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Beauty With Attitude

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    The Faroe Islands, a self-governing territory of Denmark, will hold its first official beauty pageant on Saturday, November 18, 2017 in the capital city of Torshavn. The pageant is one of multiple events - such as boxing, weightlifting, power lifting, crossfit, kettleball and men's and women's fitness - that will take place starting Friday, November 17. The events are produced and organized by Burn Fitness. 

    Turið Elinborgardóttir is the national director for Miss Faroe Islands. Turið was Miss Earth Denmark 2015  and competed in Miss Earth 2015 pageant in Austria. 

    Meet the 8 official contestants for Miss Faroe Islands 2017 (Miss Føroyar 2017):

    Sissal Magnussen, Miss Streymoy, 18 
    Maria Andreasdóttir Sørensen, Miss Gjógv, 24
    Birgit Johannessen, Miss Klaksvík, 18
    Sólja Johannessen, Miss Tórshavn, 18
    Monika Nolsøe, Miss Suðuroy, 18
    Hananja Dánjalsdóttir, Miss Kollafjørður, 20
    Benita Winther Jensen, Miss Sandoy, 18
    Leyvoy Í Gerðinum, Miss Vestmanna, 18


         Critical Beauty is the official media partner of Miss Faroe Islands, and we are happy to present the first Miss Critical Beauty Faroe Islands 2017 award to the contestant who receives the most number of likes on their Instagram photos. The winner will be crowned during pageant show on November 18. Please checkout the photos of each of the contestant in the official Miss Faeroe Islands Instagram account by clicking the banner above.

         The winner of the national pageant will have the opportunity to represent the islands at the next edition of Miss Universe, pending approval of the license.

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  • 11/19/17--04:10: India Wins Miss World 2017

  • SANYA, CHINA - India's Manushi Chhillar has won the Miss World beauty pageant for the year 2017. The win comes 17 years after Priyanka Chopra brought home the coveted title in the year 2000. Andrea Meza, who is Miss Mexico was the first runner up and Stephanie Hill from England was second runner up. Around 108 women from across the world participated in the beauty pageant.

    Ms Chhillar, a 20-year-old from Haryana, studied in St. Thomas School in New Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.
    According to Ms Chhillar's profile on the Miss World website, Ms Chhillar aims to be a cardiac surgeon and has plans of opening non-profit hospitals in rural areas.

    Ms Chhillar's profile also says she is a trained classical dancer and has a passion for outdoor sports like scuba diving, snorkelling and bungee jumping.

    After reaching the top five, Ms Chhillar was asked during the Question and Answer round, which profession she thought deserved the highest salary and why.
    Replying to the question, Ms Chhillar said it was not a question about a person's salary and that a mother was worthy of the highest respect.

    "I think a mother is of highest respect. I don't think its just about cash but love and respect she gives to someone. She is the biggest inspiration in my life. Mother should get highest respect."

    Ms Chhillar is the sixth Indian woman to win the coveted title of Miss World. Reita Faria was the first Indian woman to claim the title back in 1966, followed by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in 1994, Diana Haydon in 1997, Yukta Mookhey in 1999 and Ms Chopra in 2000.

    The winner of last year's title, Puerto Rico's Stephanie Del Valle passed on her crown to Ms Chhillar.

    Source:, 11/19/2017

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    Benita Winther Jensen, Miss Sandoy, 18, was crowned as the first official Miss Faroe Islands 2017 on November 18 in Torshavn. The first runner-up is Monika Nolsøe, Miss Suðuroy, 18, and the second-runner-up is Birgit Johannessen, Miss Klaksvík, 18. The winner of Miss Critical Beauty Faroe Islands was Leyvoy Í Gerðinum, Miss Vestmanna, 18.

    Jensen was crowned by Turið Elinborgardóttir, Miss Earth Denmark 2015, who is also the owner and director of the pageant. Elinborgardóttir launched the pageant with the hope of sending the winner to Miss Universe next year, pending license approval. 

    Left to right: Benita Jensen, Monika Nolsøe and Birgit Johannessen

    Eight young women from all over the country competed in the first edition of the pageant. The remaining four contestants included: Sissal Magnussen, Miss Streymoy, 18; Maria Andreasdóttir Sørensen, Miss Gjógv, 24; Hananja Dánjalsdóttir, Miss Kollafjørður, 20;  and Sólja Johannessen, Miss Tórshavn, 18.

    The judging panel included Klaudia ParsbergMiss Earth Denmark 2016 and Rafa Delfin, director of Critical Beauty which is the official media partner of Miss Faroe Islands.

    The pageant was one of multiple events - such as boxing, weightlifting, power lifting, crossfit, kettleball and men's and women's fitness - that took place during the weekend of November 17. The events - collectively promoted under the name Burn Showdown - were produced and organized by Burn Fitness. 

    Photo credits: Critical Beauty


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    Miss Iraq Sarah Idan  in her national costume / Credit: Miss Universe Organization

    MISS IRAQ'S DILEMMA: The last time that Iraq has competed in Miss Universe pageant was in 1972. The contestant, Wijdan Burhan El-Deen Sulyman, wore a one-piece swimsuit which hardly caused a stir within the Muslim world. Fast forward 45 years later to 2017, Iraq is back with a beautiful representative, Sarah Idan, 27, born and raised in Baghdad. However, her participation in the world's most prestigious pageant has enraged fundamentalist Muslims in her country and elsewhere. As a result, her family has been receiving death threats and the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) has been forced to take down all of her bikini photos from the official website. This is Islamic Sharia law at its best. By removing all of Miss Iraq's swimsuit photos, MUO has caved in to Sharia. Not only has Miss Iraq's individual freedom been curtailed by a primitive and savage law, MUO's control rights have also been compromised. Next year, should Iraq send another representative, better not send a Muslim!

    Miss Iraq Sarah Idan  in her evening gown / Credit: Miss Universe Organization

    Miss Iraq Sarah Idan  in her bikini / Credit: Miss Universe Organization

    During the preliminary competition held on November 20th at Planet Hollywood, Idan competed both in the evening gown and swimsuit segments. She actually wore a bikini (above). The event was live streamed via Facebook. However, when the stream was shown again on Saturday, November 25, Miss Iraq's swimsuit performance was deleted. Go figure. Critical Beauty has received a message from a reliable source that Idan might very well earn a spot in the Top 16 because "she has a story to tell" and that her inclusion is good for publicity and ratings. We'll just have to see about that. 

    The 2017 Miss Universe pageant will air LIVE from The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, November 26, on FOX. Steve Harvey is set to return as host.

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    Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters won the second Miss Universe crown for her country, South Africa, on Sunday, November 26, from the AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 22-year-old beauty queen zoomed all the way to the final judging after acing her final question. Crowning her was Miss Universe 2016, Iris Mittenaere, of France, who won the 65th edition in the Philippines.
    The last time South Africa won the title of Miss Universe was in 1978 with the then-18-year-old Margaret Gardiner in Acapulco, Mexico. Her win made South Africa the first nation in Africa win, and her the first African woman to win the prestigious title.
    She clinched the title through the final question round where she was asked, “What quality in yourself you are most proud of and how will you apply it in your time as Miss Universe?”
    “As Miss Universe, you have to be confident of who you are as an individual. A Miss Universe is a woman that overcome many fears. And by that, she will be able to help other woman overcome their fears. She is a woman that nothing is ever too much to ask for and I think that is exactly who I am. Thank you.”
    The brunette beauty from Sedgefield, Western Cape, bested 91 other delegates from all over the world. Miss Colombia Laura González and Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett finished as first runner-up and second runner-up, respectively. Meanwhile, Keysi Sayago (Venezuela) and Maria Poonlertlarp (Thailand) completed the top 5.
    Misses USA, Philippines, Canada, Spain, and Brazil aced the swimsuit competition and advanced to the Top 10. Completing the top 16 were delegates from Sri Lanka, Ghana, Ireland, Croatia, Great Britain, and China.

