite a time commitment this summer, preparing for Miss Teen?
JA: Oh yeah, definitely, because we had practice every day from 5.30pm to 8pm, except for the weekends. We also had to go looking for our clothes. We went away to get some clothes, which was fun, shopping!
CW: Which of the other 11 contestants were you closest to?
JA: We talked to everyone but probably contestant number five, Kimberley Bush. We would be smiling at each other on stage, trying to make one another laugh. It was not competitive, it was very supportive, all of us would ask each other questions and give each other advice.
CW: Did you get a chance to talk much to Jamie, last year’s Miss Teen?
JA: Yes, she came to a lot of the practices and gave us a lot of advice.
CW: On the day of the pageant, how did you feel the morning interview went?
JA: Before the interview, I was basically nervous, as usual, but then what I realised is that they just want to know who you are, so it’s nothing to stress yourself out about; just be yourself. So I went in and basically thought that and it was fine.
CW: By the time the announcement was made were you feeling confident that you had won?
JA: When I answered my question was when I became confident like, you know what, I got this, I’m going to win. But then we’re all up there, it’s 12 beautiful ladies, I’m sure we’re all confident we’re going to win and as soon as they’re getting ready to announce the winner you never know who’s going to get it, so I’m sure we all have that little insecurity at that point in time.
I was like, ‘Okay just breathe!’. Some of my friends said they saw me breathing very hard and I reminded myself to just breathe and then they called my name.
CW: Do you want to enter Miss Cayman?
JA: It depends on whether I become a professional music artist before that. I definitely do want to become Miss Cayman because I always wanted to fulfil my dream of being the first Miss Cayman to make it to the top of Miss Universe – make it at least to the top 10 or even win it – but it depends what happens before that.
CW: Do you have a platform as Miss Teen that you support?
JA: I definitely want to focus on the artistic development of Cayman’s youth, but there are a lot of other things – all the teenage pregnancies, I have a lot of friends getting pregnant, and drugs…any little thing that I can tackle.
CW: Do you know when the craziness begins?
JA: Well, the head [of the pageant] was like, congratulations! You have to be on Daybreak tomorrow, and X107.1 the next day, so I was like, here we go…
CW: You must be used to being onstage from your performing. Is this different?
JA: Yeah, a lot of people are like ‘aah, you’re used to it’. But it’s totally different; singing and pageantry are very different. In the pageant you have to do modelling, walking, connect with the judges, the questions part – I don’t have to deal with any of that with my singing. But [my singing experience] also gave me that self-confidence in that area that I needed.
CW: How did you feel about your singing performance in the talent part of the pageant?
JA: I was very happy with my performance. That part wasn’t nerve-racking at all.
CC: Why did you choose the song Listen by Beyoncé to perform at the pageant?
JA: When I first heard the song – because I’ve been wanting to enter Miss Teen from a long time ago – I fell in love with it and basically felt it can connect with women who have been manipulated and abused and who are finding their own selves, their own voices, and I have a lot of friends like that. It touched my heart, and I knew that was the song I wanted to sing for Miss Teen.
CW: You won a one-song recording contract at the Beenie Man concert. Have you had a chance to record your song?
JA: No, because I entered Miss Teen. I released my first single and it was out all over Cayman and everyone loved it, but then I disappeared, and you don’t want to keep doing that, making a song but then something else keeping me busy, so with my senior year and Miss Teen I am going to wait till I graduate.
CW: What are your favourite subjects academically?
JA: I love band and choir. I liked Accounting, which was the class I looked forward to the most. Now I am a senior the class I look forward to the most is advanced computers.
CW: Have you started looking at colleges yet?
JA: I’m looking right now, definitely looking for musical colleges. What comes with the Miss Teen prize is a scholarship but it’s for UCCI, and they don’t offer Music Business, which I want to study. So I’m going to try to talk to Mr. Rolston [Anglin] about that.
CW: Do you know of any colleges who have a good reputation for music programmes?
JA: University of Miami does, Julliard … I’ll definitely visit the campuses, but I didn’t want to go anywhere too close to Cayman.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS
CW: What did your friends think of you entering Miss Teen?
JA: Oh, they were excited. They were all really supporting me. They all came over to my house and we did like a mock pageant so they were the judges and I would sit down and they questioned me, pretending I was onstage.
CW: Are any of your friends involved in singing or pageantry themselves?
JA: Not pageantry, no. My best friend Lloyd Barker got involved in singing; I kind of influenced him to try it and he’s been doing it for three years.
CW: Are any of your family members musical?
JA: My older brother plays the drums and he raps, and he plays keyboard so at the beginning it was between me and him – he would rap and I would sing. My sister, no, she’s more into drawing and art. My younger brother, he’s a copycat, now he’s trying to sing, he’s taking singing lessons. He’s getting there; he performed for the first time at the Talent Xposition of the Arts with me.
CW: Is it your parents who have passed down the music gene?
JA: I think it’s from my father’s side – neither of my parents can sing at all, but my dad deejays.
CW: Do you have a game plan in mind for your singing?
JA: Well, my dad has plans – he’s trying to open a music school that he’s building right now that he has a lot of music teachers for. One of them used to work here (at Triple C) has a lot of connections, so she’s going to train me and then when she thinks I’m ready she’s going to introduce me to some people.
CW: Do you think that music has given you the confidence that some teenagers lack?
JA: I think – I’m not going to lie, I’m not confident in myself at all – but I think what kept me on a straight path is that I had a lot of people looking up to me and watching me, so I didn’t want to let anyone down. People I didn’t even know would come up to me and say ‘I respect you’.