Watch Miss Earth 2015 Eco-Beauty Videos - Part 2: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Canada, Congo DR, Costa Rica, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Uruguay









Watch Miss Earth 2015 Eco-Beauty Videos - Part 1: Aruba, Colombia, Crimea, Croatia, Ecuador, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar, New Caledonia, Panama, Poland, Sri Lanka, Sweden, South Africa & Thailand

















Miss Universe 2015 Pageant: Miss Mexico Wendolly Esparza Preparing to Compete After Donald Trump's Departure

Wendolly Esparza, winner of Nuestra Belleza Mexico in 2014, is gearing up to compete at the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant.

"I have prepared arduously for this crown and that's why I'm so proud to tell you that Mexico is returning to Miss Universe. I'll give it everything I've got," Esparza, 24, said in a video message quoted by Fox News Latino.

In June, it was reported that Mexico will not be joining the 64th Miss Universe Pageant as a protest against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has been making racist and offensive remarks directed at Mexican immigrants, the news outlet added. 

"In the last few months there were a lot of remarks about our country that were so against my ideals and those of all the people who struggle every day looking for a better life," the beauty queen said, as reported by Fox News Latino.
However, it was recently reported that Trump's name has been removed from the Miss Universe and Miss USA organizations, AdWeek wrote. The pageants are now owned by IMG, with Fox set to air the upcoming Miss Universe event live on Dec. 20 from the Axis Theater of the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
NBC had previously aired the pageants, but the network cut professional ties with Trump in June because of the GOP nominee's controversial remarks, the news outlet added. Last June's Miss USA Pageant aired on Reelz and accumulated 1 million views, its lowest rating ever. NBC's Miss USA broadcast last year had 5.56 million viewers, while the network's January airing of the Miss Universe Pageant averaged 7.6 million.

According to Esparza, she is continuing her "preparations for an excellent performance" in the international contest, Fox News Latino reported. She added, "Now that the situation has changed, it makes sense to stay in the battle and show the nobility and courage that identifies us."
Fox and IMG's agreement also gives the network domestic rights to broadcast the Miss USA Pageant in 2016. David Madden, president of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting, said in a statement that Fox's partnership with IMG and the Miss Universe Organization will "infuse a fresh new energy into these perennial broadcast favorites," AdWeek noted.
"Miss Universe is a unique, global media property and this partnership with Fox marks a new era for the Miss Universe Organization as a whole," said Michael Antinoro, IMG's SVP of original content, as quoted by the news outlet. "As the broadcast leader in innovative and groundbreaking live events, Fox is the perfect partner as we look to implement new and exciting changes to this show and the franchise."
"In the last few months there were a lot of remarks about our country that were so against my ideals and those of all the people who struggle every day looking for a better life," the beauty queen said, as reported by Fox News Latino.However, it was recently reported that Trump's name has been removed from the Miss Universe and Miss USA organizations, AdWeek wrote. The pageants are now owned by IMG, with Fox set to air the upcoming Miss Universe event live on Dec. 20 from the Axis Theater of the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.However, it was recently reported that Trump's name has been removed from the Miss Universe and Miss USA organizations, AdWeek wrote. The pageants are now owned by IMG, with Fox set to air the upcoming Miss Universe event live on Dec. 20 from the Axis Theater of the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.NBC had previously aired the pageants, but the network cut professional ties with Trump in June because of the GOP nominee's controversial remarks, the news outlet added. Last June's Miss USA Pageant aired on Reelz and accumulated 1 million views, its lowest rating ever. NBC's Miss USA broadcast last year had 5.56 million viewers, while the network's January airing of the Miss Universe Pageant averaged 7.6 million.
Source: Latinopost.com, 10/30/2015


Miss Universe Pageant Finds New Home on FOX

NEW YORK: FOX has picked up the U.S. broadcasting rights for the 64th annual Miss Universe Pageant, which will air live on December 20.

The deal was struck between IMG and The Miss Universe Organization with FOX. The three-hour event will air live from the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. As part of the pact, the network will also have the U.S. rights to air Miss USA.

The pageants had previously been dropped by NBC and Univision, among other networks, over remarks made by Donald Trump about Mexican immigrants. This came just before the Miss USA pageant was set to air. Reelz Channel stepped in at the last minute to broadcast the event.

IMG acquired the pageants in September.

