Ashley Thomas crowned Miss Jamaica Universe North East
Newly crowned Miss Jamaica Universe North East, Ashley Thomas, with Italee Vinard and Britnay McKenzie, who finished second and third respectively in the pageant at Island Village. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)
Ashley Thomas won Best In Gown, Best Stage Presence and Best Beach Body, a feat that separated her from the rest of the contestants and allowed her to win the Island Village Miss Jamaica Universe North East pageant on Saturday.
Thomas was the only participant in the field of 12 to win more than one sectional prize in the pageant, which saw Italee Vinard and Britnay McKenzie finishing second and third respectively.
The other sectional winners were Lawnda Jackson, Most Aware; Kayneil Wallace, Most Congenial; McKenzie, Miss Social Media; and Monique Grant, Best Smile.
According to Thomas, although she felt confident that she would have won the competition during the evening gown segment, she had some jitters because of the quality of her competitors.
Thomas said, “wow, it is overwhelming, exciting with nerves. Oh My God, a lot of feelings that you can’t explain at once. It is a great feeling overall.
Miss Universe Jamaica North-East 2018
“At one point I was confident. At some points no, because … the other competitors were very strong. They were all confident young ladies and it was a tough competition.
“It was at the evening gown round that I started to believe that I won. I was really feeling myself in that round. I was feeling the essence of the night. I was just feeling calm and relaxed and just enjoying the moment,” Thomas said.
The former Miss Ferncourt High winner is looking forward to representing the North East region at the Miss Jamaica Universe pageant.
Thomas, a Loyalty and Travel Concierge at Beaches Ocho Rios, said, “To represent Jamaica is the ultimate aim that I have and I am going to represent the North East, nevertheless, very confidently and I will do my best, by just merely working hard.”
Miss Jamaica North East’s Production Manager, Ricardo Foreman, said the organisers tried to be different in this the fifth year since they got the franchise. He said they tried to give the event a Las Vegas-style feel and look, which is one of the reasons it was held at Island Village.
According to Foreman, while all the girls this year were energized, determined and focused, the organisers will be working assiduously with Thomas to ensure that she wins the Miss Jamaica Universe crown.
He said the Miss Jamaica North East winners have gradually improved their placing in the Miss Jamaica Universe competition, with last year’s winner Jodian Harper, finishing in the top three.