1.01.2018

End Of The Year Review 2017

Pageantry in 2017: Dayanara & Sushmita Return To Their Second Home, Asian Domination, and Miss America Emailgate



PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM

DAYANARA TORRES RETURNS TO THE PHILIPPINES:  After finishing her reign as Miss Universe 1993, Dayanara Torres decided to stay in the Philippines (where the 1994 pageant was held) to try her luck in the entertainment industry. It turned out that the Filipinos loved her and she instantly became one of the most successful foreign artists to have made it big in the country where she lived for five years. Then in 1998, she returned to Puerto Rico and married her now ex-husband Marc Anthony. After almost 20 years of absence, the Puerto Rican beauty queen returned to her "second home" to judge Miss Universe 2016 (that took place on January 30) and to reconnect with her old friends and her "second family.
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PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM

SUSHMITA SEN RETURNS TO THE PHILIPPINES Dayanara Torrewas not the only queen who missed the Philippines after all these years. Her successor, Sushmita Sen, also returned 23 years later after she was crowned in the Philippines in 1994. Like Dayanara, Sushmita was also invited to judge the 2017 pageant. Her visit to the country was highlighted by an endearing interview of her by Jessica Soho that featured young Filipina women who were all named after her. Watch Sushmita's reaction when she meets them!
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PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM

WHEELCHAIR BEAUTYJustine Clark, 26, became the first contestant in a wheelchair to compete in the South Australian regional contest for Miss World Australia pageant . Although she didn't win the finals that took place on February 19, Clark was able to advance to the nationwide final through the Beauty with a Purpose campaign, which raises money for local charities. When asked about her disability, the vegan health and fitness expert says, "It does not define me. I can still be strong, feminine, and beautiful." Bravo, Justine!
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PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM

DETHRONEMENTS:   Christina Mikkelsen (above), 24, became caught up in a criminal investigation after her former flame, Teodorin Obiang, was accused of money laundering. In early February, the organizers of the Face of Denmark stripped Christina of her crown after competing in Miss Universe 2016, citing the investigation as the main reason. But Christina's dismissal came after she accused the "Face of Denmark" organizers of trying to force her to lose weight. Despite sporting a toned look and weighing just under 120 lbs., she claims her bosses had told her to lose more than fourteen pounds before the Miss Universe pageant. 

On March 6,  Tatiana Kumar  was stripped of her Miss Malaysia World 2017 title for breaching the pageant organizer’s code of conduct. Kumar offended one of her sponsors at the pageant’s finale in the United States in December by refusing to wear its garments. She and her family were also accused of having made several offensive posts on both the Internet and social media regarding the Miss Malaysia World organization. She denied all allegations. Kumar was dethroned immediately after competing in Miss World 2016.

 Vian Sulaimani was crowned Miss Iraq 2017 on May 25 in Baghdad. Three months later, she was dethroned for violating the rules of the competition. It was discovered that she was married to a student named Aziz, a citizen of Irish nationality.  She was supposed to represent her country at Miss World 2016. 

Miss Lebanon Emigrant 2017, Amanda Hanna, lost her title just a week after winning it on August 14. The Swedish-Lebanese beauty was stripped of her title after it was discovered that in 2016 she went on an academic tour in Israel, using her Swedish passport to enter the Jewish State. A statement from The Festival of Lebanese Emigrants in Dhour Al Choueir to the Al Modon newspaper read, “After communicating our decision with Lebanon’s Minister of Tourism he decided that Hanna should be stripped of her title because her visit to Israel violates our country’s laws.” Lebanese citizens are not allowed to travel to Israel, considered an “enemy state,” and Israelis are not allowed to enter Lebanon.Lebanese citizens are not allowed to travel to Israel, considered an “enemy state,” and Israelis are not allowed to enter Lebanon.ebanese citizens are not allowed to travel to Israel, considered an “enemy state,” and Israelis are not allowed to enter Lebanon.

PHOTO CREDIT: MISS TURKEY ORGANIZATION


 Organizers stripped Miss Turkey 2017 of her crown over a social media posting that was deemed insulting to the memory of the 250 people killed while opposing last year's failed military coup. Miss Turkey organizers said the 18-year-old Itir Esen (above) was dethroned on September 22, a day after she won the contest and the right to represent Turkey at the Miss World contest in China. The organizers said in an emailed statement that her title was revoked because of a tweet in July that they described as "unacceptable." Media reports said Esen, a model and university student, caused a storm on social media after she posted a remark on Twitter as the country held memorials for the victims on the first anniversary of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. According to Sozcu newspaper and other media the tweet, which has since been erased, said: "I got my period on the morning of the July 15 martyrs' day. I'm marking the day by bleeding as a representation of the martyrs' blood."

