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Showing posts from April, 2012

Israel lures Russian tourists with beauty pageant

     The final of the "Miss Russian Tourism" pageant was held in  Eila t this week as part of  Israel 's efforts to attract more Russian tourists.  Out of more than 300 women who competed in the first of its kind beauty pageant, which was sponsored by the Tourism Ministry, 25 made it to the final round. The contestants, aged 18 to 30, all work in the tourism industry.  The semi-finals were held in March as part of a tourism fair in Moscow. Israeli Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov , who served as one of the judges, drew harsh criticism for posting a Facebook photo in which he poses with one of the contestants.      The 13 finalists landed in Eilat on Sunday, along with a large number of Russian reporters, cameramen and make-up artists. A special video showing the contestants at various locations, including the Dead Sea and Jerusalem, was aired in Russia in order to boost tourism to Israel.       The final was held on Tuesday at Eilat's Princess Hotel. The winner, S

Taiwan beauty contestants to pledge no extra-marital affairs

     Contestants at an annual Taiwan beauty pageant will be required not to partake in extra-marital affairs, the contest's organisers have told the BBC .  The unusual move by Miss Globalcity Pageant, the largest home-grown beauty contest, comes amid public concern over revelations of celebrity love affairs.      To join, women must sign an agreement to abide by contest rules - this now includes not becoming a mistress.  Any woman found to be involved in such an affair will be disqualified.      Seven women (photo), including two past winners, have already made a public pledge  representing this year's contestants, organisers said.  Standing in front of news phot ographers and reporters, they shouted: "Happy City - say no to being a mistress!"      Contest organiser Fifi Chang says the agreement will stay in place for a year, adding that the new rule is aimed at "preserving families".  "In the past, we've never done this, but we decided to do it

Senegalese wins first Miss Black France pageant

      Miss Black France , the first all-black beauty pageant in France, was held last night at the Salle Wagram in Paris.  Eighteen young women (some sources give the number as 20), the majority of whom are university students, competed for the award.  The winner is Mbathio Beye , a 21-year old Senegalese woman who is pursuing a Master's degree in marketing strategy in Paris.  The runners up are Romy Niaba , a 22-year old political science student (French, of Ivory Coast origin; Rennes) and Aissata Soumah , a 23-year old business student (Guinean; Troyes).  Candidates could be as young as 16 or as old as 29 and had to reside in France, regardless of their nationality.  There were no weight or height restrictions for entry into the pageant.      The competition has created lots of buzz, some of which is political.  There are those who believe that an event that features black beauty is long overdue and should be hailed.  Others, including Patrick Lozès - the first

Whites picket Miss Black France pageant

PARIS, April 29 (UPI) -- Right-wing protesters said they picketed the Miss Black France pageant because they oppose special treatment for minority groups. Riot police kept an eye on the weekend rally in Paris by about 30 members of the New France movement, who said the nation should not be divided along ethnic lines. "Why should Asians and Africans come here and have more rights than us?" one demonstrator who declined to be identified told Radio France Internationale. "This is why we are demanding a Miss White France." New France maintains the Miss Black France pageant flies in the face of equality, a founding premise of modern France. At the same time, pageant organizers said there is a significant element of inequality in the nation's famed fashion industry that has left models of color out in the cold.  "All the black models tell me they can't find work in France, so they are going to London and New York," said Frederic Royer . &q

Miss Bulgaria 2012 crowned

A 17-year-old student of natural science and Miss PMG Vratsa,  Ina Mancheva,  has been crowned  Miss Bulgaria 2012  by Peneva Vany at the grand finale of Miss Bulgaria 2012 which was held at the TV7 studios in Sofia on April 28. The 1st-runner-up is Gabriela Vasilev a, 20, from Byala Slatina, and the 2nd runner-up is Paula Koletzova , 18, from Plovdiv.  Mancheva gathered the most votes on the official website of the contest,, and was elected for the crown during a live telecast. Mancheva will represent Bulgaria in the Miss World 2012 contest to take place in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, Chin a on August 8. SOURCE:, 4/29/2012

Miss Ireland 2012 crowned

Maire Hughes was crowned Miss Ireland 2012 during a gala event Saturday night at the Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin. She will now compete in Miss World 2012 pageant to be held in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China on August 8. In the photo, she is crowned by her predecessor Holly Carpenter who had to cut short her reign by six months due to Miss World 2012 being held four months earlier than usual. The first runner-up is  Rebecca Maguire (left) and the second runner-up is Katie McAuley (right) Photos courtesy of

