The lawyers for dethroned Miss Florida USA 2017 Genesis Davila are preparing a $3 million lawsuit against the Hollywood-based beauty pageant after organizers this week refused to reinstate her.
Davila’s lawyers gave pageant organizer TelAir until 4:30 p.m. Monday or face a lawsuit.
The deadline came and went, and TelAir boss Grant Gravitt handed the crown to Miss Sunny Isles Beach Linette De Los Santos because, he claimed, Davila cheated.
And now, Miami Beach beauty queen Davila appears to be angling for a legal showdown.
“She could get at least $3 million in damages for this,” said Mayra Joli, a lawyer who has been involved in the case early on when the pageant allegedly accused Davila of not being an American citizen. “I’m an immigration lawyer, so I helped when they accused her of not being an American citizen. I managed opening the pageant’s eyes to the fact that Puerto Rico, where Genesis was born, is in the United States.
“But by making her look bad for other things, the pageant libeled her and slandered her and did things that could come back to haunt her in her modeling career for years.”
There’s no doubt the judges crowned Davila Miss Florida USA July 16 at the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale.
What happened next is strange and symptomatic of the competitiveness of beauty pageants where, like Miss Florida USA, the winner gets an endorsements and appearances package worth at least $100,000.
TelAir’s Gravitt said he started looking a little harder at Davila after he received “30 to 40 complaints” from other contestants and their family members about her after her big win.
“I get two or three (complaints), and it’s a fluke,” Gravitt says. “But I get 10 or more, it’s a fire.”
The complaints, he says, ranged from the fact Davila was spotted in the hotel lobby past midnight, a no-no for pageant beauties, to the possibility she used a makeup artist to get ready, another no-no.
In time, Gravitt says, he received two Instagram photos that appeared to indicate Davila received make-up help.
“The rules say a contestant must apply her own makeup, including doing her nails,” Gravitt said.
Gravitt said Davila was pushed aside before she signed the one-year Miss USA Florida endorsement contract and ticket to the Miss USA pageant.
“As far as we’re concerned, she was never really Miss Florida USA since she never signed on the dotted line,” Gravitt says. “Those are the rules, too.”
As for the threats of a lawsuit, Gravitt says it’s just sour grapes on the part of Davila and her advisers.
“Do you realize her lawyer Joli is a volunteer for the Miss America pagent?” Gravitt says. “They’re our arch-rivals, and there’s no doubt Ms. Joli wants to embarrass us.
“In the end of the day, they (Davila and her reps) asked us to look the other way simply because she is pretty,” Gravitt said. “We deal with a lot of pretty women, and we don’t look the other way.”
By Jose Lambiet
Source: The Miami Herald, July 27, 2016
Ashley Hamilton, a 23-year-old six-footer representing Long Island, was crowned Miss World Bahamas 2016 at Melia Nassau Beach on July 24th. She will now represent the Bahamas in the 2016 Miss World pageant to be held in Washington, D.C. on December 20th.
The first runner-up is Pischia Adderly, Miss Paradise Island, and the second runner-up is Rotalya Williams, Miss Cat Island. Ten young women competed in this year's edition of the annual pageant.
- Genesis Davila was Miss Florida USA 2017 for about a week.
"DREAMING on a cloud," the 24-year-old Miss Miami Beach USA said on Instagram after she received the tiara.
|Genesis Davila hired professional makeup artist Ilde Goncalves while|
competing in Miss Florida USA 2017 pageant.
|Genesis Davila was crowned Miss Florida USA 2017 just five days ago by |
her predecessor Brie Gabrielle.
Rohit Khandelwal (center), a 26-year-old model and business student from Hyderabad, India, was selected as the 2016 Mr. World in Southport, England on July 19th. He is the first man from India, and the first Asian to have won the coveted male beauty title. The first runner-up is Puerto Rico's Fernando Alvarez Soto (right) and the second runner-up is Mexico's Aldo Esparza Ramirez. Completing the Top Ten were the delegates from China, Poland, Scotland, England, Kenya, El Salvador and Brazil.
Khandelwal being congratulated by his predecessor, Nicklas Pedersen of Denmark.
Photo credits: Mr. World Facebook page.
|Contributed photo/Jerrell Trulove Caitlyn Cifuentes|
The former Miss Corpus Christi Latina winner who national officials disqualified based on her criminal record is trying to give her crown to the woman who came in third place.
But the national pageant president said Caitlin Cifuentes can't do that and the organization already named the first runner up Miss Corpus Christi Latina.
"The title belongs to the organization and (Cifuentes) doesn't have authority to pick and choose who she gives it to," president and founder Acirema Alayeto told the Caller-Times.
