Its a long day starting at the East Ocean Restaurant in the Haymarket. The now 19 contestants begin by introducing themselves to the panel one by one. Next comes a quick change and the behind closed doors 'Best in Swimwear'. Miss Earth Australia has chosen to move the focus away from swimwear (there is no swimwear parade in the final), however there is swimwear at the International level so we judge the girls in their cossies to make sure they are ready for the Overseas competition. After a quick bikini walk around the room the girls get back into their street clothes for a run-through on the Miss Earth questions; yes there are some nerves on show but all contestants do very well; these girls really know their environmental stuff!
Next is the 'Best in Environment' speech, a one to two minute timed piece; just you in front of a panel of judges who just so happen to be seated in front of a half dozen or so photographers & video operators busily snaping and recording the whole process, everything that's going on. Not to mention some of the judges myself included taking their own pictures too HELLO! But too many pictures are never enough, before we can break for lunch its time for formal group shots with the organizers, sponsors and of course the judges. At last we all sit down for a lunch time feast at the East Ocean Restaurant, one of the pageant's sponsors and the food is great.
It's then time for a change of venue, a quick trip a few block closer to the CBD to the Hard Candy fitness club's studios for the 'Best in talent'. This is a non compulsory stage but I have to say, find something to do! Read a poem, play an instrument, juggle, sing; it really is in your best interest to try something..
The Final Miss Earth Australia 2012Venue, North Sydney Leagues Club.
Saturday is another long day for the contestants, starting preparations at 12, full rehearsals for the evening show beginning at 2PM. Dresses need to checked and made ready, hair and make-up done. The judges begin arriving around 5 in the afternoon for the scheduled 7 PM start time and the judging panel grows in number with four new additions for the final.
A little after seven the proceedings begin, first a speech from Miss Earth Australia founder Maria James; then an opening dance number from all the contestants in sparkling sequinned dresses, I didn't know they could all do that! A song from our MC, introductions, the former Miss Earth (but who will win tonight). There is the best of the talent intermingled with changes of dresses, more walk bys, the gowns, the judging, 19 down to 10, Jenna dances, 10 down to 4!
After what I am sure must seem an eternity for the remaining four contestants...
Starting with runner-up
Miss Earth Australia Fire 2012 - Michelle Rimmer,
Miss Earth Australia Water 2012 - Audrey Tan,
Two awards to go, one announcement and we will know it all.
Miss Earth Miss Earth Australia Air 2012 - Taylah-Jessica Marsh,
And the Winner, Miss Earth Australia 2012 - Jenna Seymour from NSW Australia.
Congratulations to all the contestants, you really are all wonderful!
All shots by Kent Johnson, made with the Fujifilm X-Pro1.