The website for Miss World Cayman Islands opened Saturday, kicking off recruitment for Cayman’s first privately staged Miss World competition as contestants vie for a chance to attend the global finals in China.
Pageant organizer and director of the Miss World Cayman Islands Committee Pamela Ebanks-Small called for community support for the Cayman contestants in both the local and international pageants, as she and her board race to recruit and train women for the Sept. 8 selection of Miss World Cayman Islands.
Organizers have not yet named the host city for the 2018 Miss World pageant, promising an announcement soon, according to the press release. Last year’s competition was in the international tourist destination of Sanya, in southern China’s Hainan Island province.
“This is our first year and preparing for the first pageant is a lot of work – forms, legal documents, preparations,” Ms. Ebanks-Small said.
Recruitment started on Saturday, March 31, as the organizing committee uploaded its new www.missworldcayman.com website, featuring last year’s winner Kristin Amaya and calling on women between the ages of 18 and 25, Caymanian by birth or status, never married and without children, to apply.
For years, the Cayman Island’s government held both the Miss World and Miss Universe franchises, but in 2016, for reasons of finance, decided to drop the former, although retaining the latter.
In September 2017, Ms. Ebanks-Small topped public bidding for the Miss World franchise, and gained permission from the Miss Cayman Islands Committee to name second-place finisher Ms. Amaya to the Miss World finals in China.
Ms. Ebanks-Small – a 1992 Miss Cayman and participant at the South African finals that year, and a 1993 contestant at Mexico City’s Miss Universe pageant – said she expects applications for the Cayman pageant to come from all sectors of the community.
“Some people just apply and some we encourage,” she said.
Applications close on May 1, with selections made in April and May.
“If I can get five girls or six girls, I’ll be happy,” Ms. Ebanks-Small said, though she hopes for more.
This year’s pageant, she said, “will be a little different,” as the London owners have asked each jurisdiction to choose a theme, based around the message “beauty with a purpose.”
“We have a sort of platform. That ‘beauty with a purpose’ is the charity leg at Miss World, and ours will be the environment. Some people do hospitals, some do schools, and we feel the environment in its various forms is important, ridding the oceans of plastic, protecting coral reefs.”
Even the Sept. 8 Lions Centre finals will be built around the theme: “No plastics, no straws,” with carefully vetted food vendors, renewable decorations and plants.
Each contestant must submit a one-minute video, Ms. Ebanks-Small said, detailing what the environment theme means to them.
Other features will include a judges’ interview, an opening number and introduction, a “Top Model” and evening gown segment and a question-and-answer sequence. The sports segment is likely to occur the week prior to September’s finals.
Another feature will be the first “girl power” outreach to young women shy of the 18-year-old minimum age for Miss World entry, but who seek to train, boosting their chances for future acceptance.
“They would be between the ages of 15 and 18,” Ms. Ebanks-Small said. “We will mentor and train them to become better girls,” poised, confident and articulate, “so they may enter at age 18 or 19 and they’ll be ready.”
Meanwhile, government is scrutinizing local applicants now for the Miss Universe competition, and will select the winner in August, sending her to the December 2018 Miss Universe finals in the Philippines.