Brazilian Beauty Queen Gabriela Mendes Viegas Commits Suicide


Model Gabriela Mendes Viegas, crowned Miss Ilhéus 2018, was found dead on Saturday, May 4, in Bahia. According to family members, she was struggling with depression. Several online Brazilian sites are reporting that Viegas had committed suicide.

She was studying medicine at the Federal University of Bahia.  The university issued a note of regret (translation in English from the original Portuguese):

"Today is a sad day. In this moment of extreme grief, words and even breathlessness are lacking. With great pain, AAAACVL reports the death of their colleague Gabriela Alexandre Mendes Viegas, of the 253rd class of FMB-UFBA.

We wish all comfort and strength for friends and family. The loss of a person so affable and full of goodness is distressing. The various expressions of affection and the impact of the news only reinforce the immeasurable loss of an incredible human being."

On Instagram, Ricardo Mello, a pageant expert, lamented the death of the model and said that the young woman was facing depression.

"@Gabrielamviegas has just lost the battle against depression. My sincere feelings to friends, family and all the pageant fans who suffer when discovering in the worst way that their goddesses are not immune to this sad disease, "he said.

Source: Osul.com.br, 5/5/2019

     Back in July 10, 2016, Gabriela posted this photo of herself with her boyfriend at that time, fitness model Lucas Ferrara:

     Two years ago, Gabriela represented the city of Ilheus at the Miss Bahia pageant (a state preliminary to Miss Brazil), but she did not win. She thanked her supporters on Facebook a day after the pageant:

Philippines Wins Mr. Gay World 2019

Janjep Carlos (center) with 2nd runner-up Oliver Pusztan of Hungary (left) and 1st runner-up Francisco Alvarado of Spain (right)

MANILA - John Jeffrey "Janjep" Carlos became the second Filipino and Asian to win the Mr. Gay World crown after winning this year's pageant in South Africa. 
Carlos, who hails from Cavite, bested 21 other candidates in the final round of the pageant in Cape Town, South Africa on May 4 (May 5 in Manila). 
He joins fellow Filipino John Fernandez Raspado took the crown in 2017. 
Carlos succeeded Mr. Gay World 2018 Jordan Bruno, an Australian national, for the crown. 
Spain's Francisco Alvarado was crowned 1st runner up, followed by Hungary's Oliver Pusztan (2nd runner up), Thailand's Cjayudhom Samibat (3rd runner up) and Belgium's Nick Van Vooren (4th runner up) 
In his introduction video posted on the Mr Gay World 2019 Youtube channel, Carlos said mental health awareness was one of his main advocacies, particularly the fight against depression. 
"Depression is real, and it has caused the tragic loss of lives. Depression is a real illness that can be treated if properly diagnosed," he said.
"With love and understanding of people undergoing depression, this illness can be transformed into wellness." 
Source: ABS-CBN, 5/5/2019


For the First Time, All of America’s Top Pageant Winners Are Black

For the first time in American history, three Black women have been crowned as winners of the country’s top beauty pageantsBecause of Them We Can reports.
On Thursday, North Carolina lawyer Cheslie Kryst won the Miss USA title. She is a civil litigation attorney who works on behalf of prison inmates.
During her last question in the final round, she addressed the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. “What #MeToo and #TimesUp are about are making sure that we foster safe and inclusive workplaces in our country, ” she said. “As an attorney, that’s exactly what I want to hear and that’s exactly what I want for this country. i think they’re good movements.”
Kryst is slated to appear in the forthcoming Miss Universe pageant, where only five Black women have ever been crowned winner.
Connecticut native Kaliegh Garris was crowned Miss Teen USA on Sunday. The 18-year-old showcased her natural curls while competing in the acclaimed pageant.
She opened up about how she prepared her tresses before the big event. “The night before, I finger curled every single piece of my hair in the shower, which led to a very long shower, but it was for the greater good,” she told Refinery29. “I know what I look like with straight hair, with extensions, and with my curly hair, and I feel more confident and comfortable with my natural hair.”
In September, New York contestant Nia Franklin wowed viewers and judges with her performance of “Quando’ m’en vo” from the opera La Boheme, while competing for the Miss America title.
Franklin, a native of North Carolina, explained her appreciation for the Big Apple. “I have New York grit. As a New Yorker, I understand what it takes to work hard,” she said.
Congratulations to the historic beauty queens.
Source: Ebony.com, 5/3/2019

Older Miss Titleholders: Will We See More Of Them?


