New Czech Queens for 2014

Gabriela Frankova (center), a 20-year-old student from Brno, was crowned Česká Miss 2014 (Miss Czech Republic 2014) this past weekend. She will represent her country in Miss Universe 2014 whose date and venue have not yet been confirmed. 23-year-old Tereza Skoumalova (right) was crowned Česká Miss World 2014 and will compete in Miss World 2014 in London in November. 21-year-old Nikola Bouranska (left), was crowned Česká Miss Earth 2014 and will compete in Miss Earth 2014 to be held in the Philippines sometime in December.

Frankova was crowned by the legendary Italian actress Sofia Loren.

 PHOTO CREDITS: http://revue.idnes.cz/ 


Miss South Africa 2014

Medical student Rolene Strauss was on Sunday crowned the new Miss South Africa 2014. The 21-year-old who hails from Volksrust in Mpumalanga but currently lives in Bloemfontein was one of the favourite contenders in the pageant.
Ziphozakhe Zokufa from Port Elizabeth came in as first princess and Matlala Mokoko from Johannesburg second princess. The modern platinum crown named Palesa (flower in Sesotho) was designed from platinum by the Jack Friedman team as well as pageant designer Malcolm Kluk using inspiration taken from the natural beauty of indigenous South African flowers and traditional patterns.
Strauss will compete both in Miss World and Miss Universe pageants.

Source: Mail Guardian, South Africa, March 30, 2014

New Philippines Queens for 2014

L-R: 2nd runner-up Hannah Ruth Sison, Bb. Pilipinas Tourism 2014 Parul Shah, Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2014 Kris Tiffany Janson, Miss Universe Philippines 2014 Mary Jane Lastimosa, Bb. Pilipinas International 2014 Bianca Guidotti, Miss Supranational Philippines 2014 Yvethe Santiago, and 1st runner-up Laura Lehman. Photography by RP OCAMPO

     Twenty six-year-old North Cotabato native Mary Jean Lastimosa bested 39 other Binibining Pilipinas candidates to represent the country in this year's Miss Universe.
     During the highly anticipated but dreaded question and answer portion, reigining Miss Universe Gabriela Isler asked the Davao-based entrepreneur: "What is the greatest advantage of being a woman?”
     "The greatest advantage of being a woman is being able to compose ourselves. Just like here, we’re standing in front of thousands of people not knowing if they're cheer for us. But we try to compose ourselves, we keep the emotions and show the beauty that is in us. And tonight, thousands of people are here, celebrating the beauty of a woman," she answered.
     Joining Mary Jean in the winners' circle is 24-year-old Bianca Guidotti who shall represent the Philippines in Miss International. Cebuana beauty, 24-year-old Kris Tiffany Janson, is the country's representative to the Miss Intercontinental; Yvethe Santiago is heading to Miss Supranational; while Parul Shah is competing in Miss Tourism Queen International.
     Laura Lehman and Hannah Ruth Sison are First and Second Runners-up, respectively.
     Expectations are high for this year's titlist following the country's impressive finish in the international beauty pageants last year. It can be recalled that the Philippines brought home three titles in 2013: Miss Supranational (Mutya Johanna Datul), Miss World (Megan Young), and Miss International (Bea Rose Santiago).
TOP 15 (In no particular order)
Bb 11 Laura Lehmann
Bb 1 Julian Aurine Flores
Bb 22 Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti
Bb 3 Joanna Romero
Bb 25 Mary Jean Lastimosa
Bb 8 Pia Wurtzbach
Bb 4 Parul Shah
Bb 23 Nichole Marie Manalo
Bb 16 Zahara Soriano
Bb 35 Yvethe Marie Santiago
Bb 14 Emma Mary Tiglao
Bb 20 Kenneth Santiago
Bb 13 Kris Tiffany Janson
Bb 27 Hannah Sison
Bb 19 Mae Liezel Ramos

Source: ph.celebrity.yahoo.com, March 30, 2014

Left: Kris Tiffany Janson (Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental 2014). Center: Mary Jane Lastimosa (Miss Universe Philippines 2014). Right: Bianca Guidotti (Bb. Pilipinas International 2014) Photo by Francis Malasig/EPA
Mary Jean Lastimosa.  Photo by Francis Malasig/EPA
Photo by Francis Malasig/EPA


Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler Visits The Philippines

Reigning Miss Universe Gabriela Isler of Venezuela arrived in Manila, Philippines on March 27th. She will be attending and judging the Binibining Pilipinas 2014 pageant to be held on Sunday, March 30, at the Araneta Coliseum. The following photos were taken from the Press Conference held at Sofitel Hotel Manila on Thursday, March 28th. Joining Gabriela were MUO President Paula Shugart and BPCI Chairman Stella Marquez de Araneta.   

