ALL eyes were on Queen Chancy Fontenelle as she walked away from Saturday’s annual Carnival Queen Pageant with the crown in what will go down as a show to remember.
This year’s event, which saw eight young ladies vying for the title of Miss Carnival Queen, definitely did not disappoint as it brought all the flair, grace and, of course, drama that many have come to expect and love about the island’s biggest pageant.
Hitting the stage hoping to walk away with the crown were Shannon Preville – Miss Piton, Chancy Fontenelle – Miss HTS/Helen 100, Shanice Edward – Miss Choice TV, Edel William – Miss Crystal Clear, Claire Marissa Smartt – Miss Massy Stores, Jozel Cooper – Miss Pierre Marcel, Nicola Fanus – Miss Bounty Rum and Lisa Marie Faustin – Miss Vybe Radio.
Smartt placed first runner-up, Faustin second runner-up and Cooper third runner-up.
The contestants brought their A-game to the competition as they danced, sang, acted and walked their hearts out live to the world watching the show online and on Choice Television.
The crowd at the National Cultural Centre was so packed that hundreds of patrons were left with no choice but to sit on the stairway of the seating towards the back of the structure, stand up or sit on the chairs provided outside so that they could watch the show on a big screen.
The event kicked off with flair of colour and dance, followed by the swimwear category, in which contestants modelled personalised swimsuits created by local designer Rafferty Intimates. Smartt eventually won “Best In Swimwear”.
The second segment, talent, saw the brave eight put on a show that sent the audience on a journey — making them dance, sing, laugh and cry.
Some of the most-talked-about performances included Preville’s skit highlighting the worrying issue of suicide, in which she brought a victim back to life after letting him know that he is valuable and that his life matters.
Edward’s skit was about female empowerment and their right to dress however they pleased without asking to be victims of rape and violence.
Smartt did an emotional dance to the song, “I Was Here”, as a tribute to two teenagers who lost their lives in a tragic vehicular collision earlier this year.
One of the two most notable performances came from Faustin – who performed a comedy skit as an air hostess on the fictional “St. Lucia Airlines”. In the skit, Faustin informed passengers of the new St. Lucia in the year 2045, highlighting ways in which the island would have changed after being sold off to foreign investors.
The other notable performance was that of Fontenelle, who delivered a triple threat performance highlighting the issues of cancer. During the performance, Fontenelle acted, sang and performed a tear-jerking dance which received a standing ovation from the audience.
The performance also included a video message from local producer/singer/songwriter Francis De Lima, who was recently thrusted in the headlines after he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. The moving performance earned Fontenelle “Best Talent”.
Following the talent segment was the show of carnival costumes, which featured a variety of colourful and innovative designs. Some of those included Edward’s Soleil; Smartt’s Memoir, which was a tribute to the two fallen teens mentioned earlier; William’s Water Goddess, who championed through a costume malfunction; and Jozel Cooper’s winning costume, Behind The Mask, which brought the St. Lucian to life with a magnificent “Pye Banan” costume that was definitely a crowd-pleaser and clear category winner.
Then came the most anticipated segment — evening wear, followed by the interviews.
While the evening wear wowed audiences and left Faustin as the clear winner with her dress created by Cherry Ann Gaillard-Williams, the interview segment undoubtedly left a bad taste in the mouths of the audience, many of whom felt that the questions asked were sub-par for the competition.
Faustin walked away the winner of this category with her response to the question on the relevance of social work.
As the show went on, perhaps one of the biggest talking points on the entire event was Faustin’s reaction after she was announced the second runner-up.
The contestant pouted, rolled her eyes, and mouthed the words, “I am so p***ed off” while being sashed and her mocking scoff of the winner Fontenelle while being crowned was seen as anything but queen-like by the audience, many of whom wasted no time calling her out for her behaviour.
Many patrons voiced their disappointment at Faustin’s behaviour on social media even before the event was finished with the main sentiment being that with such behaviour, the judges made the right decision in not choosing her to represent the island.
The VOICE spoke to the newly-crowned queen to hear how she felt about her big and important win.
Fontenelle said: “I feel like all my hard work paid off. However, I just felt like it was almost impossible to win it because it was such a big competition and all the girls were fabulous. I felt like if I were a judge, then I would just put a crown on every single one of their heads, to be honest.”
She continued: “(We) worked really hard and competition was really stiff. Honestly, before I was crowned queen, I still didn’t think that I would win.”
A still shocked and humbled Fontenelle expressed gratitude to her team who helped her with every aspect, including facial expression, speech, wardrobe and all-round support from especially her mother whom, she said, has supported her from day one.
Two other noted category winners were Shannon Preville, who won Miss Photogenic and Jozel Cooper, who won Miss Congeniality.