    Monopolizing the pageantry gig, Steve Harvey was back as host of the Miss Universe 2017. The veteran host infamously announced the wrong winner in 2015. That live television brouhaha snatched the world’s attention and attracted many partners and sponsors supporting the organization.

    At the start of the telecast, Harvey interrupted the viewers announcing major changes in the selection of the top 16. The 66th edition of Miss Universe used a different process to select the semifinalists. For the first time in the pageant’s history, nine girls in the top 16 would be selected from three subdivided continental regions, namely, the Americas, Africa and Asia-Pacific, and Europe. Completing the semifinalist sets were the wildcard candidates, which aced preliminary rounds regardless of their region.
    Tasked with the toughest job in the competition were the panel of judges, chaired by Farouk Shami, with Ross Matheus, Lele Pons, Jay Manuel, Pia Wurtzbach, Megan Olivi, and Wendy Fitzwilliam serving on the panel.
    Also returning as backstage host was supermodel and body positivity activist Ashley Graham, with Lu Sierra and Carson Kressley providing the analysis and commentary during the telecast. Fergie and Rachel Platten were the guest performers for the night.
    Miss Japan Momoko Abe won the Best National Costume Award. Be sure to check out the colorful showcase of culture and international artistry at Miss Universe 2017 National Costume here.

    Source: The Inquisitr, 11/26/2017

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         Francielly Ouriques, a 25-year-old model from Brazil, was crowned the new Miss Asia Pacific International  2017 on Wednesday, November 29, at Resorts World Manila in Parañaque City, Philippines. Her court includes first runner-up Acacia Walker of New Zealand, second runner-up Valeria Cardona of Honduras, third runner-up Morgan Doelwijt of the Netherlands, and fourth runner-up Ilene de Vera of the Philippines. Ouriques was crowned by last year's winner, Tessa Le Conge of the Netherlands.
      During the final interview, the Top 5 candidates were asked a common question: “Do you think the advocacy of fostering love, appreciation and unity in diversity is relevant in this day and age? Why or why not?”
        Ouriques replied: “Absolutely. Fostering love nowadays is essential. I believe that we are all equal before God and all of us should be able to respect love and spread good things among everybody;
        “Respect, unity and love are things that my parents taught me and everybody should foster them. Thank you very much.”

        Completing the top ten were the delegates from Nicaragua, Mongolia, Costa Rica, South Africa and Japan. Rounding up the top fifteen were the delegates from Russia, Peru, Cook Islands, Egypt and Colombia.
        The Miss Asia Pacific International pageant is said to be the mother of all pageants in  Southeast Asia. It made a comeback in 2016 following a 10-year hiatus.

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    Miss Korea Jenny Kim, 24, was crowned as the new Miss Supranational 2017 during a lavish production of the finals held on December 1 in Poland's Spa Resort of Krynica- Zdroj. Her court includes 1st runner-up Tica Martinez of Colombia, 2nd runner-up Bianca Tirsin of Romania, 3rd runner-up Britaniya Josef of Ethiopia and 4th runner-up Larissa Santiago of Puerto Rico. Miss Supranational is the first major pageant that Korea has ever won. She was crowned by outgoing queen Srinidhi Ramesh Shetty of India.

    Completing the top 10 were the representatives from Poland, Philippines, Thailand, Portugal, Costa Rica. Rounding up the top 25 were the delegates from Indonesia, Vietnam, Albania, Brazil, South Sudan, India, Serbia, Mexico, Australia, Italy, Wales, Peru, Japan, Jamaica, and Bolivia.

    Jenny Kim is a pageant veteran, having represented Korea at Miss Universe 2016 held in the Philippines last January 30th. 


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    Gabriel Correa, a 28-year-old actor from Caracas, Venezuela (center) was declared the winner of Mister Supranational 2017 held Saturday, December 2, at Krynica-Zdrój, Poland. His court includes (left to right):  4th runner-up Héctor Parga of Mexico, second runner-up Matheus Song of Brazil, third runner-up Michal Gajdosech of Slovak Republic and first runner-up Alejandro Cifo Capilla of Spain.

    Semi-finalists were the representatives of Malta, Justin Axiak (6th place and Mister Supranational Europe), India, Altamash Faraz (7th place and Mister Supranational Asia and Oceania), United States, Cody Ondrick (8th place and Mister Supranational Americas), Poland, Jan Dratwicki (9th place), Indonesia, Gilbert Pangalila (10th place). Indonesia was the winner of the Vodi Fan Vote.

    Among the 20 quarter-finalists were Chile (11th), Romania (12th), Puerto Rico (13th), Japan (14th), Suriname (15th), Panama (16th), Afghanistan (17th), Myanmar (18th), Netherlands (19th) and Philippines (20th).

    "Close shots", who did not make it to the top 25 by very little were: Pakistan (21st), Germany(22nd), Jamaica (23rd), China (24th) and Gibraltar (25th).

    Correa was crowned by Miss Supranational 2017, Jenny Kim of Korea, who was crowned the night before.  (SOURCE: MISTER SUPRANATIONAL)


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    Nel-Peters of South Africa, Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere of France and candidates of Canada, China, Great Britain, India, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain and the US will start arriving today. AP Photo/John Locher, File

    MANILA, Philippines — Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and selected candidates of the Miss Universe pageant will be tapped as ambassadors of Philippine tourism as they are set to promote some of the country’s tourist destinations during their four-day visit this week.

    Nel-Peters of South Africa, Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere of France and candidates of Canada, China, Great Britain, India, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain and the US will start arriving today.

    They will be joined by Philippines’ bet Rachel Peters, who returned to the country yesterday.

    The Department of Tourism (DOT) is still awaiting confirmation from Miss Thailand.

    The beauty queens will stay in the country until Dec. 10, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said.

    Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach will not be able to join them as she is still in the US, according to Teo.

    The beauty queens’ Philippine visit will start with a tour around Rizal Park and the walled city of Intramuros tomorrow, Teo said.

    They will also attend the DOT’s Christmas party and charity ball on Dec. 7.

    The beauty queens will visit Batanes, Bohol and Camiguin on Dec. 8.

    Teo said they chose the three provinces because these were not part of the destinations visited by the Miss Universe candidates during the 2016 pageant in Manila.

    Teo said the beauty queens would attend the “Women of Significance” gala night and a fashion show in Pasay City on Dec. 9.

    The gala night costs P50,000 per table. Teo said 20 tables are available during the event.

    The beauty queens’ Manila visit is part of the DOT’s “Bring Home a Friend” campaign, which encourages Filipinos and other tourism ambassadors to promote the country’s tourism industry.

    Philippines eyed as Miss Universe 2018 host

    The Miss Universe Organization (MUO) has expressed interest in getting back the Philippines to host the Miss Universe 2018 pageant, Teo told reporters.

    “They wanted us to host the Miss Universe again this year,” she said.

    Teo said the MUO appreciated how the Philippines hosted the Miss Universe 2016 pageant.

    After hosting the Miss Universe 2016 earlier this year, the DOT said the country’s tourism arrival increased by 11 percent from January to August.

    Teo expressed hope that the candidates’ visit this week would help them reach the DOT’s tourist arrival target for this year.

