Yukimi Matsuo, 25, from Mie prefecture was crowned Miss Universe Japan 2013 at the Kokusai forum in Tokyo on March 4th. She will represent Japan at the Miss Universe pageant to be held later in the year.
LIZ KRANZ, Miss New Mexico Teen USA 2007 who placed in Top 15 of Miss Teen USA 2007
She’s pretty shady.
That’s according to a new lawsuit filed by a Manhattan hedge-funder who claims his ex-beauty-queen girlfriend took him for a $96,000 ride during and after their brief relationship.
Rishi Bajaj, 33, says he opened his heart, then his wallet, to Miss New Mexico Teen USA 2007 Liz Kranz after she told him she was considering selling her eggs to raise cash for a relative in rehab.
The sob story got the beauty a $20,000 loan from Bajaj, he claims in a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit. Bajaj, who co-manages the $620 million hedge fund Altai Capital, then told Kranz, 24, to pick out a car for the couple to share — and was “surprised” when she selected a 2012 BMW that came with a $17,070 down payment.
They met in July 2012 and dated for “several months,” even vacationing together in Italy, where, Bajaj said in court papers, he let Kranz use his American Express card.
Kranz, of the Lower East Side, was also allowed to use Bajaj’s AmEx to buy a dress for a wedding they attended.
Bajaj and Kranz, who lived briefly in LA, eventually broke up. There were “disagreements about their remaining obligations to each other,” Bajaj said in court papers.
He claims the pageant queen kept her hands on his credit card and racked up tens of thousands in charges. Kranz — who proclaimed in her pageant days that she was “so proud of being chosen Miss Congeniality two years running” — plunked down thousands of dollars at shops including Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstroms and Helmut Lang, court papers allege.
She’s accused of spending $1,500 in one October visit to Barney’s in New York, $11,000 at Croft House, an LA furniture store, and $6,800 at Design Within Reach.
She has returned the BMW and allegedly blew off an agreement to repay her debts in installments, Bajaj alleges.
In all, Bajaj claims Kranz spent $58,860 on his credit card over three months last year. In a November letter, his lawyer accused her of “theft, fraud and other egregious misconduct” and demanded she repay the full $58,860 in credit-card purchases.
He wants the court to force Kranz to repay him at least $40,000 of the credit-card charges as well as the $20,000 loan and the BMW down payment plus an $1,853.73 late fee.
Now dating mixed-martial-arts hunk Max McGarr, Kranz did not respond to requests for comment.
Source: The New York Post, March 3, 2013
Kranz (center) poses with contestants Kelsey Brigel (left) and Alyssa Campanella (right).
Constanza Báez, 22, was crowned Miss Ecuador 2013 during a televised gala at the Teatro Centro Cívico Eloy Alfaro in Guayaquil on March 8th. She will compete in Miss Universe 2013.
The first runner-up and winner of the title Miss Ecuador International was Nathaly Arroba who will compete in Miss International 2013. The second runner-up and winner of the title Miss Ecuador Supranational was Giuliana Villavicencio who will compete in Miss Supranational 2013.
The World Before Her chronicles the clash between a modern India and fundamentalist Hindu religious values
TORONTO, ON, Mar. 15, 2013/ Troy Media/ – On March 24, the Miss India pageant will be seen by close to one billion television viewers worldwide. It is an incredibly popular spectacle: glamorous, vibrant, and sexy. It is also the target of vigorous protest and scorn.
Two years ago, the pageant was filmed by Canadian director Nisha Pahuja and her crew. The resulting documentary is The World Before Her, a powerful film that continues to make waves almost a year after its world premiere.
When Pahuja first conceived of this documentary, she imagined that it would focus squarely on the Miss India pageant. Following the 20 competitors, it would explore the individual women’s aspirations and the larger changes India is undergoing. That would have been a fascinating film in itself. But, luckily for viewers, the film that emerged is about so much more.
In a recent phone interview, Pahuja said that as she learned more about the Miss India pageant and the opposition to it she “realized the film was about nationalism and how women’s bodies were being used to create different ideas of what India should be.”
The final film, then, is about the clash between two extreme factions, each fighting for its very specific ideal of womanhood. On one side are the Miss India competitors, symbolizing a modern India – one of capitalism and globalization. And on the other are the members of the women’s organization Durga Vahini, symbolizing a traditional India – one of fundamentalist Hindu religious values.
