2.27.2013

Ethiopian-Israeli Wins Miss Israel Pageant for First Time



  
     

Yityish Aynaw, a former Israeli army officer, became the first Ethiopian-Israeli to win the Miss Israel pageant.

     A panel of judges awarded the title to Aynaw, a 21-year-old model who came to Israel about a decade ago, at the International Convention Center Haifa on Wednesday.

 “It’s important that a member of the Ethiopian community wins the competition for the first time,” she was quoted by Israeli media as telling the judges in response to a question. “There are many different communities of many different colors in Israel, and it’s important to show that to the world.”

     Aynaw came to Israel with her family when she was 12. Acclimating to Israel was difficult at first, Aynaw said, but she picked up the language quickly with the help of a friend.

     She has been working as a saleswoman at a clothing store since her army discharge.

     During the competition, Aynaw cited the slain American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. as one of her heroes.

     “He fought for justice and equality, and that’s one of the reasons I’m here: I want to show that my community has many pretty qualities that aren’t always represented in the media,” she said.

     Aynaw will represent Israel in Miss World 2013 pageant.
Source: Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 2/27/2013



2.26.2013

Miss Delaware Teen USA Melissa King resigns after sex video surfaces


Miss Delaware Teen USA Melissa King denies she is this woman in a porn video that has surfaced online.

GirlsDoPorn.com

Miss Delaware Teen USA Melissa King denies she is this woman in a porn video that has surfaced online.


Miss Delaware Teen USA relinquished her crown Tuesday amid speculation that she starred in a porn video that surfaced online the day before.

Melissa King, 18, is aware of the video but said she is "absolutely not" the woman in it.

"I would like to confirm to you that the Miss Delaware Teen USA pageant has received a resignation letter from Miss King's attorney," pageant spokeswoman Dara Busch confirmed to The News Journal of Delaware.


DELAWAREPORN14N_3_WEB

@RealMissDETeen/via Twitter

Miss Delaware Teen USA Melissa King resigned her crown after an online porn video with a woman looking very much like her came to light.


The video in question runs slightly over five minutes and features a woman, who resembles and sounds like King, performing various sexual acts with an unidentified man, whose face is not seen, according to the Wilmington, Delaware-based newspaper.

The News Journal further explained that the man interviewed the woman before the erotic encounter, asking if she has a boyfriend, when she last had sex and how old she was when she lost her virginity.

The woman told the man that she turned 18 "about three months ago. March" - King's birth month. She also said that she has appeared in beauty pageants, although neither participant named the state.
When asked why she wanted to appear in an adult video, the woman replies, "I thought it'd be fun and it sounded like I needed the money… So I just decided to do it."

King was crowned Miss Delaware Teen USA in November. At the time of the video, King was Miss Teen Delaware International 2012.

Hailey Lawler of Newark, the runner-up from November's competition, is reportedly slated to take King's spot.

Melissa King (left) and Hailey Lawler

Amid the controversy, several people have taken to Twitter to defend King:

"@Melissa_M_King dont let anyone put you down. Youre still a great person, no one should judge you <3"
"Obviously people are shocked at it.. But putting her on blast is messed up. Just drop it"

"You people are so mean leave melissa alone"

Before the video appeared on the Internet, King posted a comment on Twitter to compel others not to shame each other based on past actions, hinting that - if the video does, in fact, feature her - she may have known it would show up.

"Once you move on in life people shouldn't try to use your past against you... Let them be happy," she wrote.

King's attorney J. Gregory Hannigan did not respond to the Daily News' request for an interview by the time of publication.

Source; NY Daily News, 2/26/2013
 
 
 

2.21.2013

Miss Spain Pageant Organizer Files for Bankruptcy





    The company that organizes the Miss Spain beauty contest is the latest victim of Spain's crippling economic crisis.

     Spain's official state gazette said Wednesday that Certamen Miss España S.L. had declared insolvency and would have a month to present its debts. The company could not be immediately contacted for comment.

     The organizer of the Miss Spain beauty pageant has been experiencing financial difficulties for some time and lost the right to participate in the last Miss Universe pageant.

     The case is being handled by a bankruptcy court in Madrid, where the bankruptcy petition was filed on Feb. 7. 

     The bankruptcy judge overseeing the case ordered the debtor's assets seized and appointed a receiver.
The country is struggling to emerge from its second recession in three years following the collapse of the construction sector. The unemployment rate is 26 percent.

     The announcement about Miss Spain came a day after a major real estate developer, Reyal Urbis, also filed for protection from creditors, the biggest since top developer Martinsa-Fadesa filed for protection in 2008.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press and EFE.