    Source:, 12/5/2017


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    Miss Tourism International 2017/2018 winner Jannie Loudette Alipo-on from the Philippines being crowned by the previous winnerAriel Pearse from New Zealand at the Sunway Resort Hotel, Sunway on Dec 6, 2017.— Sunpix by Adib Rawi Yahya

    PETALING JAYA: Philippines beauty queen Jannie Loudette Alipo-on was crowned Miss Tourism International 2017/2018 beating 46 other contestants at the pageant finals held at a hotel here tonight.
    Beaming with joy, the 25 year-old received the crown from last year's winner Ariel Pearse of New Zealand.
    Jannie walked away with a scholarship worth RM60,000 from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, RM10,000 cash, trophy and other prizes.
    Maja Aleksandra, 17, of Poland was Miss Tourism Metropolitan International; Lois Merry Tengel, 20, of Indonesia (Miss Tourism Cosmopolitan); Diana Hills, 20, of Australia (Miss Tourism Global); Julia Do Vale Horta, 23, of Brazil (Dreamgirl of the Year); and Kamolrut Tanon, 20, of Thailand (Miss South East Asia).
    Melissa Ng Sook Khuan, 24, of Malaysia, won the Miss Glowing Glojas title.

    (From left) Kamolrut Tanon, 20, of Thailand (Miss South East Asia), Diana Hills, 20, of Australia (Miss Tourism Global), Lois Merry Tengel, 20, of Indonesia (Miss Tourism Cosmopolitan), Malaysia Book of Records founder Tan Sri Datuk Danny Ooi, Miss Tourism International 2017/2018 winner Jannie Loudette Alipo-on from the Philippines, Maja Aleksandra, 17, of Poland (Miss Tourism Metropolitan International), and Julia Do Vale Horta, 23, of Brazil (Dreamgirl of the Year) at the Sunway Resort Hotel, Sunway on Dec 6, 2017. — Sunpix by Adib Rawi Yahya

    The pageant themed, "Promoting Tourism, Culture and Friendship", is an international talent search platform aimed at promoting Visit Malaysia Year 2020. 
    This is the fourth time the Philippines has won the pageant (2000, 2012, 2013, 2017). 

    Source: The Sun Daily, Malaysia, 12/7/2017

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    Miss Israel,  Adar Gandelsman, left, and Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, posing for a photo on Gandelsman’s Instagram page. (Instagram)
    JERUSALEM (JTA) — The family of Iraq’s contestant in the Miss Universe pageant have left the country due to threats to their lives over her modeling in a bikini and posting on social media photos taken with Miss Israel.
    Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, lives in the United States and the rest of her family has now fled the country, Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsmantold Hadashot news. Gandelsman said she has been in touch with Idan since the pageant and that the two women have a special relationship.
    During the competition in Tokyo in November, Gandelsman and Idan posed for photos on their respective Instagram accounts. Idan’s caption read “Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel.”
    Gandelsman told Hadashot news that Idan said she does not regret posting the photos.
    “She did it to so that people can understand that it’s possible to live together,” Gandelsman said. “In order for people to see that we can connect, in the end we are both human beings.”
    Idan has not removed the photo from her Instagram account. Last month she defended the photo in a post in Arabic on Instagram, The Times of Israel reported.
    “I want to stress that the purpose of the picture was only to express hope and desire for peace between the two countries,” she wrote in the post.
    Idan said the photo does not signal support for the Israeli government and apologized if the photo was harmful to the Palestinian cause.
    Source: Jewish Community Partners, 12/14/2017

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  • 12/16/17--19:44: Miss France 2018

  •  Maëva Coucke, 23, was crowned Miss France 2018 on December 16 in Châteauroux, Centre-Val de Loire. She comes from Nord-Pas-de-Calais, the same region where Iris Mittenaere (Miss Universe 2016) and Camille Cerf (Miss France 2015) come from. Coucke will compete in the 2018 edition of Miss Universe.

    Her court includes 1st runner-up Eva Colas (Miss Corse), 2nd runner-up Lison Di Martino (Miss Île-de-France), 3rd runner-up Safiatou Guinot (Miss Champagne-Ardenne) and 4th runner-up Audrey Chane-Pao-Kan (Miss Réunion). The show was co-hosted by Jean-Pierre Foucault, Sylvie Tellier (Miss France 2002 and the president of Miss France Organization), and Alicia Aylies (Miss France 2017). Iris Mittenaere co-presided the judging panel with French fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier


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    Left: Genesis Davila wins Miss Florida USA 2018 / Right: Davila's first win in 2017

          Last July 16, Genesis Davila was crowned Miss Florida USA 2017 but was dethroned six days later after being accused of violating rules, according to Grant Gravitt, the then executive producer of the Miss Florida USA pageant. Davila allegedly used her own professional hair and makeup artists rather than using the ones provided by the show. A month later, Davila sued the Miss Florida USA organization for $15 million, seeking damages for defamation. The lawsuit was settled out of court. Meanwhile, Gravitt was fired by IMG (the new owner of Miss USA) and was replaced by new franchise owner, Todd Chrisley, the star of the reality show, "Chrisley Knows Best."

         Fast forward December 17, 2017. Davila competes again in Miss Florida USA 2018 and wins - again! Davila makes pageant history by becoming the first woman to win the same state title two years in a row! Her court includes first runner-up Nicolette Jennings, second runner-up Monique Evans, third runner-up Olivia Caputo, and fourth runner-up Kailyn Perez.

        Davila's dream of competing nationally will now be fulfilled as she represents Florida in the Miss USA 2018 pageant slated next summer.


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    A beauty queen from Saudi Arabia dropped out of the Miss Arab World contest after she was heavily attacked online for participating in the beauty pageant.

    Malak Youssef, a 24-year-old beauty queen, was nominated by a Saudi civil society organization to compete as Miss Saudi Arabia in the Miss Arab World pageant held in Morocco on Saturday. But the young woman chose to drop out of the race before the crowning ceremony due to intense online backlash from people who said she was misrepresenting her conservative Muslim country by participating in a beauty contest.
    “I announce my withdrawal from the final competition rounds in 'Miss Arab World 2018'. I am happy with just carrying the Miss Saudi Arabia title,” Youssef announced in a video posted to her Twitter account. She also said she was shocked and saddened by the backlash.
    Ultra-conservative Sunni Saudi Arabia does not have an official national beauty pageant, and women in the country are expected to wear an abaya, or a robe that covers their entire body, in public. Some Saudi social media users argued that it is inappropriate for Saudi women to compete in a pageant because it goes against the country’s traditional religious values.
    اكملت المقطع أعلن انسحابي من التصفيات الاخيره لملكات جمال العرب 2018 واكتفي بلقب ملكة جمال السعوديه مع خلص شكري  

    "Saudi women are beautiful with their dignity, manners, and upbringing. They don't need pageants to validate their beauty,” one social media user argued.
    This isn’t the first time a Middle Eastern woman has been attacked due to her participation in a beauty pageant. Last week, relatives of Miss Iraq were forced to flee their country after death threats were made against them for their daughter’s participation in the Miss Universe pageant. Among the main complaints were that Sarah Idan, Miss Iraq, had posted a photograph of herself with Miss Israel and had appeared in a swimsuit.
    Youssef would have been the second Saudi woman to participate in the Miss Arab World pageant. Moda Nour, another Saudi woman, competed at the same beauty contest and won in 2009. The 2009 competition was held in Cairo, and Nour was later attacked, not for participating in the pageant, but for being what some critics considered “too overweight” to be a beauty queen.
    The Miss Arab World pageant tries to be inclusive of women from all cultures and religions, and allows veiled and non-veiled women to compete together. The beauty queens compete in national dress and are not expected to wear swimsuits like women competing in international pageants.  
    Source: Newsweek, 12/20/2017

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    CEO Sam Haskell speaks on stage during a Miss America pageant in New Jersey this September.


    The CEO of Miss America regularly exchanged expletive-ridden emails in which he or others slut-shamed and name-called young women competing in the iconic beauty pageant, a trove of leaked correspondences revealed Thursday.

    The emails, obtained by HuffPost, paint a disturbing picture of how CEO Sam Haskell frequently used shocking and sexually-charged terms to refer to contestants, including 2013 winner Mallory Hagan and Gretchen Carlson, the ex-Fox News anchor who won the pageant in 1989.

    The 62-year-old executive's harshly worded correspondences at times took on the entire pageant community.

