A’yana Phillips, the 24-year-old Virgin Islander representing the territory in the Miss World Competition on Dec. 14 in London, wowed the audience during the talent portion of the competition with her performance as the contest’s first disk jockey performer.
Phillips advanced to the top 27 out of 111 entrants competing for the title of Miss World, which was taken home by Jamaica.
According to Phillips, her performance during the semifinal talent show was her most special moment.
“I showcased a very personable talent that I enjoy back home. The feedback I received that day was remarkable. Everyone was on their feet as I transitioned through different genres of music during my set,” Phillips said.
Her favorite part of the competition was traveling to a new country, and the relationships she made.
“My favorite part of Miss World was traveling to London for the first time and being able to be myself amongst people of different countries or regions. I made a special bond with so many women that resulted in creating such a powerful network,” she said.
As a pageant queen from St. Thomas and winning competitions in the British Virgin Islands, she stressed the importance of hometown support in a small region.
“As small as my community may be, support in these international pageants goes a long way,” she said. “We send off representatives to these international pageants and expect everything to be simple. No matter how much obstacles I’ve surpassed I still represented my country as if I owe it to them and I’m proud of what I was able to accomplish.”
Phillips said preparation is the key to success in these competitions.
“Preparation is key. Research the ins and outs of these international pageants. Have a special talent that would make you stand out. Make sure you are fit and active to outwit the others in sports. Have a platform that is a part of you,” she said. “Please choose an impactful project that deals with kids and start in advance. Get as much sponsors as possible that will be able to help throughout the entire experience. Do not wait until the last minute and procrastinate. Be organized. Have a plan or goal. Have a great support team.”
Contestants interested in competing can find more information on Miss World USVI at the pageant’s website.