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Miss Malaika runner-up, Alex questions the pageant for transparency and fairness

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Miss Malaika runner-up, Alex questions the pageant for transparency and fairness

It appears that there is no end in sight to the scandals that have rocked the 2011 Miss Maliaka Ghana beauty pageant. The season which began with the arrest of a young man who reportedly scammed several young ladies to have sexual relations with him in order to advance into the competition, ended with the crowning of Geraldine ‘Gerry’ Partington which was met with widespread disagreement because many people believed that based on the ‘make or break question’, the 1st runner-up Alexandra Ayirebi-Acquah deserved to win.

Miss Alexandra Ayirebi-Acquah has for the first time gone public with what she believes was unfair treatment towards her during the season and ultimately resulting in the final decision for the winner of Miss Maliaka 2011.  She comments: “Honestly I am very disappointed in the way things were done. I feel that there was little transparency and fairness as the competition was ongoing, and I was hoping that it would all be irrelevant during the finale but unfortunately since the proper thing wasn’t done, I have to tell my story so that people would know what happened and hopefully the right thing would be done.”

According to Alex, when she won two of the weekly tasks  in the reality TV series, there was no spotlight on her in the media  but when the ultimate winner of the competition even came up as a runner-up in any task, her name managed to appear in the media hence creating some form of unfair advantage.

“We had a number of tasks and each winner was exempted from eviction and given some media attention as well.  I won ‘Miss Eloquence’ alongside another contestant and the week after that; I won ‘Most Charitable Queen’ when I raised the most amount of money for charity. The director of the TV show promised me that the task was going to get a lot of attention because it was the highest amount of money that had ever been raised in the pageant but nothing was done to that effect.  The subsequent week, for Miss Photogenic we had celebrity photo shoot and bridal photo shoot. Gerry won the celebrity photo shoot competition and I was runner-up.  Her picture was strategically placed on the front page of The Daily Graphic newspaper.”

She added that when she noticed that whenever the other girls won a task, they were mentioned in the newspapers but whenever she won, nothing was mentioned about it, she asked the producers about it. She was told that the organizers usually send press releases out to the media but newspapers like the Graphic Showbiz, The Mirror and the Saturday Daily Graphic would choose what they want to write. But for Alex, the explanation was not enough because coincidentally it was only during the times that she won a task that those publications chose not to publish.

“In my humble opinion and solely based on events on the finale, it was all an attempt to downplay me so that if the preferred candidate should win it would be clear that she was the one that was doing well from the very beginning.”

Alex said the producers told her that she wasn’t getting enough votes throughout the season but she is of the belief that she could only do so much for herself, but needed the public to vote for her because the competition isn’t about who has the most money to vote for herself but whether the public believes in you that you can do your job and do it well.

“I think the reason why my votes were not coming was because people did not know me well and my achievements throughout the competition were not highlighted in the newspapers for people to know. All delegates should have received equal press for their achievements so that Ghanaians could make their decision on who is the best candidate; you don’t deprive Ghanaians from making that choice by promoting one person constantly all the time.”

Charter House, the organizers of the pageant have explained on some platforms that the decision of who won the crown ultimately was based on a number of factors including pre-judging and public votes.  However, Alex disagrees because according to her, the CEO of the event met the delegates before the finale to explain that the public votes, the talent show, the speech on the night of the finale, and the pre-judged segments will only get delegates into the top 5. And that, a new score sheet will be given to judges who would make their decision based solely on how delegates answer the common ‘break or make’ question.  Fellow contestants Mikafui Doe, and Emmanuella Esinam Awunyo – who also made top 5 – confirmed that indeed those were the rules read to them before the grand finale. Mikafui also complained that she didn’t understand why after the first eviction show, the producers stopped showing to them the results from the public voting.

Answering whether she felt that the judges came to the finale with a preferred winner, Alex said: “My take on the matter is that judges are allowed to have their favourites but the judges were called to be objective and make a decision that would be in the interest of the delegates and the Ghanaian public. But with the way things turned out it seems they had some preconceived ideas. My question is based on what? Is it based on the performance throughout the season, based on conduct, or based on interactions with other delegates; what would be their basis of even choosing the winner as their favouirite?”

Alex’s manager also added that Charterhouse needs to make its statement clear; if they made a mistake in choosing the wrong person and how are they going to right that wrong? Or are they still sticking to their story by bending the rules and saying that prejudging and sms votes were what decided the winner.  He comments:  “They can’t be on the fence on this one because it is not fair to carry these girls out of their way; they have school and other things to do; they invest so much time and energy into this and then the organizers just downplay it as another pageant and then move on.”

He also commented that the prizes are still not clear because after more than a week, nobody has contacted Alex about what she will be taking home as her prize.

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  1. Ekua-SADSTORY

    November 17, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    People have to understand that there is always something behind these things, Whatever it is…. true or false will certainly come out. Thank GOd Alex came out to speak her mind. I would advice anyone that knows details of what is really going on, to expose those details.

