MARIGOT–The local election to choose a candidate from St. Martin and St. Barths to represent the island at the 2018 Miss France pageant in December will be held tonight, Thursday, during an open-air ceremony on Rue General de Gaulle, Marigot.
The last time the Miss St. Martin for Miss France pageant was organised was in 2016 when Anaëlle Hippolyte was the winner.
The candidates were presented at a press conference Tuesday evening organised by St. Martin Tourism Office in collaboration with the Miss St. Martin for Miss France organising committee in Villa Diamond Chateau in Cole Bay where the current Miss France, Maeva Couke, and her four runners-up were also present along with members of the Miss France organising committee Camille Serf (former Miss France 2015 winner) and Estelle Sabathier.
Also present were St. Martin Tourism Office Vice-President Alex Pierre and Territorial Councillor Annette Philipps who is assisting the Miss St. Martin organising committee.
The Miss France contestants are on the island for a few days as part of a tourism promotion for St. Martin and to support the local pageant. They were accompanied by a chaperone and a journalist and cameraman from “50 Minutes Inside,” a popular prime-time show that airs every week on the channel TF1. A special edition will be filmed for the programme including the local pageant.
The local candidates for the St. Martin/St. Barths election are: 1. Allisson Georges, 2. Joy Biranda, 3. Eunice Charbonne, 4. Johangel Santos, 5. Jessica Borilla (St. Barths), and 6. Dana Benhoa.
The Miss France contestants introduced themselves individually and there were question and answer exchanges with the local candidates. The Miss France contestants talked of their experiences and gave encouragement to the St. Martin candidates.
“We weren’t planning to have the election after Irma, as there were no suitable venues, but the Miss France organisation, from the bottom of their hearts, wanted to help the destination recover in one way or another,” said Miss St. Martin for Miss France organising committee President Catherine de Boisrolin. “When I think about it, I must say the island really needs this. Not only did Miss France give us their support, they come here with a 45-minute gala show which will be part of the local pageant on Thursday.
“Then ‘50 Minutes Inside’ is a number-one-rated show on TFI in France watched by over three million viewers. So, I think we could not have asked for more at this time to put the destination back on the map.
“I truly believe that beauty has a platform to make information travel via new technology and social media such as Facebook and Twitter, etc. For sure they are going to tweet their thoughts and photos about the places they are visiting in St. Martin.”
The Miss France contestants are leaving on July 14. Their programme includes a visit to St. Barths, island discovery and activities in St. Martin and a visit to Loterie Farm.
De Boisrolin said her biggest fear had been not being able to finance the local pageant and visit by the Miss France contestants, but it has been made possible by the Collectivité, the tourism offices, St. Barths and a number of private partners.
Artistic director and chaperone for the election tonight is Sarolia Ada. Eolia Ada is the choreographer.
To vote for your favourite candidate go to the committee’s Facebook page
www.facebook.com/pg/miss.saintmartin for more information.