Philippines Wins Miss Intercontinental 2021


Cinderella “Cindy” Obeñita of the Philippines has been crowned Miss Intercontinental 2021 in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt. The show began on the evening of October 29 and finished just a little over midnight on October 30. Cindy also won Miss Intercontinental Asia & Oceania.

Her court includes:

1st runner-up - Mexico - Paulina Uceda Escorcia (Miss Intercontinental North America)
2nd runner-up - England - Romy Simpkins (Miss Intercontinental Europe)
3rd runner-up - Seychelles - Kelly-Mary Anette (Miss Intercontinental Africa)
4th runner-up - Canada - Kaitlyn Li (Power of Beauty)
5th runner-up - Colombia - Maria Paula Castillo Lopez (Miss Intercontinental South America)

This is the second time that the Philippines won the title which was first won by Karen Gallman in 2018.

New Venezuelan Queens For 2022


Amanda Dudamel, a 21-year-old fashion designer representing Región Andina, was crowned Miss Venezuela 2021 during last night’s 68th edition of Miss Venezuela pageant. She will represent Venezuela in Miss Universe 2022 competition.

Meanwhile, Ariagny Daboin, a 24-year-old clinical psychologist representing the state of Cojedes, was crowned Miss World Venezuela 2021.  She will represent Venezuela in Miss World 2022 competition.

Photo credit: Miss Venezuela Organization


Israel To Host Miss Universe 2021

The current Miss Universe Andrea Meza will crown her successor in Israel on December 13. / Glamstar News

“Israel will be the theme of the show,” she said in a recent phone interview from Tel Aviv. While plans for the 70th Miss Universe pageant are not yet final, she said the contestants would tour the country and she hoped clips of their visit to such locations as the Dead Sea and Jerusalem would be incorporated into the broadcast. “Israel is a small country but so diverse.”

The pageant taking place in Israel will not be the event’s only first, she said. Another new development is that there will be a contestant from the United Arab Emirates for the first time, as well as one from Morocco for the first time in decades. The final list of contestants will be released in November, Shugart said. 

Due to the pandemic, the competition has changed in a number of other ways. While normally, a pageant is held annually, the 69th competition, which was set to be held in May 2020, was postponed for a year. Andrea Meza of Mexico, the reigning Miss Universe, will only have served about seven months when the competition is held in December, which is an unusual situation. But Shugart said Meza understood that holding a new pageant this December is a “first step into the new normal” and that she did not mind.

One of the reasons Israel was chosen was due to its health policy in combating the coronavirus, notably its success with the vaccination campaign. “We decided if we were going to hold the competition outside of the US, it would be in a country that has handled the virus well,” she said. 

This year’s pageant will have a “green agenda,” Shugart said. “Global warming and climate change are important to all the contestants.” 
Shugart is used to being asked whether Miss Universe is still relevant in the MeToo era and whether it promotes sexism, and questions on this topic do not faze her. When people call the pageant sexist, “I challenge them to meet the women who are involved in it. It’s about personal growth and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to become more confident and meeting people your own age from around the world.”

Once people get to know more about the competition, she said, “they always come away impressed.” She noted that the women who compete are very accomplished and said many have gone on to careers in medicine, law and politics, including Israeli lawyer Rina Mor-Goder, who, as Rina Messinger, was crowned Miss Universe in 1976. Gal Gadot, who was Miss Israel in 2004, competed in the Miss Universe pageant of that year.

More details about this year’s competition will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Source: The Jerusalem Post, Oct. 26, 2021

Who Will Win The Miss Globe 2021?


The Critical Beauty Gang selects its favorites for The Miss Globe 2021 pageant which takes place in Albania on November 5. The panel includes Hector Joaquin, Phil Pugeda, Antonio Rivadeneira, and Peter Sereno.

Click the banner to go to the link.


Who Will Win Reina Hispanoamericana 2021?


The Critical Beauty Gang selects its favorites for Reina Hispanoamericana 2021 pageant which takes place in Bolivia on October 30. Click banner to go to the link.


Who Will Win Miss Intercontinental 2021?

 The Critical Beauty Gang selects its favorites for the Miss Intercontinental 2021 pageant which takes place in Egypt in October 29. The panel includes Hector Joaquin, Phil Pugeda, Antonio Rivadeneira, and Peter Sereno.

Click the banner to go to the link.

Critical Beauty Gang Reacting To United Arab Emirates’s Debut At Miss Universe and To Morocco’s Return

 This is one of several segments from a 3.5 hour-long chat that I and my guests ("Critical Beauty Gang") conducted via Zoom on Saturday, October 23, 2021 beginning at 9:00 PM EST.

