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Articles on this Page
- 09/18/16--16:33: _Miss Universe Baham...
- 09/24/16--19:51: _Ecuador Wins Miss G...
- 09/24/16--21:19: _Philippines Wins Mi...
- 09/28/16--18:29: _Fat-Shamed By Her F...
- 10/02/16--11:21: _Miss Brazil 2016
- 10/02/16--11:59: _Miss World Philippi...
- 10/02/16--19:17: _Interview With Step...
- 10/06/16--19:23: _Miss Venezuela 2016
- 10/08/16--13:49: _Getting To Know DAN...
- 10/08/16--19:40: _Getting To Know TER...
- 10/13/16--18:54: _Four Women Includin...
- 10/16/16--17:58: _Miss Universe Singa...
- 10/16/16--18:40: _Puerto Rico Wins Mi...
- 10/24/16--01:07: _Iceland Withdraws F...
- 10/25/16--12:38: _Scandalous: Miss Bu...
- 10/26/16--21:19: _Indonesia Wins Miss...
- 10/27/16--19:04: _Philippines Wins It...
- 10/29/16--20:25: _Ecuador Wins Its Se...
- 11/02/16--16:27: _Former Miss USA Lu ...
- 11/11/16--08:33: _Miss Honduras Keeps...
- 09/18/16--16:33: Miss Universe Bahamas 2016
- 09/24/16--19:51: Ecuador Wins Miss Global 2016
- 09/24/16--21:19: Philippines Wins Miss United Continents 2016
- 10/02/16--11:21: Miss Brazil 2016
- 10/02/16--11:59: Miss World Philippines 2016
- 10/06/16--19:23: Miss Venezuela 2016
- 10/16/16--17:58: Miss Universe Singapore 2016
- 10/16/16--18:40: Puerto Rico Wins Miss Intercontinental 2016
- 10/26/16--21:19: Indonesia Wins Miss Grand International 2016
- 10/27/16--19:04: Philippines Wins Its Sixth Miss International Crown
- 10/29/16--20:25: Ecuador Wins Its Second Miss Earth 2016 Crown
- 11/11/16--08:33: Miss Honduras Keeps Her Crown After Miss Universe Pageant Scandal
|Cherell Williamson crowned Miss Universe Bahamas - Photo: Draf Designs Photography for TheBahamasWeekly.com|
|PHOTOGRAPHY BY KRISNA GOODWIN|
THANK YOU, STEPHI, FOR ALLOWING CRITICAL BEAUTY TO INTERVIEW YOU! YOU ARE THE NEW NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF UNITED STATES NATIONAL PAGEANTS (UNSP) SYSTEM WITH SEVEN DIVISIONS STARTING AT THE AGE OF 8. PLEASE TELL US BRIEFLY HOW YOU ACQUIRED THE SYSTEM.
Thanks so much for the opportunity. Yes, I am the new national director of all 7 divisions beginning with Little Miss at the age of 8 years old. I acquired the directorship of Miss United States and the entire seven divisions of the United States National Pageants formerly known as MUSO by many when the position came available and a much needed re-branding effort began. If I had to put it in simplified terms, I would say we gave it a face lift and leave it at that because the rest is actually better saved for a novel or a made for TV movie that is almost too shocking for prime time. But my state directors know what I am talking about and they would all agree that it was time for a "regime" change and an overhaul, so voilà! Then there was me and my team! We have hit the ground running, set some amazing records and we are off to an amazing start and looking forward to a bright future!
I then worked with an awesome team of graphic designers to create an amazing new brand logo that is softer and more feminine. It is much more appealing to women and little girls than the logos we had previously. The crowns were beautiful but they were uncomfortable and the design had to be tweaked a bit as well. Then came the sashes. They really needed help badly. We worked with our vendor and created a rich, elegant, top quality sash that is truly breathtaking. I then began taking this system back to the original vision and values that it was founded on! It had to be restored and it had to undergo a major face lift. Over the last four years the community service aspect from the national office had been completely lost. The national queens still had involvement in their own capacity but there was no participation from the national administration. I began working tirelessly to reinforce in the brand standards that this would not be the case in the future and that going forward we would go back to that because the ladies who participate with us truly want this. They want to give back and we have such a wide range of age divisions within our brand; we have the ability to offer so much good in our communities. This alone sparks the interest of so many who want to be part of something that is whole and something that is very good.
