Miss Universe Haiti 2016 & Miss International Haiti 2016

Raquel Pelissier, 25, was crowned Miss Universe Haiti 2016 on August 28th at the Royal Oasis by Occidental Hotels Grand Ballroom in Delmas, Haiti. She will represent Haiti in 2016 Miss Universe pageant to be held tentatively in the Philippines on January 30, 2017. Meanwhile, Cassandre Joseph was crowned Miss International Haiti 2016 and she will travel to Japan to compete in Miss International 2016 on October 27.


Miss Malaysia World 2016

Tatiana Kumar, 18,  from Kuala Lumpur was crowned Miss Malaysia World 2016 on August 27th. She will represent Malaysia in the 2016 Miss World pageant to be held in Washington, DC on December 20th. Her court includes (left to right): 4th runner-up Francisca Luhong James, 2nd runner-up Shweta Sekhon, 1st runner-up Ranmeet Jassal and 3rd runner-up Jessica Lim.

Photo credit: Miss Malaysia World Organization


New Canada Queens For 2016

      Three lucky women were crowned as Canada's new queens this past Sunday night, August 21st, at the ballroom of the Holiday Inn Airport Toronto in Toronto. Thirty-seven young women from the ages of 17-24 came from all over Canada to compete for three titles. They were judged in three categories: interviews (which took place the day before), swimsuit and evening gown. From thirty-seven, the list was trimmed down to fifteen semifinalists

      And the lucky winners are:

Hanna Begovic, 18, is Miss Supranational Canada 2016 and will compete at Miss Supranational 2016 pageant to be held in Poland on December 3rd. Hanna is also the current Miss Teenage Ontario and placed in the top 5 at nationals.

Madison Kvaltin, 18, is Miss Intercontinental Canada 2016 and will compete in Miss Intercontinental 2016 pageant to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on October 15th.

Cricket Guest, 18, is the new Top Model Of The World Canada 2016 and will compete in Top Model of the World 2017 competition in Germany next summer.

I had the privilege to be part of a distinguished judging panel that included Edgar Sulit, the president of IPEN, a Toronto-based company that produces pageants, fashion shows and musical entertainment; Angeline McDonald, owner of Bells & Bows Bridal Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta; Marc-Philippe Tuscher, a modeling scout for Revolution Modeling Management based in New York City; and Maureen Fenn, regional scout manager for Top Model Search Canada.

Top Model Search Canada is organized and produced by Michelle Weswaldi, who also produces the Miss Teenage Canada contest. I wish to thank Michelle for inviting me to the event and to congratulate her for putting up an outstanding show!

By Rafa Delfin, 8/23/2016


New Aruba Queens For 2016

Three new Aruban queens were crowned at the Grand Ballroom at the Aruba Hilton Resort and Casino on August 20th. From left to right: Miss Aruba Grand International 2016 Chimay Ramos who will compete in Miss Grand International 2016 pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada in October,  Miss Aruba Universe 2016 Charlene Leslie who will compete in Miss Universe 2016 to be held in the Philippines tentatively on January 30, 2017, and 
Miss Aruba World 2016 Lynette Do Nascimento who will compete in Miss World 2016 in Washington, DC on December 20th.

There were only three contestants in this year's edition of Miss Aruba, and luckily all three women came out as winners. 

The judges for the finals were: 

Fransisco Andara - from Venezuela he is a photographer and social communicator and is the editor in chief of Selecta a magazine about fashion and entertainment
Leanne Marshall - Winner of Project Runway 5
Sandro Guzman - President of Ossygeno Models which is one of the hottest modeling agencies in the Caribbean and Latin America
Jaime Arrango - well known international Colombian designer who  has designed gowns for known Aruban beauty delegates such as Taryn Mansell, Zizi Lee and Alexandra Ochoa
Elizabeth Claros - founder of Ellie Productions and content manager of Global Fashion Channel

Thank you to Karl Genser for the information.

