28 junho 2010

Larissa crowned by Miss World

by Alice Mascarenhas
Larissa Dalli was crowned Miss Gibraltar 2010 on Saturday night at the Alameda Open Air Theatre by Miss World 2009 Kaiane Aldorino. The audience was witness to a very special moment as she made history and passed on her Gibraltar Crown, wearing her own Miss World Crown, to Larissa who first entered as a contestant when she was just 17. Five years on she felt mature enough to try again, and could not believe she had indeed struck gold. This 22 year old Fund Administrator, who also took the cup for Miss Catwalk in a dazzling, fast moving show, will reign for the next year and represent Gibraltar at the Miss World Beauty Pageant in Vietnam this year knowing dreams can come true.

 Larissa told a packed theatre whilst holding on to her crown: "This is a most wonderful feeling, I promise to make Gibraltar proud."

Ten young women competed for the title this year, runner up and First Princess was 19 year old Jemma Rocca (contestant No.9), and second Princess was 22 year old Leandra Howe (contestant No.1).

The Gibraltar Chronicle Cup for Miss Best Interview was won by Tina Sawyer (Contestant No. 5), who also took the cup for Miss Photogenic. Miss Friendship chosen by the contestants themselves was won by Contestant No.8. Kaduiska Hollands.

Moments later Miss Gibraltar 2010 told the Chronicle she could not believe she had won and that she was actually sharing the stage with Miss World.

"It is amazing. It's unbelievable. I never ever imagined this would be me. I just have no words."

As she stepped up in front of Miss World Kaiane Aldorino after Culture Minister Edwin Reyes had presented her with her glass trophy and presented her sash, Larissa said she had felt like crying and shouting. With a tear in her eye she added: "Wow, how could I be next to Miss World. If I am lucky I could do well in Miss World as well. Who knows!"

Although the crowning of a new Miss Gibraltar is always the highlight of this annual show, there is no denying that for many the highlight came moments after the interval, when Miss World 2009 Kaiane Aldorino gracefully walked onto the stage to the wonderful sounds of 'One Moment in Time' performed live by Corrine Cooper and the Santos Choir. This whole section was beautifully designed and directed as a video screen showed scenes of her crowning moments; a year ago when she was crowned Miss Gibraltar at the Alameda Open Air Theatre, and then in South Africa in December when she was crowned Miss World, as she narrated her experiences of the last six months as the reigning Miss World, her travels and her charity work around the world. Without a shadow of doubt it proved a proud and emotional moment not just for her but for everyone in the theatre, as the audience rose to its feet, giving her a long five minute standing ovation. Kaiane as always was ready with a message for her fellow Gibraltarians.

"I am feeling great. It's good to be on stage after one year. It's gone by so quickly, and the excitement, and I am home and that's the best part of it," she commented when interviewed by comperes Christian Santos and Davina Barbara.

Acknowledging being crowned Miss World had changed her life in many ways and given her the chance to travel to many countries she had never imagined, met so many people and done amazing charity work, she added: "It has been a amazing year. I have learnt a lot, gained a lot of world knowledge and I feel blessed. It's the opportunity of a lifetime."

But despite all she has done she admitted the best moment was her return home last December days after she was crowned Miss World and the welcomed she received.

"I am travelling a lot and I always tell people what a special place Gibraltar is. I would not live anywhere else, Gibraltar is my home, we are like a big family and the day I came back home was like the perfect demonstration."

This year's judges were a charming Miss England 2009 Katrina Hodge (Combat Barbie), and an equally charming Mr England 2009 Andreas Kattou, TV and Radio personality Vivien Creegor, Director of EM Magazine Ruth Deane, and Miss England Organiser, and back for a second time as the chairman of the judges Angela Beasley.

The show proved a success and celebrated the role of women in society through the musical decades of the sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties, with some colourful, vivid and thrilling dance routines.

With a silver backdrop the opening number celebrated the Modern Divas with dancing from the three main dance groups in the show: Transitions Dance Academy, The Gibraltar Academy of Dance and Urban Dance Group. As the 30 strong troupe of dancers joined together - it was stunning to see so many dancing to the same tune - they tore away at the silver material to reveal the 10 contestants in black outfits with silver headwear, on a raised platform used effectively throughout the night. From this instance the show just got better and better. Each dance group providing just the right element of dance especially in 'The King and Queen of Pop' with an upbeat Michael Jackson (Gibraltar Academy of Dance) and Madonna (Transitions Dance Academy) extravaganza, in a raunchy 'Broken Heels' (Urban Dance Group) accompanying a very competent Tiffany Deriveau, and in the memorable 'Make It Motown' (Gibraltar Academy of Dance) spectacular with some fine singing again from Tiffany, our own Corianne Brooks, and Operacion Triunfo finalist Chipper!

In the evening wear parade the contestants all shone brightly under a warm full moon where it was great to see back on stage Aaron and Gina Caballero, in a very precise and dramatic routine with some amazing lifts.

The show produced by Santos Productions, was pieced together by comperes Christian Santos and Davina Barbara, who kept it flowing fast and furious with some help from last year's contestants 1st Princess Maxine de la Rosa, and 2nd Princess Jordana Lavagna, and Tyrene Navarro, who last year took best interview, and helped with the interview routine. If there is an element of criticism it has to be in the crowning moment… which for the audience and for the new Miss Gibraltar again proved too fast and should be taken slower… maybe the throne should make a reappearance?

Most of the costumed routines including the jacket and tie wear for the bathing suit parade were designed by Dorcas Hammond. The set was minimal and just right with its black and silver staging, with the Alameda once again proving the right setting for what certainly proved to be the show of the year! The event was co-ordinated by the Ministry of Culture.


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