Photography by Jonas Yu & Deybid Natanawan


CB Loves Elizabeth Ivezaj, Miss Michigan USA 2014!

How does it feel being Miss Michigan USA 2014?

Being Miss Michigan USA is such an honor. Through this journey I have met so many wonderful people. I feel so blessed to be given this opportunity and the year so far has been such a great learning experience and also so much fun.

List three adjectives that best describe yourself.

Three adjectives to describe myself would be determined, independent and friendly. I say determined because I always give my best when striving to achieve a goal and remind myself that staying focused is one of the key components to success. Next independent, I have a good work ethic and prefer to take care of things on my own. I feel that being independent really helps a person’s maturity. Lastly I listed friendly because I can get along with just about anyone :)

If you woke up tomorrow gained any one ability or quality. what would you want it to be?

If I could gain one ability it would be to read and speak several languages.

When you get up in the morning and look in the mirror, what do you see?

I see a person who is eager to face the day's tasks and put my best foot forward.

How do you handle peer pressure when it goes against your values?

I think it is so important to stay true to who you are especially under pressure and be confident enough to stick to your values even if it means going against the crowd.

Do you have any vices?

One vice I have is snacking late at night especially with sweets!

Do you feel that being beautiful gives you certain advantages in life that less beautiful people don't benefit from?

I would say that inner beauty and education are the two most important advantages in life we can benefit from. 

How far are you willing to push yourself to achieve your goals?

Setting goals and pushing yourself to achieve them I feel is important but also not losing sight of who you are in the process is just as important. How far I am willing to push myself would depend greatly on the compromises I would have to make.

What special charities, causes, or groups do you support any why?

One of the charities I support is the Pink Ribbon Girls. The founder Tracie Metzger was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30 and since her survival it has been her mission to create an organization to help women of all ages fighting the battle. Tracie not only provides education and awareness but also services for the women through all stages of their battle. Her services include meals, house cleaning, and transportation to appointments. This organization is so near and dear to me I think Tracie is doing such a wonderful job helping women and I feel honored to be a part of it.

Why do you think that most Americans are ignorant of world geography?

I think that in America we do not place enough emphasis and importance on world geography.

There have been issues with budget cuts in arts education. Is this area of education necessary for personal growth?

Absolutely, in my opinion arts education is extremely important. It is a great form of self expression and every child should have the chance to participate in art early on in life.

What is your position on same-sex marriage?

I believe that everyone should have the right and opportunity to marry whomever they choose.

Do you believe that racism is still a problem today? 

I believe our society has greatly overcome issues of racism; however, there are always improvements to make.

What are some measures that we as a society can take to overcome the pressures that the media places on a young woman’s body today?

I think we need to encourage the fact that women come in all shapes and sizes. There is no perfect way to look and the more we encourage this diversity the more we can take some of the pressure off of young women who strive for the ridiculous images the media place.

Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?

I want to be the next Miss USA because I would love to use it as a platform to make a difference in the lives of women around the world. With my major in women's studies I strive to serve as a role model and advocate for women's rights. Being a part of the prestigious Miss Universe Organization is a dream come true and gracing the stage at the Miss Universe pageant would be life changing.




CB Loves Kendall Bautista, Miss Alaska USA 2014!

How does it feel being Miss Alaska USA 2014?

I feel blessed to be Miss Alaska USA 2014. I have the once in a lifetime opportunity to represent the largest, most beautiful state in the union at Miss USA. I am thrilled to be living my dream to walk on the Miss USA stage, and I’m so glad I didn’t give up.  The 3rd time WAS the charm for me!  I am excited to put Alaska back on the map this year! Who knows, next stop could be Miss Universe!

Name three things that you value most in life and why.

Three things I value most in life are faith, love of family and friends, and compassion because my faith feeds my soul, my family and friends give me support, and my compassion keeps me inspired.

Describe your idea of bliss.

My “bliss” is spending an afternoon playing dress up and having a tea party with some young girls at the hospital. I’m the director of the first chapter of the “Queen for a Day” nonprofit in Alaska and spending time with these young girls really gives me feelings of joy and a greater purpose. Watching the young girls smile and laugh as they take on their royal roles and forget all their worries for the day truly makes me happy.

How would you promote Alaska to a visitor?

There’s really something for everyone in our great state, and it doesn’t need to be a bucket list destination!   It really is a “Big Wild Life” here in Alaska year round!  In the summer, I would take visitors on the Alaska Railroad for a scenic trip filled with breathtaking views through mountain passages, past the tallest peaks in North America, and among some fascinating wildlife. For the more adventurous tourists, we could go salmon fishing, zip lining, river rafting down glacier fed rivers, or hiking on one of our many of the beautiful trails! However, folks should NOT avoid Alaska in the winter, especially since we have about 6 months of it! During the winter, I’d take visitors snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, lake ice fishing, snow machining, and even dog mushing. I would want to experience our Midnight Sun and Northern Lights, too.  There is so much to see and do in this great state, so they need to come ready for more than a few days to trek across Alaska!