We also added a prize package that was nearly quadruple the size that it had been in previous years, with tons of new sponsors added and some amazing opportunities to go along with them. The opening number wardrobe was upgraded majorly by all top quality designers now instead of cheap items that were bought in bulk from wholesale bulk merchandisers for a couple of dollars. All of our national awards are lead crystal, not acrylic and defiantly not a Dollar Tree photo frame with an off-center printed insert on regular computer paper like in previous years. In addition, previously the red, white and blue Runway competition was held annually and the winner was announced at the final competition. It always made me so sad especially in the Little Miss and Pre-Teen Division when the winner stepped forward but there was never an award for them. This year we have partnered with Supermodels Unlimited Magazine for the Runway competition and the winner of each division will win a full page in the Rising Star issue of the magazine as well as a lead crystal award on finals day. I also feel that that directors work so hard and need to be appreciated so we began awarding a Director of the Year Award. There are certain criteria that you have to meet and there is a scoring system for the award but the state directors are actually competing for an amazing award and a handsome cash bonus as well.
WHAT DO YOU SAY TO CRITICS WHO ARGUE THAT PAGEANTS ARE SUPERFICIAL AND EXPLOITATIVE OF WOMEN?
WHAT ROLE DOES INVOLVEMENT IN CHARITABLE CAUSES HAVE ON THE PARTICIPANTS OF UNSP?
We were doing such an amazing job on the national level we gained attention from some huge corporations and NFL punter Thomas Morstead of the New Orleans Saints. It was within days it was decided that Miss United States would join Southwest Airlines and Thomas Morstead’s foundation “What You Give Will Grow” on a new campaign that he was starting called “Team Come Back Kids” to supply kids affected from flooding with the school supplies needed to go back to school so that their parents have one less thing to worry about at this time. For the most part these families don’t even have a roof over their heads, they shouldn’t have to worry about school supplies! Our queens are gathering supplies all over the Country until September 30, 2016 and Southwest Airline will fly them to Louisiana or us free of charge! We are an amazing team! Anyone wishing to donate to our cause should write to us at email@example.com or send us an inbox message on Facebook at United States National Pageants, Inc.
|A life-size statue of Guy Clayton Cumbo, Stephi's grandfather, in Bamban, Tarlac, Philippines|
My name is Dani Fitch. I am a 27-year-old Australian-Filipino, qualified pharmacist, model and humanitarian. I studied for a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science and a Master's of Pharmacy in Queensland which eventually brought me to Sydney where I now work for a medical research company as a medical scientific liaison. Since 2013, I have been working alongside an anti-human trafficking organisation to help put an end to child sex slavery and violence throughout Asia, focusing specifically on funding rescue missions in Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines and India. Last year, I raised over $20,000 single-handedly for Variety the Children's charity which went towards providing medical aid and assistance to disadvantaged or sick children here in Australia. I became Miss Grand Australia in my pursuit to landing a platform whereby I may continue making a social impact and provide light to those in need in a dark, formidable world.
YOU WILL BE COMPETING IN ONE OF THE WORLD'S FASTEST-GROWING INTERNATIONAL PAGEANT. HOW ARE YOU PREPARING YOURSELF FOR THE COMPETITION?
I have been a model for nearly 8 years now, so a lot of my photographic and runway training has been focused on refining technique specific to pageantry and weeding out bad habits. Otherwise, most of my preparation has been focused around styling, speech and PR/media training. I have been going to yoga 3 times a week to keep fit, manage my stress and keep myself centred. I also walk most mornings to clear my mind. I am an avid soccer player and dancer, so that also keeps me in shape.
