Tropic Beauty held their fourth annual calendar model search finals beginning on Wednesday, June 11 at the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas, and culminating in the selection of winners on Saturday. Although the majority of the contestants were from the United States, a strong selection of international beauties was included, from places like Colombia, France, Canada, Mexico, England, Grenada, Cuba, Peru and several other countries. The group of 100 contestants displayed a considerable variety of ethnic backgrounds and body shapes, and were chosen as winners of local bikini contest events.
As always in pageants and beauty contests, there was a variety of opinion in the crowd about who should win. It was hard to imagine number 42, Sierra Caldwell of Cleveland, or the soft beauty of number 69, Ana Gallardo of Mexico not being chosen for one of the special awards or a Top Ten win, and yet neither of them, nor other notable beauties, were called to the winner's dais. The judges have their own criteria, and in this as in other events, the outcome is never easy to predict.
In this pageant there was an alternative group of selections: modeling contracts, awards for special shoots and cash awards that were given by people other than the judges: model agencies and commercial clients. No small number of these went to contestants not chosen for the Top Ten by the judges: Everhart, Redington Beach, FL ( number 4), Karin Noell, Las Vegas, NV (6), Brittani Johnson, Los Angeles, CA (17), Ashley Gilbert, Tampa, FL (28), Jessica Barton, Orlando, FL (36), Amanda Runcer, Edmonton, AB (46), Maria Forero, Bogota, Colombia (48), Milanya Maria, Hollywood, CA (81), and Rake Martinez, Caracas, Venezuela (90).
Not surprisingly some of those contracts and photoshoots went to members of the Top Ten as well. The winners of the contest were:
Winner: Elizabeth Smith, Jacksonville, FL (34)
Second place: Tra'shell Thompson, Atlanta, GA (43)
Third place: Catherine Cybulkiewicz, Valencia, Venezuela (44)
Fourth place: Michelle McKay, Calgary AB (78)
Fifth place: Runa Lucienne, Beverly Hills, CA (97)
Other Top Ten finishers were Tia McDonald, Gainesville, FL (also Miss Photogenic) (51), Ten Ednyr Marie, Boca Raton, FL (60), Andrea Jarova, Bratislava, Slovakia (83), Christina Tufford, Jupiter, FL and Kyra Keli, New York, NY (96).
Photos of the contestants and winners are in the slide show with this article.
Coverage of the event was enabled courtesy of the Latin Media Group.