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Beauty With Attitude

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  • 05/28/14--19:21: New Turkey queens for 2014

  • Four new Turkish queens for 2014 were crowned during the annual event held at the Star TV Studios in Istanbul on May 27th. The big winner was Amine Gülşe (sitting on the throne), 21, who was crowned Miss Turkey World 2014 and will compete in Miss World 2014 to be held in London on December 14th. The 1st runner-up, Dilan Cicek Deniz, 19, was crowned Miss Turkey Universe 2014. The 2nd runner-up, Aybüke Pusat, was crowned Miss Turkey Earth 2014 and will compete in Miss Earth 2014. Lastly, the 3rd runner-up, Gizem Koçak, was crowned Miss Turkey International 2014 and will compete in Miss International 2014.

    Amine Gülşe 
    Dilan Cicek Deniz

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    The 51 contestants and Erin Brady, Miss USA 2013, onstage at the 2014 Miss USA Welcome Event & Reception at Capitol Park Museum, a Louisiana State Museum, on Thursday, May 29, 2014. They will spend the next two weeks touring, filming, rehearsing, and preparing to compete for the title of Miss USA 2014. The final telecast will air on June 8, 2014 LIVE on NBC at 8/7c from The Baton Rouge River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. HO/Miss Universe Organization L.P., LLLP

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    Jasmine Stringer, the reigning Miss Teenager Universe, has resigned because of bullying.

    Organizers in Guatemala “bullied” her financially, she says.

    Stringer had fullfilled all her commitments until Miss Teenager Australia organizers Mark Williams and Thelma Rodriguez decided not the hold their competition this year because they’ve moved from Australia to Miami for work.

    International organizers then told Jasmine, who is 17, that she would have to find her own Australian contestant, pay their entry fee, and also pay her own way to Guatemala, where this year’s competition is to be held. That’s despite her contract including a return trip to the contest where she was to crown her successor.

    “If you cannot follow he (sic) crown you must give the title to first runner up and in this way we will make a formal statement to publicise the news,” organizer Walter Guillen told her in an email

    “If you want to follow with the title of Miss Teenager 2013 and come to Guatemala to deliver your crown and receive the second part of the award, you must pay $2000 USD to the organisation Miss Teenager Pageant.”

    Jasmine says that she was supposed to get $4,000 in prize money but has only received $2,000. 

    “When I first entered the pageant, my main cause was to make a stand against Cyber bullying however, for the past 3 months I have been bullied by the Miss Teenager Universe organisation run by Toni Berganza in Guatemala who has sent me threats and ultimatums involving finances which as a 17 year old I do not have,” she said in a statement.

    “I have represented as Miss Teenager Universe at an exceptional level expected of a beauty queen but unfortunately the organisation has not shown me any respect in return. 

    “Under the guidance of my former National Director Thelma Rodriguez, I have made the decision to resign from this role as I do not wish to be associated with an organisation that is so unprofessional and bullies their teenage queens. 

    “I would highly recommend that teenage girls from around the world do their own research before entering a contest.”

    The Australian organizers issued a statement of support, saying that the “bullying” of her is “very unprofessional.”

    “I had to put emotion and business into very different categories because they were trying to intertwine the two to get me to do what they wanted, which is morally so wrong,” Jasmine told the Gold Coast Bulletin. 

    “Putting myself and my emotions aside, I would like the world to recognise that this is my way of encouraging teenagers to speak up if something’s not right and take a stand for what they believe in. “Beauty contests should not be focused on outer beauty alone, but more on using your title to make a difference.”

    Jasmine is now modeling in Thailand.

    SOURCE:, 5/28/2014

    Related article: 

    Miss Teenager Universe, 17, gives up her crown after being 'bullied' into finding her successor and paying to fly to Guatemala out of her own pocket 

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  • 05/31/14--14:10: Miss Seychelles 2014

  • Camilla Estico was crowned Miss Seychelles 2014 last night at the new Savoy Resort and Spa at Beau Vallon. She also won the Miss Talent and Miss Photogenic awards. 
    The First Princess was Lisa Rose and the Second Princess was Marvel Godley.
    Twelve young women competed in this year's pageant. Estico will represent the Seychelles in 2014 Miss World pageant to be held in London on December 14th. 

    Photo credit: Miss Seychelles Organization

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  • 05/31/14--14:19: Miss Costa Rica 2014

  • Karina Ramos, a 20 year-old student of Public Relations, was crowned Miss Costa Rica 2014 last night at Teletica's Marco Picado Studio in San Jose. She will represent her country in Miss Universe 2014 later this year. Runners-up for the Miss Costa Rica 2014 title were Carolina Rodríguez, 24, and Carolina Arias, 24.  