 

2.18.2013

Critical Beauty Exclusive: Behind The Scene Videoclips from Miss Asia Pacific World 2011 Scandal


Dethroned beauty queen Florima Treiber tells her story
by Rafa Delfin


FLORIMA TREIBER / Photo courtesy of Florima's Facebook page

     On October 15, 2011, the Miss Asia Pacific World 2011(MAPW) pageant was held in Busan, South Korea. The pageant was founded and organized by Lawrence Choi of Elite Asia Pacific Company. Choi's critics had claimed that Choi was infringing on the name of a pageant of a similar title - Miss Asia Pacific International - organized by Filipinos which ran from 1968 until 2005. Choi dismissed the claims and proceeded with his pageant which sought to discover new talents among beauty queens and models competing with each other. The original winner, Jung Eun A of Korea, presumably resigned one day after her coronation and was replaced by Florima Treiber of France (I say presumably because other reports say that she was forced to resign by Choi.) Seven months later, Florima was dethroned and was succeeded by Diana Starkova of the Ukraine.

     Pageant officials claimed that Florima was dethroned for failing to fulfill her contract, but Florima alleges that she was dethroned after questioning the validity of the contract. Last July 2012, Florima wrote to me and asked me to listen to her side of the story. So naturally, the curious investigator in me was enough to accept her proposal. This article features a detailed account of my phone interview with Florima in French and e-mail conversation with her in French and English. To support her allegations of mistreatment by Choi and his staff, Florima sent me a couple of DVDs that feature behind-the-scene video clips from the scandal recorded by Florima and several other contestants.

     The videos have been posted to YouTube and they follow this article. The videos speak for themselves and clearly manifest the staff's unprofessional, unethical and uncaring treatment of the contestants some of whom took to social media to express their disgust towards Choi and the disorganized - and apparently rigged - pageant.  On her official website, Miss Guyana Aletha Shepherd, narrated her unfortunate adventures in Korea from Day 1 and warned potential contestants about Choi and his pageant.  It appears that since the scandal happened, Choi has kept a low profile but is still involved with the production area of the pageant. The official website features a new "Leadership Team" headed by CEO Kim Ki-Bae. I have searched all over the Internet to find a photo of Choi, but without success. Even his Facebook page is devoid of any of his image. Does he even exist? LOL. Meanwhile, the Wikipedia entry for Miss Asia Pacific World 2011 does not mention Jung Eun A's name, but mentions the second Korean candidate, Park Sea-bell, who had placed in Top 18.

    I asked Florima how she had heard about the pageant and she said that Christine Huang, a pageant director and organizer from Taiwan who had accompanied her in Miss International 2010, had suggested that she compete in MAPW. Christine had also told Florima that she and Choi were friends. Florima, convinced by Christine's good graces, consented to Christine's proposal. Strangely, during the three-week duration of the pageant, Florima had never seen or met Choi in person. In fact, no staff member was present at the airport when Florima arrived. After Florima was crowned, she was obligated to remain in Korea for two more weeks. Florima claims that Choi dismissed her inquiry regarding her prize money - which she never received - and the modeling contract that was supposed to be part of the prize package but never materialized. She also said that she, along with her runners-up - Miss Puerto Rico Ingrid Fernandez and Miss Ukraine Diana Starkova - were never compensated for photo shoots that they had done for SidusHQ, the talent and modeling agency in Korea that co-sponsored this "super talent pageant."

    Florima's other complaints include the fact that she had to design her own sash because the staff did not know how to make one; that none of the clauses in the contract was respected; that she had to take an unpaid leave of absence from work just so she could fly back to Korea to return the crown; that the crown - which was supposedly valued at US$10,000 - cost much less after Florima had it appraised by a jeweler; and that when she googled for more information about Starkova (who replaced her), she discovered that Starkova had appeared in pornographic movies. Overall, Florima said that the pageant has been the worst pageant experience she has ever had and she is trying her best to forget it.

     When I asked Florima if she had any intention of taking legal action against Choi, she said that she had consulted a lawyer in France who advised her that Korea has its own laws and that she would have to hire a Korean lawyer. However, a friend of Florima's father advised her to be careful because she could be dealing with the Korean Mafia.

     Florima's claims can be confirmed by Christine Huang who sent me lengthy e-mails (from July 4 to July 16, 2012) to elaborate on the many problems and difficulties that she had encountered dealing with Choi. Christine had arranged the participation of the contestants from Finland, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and France, so essentially she acted as the national director for those countries. Here are just some of the most pertinent issues that Christine mentioned in her e-mails (the remarks in Italics are mine):

- One week after the finals, Choi failed to meet with Florima and her two runners-up because he didn't have the money to pay for his own airfare.

