By Ogbonna Amadi, Entertainment Editor
It was a keenly contested pageant and at the end, Isabella Ayuk, representing Cross Rover State was adjudged the fairest of the 32 contestants and therefore was crowned the Most Beautiful Girl In Nigeria, 2012.
She beat Miss River State (Damitte Charles Granville), Miss Abuja (Ifeoma Umeokeke), Miss Kaduna (Joyce Ngozi Chidebe) and Miss Osun (Christabel Nkechinyere Okafor) to emerge winner.
And for her effort, the sultry beauty who smiled home with a N3million cash prize and a brand new Toyota Corolla car donated by the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adam Oshiomhole, will be flying the Nigerian flag at the 2012 edition of Miss World pageant holding at Mongolia in November.
An elated Miss Cross River who also bagged the Best traditional costume award, moments after being crowned winner, praised God for the opportunity to win the crown while thanking members of her family for the support and prayers offered for her while she was in camp.
For the organizer of the pageant, the Silverbird Group, it was the icing to a beautiful night that also marked the company’s 25 years of producing beauty queens.
Held last Saturday at the Best West Town Home Ville Hotels in the Benin the Edo State capital, the pageant which began at 8.15pm and was beamed live across the country by the African Independent Television, had all trappings of a world class.
With world beaters like 2Face Idibia, Banky W and Chuddy K spear heading the A- list performers and supported by the special delivery efforts of Omotoke Makinwa and Chris Onuoha, Benin was assured a night of glamour and fun.
But the shine was almost taken off the show with the absence of Governor Oshiomhole and most members of his cabinet. They were still mourning the death of Mr .Olaitan Oyerinde, the Governor’s principal private secretary who was murdered in his home by unknown gunmen.
The show began in earnest after the red carpet with the performance of Mr.Capable, Banky W who dazzled the audience with a slow and heart touching serenade that had the crowd yelling for more. With his departure from the stage, came on the 32 contestants who formerly introduced themselves to the audience.
They returned soon to display a special choreographed dance with the music of Chuddy K in the back ground.
The swim suit parade followed and thereafter some of the contestants were eliminated leaving only 16 for the next stage.
For the first time in a long while, the audience were seemingly content with the judges choices as the countdown down race for the last five contestants began.
While the audience awaited the judges decision, Chuddy K the new kid on block, was brought in to the delight of
t he crowd. His effort was not wasted on the audience as they made effort to sing along with him.
But it was 2Face Idibia who almost brought the roof of the hall down with his scintillating performance. With his performance over, came the tough job of announcing the winners. And the job was delivered by Mr Guy Murray-Bruce, Vice-President of the Silverbird Group.
All the Winners
Isabella Ayuk- MBGN and Miss World representative.
Damiette Charles Granville Ist -Runners up and Miss Universe Representative
Ifeoma Umeokeke 2nd-Runners up and Miss Tourism representative
Joyce Ngozi Chidebe 3rd Runners -up and Miss ECOWAS representative
Chritabell Nkechinyere Okafor
Antonette Igebu, Miss La Casera
Miss Photogenic- Omoye Mary Omobbude
Miss Amity- Grace Onuoha
Miss PRO Select- Tomilayo Salami