DID YOU HAVE ANY MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT PAGEANTS IN GENERAL? IF SO, HOW HAVE THEY CHANGED? IF NOT, THEN WHY ARE YOU COMPETING IN ONE?
Not really, no. Not anymore anyway. I have been in the pageant game for over 5 years now (I competed in Universe, World and now Grand) so I think I stamped out most of my misconceptions years ago. Initially, like many others in Australia, I believed pageants to be just a glorified top model search, but after my first pageant I soon came to realise that pageants are a platform for empowering determined women who are doing their best to better the world.
IF YOUR FRIENDS WERE TO DESCRIBE YOU, WHAT WOULD THEY SAY?
I think they would mention words like 'determined' and 'resilient'. I have experienced a lot of set backs and hard times throughout my life, but nothing and nobody got in the way of what I set out to achieve.
WHAT MAKES YOU SAD/ WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
Violation of human rights deeply disturbs and saddens me. Puppies always make me happy, so when I'm having a blue day I go down to the park behind my house, sit on the grass and watch all the dogs play.
IF YOU COULD CURE ANY DISEASE, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Mental illness - particularly the 'black dog' (depression). Not only does my job require that I discuss detailed patient cases every single day, 9 hours a day, but I also have many people close to my heart affected by this silent demon. No one deserves to feel that lost or hopeless.
YOU HAVE BOTH AUSTRALIAN AND FILIPINO HERITAGE IN YOU. WHICH ASPECT OF EACH RESPECTIVE HERITAGE DO YOU LIKE THE MOST? LIKE LEAST?
Like most -Aussie: easy going natureFilo: smiley temperament - no matter how bad their situation or disposition, they always find a reason to put on a big smile
Like least - Aussie: lazinessFilo: laziness
HOW DO YOU HANDLE A TACTLESS PERSON WHO MAKES HIS/HER PREJUDICES KNOWN IN PUBLIC?
If it isn't my business, I won't get involved. However, if I feel it is negatively affecting another person, organisation or group and it is a deep injustice, I will intervene by opening up the lines of communication based on fact, not emotion. Understanding reasons why is the most important part of conflict resolution.
HAVE YOU EVER HAD A BOY REJECT YOU? HOW DID YOU HANDLE IT?
Of course. I went out and got a Bachelors degree, a Masters degree, a great job, a strapping modelling career and a shiny crown. That's how I handled it.
IF YOU COULD SPEND A SATURDAY READING A NOVEL OR SHOPPING, WHICH WOULD YOU PICK AND WHY?
Reading a novel, I'm a huge book worm! It fuels my creativity when I write.
DO YOU THINK YOUNG WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD COSMETIC SURGERY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO COMPETE IN PAGEANTS AGAINST CONTESTANTS WHO HAVEN'T HAD SURGERY?
I am pro-choice and as competent adults I feel each person can make up their own mind about what they think is necessary for their own life. To each their own. I would not exclude anyone from making a difference in this world due to something as superficial as cosmetic surgery, whether that be in a beauty pageant or in their community.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL APPEARANCE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
My whole life I struggled with my skin colour, particularly growing up in Northern Queensland where racial prejudice still resided, but now I embrace my complexion and wouldn't change a thing. Besides, I have saved so much time and money in pageantry with this all-year long tan!
WHO DO YOU ADMIRE MOST IN LIFE AND WHY?
My dad. No matter how many times life kept trying to knock him down, he kept getting back up and going back for more. I can really resonate with that type of mentality.
WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF THE WORD "SUCCESS?"
Getting back up even when you fail. The ultimate success is achieving your goal despite failing the first/second/third time.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?
I see myself leveraging my position to run regular rescue missions in Asia funded by the gala fundraising events I host in Sydney and Melbourne. I currently run what I have titled #FortuneProject whereby I bring together more fortunate and well positioned people of Australian capital cities to put forward donations, services and goods to provide for the less fortunate.
