Around 300 guests filled the Kings Hall at the Mercure Grand Hotel in Leicester on Thursday evening to watch contestants battle it out in various rounds to become Mr and Miss Leicestershire 2016.
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Over 100 contestants were scouted back in January in the Highcross shopping centre and were whittled down to just 21 female and 5 male contestants for the grand final.
Miss England 2015, Natasha Hemmings wore a beautiful gown designed by Kelly Couture, showed off her incredible talent by delivering an outstanding opera performance. A raffle draw and donations could be made to the charity Hope Against Cancer who supported the event this evening.
Judging the competition was Maria Di-Rito from Angel Eyes, Kerri Daniel, Lisa Heath, Claire Potts, Imogen, Harry editor of Pukaar Magazine, award winning dress designer Arinder Bhullar, Kerry Heslewood, Bal Gill owner of Silk Powder whose team created the hair and make-up looks for the evening and finally, Rob Coltman from Mercure Hotel.
The contestants kicked off the evening with the Eco- round where the girls and guys strutted their stuff down the catwalk in outfits created from recycled fabrics, charity shop clothing and second hand clothes. One girl created a dress using recycling bags. The contestants then had to introduce themselves and explained a little about their creations.
The second round proved a little more energetic as the contestants jogged, lunged and squatted onto the catwalk for the sportswear round. Miss sportswoman was won by contestant number 13 Sapphire who was then fast-tracked into the top ten females.
Up next was the Evening- wear round, where the female contestants in elegant dresses in all their glittered glory and the males in their smart tuxedos graced the catwalk. In this round the contestants showcased who they’d been sponsored by. ??After much debate and deliberation, it was announced that the contestants were narrowed down to the final 11 rather than a final 10.
Before handing over his reining title, previous Mr Leicestershire and show co host Linford Martin gave a heart-warming speech about what the competition has meant to him.
The only five male contestants Dhrupal, George, Jaspreet, Joseph and Grant took to the stage where they were asked questions., ranging from what they would do if they won the title, to how they would raise money for charities. Property developer, 26 year old Grant Cotton was crowned the winner of Mr Leicestershire.
Georgia, Mackyla, Amy, Shola, Mia, Megan, Chloe, Aliyyah, Sapphire, Lindsey and Rebecca were announced as the top 11 female finalists, where they were then asked two questions in regards to Leicester, charities and what they would do if they were to win the competition.
Apart from the overall winner of Miss Leicestershire, other titles were honoured to the contestants before the winner was announced. Miss publicity was won by Chloe, Miss Popularity went to Aliyyah, Miss Charity was won by Megan, Miss Echo went to Nicole and Shola won the Miss Social Media award. 18 year old Megan Elliot from Anstey was crowned the overall winner of Miss Leicestershire 2016.
Grant and Megan will win over £2,000 worth of prizes including hair-care for the year from Danique Hairdressing, a beautiful gown from Leicester Bridal and evening gown specialist Arinder Bhullar the opportunity to be represented by DNA Models and a photo shoot and portfolio and both will have the opportunity to represent the county at the Miss & Mr England finals.
Over £3000 was raised for Hope Against Cancer.