Megan Lyman crowned Miss New Hampshire 2012

Megan Lyman was crowned Miss New Hampshire 2012 Saturday night, the Miss America Organization announced. Lyman has a long history of participating in pageants. She is a former Miss New Hampshire Outstanding Teen and represented her state at the Miss America's Outstanding Teen pageant. She was a preliminary swimsuit winner at the 2011 Miss New Hampshire pageant, and is a former Miss Weirs Beach. This year, she entered the state pageant as Miss Lakes Region. Her talent is tap dancing, and her pageant platform is "Make-A-Wish Foundation: Providing Children with Hope, Strength and Joy." Lyman will represent New Hampshire at the Miss America 2013 pageant, next January in Las Vegas. The final night of national competition will be broadcast live on the ABC television network. SOURCE:, 4/28/2012 Photo courtesy of Katrina Bernard Photography, Megan Lyman FB

Mr. & Miss HIV Vaccine 2012

     Last Friday night, I had the privilege to judge the Mr. and Miss HIV Vaccine 2012 pageant held at Boston's Club Café. The event was sponsored by The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health, Latino Health Institute, and Brigham Womens Hospital, and organized by an amazing team led by my good friend, Coco Alinsug .       The contest attracted nine contestants, four in the Mr. division won by Archimides Maldonado , and five in the Miss division won by Jackie "Boquita" Tavarez (above photo).  The Mr. contestants were judged in casual dress introduction, athletic wear presentation, and evening wear Q & A. In addition to these three elements, the Miss contestants also had to perform by lipsynching songs of their favorite singers.       Since I have never judged this kind of pageant before, I made sure not to incorporate criteria associated with traditional beauty pageants, such as symmetry, proportionality, facial beauty, or perfection. However, there are certain elemen

Former Miss New Hampshire USA arrested for assault

Left: Nicole Houde as Miss New Hampshire USA 2010. Right: Houde's mugshot. MANCHESTER — The former Miss New Hampshire USA is facing a simple assault charge in Manchester, according to police. Police say 26-year-old Nicole Houde punched, kicked, scratched and bit her boyfriend 33-year-old Scott Nickerson during an argument on Wednesday.  That argument reportedly began when Nickerson accused Houde of having an affair. At some point, Nickerson took her cell phone and wouldn’t give it back. That’s when police say Houde attacked him. Houde won the Miss New Hampshire crown in 2010. She’s not the first 2010 Miss USA contestant to land in legal trouble. Earlier this month, 2010 Miss USA pageant winner Rima Fakih  pleaded no contest to drunk driving charges. The Miss USA pageant is owned by Donald Trump . SOURCE:, 4/28/2012 Nicole Houde's glamshot by Fadil Berisha at Miss USA 2010 pageant

Miss Indonesia 2012 crowned

The new Miss Indonesia 2012 is  Ines Putri Tjiptadi Chandra , 22, who was crowned on April 28 at JOExpo in Kemayoran, Jakarta. She represented the island of Bali. Current Miss World Ivian Sarcos ,  who was a special guest,  assisted in the coronation. 

Miss World New Zealand 2012

Collette Lochore , 18,  was crowned  Miss World NewZealand 2012  on April 28 in Auckland.   She will represent New Zealand in  Miss World 2012  pageant in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China on August 8th. First runner-up  G loria Gofa Blake  was crowned  Miss Earth New Zealand 2012 and will represent  the country in  Miss Earth 2102  pageant to be held in Vietnam later this year.

Miss Honduras 2012

Jennifer Valle  was crowned  Señorita Honduras 2012  or  Miss Honduras 2012  on the finale of the Pageant held at the Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles Auditorium in San Pedro Sula  on April 27, 2012. She will represent Honduras  in  Miss World 2012  pageant to be held in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China on August 8th. The first runner-up is  Natalia Coto  and the second runner-up is Karina Padilla .   

2012 El Salvador queens

Two new El Salvador queens were crowned during the Nuestra Belleza   El Salvador  at the Royal Decameron Salinitas Resort  in Los Cobanos. Ana Yancy Clavel (left), 19,  was crowned  Miss El Salvador Universe 2012  on April 27, 2012. She will represent  El Salvador  in  Miss Universe 2012  Pageant.  Maria Luisa Vicuña (right), 18,  was crowned  Miss El Salvador World 2012 . She is 18 years old and stands 1.75 m. She will represent  El Salvador  in  Miss World 2012 p ageant to be held in China this August.