Cifuentes took to Facebook on Thursday to announce her plans of giving the crown to second runner-up Marissa Ortiz. On Tuesday, Organization of Miss America Latina Inc. officials announced it would not recognize Cifuentes as the winner and gave the title to Valeria Barrera. Barrera is one of six contestants who filed a lawsuit against local pageant director Kayla Alvarez for allowing Cifuentes to compete. Alayeto told Barrera on Friday that the organization was sending her a new crown and sash and would arrange a crowning ceremony.
"I am renouncing my crown to the SECOND runner up ... My reasoning is this, the first runner up cannot represent a pageant that she is suing. The second runner up is not involved and THAT is who I am passing the crown to. With love, The Queen of C.C.," Cifuentes posted.
However, Cifuentes, who won the June 11 pageant, told the Caller-Times she hadn't yet told Ortiz or Alayeto about her intentions.
Alayeto said she hasn't seen a situation like this.
"It's ludicrous. I have never in my 30 plus years in the pageant industry heard a comment like that," Alayeto said.
Alayeto said officials told the local director it's her duty to tell Cifuentes to return the crown and sash and to crown Barrera.
"As far as I know that has not happened," Alayeto said.
Alvarez, the local pageant director, did not immediately return calls Friday seeking comment.
Pageant rules state contestants may not have criminal charges pending against them at the time of the contest. Cifuentes is on deferred adjudicated probation for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and probation for a misdemeanor driving while intoxicated case, according to court records. If she successfully completes the terms of her probation, she will avoid a conviction. However, if she violates the terms, her probation can be revoked and she can be convicted.
Kalyn Chapman James, the first black woman to claim the title of Miss Alabama, has created a firestorm on her comments about the slaying of five police officers in Dallas last week.
Chapman posted a video to Facebook last Sunday she could not "help but feeling like the shooter was a martyr." According to police, Micah Xavier Johnson killed five police officers during a Black Lives Matter rally in protest to the officer-involved shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana.
"I don't want to feel this way" James said in the video. "I don't feel sad for the officers who lost their lives ... I know that's not really my heart. I value human life. And I want to feel sad for them but I can't help but feeling like the shooter was a martyr."
James later offered clarification and expressed condolences to the families of the slain officers.
WPBT2, the Miami public television station where James works, announced it had placed her on administrative leave. The Miss Alabama Pageant has also issued a statement distancing itself from James' comments.
"Kalyn Chapman James was Miss Alabama 23 years ago in 1993," according to the Miss Alabama statement. "The opinions she expressed are her own, and do not represent the viewpoint of the current Miss Alabama or the Miss Alabama Organization. We have nothing but the utmost respect and appreciation for the men and women of law enforcement, and would never condone violence of any kind.'
James, a native of Mobile and a UAB graduate, was the first African-American woman to win the Miss Alabama title, capturing the crown in 1993 as Miss Leeds. She performed a modern dance routine for her talent with a platform of improving education.
She went on to Miss America 1994, where she placed in the top 10. She was succeeded as Miss Alabama by eventual Miss America winner Heather Whitestone. James remains the only Africa-American Miss Alabama in the pageant's history.
The Kalyn Chapman James Scholarship, funded by James, awards $1,000 to the highest-scoring African-American participating in the Miss Alabama pageant.
In a 2013 interview, James said she had grown up with one set of grandparents who were sharecroppers and another set who were small business owners. She said she shares those lessons now with her own children.
"I took them to the Civil Rights Institute and the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. I watch any and all stories about our struggles and discuss it with them. I want them to know where they came from and the struggles their grandparents endured and the beautiful legacy of triumph we share. We continue to learn and grow together. It is so important that our young people are always reminded of the people who laid down their lives for our advancement and that the fight for true equality stills goes on," she said.
James' resume includes working as spokesperson for the now-closed VisionLand theme park and as an ambassador for HealthSouth's "Go for it" roadshow, as well as a spokesmodel for the UPN Network and television journalist for Fox Sports Network's Behind the Game. In 2014, she was included in Legacy Miami magazine's list of 25 Most Influential and Prominent Black Women in Business and Leadership in 2014.
She also worked on the MTV Video Music Awards, the Latin Video Music Awards, the Latin Billboard awards and appearances in Old Navy and Disney World commercials.