    In an August 2014 email to a prominent Miss America telecast writer, Haskell said that he wanted to stop calling former contestants "Forever Miss Americas" and instead refer to them as "Former Miss Americas."

    Olivia Munn calls for a ‘zero-tolerance policy’ on sexual abuse
    "I'd already changed 'Forevers' to 'C---s.' Does that work for you?" the writer, Lewis Friedman, responded.

    Within minutes, Haskell replied, "Perfect…bahahaha."

    Haskell appears to have particular disdain for Hagan.

    In the summer of 2014, Haskell forwarded an email to Friedman and two other executives from someone he knew who had commented about Hagan's sex life and recent weight gain.

    Haskell appears to have particular disdain for Mallory Hagan, who won the pageant in 2013.

    "Not a single day passes that I am not told some horrible story about Mallory," Haskell wrote.
    Friedman shot back, "As she continue to destroy her own credibility, her voice will attract less and less notice while she continues her descent to an unhappy pathetic footnote…Ps. Are we four the only ones not to have f----d Mallory?"
    "It appears we are the only ones!" Haskell responded, adding that he told the mother of a man Hagan had supposedly slept with that "he needs to have a blood test because we lost count of the number of men she slept with at 25."
    Haskell has been credited with getting Miss America back up on its feet after joining the organization as a board member in 2005. But his tenure there has also been the subject of much controversy, especially his hefty $500,000 salary.
    Haskell apparently felt like Hagan was "viciously and cruelly" attacking him and his family "every day" over the direction he was steering the pageant in. One of Haskell's subordinates suggested in an email that he should hire an investigator and "get something on her."
    "Threatening her won't work and we already have 'enough info on her' to shut down Ft. Knox," Haskell responded. "I really think the best way is to shut down her social media and convince the Formers to ostracize her."

    Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson was also targeted by Haskell.

    It's not clear why Haskell felt this way and Hagan's social media profiles do not reveal anything particularly hostile towards him. Haskell did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily News.
    Haskell's issue with Carlson also appears to have been primarily focused on the ex-Fox News host taking issue with how he runs the pageant.
    On Aug. 15, 2014, one of Haskell's executives sent an email to a number of former pageant winners, including Carlson, asking them to push back against a book published by another Miss America winner who questioned why Haskell had been paid a $500,000 consulting fee when the company was in the red financially.
    "It's one thing to talk about your own personal experience as Miss America…but totally different to attack people individually," Carlson responded.
    The executive forwarded the response to Haskell and, calling Carlson a "snake," asked him to tell the board members on a phone call that "it's a shame" that so few Miss Americas were willing to help.
    "Brilliant…..f-----g Brilliant!!!! That will drive Gretchen INF---INGSANE."
    The email that prompted the most anger from former Miss America contestants appears to have been the one referring to them as "c---s."
    "I'm appalled," former contestant Allyn Rose tweeted Thursday night. "The intelligent, talented, dynamic women of this program deserve more than this kind of 'leadership.'"
    Source: NY Daily News, 12/21/2017

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    2nd UPDATE, 12:03 PM: Miss America Organization CEO Sam Haskell resigned his post today amid an investigation into offensive emails he sent about a pageant winner. In a statement He has resigned along with president and COO Josh Randle and Lynn Weidner, the board chair who sent emails involved in the controversy.
    According to a Twitter post from Dan Meyers, who is taking over as interim chairman, Weidner will remain on the board during a transition period:
    UPDATED, 5:30 PM: The Miss America Organization suspended its chief executive today, less than 24 hours after emails surfaced in which he disparaged the appearance, intellect and sex lives of a pageant winner, the Associated Press reported.
    The organization said Sam Haskell would be suspended while the board conducts an in-depth investigation into the “alleged inappropriate communications” and the way in which they were obtained.
    Haskell issued a statement attacking reporting of the incident as “dishonest, deceptive and despicable.”
    “The material is based on private emails that were stolen three years ago by ex-employees,” Haskell wrote. “The story is so unkind and untrue, and hurts me, my family, and the stewardship of this nonprofit. Those who know my heart know that this is not indicative of my character, nor is it indicative of my business acumen.”
    PREVIOUSLY, 10:13 AM: Dick Clark Productions has cut ties with the Miss America Organization after learning several months ago of offensive, sexist and cruel emails regarding past Miss America winners written by the beauty pageant’s CEO Sam Haskell.
    DCP, which produced the nationally televised broadcast, says it severed relations with the group “shortly after” learning of the emails several months ago. News of the rift — and the emails — came to light with yesterday’s devastating Huffington Post article in which writer Yashar Ali unveiled three years worth of old emails in which Haskell joked about referring to past pageant winners as “c*nts.”
    Haskell joined Miss America’s board in 2005 after retiring from the William Morris Agency as worldwide head of television.
    ABC is set to air the 97th Miss America Pageant is set to air live from Atlantic City on September 10, 2018, with hosts Chris Harrison and Sage Steele. Deadline has reached out to ABC for comment.
    Wrote Ali, “Haskell’s behavior behind closed doors shows he regularly maligned, fat-shamed and slut-shamed the former Miss Americas, calling them shocking names and in one case laughing at the suggestion that one of the women should die.”
    In a statement to Deadline, DCP said: “Several months ago, dick clark productions was made aware of a portion of the emails that were referenced in the December 21 Huffington Post article. We were appalled by their unacceptable content and insisted, in the strongest possible terms, that the Miss America Organization (MAO) board of directors conduct a comprehensive investigation and take appropriate action to address the situation. Shortly thereafter, we resigned our board positions and notified MAO that we were terminating our relationship with them.”
    DCP and the Miss America Organization entered a co-production deal in 2014 and have co-produced the show since the 2015 pageant.
    Sam Haskell
    The emails written by Haskell to a writer for the pageant were provided to HuffPo by two sources. “They reveal a CEO who regularly wrote and responded to unprofessional, offensive emails about the women who poured their hearts into the pageants and the organization he was leading,” Ali wrote.
    Haskell told the Associated Press that he has apologized to the pageant board and will further address the controversy today.
    Since the story’s publication Thursday, 49 former Miss Americas are calling for the resignations of the organization’s top leadership: CEO Haskell, President Josh Randle, board Chair Lynn Weidner and board member Tammy Haddad.
    Gretchen Carlson
    Gregory Pace/BEI/Shutterstock
    Among the revelations alleged in the lengthy HuffPo story is Haskell’s apparent dislike for Gretchen Carlson, the 1989 Miss America winner and member of the organization’s board of directors. At issue, reportedly, was Carlson’s push to modernize the organization.
    In one email to a colleague, Haskell wrote, “Brilliant…..f*cking Brilliant!!!! That will drive Gretchen INF*CKINGSANE.” After Carlson resigned from the board, Haskell crowed that Carlson “couldn’t be trusted.”
    In a response to to HuffPost Thursday, former Fox News personality Carlson said: “As a proud former Miss America and former member of the Board of the Miss America Organization, I am shocked and deeply saddened by the disgusting statements about women attributed to the leadership of the MAO. No woman should be demeaned with such vulgar slurs. As I’ve learned, harassment and shaming of women is never acceptable and should never be tolerated. Every MAO executive and board member who engaged in such crude behavior and signed off on it like it was no big deal should resign immediately. The Miss America Organization, which is tasked to uphold an almost 100 year old tradition of female empowerment and scholarship, deserves better. I hope all former Miss Americas, state and local titleholders and volunteers will join me in a collective effort to fight for the dignity of this great institution.”
    Source:, 12/24/2017

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    Las Vegas, Nevada – November 26, 2017 – Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, a 22-year-old business management from Western Cape, South Africa, was crowned Miss Universe 2017 at the AXIS at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada. The telecast aired live on FOX for the third year in a row.  But compared to last year's U.S. telecast which started on time, this year's U.S. telecast was pre-emptied by an NFL game for the first twenty-five minutes, much to my disgust! Luckily, the show was live streamed on Facebook, which was a first in the pageant's history. I found myself watching the live stream on Facebook on my iPhone and the delayed telecast at the same time! 

