Maryann Douglas and Helen Douglas at Showgirl Ball RSL May 17th Photo Contributed
Maryann Douglas and Helen Douglas at Showgirl Ball RSL May 17th Photo Contributed Contributed

No-show Showgirl is stripped of crown

THE beauty queen at the centre of the Bundaberg Miss Showgirl upset has defended her decision to enter the competition despite not being able to commit to post-event responsibilities.

Maryann Douglas was crowned this year's Miss Showgirl, but her title was stripped after the Show Society learnt she had booked an overseas holiday and would not be able to compete in the regional finals this weekend.

But Ms Douglas said the holiday had been booked since last year and she had been upfront to the Show Society about her plans to travel to Canada.

"It was something every one was aware of, that I wouldn't be able to continue if I were to get into the regional competition as I was going overseas," she said.

"It just so happened that I won."

Ms Douglas said she entered the competition because she had been approached by the Show Society as there had been a lack of entrants in this year's Show Girl quest.

"I entered to promote young ladies getting involved in the show movement and promoting the region's agriculture and rural health care," she said.

Miss Showgirl co-ordinator Wendy Bust said Ms Douglas had failed to return their calls following the competition and it was only after contacting her at her workplace did she inform the society she wouldn't be able to compete in the regional finals.

"The society was unaware that she was going overseas and would not have allowed her to nominate or continue in the competition had we been aware of her not been able to carry out her duties," she said.

"Our secretary endeavoured to contact Miss Douglas over a three-week period after the Bundaberg Show and had to contact her at her work only to be advised that she would not be attending any further judging as she was travelling overseas - hence the action we were forced to take."

But Ms Douglas said she tried to respond and left several messages on the show office phone.

"No one called me back and it was only when they called me at work that I heard from them again," Ms Douglas said.

"When I spoke to Wendy I said I couldn't continue.

"She said all the prizes I had won were mine to keep and I will be keeping them."

Mrs Bust said the comments made about a lack of entrants in this year's competition was untrue.

"Four girls plus herself competed in the Miss Showgirl Competition," she said.

However, Ms Douglas said she felt there had been a breakdown in communication within the Show Society and the drama had soured the whole Miss Showgirl experience .

"I'm disappointed in the way I was treated and the way I was portrayed," she said.

"I would like an apology from the show committee."

 

 

EARLIER:

BUNDABERG'S Miss Showgirl 2013 has been forced to forfeit her crown after being stripped of her title for failing to commit to her responsibilities following the competition.

Organisers say it is the first time in Bundy Showgirl history that the winner has been stripped of the title.

Maryann Douglas was crowned Bundaberg's Miss Showgirl 2013 at the gala ball held in May.

But two weeks ago she told the Show Society she would not be able to compete at the regional finals due to an overseas trip.

Miss Showgirl runner-up Brittany Walker has since taken over the title and will compete in the finals this weekend.

Showgirl coordinator Wendy Bust said one of the conditions signed by all entrants was that they would fulfil any post-event duties, including competing in the regional finals.

But Mrs Bust said Miss Douglas had informed the committee she would not be able to compete because she was leaving for a trip to Canada the day before the event.

"We were unaware she was going overseas," she said.

"Once you cannot fulfil that role, you no longer have the title of Bundaberg Miss Showgirl."

Mrs Bust said the committee had written to Miss Douglas and asked that she return the prizes as per the Queensland Chamber of Agriculture Societies policy. The prizes were a luggage set, watch and travel voucher.

"Whether she wants to honour that or not, that's up to her," she said.

"We're not going to hound her for those."

The co-ordinator said the rules of the competition were made clear to every entrant, including Miss Douglas, right from the start.

"If we had been aware of it we would have asked her to withdraw before we got to that," she said.

"If girls sign the dotted line and say they are going to be here, we can only take their word for it."

She said this was the first time in Showgirl history that the winner had been stripped of the title.

"It's something that shouldn't have happened," Mrs Bust said.

"I do feel sorry for Brittany - I believe Brittany should have been the Showgirl."

Mrs Bust said Miss Walker had graciously accepted the new position.

"We're quite happy and we believe Brittany has a very good chance of winning," she said.

"Brittany's lovely and bubbly and she's quite happy to be competing."

The winner of this weekend's regional finals, to be held at Cafe 1928, will go on to compete at the Royal Queensland Show in August.

The NewsMail was unable to contact Miss Douglas for comment.



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