Last night I attended the Miss Bahamas Universe and it was one of the most exciting pageants I’ve attended ever! Reason being, I had three beauties who I knew very well and was torn as to which one I should pull for hardest. I was asked on several occasion, ‘Who are you pulling for?’
Tomii Culmer I knew from our second season of Nu Face Model Search where she placed 1st Runner Up. Ominique Burrows I’d first worked with at Islands of The World Fashion Week and I can still recall the shoot she did with Lyndah Wells for our magazine. Last but not least, Rokara Hepburn who was our last Nu Face Model Search winner as well as cover girl! So yes, my heart was doing any little dances throughout the pageant.
All these young ladies were spectacular on stage, and they were the Top 3 finishers (proud mama bear J). As pageants go, we went through swimsuit, evening wear and of course the questions. I did tear up when I heard Rokara’s emotional answer to the last question. The question asked about inspiring the youths of our nation and Rokara talked about her poor childhood and some personal dramas and said she would use her story as an example to inspire youths.
This was my most exciting pageant ever! I got to see first hand how these ladies had grown and matured. It was great to hang out with old friends and meet a few new ones. Congratulations to ALL my girls, you made me proud!
* List of Judges: Grace Fontecha, Walter Greene, Zuri McDaniels, Ty Jonnston, Nicole Murphy, Carole I. Barnett, Braneka Bassett.
Nu Woman did a post interview with Celeste Marshall on the heel of her trip to the Miss Universe at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. We caught up with her again on her return from the competition and in the middle of our Spring cover shoot, where she is the featured model.
NW: What has it been like since you got back?
Celeste: Ummm, it’s actually been pretty slow. I haven’t been as much things as I did before Miss Universe. Now I think I’m on sort of a mini vacation, but I’m getting started again.
NW: So now what you are focusing on now?
Celeste: Now I’m focusing on my platform, getting into the schools and keeping up with the Diabetes association, helping out at various support groups.
NW: So tell me a little about the Top Model competition that’s comingup?
Celeste: It is something I’m really excited about. I’ve been excited about it for a while. It’s going to be in Egypt. I leave on March 15th, and I spend two weeks there.
NW: So tell us how this came about?
Celeste: Well, there was a Top Model competition in Miss Bahamas and in winning that competition you advance to the Top Model of the World competition. So in winning The Miss Bahamas Top Model, I advanced.
NW: We are wishing you all the best in that.
Celeste: Thank you.
NW: Are you making any special preparations for this?
Celeste: No, I think it’s pretty straightforward. They focus more on the runway part of it as opposed to pageantry, but you still have to be prepared for everything. But, I think this will be pretty easy for me as I’ve been modeling a long time, so I hope it’s a breeze.
NW: How are you feeling about the upcoming cover?
Celeste: I am excited.
NW: What’s your concept of the cover?
Celeste: What’s my concept? Well, so far I’ve gotten Spring; I’ve gotten bright colours, excitement. Something that’s urban. I’m excited about it.
NW: With your trip to Top Model drawing closer, how are you feeling? Nervous?
Celeste: Surprisingly no, I’m not nervous. I am excited and anxious to get there but no I’m not nervous as yet.
NW: Do you think that the Miss Universe experience added to your preparations for this upcoming event?
Celeste: Yes I do think it has added tremendously. The experience at Miss Universe I feel, has prepared me for this journey in all aspects. In terms of what to expect at the competition, consistency and remaining well ground in what I was taught.
NW: What was the best part of the Miss Universe experience at Planet Hollywood? The worst?
Celeste: Wow there were so many memories made at Miss Universe but I think the best part had to have been getting to know so many other women, taking in the fact that there are so many people that are just like you but completely different in their own way. Just being in that atmosphere is said to be chaos but, I feel as if it was the best because we all understood each other because we all had something in common. The worst, honestly I had no bad experiences there.
NW: What has been your most valuable lesson/s in the last year?
Celeste: My most valuable lesson I’ve learnt has to be hard work pays off, and the minute it pays off, even when you feel like you are at your last do not give up.
NW: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Celeste: In 5 years i see myself with my bachelors degree in science, modeling for the biggest names in the industry.
NW: Are there any ‘barriers that you think you have broken’ in terms of how ‘beauty queens’ are perceived? Or any barriers in general?
Celeste: Yes, the one barrier I feel I’ve broken is the fact that I am down to earth and relatable. Most beauty queens are perceived to be perfect in the publics eye, non approachable or pretenders. Myself, I’ve let people know, understand and see that I am a real person with real feelings, I’ve allowed people see that I am understandable and I can relate to a real situation. I’ve gotten people to understand that I am a warm, loving and joyful person “in real life”. I am happy and smiling all the time because that my “real personality” and I want people to accept me for who I truly am, and not what I am perceived to be.
On the release of this issue we discovered that Celeste had never made the trip to Egypt to the Top Model competition. Nu Woman made contact with her mother Lavette to find out the details of what happened. Lavette voiced her disappointment and said that the franchise had contacted Michelle Malcolm two days before they were set to leave the Bahamas to inform them that the competition was no longer available to the Bahamas.
Nu Woman also presented some question to Celeste to get her feedback on this.
NW: You never made it to the competition. What happened with the Top Model Franchise?
Celeste: Unfortunately, no I was unable to attend the Top Model of the World 2013 competition. Truly I am uncertain as to the status of the franchise. The Miss Bahamas Organization had informed my team only days before my departure that I would not be attending.
We were told that World Beauty Organization, the owners of the Top Model of the World Competition, advised them that the competition was no longer available to this country. That is the extent of the information that has been passed on to us.
NW: How did you feel as a result of this? Will this deter you any?
Celeste: This news was devastating for me. Top Model was one of the main reasons I entered the Miss Bahamas competition. This competition was supposed to be one of the important steps I take in advancing my modeling career as well as branching my image. I am saddened and seek further clarification, but I am maintaining focus.
Definitely not. I am not that easily deterred. Modeling is a very important focus in the packaging of my career. I would not give up until my ultimate goal is realized. My dream is to one day strut the runway with those glamorous ladies adorned with the Wings of Victoria Secrets and trust me, I am working and will continue to work to that goal.
To read the complete Spring 2013 edition, check us out on issuu.com. Click on the link below –