After captivating both the audience and the adjudicators with their talents, Yohance Smith and Anondah Hodge were last night crowned Mr and Miss Junior British Virgin Islands (BVI) 2017.
Smith, who admitted that he initially had no interest in the pageant, bested his sole competitor Shamoy Davis in all categories to take home the crown.
“The feeling that I am going through right now is: ‘this is unbelievable’. I would never think that I would have gotten every segment. But I did what I had to do – came out, performed, and then I reaped the benefits,” a beaming Smith told journalists after his victory was announced at the Sir Rupert Briecliffe Hall in Road Town.
The 21-year-old was awarded Most Photogenic, Mr Popularity, Most Poised, Best Swimwear, Best Black and White Attire, Best Evening Wear, and Best Intellect. He was also awarded for Best Talent regarding his stellar saxophone, piano, and vocal abilities.
During his talent exhibition, Smith lamented the homicides that happened in the territory this year.
He started his performance by using his saxophone to blow the Christian hymn, Amazing Grace. The jazzy melancholia was enough to bring audience members to tears and awe.
Smith then skipped to the piano, which he played while he effortlessly sang ‘Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday’ by RnB group Boys II Men.
“I focused on the deaths of the young men due to crime in the BVI – which is a soft spot for me because one of those people that were lost was my actual friend, and a friend of my sister and my mom. It really touched my heart; so I wanted to make a tribute to him tonight,” Smith explained.
Youth empowerment group
Smith, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, said he will use his crown and skills to make positive contributions to the territory.
“I’m not gonna be one of the persons just sitting around not doing anything with the title. I’m gonna use it for the betterment of my community… I want to better District 3 [where I reside] – along with the entire BVI.”
In the meantime, the winner of the female version of the competition, Hodge, also hopes to use her victory to help elevate the community.
“Throughout my reign, I will partner with Mr Jr BVI, and I think we will form a youth empowerment group for young people – young girls and young men – to show them to never limit themselves, and to always go above and beyond.”
The 18-year-old royalty took home the crown and title of Miss Junior BVI last evening by copping six of the nine sectional awards.
Hodge won Most Photogenic, Miss Popularity, Most Poised, Best Swim Wear, Best Intellect, and Best Talent.
Like, Smith, Hodge performed a talent piece that struck close to home for her.
She did a poem detailing real-life experiences she has had while dealing with the separation of her parents.
“I entered this pageant to build my self-confidence as I am being torn between the love of a mother and father. To see the outcome of tonight, I am really overwhelmed and proud of myself,” said Hodge, who will enter Grade 12 at Elmore Stout High School in September.
She expressed elation at her victory, but paused to send a word of encouragement to other youngsters in the community. “The advice to other young persons is to always follow their dreams and it will be successful. Don’t ever limit yourself,” she said.
Meanwhile, Khadija Liburd, who was dubbed Miss Congeniality, won second place in the female competition. Other contestants who contributed to an entertaining pageant were Rosa Industrious and Kenya Matthews.
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