Okay so 9 p.m. last Monday was a special moment for Trinbagonians and the Caribbean people as the Caribbean's Next Top Model's (CNTM) 23 finalists were introduced to viewers on the show's premiere on TV 6 (for T&T viewers).
For the first few minutes of the show celebrity host and fashion photographer, Pedro Virgil, met with the models after which the competition began. For the first challenge, the models were split into groups and asked by Ernest Massiah, Regional Director for UNAIDS Caribbean to design T-shirts and slogans to address the stigma surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In addition, the models got to do a quick shoot with Virgil wearing their designs. Throughout the shoot some of the contestants, like Sedia (Barbados),
excelled at the task while others were camera shy and a bit uncomfortable in front of the lens.
Following the group challenge, the models were given the chance to convince all of the celebrity judges (Wendy Fitzwilliam, Richard Young and Pedro Virgil) that they had the potential to be the Caribbean's Next Top Model and give a little peak into their personalities.
During this process, viewers were privy to the trials and tribulations some of the contestants endured in order to make it to the show and they got an opportunity to see the models show off their best runway walk.
It was a pleasant surprise indeed to see controversial Miss T&T World representative Athaliah Samuel in the running for CNTM, a few teary eyed accounts and emotional outbursts and a few comical moments which made the judges wonder- this part of the show was a teaser of storylines to come.
As expected, the warning flags of catfights to come were quite noticeable as the 23 beautiful Caribbean women oozed confidence, charisma and competitiveness in the one-on-one interviews during the show.
Host, co-executive producer and chief judge, Fitzwilliam was as classy as ever in the best of threads and did a great job of hosting the models.
Blessed with her distinct signature style, she wasn't merely the Caribbean's Tyra Banks but 100 per cent Wendy and the cast of women was eager to follow her advice and impress her. In the end with an enticing segment of separating sheep from goats with Virgil's photo shoot as the decider, 11 contenders were chosen to continue on in the competition and 12 sent packing. Tears of sorrow ó Juliana (Trinidad) couldn't understand why she was eliminated, Jenelle (Bahamas) was too distraught for words; tears of joy ó Trudy-Lee (Jamaican) was ecstatic to be selected, Athalia was happy to prove her critics wrong- the ribbon had been cut, let the battle of the beauties begin!
Next week, we get to see the enthralling 11 (Sedia from Barbados, Kendra from the Bahamas, Treveen from the Cayman Islands, Stephany from Curacao, Ashley from Guadeloupe; Trudy-Lee from Jamaica, and Semoy, Athaliah, Susan, Sheriza and Rachel from Trinidad and Tobago) in a military-themed challenge and the drama begins when personalities start to clash true uncut Caribbean style. As we tune in tomorrow night for more model mayhem, we can't wait for future episodes where couture and class is showcased with a spicy dash of competition!
Encore episodes show on Saturday, check your local listings or visit www.caribbeansnexttopmodel.com for more information.