French St. Martin Carnival Queen combines talent and confidence

POSTED: 02/20/12 1:02 PM

St. Martin – An unforgettable talent piece and a confident prepared speech on women in politics secured 784 points for Christiana Denis who became St. Martin’s Senior Carnival Queen. The pageant was held on Friday night after a five year hiatus at the newly constructed carnival village.

From the onset, the stately Denis captured the crowd’s attention for which she received Ms. Popularity. She was also adjudged Ms. Photogenic and was awarded for having the best creative cultural wear as a modern ponnum dancer. In the talent segment, Denis walked away with the top prize performing a calypso called ‘Standup for Ourselves.’ In the song, Denis claimed that foreign nationals are being put in front of local people who are jobless in their own land.  To the enjoyment of the crowd, she sang, “I a St. Maartener, I demand to be treated as such…European in front a we, Jamaican in front a we, Haitian in front we, lawd what is this in me country.”

In the prepared speech on women in politics Denis declared, “Men say politics is a man’s world but it is nothing without a woman’s touch.” She then proceeded to highlight the different achievements of women in politics and encouraged all women to go out and vote in the French elections next month.

Her presentation was flawless but in the question and answer segment, Denis could barely articulate her position. The young woman, who manages her own modeling group, was asked how she promotes her models. She responded: “I promote my models by making events that will promote them. By promoting them standardly, which is on the internet and publicly with my friends. Number two, I think my models should take a stand and go out there theyself. Why? Because we women should take a stand. As young models I think we should take a stand. They should take a stand and push theyself and I would like all the public to support them.”

After this segment, Denis’ confidence visibly fell as she struggled to maintain a smile in her self-designed evening gown. The young entrepreneur knew that in this segment 40 points hung in the balance.

Denis also managed to capture the best carnival costume title although midway through her performance, her costume, ‘Goddess of the Jungle’, started coming apart. The costume made of green, brown and blue feathers and rhinestones, barely survived the round with feathers falling on the stage, exposing the wiring and plastic underneath. In this segment, the judges were on the lookout for design, suitability and finish, originality, stage performance and overall impact.

The judges’ decision ruffled some feathers in the camp of 1st runner up Renilia Rollan whose costume ‘Queen of the Nile’ was being touted as the best. Rollan who aspires to become St. Maarten’s first famous designer was asked what steps she must take to achieve this goal.

“My first step is number one focus. Focus all the way, take classes, keep your head on and don’t let no one bring you down. Once you believe in yourself, have confidence and once you are intelligent, that will overpower them. There is no one and nothing that can stop you,” Rollan said to cheers from the audience.

Rollan’s talent consisted of paying tribute to Whitney Houston in song, singing ‘I never knew my own strength.’ In this segment she struggled to remain on key but redeemed herself in the evening gown sequence for which she got top honors. The gown, a combination of burgundy and baby pink colors sparkled with silver leaves, resembling fine wine.

The position of second runner up went to Virginie Matthew who also received a special prize for selling the most tickets. Matthew’s portfolio indicated that she loves spending quality time with her family. She was asked to define quality time. She responded, “I define quality time as important because families are very important. Especially all, all your family, just to have fun and many more stuff.” At the end of the contest, Matthew appeared most disappointed with the results.

The judging panel consisted of Janice Philips, Audrey Claxton and Josette Charbonnier.

In making her final walk, Senior Carnival Queen 2007, Shanira Richardson aired a recorded speech encouraging her successor to display the traits of a true queen which goes beyond just wearing a crown.  Richardson added that she was honored to wear the crown for five long years, but was hopeful that more young ladies would become involved in pageantry.

Entertainment was also provided by First Step Crew, Paris, Archer, Deondre, Four U and Velace who all serenaded the ladies with original ballads while models tantalized the men in swim wear and lingerie.

Apart from the crown which went to the queen, trophies, floral bouquets, sashes and cash prizes in the amount of $1, 200, $800 and $600 respectively were handed over to all of the contestants.

The pageant initially promoted four contestants but only three showed up for the pageant.

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