    Photo credit:

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    Tibetan contestant Tenzin Yangzom from Sikkim will be crowned Miss Tibet 2014 here June 8, an event organiser said here Tuesday. Yangzom won the pageant unopposed.
    "We received eight applications for this year's pageant. Five were confirmed, but four withdrew at the last minute citing personal reasons," pageant director-producer Lobsang Wangyal told IANS.
    "Since the Miss Tibet Pageant is to empower young Tibetan women, we see it important to respect and appreciate the commitment and enthusiasm of the lone contestant," he added.
    It is the fourth time that the pageant has seen only one contestant for the crown. This is the second consecutive year with only one contestant, and this occurred in two earlier editions in 2003 and 2005.
    Yangzom, 23, had prepared well and was ready for the competition. After she was informed that she was the only contestant she wondered why the others dropped out, and why there were not more contestants.
    She has recently completed her B.Ed from Bangalore. She is multi-lingual and likes dancing, basketball, singing, painting and photography.
    "Miss Tibet can voice the worsening human rights situation in Tibet through national and international forums and gain worldwide support," she said.
    The Miss Tibet contest started in 2002, amid mixed response from the exiles. Since then it's held every year, except in 2012 owing to large number of self-immolations in Tibet over China's harsh measures.
    Many, including the government-in-exile, opposed the pageant and held it to be against Tibetan tradition.
    The Miss Tibet pageant faces even Chinese's ire, as winners participate in international pageants.
    Despite that, the pageant has gained huge popularity among the exiled Tibetans.
    Wangyal said: "The winners of the contest have represented Tibet internationally - twice winning Miss Earth in the Philippines and Miss Asia Pacific World once.
    Miss Tibet 2011 Tenzin Yangkyi participated in the Miss Asia Pacific World - 2011 in South Korea, whereas Miss Tibet 2006 Tsering Chungtak and Miss Tibet 2007 Tenzin Dolma participated in Miss Earth in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
    Wangyal said due to stiff pressure by the Chinese the Miss Asia Pacific World organisers had to change Yangkyi's sash from Miss Tibet to Miss Swiss-Tibet.
    Nineteen-year-old Yangkyi is a Swiss citizen.
    In a similar incident, Chungtak withdrew from the Miss Tourism Pageant in Malaysia in 2007 after the Chinese government representatives pressured the organisers to enter her as Miss Tibet-China.
    Even Dolma was asked to wear a Miss Tibet-China sash in the Philippines in 2008, but she refused. Eventually she was allowed to go ahead with the Miss Tibet sash.
    In 2011, the pageant saw the highest number of six participants.
    India is home to around 100,000 Tibetans.

    Source:, June 3, 2014
    Photo credits: Miss Tibet Facebook page

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        On June 8 in Baton Rouge, the new Miss USA will be crowned. The winner will represent the U.S. in the 2014 Miss Universe pageant whose date and venue have not yet been confirmed. After having viewed all the videos (Road To The Crown, Hot Seat) - sadly, there was no live streaming of the prelims this year - after having read the bios, seen all the glam shots and personal pics on the Miss USA website and on the candidates' social network, and compared notes with pageant fans from all walks of life, we have concluded that the winner will emerge from this group of 20 formidable, beautiful and articulate young women. Here they are in alphabetical order:

    ALABAMA - Jesica Ahlberg
    CALIFORNIA - Casssandra Kunze
    FLORIDA - Brittany Oldehoff
    GEORGIA - Tiana Griggs
    HAWAII - Moani Hara
    INDIANA - Mekayla Diehl
    LOUISIANA - Brittany Guidry
    MASSACHUSETTS - Caroline Lunny
    MINNESOTA - Haley O'Brien
    MISSISSIPPI - Chelsea Reardon
    NEBRASKA - Amanda Soltero
    NEVADA - Nia Sanchez
    NEW JERSEY - Emily Shah
    NEW YORK - Candace Kendall
    NORTH DAKOTA - Audra Mari
    OKLAHOMA - Brooklyne Young
    PENNSYLVANIA - Valerie Gatto
    SOUTH CAROLINA - Christina Zapolski
    UTAH - Angelia Layton
    WEST VIRGINIA - Charisse Haislop

        Anyone of these young women would make an excellent representative of the Stars & Stripes on the universal stage, and if the winner - surprisingly - does not come from this group, then the whole pageant is a sham and Critical Beauty will shut down! Notice that 8 of the gals come from Southern states; this is not surprising since the South takes to pageantry like a duck  to water. We are sensing that Misses Florida, South Carolina & West Virginia are leading the pack, but their spots could be easily grabbed by Northern belles from Minnesota, North Dakota & Pennsylvania. Whoever wins, she will have the most memorable experience of her life, and if she's truly lucky, then she could be crowned as the 9th American Miss Universe! 


