Dancehall Queen crown goes to Portmore

...but event marred by bottle throwing incident

BY KARLA JOSEPHS Observer West reporter

Thursday, August 02, 2012

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MONTEGO BAY, St James - Sherine Scarlett of Portmore, St Catherine, was crowned as the Red Label Wine International Dancehall Queen for 2012 at Pier 1 in Montego Bay, early Sunday morning.

However, the contest was marred by a bottle throwing incident following the announcement of the winner, as many Montego Bay- based patrons registered their objection to the judges' decision to chose the St Catherine contestant ahead of their native Keja "Tall Up" Christie, who was the crowd's favourite.

The rowdy faction hurled bottles on stage forcing sponsors, promoters, journalists and the judges to take cover.

The ugly incident has triggered a call by Director for Sales and Marketing at Island Entertainment Brands and one of the judges for the competition, Andre Dixon, for a ban to be placed on glass bottles at future staging of Dancehall Queen competitions.

" The same rules applied at most events need to be imposed at Dancehall Queen as it relates to distributing bottles to patrons. One has no control over how a crowd will respond at these events and so it is left to management to put certain rules in place, one being to only distribute plastic cups at such events so that you can avoid a situation that could turn out to be dangerous," Dixon argued.

Meanwhile, Scarlett was awarded $500,000 for her winning effort; while first runner-up Sara Sronteau of France was awarded $300,000; and third place holder Masaki 'Boom Boom' Hirata of Japan was awarded $200,000.

Dixon who was speaking in an interview with the Observer West also highlighted the criteria for selecting the winner of the coveted crown.

"We primarily focus on how the contestant makes use of the stage during her routine; how innovative and rhythmic she is; is she able to keep up with the rhythm of the music? We also look at costumes, creativity as well as the crowd's response to the contestant," he explained.

"The costumes were better this year than years past. One of the Japanese contestants came out with a costume that was inspired by 'Jamaica 50' and she scored high marks in that category."

This year's staging of the event reportedly attracted between 6,000 and 7,000 patrons.




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