Both sides are well represented by compellingly human subjects: articulate, sympathetic, and flawed. In Bombay, we meet several women who are competing for the title of Miss India, including Ruhi, who is focused, optimistic, and beautiful. In Aurangabad, we meet Prachi, who is fierce, determined, and smart. While these two sides never encounter one another on screen, their ideological fight is the explicit tension in the film.
At first, I felt that both Ruhi and Prachi were feminists in their own right and that the sides they personified simply had different ideas of how women’s equality is best achieved. When I saw the Miss India contestants wearing bikinis, short shorts, and glitzy evening gowns, I initially believed – as it seems they do – that these garments were evidence of women’s freedom in modern India. Then, when I saw Prachi wearing traditional garb but exhibiting an uncompromising strength of character and certainty of belief, I began to wonder if hers was the demonstration of true freedom.
As the film unfolds, we go much deeper than these surface impressions. We see the Miss India contestants at beauty boot camp, where they spend a month posing in photo shoots, getting Botox injections, and attending lectures on grooming practices. And we see the girls and women in Durga Vahini’s militant training camp, where they are taught to follow orders, eschew education, and prepare for marriage (not to mention shoot rifles and break Christian and Muslim collarbones).
Slowly, it becomes clear that these two sides aren’t that different. “These women who inhabit two seemingly opposite worlds – are a mirror,” says Pahuja. “And I wanted to hold up that mirror and have everyone recognize themselves in it.” We see that the two are simply reflections of one another. These women are on two different paths within the same big cage: a cage created by men’s unfair and unobtainable ideals of womanhood.
Although this became clear over the course of the film, little else did. The more I watched, the less I understood. This experience – which Pahuja says is common for many viewers – is patterned on her experience while making the film. “At every moment when I thought I’d figured someone or something out there would be a turn and I’d realize I hadn’t solved anything. One day it dawned on me, ‘the enigma is the point of the film.’” This wasn’t the case only for the subjects of the film, but also for India itself: “At every stage, you think you have it figured out and yet you don’t. Because that’s India. It’s constantly contradicting itself. There are no easy answers here, only conflict and a country trying to figure out what it’s going to be.”
It’s this conflict, this country, and Pahuja’s skilful and unwavering depiction of both that make The World Before Her such a compelling film.
Title:The World Before Her Director:Nisha Pahuja Producers: Ed Barreveld, Cornelia Principe, and Nisha Pahuja Production Company: Storyline Entertainment Running Time: 90 minutes Where to see the doc: In various film festivals and on iTunes
Troy Media Columnist Chanda Chevannes is a documentary filmmaker, writer, and member of the Documentary Organization of Canada. Her latest film is Living Downstream, an award-winning documentary about the links between cancer and environment. www.livingdownstream.com
Miss Nepal World Ishani Shrestha (middle), first runner up Rojisha Shahi (Miss Nepal Earth 2013) and Miss Nepal International 2013 Shritima Shah posing for a photo after winning the coveted crown held in Kamaladi, Kathmandu, on Wednesday, March 20, 2013. Photo: Naresh Shrestha
Ishani Shrestha was crowned Fanta The Hidden Treasure Miss Nepal 2013 in Kathmandu on March 20.
Chief Judge Former Chief Secretary Tirtha Man Shakya asked the top five beauties, “What do you prefer — nuclear family or joint family?” Shrestha won the hearts of the judges and the audience with her answer, “I prefer joint family. Growing up in a joint family has taught me to be a people’s person. It has taught me to use my lips for kindness, my vision for passion, my ears for help, hands for charity and heart for love. My joint family has taught me great morals and values that I will hold for the rest of my life. It has made me become the strong, reliable, humble, helpful and independent woman that I am today. That is why I prefer joint family.”
During the grand finale, she was graceful, elegant and walked with confidence. She truly shone at the show. After the win, the 21 year old beauty from Naxal, Kathmadu, was “happy and speechless”. She expressed that it was her hard work and belief that won her the coveted crown. She was in tears.
There was uncertainty regarding the final winner but it was predictable after the last question and answer round. And Palita Thapa from the audience agreed on the final choice.
“She is beautiful and the height is in accordance to the international level. And her last answer was great,” she points out.
Meanwhile, Shritima Shah was titled Miss Nepal International 2013 and Rojisha Shahi was crowned Miss Nepal Earth 2013 at the event.