    FACE OF MISS USA 2014  

         Ever since all 51 delegates to this year's Miss USA pageant have been crowned, we have been following - and stalking - their Instagram and Facebook accounts to see which selfies amuse us, fascinate us, make us laugh, make us smile, or simply pique our interest. There are a few titleholders who do not use Instagram and who don't believe in taking selfies (what's wrong with them? lol), so they are automatically eliminated from the selfie competition! But to those who do take selfies, congratulations! You realize that narcissism can be cool and trendy even for a passing moment, and that the more you post selfies, the more you are expanding your digital bioselfiegraphy which, a hundred years from now, may be considered a significant cultural artifact! 

        The real best selfie competition actually began when all 51 contestants arrived in Baton Rouge. Instantly, we fell in love with Miss Minnesota USA 2014 Haley O'Brien's selfies, and you will see why!  Haley is a self-professed college nerd majoring in medical psychology and biology and minoring in chemistry. Have you read her interview with CB? The gal is amaze balls! And if that isn't enough, Haley is also obsessed with "Lord Of The Rings." We don't know why, but we can only guess that she relates with the elf queen Galadriel, or she imagines herself sharing lembas with Sam and Frodo, or fishing with Smeagol. Cruising through her Instagram, we couldn't help but like, like, and like these selfies. Why? Because they reflect Haley's multidimensional personality, sense of humor, down-to-earthiness, and well... her face is simply unique! Who knew that a girl from a cold state could cause global warming and melt our hearts!  


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    Tegan Martin from Sydney was crowned Miss Universe Australia 2014 after a glittering ceremony in Melbourne Friday night. The 21-year-old took the title over Natalie Roser, 24, from Newcastle. It’s third time lucky for Martin, after being runner-up in the past two years.
    “It has been a massive journey for me, so this is overwhelming, I’m shaking,” she said.
    “I came second twice, I thought it just wasn’t my destiny, I can’t quite believe it.”
    Third place went to Danielle Johnson, 23, from Queensland.
    Martin said she brushed aside criticism from last year where she attracted headlines for being too thin.
    “I’m just more relaxed in my own skin and comfortable,” she said.
    The final five girls had to answer questions about everything from fashion globalisation, domestic violence in relationships, the gender gap in pay and the latest Government budget.
    The judges that crowned Miss Universe Australia included Gina Liano from The Real Housewives Of Melbourne, Olympic swimming champion Liesel Jones and choreographer Jason Coleman.
    Source: News Corp Australia, 6/6/2014

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  • 06/07/14--09:03: Miss Ukraine Universe 2014

  • Anna Andres, 20, was crowned Miss Ukraine Universe 2014 during a contest at the InterContinental Hotel in Kiev on June 4th. She will compete in Miss Universe 2014 whose date and venue have not been confirmed. The national pageant was much smaller this year - with only 9 contestants - due to the current political turmoil in the country. 

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         Nia Sanchez, a 24-year-old  fourth-degree black belt in the Korean martial art of taekwondo, was crowned Miss USA 2014 on Sunday night, June 8, at Baton Rouge Civic Center in Louisiana. Her court includes 1st runner-up Audra Mari of North Dakota, 2nd runner-up Tiana Griggs of Georgia, 3rd runner-up Brittany Guidry of Louisiana, 4th runner-up Brittany Oldehoff of Florida, and 5th runner-up Carlyn Bradarich of Iowa. Bradarich got a second chance when the viewing audience gave her the most votes on Twitter in the pageant’s first-ever “Save the Queen” option. Sanchez's win marks Nevada's first ever Miss USA crown. It was also the first time in the 63-year history of the pageant that the show was broadcast live for three hours. 

    Top 6: Nevada, North Dakota, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Iowa
    Top 10: California (Cassandra Kunze), South Carolina (Christina Zapolski), Maryland (Taylor Burton), Wisconsin (Bishara Dorre)
    Top 20: Alabama (Jesica Ahlberg), Arizona (Jordan Wessel), Indiana (Mekayla Diehl), Minnesota (Haley O'Brien), Nebraska (Amanda Soltero), New Jersey (Emily Shah), Oklahoma (Brooklynne Young), Pennsylvania (Valerie Gatto), Tennessee (Kristy Landers Niedenfuer), Virginia (Arielle Rosmarino)

        The Miss Photogenic award went to California and  Christina Palavra is the first woman to have won the Miss Congeniality award  representing Rhode Island.

