THERE was nothing sinister when a university law student was not picked as a Hibiscus Festival queen contestant, says the Hibiscus Event Group.
Group chairman Hirdesh Prasad said the contestant did not score well with the judges and she was not selected.
"It has nothing to do with her capability to collect funds as reported. I was in fact quite moved by this young lady," Mr Prasad said.
"She said she grew up in a squatter settlement and was aiming to better her life. I can relate to her struggles.
"I asked her after the audition on her plans to fundraise, what she aims to do, what ideas she has.
"It's something we ask everybody. Hibiscus is a charity event."
Mr Prasad said it was unfortunate that the young girl felt otherwise.
Meanwhile, at the Civic Centre yesterday, teen contestants were busy rehearsing their stage appearances.
With the young girls busy practising, their mothers and siblings provided the crowd support.
Marica Cama came to cheer on her 17-year-old daughter and hoping that the experience would help her daughter, Diana Buadromo.
"She is a very shy girl, so yes, you can imagine our surprise when she said she wanted to take part in the Hibiscus," said Mrs Cama.
"I am hoping this will help her with her public speaking abilities and eventually help her come out of her shell."