In a fiercely competitive event that unfolded at the AC Hotel Kingston, Jordanne Lauren Levy, a dedicated medical professional, was crowned the victor of the 2023 Hyundai Miss Universe Jamaica beauty, fashion, and well-being pageant, despite encountering a slight stumble during the final interview phase.
Jordanne Levy Triumphs as Miss Universe Jamaica 2023
Amidst a field of 29 promising young women, Levy and her fellow contenders, Robyn Lloyd and Deborah Gordon, emerged as standouts throughout the competition. Yet, it was Levy’s second attempt to address the question, “What empowers your self-assurance?” during the interview that garnered mixed reactions from portions of the audience.
Following the coronation, a few attendees made a swift exit from the ballroom, while others expressed their sentiments with audible dissent.
The event encountered a delayed start and grappled with technical sound glitches, causing a prolonged intermission. The organizers eventually resolved most of these issues and recommenced the pageant.
The contestants began by presenting themselves in casual attire and introducing themselves to the audience. Subsequently, the pool was narrowed down to the Top 15 contenders.
Lloyd, Levy, and Gordon secured their places in the Top 15 alongside Shanice Rerrie, Tika Rutherford, Gabrielle Henry, Oliva Alex, Nikelle Marier, Lianne Fullwood, Seana’Kaye Wright, Tia Dryden, Zaria Diarra, Tyra Spaulding, Sara Dee Palmer, and Ashlie Barrett.
Henry, Spaulding, and Barrett advanced to the Top 6
Interspersed between the segments were captivating performances by vocalist Tai-C, who masterfully delivered Mortimer’s “Lightning,” and Agent Sasco, who electrified the audience with renditions of “Winning Right Now” and “Guide and Protect.” Former Miss Universe Jamaica runner-up, now singer, Khadijah Anderson, also known as Analea, added to the entertainment.
The finalists left an indelible impression in swimwear courtesy of Cacdemode and later showcased evening wear from the Dermoth/Williams couture collection.
The Hyundai Shopping Challenge honors were claimed by Lloyd and Fullwood, while Levy and Barrett secured victory in the Hyundai Met Gala Challenge.
Ayana Powell-Myles emerged triumphant in the Jacqui Tyson Brunswick Challenge, and Barrett achieved success in the Lasco Gold Card Challenge. Suzan Dowdie and Levy both received multiple sectional prizes. Dowdie was celebrated with the Harmony Health Congeniality Award and Joy Spence Award, while Levy excelled in the Harmony Health Essence of Style and Most Photogenic categories.
Shanice Rerrie, a finalist in the 2014 pageant, earned the Harmony Health Spirit of the Pageant award, and Gabrielle Henry was lauded as the Best in Swimwear.
Deborah Gordon garnered the title of Best in Evening Gown, and Tyra Spaulding secured the Personal Development Award.
Lianne Fullwood received the Courts Ready Cash Altruism Award, and her charity, Mary’s Child, was gifted $150,000 by Ready Cash.
Hyundai’s commercial manager, Etmore Williams, shared insight into the brand’s partnership with the Miss Universe Jamaica organizers, highlighting the synergy between Hyundai’s growth in the Jamaican market and the pageant’s resonance with Jamaicans. The collaboration represents a form of corporate responsibility, underscoring the significance of women in Hyundai’s success.
As the winner, Levy will enjoy a year of driving a Hyundai Creta and serve as a brand ambassador during her reign.
Levy expressed her gratitude and sense of accomplishment, acknowledging the collective effort put forth by all 29 contestants. She emphasized the transformative journey the pageant has facilitated, enhancing her speech, presentation skills and overall impact as a young woman.
Levy’s mother, Donna Matthews, previously secured third place in the Miss Jamaica Universe pageant in 1986. Levy credits her mother’s unwavering support and guidance for her success.
Lloyd, the second-place finisher, previously competed in the 2015 Miss Jamaica World pageant, achieving a Top 5 position. Overcoming personal apprehensions, Lloyd found empowerment through her participation and looks forward to leveraging the momentum gained.
Gordon, thrilled with her Top 3 placement, exuded pride for Levy and Lloyd, asserting Jamaica’s representation on the international stage. She voiced her full support for Levy’s quest for the crown.
The Jamaica Observer | Jonathan Holgate
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