Singer/Musician – India Arie
Actor – Robin Williams
Actress – Julia Roberts
Color – rainbow
Fashion Designer – vintage
Perfume – Elizabeth Arden Pretty
Flower – Lily
Writer – e. e. cummings
Book – "Chinese Cinderella"
Movie – "The Shawshank Redemption"
Quote - “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson
Hashtag - #danifitch #missgrandaustralia
I was born in a refugee camp in Kenya and moved to Australia when I was 10 years old. I lost my parents in the war and was raised by my auntie until I moved to Australia with my cousins. Growing up without parents has always been challenging but I never let it stop me. I am a passionate individual with the desire to help others to believe in themselves and that has been the reason why I was lucky enough to be asked to represent South Sudan at Miss Grand International.
In early August this year I competed in Miss Grand and Miss Supranational Australia and became a 1st runner up. I didn't realize that the national director of Miss Grand South Sudan was following my journey and saw a potential in me so she got in contact with Australia's national director. This was an opportunity not to pass and I am very proud to be representing South Sudan.
IF YOU WERE TO INVITE YOUR FRIENDS TO VISIT SOUTH SUDAN, WHERE WOULD YOU TAKE THEM?
If I were to invite my friends to South Sudan I would invite them straight to Duk county. Duk county is where my parents were born. I felt in love with Duk when I first visited South Sudan. Duk county is made up of small villages but what makes it so special is the rich culture, the nature that surrounds the town, the green mountains, the white sand and the appreciation of culture. I would love to share all of that with my friends.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF THROUGH COMPETING IN YOUR LAST PAGEANT?
To never compare yourself to someone else. In my first pageant I did not make it through to the national finals and I remember that day, I started to look for reasons to differentiate myself from others. It is not a good feeling and competing among 20 or more beautiful girls can be hard but you have to be your own person. Love yourself because we are all different regardless.
IF YOUR FRIENDS WERE TO DESCRIBE YOU, WHAT WOULD THEY SAY?
Energetic, humble, caring and enthusiastic young person who is devoted to stand up for a good cause. High achiever and looking for opportunities to build herself up.
IF YOU HAD A CHOICE BETWEEN FAME AND FORTUNE, WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?
If I had the choice between fame or fortune I would choose fame. Money comes and goes but fame is a legacy that I would love to be remembered with.
IF YOU COULD CONTRIBUTE ONE THING TO THIS WORLD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I would love to become a public speaker who advocates on behalf of people who are affected by the war and to be someone who shares her stories worldwide.
IF YOU COULD BE ON THE COVER OF ANY MAGAZINE, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Vogue magazine. I think it would be an amazing opportunity being on a cover of Vogue. Vogue is an international well-known magazine and who wouldn't want to be on the cover?
A GOOD LISTENER OR A GOOD TALKER? WHICH ONE IS MORE IMPORTANT?
I believe it is more important to be a good listener. Being aware in the moment, you're more likely to retain what you're hearing and to respond with more authenticity.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE VACATION SPOT.
I am in love with Bilbao. Bilbao is a city in northern Spain surrounded by beautiful mountains. There is something unique about the city, the culture, the atmosphere and the people. The architecture of the city is unique and that is why I fell in love with the city.
WHAT WOMAN IN PUBLIC LIFE DO YOU MOST ADMIRE AND WHY?
I really admire Angelina Jolie. I like the way she carries herself with such a class and elegance. And most importantly, she has a strong voice in advocating on human rights.
"Oh my God! This is a dream come true!"
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL APPEARANCE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I wish I had longer eyelashes!
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE TO ANYONE WHO LACKS SELF-ESTEEM?
To never compare themselves to anyone because they are just as important as anyone in their own ways. To believe in themselves and know it is okay to be different because if we were all the same, the world would be boring.
IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERTED ISLAND AND COULD ONLY HAVE THREE THINGS WITH YOU, WHAT WOULD THEY BE AND WHY?
A knife to hunt for food and protect myself. A torch to be aware of my surroundings (there are too many wild animals!). A blanket to keep myself warm at night.WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?
Five years from now I see myself in Africa or Southeast Asia working in the humanitarian sector. I see myself as advocate of "women at risk" and girls' education in Third World countries.
Singer/Musician – I don't have any favourite but I would say Whitney Houston and Keith Urban
Actor – Denzel Washington
Actress – I don't really have a favorite actress but there are so many out there that I admire.
Color – Any bright colour
Fashion Designer – Michael Cinco
Perfume – Lady Million by Paco Rabanne
Flower – Lily flowers
Writer – James Patterson
Book – "Guilty Wives" by James Patterson
Movie – "Safe House" starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds
Quote - "I might not be the most intelligent, talented or driven with creativity, but I am a woman, a woman of my own integrity, thoughts, and wisdom." - Teresa Yuol
Hashtag - #missgrandinternational #missgrandsouthsudan
|TERESA WITH DANI FITCH, MISS GRAND AUSTRALIA 2016|
|In May 2016, Temple Taggart McDowell, who represented Utah, told The New York Times|
that Trump "kissed me directly on the lips" during the 1997 pageant.
Earlier this year
And even the women competing for the 'best bottom' title last night expressed dismay at being made to pose for the controversial scene, with one claiming she had 'asked forgiveness from God for a great sin'.
He added: 'Women need to be valued for their role as a wife, mother, professional, and for her intellectual and cultural qualities.'
Ariska Putri Pertiwi, a 21-year-old medical student from Indonesia, was crowned Miss Grand International 2016 at the Westgate International Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday night, October 25th. Seventy-two contestants competed in the fourth edition of the pageant which was held outside Thailand (its home base) for the first time. Pertiwi's victory marks Indonesia's first ever international beauty pageant title. She was crowned by the outgoing queen Claire Parker from Australia.
The first runner-up is Nicole Cordoves, 24, a professional speech writer from the Philippines. The second runner-up is Supaporn Malisorn, 22, a business administration student from Thailand. The 3rd runner-up is Madison Anderson, 20, a fashion design student representing Puerto Rico but living in New York City. And the 4th runner-up is Michelle Leon, a 19-year-old community college student from New York.
Completing the top ten were Selvinique Wright of the Bahamas, Hio Man Chan of Macau, Priscila Howard of Peru, Veronika Mykhailyshyn of the Ukraine, and Yeseul Cho of Korea who automatically advanced after winning the Popular Vote.
The remaining top 20 candidates included: Dani Fitch of Australia, Merys Navarro of Cuba, Dianne O. Brown of Jamaica, Ranmeet Jassal of Malaysia, Paulina Flores Cantú of Mexico, Ana Bomfim of Portugal, Adriana Sanchez Rivas of Spain, Debora Medina of Venezuela, Nguyen Thi Loan of Vietnam, and Rachael Tate of Wales.
Special awards were given to the Bahamas (Best in Swimsuit), England's Cherelle Rose Patterson (Best in Evening Gown), Jamaica (Best in Social Media), and Indonesia (Best National Costume). Some of the early favorites like Brazil, Russia and Colombia were shut out, much to the dismay of their fans. Eight countries debuted this year: Aruba, Bahamas, Iraq, Jamaica, Lithuania, Rwanda, Turkey and Uruguay.
The show was hosted by actor Brian White from the hit drama series, "Scandal" and was broadcast live via Channel 7 and DirecTV. Former titleholders Janelee Chaparro and Lees Garcia assisted in the coronation of the winner who receives a brand newly designed crown. The judging panel included MGI owner Nawat Itsaragrisil, MGI Vice-President Teresa Chaivisut, MGI 2013 titleholder Janelee Chaparro and three local personalities.