Esen reportedly denied the account was hers. But Can Sandikcioglu, who heads the Miss Turkey Organization, said the committee said it confirmed she was the author of the tweet
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PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK

GETTING THE SHORT END OF THE STICK:  Controversy rocked the Miss Earth 2017 pageant in October in the Philippines when pageant organizers decided to eliminate Miss Earth South Africa,  Irini Moutzouris (above), from the competition because she failed to meet the minimum height requirement of 5'4" (165 cm).  Pageant fans were divided on how they felt about Irini's disqualification. Some blame the national director Ella Bella Leite for sending Irini to the pageant despite the height regulation, and/or that Leite had neglected to inform Irini of the minimum height requirement. Some fans argued that Carousel Productions, the owner of Miss Earth, should have bent its rules this one time alone instead of giving the boot to Irini when the pageant has already entered its third week. 

STRIPPED AND UN-STRIPPED:  Less than two weeks after winning the Miss Universe Trinidad & Tobago 2017 title, Yvonne Clarke was told via email from Jennifer Douglas, the local franchise holder, that she would no longer be able to represent the country, citing a breach of parts of her contract by making public statements in the media without Douglas’s express permission. Having claimed that she was left to handle her own finances and preparations for Miss Universe 2017, Clarke got the help of soca artiste Fay-Ann Lyons. After a series of accusations and denials, Clarke was reinstated and left for Las Vegas to compete in Miss Universe, but that was after Lyons pulled her company’s sponsorship support. 
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PHOTO CREDIT: GIBRALTAR CHRONICLE

ROCKY MAYOR:   Just three months before her 31st birthday, Kaiane Aldorino was elected as the youngest mayor of Gibraltar, whose  landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of which is a densely populated city area, home to over 30,000 people. When she won Miss World in 2009, she became the first woman from Gibraltar to ever reach the semi-finals of a major international pageant and the first to ever win one.
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PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK

 The last time that Iraq competed in Miss Universe pageant was in 1972. The contestant, Wijdan Burhan El-Deen Sulyman, wore a one-piece swimsuit which hardly caused a stir within the Muslim world. Fast forward 45 years later to 2017, Iraq is back with a beautiful representative, Sarah Idan (above), 27, born and raised in Baghdad. However, her participation in the world's most prestigious pageant has enraged fundamentalist Muslims in her country and elsewhere. As a result, her family has been receiving death threats and the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) has been forced to take down all of her bikini photos from the official website.  


Sarah initially made headlines when she had posted a selfie with Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, on her Instagram during the pageant.  A number of people threatened to kill her and her family. The threats finally forced her family to flee Iraq.  “My mom was freaking out,” Idan told CNN. “I told her ‘Mom, just get out. Get out.’ I told her, ‘I’m sorry’ and asked if she wants me to leave the competition. I was ready to drop out right then.”
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ASIAN DOMINATION


PHOTO CREDIT: MISS INTERNATIONAL

SIGNIFICANT WINS: Kevin Liliana, 21, was crowned Miss International 2017 in Tokyo on November 14. Her victory marks Indonesia's first ever win of a major global pageant, and makes Indonesia as the fourth Asian country to win the coveted crown (after the Philippines, Lebanon and Japan). Her parents were expecting a baby boy and they had intended to name him Kevin, but when the baby turned out to be a girl, they decided to call her Kevin anyway after the character Kevin from the hit movie, "Home Alone."


PHOTO CREDIT: REINA HISPANOAMERICANA

Ten days earlier, Teresita Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez, first-time Philippine representative to the pageant, was crowned Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia on November 4. She bested 26 other candidates in a competition that aims to promote Hispanic-American culture across the globe. Critics argue that the Philippines - located in Asia -  should not have been allowed to compete since the country is not geographically situated in Latin America. Alas, these critics do not realize that the Philippines was colonized by Spain for nearly 400 years and shares many traditions and customs with the Hispanic world.