Philippines Wins Man Of The Year 2016

Karan Singhdole, 23, representing the Philippines, won the first edition of Man Of The Year contest  on August 20th Grand Central Hotel Pekanbaru, Indonesia. Singhdole, a full-blooded Indian who was born and raised in the Philippines, beat over a dozen other young men for the title.  His court includes 1st runner-up Tarek Moaykel of Lebanon, 2nd runner-up Tim Bertrams of the Netherlands, 3rd runner-up Trịnh Xuân Nhản of Vietnam and 4th runner-up Meirizal Rifa’i of Indonesia.


Miss Universe Thailand 2016

 Chalet Namtan Suansane was crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2016 in Bangkok on August 14, 2016. She will represent Thailand in the next edition of Miss Universe which is expected to take place in Manila, Philippines on January 30, 2017.


Miss Universe Jamaica Stripped Of Her Title After Suing Pageant

Sharelene Radlein, the winner of the Miss Universe Jamaica 2015 pageant is no longer the holder of that title.
On Monday, principals of the Miss Universe Jamaica pageant disclosed that the beauty queen has been stripped of her title stating that her actions have been “inconsistent with the culture of pageant”.
According to Loop Jamaica, the decision to strip the 2015 beauty was made Friday, days prior to the announcement at a press conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
The principals said they have “painstakingly sought to guide Ms Radlein in a manner which reflects the vision and ideals of the organization”.
“However, her actions have been wholly inconsistent with the culture of the pageant, both locally and internationally,” the principals said,” they also stated.
Last month Radlein filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of Jamaica in an effort to secure the prizes she said is due to her for topping the competition.
In the suit, she accused the organisers of failing to make good on the contract with her and is seeking millions in damages.
The lawsuit was filed against Mark McDermoth and Karl Williams — who are franchise managers — and Uzuri International Designs Ltd, who are exclusive holders of the Miss Universe beauty pageant in Jamaica.
Source: Jablogz.conm, 8/16/2016


Miss World Haiti 2016

Suzana Sampeur  was crowned Miss World Haiti 2016 on August 13 at the Royal Decameron in Côte des Arcadins. She will now represent Haiti in Miss World 2016 to be held in Washington D.C. on December 20.  Her court includes 1st runner-up Armelle Rose Williams, 2nd runner-up Raquel Pélissier, 3rd runner-up Cassandre Joseph and 4th runner-up Danourah Beloved .  

The first time that Haiti competed in Miss World was in 1975 when its representative Joelle Apollon placed sixth. It would take another 38 years for the country to compete again in 2013. Since then, Haiti has sent a representative every year.


Former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins Praises U.S. Presidential Hopeful Donald Trump