The panel includes Hector Joaquin, Phil Pugeda, Antonio Rivadeneira, and Peter Sereno. We react to United Arab Emirates’s debut at Miss Universe and to Morocco’s return to the pageant. Click banner to go to the link.

Critical Beauty Gang Reacts To Mandla Mandela's Call To Boycott Miss Universe 2021 Held In Israel


This is one of several segments from a 3.5 hour-long chat that I and my guests ("Critical Beauty Gang") conducted via Zoom on Saturday, October 23, 2021 beginning at 9:00 PM EST. The panel includes Hector Joaquin, Phil Pugeda, Antonio Rivadeneira, and Peter Sereno. We react to Mandla Mandela's call to South Africa to boycott Miss Universe 2021 because the pageant will take place in December in Israel, a country whom Mandela erroneously calls an apartheid state.

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Critical Beauty Gang Reacts To Feminist Attack On Miss France


This is one of several segments from a 3.5 hour-long chat that I and my guests ("Critical Beauty Gang") conducted via Zoom on Saturday, October 23, 2021 beginning at 9:00 PM EST. The panel includes Hector Joaquin, Phil Pugeda, Antonio Rivadeneira, and Peter Sereno. We react to the feminist demands that Miss France change its rules as to be more diversified and inclusive, such as accepting women shorter than 5'5", women with tattoos, unmarried women who have children, etc. Find out which member(s) of the finalist agree or disagree with the feminists. Click the banner to go to the link.

Miss Universe Thailand 2021 Crowned


It was allure, grace, charm, style and "willpower": an overjoyed Anchilee Scott Kemmis overcame stiff competition to proudly walk away with the Miss Universe Thailand 2021 title on Sunday. She now hopes to repeat her success in Israel in December by bagging the coveted Miss Universe 2021 crown. 

The Miss Universe Thailand 2021 finale was held at Pattaya’s Nong Nooch Tropical Garden on Sunday night. Anchilee Scott Kemmis, a 22-year-old Thai-Australian beauty who won the hearts of judges and Thais, was crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2021. Thai-African Tharina Botes was the runner-up while Nanthiya Suwansawaeng was placed third. 

After being crowned, Anchilee happily told reporters she was proud to represent Thai women and was grateful for all the support.“  

Since participating in the contest, I have been proud to represent women. I am not worried about being bullied due to my figure. The question part of the pageant did not scare me as I always respond with honesty. I believe my willpower and sincerity won me the crown. The best part is that I can make my parents proud,” Anchilee said. 

When asked about being ready to compete on the world stage in December at the Miss Universe 2021 pageant in Eilat city, Israel, Anchilee voiced confidence that she is ready, but would like the improve her stage walk. 

The new beauty queen said she has less than three weeks to prepare, but is confident of her ability to bring the prestigious international crown home.

Source: The Nation Thailand, Oct. 25, 2021


Interview With Svetlana Mamaeva - Miss World Canada 2021

 Watch my interview with Svetlana Mamaeva, who is representing Canada in Miss World 2021 to be held in Puerto Rico on December 16. 


Interview With Nathalie Yasmin Mogbelzada - Miss Grand Netherlands 2021


Watch my zany interview with Nathalie Yasmin Mogbelzada, Miss Grand Netherlands 2021. She will compete in Miss Grand International 2021 pageant to be held in Phuket, Thailand on December 4. Click the banner to go to the link.


Feminist Group Sues Miss France

Miss France, the country’s 101-year-old beauty pageant, is being sued by a feminist activist group over alleged discriminatory entry requirements.

An appeal has been filed against the pageant’s parent company, Endemol Production, by Osez le féminisme (Dare to be feminist), who in a news statement issued on Tuesday said Miss France contestants perform a work service and therefore should be protected from prejudice under French employment law.

Discrimination against employees on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, family situation or genetic characteristics is considered unlawful in France. A 2021 application form for the national beauty pageant revealed candidates would not be considered if they were not at least 5-foot-5, or if they had ever been married or had children.  

                              Miss Guadeloupe Clemence Botino, Miss France 2020. - Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images

Further disqualifiers for potential contestants include wearing weaves or hair extensions, having tattoos and smoking. The application also asks for clothing size, and it requests that prospective beauty queens do not undergo any major physical changes after they are accepted into the competition. Failing to comply could land the contestant with a 5,000-euro ($5,822) fine, according to Miss France’s terms and conditions.

While the mission statement of the competition is to find “the young woman most representative of beauty and elegance,” the strict registration requirements mean contenders for the crown are somewhat limited.