- Choi had promised that he would pay for the airline tickets of all the contestants and that he would reimburse the national directors for the airfare expenses, but he never did.

- No one - not even the media partners - had ever seen Choi in person during the entire duration of the pageant.

- Choi used other identities to give the impression that his office was well-staffed. He pretended to be "Chanel" (a rude and uneducated girl), "Fred" (an idiot who knows nothing but just agrees with everything you say), and of course "Lawrence" (a nice guy). (Shame on Choi for associating the Chanel brand with that of a trailer trash Korean girl! lol)

- Even to this day (almost two years after the 2011 pageant), Choi's "friends" are still waiting to be reimbursed by him for all the financial support that they had loaned to him. They called Choi a "swindler" and that is why he can no longer get any support in Korea.

- During their first night in Korea, Misses Taiwan & Malaysia had to stay in a Buddhist temple because Choi had failed to arrange adequate hotel accommodations for the arriving contestants. The girls had to suffer from listening to the nun expounding Buddhist sutras in Korean that they did not understand.

- Every time Christine called Choi for an explanation of a problem, he would always blame someone else.

-The following day, half of the girls moved to a 5-star hotel and the other half to a resort that Choi had claimed was a 6-star resort. Christine's girls called her repeatedly to complain about how dirty and dark the hotel was, that 8 to 10 girls stayed in one room, and that there was no bed. When she called Lawrence again, he explained that the hotel had been overbooked and that he wanted to test the girls' patience and to see how they would react. Christine rebuked Choi by telling him that his excuses were not good enough and that he should have made the reservations a while ago. Choi replied by saying that his business partner had failed to pay the deposit for the hotel and therefore the reservations had been cancelled. (What a nitwit!)

- When the girls moved to Daiwu, they were required to perform in a talent competition; however, the organizers awarded the talent winner to a contestant who did not even perform! In fact, she had not even sign up for the competition. They also presented a title called "Best in Africa" to a girl who was not even from Africa. The other contestants protested. Food and refreshments were not provided so the girls had to go to the nearest 7-11 store to buy something to eat and drink. It was right after the talent event in Daiwu that the now infamous "scandal" broke out: Miss Wales Amy Willerton, Miss Costa Rica Pamela Peralta, and Miss Guyana Althea Shepherd left the competition and posted their complaints to YouTube.
 
- As soon as Christine heard about the scandal, she advised her eight girls not to get involved with the scandal until after she arrived to fetch them. Choi then told Christine that the three girls - Wales, Costa Rica and Ghana - had tried to "blackmail him for US$20,000 each, he refused so they went home.

- When Christine arrived in Busan to meet with her girls, no one picked her up as she had been promised. When she found out the hotel where her girls were staying, she joined them there but was irritated because Choi had again failed to reserve her a room. So she called up Choi to complain. The girls were also complaining that the chaperones did not speak English, and that they had different chaperones every day. One of the chaperones was a woman named Lacebee who looked "nice, pretty, used to be a model in Seoul," but she liked touching girls and asked to sleep with different girls every night. All of the girls were afraid of Lacebee.

- The day before the finals, the girls got together in one room to discuss whether or not they should participate in the finals. Christine's girls stayed in their room and decided not to participate. There were three national directors who convinced Christine to attend, so she did.  At that time, Choi was still nowhere to be found. The girls tried to call him many times but he rarely answered; even if he answered, he always had an excuse not to show up. The girls started feeling ill at ease, fearing that they would be kidnapped by the local host. Christine told them that if they feared for their lives, then they should consider packing and not wasting any more time in Korea.

- On the day of the finals (Oct. 15), it seemed as if nothing had happened. All the girls went to the finals as scheduled. Christine arrived at the venue - which was open air - but she could not find her seat in the jury panel. So she called Choi again but he didn't answer (he was probably too busy enjoying his bowl of kim chee. lol.) Christine ended up sitting herself in a chair that had been reserved for a jury member who did not show up. In the beginning, the organizers explained to the judges about the scoring system; the judges were given some score sheets and pens, but they were collected even before the judges could select the top 15 semifinalists. In other words, the jury panel only served as a prop to give the impression that the pageant was legitimate and not rigged. Korea had sent two representatives, and Christine was sure that both girls would place in top 15 because "their agency had already paid a big money to the organizer."

