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Beauty With Attitude

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    The new Miss Universe Australia 2013 is Olivia Wells, a 19-year-old medical student from Melbourne who was crowned July 12th. She was one of the finalists from the state of Victoria. Wells, who had no previous pageant experience, will compete in Miss Universe 2013 to be held in Moscow, Russia on November 9th. The 1st runner-up is Tegan Martin (right) who was 1st runner-up in 2011. The 2nd runner-up is Marsi Fernandez (left). The 3rd runner-up is Kristy Coulcher. And the 4th runner-up is Mary Vitinaros who was 1st runner-up in 2012.



    Photos courtesy of Dear Pageant Girl


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  • 07/13/13--15:54: Miss Costa Rica 2013 crowned


  • The new Miss Costa Rica 2013 is Fabiana Granados Herrera, 23, who was crowned at the Teletica’s Marco Picado Studio in San Jose on July 12th. She will represent Costa Rica in Miss Universe 2013 pageant in Moscow on November 9th. The first runner-up is Meribeth Durán and the second runner-up is Alba Rodríguez. Granados is a pageant veteran, having competed in Reinado Internacional del Café 2012 and in Miss Earth 2012 pageant where she placed in the Top 16.





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    The new Miss World China 2013 is Wei Wei Yu, 25, who was crowned on July 14th at the Galaxy Soho in Beijing. She will represent China in Miss World 2013 pageant to be held in Indonesia on September 28th. Wei Wei was the second runner-up in Miss World China 2009 and Miss World China 2011. Wei Wei was crowned by the reigning Miss World Wenxia Yu also from China.







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    The new Miss Florida USA 2014 is Brittany Oldehoff , a 24-year-old model representing Fort Lauderdale, who was crowned July 13 at Bailey Concert Hall in Fort Lauderdale. She will compete in Miss USA 2014 pageant to be held in Miami. Her runners-up are Briegitte Baldrica (1st), Linette De Los Santos (2nd), Kailyn Perez (3rd) and Melissa Ramirez (4th).





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    New state queens were crowned this past weekend. They will now compete in Miss America 2014
    in Atlantic City on September 18th.



    The new Miss Mississippi 2013 is Chelsea Rick



    The new Miss South Carolina 2013 is Brooke Mosteller



    The new Miss Idaho 2013 is Sarah Downs



    The new Miss New York 2013 is Nina Davuluri




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    Contestants of Miss Tourism Queen International appear on July 6 at an auction event in Ruyang, Henan Province, where tourists bid for a chance to go rafting with the beauties. Photo: CFP
    Contestants of Miss Tourism Queen International appear on July 6 at an auction event in Ruyang, Henan Province, where tourists bid for a chance to go rafting with the beauties. Photo: CFP

    A contestant shares a hot dance with a judge at a Miss Bikini Global event in Wuhan, Hubei Province on July 13. Photo: CFP
    A contestant shares a hot dance with a judge at a Miss Bikini Global event in Wuhan, Hubei Province on July 13. Photo: CFP

    As the Chinese final of the 2013 Miss Tourism Queen International pageant came to a close in Wuhan, the capital of Central China's Hubei Province, Zhang Feng, the contest's chairman, was in no mood to celebrate.

    "I wanted to end my 10-year job as a beauty pageant organizer after this contest," said 40-year-old Zhang, one of the driving forces behind the beauty pageant industry on the Chinese mainland. Zhang felt he could no longer continue to work in the field due to a raft of hidden rules that forced him to compromise his principles.

    Zhang's frustration and disappointment with the beauty pageant industry in China is shared by many who have quit the sector.

    No money, no honey
    Problems started cropping up on May 7, when the finale was half done. Zhang had to deal with the competition's sponsors who were unhappy with what they saw as limited media coverage. He became worried that they might refuse to pay the final sponsorship fee of 1 million yuan ($162,900). That would mean that all his efforts would be in vain given that the competition, costing more than 3 million yuan, would be jeopardized without a complete finale.

    It has been a headache for beauty pageant managers like Zhang to manage sponsors' high expectations for media coverage and advertisements.