The most interesting part of the evening turned out to be the Final Question segment during which each of the top five finalist was tasked to choose between U.S. presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for help in stopping war and violence, which is the main platform of Miss Grand International. Three of the finalists - Puerto Rico, Thailand and Indonesia - opted for Clinton and they all received thunderous applause. The other two - USA and Philippines - chose Trump. Miss USA was heavily booed (presumably by the Latino fans in the crowd). Here's her response:
"Good evening everyone. Believe it or not, I would choose Donald Trump. Why? Because the same way that we are all here is to change the minds of people, to share our passion to stop the war and violence is the same way I will share my passion with him. And the same power that he has to stand up for what he believes in is how I will have him stand up to stop the war and violence and change the lives of people together. Thank you."Miss Philippines got heckled despite her witty yet non-polarizing answer:
"Okay, you have to promise me that you would react after my first sentence. I would choose Donald Trump to stop the war and violence with me because if we choose him to switch to our side there won't be war and violence anymore. So, I will also make sure that he will read my speeches to stop the war and violence because imagine someone who would bring so much madness and so much emotion from these people. What if we use his voice to actually do good for the world? What if we use that to our advantage? That's why let's keep the peace and let Donald Trump switch to our side to stop the war and violence."How ironic that the pageant, whose platform is to "Stop The War And Violence," has managed to provoke the audience's anger and discord by asking such a polarizing question.
Moments before the announcement of the winner, Vietnam was announced as the host country for the 2017 pageant.
I covered the pageant for Critical Beauty and I must say that I am very impressed with the good quality of the show. The pageant itself unabashedly takes its inspiration from Miss Universe, with its fast-paced production, engaging camera angles, and upbeat music. Even the energy in the theater is not dissimilar to Miss Universe which attracts boisterous, colorful and passionate pageant fans. And like Miss Universe, Miss Grand International seems to relish in controversy. A few days before the finals, Miss Iceland Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir withdrew from the pageant after she was allegedly told to lose weight. Her story was picked up by many media outlets which made her an instant celebrity and she is now being hailed a hero on social media by supporters around the world. The original 2015 winner, Anea Garcia of the Dominican Republic, was dethroned (though she claims she resigned) for being too difficult and not fulfilling her duties as a titleholder. She was replaced by her first runner-up, Claire Parker of Australia.
Minor low points: Westgate International Theater, despite its state-of-the-art HD video screens and good acoustics, only sits 1,600 people. Members of the press were only allowed to station themselves in the left section facing the stage, which sometimes prevented us from taking decent images of the show, not to mention the big flags waved by fans that obstructed our view. Overall, it was a good show. And the unexpected controversial final question only added to the thrill and excitement. Why isn't that grand?
Miss Earth Water 2016: Stephanie De Zorzi of Venezuela
Miss Earth Fire 2016: Bruna Zanardo of Brazil
|Journalist, pageant judge and Miss USA 1994 Lu Parker allegedly stole a pair of $200 headphones while going through security at LAX. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)|
Former Miss USA pageant queen Lu Parker was busted for theft.
Parker — who won the contest in 1994 while representing South Carolina — was caught stealing a pricey pair of headphones at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday, TMZ reported.
The 44-year-old, who also works as an L.A. news anchor, reportedly snatched a pair of $200 headphones — belonging to an LAPD detective — from the TSA screening area, according to the gossip site.
Police caught Parker on a security camera and pulled her off her flight before take-off.
Parker could face a charge of misdemeanor theft due to the cost of the gear, TMZ reports.
The former beauty queen has worked as a news anchor at local L.A. news station KTLA since 2005, famously dating the city's mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and news anchor Lu Parker. (MATT SAYLES/AP)
Parker has received two Emmys for her work as a television journalist. The 44-year-old has also played a journalist on TV in series like "Major Crimes,""Lie To Me,""Monk" and "Days of our Lives."
This is the first time Parker has found herself publicly in trouble with the law.
|Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and news anchor Lu Parker. (Matt Sayles/AP)|