Alyssa’s ‘whirlwind’ month at Miss World
Competing in Miss World may have been gruelling, but Miss Bermuda Alyssa Rose says it was all worthwhile to represent the Island on the global stage.
“The past month has been an absolute whirlwind,” Ms Rose told The Royal Gazette of her China experience. “From the day I arrived it was non-stop, with tryouts for talent and dances of the world, interviews for our online profiles, appearances and trips and rehearsals.
“We had about four to five hours of sleep a night with an intense schedule and now that it is over my body and my mind has felt a huge relief.
“Despite the demanding schedule, I enjoyed every minute of the experience and can promise it will never be forgotten.”
Ms Rose was thrilled to be highlighted both as a finalist in the talent contest, allowing her to perform with 12 others at a special event at the Beauty Crown Theatre, and to be placed on the front stage in the final musical routine of the show.
“The first day of rehearsals we had no idea what to expect,” she said. “When we entered the huge, glamorous ballroom where they took place, we were lined up in six lines and told we were going to learn a dance for the opening of the show. The directors and choreographers watched us each closely and selected the girls who were the best dancers.
“It was mostly the girls from the Caribbean who outshone the rest and we were selected to be in the front of the performance along with the singer Julien Believe, who sings the song Caribbean Slide. He is from the Bahamas and was flown in after they heard this catchy tune.
“When we were told we would appear in the front we all shrieked with excitement. The smallest countries in the competition were going to be the main attraction, and that never happens.”
Ms Rose called the Beauty with a Purpose initiative the highlight of the competition, explaining that all of the contestants were encouraged to take part in humanitarian work, submitting videos to highlight issues facing people in their countries and the efforts to tackle them.
“From issues such as lack of clean water to discrimination against albinism, the issues that were highlighted all over the world were shocking and emotional,” she said, describing the experience as “inspiring”.
Over the course of the competition, she said she became good friends with several of her competitors, adding: “It didn't feel like we were competing against each other at any point, everyone was supportive and positive. I don't have one negative thing to say regarding the competitiveness during the experience.”
Miss Spain, Mireia Lalaguna Royo, eventually took home the Miss World crown, with representatives from Russia, Indonesia, Lebanon and Jamaica filling out the top five.
Ms Rose did not secure a place in the top 20 overall. However, she was brought to tears by the amount of warm wishes and support she received.
“When you are at something of this magnitude, I felt so isolated sometimes, and then I would read the comments of my friends and family and even people who don't know me but followed my success and all of a sudden everything would feel good again,” she said.
“People forget sometimes that I didn't go there for myself. I was there to represent Bermuda and its amazing people and I did just that.
“Thank you to everyone who supported me, believed in me, and voted for me. You have no idea how much it means to me and I will never forget it.
“Up until this point in my life I have been exposed to a magnitude of different opportunities and experiences, some extremely difficult, and I have never ever heard of or experienced something so difficult, exhausting, rewarding, inspiring and exciting as this past month.
“It couldn't have been further from glamorous if it tried.
“I can confidently say I have walked away from this competition a better, more worldly person, a more educated young woman, and even more proud to be Bermudian.”