When did you first realize that you were beautiful?

One of my mom’s mantras is “pretty is as pretty does.”  I grew up knowing that regardless of what I was wearing or how I looked, my actions and attitude determined the only beauty that counted. I was taught to measure beauty in kindness because the exterior beauty would not get me nearly as far in life as a compassionate, caring heart.  So despite the awkward stages, embarrassing haircuts and horrible makeup habits I have always felt “beautiful” on the inside when I treated others with kindness and respect.

Would you ever appear on a reality show? Why or why not?

Hmmm. “Being Bautista?” Nah, I wouldn’t want to be on a reality show filled with drama.  However, I wouldn’t mind appearing on one that focused on me learning “how to” do something meaningful, or maybe a reality show one highlighting the people and organizations I have been able to support as Miss Alaska or Miss USA.  For example, showing how I am a mentor for Big Brothers and Big Sisters.  I look forward to my weekly visits with my “little sister” at her elementary school, and I would welcome a reality show depicting how rewarding and easy it is to be a significant person in the life of a young person.  Just think of the potential impact we could have if a reality show was used to encourage others to get involved and give back in their area. That is a reality show worth its airtime!

If you were to have dinner with three political leaders, who would they be and why?

I have to admit it would be entertaining, albeit dangerous, to have some of our world leaders together for dinner, I think I’d have a better chance building alliances and address issues facing my home state of Alaska.  So, I think I’ll dine with Governor Sean Parnell, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich to brainstorm ways to bolster our state’s economy.

What one thing you will never tolerate and why?

I really cannot tolerate mean-spirited behavior.  Assertion is one thing, but relational aggression and bullying is quite different. I prefer to associate with positive people who bring out the best in one another.

Do you believe that you can truly be in love with more than one person at the same time?

I am an incurable romantic, so I believe if you are truly in love with someone your whole heart belongs to them and only them.

Do you believe pornography, which is currently protected as "free speech" by Supreme Court rulings, is actually "free speech"?

Although pornography is currently protected as “free speech” under our Constitution, I personally think the industry needs to exercise better responsibility in safeguarding our youth and young children from exposure before they are emotionally mature enough to handle it.  I don’t think it’s the “free speech” the framers of our Constitution quite had in mind.  I think they would probably prefer we left a lot more to the imagination!

What is your definition of an ethical person?

I believe an ethical person is someone who acts and speaks with honesty and integrity.

Critics say that the Wal-Mart chain is killing our nation's mom-and-pop-shops. Would you like to see restraints on large chains to protect family-owned businesses?

I am not really in favor of government regulations restraining big box stores from creating jobs.  Wal-Mart was actually the fulfillment of Sam Walton’s American dream.  Living in Alaska, I have always welcomed the opening of big named franchises to our state, knowing it would bring more variety of products and lower costs, as well as more jobs.  One thing Alaskans hate to hear when ordering online is the “free shipping rates ONLY apply to the United States!” Hello!  Alaska is part of the USA, and our star on the flag should count, too!!

In your wildest dreams, what would your ideal career be?

I think one of my wildest dreams for an ideal career would have me as part of the writing team at Saturday Night Live!!  It would enjoy the opportunity to write witty skits and see them performed by their talented cast of comedians!  Talk about a fun work place – I can only imagine how entertaining it must be to work on set with the cast members like Tina Fey, Kristin Wiig, Jimmy Fallon, Keenan Thompson, and the list goes on and on.  

What is America’s greatest quality?

I think the diversity of the people who have come together to make this country is one of our greatest and most beautiful qualities of our nation. No other country in the free world has so many people of different cultures and backgrounds united under one constitution that offers so much hope and opportunity for individual citizens!

Why do you want to be the next Miss USA?

Growing up I was incredibly shy. I was that girl that looked at her feet when she walked down the hallways at school, and went straight to my next class!  In high school I watched the Miss Universe pageant on TV for the first time and I admired the poise and confidence of the beautiful women from around the world on stage, and made it my goal right then and there to get to on that stage! Participating in pageants helped me develop my own self-confidence and I want to be that inspiration to other young girls watching on TV. As Miss USA I will challenge women across the country to be the best possible versions of themselves - shining from the inside out!  I want to be the Miss USA who inspires others to be more compassionate and caring individuals who use our abilities and talents to make our country even better.  The title is temporary, but the impact I can make while I wear it has incredible potential to bring attention to many worthy causes of the organization, nation, and world.