“The Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants are iconic television events loved by generations of viewers around the world,” said David Madden, the president of entertainment at Fox Broadcasting Company. “We are very excited to partner with IMG and The Miss Universe Organization to infuse a fresh new energy into these perennial broadcast favorites.”

“Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino has been a fantastic partner to The Miss Universe Organization, and it will be a great home for the 64th annual Miss Universe Pageant,” said Paula M. Shugart, the president of The Miss Universe Organization. “The resort’s AXIS Theater is a premier entertainment venue, and the ideal site for the pageant’s inaugural broadcast on a new network.”

Source: Worldscreen.com, 10/29/2015


Sweden's representative to Miss International 2015 abandons pageant, citing that she felt like an "escort"

On her Instagram, Isabella posted a picture of Expressen newspaper published on Oct. 28, 2015 featuring her story

     Isabella Jedler Forsman, 19, Sweden's representative to Miss International 2015 pageant which is taking place right now in Japan, withdrew from the pageant a week ago. According to the Swedish newspaper Expressen which published her story, Isabella said that the pageant was not what she had expected. You can read the article in Swedish here.

     She claims that when she got to Japan, she had to hand over all her personal information including passwords to social media. She also complained about the hectic schedule that included attending lectures, dinner parties and other events. She said that she felt like an escort sitting at a table with fifteen men and that she was obliged to be nice to them. 

Isabella with some of the contestants during a charity event at Miss International 2015 pageant / Instagram

     Long days with little sleep caused her to be ill, and when she became ill, she chose not to join one of the planned events and she was scolded for it. She also said that she could not post pictures online and to express how she really felt about the competition, which she thought was "crap." She also recounted how she had sat through a long meeting with the Japanese police chief and three other officers who laughed at her and mistreated her, and refused to give her back her passport because she had a contract with the organization. Finally, the chief threw her passport on the table after a long conversation.

     Now she is back in Sweden safe and sound, but claims that she would have constant nightmares caused by her experience in Japan. Joakim Granberg, president of the Miss Universe Sweden, says that his organization did what they could to prevent Isabella from withdrawing from the pageant and supports her decision to do so. However, he believes that the contestants have been informed that the schedule for competitions would be tough.

     It is unfortunate that Isabella had to withdraw from the pageant, but it is even more unfortunate that she had not been fully prepared and trained to handle the pressure of an international pageant. Every pageant has its own rules, and if she couldn't abide by the rules, then it was only wise for her to leave.  Did she think that the two-to-three-week long pageant would be a fun vacation? If she did, she thought wrong. Oh, well... one less girl means one less competition for the girls who have remained.



Who Is George Buchis And Why You Should Avoid Him Like A Plague

SEE UPDATES below: #Scam #Alert #UNFW #OvetteRicalde #LuisLavin

BUCHIS GEORGE / Photo credit: Facebook
     Buchis George (born Prince Buchi George) is a Nigerian national in his early 40s who has been promoting himself as the president of Face of  World Organization and founder of more than 30 international beauty pageant and fashion/model events. He also uses the names "Buchi George," "George Buchi Nwabueze," "Prince George Buchi Nwabueze,"  and "Honorable Nwabueze Buchi George." For the sake of brevity, we will refer to the subject simply as "Buchi" since he uses it more often than "Buchis." Buchi made the pageant headlines nearly two years ago when a Taiwanese woman named Yeh Hai Wei reported to a Taiwanese news outlet that the beauty pageant she had attended called "Face of World 2013" (FWO) in Johannesburg, South Africa was actually a scam used for human trafficking. With the help of her family, Yeh rushed to contact the South African Embassy in Taiwan. Authorities discovered that Buchis has been scamming gullible individuals (contestants as well as national directors) by persuading them to pay franchise or entry fees for pageants or modeling competitions that do not exist. Attempts to retrieve their money back from Buchi has proved to be fruitless. Wei's story was uploaded on YouTube over a year ago:


      I hate to sound like a broken record, but for years I have been warning directors to do thorough research about the organizer(s) before sending their contestants to a "new" pageant. The "Face Of  World 2013" scandal should serve as ample warning to naive individuals, but it seems that this warning is falling on deaf ears as we see that Buchi is back in business and reining in new victims. His latest international event: the United Nations Fashion Week  (UNFW) to be held in New York City's Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Resort from October 20 to 26, 2015.  Below is a screenshot of Buchi's Facebook "Public Figure" page (his old one - under "George Buchi Nwabueze" - had been deleted). Notice that the new one uses "Buchi George" instead of "Buchis George."  Buchi's seems to suffer from delusions of grandeur, as suggested by his questionable "résumé" on his Page Info. For someone who is supposed to be well-educated ("a law graduate student"), he does not mention the educational institutions that he has attended (that is, if ever attended any). And for someone who claims to be a "reformed education advocate," he can't even spell the words "business" and "activist" correctly. 

     One national director took upon herself to do a thorough investigation of Buchi. Carolyn Baldwin Botha, the CEO at Pageants SA (South Africa). When I asked Carolyn if she had met Buchi in person, she recounted to me the following story via e-mail (March 10, 2015):

"He approached me in 2013 to help him with a competition he was going to do here is SA. After working on the event for quite a while I realized that he was a fraud. I contacted the venues he was advertising and none had any bookings from him, merely only inquiries, so I insisted that before I continue to help he pay me for my time already spent which, of course, I knew by then was not going to happen. Apparently he had gone to see Alex Liu in Singapore about being his Head Judge for the event. When I then exposed him, he blocked me on Facebook which suited me very well as I could then do a few more posts about him. I tried to contact all the contestants to warn them not to come to SA and that I believed it would be a scam, however a few did come. I received a frantic call from the contestants and some directors asking me to go and rescue the contestants as they were being held 'captive' in some grimy hotel in the worst possible area in SA - Hillbrow. I do not know of any South African that actually even ventures to drive within 500 meters of the area and it is crawling with illegal immigrants, drugs, prostitutes and everything that no right-minded person would be involved in. I gave the people the police telephone number and from what I can gather they managed to escape to the police station and George was arrested. I have no idea what happened after then as I believe that his Facebook page was silent for many months; however, I did notice that he has again started his con as someone emailed me to ask about him. Of course. I exposed him but more I cannot do."

     Carolyn had posted several warnings about Buchi on her Facebook page beginning in November 2013: 

     Besides Carolyn, other Facebook users also lambasted Buchi with scathing remarks of their own. This one from "Cindy James" warns readers of another fake event called "Global Fashion Week & Awards" that was supposed to take place in Abuja, Nigeria on August 2014. It never did. The poster also suggests that Buchi is a supplier of foreign female sex slaves to the Islamic Nigerian terrorist group, Boko Haram:

- - - - -

     Nigerian Bola Victoria Harpprecht (BVictoria BV), founder of Diversity Culture International pageant, rebukes her compatriot in this posting from September 2014 and shares the link to an exposé published by Missosology:

- - - - -
     A Filipino pageant fan, Marie Anne Ayala Michavez, posted a warning about Buchi's sinister intentions while referring to "Face of World 2014" that was supposed to take place in Manila, Philippines on December 2014 (which, of course, never did):

     Buchi promoted the Face of World 2014 pageant by posting this banner that only announced the title, year and location of the event. One could only assume that it dealt with a female pageant:

     But in the second one,  posted by Buchis's now former associate IPEN (International Professional Entertainment Network), run by Edgar Sulit in Toronto, Canada, it advertises the exact dates, the location (Manila), and that five Mister titles would be awarded. No indication of titles for females:

     How exactly did Edgar Sulit get involved with Buchi? Enter Ovette Ricalde (real name: Lamberto Ricalde) a Filipino who passes himself as the "managing director, international pageant director, and pageant consultant" at MegaStar Production based in the Philippines. Ovette himself had engaged in some shady business in the past (and continues to do so). He has a long history of "crowning" winners who can afford to pay their own way to their respective pageants. For example, he sent a young woman by the name of Princess Ramos to Miss Globe International 2014 in Azerbaijan, but it was Princess herself who paid for her own airfare and the franchise fee. However, the Philippine delegate to the 2014 Face of Beauty International pageant held in Taiwan last November - a deaf-mute teenage girl from a poor family named Princess Alanis Pura - could not compete because she could not afford the airfare. Rumor has it that the only reason Ovette had chosen her as the representative was to gain publicity by exploiting her handicap.  

On his Facebook page, Ovette Ricalde promotes himself as the "Mother Of All Pageants" because he believes he owns the most number of pageant franchises in the Philippines.
      Edgar had forwarded to me an exchange of e-mails between Buchi and Ovette (courtesy copies had been sent to Edgar by Buchi as well). Edgar also forwarded to me all pertinent documentation referencing his professional relationship with Buchi. The correspondence between the three men began in July 2014. Here's a summary of the content of each e-mail:

June 9, 2014 - Edgar sends Buchi a copy of a letter written by Edgar  - dated June 9, 2014 - and addressed to the Canadian Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria requesting the Embassy to secure a Canadian visitor’s visa for Buchi so he could be the "special guest" and "celebrity judge" at the 2014 Mister Global Tourism Canada and 2014 Miss United Continents Canada to be held at St. Cyril and Methody Hall in Toronto on  July 12, 2014.

July 18, 2014 - Buchi writes to Ovette inviting him "to be part of 2014 Mister Global Tourism and Face of World pageant in Manila, Philippines." (Side note: Buchi's English is rather mediocre with plenty of misspelled words, faulty syntax and run-on sentences, so for the benefit of clarity, I have purposely edited and corrected his written English). Buchi then explains his side of the story (what exactly happened in South Africa).

July 21, 2014 - Buchi sends a letter (in JPEG format) to Edgar officially appointing him as Face of World Organization's  "vice-president of administrations and franchising." Edgar's responsibility would be to lead FWO's administration office in Canada, to be the "vice-global coordinator" of Global Family Funds (the charity and humanitarian arm of FWO), and that he would be entitled to "25% of proceeds of profits" of all of FWO's business dealings.

July 23, 2014 - Ovette proposes to Buchi that if Buchi wants to clear his name, he should conduct a media press conference and invite pageant sites like Critical Beauty, Missosology, OPMB Worldwide, Philippines Pageants and Sash Factor, plus Prime Lens Photography - to cover the conference. Ovette requires Buchi to pay him an honorarium for the amount of "$200 x 6 people = $1200" (I assume that a representative for each pageant site as well as the Prime Lens photographer would be paid $200 just for showing up at the press conference, so that would make 6 people in total attendance). Ovette also requires Buchi to pay $600 for a luncheon for 20 people and to send his public statement to be distributed to the media. Ovette ends the e-mail by providing detail of his bank account to Buchi (should Buchi decide to accept Ovette's proposal, then he would wire money directly to O
vette 's bank account).  (***Buchi failed to send any money to Ovette ; therefore, the press conference never materialized.)

August 14, 2014 - Buchi asks Edgar to send him a budget proposal. Buchi promises Edgar that he will send money to pay for all the expenses. Edgar advises Buchi that he will reimburse him after the pageant in Toronto.

August 18, 2014 - Edgar sends Buchi  a copy of the agreement between Edgar's company (IPEN) and Westin Harbour Castle Toronto where the pageant would be held.

August 20. 2014 - Edgar sends his bank account information to Buchi. (***Edgar claims that he never received a penny from Buchi and that he had already spent so much money from his own pocket.)

September 2, 2014 - Edgar sends two documents to Buchi: 1) a contract ("Memorandum of Agreement") between his company (IPEN) and Buchi's (FWO). The contract lays out the respective obligations of each party; and 2) a copy of a letter written by Edgar - dated September 1, 2014 - and addressed to the Canadian Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria requesting the Embassy to secure a Canadian visitor’s visa for Buchi so he could be the "special guest of honour" at the Toronto pageant.

     Buchi failed in fulfilling his obligations to Edgar, which prompted Edgar to ask Buchi to take down all of Edgar's contact information from Buchi's multiple fake pageant websites, and to end all communications with him. That was two months ago. Meanwhile, Buchi blocked Edgar on Facebook and continues to promote fake events. His latest one is the UNFW event.

      Buchi - along with his equally shady Filipino associate Ovette Ricalde - are currently promoting the UNFW event on social network. Now that Edgar is out of the picture, Buchi and Ovette found another potential benefactor to help them coordinate the event in the United States. Enter Danny Pagsambugan, the founding president of Maharlikang Pilipino USA (MPU) which used to produce fashion shows and pageants for the Filipino community in the East Coast. Danny started communicating with Buchi via Ovette last December 2014. Danny met Ovette in Manila during the last week of January 2015; the two struck a friendship. Danny is undoubtedly one of the dearest people I know in the pageant industry; he is also kind, generous, and honest and he is always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need, so when the opportunity arose for Ovette to find someone from America to help him organize the UNFW event, he approached Danny who subsequently obliged. A third person, Collins Sam Guvai, a citizen of Kenya who refers to himself as the "executive board secretary at United Nations Fashion Week-UNFW" on his Facebook page, is also involved in the running of the event. But since neither Buchi nor Collins has any registered business in the United States, Danny took the liberty to register the event under his name. Danny also wrote letters to the U.S. embassies in Nigeria and Kenya requesting them to issue a visitor's visa for Buchi and Collins respectively so they could attend the event in New York City.  

     An agreement between Danny's company, MPU (Maharlikang Pilipino USA) and Buchi's FWO (Face of World Organization) was drafted on January 22, 2015; the agreement stated that MPU would be the host and events partner and would be responsible for the following: securing the venue; hiring professional models, glam squad, dressers to assist the models, ushers, photographer, videographer, cleaning crew; providing dressing and styling space, racks and clothes hangers; creating a webpage with thumbnail photos from the show; and publishing program books and press release. It was also agreed that FWO would fund the entire project, and that net sales and profit from the project would be divided in this manner: 70% to MPU and 30% to FWO. Danny signed the agreement, but Buchi did not - which made Danny suspicious of Buchi's intentions. On January 24, 2015, Danny posted on his Facebook page that the UNFW event "has been cancelled" and that he does "not want to deal with them anymore" (them meaning Buchi, Collins and Ovette). Danny officially cut ties with the trio on February 2015.

     With Danny out of the picture, Buchi, Collins and Ovette are currently promoting UNFW as a week-long project "designed as a glamorous celebration of artistry honoring excellence in fashion" featuring fashion designers from all over the world, as well as consisting of supermodel search, a gala ball, a live charity concert, awards, and other fashion-related events.  Originally, it was scheduled to be held from August 24 to 29 at the historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, but now it has been changed from October 20 to 26, 2015. A skeptical Danny met with the Waldorf Astoria events executive on March 11, 2015 who informed him, sure enough, that the October dates have not been secured for the event and that the publicity that Buchi and his accomplices have been posting on social media is completely false.

     How amusing is the fake document below signed by Buchi granting Ovette the license as the national director for the Philippines and as the regional director for Asia? Hardly proofread - and undated. And one wonders who really occupies the space at 550 St Amable Street, Suite 407, Quebec, Canada:

      And how laughable is this amateurish logo that infringes on the iconic logo of the United Nations Organization featuring a couple of olive branches?

     Another accomplice, Luis Lavin, is hosting the Mexican edition of UNFW in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico from June 24 to 28, 2015:

       On Twitter, the event is advertised as being managed by "Lavin & Asociados" ("Lavin & Associates"):

      I contacted the United Nations Organization via e-mail to inquire if the UNFW event is sanctioned and authorized by UNO, but I have not yet received any response. Though I have a feeling that I will never get a response because UNO has far more important things to do than to waste precious time investigating a UNQ (United Network of Quacks).  Has the UNO actually sponsored or organized fashion events in the past? A simple Google search generated several results:

UN teams up with fashion industry to fight poverty (Published by the UN News Centre on June 28, 2012. In collaboration with the Fashion for Development Initiative founded by former Bangladesh-born international model, Bibi Russell).

Fashion finds inspiration at the United Nations (Published by the United Nations Blog on January 8, 2014. Attended by Project Runway All Stars host Alyssa Milano and designer Isaac Mizrahi.)

The United Nations had a fashion show, and it was actually good (Published by Quartz.com on September 24, 2014. The show took place at the UN Headquarters in New York City.)

Fashion models strut in United Nations debate chambers (Published by CNN on November 11, 2014. Watch a video of models walk the runway at the UN.)

The United Nations hosts fashion show for Palestinian-Italian designer Jamal Taslaq (Published on November 12, 2014 by Bustle.com)

      Notice that these fashion shows actually took place at the UN Headquarters, and not at some hotel in New York City. So if UN could deliver fashion shows at its headquarters, why would it hold an October 2015 fashion week at an event space that is not affiliated with the organization? Buyer, beware!