- When the top 15 semifinalists were announced, lo and behold - the two Korean girls made the cut. When they announced the top 7, Christine and other directors were surprised that Mongolia and Venezuela made the cut since these two countries had not even placed in the semifinals! (It was definitely a WTF moment! lol) Suddenly, it became windy and started to rain, which made the audience flee for shelter. The jury, however, remained at the venue. Then they called Misses Indonesia, India, Russia, France and Korea (Jung Eun A) to the top 5. The Korean co-hosts only spoke Korean and it was hard for the contestants to understand them. No organizer or sponsor came to the stage to crown the winner (Korea). The host placed the small crown on Miss France's head and the big one on Miss Korea's head. 

The original top 5 on finals night (Oct. 15, 2011). L-R: Diana Starkova (Ukraine), Tanvi Singla (India), Jung Eun A (Korea, winner), Anna Botova (Russia), Florima Treiber (France). The runners-up had not been ranked at all. Photo courtesy of Missosology

- When the girls returned to the host hotel (Busan Hotel), the organizers told Florima to return her crown because it was borrowed. Florima cried and hurled the crown to the ground! Christine: "They tried to hit her, I stopped them. I told them if they dared to touch my girls I will kill them for sure. If they didn't believe it, they could try but before they do it they better ask their family to prepare their funeral." (If Bravo were casting for "Real Housewives of Taiwan," Christine would surely be in it! lol)

- Back at the hotel, the organizers requested the girls to go to a club to meet with sponsors who were waiting for them. But the girls were hungry and tired. When they did go to the club, there was only wine and nothing to eat. So they returned to the bus and they lost all mood to attend the party. Before Christine went to bed, she had reminded her eight girls to take their luggage down before breakfast. Christine had thought that since there were only two narrow elevators, that it would take a lot of time for all the girls to check out at the same time, thus it would be better if all eight of Christine's girls just haul their luggage before breakfast so as not to inconvenience the other girls who would have to wait longer later.

- Christine said that she met Sushmita Sen, the former Miss Universe who sent India's representative, Tanvi Singla. Sushmita was part of the VIP and she sat behind Christine. Sushmita had also noticed the discrepancy behind the selection of Mongolia & Venezuela in top 7 even though neither country made the top 15. Christine met Sushmita but she did not have the chance to speak with her as Sushmita did not stay at the same hotel as Christine.

- The morning after the finals (Oct. 16), Christine's girls convened at the café of the hotel  (lower level) where they could get free breakfast before 10:30 A.M. - one cup of coffee or tea plus one bread. Suddenly, after they finished their breakfast, they heard people fighting on the second floor (reception area). Some of the girls had planned to return to their rooms after breakfast to take out their luggage (they were supposed to check out at 11 A.M.) but to their surprise the hotel manager had locked them out and did not allow them to take their luggage down because no one had paid the bill. The girls and the national directors argued with the manager and even called the police. Christine called Choi to tell him about the situation, that there were no chaperones or any staff member from the local host who was present. Choi blamed the local host for not paying the bill (why of course! Choi never admitted to his faults because he's Mr. Perfect, right? lol)

-  Then came Sean to the rescue. Sean was the guy who saved the girls from this mess. Choi had told Christine that Sean was the tour guide, that he was a bad man who had stolen his money and did not pay the bill. But now, Christine realized that Sean "is one of best friend of Lawrence" and he owns a travel agency. Last year, Sean helped pay for Choi's bill totaling US$20,000 that Choi has not paid back. Sean arranged for lunch at the hotel for all the girls and resolved the problem so they could leave Korea. It was already 3:30 PM and some of the girls and national directors had to be at the airport later that night to catch their flight back home, but when they returned to the hotel, it was almost midnight. Everyone was hungry and sad and Choi still kept pushing the girls to go to the cinema festival. The girls went, and again there was no food to eat but only wine to drink. (If I had been one of the contestants, I would have gone straight to the hotel kitchen and grabbed all the kim chee and bibimbap that I could possibly take! lol)

- That same day, Christine's husband and two daughters had already arrived in Seoul and stayed in another hotel. Choi was supposed to provide two rooms for Christine and her family but her husband did not trust him, so she and her husband arranged to reserve two rooms themselves. Later that evening, Choi called Christine to tell her that he had made the wrong decision of allowing Korea to win the title, so he took the title and crown from Jung Eun A and gave them to Florima. Christine: "I think it's good, because this is the first time that Korea won, but she is ugly and that's no good for the MAPW Org’s reputation. He said it's Sean's fault, Sean changed the winner's list so he ruined everything. I don't buy it due to Sean is not the owner for the event why he had to ruin it  at the same time tried to pay the bill to help Lawrence, no reason." ("Ugly." LMAO! Looks like Christine really tells it like it is!)