    Its rather sad, but its a well known fact that social ties and contacts have a positive effect on certain groups in society getting ahead more than others.. it shouldn’t be so…looks like the media might have been connected to certain people delegates more than others…sorry this happened to you Alex…

    The winner might be innocent/or not, who knows? If these girls dont open their mouths, nothing will be done, so they should all have the courage… I hope they gather strength to do so. Whatever the truth is behind all this, should be exposed.. This is extremely sad Ghana.. schockingly sad… Am very disappointed to hear such a story….

  2. Yaw

    November 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Am glad the gurl has spoken..I hope they give her prizes though. Charterhouse likes that too much..Always cheating people. from Ghana music to stars of the future to miss malaika and wht not..God bless you Alex. I hope you excel in everything you set your eyes on.

  3. Bill

    November 18, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Chaley you chew go bed and get over it ah ah! Why are you behaving like your life depends on this? If you have any issues go and start your own pageant. You didn’t win so respect that and let it be. Mchew.

  4. ama

    November 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    @Bill Really, are u serious?
    You dont understand the frustrations and disappointment people in such a spot will be going thru
    It is good she has come out to air her views, however, she shouldn’t dwell on it, she should hold her head up high & just move on.
    Cheater House afre obviously a disgrace

  5. Princess K

    November 18, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I think that Alex is getting too desperate. in all pageants there are such opinions from the public. If she had won Gerrys fans would have said same. why will other girls achievement be published but hers. she should move on with her life if she has focus she would excel. its not always about winning to be able to make a difference. Thx

  6. alex

    November 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    may be i was runner up to ensure dat derz justice. It’s nt abt the winner it’s abt e system. Is dz e way we want our country to go. It’s a lot easier for me to keep quiet n lose out on e true meaning of competition. Why shd e winner win n hv so much backlash. It’s in our best interest to be deep n luk into e future. So guys it’s nt just abt me. It’s much easier to keep quiet.

  7. Kwabenyo

    November 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Ekwa sad story, what makes u think Alex is not socially linked.. All the threats about how she will escalate things, where do u think its coming from… Do u think she doesnt look like someone tht fits in that social bracket?.. if so, state clearly… Now Alex give it some rest.. Ahiaa for u .. All you did was answer a question well.. What else have u had to offer?… Gerry obviously floored you in the speech.. Now the whole competition was not based on those two questions… Mind u, intelligence is not depicted by ur abililty to answer a question on impulse(that’s a skill). Various people have various skill sets and I guess that is yours; so dont think you are smarter. Take the contents of your speeches. Tell me you weren’t impressd with Gerry’s speech. Don’t follow this media hype.. its all hype.. ure not better than you know you are so give it some rest… P.S: I hate your smile.. no offense intended.

  8. Yaw

    November 18, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    @Kwabenyo..she never said she was better than Gerry. I listened to her speech and that of Gerry and she did way better than Gerry. This is no media hype, this is setting the record straight and making sure that another girl does not for victim to this. P.S: Your ignorance disgusts me so educate offense intended (How does that feel?)

  9. Ekua-SADSTORY

    November 18, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Mr.Kwabenyo,, if you are smart enough, you will rather tackle the discussion at hand, rather than battling with someone you know not off, or try to instigate me trying to insult Alex. You seem confused……………My comments are no way directed at you or any of the the delegates.

    ********Be smart enough to read, and while u at it, understanding and comprehending of the English language might benefit you. That will be my wise advise to you Kwabenyo… Have a wonderful evening….

    . Nothing but love,,,Am just setting you straight. Have a wonderful debate on the issue and refrain from attacking individual writers.

  10. thurb

    November 20, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    @ bill, i dont think you have ever been on the FORE, cuz if u had you will really understand what the poor girl is going thru. such unfair treatments only annihilate girls like Alex’s self confidence. to me, well, i think the girls were not given dat equal opportunity they deserved.

  11. Audrey Quaye

    November 24, 2011 at 2:12 am

    It’s okay to express your opinion about the Miss Malaika 2011 contest and the process from your experience since you were a contestant and experienced it from the inside.

    What is not okay is the insidious attack on Gerry’s character. Gerry is the innocent victim in this sordid and unfortunate saga. She performed creditably throughout the entire contest, and was never up for eviction or saved from eviction by the contest judges. I have not seen the video of the final event so I cannot comment on Gerry’s performance or the performance of the other contestants at the final event. What I do know is that normal human beings — no matter how intelligent they may be do experience stage fright and can become tongue-tied when faced with a large audience. Having stage fright and not providing a satisfactory answer to some audience members and viewers does not warrant the extent of defamatory comments, personal attacks, lies, fabrications and insults that ensued.

    Gerry is owed an apology by the journalists and the people that have cast unfounded insinuations to damage her good character.

    I am not sure when journalists became the final arbiter of who is or is not intelligent. Has anybody conducted an IQ test to determine the intelligence of any of the contestants in the beauty pageant? Calling another human being a “beauty with no brains” is extremely degrading and deeply insulting. Is that the way we empower young Ghanaian women? By insulting and degrading them?