         The telecast judges included Miss Universe 1987 Barbara Palacios, actress Rumer Willis, Miss Teen USA 2005 Allie LaForce, actor Ian Ziering, actor and retired martial artist Randy Couture, actress and comedian Melissa Peterman, ex-'N SYNC member Lance Bass, retired basketball player Karl Malone, and reality TV star Dolvett Quince.

       Sanchez will now represent the United States in 2014 Miss Universe pageant whose date and venue have not yet been officially confirmed.

    Review of the telecast to come soon!

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  • 06/13/14--17:14: Miss Panama Universe 2014

  •  Yomatzy Hazlewood De la Rosa, 23, from Darien was crowned Miss Panama 2014 at the RIU Hotel in Panama City on June 12th.  She will represent the country in the 2014 Miss Universe pageant.  The 1st runner-up was Stephanie Gonzalez (right) who will travel to Germany to compete in Miss Intercontinental 2014;, and the 2nd runner-up was Carmen Jaramillo (left) who was crowned as Miss Latinoamericana del Mundo.

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    Case closed. Marc Anthony has settled an ongoing court battle this week with his ex-wife Dayanara Torres regarding child support. Us Weekly has confirmed that a judge ordered Anthony to pay $26,800 per month in child support for his two kids with Torres, sons Christian and Ryan.
    Anthony, 45, was previously paying $13,400 a month. Torres requested that amount be raised to $123,426 a month in November 2013, citing lifestyle changes, in addition to child support needs. Part of the ten-fold child support increase included the need for a nanny and housekeeper, which would cost Torres up to $7,000 a month.
    Us obtained the court documents detailing the exact amounts Anthony has been ordered to pay. Anthony's legal team offered $28,000 per month -- the judge ordered $26,800. According to the documents, his team also offered $30,000 per year for travel -- the judge ordered $12,000.
    The documents also revealed that the original judgment required Anthony to pay support until the kids were 21 plus college education. The judge terminated support when the kids turn 18 per California law.
    The Latin sensation and former Miss Universe, 39, were married from 2000 to 2004. One week after their divorce was finalized, Anthony married Jennifer Lopez; the two announced they were separating in July 2011. (Anthony filed for divorce in 2012, but the parents to 6-year-old twins Emme and Max have yet to finalize their split.)
    Anthony is currently linked to Topshop heiress Chloe Green, while Lopez most recently datedCasper Smart for two years. A source close to the "Dance Again" singer confirmed to Us last Friday, June 6, that the two are no longer together.


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  • 06/15/14--13:13: Denmark wins Mr. World 2014

  • Nicklas Pedersen, 23, from Denmark won the Mr. World 2014 contest in Torbay, England on June 15th. He bested 45 contenders for the title of the world's most desirable man. The 1st runner-up is Emmanuel Ikubese of Nigeria and the 2nd runner-up is José Pablo Minor of Mexico. Pedersen was crowned by last year's winner, Francisco Escobar of Colombia. 

    Completing the top 10 were the delegates from the Netherlands, Curacao, Ukraine, Moldova, England, Puerto Rico, and India. Heavy favorites from Argentina and the Philippines were completely shut out. The live show was telecast on YouTube for over two hours. 

    Earlier during the show, five contestants who had won special awards were fast-tracked to the top 10: Demian Overduijn of the Netherlands (Multi-Media award), Valeriu Gutu of Moldova (Extreme Sports Challenge winner), Nicklas Pedersen (Mr. World Sports), and Emmanuel Ikubese of Nigeria (Fashion & Style Challenge winner). 

    The judging panel consisted of Chairman and CEO of Miss World LTD, Julia Morley; musical director Mike Dixonchoreographer & stage director Donna Derbyhair, make-up and stylist expert Andrew Minarik; Mister World 2012 Francisco Escobar; Miss World 1981 from Venezuela Pilín León; and Miss World Australia 2013 Erin Holland

    Nicklas kisses his crystal trophy. His victory marks Denmark's first ever major international win in male pageantry.
    The new king takes his first selfie as Mr. World with his predecessor Francisco Escobar

    Critical Beauty had the privilege of interviewing Nicklas before he left for England. 
    If you missed his interview, you can read it here.

