Monday, July 18, 2011

MBGN 2011: My Report

It's happened for sometime now and I did this report then but forgot to put it up until now. Sorry about the lateness, but still read through and drop a comment.
The 24th edition of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) beauty pageant held at the Expo Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Saturday, June 25, 2011. It was contested between 34 beauties from 33 states of the country and the Federal Capital, Territory, Abuja. More than 20 of them, including the FCT delegate, were of Igbo extraction and there are just five core Igbo states in the country.

Continue after the jump..

The event started at some minutes past 8pm with a traditional display by the girls who were dressed in the traditional garbs of their various states. Then the hosts, former Big Brother Nigeria presenter, Michelle Dede, and Chris Okenwa of Silverbird’s Rhythm 94.7, Abuja were introduced to formally kickoff the show.

Wande Coal was the first act of the night and he came onstage with eight of the girls at first before others joined for the choreography of ‘Who Born The Maga’ and ‘So Pe Tie.’ It was a very nice performance by Wande and the girls whose routine included clustering around him to the admiration and envy of the men of the audience. The girls later exit for Wande to continue alone.

*A trailer of the contestants during their camping was then beamed to the audience.

Obviously one of the most anticipated appearances in any form of pageantry and specially cherished by men all over the world, this did not disappoint. The girls came out clad some of the flimsiest pieces of adornment permitted by the swim wear genre and they were really a sight for sore eyes. Four loincloth clad bouncers stood on guard as the various sexy female shapes strutted their stuff round the stage to the cheers of the excited audience.

*Sage Hanson, the Spoken Word poet took the stage next.

The judges who had been seated all along on the front row of the hall were introduced at this point. They were Nollywood actress, Susan Peters, Bankole Animashaun of Classic Beverages, Prince Tonye Princewill Harry of RiverDrill, Nike Adegoke of Lufthansa, George Uboh of Panic Alert Security Systems, Miss Caline Chargoury of Eko Hotel and Suites, Femi Solepo of Notore Power Limited, and Guy Murray-Bruce of Silverbird. Genevieve Nnaji who was also listed as a judge was not present.

The cosmetic company who were among the sponsors of the pageant, had their own special segment. Here the beauties appeared in different ensembles for the Select Pro Fashion parade. It was themed CATWALK FOR A CAUSE and one of the MBGN models was to be selected as the new face of Select Pro for the next year. Ndu Gabriella who represented Abia state won the crown and among her rewards would be a full package of Select Pro cosmetics for the duration of her term as the Face of Select Pro.
*Lynxxx performed next.

The hosts revealed that the contestants would be brought back on stage for one last time before they are whittled down to 15. They were to be announced in alphabetical order but Miss Adamawa came on before Miss Abuja after Miss Abia had opened the floor. Then awards were presented to those deserving it and other sub-queens were crowned. Tobi Banjoko of Ondo State was awarded Miss Photogenic; Delphine Okobah of Ebonyi State was crowned Miss Amity (Award for the most amiable and friendly among them); the girl with the Best Traditional Costume was Sylvia Nduka of Taraba State; the MBGN Model was Oluchi Okafor of Kogi State; and Miss La Casera was given to Nwando Ebeledike of Adamawa State.

*The outgoing Miss La Casera, Shalom Obi, came up and gave a speech of her journey during her tenure as the representative of the beverage in the past year and then handed over to the new Miss La Casera.

10:10 Singer, Waje, who has shed a considerable amount of weight draws the crowd into raptures with the delivery of a couple of her songs.

After having already announced that the previous outing was the last of the 34 contestants together, the hosts announced that this would be the actual last time they would be together. And in no particular order the beauty delegates of Bayelsa (Gemal Sophie), Gombe (Jennifer Uju Igwebe), Ogun (Ige Temitope Grace), Lagos (Ndam Grace Sumuko), Ebonyi (Delphine Okobah), Enugu (Obioma Isiwu), Osun (Metu Kelechi), Taraba (Sylvia Nduka), Kano (Enebeli Deborah Onyeka), Katsina (Kene Offiah), Ondo (Tobi Banjoko), Delta (Chidebe Joyce Ngozi), Anambra (Ify Jewara Nledo)… and … were pronounced the final 15. Others left the stage for the final time.