         Nel-Peters was crowned by outgoing queen Iris Mittenaere from France. Nel-Peters' victory marks the second time that South Africa has won the Miss Universe crown (Margaret Gardiner won in 1978).  According to the Miss Universe website: "... in her spare time, Demi-Leigh is passionate about a program she helped develop to train women in self-defense in various situations called the Unbreakable campaign. She was inspired to launch it by the attempted hijacking she experienced earlier this year in Johannesburg. She plans to share these workshops and help as many women as she can." One wonders if Demi-Leigh had not been hijacked, then she would not have any interesting story to tell and perhaps might have barely made the cut.

         For the third straight year in a row, Emmy Award winner Steve Harvey hosted the three-hour event with backstage commentary from "body activist" and top model Ashley Graham, style expert Carson Kressley, and walking coach and model Lu Sierra. Grammy-award entertainer Fergie and international pop star Rachel Platten provided the entertainment. 

          The panel of judges included former Miss Universe winners Pia Wurtzbach (2015) and Wendy Fitzwilliam (1998), TV personality Ross Mathews, makeup artist and entrepreneur Jay Manuel, social media celebrity Lele Pons, and UFC backstage correspondent and host Megan Olivi.

          A record total of 92 countries were represented in the 66th edition of the pageant which was held ten months after the 65th edition which was held on January 30, 2017 in the Philippines. Hopefully, the pageant from now on will take place consistently once a year.

    Final Results:

    First Runner-Up:  Colombia, Laura Gonzalez

    Second Runner-Up: Jamaica, Davina Bennett

    Top Three: Colombia, Laura Gonzalez;  South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters; Jamaica, Davina Bennett

    Top Five:  Colombia, Laura Gonzalez;  South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters; Jamaica, Davina Bennett; Thailand, Maria Poonlertlarp; Venezuela, Keysi Sayago

    Top Ten:  Colombia, Laura Gonzalez;  South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters; Jamaica, Davina Bennett; Thailand, Maria Poonlertlarp; Venezuela, Keysi Sayago; Brazil. Monalisa Alcantara; Canada, Lauren Howe; Philippines, Rachel Peters; Spain, Sofia del Prado; USA,  Kára McCullough. 

    Top Sixteen: Colombia, Laura Gonzalez;  South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters; Jamaica, Davina Bennett; Thailand, Maria Poonlertlarp; Venezuela, Keysi Sayago; Brazil. Monalisa Alcantara; Canada, Lauren Howe; Philippines, Rachel Peters; Spain, Sofia del Prado; USA,  Kára McCullough; China, Roxette Qiu; Croatia, Shanaelle Petty; Ghana, Ruth Quashie; Great Britain, Anna Burdzy; Ireland, Cailín Toíbín; and Sri Lanka, Christina Peiris.

    Best National Costume: Japan, Momoko Abe.  The winners of this award usually wear the most colorful, the most elaborate, the most culturally significant, and yes, the heaviest costume - as in the case of last year's winner from Myanmar, Htet Htet Htun, who "wore" a traditional Burmese puppetry. This year's Myanmar delegate, Zun Thansin, has outdone her predecessor by "wearing" an enormous prop representing a traditional Burmese musical orchestra. If Thansin had thought that she could outdo Htun's costume and win for Myanmar again, well she had thought wrong. This year, the judges picked Japan whose costume had the biggest surprise element of all - a samurai outfit which doubles as a kimono!

         Usually, special awardees were announced during the telecast but MUO has scrapped this tradition over a decade ago. Now, the awardees are announced either during an après party or posted on social media, which I find tacky and undignified. This year, Miss Panama Laura de Sanctis was voted as Miss Congeniality. This is the second time that a Miss Photogenic award was not distributed (the first being in 2015) -  which is pathetic especially since there were so many girls that looked stunning in photographs. Is MUO really on a tight budget that they can't afford to splurge another $1,000 as prize cash for a Miss Photogenic? With the astronomical figure that they had paid Steve Harvey to host for the third time, $1,000 is peanuts.


    The Top Three

          Misses Thailand and Venezuela were eliminated after the Top 5 question round, which left Misses South Africa, Colombia and Jamaica at the Top 3. Don't you just love Colombia's infectious ecstatic reaction? 


         After the Top 3 Final Question round, each top finalist had to sashay on stage for the final look while entertainer Rachel Platten sang her hit song, "Broken Glass."  Minutes later,  the official results were announced: a disappointed Miss Jamaica was declared 2nd runner-up, which left Miss South Africa and Miss Colombia as the last two women standing. Finally, host Steve Harvey declares Miss South Africa as Miss Universe and Miss Colombia as 1st runner-up:  



    Innovations... but

    The opening number and the new selection format The stage is a repeat of the 2015 show when it was held at the same venue (AXIS) in Las Vegas. It had 
    gigantic LED screens that featured the respective flags of each contestant. But the introduction is an almost repeat of last year's when the candidates did not get to introduce themselves. Instead, a feminine voice-over introduced each contestant - not alphabetically - but by region, which is reminiscent of the regional introductions that first began in the early 1990s. However, a new component was added:  the selection of top four scorers from each region (the Americas, Europe, Asia/Africa/Oceania) plus wild cards (the top four scorers regardless of the region). This new selection format sought to offer an equal and fair opportunity especially to countries that have never or rarely placed, but to me it reeked of political correctness. Why should the judges be compelled to advance a mediocre contestant just because her country has not done well in the last 40 or 50 years? I supposed the pageant's new owners, IMG, wishes to perpetuate the notion of global inclusion by telling the world that it is not okay to ignore countries with non-existent pageant tradition. 

    Lauriela Martins, Miss Universe Angola 2017, struts her stuff during the opening number.


    Las Vegas, baby. For the fifth time, the pageant was held in the City of Lights, Las Vegas. And for the second time at the AXIS. Critics claim that the only reason Las Vegas hosted the pageant again was that no other country would host it and/or that no country could afford the exorbitant hosting fees charged by MUO. So naturally, Las Vegas automatically became the default host city. Nothing wrong with that.  The city was designed to host all sorts of events, and it is fully equipped with everything that MUO needs to put on a good show. One major concern that was brought up by naysayers was that the city had been the target of a crazy gunman who had opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip last October 1, killing 58 innocent people. What if a similar incident occurred at the Miss Universe pageant? It was a legitimate concern; however, MUO's security staff is one of the toughest in the pageant world. It is so tough that even national directors are prohibited from seeing or speaking to their delegates during the entire competition. 

    The swimsuit and evening gown presentations return to tradition. I guess this year MUO yielded to the demands of pageant fans who hated last year's presentations where the finalists had to come out in groups of three. This time, it was back to the 2015 format with the girls being introduced one by one, and thus giving each of them more airtime. In the swimsuit segment, the girls with the best bodies are Philippines, Ghana, USA, Colombia and South Africa, but Venezuela and Brazil ruled the catwalk. Thailand was the only one who opted to wear a one-piece (what was she hiding?) In the evening gown segment, Jamaica's bright and intricately designed yellow gown was a real showstopper and complimented her glowing ebony complexion. Philippines looked the sexiest in her sleeveless, crystal-studded light-blue gown with a plunging neckline and high slit which enhanced her ridiculously hot body. Although I don't particularly care for South Africa's long-sleeved nude gown, she did give the best stage projection with her exquisite face and killer smize! As commentator Lu Sierra would constantly stress, "It's all about the girl, the face, the eye contact." 