ALTHOUGH a deeply divisive figure, Donald Trump is one of Jennifer Hawkins’s sources of inspiration.
She met him as the winner of his Miss Universe pageant in 2004, back when The Apprentice was on air, the Iraq war was underway, and the billionaire appeared on the cover of Esquire with the prophetic cover line, “How I’d Run The Country (Better)”.
“He inspired me to keep going and follow my heart,” she says.
“He’s really passionate and really driven. He’s like, ‘What’s next?’ He prompts you to think, ‘All right, what is next?’”
What’s next for Trump is a presidential election campaign.
What’s next for Hawkins, Australia’s ultimate girl-next-door, is less clear.
She has the face of an angel, but the mind of an entrepreneur.
She no longer sees herself as a model, but rather as an ambassador, a businesswoman and a television host.
At 32 years old, Hawkins has several thriving businesses and an expansive property and share portfolio, and is building a future that doesn’t rely so heavily on a face that will, inevitably, change with age.
Jennifer Hawkins has several thriving businesses. Picture Nicole Bentley
She is coy about her plans, but those close to her are more upfront; the next big role for Jennifer Hawkins will be very different from those that have come before, and is likely to involve the pitter-patter of tiny feet.
But more on that shortly.
Miss Universe was good to Hawkins.
Not only did she win a $250,000 pearl-encrusted crown, get to travel the world and live rent-free in a New York apartment, but she benefited from the foresight of Trump’s pageant bosses, who knew the popular Australian would need a hand with her career when her year-long global victory lap was over.
About nine months into her 12-month Miss Universe contract, they set about hiring a manager for Hawkins.
Sean Anderson, who had recently left global giant IMG to set up his own talent business, 22 Management, applied for the job.
Anderson remembers being invited to New York: “I met the Trump people, and Jen came into that meeting at the end.”
Anderson has been with her ever since.
He set up her early television jobs, and has gone on to broker her deals with retailer Myer.
More personally, he has witnessed her evolution from ingénue to self-assured woman with the courage of her convictions.
“I have observed a greater confidence, a very clear understanding of what she needs in her life, and what she doesn’t need,” he says.
Jennifer Hawkins met Donald Trump as the winner of his Miss Universe pageant in 2004. Picture: Nicole Bentley
“She has probably become more private. I think, in the early days, she was very much trying to please everyone.
“Now, I think she has her priorities very much in order.
“She is living on the far northern beaches [of Sydney], which is a much quieter existence, which I think suits her.
“It’s the closest thing she has found to [her hometown of] Newcastle.”
Hawkins has been accused of being … well, boring, because she isn’t a regular in social pages or on the red carpet.
She does her job and then goes home.
She is not trying to be elusive, or mysterious; it’s just that spending a night at home with husband, Jake Wall, 33, or having a barbecue with her family, is simply what she prefers to do.
“There aren’t any secrets to it,” she says.
During an interview, Hawkins can be reserved, and a little hesitant.
Almost as if she is still not, after more than 10 years, quite at ease with her celebrity status.
She disagrees.
“I am comfortable in the industry and my position in it,” she says.
“You might think I’m not telling the truth when I say this, but talking about myself in interviews can be awkward.
“I am not used to that when it comes to my normal life.”
She is most at ease when discussing her family, a Newcastle-based tribe including two older brothers and a sister.
“I love hanging out with them; they’re grounded,” she says.
Jennifer Hawkins loves her family, including her two older brothers and sister. Picture: Nicole Bentley
“They’re not into dramas. I don’t like bitchiness or backstabbing; I don’t like anyone talking about people behind their backs.
“I don’t like being around that.”
Her older sister is a stay-at-home mum, one of her brothers works at a Toyota dealership and the other is a council landscaper.
As the baby of the family, the former Miss Universe says, “I am a bit more sooky [than the others]. I am really attached to family time. I need it.
“I need to have a time where I get real love, and real attention.
“It feels like they have my back all the time. If I have a down day, I can call my brothers or my sister.
“They will say, ‘Don’t worry about that, what about this?’ And they tell me a story about my niece or nephew, they keep it in the moment.”
All this begs the question: is motherhood, and forming their own little tribe, around the corner for Hawkins and her husband of three years?
“Obviously, I would just love a family with Jake, yes,” she says, but the timing “is something we want to keep very private”.
Anderson is more direct: “I have no doubt family is around the corner for her.”