- The following morning (Oct. 17), after Christine insisted that Choi ask Sean to give each girl enough money to take the shuttle bus to the airport, Florima and her two runners-up stayed for one more week. Christine joined her family for a 5-day holiday in Seoul. Florima would call Christine to give her updates, but Florima still had not seen Choi. Then Choi arranged a photo shoot of the girls for magazines and catalogues for some companies and demanded the girls to sign  a contract with SidusHQ (talent and modeling agency), but the contract was entirely in Korean which the girls did not understand. Florima sent copies of the contract to Christine after the girls had signed it, but Choi did not even allow the girls to keep one copy. Christine showed the contract to Miss China who had been learning Korean for a long time, and she told Christine that the contract only benefited Choi's company. The contract looked like this:

A: One big company who arranges all modelling jobs for the girls
B: Choi's company
C: The girls
In the contract, A could get 70% of the total profit, B & C get 30% (Choi gets 30% from the 30% and girls get 70% from the 30%). 

- Christine questioned the validity of the contract. Choi told her that he had gotten Florima a big modeling job, that she had already taken photos for a big company, and that effective November 2011 she could haul in US$1,000 a month. Christine then wondered if Miss China had misinterpreted the contract. But before Florima left Seoul, she only received a portion of her flight ticket cost. When she returned to France, she kept asking Choi for her ticket's balance which Choi provided. But that was the only thing she got from him. 

(In her last e-mail to me, Christine mentions that Choi had asked her opinion about making Japan as a co-host country for MAPW 2012, but since it is irrelevant to the subject of this article, I'll just leave it to our readers' imagination as to how Christine responded to Choi.)


A day after Jung Eun A was dethroned, pageant officials replaced her with Florima Treiber (center), who is flanked by Ingrid Fernandez of Puerto Rico who received a "special" title (which seems to eclipse Florima's title because of the word "star" after it), and by Diana Starkova of the Ukraine wearing an un-ranked runner-up sash. Photo courtesy of Florima's Facebook page.


And now, the incriminating behind-the-scene videos from Miss Asia Pacific World 2011:


Miss Singapore Patricia Eng describes her terrible ordeal with the hotel front desk manager who refuses to let the girls retrieve their luggage from their rooms


 Miss France Florima Treiber shows her frustration caused by incompetent and rude hotel staff


 
Contestants confront hotel desk clerks who deny them entry back to their rooms to retrieve their luggage. Miss France Florima Treiber speaks in the background.


 
Miss France Florima Treiber complains over the phone while the other girls plead with hotel staffer if they could return to their rooms and retrieve their luggage


Contestants, led by Miss France Florima Treiber and Miss Mali Linda Sanogo, confront Korean pageant staffer at hotel who seems to take the crisis quite lightly
 

Contestants protest irregularities of the national costume competition

 
 Contestants protest the unfair judging system of the talent competition as well as the total disorganization of the pageant. It was already 2 in the morning and the girls were all tired and cranky. The organizers had given away prizes to anyone, including girls who did not even sign up to compete in the talent portion. Some of the girls spent one year preparing just for the talent segment - only to be dismissed and ignored in favor of some girls who did not even perform. Florima also noticed a creepy man with sunglasses who told her that he knew everything about her life and her family! Some of the girls became emotional and started crying.


Miss France Florima Treiber (eating chips) says hotel did not provide dinner six hours after the finals was over, while Miss Finland Linnea Altonnen reads e-mails that Lawrence Choi 
had sent to Florima


Miss France Florima Treiber writes to Lawrence Choi (whom she and the other contestants had never seen during the entire 3-week duration of the pageant) to describe to him the bizarre results of the finals


Pageant staffer Sean defends Lawrence Choi on the bus


The scandal was featured on Korean TV News

Miss France Florima Treiber is selected as semi-finalist


VIDEO CLIPS COURTESY OF FLORIMA TREIBER



Scandal rocks Miss Asia Pacific World 2011 pageant


(This article was originally published on October 21, 2011 on Critical Beauty's old server. I am republishing it on CB's new server in conjunction with the article on Florima Treiber, the dethroned Miss Asia Pacific World 2011 who contacted CB to tell her side of the story. - Rafa Delfin)

 
• INTERNATIONAL PAGEANTRY was rocked by heavy scandal this past week when several contestants of the first edition of the Miss Asia Pacific World (MAPW) pageant protested their mistreatment and abuse by the Korean organizers. The pageant finale was held at the Busan Yachting Center in Busan, Korea on October 15. Hours before the finals, three contestants videotaped their harrowing experience with local pageant authorities who had been accused of irregularities in the competition. Some of these irregularities included the placement of certain delegates in the talent competition even though they did not compete, and the geographical ignorance of the judges for awarding Best National Costume Africa award to Guyana and Best National Costume Europe award to Puerto Rico. Also, Miss Cameroon won the Best Talent Africa without ever setting foot on stage. The video was uploaded on YouTube by Miss Guyana Aletha Shepherd .