    Photos courtesy of Mr. World Facebook Page

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         I WATCHED the live telecast from the comfort of my living room, like I did last year and the year before. I had originally planned to go to Baton Rouge to cover the pageant for Critical Beauty, but I opted to stay home instead for personal reasons. Besides, I am always guaranteed a good seat and the best view from my seat!

         I must say that this year's production impressed me in more ways than one. First, the stage looked absolutely fabulous, and I am not using the adjective loosely. Oh, no. Fabulous as in "having no basis in reality; mythical." If I had gone to the theater, the stage would have looked too real, and eventually ordinary. But seeing the stage remotely from my living room, on television, generated a sense of awe: all of a sudden, the stage seemed majestic and grandiose, like fairy tales. The dazzling, huge lit chandeliers only enhanced the contestants' glamorous getup. And speaking of getups, notice the diverse styles of gown worn by each of the top 10 semifinalists below:

         My eyes were immediately drawn to Miss Louisiana USA Brittany Guidry's empire-waist royal blue gown. To me, she had the most impeccable look - from head to toe (well, at least to the bottom of the dress). That gown was made for her. On Critical Beauty Twitter, I tweeted "LA Queen" (short for "Louisiana Queen"). Her detractors might say that her gown was old-fashioned and hideous, but these are the same people who are perhaps culturally and historically illiterate. If they had done some research, they would have at least speculated that Brittany's gown was probably inspired by Empress Josephine de Beauharnais (Napoleon I's first wife), and thus she was emoting the Empire look - much like this Josephine Barbie doll: 

         The pageant, after all, took place in an area which was part of a much bigger area that used to be controlled by the French, until the United States paid the French $50 million dollars in 1803 to acquire this huge territory stretching from Montana to what is now modern-day Louisiana. Does the Louisiana Purchase ring a bell? So yeah, as a Francophile, I could not ignore the French Empire subtext in Brittany's gown. The Mardi Gras theme was immediately evident when all 51 contestants "rode" on stage in quasi-floats, each waving a mask. Bright lights, prominent carnival colors, cascading confetti, boisterous Bayou sound and the vibrant energy emanating from every corner transformed the show into a veritable audio-visual feast. 

         Perhaps the most significant aspect of all was the change in the format. For decades, viewers have been accustomed to a two-hour show where all 51 contestants were whittled down to 15 semifinalists, and then to 10, and then to the final 5. This time, there was a top 20 - which was cut in half after the swimsuit competition. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, it was great! Adding five more girls to the usual Top 15 actually increases the excitement and tension in the theater as the girls' supporters continue to cheer for her. Now we understand why a third hour was added. Since time immemorial, many fans had been badgering the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) for not giving the girls substantial airtime, protesting that most of it is spent on promoting sponsors (like CHI executive Farouk Shami and his glossy red shoes). Another new element that I find innovative was the introduction of the judges on stage. We're so accustomed to see the judges being introduced while they are already seated, thus it is a breath of fresh air to see them come out, to see what they wear, to strike a pose, and to share the limelight with all 51 contestants on the same stage. 

         At last, MUO yielded to the fans' demand. They got exactly what they wanted. However, some fans did not appreciate the seemingly interminable revelation of the top 20, as it took away the thrill and the excitement. The announcement of a semifinalist was immediately followed by a quasi-biographical hometown video which lasted an average of 1 minute, but which probably felt like an eternity. Imagine the remaining 31 contestants who had to endure standing on their heels - and anguishing over their elimination - during this lengthy revelation. Well, they certainly got plenty of air time. However, their lengthy standing on stage is not as painful compared to the one of contestants in the 1970s and 1980s when everyone of them had to remain on stage until after all 10, 12, or 15 semifinalists had been interviewed for two or three minutes long. Perhaps the most telling aspect of the top 20 format - the first ever in the 62-year history of the pageant - is that this year proved to be extremely competitive that MUO was compelled to add five more girls to the usual roster of top 15.

         I find it odd that despite the highly entertaining quality of the show, there was hardly any humor in it. The co-hosts Thomas Roberts and Giuliana Rancic made a cute couple, but I doubt if they could even bring a smile to any of the Nigerian girls kidnapped and enslaved by the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram. Color commentator Jeannie Mai's comments absolutely brought nothing new or fresh that we avid pageant fans did not already know or expected. She's got to go, and should be replaced by someone who had actually competed in Miss USA and whose opinion truly matters to pageant followers. If you have to look for unintentional humor, it is in Miss Maryland USA's gaffe for not removing her mask as she introduced herself. It is also in Farouk Shami's playful comportment and footwear while judge Rumer Willis was reading her question to Miss Nevada USA. And lastly, in the shy guy in the background whose face didn't want to be shown on TV while judge Ian Ziering was reading his question to Miss Louisiana USA. Why even bother sitting in the front row if you didn't want to be seen on TV? Heck, if it had been me, I would have been making faces and brandishing a Critical Beauty banner!