“Beyond exploiting women for economic gain, this contest, through the violations of the law of which it is guilty, has a negative and retrograde impact on the whole of society,” wrote Osez le féminisme in its news statement. “It is high time Endemol Production finally removes all sexist clauses from its regulations.”

Miss France and Endemol Productions have not responded to CNN’s request for comment.

Alyssa Ahrabare, the head of Osez le féminisme, wrote on social media that Miss France currently “feeds stereotypes that stand in the way of equality.”

“The competition rules are discriminatory: marital status, age, attitudes, choices of women, everything is subject to injunctions from another time! Candidates must be single and respect the rules of “elegance”, stop these sexist rules!” she added.

Suzanne Angly, Miss France 1969, posing in a bathing suit. The competition began in 1920. - AFP/Getty Images

This is not the first time in recent years that the pageant world has been criticized for its outdated codes of conduct and culture. In 2013, France decided to ban competitions for children under 16 over concerns of promoting the hyper-sexualization of minors. But few countries followed suit, despite an accruing number of petitions. In 2018, model Veronika Didusenko had her Miss Ukraine title revoked when organizers found out she was a mother. Miss India came under scrutiny, too, in 2019 for perpetuating colorism by exclusively choosing fair-skinned contestants. And earlier this year, Miss United States of America (a separate pageant to Miss USA) won the right to ban transgender women from competing.

While there have been some instances of positive change – in 2019, Zozibini Tunzi became the first Black woman with natural hair to win Miss Universe, and last year India crowned their third Miss Transqueen – progress is often clouded by pageantry’s controversial history.

Yet appetite for beauty contests, at least in France, appears to be on the up. Miss France 2021, which aired December 2020, received the best television ratings since 2006 with 8.6 million viewers tuning in to watch the crowning, according to local reports. The next Miss France competition is set to take place December 11.

Source: CNN, 10/20/2021

Miss Universe Colombia 2021


Valeria Ayos, representing Cartagena, has just been crowned Miss Universe Colombia 2021 and will now represent her country at Miss Universe 2021 pageant in Eilat, Israel in December. Valeria was Miss Earth Water 2018.  

The first runner-up is Maria Alejandra Lopez of Risaralda and the second runner-up is Franselys Santoya Ariza of Bolivar.


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Miss South Africa 2021 Crowned



Lalela Mswane has been crowned Miss South Africa 2021 during the competition’s finale at the Grand West Casino in Cape Town.

She beat nine other finalists from around the country to clinch the title. The 24-year-old from KwaSokhulu near Richards Bay KwaZulu-Natal.

She is a model and dancer that also holds a Bachelor of Law qualification from the University of Pretoria.

The arena roared with excited and ululations as Mswane was crowned Miss SA 2021.

The event was hosted at the GrandWest Sun Arena in the mother city, Cape Town. Amongst the Top 3 finalists were also Moratwe Masima, a medical doctor from Sandton, currently conducting her internship at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg, as well as Zimi Mabunzi, a final year law student who will also be representing South Africa at the world’s most prestigious pageants.

Lalela stated that she would love to use the platform to shine the light on issues of unemployment and its eradication.

“As Miss South Africa, 2021 I want to use the platform to not only shine light on this issue, unemployment, but also seek solutions to help its reduction. It is time that we picked ourselves up, we embraced our futures and created our own tables as opposed to waiting for the allocation of seats. Mine is to focus on unemployment and economic empowerment of our youth. Let us empower our youth, so they can secure their economic futures.”

The 24-year-old who hails from KZN, holds a degree in law and is also a passionate dancer.

The newly-crowned Miss SA will be taking home prizes estimated at R4 million, which include a cash lumpsum of R1 million.

The runners up will be taking home a lump sum of R175 000 each.

Wonderful performances were rendered on stage from the amazing sounds of Zakes Bantwini as the contestants walked on stage in their ravishing swimwear, followed by the astounding voice of Joyous Celebration vocalist, Ntokozo Mbambo backed by internationally acclaimed “Ndlovu Youth Choir”.

Amongst distinguished guests was Miss Universe 1976, Margaret Garner, Miss South Africa 1994, Basetsana Khumalo, while Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray was a backstage presenter alongside Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi. – By Ziyanda Yono

Source: SABCNews.com, 10/16/2021


United Arab Emirates Debuts At Miss Universe Pageant


Andrea Meza, Miss Universe 2020 from Mexico. Courtesy of AFP.

For the first time, a beauty queen selected from the UAE will represent the nation

at the global Miss Universe contest to be held in Israel in December.

"Any woman UAE resident of any nationality between the ages of 18 and 28 can participate. We are looking at diversity and we want them to represent the spirit of this nation," said Josh Yugen, Founder and CEO of Yugen Events and the new President and National Director of The Miss Universe UAE.