    Smizin' To Win: South Africa's Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters

    Miss-Matched / Separated At Birth? Did anyone notice the striking resemblance between Miss USA Kára McCullough (left) and Miss Brazil Monalysa Alcântara (right) especially during the swimsuit line-up? Matching hairdo, matching smile, matching leg stance, matching swimsuit. Imagine if they had been the last two standing finalists. Who do you think would have won?


    Diverse swimsuit styles: This year's top 16 reflected a true rainbow coalition of beauties from all shades and colors. But did you notice, too, that they also sashayed in diverse swimsuit styles and wrap? Cool, isn't it? 


    Surprises, surprises! Let's face it: it is rare for a pageant expert or fanatic to successfully predict which countries will make the cut, as every year there will always be one, two or more non-favorite countries that will always pull a surprise. This year, there were five: Croatia, Ireland, China and in the photo below, Sri Lanka (Christina Peiris) and Ghana (Ruth Quashie). Croatia has been  participating consistently since 1997 and so far has placed twice in the top 15 (2009, 2012); its representative, Shanaelle Petty, was nowhere on the list of favorites of most fans, as she was just as shocked as I was when her country was called. Ireland started competing in 1961 but has never won;  Cailín Áine Ní Toibín's top 16 placement is the first for Ireland since Rozanna Purcell's Top 6 position in 2010. Ruth Quashie gave Ghana its second Top 16 placement since 1999, whereas China also got its second since 2013. 

    And speaking of China, let's appreciate her quasi-androgynous look:


    Wild card, wild fans. The Philippines has been placing consistently at Miss Universe since Venus Raj in 2010, and Rachel Peters was not about to break that streak. When her country was not called as a top scorer from the Asia/Africa/Oceania region, it caused much anxiety to her huge league of Filipino fans. Thank God this anxiety quickly turned to rambunctious tranquility when Rachel's country was called as the first wild card. 

    Rachel Peters' sigh of relief 

     Filipino fans going wild when their country's rep made the cut. It's hard to imagine a Miss Universe pageant without wild, passionate and entertaining Filipino fans in the audience, as they add so much color and amusement to the show!

     How do you solve a problem like Maria?  They say that your answer to the final question will either make you or break you. While the other four finalists aced their respective questions, Thailand's Maria Poonlertlarp struggled with her answer to this question, "What do you think has been the most important social movement of your generation and why?" Her response:"I think the most important social movement so far is that we’re having an aging population. So the most important movement in our time is definitely the youth. So the youth is the future, the youth is something we have to invest in because they’re the ones who are gonna look after the earth that we live in." 

    For someone who used to teach English, Maria seemed unsure about what a social movement is. One could assume that she probably meant that society needs to care about old people and thus we need to encourage today's youth to look after the elderly. But something was lost in translation and overall her response sounded incoherent. Maria was actually my favorite for the crown and I was ecstatic to see her reach the top 5, but alas, she was not destined to win.

     Fergie's performance. Wow! I have never seen a more heartfelt performance by a guest artist on a Miss Universe show until I witnessed Fergie's touching rendition of her latest hit, "A Little Work." Who wouldn't be touched by such profoundly spiritual and inspirational lyrics?

    When everything around me starts to fallI rise up again to the callWe're all just a little bit broken (yeah)We're all just a little bit hurt (yeah)We've all got wounds half open (yeah)We all can use a little workA little workA little

    I'm pretty sure the contestants can relate to the song whenever they trip or fall on their butt or when they are bullied online by nasty fans. Lol

    Iris Mittenaere doing her final walk wearing a red crystal-studded strapless ball gown by Filipino designer Michael Cinco - the same guy who dressed Pia Wurtzbach in cobalt blue ballgown when she crowned Iris. Iris has never looked so radiant and beautiful:

    So from a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest), how would I rate the 2017 telecast? I would give it a 6. The production was dull as dishwasher, Steve Harvey's jokes have become stale, the new selection format was inordinate, and the girls continued to wear those ugly Chinese Laundry tippy toe shoes. 


    by Rafa Delfin, 12/27/2017

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    There she is ... the new chairwoman of the Miss America board of directors.

    Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989, has been named the organization's chairwoman effective immediately, says a statement released Monday.

    It's the first time a former winner has served as the leader of the nearly 100-year-old organization.

    The announcement comes days after three board members resigned and former Miss America titleholders, including 2013's Mallory Hagan, called for the organization's entire board of directors to be replaced following a leak of derogatory and sexist emails from CEO Sam Haskell and others. 

    Also effective immediately, the board approved the addition of Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss (Miss America 2012), Heather French Henry (Miss America 2000) and Kate Shindle (Miss America 1998) as members.

    “Everyone has been stunned by the events of the last several days, and this has not been easy for anyone who loves this program," Carlson said in the statement. "In the end, we all want a strong, relevant Miss America and we appreciate the existing board taking the steps necessary to quickly begin stabilizing the organization for the future.”  

    Carlson said one of her goals for the board would be to start working with all pageant stakeholders, including state executive directors and former state titleholders, to continue identifying additional new board members and management to reflect inclusiveness.

    Hagan and Shindle were subjects of the offensive emails. In August 2014, Haskell received an email that said Hagan’s hairdresser had been commenting on Hagan’s sex life, as well as her recent weight gain.

    Haskell forwarded the email to Miss America telecast lead writer Lewis Friedman and noted, “Not a single day passes that I am not told some horrible story about Mallory.”

    Friedman replied, “Mallory’s preparing for her new career … as a blimp in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. As she continues to destroy her own credibility, her voice will attract less and less notice while she continues her descent to an unhappy pathetic footnote.”

    Other exchanges described Hagan as "fat and gross," and used vulgar expletives.

    Contributing: The Associated Press

    Source:, 1/1/2018

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  • 01/01/18--18:34: End Of The Year Review 2017
  • Pageantry in 2017: Dayanara & Sushmita Return To Their Second Home, Asian Domination, and Miss America Emailgate


    DAYANARA TORRES RETURNS TO THE PHILIPPINES:  After finishing her reign as Miss Universe 1993, Dayanara Torres decided to stay in the Philippines (where the 1994 pageant was held) to try her luck in the entertainment industry. It turned out that the Filipinos loved her and she instantly became one of the most successful foreign artists to have made it big in the country where she lived for five years. Then in 1998, she returned to Puerto Rico and married her now ex-husband Marc Anthony. After almost 20 years of absence, the Puerto Rican beauty queen returned to her "second home" to judge Miss Universe 2016 (that took place on January 30) and to reconnect with her old friends and her "second family.


    SUSHMITA SEN RETURNS TO THE PHILIPPINES Dayanara Torrewas not the only queen who missed the Philippines after all these years. Her successor, Sushmita Sen, also returned 23 years later after she was crowned in the Philippines in 1994. Like Dayanara, Sushmita was also invited to judge the 2017 pageant. Her visit to the country was highlighted by an endearing interview of her by Jessica Soho that featured young Filipina women who were all named after her. Watch Sushmita's reaction when she meets them!


    WHEELCHAIR BEAUTYJustine Clark, 26, became the first contestant in a wheelchair to compete in the South Australian regional contest for Miss World Australia pageant . Although she didn't win the finals that took place on February 19, Clark was able to advance to the nationwide final through the Beauty with a Purpose campaign, which raises money for local charities. When asked about her disability, the vegan health and fitness expert says, "It does not define me. I can still be strong, feminine, and beautiful." Bravo, Justine!


    DETHRONEMENTS:   Christina Mikkelsen (above), 24, became caught up in a criminal investigation after her former flame, Teodorin Obiang, was accused of money laundering. In early February, the organizers of the Face of Denmark stripped Christina of her crown after competing in Miss Universe 2016, citing the investigation as the main reason. But Christina's dismissal came after she accused the "Face of Denmark" organizers of trying to force her to lose weight. Despite sporting a toned look and weighing just under 120 lbs., she claims her bosses had told her to lose more than fourteen pounds before the Miss Universe pageant. 

