April 5, 2004 — An estimated crowd of 3,000 was on its feet Sunday night during the Prince and Princess Selection Show at Lionel Roberts Stadium. The reason: 11-year olds Hosea Ottley and Nysha Lindo, who wowed the crowd with their performance during the talent segment of the three-and-a-half hour pageant that was described by observers and organizers alike as well run, well timed and tightly produced.
By show's end, Hosea and Nysha — Couple No. 3 on the program — were crowned the new prince and princess. Both sixth-graders at Leonard Dober Elementary School, they also were named most cooperative and captured the title for best evening wear.
Couple No. 2, Taylor Estrill and D'moi Rouse, were judged most photogenic. Taylor also won the title of Miss Intellect for the question-and-answer segment, where she said she would welcome visits to her school by a parent or guardian as a sign that they cared. Taylor, 6, attends first grade at Peace Corps Elementary School.
Gary Joseph Jr., Prince Contestant No. 1, was named Mr. Intellect for answering a question about the importance of learning how to swim as part of an island lifestyle. Gary, 10, is a fifth-grader at Michael J. Kirwan Elementary School.
Dressed in peach and white, the winning couple struck a dignified pose for photographers on stage in their winning moment, but youthful joy bubbled just below the surface. Hosea, son of radio personality Peter Ottley and Joy Hodge, said he told his father he wanted to go all the way in the competition. "I just told him, 'Daddy I want you to make a big announcement on the radio because I really worked hard to get this far,'" he said.
Princess Nysha agreed, saying preparing for the talent segment, where she played a Caribbean woman whose song inspires one of the chickens in her yard to dance and play the saxophone, was the most work. Performing, she said, turned out to be the most fun. "It's very exciting for me to show off my talent," she said. Nysha is the daughter of Richard Lindo and Brenda Vanterpool.
Chaperones Stephanie Amory and Elori Anderson beamed from stage left while holding lavish bouquets of congratulatory balloons and flowers. "It was a lot of hard work, but it really paid off," said Anderson.
The first pageant of the 2004 V.I. Carnival season also brought smiles from the Prince and Princess Committee chair, Francisque Roberts, as she looked out over the filled seats on the field and most of the grandstand, while hundreds of energetic children strolled, romped and played on the grounds around the stage.
"It's great. I would have thought SpongeBob would have done me in," she said, noting that the pageant took place during a weekend when a much-anticipated cartoon character show, featuring the popular SpongeBob SquarePants, was playing at Mark C. Marin Center.
The Prince and Princess competition is the first of three pageants this Carnival season. Six high school students will vie for the title of V.I. Carnival Queen at the Queen Selection Show on April 10, at Lionel Roberts Stadium. On April 17, three senior citizens are expected to compete for the title of Ms. V.I. American Classic.
Both shows are scheduled to start at 8 p.m.
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