There’s a proud tradition, pioneered by Elle “The Body” Macpherson in the 1980s, of Australian models with business nous.
Macpherson was one of the first in the industry to seek partnerships with the businesses she fronted, and is now rumoured to be worth $45 million.
Hawkins seems to have used Macpherson as a blueprint.
She signed with Myer in 2007 and is now one of the company’s major shareholders, thanks to that deal.
Jennifer Hawkins may have used Macpherson as a blueprint. Picture: Nicole Bentley
She has been with the retailer for so long that she is soldered onto its brand and has travelled the breadth of the country in its service — most recently to the salt lake Hutt Lagoon in regional Western Australia for an advertising campaign, where she was also photographed by Sunday Style.
“Myer means a lot to me,” she says.
Through the building company she owns with her husband, Hawkins has also amassed an impressive portfolio of high-end properties.
Then there are her other businesses — Cozi swimwear and J Bronze self-tan — and her endorsements for products such as Range Rover, Mount Franklin Lightly Sparkling water and Colgate.
Some put her worth at more than $10 million.
Anderson can see Macpherson in Hawkins, having seen both in action.
“[ Jen] is very passionate about her career and her work,” he says.
“She’s a perfectionist, which, I will be honest, does drive me crazy at times.
“You wake up and there will be 10 emails from Jen already, which she banged off on the treadmill.”
The similarity between Macpherson and Hawkins doesn’t just come down to good financial planning.
Both have an entrepreneurial streak.
Like Macpherson, Hawkins relishes the challenge of the commercial world, and likes taking risks.
Jennifer Hawkins is a girl-next-door type of star. Picture: Nicole Bentley
“If you have people you trust around you, you can make mistakes, you can float ideas and not feel silly, you can ask as many questions as you want,” she says.
“No one’s perfect — and I am not saying I am, either — but I take risks, calculated risks. And I want to have fun with life, and grow each business and enjoy the process.
“Things pay off sometimes; sometimes they don’t.
“But I think it’s nice to be excited about new projects and new ventures. Life can be really exciting if you just grab it in both hands.”
She might seem to have the Midas touch, but not every Hawkins venture has met with success.
Her shoe range, JLH by Jennifer Hawkins, didn’t.
She began it in 2010, and it was launched with much fanfare.
“That was a business I had the best intentions for,” she says.
“I jumped in, I gave it 100 per cent, and I think there’s a point where, going back and forth to manufacturing companies, and then when [the shoes] weren’t correct …
“The shoe industry was very hard, and it was very hard at that time in Australia.
“We were breaking even with JLH, and it was at the time where I enjoyed doing it.
“But then I had to [make] sacrifices when it came to price point and fabrics, and the way I wanted JLH to look … When I had to sacrifice that, I went, ‘OK, I had fun doing it, it was a great opportunity, I’ve learnt a lot.’
“But I had to let it go. And that’s all right. It happens. I was devastated at the time, for sure, but I learnt so much.”
Her latest venture, together with Wall, is tequila brand Sesión.
Wall has been a long-time fan of the Mexican spirit, and during their travels the couple noticed that, in Latin America, good-quality tequila was sipped like scotch, not slammed in shots, as was the culture in Australia.
They wondered whether there was an opportunity here for a premium tequila.
“It was a really fun and interesting and energetic idea,” she says.
“It’s a risk — you jump off, then it’s like, whoa, is this going to work? And so we took the risk and went to Mexico.
“I think I just enjoy that process; if there’s an obstacle, you want to jump it and fix it, and work with the team, and grow the brand.”
Despite her busy portfolio, Hawkins will make motherhood fit in, whenever it happens.
“If you really want something, you make it work at the best time for you.”
While she and Wall own several businesses together, Hawkins says they are careful not to mix love and work.
“The only time we really cross over with business is when we have a weekly meeting with whoever can make it. But we keep [work] separate, which keeps it nice. That helps the relationship.”
Still, when she talks about her inspirations — Trump, Macpherson, American model-turned- entrepreneur Kathy Ireland among them — one person stands ahead of the rest.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without Jake,” she says.
“He’s been so important to me as a person, first and foremost. But, on a secondary level, he has really helped me with certain facets of the business world.
“I really love how he pushes me to go out of my comfort zone. He’s good at saying, ‘Just go for it.’
“We’re like a little team; no one can hurt me when I am with him. I really feel at ease with life when I am with him, it doesn’t matter where it is. When he’s there, it feels … calm.”
Source: The Daily Telegraph, UK, 8/13/2016


