By Nadine Kam
George Tuitele-Martin and Auli'i Tagupa were crowned Mr. and Miss Polynesia 2014 at Leeward Community College Theatre Sept. 28. — Nadine Kam photos
The Mr. and Miss Polynesia Pacific Pageant, created by Ralph Malani, is one of the liveliest, most entertaining pageants in town, which, as emcee Teighlor Rmani explained, includes elements of the annual Universal Show Queen pageant.
The event took place Sept. 28 at the Leeward Community College Theatre, and after about 4-1/2 hours of singing, dancing, costume pageantry and some pretty risqué moves, George Tuitele-Martin was named kane winner, and Auli'i Tagupa was named wahine winner.
I was initially invited to this annual event because of the costume component that involves creating aloha wear from fabric donated by Hawaiiana designers, as well as black tie, natural couture involving costumes fashioned from nature's materials, and an extravagant fantasy costume segment that generally involves a lot of feathers and flash. But I keep coming back for the pure entertainment, exuberance and pure bravado the contestants always bring to the evening.
Also adding to the beauty of the evening were performers Mahi Crabbe and Ashley Lilinoe, whose music accompanied the contestants on stage, and Duncan Kamakana, one of the judges, who was called on to perform, including a hana hou of his Burger King jingle.
Here are the winners:
>> Mr. Polynesia Pacific 2014: George Tuitele-Martin
>>Miss Polynesia 2014: Auli'i Tagupa
>> Natural couture: Keola Kaluhiokalani (kane) and Auli'i Tagupa (wahine)
>> Aloha wear: George Tuitele-Martin (kane) and Shiloh Phillips (wahine)
>> Black tie: Keali'i O'Brien (kane) and Nile Te'o (wahine)
>> Talent: Jerrold Martinez (kane) and Nei-Moana Henriques (wahine)
>> Fantasy: George Tuitele-Martin (kane) and Auli'i Tagupa (wahine)
Keola Kaluhiokalani summoned the spirit of Don Ho during the fantasy segment of the competition, though he looks a little more like Jason Scott Lee!
While results were tabulated, Duncan Kamakana, one of the judges, was pressed to perform, including a good-natured hana hou of the audience-requested Burger King jingle. Click on the photo to hear him sing "Ku'u Home O Kahalu'u."
George and Auli'i with Mr. and Miss Pacific Polynesia founders Ralph Malani and Cliff Duldulao, right.
George's talent competition performance comprised contemporary and Polynesian dance.
Auli'i performs her hula.
Jerrold Martinez delivered a poignant performance that began with a dance in drag to Beyoncé's "If I Were a Boy," before he stripped away makeup and feminine accoutrements to deliver a powerful kane dance, below, that won him the kane talent award.
The contestants gathered on stage with last year's winners Agapogi “Pogi” Tevaga and Abby Resulta, at right, just before this year's winners were announced.
Keali'i O'Brien in the talent competition.
Moana Henriques showed her feminine side before demonstrating she could keep up with the kane, below, during her performance.
Shiloh Phillips, from Aotearoa, got a little help from her dad, who played the fairy godfather who would whip her into shape for the competition.
She performed a Maori poi ball dance.
Keola Kaluhiokalani performed a dance in a neon bodysuit before launching into the dance for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), below center. It looked like Beyoncé was the inspiration of the evening, for the kane!
Nile Te'o took the audience on a tour of the Pacific through her performance.
Jerrold Martinez brought back the Waikiki Shell's Kodak Hula Show during the fantasy costume competition
Auli'i Tagupa thanks the crowd after being named Miss Polynesia Pacific.
Auli'i gets her crown from last year's Miss Polynesia Pacific Abby Resulta.
George receives his crown and sash from Agapogi “Pogi” Tevaga.