    On March 6,  Tatiana Kumar  was stripped of her Miss Malaysia World 2017 title for breaching the pageant organisez’s code of conduct. Kumar offended one of her sponsors at the pageant’s finale in the United States in December by refusing to wear its garments. She and her family were also accused of having made several offensive posts on both the Internet and social media regarding the Miss Malaysia World organization. She denied all allegations. Kumar was dethroned immediately after competing in Miss World 2016.

     Vian Sulaimani was crowned Miss Iraq 2017 on May 25 in Baghdad. Three months later, she was dethroned for violating the rules of the competition. It was discovered that she was married to a student named Aziz, a citizen of Irish nationality.  She was supposed to represent her country at Miss World 2016. 

    Miss Lebanon Emigrant 2017, Amanda Hanna, lost her title just a week after winning it on August 14. The Swedish-Lebanese beauty was stripped of her title after it was discovered that in 2016 she went on an academic tour in Israel, using her Swedish passport to enter the Jewish State. A statement from The Festival of Lebanese Emigrants in Dhour Al Choueir to the Al Modon newspaper read, “After communicating our decision with Lebanon’s Minister of Tourism he decided that Hanna should be stripped of her title because her visit to Israel violates our country’s laws.” Lebanese citizens are not allowed to travel to Israel, considered an “enemy state,” and Israelis are not allowed to enter Lebanon.Lebanese citizens are not allowed to travel to Israel, considered an “enemy state,” and Israelis are not allowed to enter Lebanon.ebanese citizens are not allowed to travel to Israel, considered an “enemy state,” and Israelis are not allowed to enter Lebanon.


     Organizers stripped Miss Turkey 2017 of her crown over a social media posting that was deemed insulting to the memory of the 250 people killed while opposing last year's failed military coup. Miss Turkey organizers said the 18-year-old Itir Esen (above) was dethroned on September 22, a day after she won the contest and the right to represent Turkey at the Miss World contest in China. The organizers said in an emailed statement that her title was revoked because of a tweet in July that they described as "unacceptable." Media reports said Esen, a model and university student, caused a storm on social media after she posted a remark on Twitter as the country held memorials for the victims on the first anniversary of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. According to Sozcu newspaper and other media the tweet, which has since been erased, said: "I got my period on the morning of the July 15 martyrs' day. I'm marking the day by bleeding as a representation of the martyrs' blood."

    Esen reportedly denied the account was hers. But Can Sandikcioglu, who heads the Miss Turkey Organization, said the committee said it confirmed she was the author of the tweet


    GETTING THE SHORT END OF THE STICK:  Controversy rocked the Miss Earth 2017 pageant in October in the Philippines when pageant organizers decided to eliminate Miss Earth South Africa,  Irini Moutzouris (above), from the competition because she failed to meet the minimum height requirement of 5'4" (165 cm).  Pageant fans were divided on how they felt about Irini's disqualification. Some blame the national director Ella Bella Leite for sending Irini to the pageant despite the height regulation, and/or that Leite had neglected to inform Irini of the minimum height requirement. Some fans argued that Carousel Productions, the owner of Miss Earth, should have bent its rules this one time alone instead of giving the boot to Irini when the pageant has already entered its third week. 

    STRIPPED AND UN-STRIPPED:  Less than two weeks after winning the Miss Universe Trinidad & Tobago 2017 title, Yvonne Clarke was told via email from Jennifer Douglas, the local franchise holder, that she would no longer be able to represent the country, citing a breach of parts of her contract by making public statements in the media without Douglas’s express permission. Having claimed that she was left to handle her own finances and preparations for Miss Universe 2017, Clarke got the help of soca artiste Fay-Ann Lyons. After a series of accusations and denials, Clarke was reinstated and left for Las Vegas to compete in Miss Universe, but that was after Lyons pulled her company’s sponsorship support. 


    ROCKY MAYOR:   Just three months before her 31st birthday, Kaiane Aldorino was elected as the youngest mayor of Gibraltar, whose  landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of which is a densely populated city area, home to over 30,000 people. When she won Miss World in 2009, she became the first woman from Gibraltar to ever reach the semi-finals of a major international pageant and the first to ever win one.


     The last time that Iraq competed in Miss Universe pageant was in 1972. The contestant, Wijdan Burhan El-Deen Sulyman, wore a one-piece swimsuit which hardly caused a stir within the Muslim world. Fast forward 45 years later to 2017, Iraq is back with a beautiful representative, Sarah Idan (above), 27, born and raised in Baghdad. However, her participation in the world's most prestigious pageant has enraged fundamentalist Muslims in her country and elsewhere. As a result, her family has been receiving death threats and the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) has been forced to take down all of her bikini photos from the official website.  

    Sarah initially made headlines when she had posted a selfie with Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, on her Instagram during the pageant.  A number of people threatened to kill her and her family. The threats finally forced her family to flee Iraq.  “My mom was freaking out,” Idan told CNN. “I told her ‘Mom, just get out. Get out.’ I told her, ‘I’m sorry’ and asked if she wants me to leave the competition. I was ready to drop out right then.”



    SIGNIFICANT WINS: Kevin Liliana, 21, was crowned Miss International 2017 in Tokyo on November 14. Her victory marks Indonesia's first ever win of a major global pageant, and makes Indonesia as the fourth Asian country to win the coveted crown (after the Philippines, Lebanon and Japan). Her parents were expecting a baby boy and they had intended to name him Kevin, but when the baby turned out to be a girl, they decided to call her Kevin anyway after the character Kevin from the hit movie, "Home Alone."


    Ten days earlier, Teresita Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez, first-time Philippine representative to the pageant, was crowned Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia on November 4. She bested 26 other candidates in a competition that aims to promote Hispanic-American culture across the globe. Critics argue that the Philippines - located in Asia -  should not have been allowed to compete since the country is not geographically situated in Latin America. Alas, these critics do not realize that the Philippines was colonized by Spain for nearly 400 years and shares many traditions and customs with the Hispanic world.


    On December 1 in  Krynica-Zdrój, Poland, Jenny Kim of Korea was crowned Miss Supranational 2017, making her as the fourth Asian winner in the pageant's 9-year history. Kim had competed in Miss World Korea 2015 where she placed 1st runner-up. The following year, she was appointed as her country's representative to Miss Universe 2016 where she won the Miss Congeniality award.


    Hometown girl Karen Ibasco was crowned Miss Earth 2017 on November 4 in Manila, Philippines. Her victory marks the Philippines' fourth Miss Earth title in less than 10 years (2008, 2014, 2015, 2017).  During the competition’s final Q & A portion, Ibasco was asked who or what she thinks is the biggest enemy of Mother Earth and why. Ibasco replied: “I believe that the real problem in this world is not climate change. The real problem is us because of our ignorance and apathy. What we have to do is to start changing our ways, to start recalibrating our minds and redirecting our steps because together, as a global community, our micro-efforts will have a macro-effect to help save our home, our planet.”


    On November 19 in China, Manushi Chhillar, 20, became the sixth Indian woman to win the prestigious Miss World crown. India now ties with Venezuela for the most number of Miss World crowns - six each. Her victory ended India's dry spell of 17 years. Priyanka Chopra, now a successful Bollywood and Hollywood star,  won the title for India way back in 2000.

    Three of the world's biggest pageants (Miss International, Miss Earth, Miss World) have crowned winners from the Asian continent in 2017, which suggests that Asian beauties have now become the most competitive and prepared pageant contestants.