Shahi couldn’t believe she won while Shah was “happy and excited”.
The event started on time with the introduction round. The girls took to the stage all looking fabulous in gowns and traditional wear. And they were judged by Miss Nepal 2011 Malina Joshi, Managing Director of Bottlers Nepal Salman Latif Rawn, Director of Public Relations and Publicity Department of Nepal Tourism Board Aditya Baral, Dr Aarati Shah among others.
Annapurna Post was the official media partner of the event and THT Live was the official voting partner.
Other winners • The Hidden Treasure Miss Talent 2013: Sipora Gurung
• Shree Ganapati Jewellers Miss Photogenic 2013: Shritima Shah
• Professional Education Miss Personality 2013: Samikshya Shrestha
• Sulux Miss Punctuality 2013: Meghna Shrestha
• Annapurna Post Fanta Miss Bubbly: Ashmita Sitoula
• Shoe Land Miss Best Walk 2013: Ishani Shrestha
• Society Travels Miss Beautiful Smile 2013: Riju Shrestha \SOURCE: The Himalayan Times, 3/20/2013
Israel is only 65 years old, but the Miss Israel pageant has occurred each of the past 63 years. Aynaw is the first Ethiopian to win the pageant. She made a significant impression on judges (and the world, obviously) when she told them she should win because it was time for a black woman to hold the title.
Her crowning in February came amidst ongoing protests of discrimination against Israel's Ethiopian community. In January of this year, Israeli officials admitted to administering contraceptive shots to Ethiopian women without their consent, which many activists blame for the 50% decline in the Israeli Ethiopian community's birthrate.
Thousands of Ethiopians were airlifted to Israel in 1984 and 1991 to escape civil war, but Aynaw's grandparents moved there in 2000. She went to live with them in March 2003 at age 12 following the death of her mother, who had become suddenly ill (her father passed away when she was a year old, but she doesn't know of what causes).
When she got to Israel, Aynaw didn't speak a word of Hebrew, but she became fluent in it at her Jewish boarding school in Haifa. In an excellent recent profile of the beauty queen, Tablet describes her Hebrew now as "accentless and expressive." Though pageant contestants typically compete using Hebrew names, Aynaw chose not to. "Yitayish" translates to "look," or "looking toward the future," Aynaw told Tablet — in Amharic.
On Thursday, Aynaw met President Obama at the state dinner hosted by Israel's president Shimon Peres.
The White House invited her upon learning she was the first black immigrant to win the Miss Israel title.
Aynaw told the BBC, "I was influenced and inspired by Obama. Like him, I was also raised by my grandmother. Nothing was handed to me on a plate, and like him I also had to work very hard and long to achieve things in my life. To this day he inspires me just as he inspires the rest of the world."
Three new Czech queens for 2013 were crowned Saturday night in Prague. From left to right: Lucie Kovandová is Miss Czech Republic World and will compete in Miss World 2013, Gabriela Kratochvílová is Miss Czech Republic and will compete in Miss Universe 2013, and Monika Leová is Miss Czech Republic Earth and will compete in Miss Earth 2013.
The gala event was graced by Italian actress Ornella Muti who announced the winner of Miss Czech Republic and by the current Miss Earth Tereza Fajksová who assisted in the coronation of Miss Czech Republic Earth. Two months ago, Fajksová accompanied all ten finalists for an adventurous trip to the Philippines as part of their pre-pageant activities.
Navneet Kaur Dhillon, 20 (center), the daughter of an army officer from Patiala, was crowned Miss India 2013 Sunday night. She will represent India in Miss World 2013 pageant to be held in Indonesia this September. The first runner-up was Sobhita Dhulipala (right) of Visakhapatnam who will compete in Miss Earth 2013. And the second runner-up is Zoya Afroz (left) who will compete in Miss International 2013.
This year's pageant, held at Yashraj Studios, Andheri, marked a double milestone, given that 2013 celebrates the centenary of Indian cinema as well as the 50th year of the Miss India contest. In this span of time, India has won 34 international titles — second only to Venezuela.
Host Manish Paul opened the evening with a nostalgic audiovisual tracing the golden history of the contest. From Nutan, Meher Castelino Mistry, Persis Khambatta and Zeenat Aman, down to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sushmita Sen and Priyanka Chopra, the winners have done the country proud.
