Yadali Thomas Santos – the 21-year-old who put on a manifestly dominating performance during Saturday’s Miss World BVI pageant – almost never became queen.
Overcome with angst, the BVI beauty had decided to drop out of competition several hours before the live finals, she told BVI News.
“I was so nervous, I couldn’t eat,” said Santos who doughtily willed herself through the rounds of the pageant.
“When the show started, there was no turning back [and] getting through segment was like a breath of fresh air. Now finding out that I won – I can’t believe I wanted to quit.”
Santos said the pageant felt particularly nerve-racking because she had entered the competition once before but was not successful.
“There is pressure behind the fact that this is my second time and people have their own expectations, but it’s not about the expectations, it’s about conquering – conquering your own fears and, thanks to my team, I did it.”
Though struggling with her anxiety on the evening of the pageant, there was no such evidence seen whenever she graced the stage to participate.
Her poise coupled with talent and intellectual ability landed her the majority of some 11 sectional prizes in the contest.
She won the ‘best talent’ segment; during which she did a combination of an impactful spoken-word act and what could be described as a skillful rendition of her playing the flute.
She also took home other prizes such as Best Cultural Dress/Dance, Miss Photogenic, Miss People’s Choice, Best Eveningwear, Miss Intellect, and the Beauty With A Purpose award.
“The courage and the strength that I found about myself is what I’m really most proud of,” she said after the victory, which has been described as well-deserved.
Santos will move on to represent the territory at the 2018 Miss World final scheduled for December 8 in China.
Below are highlights of the Saturday’s pageant which included two other contestants – Anika Christopher and Aaliyah Inniss. Inniss copped sectional prizes such as Miss Congeniality and Miss Sports Fitness while Christopher won the Best Interview award.