      In the video below, Miss Wales Amy Willerton angrily confronts a non-English-speaking organizer and asks him how anyone can win a competition without even entering it. Willerton then accuses the organizer of lying by claiming that he did not know anything about the judging rules. The drama continues when the police is barred by the organizer to confer with the girls' only translator and when Miss Costa Rica Pamela Peralta starts to break down. On Day 13, the girls (Wales, Guyana, Costa Rica) were fooled into believing that they were going to be driven to the airport, but instead were taken to another hotel as the organizers attempted to convince them to stay. Scared for their safety, the girls rushed out of the hotel and towards the airport where they were followed. Tipped by the organizers, the airport authorities prevented the girls from boarding the plane and held them and their luggage "hostage." What follows is a heated verbal confrontation between Willerton and the airport security staff.

      Other complaints raised were the lack of proper food, hotels with no beds, sexual harassment, and judges bribing the girls to stay in the competition and for sex. The girls were also promised that they would each get a hanbok, the traditional Korean dress, but the people who had provided them with the dresses took off with the dresses! Willerton's statements speak volumes of the unprofessional and unethical behavior of the pageant organizers: "It's disgusting. And they offered all of us the option, so we won't leave, of winning the pageant... I don't want to do anything with these people, or work with these people. This pageant is a joke... I don't see the winner ever getting their prize money... And even if the prize money is a possibility, I still wouldn't work with this people because they are sick! They are sick, disgusting, just awful people who should not be allowed to work with women from around the world."  Watch the entire video and see the drama unfold: 





Watch all of Shepherd's videos on YouTube as well as her website Confessions of a Beauty Queen where she chronicles her experience in Korea from the day she arrived.

On her Facebook page, Willerton posted these comments on October 14:





Willerton's comments reflect those of one irate national director who wrote to me and said: "The top 15 was a WTF! What are some of them doing up there? They slept in a dirty rooms with 4 to 5 girls per room and there were cockroaches everywhere. The hair and makeup crew was just there for the beginning but then left! The girls were on their own. They had only one f---ing rehearsal! People were coming and going backstage to take pics with the girls and there was no security present. The girls also did not have chaperones for two weeks! Should I say more?"

When I asked this director if he had seen Lawrence Choi, the founder, promoter and organizer of the pageant, he said, "I never saw him. And quite frankly, I would rather send the poor girls to hell than back here next year! Never met him at all! Don't know who he is."



Several media outlets picked up the story, like this one by BBC News:
 

2.16.2013

Miss Montenegro 2013 crowned




Ivana Milojko, an 18-year-old student from Kotor, was crowned Miss Montenegro 2013 on January 22nd in Bečići. She will compete in Miss World 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 28.
The first runner-up was Nikoleta Jovanović, 17, who will represent Montenegro in Miss Universe 2013. Bojana Čejović, 19, and Valentina Mićić, 16, tied for second runner-up position.





2013 Uruguay queens crowned




Micaela Orsi, 18, was crowned Miss Uruguay Universe 2013 on January 20, 2013 at Chihuahua Resort in Punta del Este.  She will represent Uruguay in Miss Universe 2013 beauty pageant. 


At the same event, Mercedes Bissio was crowned Miss World Uruguay 2013 and will compete in Miss World 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 28. A third contestant,  Natalia Sanchez, was crowned Miss Uruguay International 2013 and will represent her country at the Miss International 2013 pageant later this year.

 

2.15.2013

Miss America returns to Atlantic City



Mallory Hytes Hagan of New York was crowned Miss America 2013 last January 12 in Las Vegas.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- Miss America, Atlantic City's prodigal pageant, is coming home, and the spectacle that became synonymous with the New Jersey seaside resort is being assured all is forgiven after a six-year fling in Las Vegas. 
 
The pageant will be back where it started 93 years ago and where it was a fixture until 2006, when organizers moved to Nevada in the hopes of attracting a younger TV audience. 

"It was always my dream that this would return here," said Art McMaster, president and CEO of the Miss America organization. "Sadly, this organization went west for a while. That sadness is over. We are back to the city where the Miss America pageant began, where the Miss America pageant was raised, and where the Miss America pageant belongs." 

Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, who worked with Gov. Chris Christie's office to entice the pageant, said having Miss America anywhere but Atlantic City just felt wrong. 

"Can anyone separate the Mummer's Parade from Philadelphia, or the Rose Bowl from Pasadena?" he asked. "Miss America is Atlantic City, and she's coming home." 

