by Donella Hosten
It was an evening of beauty and elegance as 9 ladies from around the Caribbean and Latin America graced the stage to compete for the 2017 Miss Caribbean United Pageant on Saturday, 29 April, 2017 at the Grenada Trade Centre.
Samantha Francis, who represented Grenada in the regional competition took the top spot with 588 points. She also won 3 other categories — Best Swimwear, Best Evening Wear and Best Talent. Following Francis with 557 points was Miss Trinidad & Tobago, Djennicia Francis, who also took the top spot for the Best Interview. Miss St Kitts, Shantara Hewlett placed third with 520 points, while her neighbouring islander who represented Nevis, Xarriah Browne, took the title of Miss Congeniality.
The 2017 Miss Caribbean United winner, Samantha Francis said she has been training for this competition for just about 3 months and she is thankful for everyone who gave her the support and encouraged her to be there.
The newly crowned Queen was notably excited and ecstatic with her win. “I really wanted to make sure that I represented my country to its very best.” During the show, she mentioned she had a lot going on with her at the time, as she was preparing for upcoming exams. She stated that the competition was not about her, but it was about her country.
When asked which of the categories she enjoyed the most, Samantha selected the Talent category, which she said was “out of the box” for her, but was encouraged and pushed to do something different. Her animated “Macko News” talent got positive reactions from the crowd and judges. Although not sure of what will be next for her in terms of pageantry, Samantha said she would represent Grenada as “far as they let me.”
Second runner up, Miss Trinidad & Tobago, Djennicia Francis, who performed incredibly well, said she was happy to be a part of the competition as all the contestants made her feel like they were a family. “I feel as though I did a fantastic job and I am exceptionally proud of myself.”
The countries represented were St Vincent & the Grenadines, St Lucia, Margarita, Venezuela, Barbados, St Kitts, Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada.