Island Queen is taking it from the stage to the screen. Reality TV for Barbadians in the works…

Now in its fourth year, the island’s leading swimsuit contest will be going to the next level, as its organisers revealed during a launch event at the Allamanda Hotel on Sunday evening.

The entertainment on hand for people at the Hastings beachside resort - the group kept debating whose song should play next...

Paul Parris, marketing director of Island Queen announced that Innoventive, the owners of the event, were developing a reality television show out of this year’s contest. Noting that it was part of an effort to innovate the marketing of the event as well as extend its longevity and reach, Parris said: “The TV show gives the audience an opportunity to see the girls as they prepare for the event and connect with them, while showing the hard work it takes to make Island Queen happen.”

Other changes were announced at the laid back launch, where this year’s contestants mingled with media, friends and family. Additional 2011 changes include a brand new venue – the Black Pearl restaurant in Hastings will now play host to the bumper crowds which traditionally turn out for Island Queen. The venue will be extended to the beach outside of Black Pearl, providing a seascape backdrop for the Island Queen beauties and giving the event an even sexier island vibe.

One of the Island Queen contestants who's obviously fixated on her Crackberry

As compared to previous years where there were two or even three rounds, this time patrons will have one chance only to see the Island Queen contestants in the flesh., but before then, fans of the girls can download a picture of them by simply scanning a QR (Quick Response) code from the Island Queen merchandise. “We will be launching a QR campaign for Island Queen through our SCAN is The Future project that will allow the public to scan a bar code and have instant access to all things Island Queen” Parris added.

The launch event highlighted another aspect to this year’s show – the strong emphasis on HIV/AIDS awareness with its theme “I am Aware: Soldiers for Awareness” was highlighted in a big screen presentation of the contestants in their specially designed swimsuits. Event designer Cassandra Mottley of Shelneil, designed the red swimwear with hints of camouflage to represent the fight against stigma and discrimination.

Make up by Danielle Archer for Color Coded & Make up by Kimmie

Island Queen is a great addition to the Barbados Experience as a lifestyle tourism event and a wonderful way to market the island in a different light and we are excited to see how far it can go.” Parris concluded.

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