Saturday night was filled with ululations and tears as the last 15 Miss Rwanda contestants were selected at Petit Stade in Remera.
15 finalists for Miss Rwanda 2015. Source: The New Times/YouTube.
It was the end of the road for ten others who could not make the cut, as the judges concluded the hard job of choosing those who would proceed to the grand finale.
The pre-selection was presided over by five judges different from those who conducted the auditions.
The new panel consisted of erstwhile beauty queens Carine Rusaro, Josee Kabageni, Sabrina Simbi as well as radio man Albert Rudatsimburwa and Sam Barigye.
The occasion was also graced by the Sports and Culture Minister, Joseph Habineza and many other guests in a well-attended pre-selection event. Fans waving placards and donning T-shirts of their favourite contestant turned up in big numbers.
All the 25 girls selected from the five provinces of the country had their turn to appear on stage, answer questions in the language of their preference and try as much as possible to impress the judges and the audience.
In his remarks, Mike Karangwa, who has been presiding over selections upcountry, said that it was a pity some of the girls were leaving.
“I know it is a race and there has to be a winner. But the girls are all good. It is too bad that 10 have to go, but all are winners,” he said.
His words were reiterated by fellow Judge John Bunyeshuli, who assured the girls that those who will not make it should walk away proud, well knowing that they are winners.
But time would tell if those words were soothing enough for those who wouldn’t progress to the finals.
According to Judge Rusaro, the winners were chosen basing on numerous factors like beauty, catwalk, SMS voting, and brains among others.
“Beauty accounted for 30%, the style with which they conducted themselves accounted for 20%, their capacity to answer questions intelligently covered 30%, while online and SMS voting accounted for 20%,” Rusaro explained.
There were musical performances from Patrick Nyamitali, Christopher of Kina Music and Tusker Project Fame (TPF) winner Hope Irakoze, who thrilled the audience.
The Burundi-born, Kigali-based artiste proved that he has what it takes by keeping the crowd on its feet as judges compiled the results.
Then the emotional part of the evening came, as Judge Rudatsimburwa was given the task of reading out the numbers of the 15 that will go to the boot camp.
In the end, it was relief and tears of joy for those who made it through and tears of sadness for those who didn’t make it, but from the start, it was obvious that 10 would go home.
“To be honest, we were all tense. No one was sure of making it through. There was noise from the crowd and the anxiety was too much,” Mutoni Naringwa, one of the girls who made it told The New Times amidst tears of joy.
There were tears of disappointment too from the ten girls who couldn’t make it. However, others like Nadette Muhoza were calm and ambitious despite not making it.
“Some of my colleagues didn’t make it this far, so that means I can also make it further one day. I am happy that I reached this stage. I will try again maybe,” she said.
The 15 will be headed to the boot camp in preparation for the finale set for February 2.
The 15 who made it were announced in this order;