    Mysterious Maryland: If only Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton had a daughter.
    A sponsor's red shoes. A judge's red hair. A winner's red gown.
    The Shy Guy. Or did he rob a 7-Eleven store just hours before the telecast?

         Karma gotcha? Months before the new Miss USA was crowned, I had solicited all 51 contestants to do an interview with Critical Beauty. Twenty-six of them graciously took the challenge; some of the remaining twenty-five did not respond or acknowledge my request - either on social network or e-mails with their respective state directors. The titleholders from Ohio, Connecticut, Oregon, Vermont, Wyoming, Virginia, and Oklahoma all replied that they would submit their interview answers "as soon as possible," but they never did (which makes you wonder if they understand the concept of commitment or that they were too lazy to answer the questions). California's state director, Top10 Productions, had the audacity to inquire about the authenticity and reputation of CB and ended up declining my request. Tennessee has "seen" my Facebook PMs but never had the courtesy to reply. So I felt nothing but contempt towards the delegates from these states for being rude and disrespectful, and I swore that I would not promote them on this site, on Twitter and on Facebook. So imagine my relief when none of these girls advanced any further. Haha. MUO, please take note of state directors who shun the media and turn down interviews, because clearly these directors have no interest in promoting their titleholder and your company. And take note, too, of state titleholders who think they're too good to be interviewed by the world's most fabulous pageant website! 

         As for the results, I was disappointed that my personal favorite, Charisse Haislop, Miss West Virginia USA, was not called to the top 20. Of all the delegates with whom I have corresponded regarding the interviews, Charisse never failed to acknowledge my e-mails. She was always so gracious, warm and kind - traits of a true beauty queen. On the other hand, I did not expect for Carlyn Bradarich, Miss Iowa USA, to even make the top 10; did she hire a public relations firm that sent those "#savethequeen Iowa" tweets that saved her? Whatever she did, it certainly worked in her favor; although I would have replaced her with the bubbly Haley O'Brien, Miss Minnesota USA, or with the charming Amanda Soltero, Miss Nebraska USA. Nevertheless, Carlyn's fifth runner-up position was the best placement for Iowa since Carol Morris won the Miss USA 1956 crown representing the Hawkeye State. 

         I didn't have Nia Sanchez on my top 5 at all, and when she and Audra Mari were the last two standing, I was rooting for Audra to win because she was Miss Universe-ready. Audra was first runner-up in Miss Teen USA 2011, and it is heart-breaking to see her place second again this time. It is too bad that a state titleholder can only compete in Miss USA once, because if this rule were broken, then exceptional girls who almost won in the past could return and try again - which is the case in several pageant-crazy countries. Let's hope after Audra's reign as Miss North Dakota USA, or until she has fulfilled her commitment with MUO, that she will consider competing in another worthy pageant, like Miss Earth United States, or get handpicked by the American franchise holder to represent the U.S. in Miss World 2015 or 2016. 

         The best and the worst: The real stunner of the evening was none other than my favorite Miss Universe from Venezuela, Barbara Palacios, who was one of the 9 celebrities invited to judge the pageant. There is a certain truth that beautiful women start looking even more beautiful with age, but only if they possess Barbara's natural elegance, poise and passion for life. To think that she was crowned Miss Universe almost 30 years ago (1986), looking even more stunning than some title holders fifteen or twenty years her junior. I was looking forward to her being interviewed by Jeanne Mai during the live telecast, or at least her name being picked by a Top 6 finalist during the Q & A portion, but alas, neither moment materialized. And that was the worst - not hearing Barbara speak. 

    "Mi nombre es Venezuela..." Barbara's radiant beauty offered a respite from the deplorable political and economic crisis in her country. 
         And lastly, outgoing queen Erin Brady never looked beautiful when she reappeared on the stage to do her final walk and farewell speech.
    Thank you, Erin, for bringing back class, grace and humility to the title!

    by Rafa Delfin, 6/15/2014

    Photo credits: Miss Universe Organization

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  • 06/17/14--19:34: Miss England 2014

  • The reigning Miss Cambridgeshire,  Carina Tyrell, was crowned Miss England 2014 on June 16th, 2014 at the Riviera International Conference Center in Torquay. The 24-year-old beauty from Cambridge will represent England in the upcoming Miss World 2014 pageant scheduled for December 14 in London, England. The first runner-up was Holly Desai, Miss Leicestershire, 
    and the second runner-up was Mary Kate McKay, Miss Lancashire.  

