“I’m pretty excited, a little bit nervous, but looking forward to the night. I’m a bit sad too, as this will be the last evening with the girls.”
Richard is proud of her heritage: her mother Taputa Richard hails from Puaikura and her father Carl Simpson is Fijian.
She has enjoyed the events of the pageant and her newfound friendships with the other six contenders.
Richard also has a special talent that she revealed during her talent performance, held last week: sand art.
An experienced cultural dancer, she wanted to present something different to her show, “to tell a story using another creative skill, sand painting.”
With her chaperone Moari Allsworth, they managed to pull together the unusual presentation.
Pearl Lazaro is another contender who is feeling slightly nervous about tonight, but more, she’s excited.
“I’m so proud of each of the girls and am looking forward to the many more opportunities we’ll take as young proud Cook Islands women.”
Her best experiences of the pageant has been, meeting, learning and growing with “my fellow pageant sisters”.
“We all think alike and share similar passions, most importantly, we love our people and have a desire to serve.”
Lazaro’s costume for her talent section was crafted by Esther Kauvai- Foster, in dedication to Air Rarotonga.
“My talent also revisits a precious childhood memory of mine during the 2006 Purapura Games held in Manihiki, where I learned each of the Northern Islands anthems. It was a time of celebration with great pride and I wanted to relive that on stage and commit it all to God.”
Miss Cook Islands 2019 will be crowned tonight at the National Auditorium.
The show starts at 7pm. Categories are Te Reo Korero, evening gown, traditional costume, and the stage interview.
Tickets are available at the Islander Hotel. General seating $10 adults, $5 children, reserved seats $25, VIP $65.