By Rafa Delfin, March 14, 2015

UPDATE:  Monday, October 26, 2015: So it seems that Ovette Ricalde did go to New York City and attended the UNFW event but it turned out that it was nothing more than a podunk fashion show held in a room at Hotel Pennsylvania with rooms, without a stage or proper runway, no stage lights, and no banner or signs advertising the event at all. And the models! Ugh! If you can call them models!  And as usual, George Buchi was a no-show! Lol!

UPDATE:  Sunday, October 18, 2015: On 10/14/2015, received an e-mail from Brenda De La Fuente of UNO who confirmed that the UNFW event is neither sanctioned nor authorized by UNO. Unfortunately, UNO will not pursue the case as there are too many scam artists using the UN name and logo:

     Since I originally posted this exposé on March 14, 2015, Buchis George has changed the hotel venue from the posh Waldorf Astoria Hotel, to the mundane Espace Convention Centre, and now to a bedbug-infested 2-star Hotel Pennsylvania. 

      In her e-mail, Brenda included a screenshot of Hotel Pennsylvania's Calendar of Events which reveals that there is no booking for UNFW on the week of October 20:

     Meanwhile, Buchis's accomplice, Ovette Ricalde, posted on his Facebook that UN will present him with an award as  "Humanitarian Personality of the Year & Style Person of the Year." Notice the rather amusing description underneath: "A strong Man / Woman with pure dedications to His / Her works, family and social matters." Whoever created the graphics couldn't even make up their mind if Ricalde is a male or a female. It remains to be seen if Ricalde will actually travel to New York City to receive the award at the fleabag of a hotel.


UPDATE:  Wednesday, March 18, 2015: I received a second reply from the United Nations Organization confirming once and for all that the UNFW event is neither sanctioned nor authorized by them:


UPDATE:  Monday, March 16, 2015: I received a reply from the United Nations Organization regarding my inquiry as to whether or not the UNFW event is sanctioned by UNO. Apparently not!


Former Miss Rhode Island USA Anea Garcia wins Miss Grand International 2015

Anea Garcia, 20, representing the Dominican Republic, was crowned Miss Grand International 2015 in Bangkok on October 25th. Garcia was a former Miss Rhode Island USA 2015 and placed 2nd runner-up in Miss USA 2015 last July. Garcia, as well as her two predecessors, Janelee Chaparro (Puerto Rico) and Lees Garcia (Cuba) are all Latinas and represented Caribbean countries while holding U.S. passports, which makes fans wonder if the pageant owner Nawat Itsaragrisil favors Latin women with U.S. background. The pageant debuted in 2013 and seeks to stop war and violence.

Garcia's court includes 1st runner-up Claire Elizabeth Parker (Australia), 2nd runner-up Vartika Singh (India), Parul Shah (Philippines), and Rattikorn Kunsom of Thailand. The rest of the top 10 included the delegates from Brazil, Sri Lanka, Spain, Japan and Costa Rica. Completing the top 20 were the candidates from Poland, United States, Angola, France, Ukraine, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Czech Republic, Netherlands and Mexico.


Miss Universe Argentina 2015

Claudia Barrionuevo, 24, from Salta, was crowned Miss Universe Argentina 2015 on October 23rd. She will compete in Miss Universe 2015 to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 20th.


Reina Hispanoamericana 2015

Sofia Del Prado Prieto of Spain was crowned Reina Hispanoamericana 2015 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia on October 24. She is the first woman from her country to win the coveted regional title.

Official Results:

Reina Hispanoamerica 2015 - Spain - Sofia Del Prado Prieto
Virreina - Paraguay - Laura Garcete
1st runner-up - Aruba - Digene Zimmerman
2nd runner-up - Venezuela - Karielys Cuadros
3rd runner-up - Argentina - Yoana Yon
4th runner-up Curacao - Neyda Lithgow

The remaining 3 finalists were:

Panama - Carmen Jaramillo
Mexico - Sandra Ahumada
Dominican Republic - Sofinel Baez

Miss Universe New Zealand 2015

Samantha McClung, 20, from Christchurch was crowned Miss Universe New Zealand 2015 on October 24. The first runner-up is Hannah Henderson and second runner-up Gabrielle Manaloto. McClung will now represent New Zealand in Miss Universe 2015 pageant to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 20th.

Getting To Know DAYANNA GRAGEDA - Miss Earth Australia 2015!

