Despite the late starting time (7:53 p.m., to be exact) the pageant started and went rather well. The theme of the event was “A Tour of Egypt” and our appointed tour guides were Alonzo Blalock and Diseree Smith-Clark. The tour started off with a very entertaining dance number set to the up beat tune “Just Got Paid” by Johnny Kemp. The outfits that each of the contestants wore resembled that of an Egyptian queen complete with gold beaded sandals. After the ladies showed their dance moves, the modeling troupe Black Dynasty kept the crowd going with a routine, set to the Kanye West song, “Heartless.”
The tour guides then directed us up the Nile River to our next destination so that the contestants could show us their day wear. Each of the ladies modeled something they would wear on an interview or for night on the town. They all formally introduced themselves to the crowd. Contestants, one to six, participating were Chiquita Robison, sophomore from New Orleans, Nea Reese, junior from Baton Rouge, Essance Johnson, freshman from California, LaShaRae Jacobs, sophomore of Orange County, Calif., Fo’Julia O’Neal, sophomore of Ruston, and Qwanelia Williams, junior of Dallas.
The greetings and salutations then took us to the next stop on our tour gave us a look at what the ladies would wear pool side at one of the Nile River banks’ resorts. They wowed the crowd with their swim wear as they walked to Cameo’s hit song, “Candy.”
While the crowd was waiting the contestant to put on their talent portion get up’s, the Half Steps Band performed an assortment of musical numbers to keep the crowd into the show. The ladies attacked the stage to show off each of their special talents.
Contestant numbers one and two, Robinson and Reese, performed Yolanda Adams’ song, “Open My Heart” and EnVogue’s hit song, “Giving Him Something He Can Feel,” respectively. Contestant number three, Johnson did a dance number to an assortment of songs but almost had a slight wardrobe malfunction when her top nearly came off doing a dance move.
Jacobs performed a monologue about Goths, Punks and how both of the groups were misunderstood, but her piece left the crowd confused.
Next, O’Neal performed a dramatic interpretation called “Walking to Destiny”, that inspired the crowd into “black power” mode and the last contestant Williams’s knockout performance of Toni Braxton’s “Un-break my Heart” left the crowd speechless.
The evening wear segment was up next. Each of the ladies donned their gowns and walked the stage with some of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. members as their escorts and dazzled the crowd to the song “If This World Were Mine” by Luther Vandross.
After the gown sashaying was done, then came the Question and Answer session, and the last part of the pageant. The question of the night was, “With Obama being elected, what is the greatest challenge he will face and how would you overcome it?”
Each contestant stepped to the microphone and gave her opinion on the question but Johnson gave the most valid answer, stating that Obama’s biggest obstacle would be getting the U.S. out of debt and bringing troops home. The last part of her answer was inaudible because of the crowd’s roars.
After the scores were tallied by the judges (Tanisha Cousby, Tori Dean, and Omar Jones) and the winners were announced. After the dust settled Miss Black was won by O’Neal, Miss Gold by Jacobs, and Miss Black & Gold 2008-2009 was won by Williams.