A national live television audience will watch the crowning of the next Miss America in Atlantic City later this fall, Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday.
Eight years after relocating to Las Vegas, the pageant will return to the resort where it originated and culminate in the crowning of the new winner on Sunday Sept. 15, Christie said, adding the day also is his wife’s birthday. The pageant will be broadcast live on ABC, he said.
The final night of the contest will be preceded by 13 days of events, including the signature “Show Us Your Shoes” parade and three nights of preliminary competitions at Boardwalk Hall, Christie said.
Financial terms of the agreement between the state and pageant officials are expected to be approved at the next Casino Reinvestment Development Authority on April 16.
Critical Beauty's very own Héctor Joaquín Colón González has been hired by a Colombian TV company, Fox Telecombia, to appear in a new reality show featuring former beauty queens who will be competing with each other for the crown. Héctor Joaquín will be coaching and preparing the ladies for the competition, and he will also judge them on the finals. The show is based in Bogotá. Due to confidentiality, neither the title of the show nor the names of the contestants have been revealed.
We are very happy for Hector Joaquin's new assignment and we wish him the best of luck!
Last week, Héctor Joaquín was interviewed in Spanish by renowned Puerto Rican journalist Julio Nuñez in "Como Cosa Mia" where HJ talks about his passion for pageantry.
For the first time since 1978, the young woman crowned “Miss Tunisia” this Saturday will participate in the Miss World competition held September 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia, Miss Tunisia National President Aida Antar said today on Mosaique FM.
Sondes Zammouri, one of the contestants for Miss Tunisia.
Fourteen women are competing for the title and each must propose a humanitarian project based in Tunisia. For example, Miss Gabes is putting forth an initiative that would tackle pollution in her home region, where there is a great deal of manufacturing activity, Antar said.
In order to qualify for the competition, applicants must be Tunisian citizens, between the ages of 17 and 25, at least 1.7 meters tall, single, and have at least a high school diploma, according to the Miss Tunisia website. This year’s competition began March 16 and participants have been featured in a reality TV program following their experiences.
Although only the winner of Miss Tunisia will go to Miss World in Jakarta, runners-up will also compete in other pageants. The first runner-up will be sent to Miss International; the second runner-up will go to Miss Earth; the third runner-up will compete in Miss Mediterranean; and the fourth runner-up will be sent to Miss Arab World.
Sancler Frantz, 21, was crowned Miss Brasil World 2013 Saturday night at Portobelo & Safari Resort in Mangalore, Rio de Janeiro.She will compete in Miss World 2013 in Septembner. The new Miss Brasil World received her crown from Miss Brasil World 2012 Mariana Notarangelo.
Second place went to Miss Espírito Santo World, Raquel Benetti, and third place went to Miss Santa Catarina World, Thainara Latenik. The pageant was attended by the reigning Miss World from China Wenxia Yu who, on April 1st, was detained by Brazilian authorities at Rio's international airport for not having a visa to enter the country. She was forced to take a flight back to London and to request the Brazilian embassy in London to approve a visa. Finally, she was able to enter Brazil legally on April 3rd.
The new Mister Brazil 2013 is Reinaldo Augusto Dalcin, 27 (center), representing Ilhas do Delta do Jacuí, who was crowned last night at Portobello Resort & Safari near Rio de Janeiro. He will compete in the next Mr. World contest. The first runner-up is Mister Santa Catarina, Diego Novicki (left) and 2nd runner-up is Mister Rio Grande do Sul, Jhonatan Marko (right).
The new Miss Thailand World 2013 is Kanyapak Poksomboon who was crowned April 9 in Bangkok. She will compete in Miss World 2013 to be held in Indonesia in September. The 1st runner-up is Racha Rakkaphan and the 2nd runner-up is Sukonnij Methangsuwej.
Miss Peru 2008 Karol Castillo has died of cardiac arrest in Australia. She was 23. Castillo competed in Miss Universe 2008 pageant held in Vietnam. She had traveled to Australia three weeks ago be part of the staff in preparing contestants for the Miss Teen Australia pageant, according to Diego Alcade Sangalli, a pageant coach who had traveled with Castillo. Sangalli, who had always known that Castillo had heart problems, discovered the ex-beauty queen dead in her bed.