*Praiz Adejo, Runner-Up at the first MTN Project Fame West Africa in Nigeria, was invited to come serenade the ladies and he did a wonderful job of it to the approval of the audience.

The final 15 were once again to be pruned down to five and Miss Lagos, Gombe, Enugu, Taraba and Bayelsa were selected and the other ten made their own final bows off the stage.
Questions follow. Miss Taraba went first. She was asked what being the MBGN for 2011 would mean to her and her nerves got the better of her. After taking off wrongly and getting the crowd on her back, she finally settled for “Confidence, Poise and Elegance” as the definition of the MGBN 2011 to her. The audience had been roaring their disapproval all along.
In a glaring opposite of what had just transpired, Miss Bayelsa took her own questions calmly by stating the three things she would do after winning the MBGN crown, the first of which was to thank God.
Miss Enugu who delivered another composed performance cited her mom as her heroine, mentor and support.
Miss Lagos has had the crowd behind her all along and they barely allowed her answer her questions which she also did in a very commendable manner.
The lady from Gombe grabbed Michelle Dede’s hand along with the microphone in her bid to answer her own questions. Her question was what she would do if she were to be the president of the country for one day and her answers weren’t still coherent enough.

The outgoing queen, Fiona Amuzie then took the stage to deliver her valedictory speech. The speech was pre-recorded and she simply strutted the stage to its tune. Her speech included her major experiences in the past year as the MBGN. Among them were, dancing on the same stage with President and First Lady of the country; receiving a Peace Ambassador award from the Traditional Ruler of her town; receiving the Young Achievers’ Award from her governor and representing Nigeria at the Miss World competition in China, among others.

She also mentioned her pet projects, a non-profit organization known as FOTIP (Fiona Amuzie Organisation against Trafficking in Persons and Child Labour; the help she has received from WOTCLEF and NAPTIP among others. Then her gratitude went to her family, the Silverbird Group, especially Guy Murray-Bruce, Subaru who provided her prize car, Eko Hotels and her family.

*Dr. Sid performs after Fiona’s speech.

Having seen the Last Five, the audience seemed to have realized that any of the beauties could have become the queen. But the Question and Answer section showed them the final three as based on the performances, the three with the better brains seemed to be obvious to all present and those watching the live telecast at home.

To moderate this final lap of the show, the MBGN choreographer and producer, Juliette Hagerman; Nike Adegoke of Lufthansa; outgoing Queen, Fiona Amuzie and Guy Murray-Bruce of Silverbird were invited to the stage.

Miss Gombe’s announcement as the 4th Runner-Up went without much notice. It was the announcement of the crowd favourite Miss Lagos as the 3rd Runner-Up that brought in the tension in the house. Miss Enugu’s 2nd Runner-Up status raised it a notch higher as it now became a head to head between the Taraba and Bayelsa delegates.

With Miss Taraba’s fumbling of her questions still fresh in the mind of the hall, they noticeably concluded that the crown was going to Miss Bayelsa who was flawless in her answers, but it was not to be as a half-shocked Guy Murray-Bruce pronounced Miss Taraba as the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria for the 2011 season.

If the event had taken place in a venue of less prestige than the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, there would have been mayhem. Visibly angry audience members openly screamed their disapproval at the organizers and the hurled accusations of conspiracy at them. Most immediately left the hall while others stayed back watching the stage with disappointment as it expecting to see a rerun of the show. The after-party took place at Chrome Nightclub (formerly Tribeca), located just across the road.
She's the Queen, so I posed with her!
And with Miss Photogenic too! 

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