GALLERY: Sara woos the crowd as she’s crowned Face of the Fens at spectacular finale

SARA Fontanella partied into the night on Saturday after judges crowned her the 2011 Face of the Fens.

It was a brilliant finale to a competition that was being staged for the first time and promoted by Boome Hair and Beauty and the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard.

Sara, a TV shopping channel model and assistant fashion buyer, carried off the title in front of an enthusiastic 200 capacity audience at the Ivy Leaf Club, Whittlesey.

Four judges had deliberated over the finalists, being asked to score each for looks, personality and individuality.

It was a rigorous voting procedure for the judges who sat at the front of the cat walk as each contestant came forward to be interviewed by compere Adam Messias.

The judges – Editor John Elworthy, sales manager Nick Boister, Jane Boome, and Shirley Wright- then went back stage for a ‘speed dating’ style interview with each contestant.

“It was an amazing night and hard work for the judges who were determined to really get to know each contestant and to judge the competition with absolute impartiality and fairness,” said Mr Elworthy.

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“Given the response from the audience I think we got it just about right but all the contestants, to be truthful, could easily have won and demonstrated considerable bravery in putting their names forward.”

He said the judges were briefed to find a face that represented Fenland – a difficult task and a challenge which he felt all the contestants were well up to.

The competition attracted people of all ages, and the judges were delighted that one man, businessman Gary Fitzjohn, plucked up the courage to take part.

Finalist Chelsea Parry of Wisbech St Mary hoped taking part might be the start of a modelling career. She currently works with children but her family believe she has the potential to be a model. It was her Nan that put her name forward for Face of the Fens.

Audrey Hindle of March delighted the audience as she came on stage – laughing with compere Adam Messias as to whether she was 81 or 82.

She was born and bred in March and told the audience she looks out for “energetic competitions” and occasionally still roller skates.

Gary Fitzjohn of March had the audience laughing, using his time on stage to relentlessly promote his discount furniture business and mischievously being quizzed about the three times he had done “the fully Monty” – Saturday was not one of them!

Jessica Grief of Islington near Kings Lynn, runner up, enjoys ballet and tap dancing and has trodden the boards in panto at Hunstanton. She’s also been a contestant for Miss Norfolk.

Jade Court of March was secretly entered by her mum but said she was delighted to take part and had enjoyed it enormously.

Belinda Shevlin of Wisbech is a beautician and also works in social care and described herself as a “down to earth girl”.

The other finalist, Harriadne Beau of Whittlesey, is already a model in London and on the books of an agency, and came third.

*Watch the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard throughout 2011 for news of our new Face of the Fens.

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