PHOTO CREDIT: MISS SUPRANATIONAL

On December 1 in  Krynica-Zdr√≥j, Poland, Jenny Kim of Korea was crowned Miss Supranational 2017, making her as the fourth Asian winner in the pageant's 9-year history. Kim had competed in Miss World Korea 2015 where she placed 1st runner-up. The following year, she was appointed as her country's representative to Miss Universe 2016 where she won the Miss Congeniality award.

PHOTO CREDIT: ABS-CBN

Hometown girl Karen Ibasco was crowned Miss Earth 2017 on November 4 in Manila, Philippines. Her victory marks the Philippines' fourth Miss Earth title in less than 10 years (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017).  During the competition’s final Q & A portion, Ibasco was asked who or what she thinks is the biggest enemy of Mother Earth and why. Ibasco replied: “I believe that the real problem in this world is not climate change. The real problem is us because of our ignorance and apathy. What we have to do is to start changing our ways, to start recalibrating our minds and redirecting our steps because together, as a global community, our micro-efforts will have a macro-effect to help save our home, our planet.”


PHOTO CREDIT: INDIA TV NEWS

On November 19 in China, Manushi Chhillar, 20, became the sixth Indian woman to win the prestigious Miss World crown. India now ties with Venezuela for the most number of Miss World crowns - six each. Her victory ended India's dry spell of 17 years. Priyanka Chopra, now a successful Bollywood and Hollywood star,  won the title for India way back in 2000.

Three of the world's biggest pageants (Miss International, Miss Earth, Miss World) have crowned winners from the Asian continent in 2017, which suggests that Asian beauties have now become the most competitive and prepared pageant contestants.
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PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK

BACK TO BACK: Last July 16, Genesis Davila was crowned Miss Florida USA 2017 but was dethroned six days later after being accused of violating rules, according to Grant Gravitt, the then executive producer of the Miss Florida USA pageant. Davila allegedly used her own professional hair and makeup artists rather than using the ones provided by the show. A month later, Davila sued the Miss Florida USA organization for $15 million, seeking damages for defamation. The lawsuit was settled out of court. Meanwhile, Gravitt was fired by IMG (the new owner of Miss USA) and was replaced by new franchise owner, Todd Chrisley, the star of the reality show, "Chrisley Knows Best." Fast forward December 17, 2017. Davila competes again in Miss Florida USA 2018 and wins - again! Davila made pageant history by becoming the first woman to win the same state title two years in a row! Now that's a feat!

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NO WONDER SHE DIDN'T WANT THE MIKIMOTO CROWN:   Call her the reluctant beauty queen, but perhaps Gal Godot had always known that she was not cut out to be a beauty queen. Talking about her experience at the Miss Universe 2004 pageant she says, "I was very naughty. I wasn't behaving. I am a really good girl, but because I was afraid I am going to win again because I did not want to win the Miss Israel pageant and I won. I figured oh no, I don't want them to choose me again, so I came down late for rehearsals. I wasn't wearing the right evening gowns for breakfast. I even remember Paula Abdul, she was one of the judges there. She was asking me a question and I was like, 'I am sorry, English not so good." Well, she has come a long way and her English has definitely improved since then, enough to win the lead role of Wonder Woman. She is officially Forbes’s highest-grossing actress of 2017, having raked in $1.4 billion in movie tickets worldwide for portraying the same superhero twice in six months. The Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman remained the second highest-grossing movie of the year until  Star Wars: The Last Jedi opened, making it the third-biggest movie of 2017, the best-received and highest-grossing movie of the current DC superhero franchise, and the highest-grossing live-action movie ever directed by a woman. Yesh! #Winning
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PHOTO CREDIT: MISS AMERICA ORGANIZATION


MISS AMERICA'S EMAILGATE:   The Miss America Organization was rocked following the release of internal emails published on December 21st on Huffington Post. The published messages showed offensive language that CEO Sam Haskell used to describe 2013 Miss America Mallory Hagan — describing her as "fat and gross" in one note. In another exchange from August 2014, Haskell received an email that said Hagan’s hairdresser had been commenting on Hagan’s sex life as well as her recent weight gain. As a consequence, Haskell and two other board members - chairman Lynn Weidner and president and chief operating officer Josh Randle - resigned. 

Haskell forwarded the email to Miss America telecast lead writer Lewis Friedman and noted, “Not a single day passes that I am not told some horrible story about Mallory.” Friedman replied, “Mallory’s preparing for her new career … as a blimp in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. As she continues to destroy her own credibility, her voice will attract less and less notice while she continues her descent to an unhappy pathetic footnote.” Friedman ended the email with this: “P.S. Are we four the only ones not to have (slept with) Mallory?”

Haskell defended himself by stating, "Much of what was reported is dishonest, deceptive, and despicable," he said in a statement released Friday. "The material is based on private emails that were stolen three years ago by ex-employees. The story is so unkind and untrue, and hurts me, my family, and the stewardship of this non-profit."

On December 23, 1989 Miss America Gretchen Carlson, tweeted a statement from herself and Kate Shindle, 1998 Miss America, Saturday calling the resignations "reassuring" but adding "this by no means fulfills the need for a thorough housecleaning of the Board. We will continue to demand the resignations of every individual who either participated in the abuse of women or stood by and was complicit," the statement said.
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PHOTO CREDIT: ABS-CBN

COUNTRY OF THE YEAR:   For the 3rd consecutive year, the Philippines has remained unbeatable in terms of pageant successes in 2017 and deserves once and for all the title "Country Of The Year" in pageantry.  The country has produced two major wins  (Miss Earth, Mr. Gay World), two minor wins (Miss Progress International, Miss Tourism International) and over a dozen other trivial titles that only a true Filipino pageant fanatic would know. Except in Miss International, the country placed in the other big league pageants for women (top 10 in Miss Universe, top 20 in Miss World, 1st runner-up in Miss Globe (Albania version), and 2nd runner-up in Miss Grand International) and a few placements in pageants for men (1st runner-up in Mister Universal Ambassador, 4th runner-up in Mister Grand International, top 15 in Manhunt International, top 16 in Mister Global, top 20 in Mister Supranational).

Photo: Teresita Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez clutching the Philippine flag during the Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 pageant in Bolivia, just a few days before she won the title.

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IN MEMORIAM


PHOTO CREDIT: MISS AMERICA ORGANIZATION

 Miss America 1944 Venus Ramey passed away on June 17 at the age of 92. Venus hailed from Ashland, Kentucky, but entered the Miss America competition representing the District of Columbia, where she moved to work for the war effort during World War II. Venus entertained in military service camps, sold war bonds, and toured in Vaudeville. In addition to a citation from the United States Treasury Department for her work in the War Bond effort, Venus Ramey’s picture was painted on the side of fighter planes. These planes made sixty-eight raids over war-torn Germany and never lost a man. At a time when it seemed the country was losing the war, this incredible story was reported by the Associated Press and bolstered the nation’s morale.
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 Miss Grand Uthai Thani 2017 Rattana Ramchatu, nicknamed Fies, died on June 1st just four days after winning the contest. She died in a car accident while traveling from Chomphon to Bangkok where she had some business to attend.
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 Margaret Ann Garza Ms. Texas Belleza Latina in 2007 and Ms. Belleza Latina International in 2008, was found dead in her Texas home on May 30. It is not clear how she died. She was 31. Garza appeared in number of television and print advertisements and in the nationally televised AMC series, 'The Son' and 'Mercury Plains' with Scott Eastwood.  
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PHOTO CREDIT: INSTAGRAM

Stephanie Rivera Camarena, Miss Earth Baja California in 2015, succumbed to her injuries and died two days later on November 7 after the speeding Lamborghini she was a passenger in crashed and caught fire also killing the medical marijuana millionaire driver Michael Llamas. She was 26.  
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Ruby Ann Laufa, Miss South Pacific Papua New Guinea 2012, died on February 11 at the main of campus of the University of Papua New Guinea where she was fatally injured.
Mr. Laufa, Ruby’s father, said that his daughter was at their home in Fort Banner before her boyfriend called to come pick her up that Saturday. From initial police report, Laufa was assaulted then pushed out of a running vehicle and incurred head injuries. Her alleged boyfriend was turned over to the police for custody while the investigations are on-going. Ruby was just two days shy of her 25th birthday.
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PHOTO CREDIT: JAMAICA NEWS

Trudi Ferguson, who won the Miss Jamaica Universe crown in 1996, died on November 10 after a battle with breast cancer. Miss Universe Jamaica made the announcement via Facebook on November 11 on the same day pageant organizers sent current title holder Davina Bennett off to Las Vegas, Nevada to represent the island in the Miss Universe contest.
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Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.  - Sophia Loren

By RAFA DELFIN 

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