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MISS JAMAICA STANDS PROUD

The five final contestants, from left, Miss Colombia Paulina Vega, Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell, Miss Ukraine Diana Harkusha, Miss Netherlands Yasmin Verheijen and Miss USA Nia Sanchez pose during the Miss Universe pageant in Miami, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015.
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“Old pirates, yes they rob I” — Bob Marley.

Some Jamaicans are voicing Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” to express their ire about Miss Jamaica’s fourth-runner up position in the recent Miss Universe beauty pageant.

They are convinced Kaci Fennell was robbed of the jeweled crown and title she contested against 87-queens from as many nations at the Florida University Arena in Doral, Miami.

Named among the five finalists to win the title, Fennell received overwhelming approval from the crowd early in the contest and from the applause and cheers from patrons was perceived favored to win.

However, when the last segment of the pageant announced the runners up to the winning queen, loud boos were heard after 22-year-old Fennell was named first to be eliminated from the international contest.

“Kaci was robbed,” dominated social media network.

And at viewing parties throughout the Caribbean island, Jamaicans conceded their queen may have been victimized.

An overwhelming number of Jamaicans on the island and throughout the diaspora reacted with anger after it was announced that Fennell would claim the fourth runner up position.

Almost instantaneously social media network Twitter reported that the trending hashtag was #MissJamai­caShouldHa­veWon.

“I have tried to suppress my endemic spirit and look at it objectively but, personally, I am convinced by the global outrage seen across the Internet that there was a genuine error of judgment in placing Miss Jamaica Universe, Kaci Fennell, fifth in a competition in which the majority of the audience seemed convinced that she should have won,” Olivia Grange, a member of Parliament and former minister of culture in Jamaica said.

“After reading the responses of the international media, including well-known newspapers in both the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as our own media, not to mention the indignation expressed via social media, globally, I am convinced that a serious error was made,” Grange added.

Sporting a short-cropped, hairstyle, Fennell was the only contestant to flaunt a clean-cut, Halle Berry style fashion statement.

Poised and stately Fennell seemed to represent the pageantry and beauty required to reign. She was overwhelmingly cheered each time she walked onstage and named first to qualify in the Top 10 portion of the pageant.

In the swimsuit category, she seemed to ace votes needed to move onto the evening gown and question and answer stages of the pageant.

Chosen as one of the five most likely to win the crown Fennell seemed a shoo-in as the only contestant to parade a short-cropped hairstyle.

“I don’t have long tresses like everyone else, I’m just representing myself and that’s what beauty pageants are all about,” Fennell stated as if conscious of the unpopular decision.

Notwithstanding judges voted her among the most beautiful of the beautiful.

But Fennell might have lost points when she responded to a question submitted from social media asking about her country’s biggest contribution to the world.

Fennell said it was Bob Marley and Usain Bolt.

“She should have at least said reggae music, the fastest man and woman on earth and the fastest swimmer,” a viewer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida told Caribbean Life.

“Not to mention, the food, the beaches, the beautiful people and so much more.”

“Personally, I find no fault with Kaci suggesting Bob Marley and Usain Bolt as universally accepted examples of the tremendous contributions made by our human resources in areas of international competition or cooperation,” Grange said.

“I would be even more disturbed to learn that the primary cause of her placement was the length of her hair, because while that may not be considered racist, it is certainly prejudicial to women who do not believe in long, silky hair, and even more so, women of African descent who choose to wear an Afro-type hairstyle.”

“I hope the messages that have been sent, whether by the audience at the event, those who watched on television, the stories dominating the media, as well as the posts across social media, have reached the eyes and ears of the promoters and judges,” Grange said.

“I hope it will encourage them to reconsider their rules, which may be prejudicial to some women and discriminatory to the culture of some people and some countries represented in the contest.”

Twenty-two year-old Paulina Vega, Miss Columbia won the overall competition. Miss USA Nia Sanchez was named first runner-up in the pageant. Others in the top five included Miss Netherlands and Miss Ukraine.

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