Local committee takes up Miss Universe franchise

| 13/03/2023 | 34 Comments
Miss Universe Cayman Islands, Cayman News Service
Derri Lee

(CNS): The Miss Cayman Islands Universe committee has become the franchise holder for the pageant after the Ministry of Tourism pulled out of the beauty contest business last month. The committee has been organising the pageant here for more than two decades and on Saturday announced it had been granted the licence. Committee Chair Derri Lee has been appointed as the National Director by the Miss Universe Organization and a new chair is expected to be announced soon.

The pageant committee has had a tough year after it allowed this year’s winner to compete in the contest while facing criminal charges. But Tiffany LeAnn Conolly (25) from West Bay was recently dethroned after she was found guilty of those assault and other charges in relation to a violent incident in October 2021 at her former lover’s family home.

She has been replaced by Chloe Powery-Doxey, who competed at the Miss Universe contest after the reigning queen was suspended from public duties in the face of a public backlash over the situation. This embarrassment along with the changes the organisation has made to its franchise led to the government announcing it would not renew the licence and hoped the private sector would step in.

Lee said she had been spearheading the restructuring of the committee since the announcement about the franchise and some changes would be revealed shortly. The committee, she added, was paramount to building strong lasting relationships with sponsors. “We have worked hard to maintain our sponsors over the years and they understand our vision,” Lee said as she thanked the ministry for its “tremendous support over the years”.

CNS has asked the committee about the cost of the franchise but it has not responded. According to open-source information, the franchise can cost as much as $5 million or as little as $10,000 depending on the country and the circumstances of the franchise applicant.

The international pageant, once owned by former US president Donald Trump, is going through changes after it was acquired by Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip, a transgender woman and Thai media tycoon, last year. She has plans to allow all women, including transgender, married, pregnant or divorced contestants to enter.

In her statement about acquiring the franchise, Lee said the committee “acknowledges that the Cayman Islands is a conservative community and we will adhere to this culture,” a clear nod to concerns about how the pageant may evolve.

Meanwhile, the committee has still not set a date to officially crown Powery-Doxey, though applications for the 2023 national pageant are expected to begin in the coming weeks.

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Category: Art & Entertainment, Local News

Comments (34)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Just stop this sick exploitation of teens and young women. It’s discusting!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Happy and excited for the future of Miss Universe Cayman pageant now! Wishing you the very best with this endeavor Derri Lee!

    The Caymanian women who have progressed through the local pageant systems have all turned out to be intelligent beauties who contribute to our local youth and community.

    Keep up the good work; it can be tiring and the haters can be loud, but keep going. Proud of the young women who assume this challenge in the face of ignorant, jealous people.

  3. Anonymous says:

    $10K to $5 million! How much was DOT paying for the franchise, and who is going to pay it now?

    • Anonymous says:

      Go check the budget nah? stop asking questions designed to make people suspicious, the budget is available at the Parliament, go ask someone. Its a public document.

      • Anonymous says:

        Have you ever looked at it? It’s so complicated and full of vague descriptions of what items are – it’s not designed to be readily understood. Even the public accounts committee struggle to understand what is being spent.

  4. Emma W says:

    Congratulations Derri Lee! Proud of you! Continue to follow your dreams!

  5. Anonymous says:

    After reading this encouraging news it behooves me to say that the Ministry of Tourism should finally give a “Mr Cayman” pageant a turn. I can see the glorious promo signs now and commercials of CayMAN’s finest shaking it to Sisqo’s Thong Song theme with the honorable Big Mac Daddy McKeeva crowning the winner.

  6. Anonymous says:

    just bin it….
    cayman’s results for entrants speaks for itself.

  7. Anonymous says:

    But they have shinny white teeth!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Mickey Mouse wears a Kenny Bryan wristwatch.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Watch out for Act 2. Of course it will cost the Cayman Islands $5,000,000.00. because this is a low tax jurisdiction and the holder should be rolling in the money!! Please rubbish this “rubbish” and go ahead and raise some funds to assist our ladies and gentlemen to become educated, articulated. professional and upstanding “ladies and gentlemen” . Enough with this beauty queen nonsense.

  10. Anonymous says:


  11. Anonymous says:

    Will they be registering as a charity to try an extort funds from public suckers and of course DoT? Asking for my trans friends

  12. Anonymous says:

    Yay, the month of celebrating women…and there’s this 🤣

  13. Anonymous says:

    I can’t wait for the day when a caymanian pageant Queen looses to a pregnant trans gender divorcee.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Can’t wait to see the first transgender candidate – suspect the committee would have a bigger problem stomaching that then allowing in people with an established record ( no conviction recorded lol) of violence.

  15. Anonymous says:

    clown emoji

  16. Anonymous says:

    A license to continue to be archaic. It’s decades past time to cancel misogynistic beauty pageants.

    • Anonymous says:

      Usually ran by misandrists though. Parading women to objectify them sexually. Totally disgusting

  17. An0n says:


  18. Caymanian says:

    Official sh!t show now.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The poppy show continues #FixItJesus

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not a Jesús thing.

      • Anonymous says:

        But she alludes to us being a good Christian society – yet putting on a beauty pageant objectifying young women with categories like Best Legs and Best Smile.

        Wonder if they will have a category this time for Least Pending Charges?


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