Monday, July 04, 2005

Melanie takes the Crown and our Cup!

Miss Gibraltar 2005 * by Alice Mascarenhas


Congratulations to Melanie Chipolina - Miss Gibraltar 2005!
Melanie Chipolina was crowned Miss Gibraltar 2005 on Saturday night at St Michael’s Cave.

Melanie also won the Gibraltar Chronicle Cup for Best Interview.

1st Princess was Shayanne Almeida, and 2nd Princess was Kirian Lopez, both 19 years old.

The Miss Gibraltar 2005 pageant was produced by Stage One and led by James Neish who also presented the two and half hour production together with well-known local singer Andrea Martin making her debut as presenter.

They worked well together in what proved to be a stunning, colourful, entertaining show which once again brought together a good selection of mainly local entertainers who proved their worth throughout.

Miss Friendship, voted for by the contestants themselves, was won by 19 year old Kathy Sanchez.

Louise Avellano, also 19, won two trophies for Miss Photogenic and Best Catwalk.

All the trophies were presented by Culture Minister Clive Beltran.

Melanie, 23, admitted to the Chronicle she was eager to win the title and be the third person in her family to wear the Miss Gibraltar Crown. Her aunty then Grace Valverde was Miss Gibraltar 1966 and her cousin (Grace’s daughter) then Michelle Torres was Miss Gibraltar 1992.

Melanie who has just completed a degree in Sport Development and Leisure said that when her name was called out her reaction had been one of shock.

“I was shocked. I was more focused on my family. Looking for them in the audience. Wanting to make eye contact with them and see their reaction. I had not seen them throughout the whole show. I really was not attentive to what the presenters were saying at the time, and then I saw my cousin smiling, and I could see they were all really happy and I was happy to be on stage with all the girls. It was just great.”

The newly crowned Miss Gibraltar 2005, wearing the new crown commissioned for this year’s show, will reign for the next year and represent Gibraltar at the Miss World Pageant in China in a few months time.

“I am looking forward to everything really,” she emphasised excited about the prospect of the year ahead.

Miss Gibraltar 2004 - Helen Gustafson
“I know it is going to be one of the best experiences of my life. I have already spoken to Helen (Helen Gustafson - Miss Gibraltar 2004) on what to expect.

I like that kind of thing, that side of it, which I know I will enjoy. But I also want to promote Gibraltar. I want to be able to promote Gibraltar because I love living here and I am proud of being a Gibraltarian. I feel there is a lot that can come from promoting Gibraltar properly,” she said.

For the first time the show was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture. James Neish paid tribute to both Yvette Zarb and Dylan Ferrer (both sitting in the audience) from the Gibraltar Tourist Board (GTB) who had been at the helm of the pageant for many years when the GTB was responsible for its organisation.

The stage in St Michael’s Cave was extended to reach out to the auditorium creating a far more intimate experience for contestants, performers and audiences a like. A minimalistic set allowed the beautiful natural setting of St Michael’s Cave to come to the fore through the use of some very interesting and effective lighting effects with the use of controlled pyrotechnics including thick silver streamers in the final moments of the show when the new Miss Gibraltar was crowned.

I am very often critical about the proper use of lights in such shows and the lack of real lighting design but on this occasion Lighting Director Jordan Lopez deserves credit for producing an excellent combination of colour and creative lighting effects which pleased the eye right the way through with the combined efforts of Sound Reinforcement Systems.

The opening number in the show set the scene and pace for the two and half hours which would follow - slick, fast moving, coherent, entertaining show.

The tableaux created proved extremely effective as the dancers gave way to the outgoing Miss Gibraltar and the seven contestants vying for the title of Miss Gibraltar 2005 all set to the music of Queen – the effective use of the stage, the colour scheme, the lights, pyrotechnics, and choreography became one solid mass.

The contestants were dressed in jeans and shiny black blouses. This year the Miss Gibraltar dancers were from the Pointes Dance School who performed exceptionally well in all their dance routines when either taking centre stage or accompanying the contestants and singers.

In all the routines the contestants were well prepared and showed confidence. Probably the number which stole the show was the Chinese section at the end of the first half where the seven contestants looking amazing in their Chinese costumes gave the audience a taste of China.

Presented by a former Miss Gibraltar Kim Falzun and outgoing Miss Gibraltar Helen Gustafson there was even an appearance from a Chinese dragon. In this first half of the show the contestants also paraded in their swim wear, flowery blue bikinis, allowing each of them to take the stage for themselves, and then came the interviews where each selected an envelope with the surprise question.

This year once again the main interviews had been held the previous day in front of the judges. The judges were all from abroad and included well know TV news personality Emma Crosby, Tracie Bestford from the fashion world, Angels Mas from the travel industry, Jayne Melville, a former Miss St Ivel, and John Doubleday who has designed the Nelson statue which will be unveiled later this year.

The variety and quality in the performances throughout once again proved what Gibraltar can produce when pushed to achieve a high standard production.

Francis Chipolina with the beautiful Spanish ballad “Encadenados”, the Divas – Jamie Barrie, Davina Camilleri and Melissa Mackintosh, with a great Gloria Estefan mix.

The evening also gave us a preview of some of the new dresses in the Dorcas collection.

In the second half the one section which gave the opportunity to see more of the contestants personalities was the evening wear routine – where each dress was as good as it gets. A shame though that this delicately created moment with the innovation of a live performance with co-presenter Andrea Martin giving some beautiful renditions of “As Time Goes By”, “Summertime” and “She” accompanied by Atsuko Shimada on piano was almost spoiled and completely drowned by the screams and shouts from the audience.

Before the crowning moment two scenes from the musical Phantom of the Opera were beautifully recreated by Pointes, and singers Jamie Barrie and John Cruz – from Masquerade to Music of the Night. And a mention of young entertainer, Emma Deigman, who added some international spice to the proceedings with a selection of well known songs including “Obvious” by Christina Aguilera.

All in all Stage One, which has produced the Miss Gibraltar pageant for the third year running, can look back with pride on another successful and well staged production. Congratulations to all!


Related Links:

Miss Gibraltar Official Website

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