This year's Miss Teuila pageant has not been without a degree of controversy. Supporters of Miss Samoa, New Zealand, a contestant who was named second runner-up, were extremely vocal in their disappointment. In the few days prior to my departure from Samoa, their letters of complaint filled the pages of The Observer.
I believe that it was these supporters who discovered that Pearl McFall (Miss NUS), who was crowned Miss Teuila, was 17 at the time she registered in the pageant. Pageant rules dictate that contestants must be 18 years of age or older to enter. This news was, of course, picked up by the media and became the only story worth telling for a few days.
McFall officially relinquished her crown five days after being crowned Miss Teuila, holding a press conference at the National University of Samoa campus to make the announcement. This resulted in Poinsettia Taefu, the first runner-up, being crowned Miss Teuila 2006. Having cleaned up seven of the ten individual category awards (e.g. Best Talent, Best Puletasi, etc.), it seems fitting that Poinsettia wears the crown. Congratulations 'tia!