1. Tell us a little about yourself, your family background, education, and how you became Miss Earth Australia 2015.

I was born in Bolivia and moved to Australia with my family when I was 2 years old, where I grew up in Sydney. Since I can remember I have loved nature and animals, I have been looking after orphaned and injured wildlife since I started school. When I was 14 I found out I could volunteer at animals shelters as a cadet from St John Ambulance and since then I began volunteering everywhere I could. Charity became a lifestyle for me. 
When I finished school it was inevitable for me to study animal and veterinary bioscience at university and travel around the country and overseas to study and volunteer with animal conservation groups.  After graduating I was offered a job at Taronga Conservation Society where I worked as a zoo keeper, taking care of all sorts of animals and educating children about them.
Today I still passionately volunteer for humanitarian and wildlife conservation charities such as Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Services and Hands and Feet (feeding the homeless). I am a passionate bush care volunteer for my local city council and community and an ambassador for Operation Restore Hope who provide surgical care for the less fortunate children of the Philippines with cleft lip and palate deformities, and more recently for Take 3 for the sea, a clean beach initiative.
Basically my life’s passion and everything that I do is about taking care of our earth and the earthlings that share its land and oceans, so when I found out about Miss Earth it became my dream. So when I finished my first university degree I went for it, wholeheartedly, and never gave up.

2.     How did you become interested in pageants?

I became interested in pageants because of Miss Earth. I stumbled across a Miss Earth bio whilst doing some research on a science assignment. I was crazy actually! I was so inspired and in awe by the mission and purpose of Miss Earth because it resonated so deeply with me. I admired the Miss Earth and the projects she was involved in and affiliations with charities I admired, and looked up to her as role model for a young 14 year old child. I dreamed that one day I would become like her and be the voice for our animals and nature and initiate change for the better.

3.     How does it feel to represent Australia in Miss Earth 2015?

It feels like a dream come true! It feels like the I’ve been given the biggest privilege so far as I feel like an ambassador for a country that I love and admire with all my heart, the country that has shaped me into the woman I am today and taught me so much about life. I am so happy but at the same time I want to do so much more to help my people go in the right direction for the benefit of our planet.

4.     Give three adjectives that your friends would use to describe you.

Loving, kind, hardworking

5.     Tell us about one life-changing experience in your life.

Since it’s still fresh in my mind, I’d have to say being unfairly dethroned last year after I won Miss Earth 2014 has been the biggest life-changing experience for me. It was without a doubt the hardest challenge in my life that I had to cope with because I was robbed of something so special and so meaningful to me, which I had worked hard to achieve and was so happy to have accomplished. It really hurt. But I got through it with the support and love of my family and friends and of course my faith in God. I had to find inner strength I never knew I had. I learnt a lot about how strong I really am and how resilient we can be emotionally and mentally. I also had to grow a whole lot of courage to return again to Miss Earth Australia 2015. But I did it, and I am grateful that I never gave up. I’ve learnt that if you have a dream…It doesn’t matter what happen in the past, the past is like an anchor that holds us back, we have to let go of the past to become who we want to be.

6.     Name three things that you would never do.

I would never ride on an elephants back because it actually hurts them, I would never litter and I would never buy a fur coat.  

7. What do you like to do for fun? 

Go the beach, go shopping with friends, and visit the zoo or a nice botanical park. 

8. What would constitute a "perfect" evening for you?

A delicious dinner with great food, and great company with lots of laughs and shared stories followed by a walk on the beach listening to the ocean waves under the stars. 

9. Tell us a little bit about Australia and what makes the country different from the rest of the world?

Australia is the world’s largest island and the 6th largest country. With more than 500 national parks and 15 World Heritage-listed wonders it is a country abundant in natural beauty. We have some of the rarest and strangest flora and fauna too with 80% of our plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs being unique only to Australia. Some of these animals include the kangaroo, koala, echidna, dingo, platypus and wombat, 
The Aboriginal people of Australia have a rich, living culture stretching back at least 50,000 years. They believe in living with the land, not off it and teach one another to preserve not destroy the land. Land is fundamental to their wellbeing, it is not just soil or rocks or minerals, but a whole environment that sustains and is sustained by people and culture.
We are also home to the world’s largest reef system, the Great Barrier Reef which is so big that is visible from outer space! It is made up of over 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres and is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs, 1625 species of fish, 30 species of whales and dolphins and much more!
Every corner of Australia has something interestingly different and beautifully colourful to see. 