    NO WONDER SHE DIDN'T WANT THE MIKIMOTO CROWN:   Call her the reluctant beauty queen, but perhaps Gal Godot had always known that she was not cut out to be a beauty queen. Talking about her experience at the Miss Universe 2004 pageant she says, "I was very naughty. I wasn't behaving. I am a really good girl, but because I was afraid I am going to win again because I did not want to win the Miss Israel pageant and I won. I figured oh no, I don't want them to choose me again, so I came down late for rehearsals. I wasn't wearing the right evening gowns for breakfast. I even remember Paula Abdul, she was one of the judges there. She was asking me a question and I was like, 'I am sorry, English not so good." Well, she has come a long way and her English has definitely improved since then, enough to win the lead role of Wonder Woman. She is officially Forbes’s highest-grossing actress of 2017, having raked in $1.4 billion in movie tickets worldwide for portraying the same superhero twice in six months. The Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman remained the second highest-grossing movie of the year until  Star Wars: The Last Jedi opened, making it the third-biggest movie of 2017, the best-received and highest-grossing movie of the current DC superhero franchise, and the highest-grossing live-action movie ever directed by a woman. Yesh! #Winning


    MISS AMERICA'S EMAILGATE:   The Miss America Organization was rocked following the release of internal emails published on December 21st on Huffington Post. The published messages showed offensive language that CEO Sam Haskell used to describe 2013 Miss America Mallory Hagan— describing her as "fat and gross" in one note. In another exchange from August 2014, Haskell received an email that said Hagan’s hairdresser had been commenting on Hagan’s sex life as well as her recent weight gain. As a consequence, Haskell and two other board members - chairman Lynn Weidner and president and chief operating officer Josh Randle - resigned. 

    Haskell forwarded the email to Miss America telecast lead writer Lewis Friedman and noted, “Not a single day passes that I am not told some horrible story about Mallory.” Friedman replied, “Mallory’s preparing for her new career … as a blimp in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. As she continues to destroy her own credibility, her voice will attract less and less notice while she continues her descent to an unhappy pathetic footnote.” Friedman ended the email with this: “P.S. Are we four the only ones not to have (slept with) Mallory?”

    Haskell defended himself by stating, "Much of what was reported is dishonest, deceptive, and despicable," he said in a statement released Friday. "The material is based on private emails that were stolen three years ago by ex-employees. The story is so unkind and untrue, and hurts me, my family, and the stewardship of this non-profit."

    On December 23,1989 Miss America Gretchen Carlson, tweeted a statement from herself and Kate Shindle, 1998 Miss America, Saturday calling the resignations "reassuring" but adding "this by no means fulfills the need for a thorough housecleaning of the Board. We will continue to demand the resignations of every individual who either participated in the abuse of women or stood by and was complicit," the statement said.


    COUNTRY OF THE YEAR:   For the 3rd consecutive year, the Philippines has remained unbeatable in terms of pageant successes in 2017 and deserves once and for all the title "Country Of The Year" in pageantry.  The country has produced two major wins  (Miss Earth, Mr. Gay World), two minor wins (Miss Progress International, Miss Tourism International) and over a dozen other trivial titles that only a true Filipino pageant fanatic would know. Except in Miss International, the country placed in the other big league pageants for women (top 10 in Miss Universe, top 20 in Miss World, 1st runner-up in Miss Globe (Albania version), and 2nd runner-up in Miss Grand International) and a few placements in pageants for men (1st runner-up in Mister Universal Ambassador, 4th runner-up in Mister Grand International, top 15 in Manhunt International, top 16 in Mister Global, top 20 in Mister Supranational).

    Photo: Teresita Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez clutching the Philippine flag during the Reina Hispanoamericana 2017 pageant in Bolivia, just a few days before she won the title.




     Miss America 1944 Venus Ramey passed away on June 17 at the age of 92. Venus hailed from Ashland, Kentucky, but entered the Miss America competition representing the District of Columbia, where she moved to work for the war effort during World War II. Venus entertained in military service camps, sold war bonds, and toured in Vaudeville. In addition to a citation from the United States Treasury Department for her work in the War Bond effort, Venus Ramey’s picture was painted on the side of fighter planes. These planes made sixty-eight raids over war-torn Germany and never lost a man. At a time when it seemed the country was losing the war, this incredible story was reported by the Associated Press and bolstered the nation’s morale.

     Miss Grand Uthai Thani 2017 Rattana Ramchatu, nicknamed Fies, died on June 1st just four days after winning the contest. She died in a car accident while traveling from Chomphon to Bangkok where she had some business to attend.

     Margaret Ann Garza Ms. Texas Belleza Latina in 2007 and Ms. Belleza Latina International in 2008, was found dead in her Texas home on May 30. It is not clear how she died. She was 31. Garza appeared in number of television and print advertisements and in the nationally televised AMC series, 'The Son' and 'Mercury Plains' with Scott Eastwood.  


    Stephanie Rivera Camarena, Miss Earth Baja California in 2015, succumbed to her injuries and died two days later on November 7 after the speeding Lamborghini she was a passenger in crashed and caught fire also killing the medical marijuana millionaire driver Michael Llamas. She was 26.  

    Ruby Ann Laufa, Miss South Pacific Papua New Guinea 2012, died on February 11 at the main of campus of the University of Papua New Guinea where she was fatally injured.
    Mr. Laufa, Ruby’s father, said that his daughter was at their home in Fort Banner before her boyfriend called to come pick her up that Saturday. From initial police report, Laufa was assaulted then pushed out of a running vehicle and incurred head injuries. Her alleged boyfriend was turned over to the police for custody while the investigations are on-going. Ruby was just two days shy of her 25th birthday.


    Trudi Ferguson, who won the Miss Jamaica Universe crown in 1996, died on November 10 after a battle with breast cancer. Miss Universe Jamaica made the announcement via Facebook on November 11 on the same day pageant organizers sent current title holder Davina Bennett off to Las Vegas, Nevada to represent the island in the Miss Universe contest.

    Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.  - Sophia Loren


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    After former Miss America (1989) and Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson was recently named chair of the Miss America Organization board of directors, Carlson sat down with Good Morning America Friday to explain how her new role will jumpstart a “tsunami” of change.
    Carlson's high-profile sexual harassment lawsuit in 2016 against ex-Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, which led to a $20 million settlement, was one of many factors that precipitated this fall's wave of sexual misconduct claims in Hollywood. Carlson told GMA that the post-Weinstein revolution has provided the courage that was previously nonexistent for women in society and within the Miss America organization. 
    “When I jumped off my cliff on the whole sexual harassment story 18 months ago, that was a lonely experience,” said Carlson. “But look at what happened when that gift of courage kept being passed on to one woman to another to another.”
    Carlson’s new role comes in wake of the organization’s former CEO Sam Haskell’s resignation, after leaked emails exposed Haskell and others' demeaning comments about former pageant winners, including Carlson, who found the emails “appalling.” “But part of me also knows, after my life over the last 18 months, that this kind of behavior is prevalent, unfortunately,” Carlson said.
    Carlson believes that experience and the #MeToo movement, has allowed a “collective voice” to form among women. As she embarks on her new role, Carlson believes that the empowered idealization will follow within the Miss America organization, despite still being a "work in progress." 
    “We formed a collective voice and look where we are today, in a tsunami. The same thing will happen with the Miss America Organization," Carlson said, also revealing that the pageant's swimsuit portion will be reconsidered. "I plan to make this organization 100 percent about empowering women. Changes are coming." 
    Carlson explained that she also considered her new position as a “call of duty" and something she felt "compelled" to volunteer for after her lawsuit with Ailes. Motivated to spark change, Carlson shared that she has already called for board members who were aware of the emails to resign, with president and COO Josh Randle and chairman Lynn Weidner having also resigned.
    Though "small," the organization is now devised of former Miss Americas. Along with Carlson, former Miss Americas Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss (2012), Heather French Henry (2000) and Kate Shindle (1998) have also joined the board.  
    "I find that incredibly empowering in this #MeToo movement, that some of the women who were allegedly maligned in those appalling emails are now running the place," Carlson said. "It's a form of justice."
    Following the email scandal, Dick Clark Productions also announced that it was no longer producing the Miss America pageant.
    Source: Hollywood Reporter, 1/5/2018

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