UKTV – Review – Channel 4 Beauty Queen Or Bust Ep 1


Channel 4’s new 3 part series Beauty Queen Or Bust kicked off last night showing the journey of entrants to Miss Black Country’s beauty pageant. I was expecting Big Fat Gypsy dresses and pompous bitchy sneers, but the documentary gave a whole different insight into the beauty pageant struggle with a rough Diamond stealing the show.

Beauty Queen Or Bust - Channel 4 9PM
Beauty Queen Or Bust – Channel 4 9PM

From the preview, it was clear to see that Beauty Queen Or Bust was going to be… different. Focussing on three girls’ (Natalie, Diamond and Sammy Jo) journey to the regional heat in Wolverhampton, where if they won the Miss Black Country heat, they could then enter for Miss Great Britain.

Dudley's Natalie
Dudley’s Natalie

First there was mobile hairdresser Natalie (above), 22, from Dudley, a pretty red head who fit the Beauty Queen image. She wasn’t boastful or pompous, but she came across as a preened, happy and bubbly girl into all things beautiful.

Beautiful and Broke Sammy Jo
Beautiful and Broke Sammy Jo

Next up was unemployed Sammy Jo (above), 18, who despite gaining a place in the final, had to pull out as she couldn’t afford the £50 fee, a dress or “...everything else that goes with it”.

Diamond Stewart
Diamond Stewart

Finally, was Walsall’s ruff Diamond (above), 18, unemployed and about to move into her first home after leaving a homeless hostel. A cute mixed raced, pixie faced girl wearing the wrong shade of make-up, cheap blonde hair extensions and heavy eyebrows. It was easy for viewers to either sympathise with her back story (her mother spent time in prison for drugs) or loathe her brashness (drunken argument outside a nightclub).

Diamond au naturel
Diamond au naturel

Life has obviously been rough for Diamond. She lost a close friend who was stabbed (and helped raise £500 for his funeral), she was excluded from school at 15, she lacked self confidence and was in the midst of benefit poverty. She had hopes of entering the beauty world to escape the crack houses littered on the Pleck estate (just around the corner from where I was raised) where she grew up and show the people there that they could “make something more with their lives”. During the heats to get to Wolverhampton, her discomfort around her fellow contestants was quite sombre. Their lives and outlook was clearly different to hers. It was nice to see them rooting for Diamond and egging her on when she wanted to give up on the physical tasks, not something that would be seen in bigger and glitzier pageants.

Diamond and those eyebrows
Diamond and those eyebrows

With her mates beside her, Diamond was bolshy and ready to take on the world. She even told the camera’s that she could get “really nasty” if anyone upset her mates. During a night out with her pals, Diamond’s ‘nasty’ side came out as she hailed a torrent of abuse towards an adversary outside a nightclub. “You’re a twerk and your belly twerks…” she ranted, ready for a fight, the night before facing judges on a pageant heat.

Badass Chick
Badass Chick

Sadly none of the girls (Sammy Jo, obviously) made a place in the Miss Black Country heat. Natalie is concentrating on making a success out of her mobile hairdressing career before entering again, whilst Diamond entered a Miss Birmingham contest, and came fifth. There’s been a lot of backlash, both from the public and the media showing negativity towards Diamond. She is a ruffneck, but you can’t knock her for wanting something more glamorous in life. I’m not saying she’s going to be the next Naomi Campbell, but given some proper beauty guidance, her hunger and hope, this rough diamond could have the potential to be a precious stone.


Next week Beauty Queen Or Bust goes to Hull. I think I’ll be tuning in.



3 thoughts on “UKTV – Review – Channel 4 Beauty Queen Or Bust Ep 1

  1. I will say that further to my colleague (and author of this article), DAMW, replying to DIAMOND STEWART’s comment and offering to remove it since it caused Miss Stewart offence, I, as Chief contributor to this site will not authorise deletion. Besides the personal opinion of DAMW about Miss Stewart’s hair and make-up (which were quite tame in comparison to other remarks online) and the “TWERK” misquote (which we can give Diamond a writer’s credit for when she decides whether it’s “belly” or “ass”) nothing written was defamatory or slanderous. If people put themselves in the spotlight, they can’t attack the viewer expressing what they’ve seen. Channel four told and shown viewers Diamond’s background history. DAMW never researched it for the article and Diamond clearly says on camera that she wanted to show people in her hometown that they could “make something more with their lives”, yet attacks DAMW for relaying that information to our readers. If Diamond wanted to express her point at being badly portrayed in the documentary, I’m quite sure DAMW would conduct an interview as she genuinely was rooting for the girl. Her beef is with Channel 4, not Donnatella’s Space and whilst this ‘Gillah’ (me) is in the jungle, the article stays.

  2. hi my name is diamond and I really don’t like what you wrote about me its not very nice also if you are gonna write a blog on me get you information right the girl that I was shouting at was talking about my friend who has passed away and who writes about someone’s mother that’s out of order. and its YOUR BELLY TWERKS NOT YOUR ASS!!!!!
    You didn’t write about the other girls like you did me not even Sammy jo.
    and you make out like I’m unfortunate but I have the same amount of stuff as all those other girls in that beauty contest.
    and I am PROUD of the area I came from thankyou very much!!
    what they showed on that tv programme was no near as much as what I recorded with them they cut it and made me look bad and I’m nothing like that this is why I will never do a beauty contest.

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