10. What do you think is the biggest environmental problem facing Australia and what can you do about it?

The biggest environmental problem Australia is facing today is climate change. Climate change is affecting our temperatures around the country as we have experienced an increase in flash flooding, bush fires and prolonged drought. We have had our hottest days ever recorded this year as our temperatures continue to rise. We are also still burning fossil fuels for our main source of energy leading to an increasing amount of carbon dioxide in out atmosphere which is being absorbed by our oceans and increasing the water’s acidity levels. This is causing a detrimental impact on our coral reef which plays a critical role in our Great Barrier Reef ecosystem, forming habitats and food sources for thousands of species.  
As Miss Earth Australia I want to bring about awareness and education amongst the people in my country so they are aware of the factors which contribute to climate change and provide them way and ideas on how we can reduce our carbon footprint (the amount of carbon dioxide we each produce) and ways to live more sustainably. This can be done through school visits, community gatherings and appearances on television and news prints, raising the issue of climate change. I also want to speak to environmental politicians to motivate them to push forward renewable energies into our homes, schools and businesses and replacing oil and goal generated energy all together. Within my community I can get more involved with organisations and campaigns that promote sustainable living and lead by example for others to follow and highlight the importance of climate change. It is no longer just an environmental issue it is a humanitarian and ethical issue. Droughts and drastic temperature fluctuations cause food shortage and bushfires and floods cause the loss of many lives and homes.

11. How will you motivate others to practice sustainable living choices?

I believe that to motivate others we first need to help them to understand the importance of a cause. Through educational campaigns I want people to realise the direct effect our way of life and our actions impact and damage our ecosystems from the accumulations of plastics in our oceans to the expelling of carbon dioxide from our homes and cars. But more importantly I want to focus on creating solutions and alternatives, to give them tools and ways to change their way of living and embracing a life of harmony with our earth. Starting simple and at home and eventually changing communities, governments and the world! I am sure that once people share the same vision and understanding they will feel so happy and grateful for our earth. They’ll realise the positive impact they are having and will encourage others to follow also. 
 12. If you were to make a time capsule to represent life today, what would you put in it?

I would put an iPad that contains images of the world as it is today, a mixture of our culture, music, arts and pictures of our landscapes.

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

I would definitely want to be able to fly! Then I would be able to fly to different countries to save animals all over the world that are being neglected or mistreated. I would also be able to take pictures from up in the sky to show people and governments of the effects of our actions are having on our environment, such as land clearing and pollution.

14. How would you describe Mother Earth to a blind person?

Mother Earth is more than just a visual experience. It is an experience of all our senses. You can feel the warmth of sun’s rays, breathe in the fresh ocean air, touch the textures of the forests, taste the fruits and listen to the songs of birds. There aren’t enough words to describe the wonders of Mother Earth so instead I would take the blind person to Mother Earth and let her do the talking.

15. Why do you want to be Miss Earth 2015?

I want to be Miss Earth because this title represents everything that I believe in, that I am passionate about, that I have lived up to and everything that I am. The mission of Miss Earth is my mission, with or without a crown. I have and always will be an earth warrior but with the crown I would be more influential. My heart is in this cause as I have always wanted to help those who are less fortunate than me especially those without a voice. I grew up rescuing animals and reading about the devastating circumstances our environment faces and every time my heart would break. I grew more determined to fight against the destruction, and now as a woman with a voice, I want to create change to stop the suffering, to stop the pouching, to stop the burning, to stop the destruction and to save our earth. Miss Earth is more than just a pageant. For me, it’s the honor and responsibility of being an ambassador, an educator, a role model and a protector of our earth for every creature on this earth. I want to share this passion with the world so that people everywhere can teach our future generations to also care for our earth, like crating ripples of change that go on forever.

Dayanna's Favourites

Singer/Musician – Ed Sheeran

Actor – Tom Hanks

Actress – Anne Hathaway

Color – Baby pink

Fashion Designer – Vera Wang

Perfume – Creed Spring Flower

Flower – Roses

Writer – Nicholas Sparks

Book – Awaken the giant within by Anthony Robbins

Movie – Interstellar

Quote – “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney



Special thanks to Peter Sereno of Dear Pageant Girl for facilitating this interview!

Critical Beauty wishes the best of luck to Dayanna at Miss Earth 2015!