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Showing posts from February, 2012

Miss Universe 2010

There CHI is... Miss Universe? By Armin Amari for Critical Beauty XIMENA NAVARRETE, a 22 year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, edged out 82 other hopefuls to capture the title of Miss Universe 2010. Her victory marks the second time in history that Mexico has won the crown, the first being in 1991 when Lupita Jones led her country to victory. Coincidentally, both women were crowned in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Did anyone else feel that they were watching the Miss America Pageant instead of Miss Universe this year? The stage looked like something one could find at a "So You Think You Can Dance" audition in San Antonio, Texas - cheap, neon and flavourless. There was nothing remotely "Las Vegas" about the d├ęcor and the generic visuals during the telecast could have been used for any live American television broadcast. In addition, those stairs were complete eyesores when they were not in use, which was 90% of the time. Compare this year's stage to

Miss Universe 2009

Venezuela wins sixth crown and becomes the first country to win in consecutive years STEFANIA FERNANDEZ , an 18-year old brunette was crowned as the new Miss Universe at the Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, in the Bahamas on Sunday night, August 23rd. Fernandez's victory marks the first time in the 58-year history of the pageant that a country has won its second consecutive crown and its sixth title in the beauty pageant. Only the United States has won more Miss Universe titles with seven. Fernandez was crowned by her compatriot Dayana Mendoza . The first runner-up was Miss Dominican Republic, Ada Aimee de la Cruz, the second runner-up was Miss Kosovo Gona Dragusha, the third runner-up was Miss Australia Rachael Finch , and the fourth runner-up is Miss Puerto Rico Mayra Matos Perez . The remaining top fifteen included the representatives from Iceland, Albania, Czech Republic, Belgium, Sweden, France, Switzerland, South Africa, USA and Croatia. Special awards wer

Great Leap Forward: Miss Universe China 2011

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Zohra Daoud

Interview with the first and only Miss Afghanistan E ARLIER this year when I was cruising the Internet searching for sites related to Afghanistan, I stumbled upon a  link  that features an interview of  Zohra Daoud  with ABC News. I was so fascinated by Zohra's life story that I decided to write to her. I don't even remember how I got her e-mail, but somehow I did. After a few correspondences, she decided to be interviewed. During my recent trip to California, I had wanted to visit with Zohra who lives in Los Angeles, but unfortunately my limited schedule did not allow me to see her. Then I remembered that she had planned to return to Afghanistan on July 15th, so I also assumed that she probably would not have time to entertain a visitor as she prepared for her trip.  When I asked Zohra if she could contribute photos of her for this interview, she replied that I could use the same photos that appeared on her ABC News interview from two years ago. In one of her e-m

Miss Guatemala 2009 Scandal - May 27, 2009

Dethroned Miss Guatemala 2008 Jennifer Chiong crashes the Miss Guatemala 2009 pageant and disses the organizers; judge  removes her from stage by force  CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO ENLARGE ORIGINAL DATE OF PUBLICATION: MAY 2009 REPUBLISHED ON FEBRUARY 25, 2012

Sylvia Lee - Couturier for Miss Universe Australia 2011

Miss Universe Australia Scherri-Lee Biggs  dressed to take on the Universe Introducing Sylvia Lee – couturier for Miss Universe Australia 2011 by Peter Sereno for Critical Beauty It’s not every day that you meet a person like Sylvia Lee . A walking paradox, it’s hard for me to come to terms that this talented young designer came from a background of software engineering. Looking at her whimsical, romantic and strangely twisted silhouettes and fabric combinations you would think that this young woman filled her waking hours with fairytales and cotton candy – not books on formulas and codes. I have known Sylvia for quite some time now. We first made contact in early May 2010 at the launch of the Miss Universe Australia competition. She kindly offered her creations for those girls that needed a hand with their dresses, directing me to her Facebook site (how very generation Y!) www.facebook.com/sylvialeedesigns. I was blown away by the intricacy of the designs and her unders

Remembering the Little Sisters

"You are my star, you light my way, you brighten all my nights and make my day..." THE LITTLE SISTERS (1983-1995) define an era that I deem the Golden Age of Miss Universe. Admittedly, I confess that I accidentally stumbled upon the Miss Universe broadcast on CBS only the year previous to the Little Sisters' debut at the St. Louis, Missouri pageant. Ever since that hot and humid night in July 1983, the evening gown segment of the annual telecast would rank as my absolutely most favorite part of the entire production. The Parade of Nations and the culminating crowning moment came in a somewhat distant second and third place, respectively. Some neophyte may ask what the big deal was when a bunch of kids gave flowers to the Top Ten as they modeled evening wear. To me, the Little Sisters ritual transformed the Miss Universe telecast into a magical and seemingly royal event. The evening gown competition back then was far from the catwalk show of today in which bare legs

Rafa's Blog - 9.1.2010

| 09.01.10 | Wednesday "To translate or not to translate?"      That's the question that is currently being debated by pageant fans on the Internet - this in the light of Miss Philippines Venus Raj's allegedly skewed response to her question during the finals of Miss Universe 2010. Judge William Baldwin asked her the following question: ""What is one big mistake you made in your life and what did you do to make it right?" Venus's response: "You know what, sir, in my 22 years of existence, I can say there is nothing major, major - I mean, problems - that I have done in my life, because I am very confident with my family with the love that they are given to me. So... Thank you so much that I am here! Thank you, thank so much!"      Some critics argue that if Venus had asked for an interpreter (Filipino being her native language), then she could've given a "better" response. But as I had suggested in my earl