New Jersey's lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno, made the official announcement Thursday morning inside Boardwalk Hall, the historic arena in which the pageant will take place during yet-undetermined dates in September. She said Atlantic City and the pageant have a handshake agreement to move back here for at least three years, but said final details have yet to be ironed out. 

One thing is for sure, though: the contestants will don elaborate footwear and participate in the traditional pre-pageant Boardwalk parade, in which spectators yell out "Show us your shoes!" 

The announcement came the same day that another Boardwalk icon, Trump Plaza, was sold to a California company for $20 million, the lowest price ever paid for a casino in the beleaguered resort city. Boosters spun it as a heartening sign that the city was still attractive to investors. 

Guadagno said no taxpayer money was part of the incentives offered to lure Miss America back to New Jersey. Liza Cartmell, president of the Atlantic City Alliance, said her casino-funded group is among those providing financial incentives, but would not say how much it might contribute. She said individual casinos are contributing as well, and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority could use some of the funds casinos are obligated to pay to it for Miss America-related purposes. 

Guadagno and Cartmell said the return of the pageant is expected to generate at least $30 million in economic activity for Atlantic City and the surrounding region. But the psychological boost, and the free publicity of having the national broadcast set in Atlantic City, is priceless, they added. Cartmell said 6,000 to 7,000 people associated with the pageant will need hotel rooms, meals and other expenditures during their time in Atlantic City. 

"We will be showcasing all the attractions we have in Atlantic City," Cartmell said. The pageant contestants "will be climbing the lighthouse, they'll go to Gardner's Basin, they may go dolphin-watching — all the fun things people do when they come to Atlantic City. The amount of free media for us is great."

The Miss America pageant left Atlantic City in 2006 after deciding it was just too expensive to stage its production there. It went to Las Vegas, where the current Miss America, Mallory Hagan, was crowned last month at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Hagan will have her reign cut short when the pageant is broadcast in September, but will be paid for the full year, pageant officials said. 

The move to Las Vegas came amid sliding TV ratings for the pageant, as it tried to interest a younger demographic and incorporating elements of reality television programming. 

McMaster said the content of the show is still being worked on, adding he expects a mixture of modern television elements and traditional pageant staples such as evening wear and swimsuit competitions, and talent competitions. The format is being jointly developed with the ABC television network, which will broadcast the pageant for the next three years, he said. 

The Miss America pageant started as little more than a bathing suit revue. It broke viewership records in its heyday and bills itself as one of the world's largest scholarship programs for women. But, like other pageants, it has struggled to stay relevant as national attitudes regarding women's rights have changed. 

The contest originated in 1920 as the Fall Frolic, which became the Inter-City Beauty Contest the following year. In 1921, a high school junior named Margaret Gorman was one of approximately 1,000 entrants in a photo contest held by the Washington Herald. She was chosen as the first Miss Washington, D.C., and her prize was a trip to Atlantic City, where she won the top prize: the Golden Mermaid Trophy. 

The next year, Gorman was expected to defend her title. But when the Washington Herald selected a new Miss Washington, D.C., Atlantic City pageant officials didn't know what new title to award Gorman. Since both titles she won in 1921 — Inter-City Beauty, Amateur and The Most Beautiful Bathing Girl in America — were considered somewhat awkward, it was decided to call her Miss America. 

The pageant was conceived by the Businessmen's League of Atlantic City as a way to extend the summer tourism season in Atlantic City for another week, being held the weekend after Labor Day weekend, when temperatures were generally still warm. 


 Source: Associated Press, 2/14/13

2.12.2013

New modeling competition, "The Face," features two ex-beauty queens


     Oxygen's newest model reality show is "The Face." The premiere will be on Feb. 12, but last night (Feb. 5), Oxygen aired a one-hour special called "The Face: The Fight to Make the Final 12." Find out what happened when 24 model hopefuls become the lucky final 12.

     Thousands of models auditioned in the hopes of being one of the girls chosen to make the final cut to be "The Face." The prize? To become the face of ULTA Beauty, and in the process, be mentored by either supermodel Naomi Campbell, Karolina Kurkova or Coco Rocha in the process.

     From thousands, the girls were pared down to a mere 24, and those girls were invited to New York Fashion week, where they saw Naomi, Karolina and Coco strut their stuff on the runway during Zac Posen's Spring Runway Show. After the show, the 24 hopefuls meet with "The Face" host, Nigel Barker, who tells them what comes next.
     One by one the girls step up to have their shot taken. We get a little back story on some of the girls in the process. Some early favorites are Sandra, Devyn, Jocelyn and Margaux, who gives a sexy pose with her tongue sticking out. There is even one girl who has zero modeling experience named Stephanie. Even with that lack of experience, the three coaches see something in her and she moves on.

