Miss Universe GB 2012 finals – Deborah Kolade’s experience

Miss Universe GB 2012 finals have come and gone, but left me with sweet memories.

For the past few months I prepared for the competition as one of the finalists.

The finals took place in Birmingham on 5th May 2012. I travelled from London and stayed in Birmingham for a couple of days.

Rehearsal for the final show was held a day before the show. It was a long rehearsal and all the walking tutorials and dance routine were done in heels. That was the moment when all the contestants met. In total there were 41 girls from all over the UK.

Meeting all the other girls was exciting but scary, it was immediately noticeable that all the girls were trying to spot out who their main competition were but with that said, everyone got along really well, which was amazing as anyone would expect a room full of 41 ladies to be disastrous, with many acting covetously.

When the day arrived, we met up at the venue and had continuous rehearsals. The venue was amazing; it was in Birmingham Town Hall.

Most of the audience sat around the table in groups whilst others were seated on the upper chairs.

My guests were disappointed as they assumed that by paying extra to sit around the table they would be provided with some form of benefit, either some nibbles on the table or even a glass of water.

My sponsor Qutefashion.com showed up to the event.

The show started with last year’s winner of Miss Universe GB coming on stage with the host. They co-hosted the entire show together.

The contestants came on stage to perform a dance routine to one of Adele’s songs titled “Rumour has It”.

The next stage was the cocktail wear. We had previously been split into three groups and allocated colour codes for the cocktail dresses. White, Blue and Red was the colour code, and the reason for that was to represent the Union Flag.

Following up was the swimwear round; this was the round I was most intimidated by as I had never had the courage to wear a swimwear in public places like a beach, let alone on stage in front of hundreds of people with all focus on you. Once I got on stage and started walking, my confidence grew as I really got the crowds going and they were all cheering. Towards the end I really did not want to get off the stage.

The last round was the evening wear, which had to be a long dress. All the 41 girls came on stage and we walked in circular motion. That was the crowning stage. There was so much excitement and anxiety running through me.

Miss Charity Award went to the contestant who raised the most money for the chosen charities. The next to be awarded was the Public Vote Award which went to the contestant that obtained the highest votes from the public.

I badly wanted to win the Public Vote Award as I worked so hard for it. Friends and families all voted and I felt disappointed that I wasn’t able to win that round for them. I guess it was all down to the more friends and family you had who were willing to continuously vote for you.

Finally the top five were called out. Sadly I was not amongst them and neither was any of the other three black girls in the competition. The top five were amazing and it didn’t come as a shock to me, they deserved it and they were a lot more experienced in the pageantry world.

The overall winner was an amazing 21 year old student who is a 5ft10 model. She will be representing GB internationally later this year. I wish her all the best of luck.

As for me it was such a great experience and I am so proud of myself to have been selected as a finalist. I was the only girl selected from the first London audition round with about 50 other girls rejected. I might be taking part in other pageants later this year or the year after, so watch out for me.

By Deborah Kolade