    I have viewed the videos of the contest that are currently available at the Miss Malaika 2011 website. Gerry is a naturally very shy person and I noted that she was hiding from the camera most of the time. Other contestants were interviewed more and had more camera time than she did. If the production staff were favoring her over the other contestants that would have been obvious from the videos.

    Also, from watching the videos one will determine that different contestants stood out at various stages in the competition so it is ridiculous for any one contestant to position themselves as having outperformed all the other contestants consistently, and also that they are the only contestant that deserved to be crowned the winner when they were up for eviction at the third and final eviction and were saved by the judges. How does one go from being close to being evicted to thinking they are the only person that deserved to win? What about the other contestants that also performed well? I presume that the judges were not playing favorites when a certain person is favored over another contestant and saved from eviction but when the same person does not win the crown then the judges are unethical! You can’t have your cake and eat it too!

    The personal attacks, false accusations and fabrications that have been concocted with the sole intent of damaging Gerry’s good name have gone way out of hand. The judges for the final event were three women — Anne Sekyi (“Godmother), Kay Bentsi-Enchill (“Godmother), Nicola Sackey; and two men — Desmond Blackmore (aka “D’Black”), and Xavier (a Manager of Air Namibia). Apparently from news reports based on interviews of Charterhouse officials, three of the judges — Anne Sekyi, Nicola Sackey, and Xavier scored Gerry 1st; and two of the judges — D’Black and Kay Bentsi-Enchill scored Gerry 2nd; giving her a 3 to 2 win!

    D’Black is Gerry’s cousin and he ranked her second after the Ist Runner-up! So where is the favoritism? By Xavier? By Nicola? Or Anne Sekyi? I doubt very much that Gerry had ever met Xavier prior to the event. Let’s get down to the facts! Where is the favoritism and by which judge precisely?

    Ghanaians need to learn to separate their own emotions from fact! State the facts and leave the name calling, fabrications and unfounded accusations behind.

    Gerry has conducted herself with such dignity and grace despite the insidious and unfounded personal attacks, insults, lies and fabrications. She is a real sweetheart — a beautiful person inside and out! She is kind, generous, well-mannered and considerate and loved by her entire family and many friends. She will do well — with or without the Miss Malaika 2011 crown!

    Thank you!

  12. Antwi Jnr

    November 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    hmmm….. Well, it seems everyone has got his or her own explanation to the issue but I want us all to remember that opinions are like noses everybody has one.Well for me I ‘ll just say that let’s do away with the personal attacks by trying to tarnish the image of some people and find the root cause of the issue, because this is not obviously not the first this so called “unfair treatment” thing is happening. So let’s not base our justifications solely on people’s views because some people more often than not present a one-sided argument which is not so good for social issues of this kind. Thank You!
    But for Alex; a beautiful and obviously an intelligent lady, who also happens to be my course-mate I just want to say cheer up and look on the brighter side of life.Such is life,we don’t always get what we want.

  13. Audrey Quaye

    November 25, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Another thing — after viewing the initial videos, I noted that Gerry was hiding from the camera and was not letting her personality come through to the audience. Beauty can only take a person so far! People will not vote for a person if they have no personality or likeability. I told her the only thing that really mattered was connecting with the audience. Engaging them directly to make them like her and vote for her. “Communication 101” — you learn that in Business School Communication courses here in the USA!

    When you watch the videos, you will notice that midway through the competition — Gerry then started to speak directly to the camera and to the audience and not the production crew! That is what made the difference and got her the audience votes! She did not waste her time fretting and complaining to the production team about not getting camera time or publicity. How many times was Gerry featured in the newspapers? She only won one segment — “Miss Photogenic” and shared the honors with another contestant, so how can anyone blame her because another contestant believes she was denied publicity and votes from the public!

    Every situation is a learning experience and a learning moment. Next time, learn to connect with the audience and don’t blame and tarnish others because you believed you were being treated unfairly and had some problems.

    My advise to the journalists, please be sure to talk to all parties to get their perspectives before you rush to judgment and publish articles on the internet. When you post an article on the internet, other website owners copy and post your article and the story goes viral! Defamatory comments and unfounded lies and fabrications once posted are hard to contain and recall.

    It is very hard for a young lady that has led a very protected and sheltered life to suddenly be thrust into the public arena and internet with articles and comments that contain unfounded lies, fabrications, insinuations, and tawdry comments of a sexual nature! Second, I am not sure how a young lady that speaks fluent French, Spanish, English and her own native language and is a final year university student can be declared to be a “beauty without brains”! How many Ghanaians or people in general, including the journalists, have the skill set to speak several languages fluently? This is tantamount to defamation of character and cyber-harassment and it needs to end!

    Also, journalists and website owners need to moderate and remove defamatory comments and allegations that cannot be proven. Otherwise, they will be held responsible for libel and defamation of a person’s good name and character.

    I will end by quoting from William Shakespeare’s “Othello”: “Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, is the immediate jewel of their souls: who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing; ’twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands; but he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor indeed.”

    Thank you!

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