Miss World Slovak Republic 2012 crowned

Kristina Krajčírová, 20,   was crowned Miss World Slovak Republic 2012  on April 27th in the capital city of Bratislava.She will represent Slovakia in  Miss World 2012  Pageant to be held in Ordos, China. The 1st runner-up is Denisa Krajcovicova who will compete in Miss International.  The 2nd runner-up is Silvia Kimlikova .

First 'Miss Black France' Pageant Causes Controversy

France is gearing up for its first ever “Miss Black France” pageant, and while many are excited about the show, others are calling it a step backward. Saturday a bevy of French beauties will compete for the first ever “Miss Black France title in Paris,” an honor its promoters feel is long overdue. “The purpose of this beauty contest is to shine a light on the many Black women in this country who are rarely given any media attention,”  Frederic Roye r, the pageant’s promoter, told France 24. “The Miss France competition is not nearly representative enough of modern France.” The creators of “Miss France,” the country’s national pageant, called the “Miss Black France” contest “progressive,” noting, “France has a big racial mix and it must be emphasized as much as possible.“ The last time France had a woman of color take center stage in a beauty pageant was over a decade ago, in 2000, when  Sonia Rolland -  a biracial woman of Rwandan descent - won the “Miss France” title. However, since

Miss Fiji's hair is too straight, say critics

Miss World Fiji 2012; Torika Watters, 16 years old and stands 5'9.5". The 16-year-old defeated several full-blooded Fijians to win the contest   The decision to award the title to Torika Watters , who is of mixed European-Fijian heritage, prompted hundreds of racist and violent comments which had to be removed from the official Miss World Fiji Facebook page. The 16-year-old defeated several full-blooded Fijians to win the contest. The controversy was heightened because the judging panel consisted of several non-Fijians and was overseen by Rachel Hunter , a New Zealander. The former British colony has long been beset by racial tensions, mainly stemming from its mix of ethnic Fijians and a large minority of Fijians of Indian descent. Pageant organisers lashed out at the criticism and said the row would not affect the decision. "In the past few days, there has been nothing but negative criticism and remarks from our own people," a pageant spokeswoman wrote on t

Miss World Puerto Rico 2012 selected

Janelee M. Chaparro Colón , who was first runner-up in Miss World Puerto Rico 2011, has been handpicked by the Miss World Puerto Rico organizers as the island's representative to Miss World 2012 to be held in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China on August 8th.   The 20-year-old student of criminal justice was crowned yesterday by her predecessor, Amanda Vilanova who placed third in Miss World 2011 last November in London.  Janelee Chaparro with her predecessor Amanda Vilanova. 

Osmel Sousa says no to transsexuals

       Weeks after Miss Universe owner Donald Trump decided to allow transsexuals to compete in his pageant, the president of the Miss Venezuela Organization and the indisputable king of beauty queen makers, Osmel Sousa (photo), stated that he does not favor accepting transsexuals in the Miss Venezuela pageant. This is in the light of Jenna Talackova , the transwoman who was originally rejected by the Miss Universe Canada organizers but reinstated as a candidate after Trump modified the entry requirements as to include transsexuals.      During a press conference yesterday to elaborate on the details of the Miss Venezuela 2012 pageant, Sousa said [my translation]: "That was an authorization that the Miss Universe Organization granted to Canada for its laws and the way that they live there, but the Venezuelan people - the common Venezuelan people, who are Christians, will not accept that position for now. We are not prepared for that kind of stuff."      Although severa

Bali to host Miss World 2013 pageant

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika met with beauty queens and an international event organizer on Wednesday as the island geared up to host the Miss World pageant next year.   Julia Morley , chairwoman of the Miss World Organization, told reporters that Bali would host the competition in September 2013 and that 131 national beauty pageant winners had confirmed their attendance.  Pastika said the province was prepared to host the event, which he hoped would draw international attention to the island.  “We’re ready, but we’re continuing to work on improving infrastructure and security for the competition,” he added.  Joining Pastika in the meeting was Ivian Sarcos of Venezuela, who won the Miss World pageant last year, as well as Miss Indonesia Astrid Ellena Indriana Yunadi, who made it to the top 15 in the pageant and took home a joint award in the category of “beauty with a purpose.”  Morley said Bali was chosen for the pageant because of its culture and global popularity.  “I feel