Mary Ann Sarmiento, Miss Peru 1953, has died at the age of 77. She was Peru's first representative in the Miss Universe pageant. In the last few years, she had been living alone in a wooden house in the city of Miraflores, destitute, depressed and suffering from alcoholism. During her prime, she was courted by prominent suitors including the King of Spain. She was once dubbed as "la novia del Perú” ("Peru's sweetheart"). She married Rafael Graña, 17 years her senior and with whom she had three children. The couple divorced only after seven years of marriage. Many said that the divorce was the beginning of Sarmiento's slippery slope.
Laksmi Rodríguez, 27, a former Miss Venezuela International 2009, is in stable condition in a Caracas clinic after surviving a gunshot wound to the chest while she was getting home last Thursday night accompanied by a male friend, Elias Jimad Webber, 23. Webber, who received gunshots in the chin and the neck, did not survive.
The incident happened as such: Webber, who was driving a Fortuner truck, was dropping off Rodriguez at her house. Suddenly, a Chrysler Neon sedan stopped in front of the truck, two armed men got off the car and ordered the couple to get out of the truck. When Webber tried to escape, the armed men shot the pair. Despite his serious wounds, Webber was still able to drive to the clinic. The pair was rushed to the emergency unit and told the authorities what had happened. Webber suffered a respiratory failure and eventually died.
Source: El Nacional, Caracas, 4/11/2013
Laksmi Rodriguez represented the state of Monagas in Miss Venezuela 2009 pageant
Ariella Arida of Laguna reacts as 2012 Miss Universe 1st runner-up Janine Tugonon turns over the crown to her last night at the Bb. Pilipinas pageant at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao. - (Photos by Dexter Rodrigo Matilla)
MANILA, Philippines – Ariella Arida describes herself as just an average person but for the next 365 days, she’ll be anything but as she is now Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2013.
The 24-year-old Arida brought home the crown last night at the culmination of the 50th year of Bb. Pilipinas at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao and will represent the Philippines in this year’s Miss Universe pageant.
Arida, who also won the Best in Swimsuit Award, hails from Laguna and has a Chemistry degree at the University of the Philippines. She enjoys sports including volleyball, swimming, and running, having finished a 21K recently. She considers 2010 Miss Universe 4th runner up Venus Raj as her idol.
Twenty-three year-old Bea Santiago brought home the Bb. Pilipinas-International title while Nueva Ecija’s Joana Cindy Miranda is Bb. Pilipinas-Tourism. Bb. Pilpinas-Supranational went to Johanna Datul of Isabela. Pia Wurtzbach of Cagayan de Oro was named first runner-up.
First runner-up Pia Wurtzbach, Bb. Pilipinas-Tourism Joana Cindy Miranda, Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2013 Ariella Arida, Bb. Pilipinas-International Bea Santiago, and Bb. Pilipinas-Supranational Johanna Datul.
Rounding up the top 15 are Grace Yann Apuad, Maria Angelica de Leon, Charmaine Elima, Rhea Nakpil, Amanda Noelle Navasero, Camille Carla Nazar, Ellore Noelle Punzalan, Imelda Schweighart, Merry Joyce Respicio, and Parul Shah.
The event was hosted by Martin Nievera and Dawn Zulueta. Judges of the pageant were ABS-CBN Chairman Gabby Lopez, Cabinet Secretary of the Philippines Rene Almendras, Chilean Ambassador Roberto Mayorga, Italian Ambassador Massimo Roscigno, Boy Abunda, Hirofumi Hashimoto, Louis Ng of Macau, Philippine National Police Director General Allan Purisima, Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz, James Younghusband, and Liliana Marquez Zawadsky.
The new Miss Slovakia 2013 (Miss Slovak Republic) is Karolina Chomistekova, a 19-year old student of Business Management from Oravský Podzámok, who was crownedduring the annual event held in Bratislava on April 14th. She will represent Slovakia in Miss World 2013 pageant to be held in Indonesia this September.
The 1st runner-up is Luciána Čvirková, who will compete in Miss International in October. The 2nd runner-up is Nikoleta Duchoňová.
Gabrielle Shaw, a 19-year-old beauty from Wrexham, was crowned Miss Wales 2013 in front of a packed auditorium at St. David’s Hall on April 13th. She will compete in the63rd Miss Worldcontest in September to be held in Indonesia. She was crowned by Miss World Europe (and Miss World 2012 1st runner-up) Sophie Moulds.