     Not only is it a competition between the 24 hopefuls, but it's also between the three supermodel coaches as well. Naomi says that "Karolina and Coco better watch out." After all the shots are taken, we are down to 22 girls, with only 2 that didn't make the cut.

     The next step for the girls is to have their runway walk evaluated. The girls walk down the runway in pairs, wearing a bikini and a big floppy hat, hiding their face, so that it's only the walk that is evaluated, and the coaches aren't swayed by girls that they favored in the picture round.

     Two by two, the girls came down the runway in their floppy hats to be judged by the three coaches. In the end, 18 of the 22 made it through to the next round. Of the 18, only 12 will make it to one of the three teams, so 6 more girls will have to go.

     The next day, the 18 girls that remain will have to choose their looks from the DKNY line. They also do their makeup and describe how they'd like their hair to look to the stylist. From there they get photographed and it's on to the final choices.

     The coaches sit in chairs at the end of a runway with Nigel Barker. In front of them is a screen at the far end of the runway, and each girl's original photo is first displayed, then their "new" look is displayed. They are backlit, so that only a silhouette is shown to the coaches. If a coach wants a girl for her team, she holds up her book. If no one picks the girl, she goes home. If more than one coach picks a girl, it's the girl's choice as to which coach she wants to work with.

     Not every girl is spotlighted, but several had more than one coach want them on their team. Margaux was chosen by both Naomi and Coco, and she chose to be on Coco's team, saying that she had followed Coco's career. Devyn was chosen by all three coaches, and she chose to go with Karolina. Zi Lin was another girl that all three coaches choose. Her choice was to go on Naomi's team.

     With only 2 girls left and only one spot on Coco's team left to fill, Brittany and Jessica both walked the runway. Initially no one chose Brittany, and instead of just being defeated, she asked why. When given another chance, Coco had to choose if she wanted Jessica or if she would give Brittany a shot. She went with Brittany, and so her team was filled.

The teams are as follows:

Team Naomi
  • Sandra Woodley
  • Aleksandra Dubrovskaya
  • Jocelyn Chew
  • ZiLin Luo (Miss Universe China 2011 and 4th runner-up in Miss Universe 2011)

ZiLin Luo

Team Karolina
  • Devyn Abdullah
  • Ebony Olivia Smith
  • Christy Nelson
  • Madeleine Armstrong
Team Coco
  • Margaux Brooke
  • Marlee Nichols
  • Stephanie Lalanne
  • Brittany Mason (Miss Indiana USA 2008 and Top 15 in Miss USA 2008)

Brittany Mason

     Tune in next Tue., February 12 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on Oxygen, to find out how the teams due in the challenges, and who will be eliminated first.

SOURCE: Examiner.com, 2/6/2013
 
***Another ex-beauty queen, Amanda Delgado (Miss U.S. International 2012 and Top 15 in Miss International 2012), was eliminated during the first cut out of 24 contenders.

2.02.2013

Times Group reacquires Miss Universe franchise for India




VINEET JAIN

  

      The Times of India Group has bagged the franchise rights for the Miss Universe pageant in India. An agreement to this effect was recently signed at the Miss Universe headquarters in New York.

      Speaking on the occasion, Times Group MD Vineet Jain, said, "I am happy that the Miss Universe pageant is back once again with the Times Group." 
The Miss India Universe pageant will be produced in isolation as a stand-alone contest end of June to choose a winner who will represent India at the Miss Universe pageant.  

      Marc Robinson, Director Operations, Miss India, added, "Miss Universe is back where it rightfully belongs, with The Times Group. It is the oldest and most credible organisation in India capable of conducting and producing pageants on an international level, while keeping in mind international pageant requirements and standards. Both Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta rose to fame after winning the Miss India, and subsequently the Miss Universe titles, in the years 1994 and 2000, respectively." (Source: The Times of India, 2/2/2013)


     Sushmita Sen, former Miss Universe 1994, held the Miss Universe franchise for three years (2010, 2011, 2012). A month ago, she announced in her website her decision to terminate her contract with the Miss Universe Organization.

Miss Poland Universe 2013 crowned



The new Miss Polonia 2013 (Miss Poland Universe) is Paulina Krupińska  who was crowned at the ATM Studio, in Warsaw on February 2nd. She will compete in Miss Universe 2013. The 1st runner-up was Żaneta Płudowska and the 2nd runner-up was Aleksandra Szczęsna

Poland has never won Miss Universe. Last year, Marcelina Zawadzka made the Top 16. Could Paulina surpass Marcelina's feat? We hope so, because she's naturally gorgeous!