    The interest in beauty pageants has dwindled in the media, which often avoid mentioning the names of sponsors unless they are paid to do so.

    "It's common for a beauty pageant to become a game with sponsors, organizers, and media battling and trying to gain something from one another," said a industry insider. "Their negotiations and the cost of media coverage have prevented the industry from developing."

    Zhang, from Zhejiang Province, used to work as a fashion designer before he entered the beauty pageant business. Back in 2003 he saw several world-famous beauty contests were selling their overseas rights, including Miss World for $1 million and Miss Universe for $6 million. Zhang spent $500,000, some 4 million yuan at the time, to buy up the Asia rights for Miss Tourism Queen International.

    During the first Miss Tourism Queen International competition in China held between 2004 and 2005, Zhang witnessed how difficult it was to seek sponsorship.

    At the time, the Hangzhou municipal government expressed interest in hosting the event but asked the organizing committee to find money and sponsorship by themselves. In October 2004 the event was launched at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, with its activities being held in Xitang, Zhejiang while Hangzhou hosted the finale.

    The event itself was a huge success and helped Xitang, a small town in East China, get on the map. However, the success of the competition did not mean a windfall for Zhang, who had to sell his car to meet the operational cost of the organizing committee.

    Hidden deals and competition
    What Zhang found even more depressing was that hidden rules and under-the-table deals were quickly used to choose a winner in almost all pageants.

    One contestant's mother approached Zhang in Hangzhou in 2006 and said she would put up 3 million yuan in sponsorship fees if he could make sure her daughter won the competition. Zhang said he might consider giving her an individual award but that it was impossible to make her the winner of the whole thing. The mother then asked him to name his price. Zhang replied, "Bring me 25 million yuan and I'll sell the competition's rights to you, and you can pick the winner."

    It was already an open secret back then that trading for the winner's title was common at beauty pageants on the mainland, and that it could cost some 500,000 yuan to name a winner at even a local beauty contest. But the buy-offs were usually hidden as sponsorship to try and hide some of the illicit activities. 

    Although the annual Miss Tourism Queen International seemed to be doing great in China, Zhang felt exhausted as well as being under great financial pressure. He had to sell his apartment in 2006 after the event was hosted in Heyuan, Guangdong. Difficulties in finding sponsorships and collecting funds have discouraged many organizers of beauty pageants, including Zhang.

    Although the beauty pageant industry is fading, it once blazed with glory from the late 1990s until 2005.

    "Different pageants were held every day, for example in Chengdu there could be as many as seven contests in a single day," said Ye Jian, a veteran beauty competition insider. But he said that the level of the contestants remained high despite the plethora of events. 

    The beauty contest craze went on for about five years. Just as insiders have noted, it was filled with copycats as long as it proved to be profitable but it was that crowded market that contributed to its inevitable buckling. Many competitions were organized by people who registered a company in Hong Kong or abroad with the express purpose of starting an "international" pageant here.

    This drew the attention of the big boys. In recent years many high-level international beauty pageants have been held in China, including Miss World, Miss Universe, and Miss Bikini International. Hong Kong has its Miss Hong Kong, while the mainland has a few popular contests still holding on, such as the New Silk Road model contest. Meanwhile, local TV stations also host their own competitions to boost ratings, but the interest for these seems to be flagging.

    But not all the competitions were so credentialed. Many host cities were tricked by competition organizers without really knowing where the competition came from and who the organizers were. For example, two beauty pageants in Chengdu got into a spat last year while seeking governmental support and sponsors, accusing each other of being copycat.

    Insiders say it has become obvious that the success of a beauty competition is no longer based on its brand or influence, but on whether it gets enough sponsorship money.

    Rules revealed
    One example of hidden rules being caught by the media was provided when Wang Kui, a restaurant owner in Chengdu, married Tao Siyuan, winner of a Miss Universe China competition in 2007. Their marriage shocked Chinese beauty industry and darkened the reputation of beauty contests as Wang was a major sponsor of the Miss Universe event in which Tao participated. 