     So it seems that Cheslie Kryst, at 28, is the oldest contestant to be crowned as Miss USA.  The North Carolina native won the coveted title on May 2nd in Reno, Nevada.

     The average age of Top 15 semi-finalists is 24. The youngest semi-finalist is Hawaii at 20 years of age. The average age of the top 5 is 26. It seems that crowning “older” girls (to me, anyone above 24) has been the trend since Olivia Jordan won in 2015 at 26. Deshauna Barber in 2016 at 26. And Kara Cullough In 2017 at 25.

     Raising the age limit to 28 allows for “more accomplished” women to compete. But the question is, how could an 18-year old compete with 28-year old when the former hasn’t accomplished much? Could this be the reason why no contestant under the age of 20 cracked the semifinals? Will the next Miss Universe be 25 or over?

Top 15  

Florida - Nicolette Jennings. 22
New Mexico - Alejandra Gonzalez. 26
Arkansas - Savannah Skidmore. 24
Ohio - Alice Magoto. 21
Oklahoma - Triana Browne. 26
Iowa - Baylee Drezek. 21
Minnesota - Cat Stanley. 23
District of Columbia - Cordelia Cranshaw. 26
Louisiana - Victoria Paul. 26
North Carolina - Cheslie Kryst. 28
Kansas - Alyssa Klinzing. 21
Pennsylvania - Kailyn Marie Perez. 27
Maryland - Mariela Pepin. 23
Hawaii - Lacie Choy. 20
Nevada - Tianna Tuamoheloa. 26

By Rafa Delfin, 5/3/2019

Dead Ex-Miss Uruguay Fatimih Davila Sosa May Have Had Ties To Escort Ring


North Carolina Wins Miss USA 2019


Miss USA 2019 has crowned its winner: Miss North Carolina USA Cheslie Kryst!
During the live competition on Thursday evening, 51 female contestants — representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia — competed for the coveted title.
After Miss Oklahoma USA Triana Browne was named second runner-up and Miss New Mexico USA Alejandra Gonzalez was named first runner-up, Kryst, 28, was crowned Miss USA 2019. The other two finalists were Miss Arkansas USA Savannah Skidmore and Miss Nevada USA Tianna Tuamoheloa. Completing the top 15 were the delegates from the District of Columbia, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Ohio, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
Kryst, “a full-time attorney that is licensed to practice law in two states,” according to her Miss USA bio, was crowned by her predecessor, Miss USA 2018 Sarah Rose Summers.
This year, the winner was chosen by a selection committee, which was comprised of accomplished female entrepreneurs, business leaders and industry experts, including former pageant winners.
The contestants included women working in numerous fields, such as journalists, entrepreneurs, a Physical Operations Specialist in the U.S. Army Reserve, doctoral students, active and aspiring attorneys, and first-generation Americans, among others.
Kryst is the third woman from North Carolina to win the crown. She will now represent the United States in the next edition of Miss Universe pageant whose date and venue have yet to be announced.
Source: People Magazine, 5/2/2019; Critical Beauty
Cheslie Kryst, Alejandra Gonzalez and Triana Browne
Cheslie Kryst, Alejandra Gonzalez and Triana Browne


So... Connecticut Wins Miss Teen USA 2019

     Kaliegh Garris, an 18-year-old student from New Haven, Connecticut, was crowned Miss Teen USA 2019 at the Grand Theater at Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada on Sunday, April 28. Garris had just competed in the preliminary competition that took place a few hours earlier. She is the second woman from Connecticut to win the crown (Logan West won in 2012).

     The other finalists include 1st runner-up Caitlyn Vogel of North Dakota, 2nd runner-up hometown girl Erica Yvette Bonilla of Nevada, 3rd runner-up Kaylee Brooke McCollum of Mississippi, and 4th runner-up Kalin Burt of Alabama. Minnesota's Olivia Herbert won the Miss Congeniality Teen USA award.

     Rounding up the top 15 were the delegates from Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas,  Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wyoming. The show was hosted by former Miss USA Nia Sanchez and Tim Tialdo. Garris was selected as the winner by a "selection committee" composing of six women. Assisting in Garris's coronation were her predecessor Hailey Colborn, Miss USA 2018 Sarah Rose Summers, and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray



     Just to give you an idea how I have been "out of the loop" lately concerning pageants: I had no idea that the finals of Miss Teen USA 2019 would take place on the same day as the preliminary competition. I watched the entire prelims on YouTube only after a link to the live stream appeared on my Facebook news feed, but I turned off the TV right after the evening gown competition. After my early morning treadmill workout today, I watched the finals from beginning to end, which went rather smoothly except for Nia Sanchez's flubs (I don't know about you guys, but her voice sounds kinda nasal to me and it is annoying.)
     What is it with these "articulate" and "well-educated" young women starting their sentences with "so" or overusing it? When asked what was going on with her studies at Princeton right now, Hailey Colborn responded, "Yes, so I go back to school with exams..." When asked about her clothing line designed for girls with disabilities, Caitlyn Vogel said, "Yes, so after I did a fashion show... so I wanted to keep... so I did a clothing line..." When asked what her message was to the Hispanic Graduation Ceremony, Erica Yvette Bonilla answered, "So I was able to speak at...." When asked about her experience as a counselor in an eco-friendly camp, Kaliegh Garris responded, "Yes, so I'm an eco counselor..." When asked about her Costa Rica adventure, Kalin Burt answered, "So we actually got to go zip-lining..." When asked why anxiety and depression are rampant in her generation, Kaylee Brooke McCollum said, "Yes, so my platform is..." 
     Is "so" the new "like?" Ummm... so yeah, "so" replaces "like" as the new filler word. 
     Can I just say that Miss Universe Catriona Gray totally stood out in the photo below? Even without her sash on, she drew instant attention to her shorty short Chinese-inspired long-sleeved black dress with dragon appliqués, accessorized with a pair of red stiletto heels. 

And as usual, she commanded the stage with her famous lava walk:

     OMG! So when they showed a video of Hailey Colborn's year as Miss Teen USA 2018, it included a clip of a speaking engagement where she sat next to a woman wearing a black T-shirt with these words inscribed on it: "White Supremacy Is Terrorism." So I can only speculate that this was Colborn's "subtle" way (or perhaps even Miss Universe Organization's as well) of condemning white supremacists who engage in terror attacks. Colborn, a Princeton University student, is an articulate and talented young woman; she has a bright future ahead of her, so I wouldn't be surprised if she followed the footsteps of any honest-to-good genuine and patriotic politicians like, ummm... President Donald Trump! 😄

     And check out Kaliegh Garris's winning answer to her final question: "A survey of U.S. teens has found that 61% of high school boys believe having a lot of money is important compared to just 41% of girls. Why do you think young women appear to be less motivated by money?"

     Her response: "I would say because they have the confidence in themselves to know that they are enough. They know that no matter how much money they have, that they're still successful being themselves and that no matter who they talk to, what experiences they have, what jobs they have, they're still successful and they're still empowered in themselves."
     So I guess 41% of young women today no longer dream of marrying a rich man or marrying Prince Charming. Yes, so Garris won because the judges (yup, no "selection committee members" for me) were persuaded by her solid delivery, even though I think her response was somewhat trivial. But she's just a teen and she is still learning. Give her a few more years and I'm sure she'll realize that more women than men around the world suffer from lack of confidence, are living in poverty, are regularly abused and mistreated, and have little to zero resources to empower themselves. She's lucky she lives in America where she can be whatever she wants to be, so...
By Rafa Delfin, 4/29/2019


Miss Bolivia 2018 Joyce Prado Dethroned

Former beauty queen Joyce Prado attends the Miss Universe National Costume Show in December 2018. Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP

Bolivian model Joyce Prado, 22, has lost her Miss Bolivia Universe title after becoming pregnant during her reign. Yahoo! reports that Prado may have been stripped of her title because of pageant rules prohibiting pregnancy.
On Friday, the Bolivian modeling agency Promociones Gloria announced on Facebook that Prado, who had won the group's Miss Bolivia and Miss Santa Cruz pageants in 2018, was dismissed from her role as result of a "breach of contract."
"Promociones Gloria is announcing to Opinion Publica that the current Miss Santa Cruz and Miss Bolivia Universe 2018 has been stripped of her titles of Miss Santa Cruz and Miss Bolivia for reasons strictly related to a breach of contract, noting that we maintain cordial relations in an area of mutual understanding, honoring the confidentiality clause," the modeling agency wrote on Facebook.
While the modeling agency did not explicitly describe the nature of Prado's breach to safeguard a "confidentiality clause," Promociones Gloria did share more information on Instagram.
On Saturday, the agency shared a photo of an El Día Digital newspaper headline which read, "Joyce Prado is left without a crown because of her pregnancy."
In an interview with El Día Digital, Tatiana Limpias, an executive at Promociones Gloria, said the agency has "a five-year contract with Joyce," and that she "will remain in the ranks of the agency as a model."

Source: ThisInsider.com, 4/16/2019