The contest, to be held at La Perle, Al Habtoor City on November 7, will not feature a swimwear round. Instead there will be a fashion couture round, led by celebrated Filipino designer Furne One who has dressed up the likes of Beyonce.

The winner will represent the UAE on a global stage at the Miss Universe contest in Israel.

“I never want to put this Miss Universe pageant in a box. It’s not just about beauty or just a celebration of intelligence, it’s about their heart … The contest is open to all women belonging to all nationalities,” said Yugen.

Asked if beauty contests are reductive, the team behind the Miss Universe UAE vehemently claimed that this is not a beauty pageant in the traditional sense of the term.

“Dubai and Abu Dhabi are known to doing things differently and for making everything impossible seem possible … We have even eliminated swimwear because an identity of a woman is beyond the parameters of her sculpture … We have changed and made a difference and have done something that nobody in 70 years of Miss Universe history has done,” said Sharihan Al Mashary, Head of Communications for the contest.

Former beauty queen Maggie Wilson, who was a part of this reveal, said that the concept of pageants is evolving.

“Earlier there was this mould of what a beauty queen should be. She must have long hair, have a svelte figure, and must be five foot nine inches tall. But now it’s no longer about one mold fits all,” said Wilson. And why not wear a power suit instead of an evening gown, she adds.

Source: Gulf News, 10/7/2021

Interview With Capri Quattrocchi - The Miss Globe USA 2021


Watch my interview with Capri Quattrocchi, The Miss Globe USA 2021, who will represent the United States at The Miss Globe 2021 pageant to be held in Albania in November.


Miss Bahamas Universe 2021 Crowned


I am so ecstatic that Chantel O’Brian has been crowned Miss Bahamas Universe 2021 on October 3. I have been following Chantel’s journey since I judged the Miss World Bahamas 2015 pageant which she won, as well as the Miss Critical Beauty Bahamas award. I’ve always believed that she deserves to represent the Bahamas at Miss Universe and lo and behold - she will!

In the nearly 50 years that the Bahamas has been competing in Miss Universe, the country has never placed, although it won two Miss Congeniality awards (1981, 2001) and a Miss Photogenic award (1982). Bahamian women are some of the prettiest and fiercest contestants, and I am puzzled as to why the country has never placed. I deeply hope that the stars will be aligned for Chantel to bring the Bahamas its first placement.

Chantel has shown the world what determination, tenacity, perseverance and faith is all about. Congratulations, Chantel!

Text by Rafa Delfin, 10/5/2021

Photo credits: Chantal O'Brian Facebook


Philippines Wins Miss Aura International 2021

Miss Philippines Alexandra Faith Garcia was crowned Miss Aura International 2021 during a competition held in Antalya, Turkey last Sunday night (Monday morning in Manila).

This is the first time that the Philippines has participated in the 15-year-old international pageant. Established in 2006, the contest was formerly known as Miss Kremer International.

“We did it, Philippines! Your Miss Aura International 2021,” wrote Garcia on social media.

Other winners were Miss Romania Alexandra Stroe, 1st runner-up; Miss Ukraine Katerina Pidkopai, 2nd runner-up; Miss Colombia Maria Del Mar Meza, 3rd runner-up; and Miss France Cassandra de Soussa, 4th runner-up.

The Miss Aura International Philippines Organization initially planned to hold a national pageant, but due to time constraints and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they opted to hold a special screening.

After considering the international pageant’s requirements and qualifications, Alexandra was chosen as the inaugural Philippine representative. During the final selection process, she won the nod of the organization as she fits the 4Bs qualifications that the international pageant is looking for – Beauty, Behavior, Brain, and Body.

Garcia, from Olongapo City, is no stranger to beauty pageants as she had participated in several national pageants since 2012. She joined Miss Silka Philippines 2013, Mutya ng Pilipinas 2014, Reyna ng Aliwan 2015 and Bb. Pilipinas 2016 and 2020/2021 editions.

The 16th edition of Miss Aura International has been scheduled to take place from Sept. 20 to Oct. 5, 2021 at Rixos Sungate Resorts, Antalya City, Turkey. Organized by Turkish business tycoon Adnan Seker, more than 40 countries and territories are expected to compete for the crown. Portugal’s Andreia Correia is the reigning winner.

Source: Manila Bulletin, 10/4/2021


My Review And Recap of Miss Universe Philippines 2021


Watch my review and recap of Miss Universe Philippines 2021 that took place on September 30 in Panglao, Bohol. Click the banner to enter the link.