Source: Leada Gore of AL.com, 7/12/2016
***SEE UPDATES BELOW
Congratulations to Audra Mari for winning the Miss World America 2016 crown last July 8th at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. She will now have the right to represent the United States in Miss World 2016 pageant to be held in Washington, D.C. on December 20th. Audra will play host to over 100 contestants from all over the world. It will be the first time since 1991 that the United States will host Miss World. We are happy that Audra won; those of us who have followed Audra in her journey will recall that she was 1st runner-up at Miss Teen USA 2011 and then placed 1st runner-up again at Miss USA 2014. In both instances she represented her state of North Dakota. So when the news came out that she would compete in Miss World America 2016, many pageant fans were elated for her, but at the same time anxious. Why? Because of these nagging questions: "What if she places 1st runner-up again?" Or worse, "What if she doesn't place at all?"
Audra Mari and her court. From left to right: Michelle Pierrot (2nd runner-up), Shivali Patel (1st runner-up), Audra, Sasha Perea (2nd runner-up), and Andrea Hightower (4th runner-up).
Now, the buzz is that the pageant had been rigged
to guarantee Audra's victory!
What is wrong with this picture? Why is the newly crowned 2016 winner wearing outgoing queen Victoria Mendoza's 2015 sash? Was this photo taken BEFORE Audra Mari was declared winner on stage? This photo is posted on Victoria Mendoza's Facebook page.
A reliable source informed Critical Beauty that a Sharpie was used to modify the year "2015" to make it look "2016" because the organizers apparently had either failed to order a 2016 sash or that they had one but it went missing? Talk about shortsightedness. And don't be fooled by the crown; it was the same crown that Victoria had worn during her reign.
Let's get down to the nitty gritty. The names of the judges were not revealed on the official website or anywhere on social media. It seems that there were different judges for different events, and certain judges got to judge one or two events including the finals. Last year, there was a leader board that allowed the audience to see how the contestants progressed during the competition. It was not the case this year, thus, the lack of transparency in the scoring system. Two girls, Tarese Taylor from Baltimore and Tarynn Shelman from Houston, placed in the Top 12 even though neither one had won or placed in any of the seven challenge events (Beach Fashion, Sports & Fitness, Top Model, Beauty With A Purpose, Interview, Talent, Miss Photogenic). Meanwhile, Amara Berry from Providence, Rhode Island, who won the Beauty With A Purpose (BWAP) challenge - the most crucial and most important one and which bears the catchy slogan of the pageant - did not even make the Top 12. Go figure.
One of the front runners, Christina Denny, who had to relinquish her Miss Maryland USA 2016 title just to compete in MWA, was shockingly shut out of the top 5 (though she placed in the top 12). Denny was in tears and she reportedly walked out of the stage after the top 5 finalists were announced, although she returned to the stage after Audra's coronation. One wonders if the only reason Denny decided to compete was that Chris Wilmer, the pageant director, had wooed Denny to sign up by promising her the crown. It is also possible that Wilmer had used Denny to gain more publicity, or at least to add another one or two pretty girls to the roster because frankly, most of the girls this year looked mediocre and out of shape.
Another front runner, Rachel White from Texas, who competed last year and placed 2nd runner-up, also failed to make the top 5 this year.
We did not learn about the identity of some of the judges until a day after the pageant. One of the judges turned out to be former Miss Botswana, Emma Wareus, who was first runner-up to Miss World 2010 Alexandria Mills. Other judges included Miss United States 2014 Elizabeth Safrit and her mother, Lynn Safrit, Mr. World America 2016 Alexander Ouellette, Joseph Han, Julia Nesheiwat, and Susan Robinson Day (I have absolutely no clue who these last three individuals are).
It seems that one of the female judges failed to show sensitivity towards one of the contestants, Maude Gorman, whose platform was to end sexual violence. Immediately after the pageant, Gorman posted on her Facebook page this disturbing message, addressing the judge for being ignorant and insensitive about the seriousness of the topic. Gee, I wonder who that judge could be? Our source indicated that it was Emma Wareus who behaved rather oddly and asked strange questions to the girls. Incidentally, Gorman competed last year and won the Beauty With A Purpose award for her compelling platform. Gorman writes:
Meanwhile, as Victoria Mendoza was doing her final walk, one of the contestants who failed to make the cut, Sameera Khan (a former Miss New Jersey United States 2015) disrupted the moment by making a political statement on stage. In a 14-second video clip - that she apparently recorded herself while holding her cellphone from a lower angle - she says: "I rise today in protest against corporate greed. Our democracy has been stolen, our voices have been silenced and plutocracy has taken over." Say what?
