Miss Universe Jamaica wants to tackle issues facing youth

Nineteen-year-old Montego Bay resident Iana Tickle Garcia was crowned Miss Universe Jamaica 2019 at a glittering coronation show inside the National Arena in the wee hours of Sunday morning (Sept 1).

Tickle Garcia was one of the crowd favourites going into the finals. She won from a field of 18 contestants.

“I’m feeling so ecstatic, excited and happy right now,” she told this reporter shortly after her crowning. The new queen wants to take on issues affecting the youth during her reign.

“I want the youth to get more involved in the Jamaican society and contribute to the country. They feel as if they are voiceless, but they can make a difference,” said Tickle Garcia.

Manchester-based farmer, 25-year-old Toni Ann Laylor, finished in second place while 20-year-old University of the West Indies student Sian Graham Connelly (pronounced Shawn) was third. Completing the top six were Police Officer, Sasha Henry, Aiysha Hemmings and Chevonne Beadle.

From left: Sian Connelly 3rd place winner; Iana Tickle Garcia, the New Miss Uiverse Jamaica 2019; and 2nd place winner Toni Ann Laylor 

Jenelle Baldie, Leah Hollingsworth, Imani Jenkins and Umeko Chin made it into the Top 10.

Opening with a spectacular number performed by Gem Myers, the showcase featured dancers who pranced around the stage with glee. After the girls introduced themselves, the Top 10 was announced. Elton Earlington, the 2016 winner of Digicel Rising Stars entertained just before the start of the Express Fitness Dermoth Williams Swimwear parade.

Recording artiste Gyptian performing during the show.

The evening wear segment preceded the personality interview with the top 10 before Myers took the stage to deliver a rousing rendition of Jennifer Holliday’s And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.

Singer Alaine and Gyptian also comprised the evening’s entertainment delights. After the gruelling interview segment with the Top 6, the number was reduced to a Top 3.

See our gallery of the night’s performances.

Sectional prize winners were:

  • Congeniality – Toni Ann Laylor
  • Best in Swimwear – Imani Jenkins
  • People’s Choice, Altruism Award and Essence of Style Award – Sasha Henry
  • Photogenic Award – Umeko Chin
  • Best in Evening Gown Award – Iana Tickle Garcia

Tickle Garcia won a prize package, including JA$300,000 in cash.  She will represent Jamaica at the Miss Universe pageant.

See our gallery of the evening’s proceedings: