“Follow anything that you are passionate about, you will not believe the impact you will have on others as well as the satisfaction you will develop within yourself.”
That’s the advice from first runner-up in the Mr Caribbean 2019, Johnathan Samuel, to those hoping to follow in his footsteps.
On June 1 at the Shaw Park Cultural Complex in Tobago, Samuel won the hearts of the audience with his muscular physique, charming smile and easy-going demeanour.
The 27-year-old La Horquetta resident is no stranger to competitions, as he is the current Mr TSTT Emancipation Day Royalty.
Speaking with Newsday on Thursday, Samuel said while he was happy about his performance, he was glad for the opportunity to represent his country.
“I feel amazing, I feel proud of my performance and what I was able to display. The experience was second to none.
“Meeting all of the other contestants, forging friendships, to be quite honest it felt like one big performance rather than a competition, because the level of camaraderie was so high all throughout the process and even more so on the night itself.”
Asked whether there was any butterflies on the night of the show, Samuel said: “I would say that I was more anxious than nervous, excited to see all of the preparation finally come together.”
Although a participant in other shows, Samuel considers this competition his first taste of pageant life.
He added, "The entire process from start to finish has been a journey of emotions, from excitement at the beginning to the feeling of exhaustion in the middle, because aside from dealing with everyday life I would have now had to include preparation for the competition, to pure excitement leading up to the final night."
He said the experience has been an eye-opener for him on what he can achieve.
“I have learned so much during this process, even more so about myself, about how I can go past what I think are my limitations, not only through competition but that same principle can be applied to every aspect of life, a lesson I plan on putting into practice."
Samuel, a customer service representative, said he now plans to get himself more involved in humanitarian work.
“At present, unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to be a part of any initiative aside from the food and clothing drives conducted subsequent to the October 2018 flooding where families would have been severely affected.
"However there are ideas and plans to conduct more meaningful drives as I have lately observed the need to make an impact, as small as it may be, as I continue to live by my motto: 'Empathy is the ability to know that even though you are not thirsty, you can still offer someone else a glass of water.'"
What's next for the 2019 Mr Caribbean runner-up?
“Only time will tell. After being a part this year’s Mr Caribbean, I have received invitations to participate in similar competitions regionally, to which I will give serious consideration, you will just have to wait and see.”
Apart from capturing the second spot in the competition, Samuel also walked away with the titles of best magnificent wear (Carnival costume) and best swimwear.