Twenty-year-old accounts and finance student at the University of the West Indies, Faith Callender, brought a high performance of poise, class and the body to match to capture the Banks Calendar Girl 2014 title on Thursday night at Oistins, Bay Garden in Christ Church.
Hundreds of spectators took up every vantage point from early in the evening to see Callender take the first prize of $10 000 as well as a contract for one year with Banks Barbados Limited. Second place went to the electrifying Amia Weekes while the pert and saucy pint-sized Ranisha Johnson ended third.
Pre-finals favourite Sherene Hewitt faltered badly on the night, especially in her question and answer section, but her popularity helped her to pick up $1 000 for Miss People’s Choice while Claudia Thorpe, who was eliminated at the semi-finals, won $500 for the Miss Congeniality award.
Callender’s A-class performance was judged by two former queens, the first Banks Calendar Girl Cynthia Dawson and last year’s winner Shakela Bellamy.
Callender indicated that she never believed that she would win but she gave it her best shot and when you give your best it comes back to you.
With a large group of supporters wearing tee shirts with the slogan #Team Faith, Callender destroyed the question and answer section and gave the Banks PR team some ideas when she stated that if she won she would want her photo to be taken in Harrison’s Cave.
“When people see the Banks Calendar 2014 they would see Harrison’s Cave and me and appreciate two of Barbados’ natural beauties,” said the new queen to tremendous applause.
Most of the girls did well in the question and answer section and showed they used the two-week break from the semi-finals to lift their levels of presentation and movement on stage.
One of the favourites, Amia Weekes, set a blazing pace as the first contestant on stage appearing in an outfit with Banks stoppers on three red diamonds strips of cloth covering the essentials and a slave collar which whipped the crowd into a frenzy. That display was almost forgotten when Katrina Haynes followed Callender in a fur-like swimwear that would have provided little or no coat for a hunter.
Wearing complementary and stylish footwear and matching moves, the contestants created a high performance show with pint-sized Johnson being the darling of the night in her daring swimwear as she declared she had the “body to make big men cry”.
Pert and saucy, Johnson constantly flashed a winning smile and revealed a dimple on her right cheek that was deep enough to capture the tears of those crying big men.
Contestants Hewitt, Marisa Jackson and Khadijah Watson were not as comfortable as they were at the semi-finals.
Latoya Harris impressed with the Banks motif on her swimwear but on that night her pieces carried at least 15 Banks stoppers too many.