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Calendar Girls rock!

Natanga Smith

Calendar Girls rock!

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It seemed a riot would have erupted in Oistins Bay Garden, Christ Church, Thursday night when seven names were announced and Tia Sealy’s wasn’t.

She had her own small cheering section to the right of the stage at the start of the show, but by the time the swimsuit parade came on she had garnered a larger following, with the crowd screaming when her name was announced at No. 8.

Thousands of spectators crammed every vantage point at the annual semi-finals of the Banks Calendar Girl competition, and some were so keen to make sure they didn’t miss anything they took to the roofs of the shacks, perched precariously on the edges.

While many were screaming for the fleshy display on stage they were also expressing delight at the local brew on special of four for $10, as it allowed them to use the bottle tops to win prizes.

On stage, 16 young women were in tees and leggings, putting their own spin on the attire, before returning in bikinis to give the crowd an eyeful and create headaches for the four judges (Charles Walker, Rondell Jones, Anderson Blood Armstrong and reigning Banks Calendar Girl 2014 Faith Callender), who had to pick eight to advance to the finals at the same venue on December 5.  

The girls, already tottering in five to six inch heels, were also blinded by the overwhelmingly bright flashes from many cameras as every one who adopted the title of photographer, whether professionally or personally, crammed the front of the stage. Over 30 were counted, not taking into account those behind the barricades with their own cameras and smartphones.

In the end, the crowd-pleasers Robin-Simone Ifill, and Brandi Wallace, along with Shane Alleyne, Cherene Ward, Thea Tull, Renee Robinson, Rhea Arthur, and last to be called, Sealy, will battle for the title of Banks Calendar Girl 2015.

While Sealy and Wallace got the loudest screams from the crowd in their creative take on their leggings and tees, Tull, Wallace and Alleyne’s swimwear had eyes popping. With the most “bootyful” bodies, they made the cameramen work extra hard, some even going as far as to lie on their backs to get that pert shot.

Of significance was that the girls all got the memos and there was not a recurrence of last year’s swimwear fiasco as all the pieces were tasteful, with just two bordering on showing a little bit too much below and behind.

Of the eight, two were pint-sized: Ward and Arthur, but they possess the personality and could be dark horses come finals night.

Of the eight who did not advance – Sharina Butcher, Danissa Foster, Cynthia Hercules, Amika Welch, Tiffany Carrington, Cherelle Darlington, Abigail Weekes and Shanna Walker – one of them can still make the finals since fans can vote online for the People’s Choice. If she is not one of the eight already picked, then that person could make a ninth finalist. My bet is on Carrington or Hercules.