After five weeks of competition, Annissa Johnson got the surprise of a lifetime last Thursday when she was named winner of the regional Miss Hawaiian Tropic Canada “Model Search and Pageant” finals at the Rainy Lake Hotel.
“I’m pretty shocked because all the girls were beautiful,” said Johnson, referring to the other two finalists, Amanda Borden and Juanita Hunter.
The competition consisted of three events—casual wear, swim wear, and evening gown. All three carried themselves with style and poise, making the decision difficult for the judges, Kevin McFayden, Jan Howe, and Caroline Gagné, who will be competing at the Miss Canada pageant in August.
During the evening gown competition, the three were asked a question, and their responses were marked by the judges. But all the contestants were tied after the question period, and had to answer a second round of questions to break the deadlock.
“If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?” Borden was asked.
“I’d pay my bills . . . everybody has those. Then, I would take care of my friends and family, and donate the rest to AIDS research,” she replied.
“If you could travel back in time, what period would you like to go to?” was Johnson’s question.
“I’d stay in the present because this the age of the woman,” she answered.
Then Hunter was asked, “If you could change the human condition, what would you change and why?”
“I’d change the amount of people who were affected by AIDS. There are a lot of people suffering out there,” she responded.
After waiting for a few nail-biting minutes, the contestants were called back out for the winner to be announced. When Johnson’s name was called, it was accompanied by cheers from the audience and hugs from her fellow contestants.
The competition was friendly, and all the contestants seemed equally happy to see the other win.
“I’m in it for the fun of it, and for the experience,” said Hunter.
“We had a good time and encouraged each other,” echoed Johnson. “We were very supportive.”
Happy with her win, Johnson revealed she entered the competition to improve her public speaking skills. “Whenever I enter any competitions or fashion shows, it makes me less shy,” she noted.
Most important to Johnson, however, was her family. “They were very supportive and encouraging, and now they’re really proud of me,” she added.
Besides receiving the prize package that all the contestants received, which will include products such as shampoo, sun tan lotion, and other items worth a total of $200, Johnson earned an all-expenses paid trip to the national competition in Quebec on Aug. 14.
If she is one of the top four finalists there, she will advance to the Hawaiian Tropic International finals next spring.
She also will win several trips with the other three finalists to several “sunny destinations,” a wardrobe from designer Jean Airoldi, and many other prizes.