Reality show for Miss TT hopefuls
By RACHAEL ESPINET Monday, July 8 2013
TWENTY Miss TT/Universe hopefuls will star in a reality show that gives an in depth look into the pageant experience. “This show is a window into the process that the girls go through. This way we will get more of the country to understand the pageant experience so they can show support for the women and support for the franchise,” said Leah-Mari Guevara, the pageant coordinator.
Speaking yesterday at the Hilton Trinidad, St Ann’s, where casting for the pageant was held, Guevara said the show will track the women’s training process and how they feel about the experience. They will also be put through a series of challenges based on their training. These challenges will lead to elimination rounds.
The reality show is carded to have four to five 30 minute episodes starting from the casting and ending with an hour long episode in September that will select the person who will be chosen to represent Trinidad and Tobago at Miss Universe 2013 in Moscow in November.
The show will air in mid August on a local television station. Due to ongoing negotiations with a broadcast company, the details for when the show will air have not been released. The casting, which was held over the weekend, had approximately 70 hopefuls who just wanted a chance to compete in the Miss Universe competition.
Twenty-five-year-old Cassia Precilla, a marketing manager is a first time hopeful who was encouraged to compete by her mother. However, while talking to the screening panel, she expressed concern about being exposed to the public scrutiny that often follows beauty pageant contestants.
“I think competing makes us (the contestants) vulnerable for criticism. In the past people have torn apart contestants. They are always critical of a girl saying she is too thick, or too thin. They are always commenting on their hair or make-up,” she said.
This fear of public criticism would deter people from competing in Miss TT Universe, but Precilla said anyone who wants to compete must be confident in themselves to be able to stand up against the negative comments towards their appearance.
Precilla told Newsday her source of confidence comes from her family, who supported her with her choice to compete.
“My family is behind me 100 percent. No matter win or lose, they are supporting me. But out of everybody in my family, Daddy is nervous about me competing. He is worried that I would take on everything people say about me. Before I left to come today, he said, ‘Cassia no matter what they say, you are perfect to us’ and that is all I need to hold my head high,” she said.
Another Miss TT Universe hopeful, Tishanna Mitchell, a 19-year-old psychology student, was returning for a second time. The judges instantly remembered her.
When asked why she wasn’t chosen last year Mitchell told Newsday she did not get through to the pageant because she was inexperienced. However, she thinks this year she is ready to compete for the Miss TT Universe crown.
Though getting the chance to fight for the Miss Universe crown is her primary aim, Mitchell thinks the competition will give her a great platform to speak on issues that affect society, particularly the perspectives of beauty and body image on young girls.