Tuesday, November 10th 2009
LaToya Woods, the 24-year-old Point Lisas beauty queen who will represent Trinidad and Tobago at the 59th Annual Miss Universe pageant next year, said yesterday she is determined to do everything to ensure the country is ’well represented’ at the event.
’I am going to make sure I represent Trinidad and Tobago and make people forget that there wasn’t anybody to represent this year. I am going to do my very best,’ Woods told the Express moments after she was crowned the new Miss T&T/Universe delegate at the finals on Sunday night at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad hotel in Port of Spain and broadcast live on CCN TV6.
This country did not participate in the 2009 Miss Universe competition held at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas in August.
Local pageant organisers complained there was a lack of local financial support to prepare a candidate for the contest.
Woods said she hoped to make up for the country’s absence at the 2009 pageant and was confident that she would do a good job to promote T&T.
No stranger to the modelling and fashion world, Woods beat seven contestants to walk away with the crown.
Woods was also awarded a special prize having also captured the ’Model of the year’ title.
Adrian Raymond, director of Delegate Development, announced that Woods would be the recipient of just under $150,000 in sponsored prizes for winning the competition.
Anya Ayoung-Chee, who represented the country at the 2008 Miss Universe pageant in Vietnam, was not on hand to hand over the crown.
Instead it was former delegate and style director of the local pageant company, Leah Mari Guevara-Bernard who presented Woods with the crown.
Raymond said in a later interview with the Express that Ayoung-Chee was unable to attend the show. But a number of the other former T&T delegates among them, Kenisha Thom-Selvon, and Valene Maharaj turned out to lend support to the new delegates. Athlete Danille Prime of Santa Cruz, one of the crowd favourites, also made an impression on the judges and was announced the first runner-up in the competition, while Sarah Radday was announced the second-runner up. More than 60 girls from throughout Trinidad and Tobago auditioned for the competition over a three-week period.