|UMMM... NOT QUITE A FAVORABLE ANGLE|
And who exactly is this Sameera Khan? Her Facebook page reveals that she was arrested at Democracy Spring protest last April, along with thousands of other protesters including celebrities. She is also a Muslim-American of Pakistani origin who supports Islamic supremacist and pro-Palestinian groups (which denounce Israel's right to exist) and a loud Bernie Sanders supporter (Sanders himself has made harsh anti-Israel sentiments). She once wrote an article published by News Impulse, a "non-corporate funded, independent news website" in which she vehemently criticizes the U.S. government in "fostering the incremental genocide of Palestinians since 1948" and preventing "the creation of a sovereign, Palestinian state, and manipulates the status quo so that Israel is not punished by the international community." She also blasted Senator Marco Rubio. It appears that her political opinions are nothing more than regurgitated ultra far-leftist talking points and that News Impulse is really an anti-America and anti-Israel propaganda machine disguised as a news website. Shouldn't the ideal beauty queen be apolitical and shouldn't she be promoting unity and mutual understanding wherever she is, wherever she goes - at least during her reign? Khan is doing exactly the opposite: she has been very divisive. You don't choose politics as your "Beauty With A Purpose" platform because it breeds division and merely alienates yourself from the others. A political revolution is never beautiful because it provokes heated arguments and potential violence. But if she is dead serious against plutocracy (a society governed by the small minority of the wealthiest citizens), then she should really be campaigning for Donald Trump who promises to create more jobs to improve the American standard of living and diminish poverty! LOL
Oh, and by the way, this is the same gal who dissed the Miss Universe Organization for pretending "that they value both intelligence and physical beauty. But year after year, we see the five dumbest women in the country on stage." Ouch! (Read more)
|The Islamic Crescent and Star replace the 50 Stars of the American flag. |
Could Sameera's real political agenda be the Islamization of the United States of America?
I am amazed why the Miss World America organizers accepted Khan as one of the contestants without properly vetting her background, because her little soapbox drama on stage might have scared the living daylights out of the contestants and of the audience (especially the children). Not to mention the lack of security at the venue! And the pageant came on the heels of three successive tragic days when two black men and five police officers got shot and killed. Don't get me wrong; I admire beauty queens who have strong opinions about politics or other issues, but expressing your political opinion during a special moment is just plain rude and disrespectful. Express your political opinions off stage or when the pageant is over, but not when the outgoing queen is doing her farewell walk. Show some class and decorum! If you were in Victoria's position, would you want a fellow contestant disrupting your final walk? Ummm... I don't think so!
Anyway, Khan's absurd little spectacle is reminiscent of past ugly incidents in pageantry initiated by rabid feminists who despise pageants because they think that they exploit women and girls. However, Khan may have made history by being the first contestant to disrupt a pageant while videotaping herself. I wonder if she had been holding her cellphone during the entire competition. Though I admire her strong convictions, I strongly disapprove of her choice of moment to express them. No wonder she didn't even make the top 5 in the BWAP challenge.
|MWA Director Chris Wilmer with first runner-up Shivali Patel.|
From Shivali's Facebook Page
From Sharpie-fixed sashes to questionable results, from lack of security to insensitive judges. What else was wrong? Disorganized events, changes made at the last minute, and inadequate meals (except for a handful of complimentary meals). The official website leaves something to be desired; there is no direct contact information, no information on the staff, no physical address - which should all be red flags to potential contestants. There was no biographical information posted on each of the contestant, which suggests inefficient or lack of administrative skills on the part of the organizers. A People's Choice contest had been launched which required voters to pick their favorite by clicking on her photo and to donate any amount, but a day after the pageant all photos have been taken down, and no People's Choice winner was announced during the show. How much of the monies were collected and donated to a charitable cause (if they even have one), or was this just another one of the organizers' quick money-making schemes? No one will ever know... except the pageant director himself, Chris Wilmer.
So is anyone attending Miss World 2016 in freezing Washington, D.C. this December?
BY RAFA DELFIN, 7/10/2016
July 12, 2016: Sameera Khan tweeted that she didn't interrupt Victoria Mendoza's final walk, but interrupted the host and Victoria's farewell speech. She also stated that she did not compete (Wikipedia states that she withdrew from the competition).
And a former Miss Georgia Caribbean United States, Kristen Bandoo, refuted everything in my article, even though she herself was not one of the contestants:
Audra Mari was crowned Miss World America 2016 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Audra will now represented the United States in the 2016 Miss World pageant to be held in Washington, D.C. in December.
The 1st runner-up is Shivali Patel of North Carolina and the 2nd runner-up is Sasha Perea of the District of Columbia. Audra also won the Interview segment, and she and Shivali shared the Top Model prize.
Audra is best known for being first runner-up in Miss USA 2014, and first-runner-up in Miss Teen USA 2011. She hails from North Dakota.
Photos courtesy of Miss World America