Islamic State in the Philippines Calls For Mass Murder at Miss Universe Pageant

A Philippine Islamic State affiliate has posted a video calling for the 2017 Miss Universe pageant set to take place in the Philippines to be targeted, while suggesting that an explosive belt or bomb be made especially for the beauty contest, SITE reports.
“Philippines jihadi Telegram channel posted a video for making an explosive belt and suggested ‘Create bomb for miss universe,’” the group wrote on a Telegram Messenger group called “IS Philippines supporters,” according to SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks the online activity of jihadist organizations.
The post reportedly contained a video on how to assemble a suicide belt and a DIY on explosives in English.
The Miss Universe 2016 beauty contest is scheduled to begin in the Philippines on January 30, 2017 at a venue yet to be determined. Founded in 1952, the pageant brings together women from around the world. This year, the lucky winner will be crowned by Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines, who became Miss Universe 2015.

Source: RT, 8/9/2016


Director of Miss World Mexico Murdered Hours After Crowning A State Winner

     International pageantry is shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Hugo Castellanos, who had acquired the Mexican franchise for Miss World just last May. Early online reports suggest that Castellanos was gunned down in his car early Sunday morning  (August 7, 2016) in Culiacán, Sinaloa, hours after he crowned Melissa Lizárraga as the new Miss Sinaloa. His death was announced on the Facebook page of Miss Mexico. The motive behind the killing is unknown pending investigation by the Mexican police. 

 Hugo Castellanos assists in the coronation of Melissa Lizárraga, 
Miss Sinaloa 2016 / Photo: El Debate

Castellanos's body was found face down in the back seat of his Grand Cherokee car. The rear doors were riddled with bullets. / Photo: El Debate

Castellanos prepared many young women for Nuestra Belleza México including Ximena Navarette (left) who would later be crowned Miss Universe 2010. 
Photo: El Debate


Shakira Martin, 2011 Miss Jamaica Universe, Dies At 30

Shakira Martin used her beauty queen crown as a platform to spread her personal gospel: love life.

The former Miss Jamaica Universe used her platform and notoriety to encourage others with sickle cell anemia to get out of their homes and into the sunshine, her mother Andrea Hall said.
"If you live a dead life, what was the purpose of being alive?" were words Ms. Martin lived by, according to her mother.
Ms. Martin, of Plantation, died Wednesday at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines from blood clots on both lungs, complications of the sickle cell anemia she had since birth. She was 30.
"She was never a slave to the disease, she was very proud, very resilient, she lived her life to the fullest," said Hall, of Plantation. "Nothing was impossible for her, she never allowed anything to stop her from trying. She was very funny, friendly, loved music, loved Beyonce."
Hall learned she and her husband were both carriers of sickle anemia when she was pregnant. Doctors told her there was a 25 percent chance the baby would be born with the disease and encouraged her to have an abortion.
"That was not an option for me at all," Hall said. "The drive [of being OK] has so much to do with who you are."
Ms. Martin was born June 1, 1986, in Brooklyn. Her family moved to South Florida in 1989. Throughout her life, she vacationed in her mother's homeland of Jamaica, where the food and culture drew her back year after year.
Ms. Martin graduated from Nova High School in 2004 and attended Broward College. She worked as a teacher at a daycare and entered a beauty pageant in Miami in 2010. She came in second.
A friend urged her to enter the Miss Jamaica Universe pageant. Just for fun, Ms. Martin did the following year, and she won.
"Who knew?" said Hall.
Ms. Martin gave motivational talks throughout Jamaica, encouraging others "just to get out of bed," Hall said.
Having a Miss Jamaica with sickle cell "became intriguing to people, she beat the odds, she achieved things people [didn't] think you can," Hall said.
During her reign in 2011, Ms. Martin held a toy drive to collect 400 toys and distribute them to sick children at a Jamaican hospital.
After she broke her hip in three places because of deteriorating bones, she put on her heels to crown her successor as Miss Jamaica Universe.
Earlier this year, Ms. Martin, whose nickname was "Shak," created Shak's Hope Fund to create awareness and education.
Funeral arrangements are pending. A memorial service will follow in Jamaica. "That was her favorite place," Hall said. "She came back from Jamaica the day she died, she wasn't feeling well. [From the pictures during the trip], she was laughing like she never laughed."
In addition to her mother, Ms. Martin is survived by her father Alphonso Martin, of England; and two brothers and one sister.

Source: Sun Sentinel, Jamaica, 8/4/2016