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      Anne Ransom is a 21 year-old model who resides in Seekonk, Massachusetts. She is the current Miss Massachusetts U.S. International 2014 and will compete in the Miss U.S.International 2014 pageant in Orlando, Florida on June 27.  Anne is a member of Rhode Island's branch of Project Heal, which is a non-profit organization that raises awareness for young people suffering from eating disorders, and she has recently joined the board of chairmen for the Rhode Island SPCA, where she will educate young people on the importance of treating animals with love and respect. Besides volunteering with various organizations and charities, her hobbies include weight lifting, reading motivational books, singing, traveling, modeling, studying nutrition and health, watching movies, and creating vision boards.

    If you were to come back in the next life as an animal, what would you be and why?

         If I were to come back as an animal in the next life, I would want to be an elephant! I think 
    elephants are so wise and so huge! They are amusing, people love them, they give rides to people, and they're just a lot of fun! They are gentle giants, and I'd love to be a gentle giant!

    What is your favorite color and why?

         Red! I love red because it's passionate, it's fiery, it's spicy! Kinda like me!

    How did you get involved in pageants?

         I actually got involved in pageants through charity work. It sounds really funny, but I had been doing so many years of volunteer work that finally someone told me, "You know, Anne, have you actually considered pageants?" I didn't really think much of it until I researched and realized that it's such a positive network for meeting other young women who love charity work and helping out with their community as much as I do.

    Would you advise your younger sister to compete in pageants? Why or why not?

         I would definitely advise my younger sister to compete in pageants because they bring out confidence in young women, help cultivate their inner and outer beauty, give them many opportunities to reach out to the community and to prepare them for their life ahead.

    What would you never do to the person you love?

         First of all, I would never betray the person that I love. I believe in honesty and being true to someone. I also would never go behind someone's back and lie to them.

    Name three adjectives that your friends would describe you.

         I definitely would say that I am very nerdy. I'm a big karate, horseback-riding, TV geek. I'm very genuine; I'd do anything to help someone out. And I'm also humble; I believe in showing that you are proud of yourself but not too much.

    Name three of your pet peeves.

         One of my pet peeves would be rude people. I don't see any sense in being mean; I'm a very nice person myself and I like nice people. I don't like lying; I'm an honest person and that's how I was raised - to be honest person. And fighting: I am not a confrontational person and I believe in being nice and kind to others.

    Name two people who inspire you.

         Two inspire who inspire me would be my grandmother who is the hardest worker I know. She takes care of our whole family, she provides for us and she always has a spiritual, positive attitude. I would also say that my father inspires me. He is also someone who has worked very hard his whole life to provide for us and I believe that through hard work you shape your life and the people's lives around you as well.

    What do you see when you look in the mirror?

         When I look in the mirror, I see a strong young woman who has overcome lots of obstacles to get where she is today. I also see someone who is incredibly positive and who would do anything to help out someone. I see someone who is beautiful not only on the outside but in the inside as well, and that's very important to me.

    Why do you want to be Miss U.S. International 2014?

         I would love to have the opportunity to be Miss U.S. International 2014 because I believe I possess the qualities of Miss U.S. International should have. I'm not only strong both mentally and physically, I also care about people and I want to raise awareness of the charities that I believe in and support, and I can be a wonderful role model for many young women and men out there. I think I can give my heart and soul to be Miss U.S. International and to be an excellent representative of the country at Miss International. 

    Should you win Miss U.S. International 2014, what will be the first thing you will do?

         If I am lucky enough to win Miss U.S. International 2014, the first thing I will do is to eat a big piece of cake, celebrate with my family, and promote my favorite charities!

    Photography by Michael Cole

    Anne's Favorites

    Music: Pop, Rock, Hip Hop, Broadway show tunes, classical, oldies

    Musical Artist/Entertainer: Lana Del Rey, The Killers, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, The Beatles, Adele, Bruno Mars, J. Cole, Frank Ocean

    Movies: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Godfather, Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, Roman Holiday, Ferris Bueller's Day Off  and all James Bond films

    Actor: Robert Downey Jr. and James Dean

    Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep or Marilyn Monroe 

    Author: Libba Bray, Stieg Larsson and F. Scott Fitzgerald 

    Book: "A Great and A Terrible Beauty" by Libba Bray or "Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson 

    Flower: red rose

    Perfume: Burberry Body and Jo Malone Ginger Biscuit 

    Fashion Designer: Hervé Léger

    Fruit: apple

    Vegetable: broccoli or cauliflower 

    Proverb:  “More than anything else, I believe it's our decisions, not the conditions of our lives, that determine our destiny.” - Anthony Robbins 

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  • 06/21/14--17:28: Miss Thailand World 2014

  • Maeya Nonthawan Thongleng, a 20-year-old singer and model, was crowned Miss Thailand World 2014 on June 21st. She will compete in Miss World 2014 to be held in London later in November. The 1st runner-up is Venus Nanthachai, 21 and the 2nd runner-up is Crattrika Sittipom.

