NINETEEN-year-old 2012 Miss Hibiscus Drue Slatter will be the youngest contestant in this weekend's South Pacific Pageant in American Samoa.
Ms Slatter who left for American Samoa yesterday, will be competing against nine contestants in the pageant — Ruby-Anne Laufa from Papua New Guinea, Stephanie Prince from Solomon Islands, Marlena Martin from Aotearoa, Tonga's Ebony Nuku, Samoa's Janine Tuivaiti, Joy Saleapaga from Hawai'i, Peki Teata from Tokelau, Kate Ngatokorua from Cook Islands and Arrielle Maloata from the host country. "I have to get the crown back to Fiji," Ms Slatter said on Wednesday night at her official farewell.
She presented a preview of everything she would be presenting at the pageant, including her traditional attire.
"It was very positive seeing how she has grown so much from the Hibiscus Festival. Drue has really developed and blossomed and she will definitely make Fiji proud this weekend," said reigning Miss South Pacific Alisi Rabukawaqa.
"I can't imagine how much pressure she is feeling right now but she really needs the nation's support.
"It's not just her but all the other contestants — they will not only have to show that they can represent their countries but also the South Pacific."
The week-long event kicks off on December 2.
The finale will be staged on the evening of December 8 where reigning Miss South Pacific Ms Rabukawaqa will relinquish her crown to the new Miss South Pacific.
According to the American Samoa Visitors Bureau, this year's pageant carries the theme 'Treasure of the Pacific'.
The contestants will compete in a number of sections including pre-pageant interview, traditional wear, sarong, talent and interview questions.