Kolkata, Aug 24 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS): After a long evening of customary clusters of glitz, glamour, music and build-ups, here on Sunday night, the crown of 14th Dabur Gulabari Sananda Tilottama finally went to a certain Arpita Sinha from Kolkata.
Sinha’s crowning at the ‘largest beauty pageant in eastern India’ came both as bit of a surprise to those present and as proof that sometimes in beauty pageants, you do need substance to back your panache.
Judges of the evening-designer Ritu Kumar, model Tapur Chatterjee, classical singer Rashid Khan and entrepreneur Anamika Lodha- were in an understandable fix as in the fashion rounds, the competition was neck-to-neck.
But, it was in the questionnaire round that Sinha exceeded her peers with eloquent answers and took away the crown, gushing, “I know it’s clichéd, but I do feel like I am on top of the world.”
The eve of the grand finale saw a bundle of entertainment as well, with singer and former member of girl band ‘Viva!’ Neha Bhasin giving audiences a sultry performance of foot-tapping numbers.
The Violin Brothers, Dev Shankar and Jyoti Shankar, also made the night extra special with their captivating performance followed by a fashion show with Tollywood actress Payel Sarkar as the showstopper.
A man of multiple talents, Barry O’Brien, hosted the evening along with model Dipannita Sharma and kept the audience always on their toes with impromptu ‘competitions’, like one in which they made every man wearing pink catwalk on the ramp.
“This beauty pageant is less about the outward beauty and more about the spirit, the friendship and the camaraderie. It’s a celebration of the spirit of the women of today,” said O’Brien.
Having received around 4,500 applications for the contest, an intense selection procedure followed and with a lot of shortlisting the number of finalists was brought down to ten. For over a month these girls were groomed, grilled, trained and took part in 17 sub-contests.
On Sunday evening, the ten finalists walked the ramp in attires designed by ace designer Sabyasachi, faced tricky questions from the judges and were gradually cut down to seven, and then five before the winners were crowned by Eram Karim, the last year’s Tilottama.
Priti Kongkana Burman was crowned the first runner-up and Sonika Chauhan the second. Being able to appear on a such a platform and flaunt their talent, was nothing short of a dream come true, they said.
“The contest, after all, is about empowering women. All ten you saw here are winners. I’m sure this has boosted their confidence and given them an experience. If they play it right, they’ll be very successful,” said Madhumita Chattopadhyay, editor of Sananda magazine.
(Photos by Avishek Mitra/IBNS)
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