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    The new Miss Universe Great Britain 2014 is 24-year-old Grace Levy of Greater London who was crowned in Cardiff, Wales on June 21. She will represent Great Britain in Miss Universe 2014 pageant whose date and venue are still to be confirmed.

    Amy Willerton, last year's winner and top 6 in Miss Universe 2013, opted not to attend the event to crown her successor. In her Instagram posted two days ago, Willerton cited the following: 

    #heartbroken sending all my love and thoughts to the girls competing in #MissUniverseGB. It's not my choice that I won't be there to support you all and hand my crown over. Women 3 times my age decided money was more important than dignity and respect for the contestants. I am so disappointed in their behaviour - that attitude will NEVER bring true success. For a company that claims to female empowerment I have never seen such hypocrisy.

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  • 06/23/14--19:50: Miss World Italy 2014

  • Silvia Cataldi, 24, was crowned Miss World Italy 2014 last June 14 in Area Portuale Bleu Salento  in Gallipoli. She will now compete in Miss World 2014 to be held in London on December 14.

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    PHOTO: Amanda Longacre, left, was crowned Miss Delaware 2014 on June 14, 2014 but her crown has been passed to runner-up Brittany Lewis, seen during the competition, because Longacre turns 25 in October.
    The Delaware beauty queen whose title was revoked after it was revealed she is too old to meet the pageant’s requirements will keep her $9,000 in scholarship money.
    Officials with the Miss America Organization confirmed to ABC News today that Amanda Longacre, 24, will still be awarded the scholarship money she won June 14 when she was crowned Miss Delaware, even though she will no longer represent Delaware in September’s Miss America pageant.
    PHOTO: Amanda Longacre is crowned Miss Delaware 2014 in the Rollins Center of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware on June 14, 2014.
    Andre Lamar/Dover Post
    PHOTO: Amanda Longacre is crowned Miss Delaware 2014 in the Rollins Center of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware on June 14, 2014.
    Longacre’s crown was revoked Tuesday after national Miss America officials learned that she will turn 25 in October, a violation of the contract pageant officials say Longacre signed prior to the pageant confirming she would not turn 25 before Dec. 31, 2014.
    “When the contract arrived in the national office and her birth date arrived we realized a mistake had been made on behalf of the Delaware pageant,” Miss American Chairman and CEO Sam Haskell told ABC News today. “I don’t know how they missed it and I don’t know how she missed it.”
    “It breaks my heart that she went through all of this but she is not eligible and we have to honor the rules,” Haskell said.
    Brittany Lewis, also 24 and the former Miss Wilmington, who finished first runner-up to Longacre, was crowned Miss Delaware Thursday night at a ceremony in Dover.
    PHOTO: Brittany Lewis of Wilmington competes during the evening wear phase of the Miss Delaware 2014 pageant in the Rollins Center of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware on June 14, 2014.
    Andre Lamar/Dover Post
    PHOTO: Brittany Lewis of Wilmington competes during the evening wear phase of the Miss Delaware 2014 pageant in the Rollins Center of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover, Delaware on June 14, 2014.

    Haskell said that Lewis will also get the $9,000 in scholarship money awarded to the Miss Delaware winner, and each additional contestant who placed will also move up a spot and earn the additional scholarship money of the higher place finish.
    “Because we are a scholarship organization we’re going to make sure Amanda gets that scholarship and the new Miss Delaware gets the same scholarship,” Haskell said, noting that the Miss Delaware pageant alone distributes over $30,000 in scholarship money each year.
    Longacre, who could not be reached today by ABC News, is being told today by Miss Delaware officials that she will keep her scholarship money, according to Haskell, who says he has not spoken to either Longacre or Lewis.
    The Miss Delaware website, which previously featured photos of Longacre along with other contestants, is now blank and contains only the message, "The Miss Delaware Website is currently being updated. Please check back soon."
    Source:, 6/27/2014

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