Dongo and Trotman top speech and cultural wear competition

POSTED: 04/18/11 5:03 PM

COLE BAY/St. Maarten- It was a night of show and tell when the St Maarten Carnival Development Foundation staged its Senior Queen Speech & Cultural Wear competition at Carl & Sons Unique Inn on Saturday.

While the speeches were different, all contestants wore outfits that clearly depicted the national colors of St Maarten. After the scores were tallied, Luduska Dongo won the prize for the best speech; the prize for the best outfit went to Trumane Trotman.

The initiative by the SCDF to do the pre judging in the two categories ahead of the Senior Queen pageant will certainly save time and last Saturday’s performances can be viewed as a preview of forthcoming attractions.

Each category had its own panel of judges who were looking for specifics, like the manner in which the speeches were presented, clarity, use of stage, and response from the audience.  Luduska, the popular television news caster on AVS News used her profession to her advantage to outscore her opponents.

But in the Cultural Wear segment, the top spot could have gone anywhere and there were many notable pieces which could have easily fallen in the categories of exotic, artistic or creative. Ironically, Trotman was the only contestant that did not have her head completely covered.  But she did have a flag of St Maarten hanging from a white rose which was situated just above her right ear.

In her speech, her emphasis was on Country St Maarten achieving separate status on 10/10/10 and that was further illustrated on the dress she wore which had four rows of red, three rows of white and three rows of blue which formed concentric circles and helped to accentuate her shape.

However, it was clear from the reactions in the audience that Onella Weeks, the #9 contestant would have won the best cultural wear prize. Weeks was the only contestant to display all of St Maarten’s national symbols.

An illustration of the Court House, the flamboyant tree and yellow sage in a basket complimented the head piece and in her hand was a replica of the brown pelican. Davinia Brooks who designed her own outfit was also a crowd pleaser and favorite.

But this is just the first round and while Dongo and Trotman will have the points advantage going into the final show, the other contestants, Khalila Warno, Glenicia Mitchell, Chalmarie Vlaun, Larisa Theodore and Shanay Andrews can still pull something out of the bag.

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