“Judgement was clean”, says Miss Apraxus organiser as outrage fades

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The decision about who won the Miss Apraxus 2017 title on Saturday was “clean,” the competition’s organiser, Salote Heletā Lilo, has insisted.

Lilo was responding after outrage about the results on social media over the weekend, with many people expressing their doubts about the result.

She said she took no part in the judgement and all records of judgements during the competition were kept by the auditor.

Eight competitors who participated in the beauty contest signed contract agreement with Apraxus which laid out the rules and judgment criteria to be followed, Lilo said.

The furore erupted after it was announced the winner of the Miss Apraxus 2017 was Ophelia Kava of Salʻs Creation.

Kava scooped prizes in all sections, including beach wear, intelligent interview, tau’olunga and evening wear.

Some parents and supporters vented their anger to Kaniva News with many claiming the judgement criteria were changed during the five week-end competitions that led to the final award.

A parent alleged that the time frame for the tau’olunga (solo dance) was five minutes, but during the competition they were told to change it and it was open to whatever length of time the tau’olunga could take.

The parent, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the interview was first set for the contestants to draw their questions, but it was later announced they would be interviewed according to the profile of the contestants.

The parent alleged this disadvantaged  many competitors.

Lilo said she had been running the competition for years and expected there would be complaints and criticism.

“Some supporters and parents were unhappy with the outcomes and I was prepared for it,” Lilo said.

“This does not affect me, but I take it.”

She said all eight contestants were happy with what they had achieved and they said they had learnt and obtained great experiences during the competition.

Most of them were New Zealand-born Tongans and what mattered most to them was to participate in a competition that hosted Tongan cultural activities in which they had not previously participated.

Lilo said she understood some people vented their disappointed on Facebook, but after some time they contacted her and apologised. She said some ended up praying with her over the phone after they reconciled.

All the beauty contestants will go to Tonga next week as part of a free ticket sponsored by the Apraxus.

Miss Apraxus 2017 Ophelia Kava will take part in the Miss Heilala competition. Other Miss Apraxus competitors are also free to take part.

The main points

  • The decision on won the Miss Apraxus 2017 title on Saturday was “clean,” the competition’s organiser, Salote Heleta Lilo, has insisted.
  • Eight competitors who participated in the beauty contest signed contract agreement with Apraxus which laid out the rules and judgment criteria to be followed, Lilo said.
  • She said she took no part in the judgement and all records of judgements during the competition were kept by the auditor, it said.
  • Lilo was responding after outrage about the results on social media over the weekend, with many people expressing their doubts about the result.

For more information

Miss Appraxus 2017 contestants wear puletaha

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