The Andover Carnival Royalty is a much coveted role, with many Andover & Villages children applying to be chosen to represent their town.
The final heat of the competition was held at The White Hart Hotel in Bridge Street, Andover, on Thursday 10th April, with eleven nervous children and their families packed into the function room.
Whilst the committee awaited the arrival of all the children, the crowd was entertained by Chris Bernsten, who is a local singer. Chris sang for around 25 minutes and treated us to lots of Michael Buble covers. Later on whilst the judges considered each contestant, we were sung to by Stephanie and again by Chris who ended the section with ‘Come What May’ from Moulin Rouge.
The judges were introduced as Joe Faretra, from the Andover Advertiser, Ann Roberts, who provides the female royalty dresses, a representative from the White Hart Hotel and Councillor Iris Andersen. Chatty and very funny compere for the event was Andover Carnival Chairman, Alun Grace.
8 years old and, when asked what becoming the Princess would mean to her, Tia told the judging panel that she would be really happy meeting new people and having new experiences.
9 years old without a current boyfriend. Kati was asked what her favourite subject is at school and she told the panel that she likes maths because she is very good at it.
10 years old and loves Roar, by Katy Perry. Amy was asked where her favourite place to visit was and why, and she told the panel that it would be Disneyland, because she had never been and her friends had.
Romilly O’Neil – 2014 Attendant
Loving dancing to music, Romilly was asked what her favourite sport was. She responded after some thought that it would be tennis and that she used to be in a tennis club.
12 years old, Zoe was asked what appeals most to her about being Carnival Royalty. She replied that she wanted to be caring and to look after people.
Millie’s favourite programme is Victorious and was asked what places she had visited and what was her favourite. Millie said that she likes to holiday by the seaside, because she likes swimming and body boarding.
Melissa Mae Ori – Attendant
Aged 9 and a chocolate love, Melissa was asked what she likes to do in her spare time. She told the panel that she likes to play with her friends and is happy to play whatever they want to play.
Aimee Coombs – Princess
Aged 9 and loving any music she can dance to, Aimee was asked what her favourite subject was at school. Confidently she said that she likes art the most, because she likes listening to everyone else’s ideas and hearing what others like.
Aged 11 and the Andover Carnival Prince 2 years ago, Luis was a confident and engaging finalist, telling the room that his perfect day would be starring in a West End Show and a meal of lasagne. He went on to say that he had auditioned for Billy Elliot and had been recalled 3 times.
Doesn’t like football, prefers rugby and used to play for Andover Rugby Club, he was asked what his favourite food is and who cooks it. Elliot said that he loves pizza and his mum and dad cook it. He did admit he likes Domino’s but his mum’s pizza is ‘probably’ better.
Lewis Blackman – Prince
A Manchester United supporter, Lewis was asked what his favourite subject was at school, Lewis told the panel that he enjoys science the most because he can explore new things and get to experiment with things.
All of the finalists were lovely, engaging confident children and despite their nerves at being in the spotlight, handled themselves perfectly. Iris Andersen spoke before the winners were announced and encouraged those who were not successful this year, to try again next year. Iris also thanked the Royalty of 2013 and their parents. She explained it is always an emotional time to say goodbye.
This year’s Andover Carnival is on Sunday 20th July 2014 where the Royals will embrace their new role.