Kinia Blyden, a 17-year-old from St. Thomas, was selected to be the reigning Princess at this year's St. John Festival. How can that be?
Well, the Festival Committee opened the competition to St. T-folks because there was a lack of interest from St. Johnians.
In fact, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News, only one of the five finalists was from St. John. And she dropped out, three days before the judging! Setting off another controversy.
Festival organizers want Kimberley Paul, 17, and her chaperon/mentor to return $2,500 they received to defray the expenses of competing, including gowns, props, modeling classes, etc, the Daily News explained. Some contestants reportedly have spent thousands of dollars to compete.
The chairman of the Miss St. John Pageant said Paul quit after she was told by previous competition coaches that her costumes and clothing were not good enough.