I am not one given to writing in the newspapers, but after viewing the Queen Show on Thursday and hearing the results, I feel compelled to put my thoughts to paper.

Last year when Miss St. George won the Queen Show, she achieved excellence in all categories. It was a foregone conclusion then, in everyone’s mind, even before the results were announced, that she had won and indeed she did win! It would have been inconceivable and incomprehensible if, after achieving “best” in all categories, someone else was declared the winner.

The situation in this year’s Queen Show is very much reminiscent of last year’s result. Miss St. Patrick fell short in only two categories – talent, which was won by Miss Carriacou and interview which was won by Miss St. George. Barring those, she showed great consistency, copping the award for best swimwear, best costume and best evening wear; and being the people’s choice. What did Miss St. David, the judges’ winner, excel in? She won best preliminary interview. That is it!!

According to a news report on GBN, the judges were looking for consistency, hence the reason Miss St. David won. My question to the judges: What is consistency? How do they define consistency? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines being consistent as “marked by harmony, regularity or steady continuity”. The Oxford English dictionary’s definition of being consistent is “unchanging in nature, standard or effect over time”.

So tell me, judges, achieving people’s choice, best swimwear, best costume, best evening wear, was that not consistent enough for you? What was Miss St. David consistent in to earn her the title? All she excelled in was best preliminary interview.

If this pattern of thought is followed, then it can be argued that Miss Carriacou could have won because she won best talent or Miss St. George could have won because she won best interview. Was there some secret pre-judging that took place prior to the show that we are not privy to that earned Miss St. David all these extra points to surpass the points obtained by Miss St. Patrick for best swimwear, costume and evening wear?

The fact that Miss St. Patrick also won people’s choice, a pre-show selection, is also significant. The math simply does not add up. The judges’ explanation that they were looking for consistency is too vague and not satisfactory. Surely, then, one can say that Miss St. David was consistent in failing to excel beyond the preliminary interview.

Note well that, according to the news broadcast, the judges did not say that Miss St. Patrick was not consistent. They said that they were looking for consistency. The question may be asked, therefore, what aspect of consistency were they looking for? Negative or positive consistency?

Let me make it clear at this point that I have nothing against Miss St. David. In fact, I congratulate her for capturing the hearts of the judges. However, like I said before, it is the math that does not add up and transparency seems to be lacking.

This is the first Queen Show I have seen where the criteria for judging were not announced as is usually done. No one knows how many points were awarded for the various categories. No one knows what the categories were. Was this an error or was it by design? Were the results already “locked and loaded” even before the show? Why did the judges award best swimwear, costume and evening wear to Miss St. Patrick and then give the crown to Miss St. David? That comes across as a very contradictory action.

Was there some separate category on the score sheet labelled “consistency” which enabled Miss St. David to score so many points above Miss St. Patrick? There seems to be more questions than answers. Enquiring minds want to know.

I am suggesting that, for future Queen Shows, the chief judge should be the one to announce the results, explaining for each category the thought that went into the awarding of the points. This would help provide answers to the many unanswered questions and to hopefully leave the audience in a better state of mind at the end of the show.

If Miss St. Patrick were my daughter, I would definitely have been challenging the results and demanding a credible explanation. The judges’ decision cannot always be accepted as final when lack of transparency is so very evident.

R. Mendes

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