    Unspoken rules within the industry have become ever more obvious, dimming people's interest in beauty queens. Now that the glory days are over, according to industry insiders, it only costs around 200,000 yuan to manipulate the results and secure a winner in one of China's most popular beauty contests. Some 50,000 yuan is enough for less influential events. 

    It is a crime to manipulate results of competitions on such a large scale in the US and European countries, where the market is better regulated, but in the mainland many people simply turn a blind eye to these half-open trades.

    "I wonder how far the industry can go in China if everyone thinks it's OK to ruin its credibility at will," Zhang Feng said. 

    As the industry seems to be going down, the beauty contestants are not having any better luck. 

    There are far too many beauty queens for there to be long-term opportunities for them all, which means most of them return to their normal lives after failing to make it. They might get a few contracts and cooperate with some agencies in the first year or two after their coronations. But apart from these odd advertising campaigns, jobs are few and far between and salaries are low.

    The contests have become less appealing for women as well, due to a less promising future, and the tainted image of these pageants. Several beauty pageants in China have been slammed for choosing winners that seem far less charismatic or beautiful than other contestants, while others have drafted in professional models to make up for a lack of contestants.

    "There is not a single fashion brand in China that is competitive on the international market, and China doesn't need so many models after all," said one beauty pageant judge, speaking under condition of anonymity.

    "It's awkward to see so many beauty contests where we don't have a mature commercial environment to make and package the winners," the judge said.


    SOURCE: Globaltimes.cn, July 15, 2013

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    The new Miss World Kenya 2013 is Wangui Gitonga, 23, who was crowned July 12th. She will compete in Miss World 2013 to be held in Indonesia on November 18th. The 1st runner-up was  Leah Tesfamariam, 21, and the 2nd runner-up was Sophia Umwiza.



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    The new Miss World Australia 2013 is Erin Holland, 24, who was crowned July 19 at Werribee Mansion in Werribee, Victoria. She beat 31 young women who competed in the pageant. She will now represent Australia in Miss World 2013 pageant to be held in Indonesia on November 18th. The first runner-up is Natalie Kalinowski and the second runner-up was Yasmin Kasim.




    Photos by Stuart Walmsley

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  • 07/20/13--12:15: Miss Aruba 2013 crowned



  • The new Miss Aruba 2013 is Stefanie Quillen Evangelista, 24 (second from left) who was crowned July 19th at the Westin Resort & Casino. She will compete in Miss Universe 2013 to be held in Moscow on November 9th. She is joined by her 1st runner-up Jarnely Martinus (to her right), her 2nd runner-up Georgina Martinus (to her left) and Larisa Leeuwe, Miss Aruba 2012 who will be competing at Miss World 2013 in Indonesia on September 18th. Six young women competed in this year's Miss Aruba finals.


    Jarnely Martinus, Stephanie Quillen Evangelista, Georgina Martinus


    Photos from the Miss Aruba Facebook Page





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    The reality show Proyecto Miss Chile concluded July 19th with the selection of Camila Andrade, 22, as Miss World Chile 2013. She will represent Chile in Miss World 2013 pageant to be held September 28th in Indonesia. Andrade was crowned by her predecessor, a pregnant Camila Recabarren. The 1st Runner-Up is Renata Barchiesi and 2nd Runner-Up Romina Lancelott.

    Barchiesi, Andrade, Lancelott

    Camila Andrade


    Photos from the Camila Andrade Facebook Fan Page


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    Exactly 40 years ago today, July 21, 1973, Margarita Moran of the Philippines was crowned Miss Universe 1973 at the Herod Atticus Theatre in Athens, Greece. Margarita became the second woman from her country to win the coveted title (Gloria Diaz was the first in 1969). In the photo, Margarita is flanked by her court, from left to right: 4th runner-up Miss Israel Limor Schreibman, 1st runner-up Miss USA Amanda Jones, 2nd runner-up Miss Norway Aina Walle, and 3rd runner-up Miss Spain María del Rocío Martín Madrigal

    A beaming Margarita

    The last two standing: Philippines and USA. Host Bob Barker announces the winner
    Margarita's winning reaction
    Miss USA Amanda Jones is happy for Margarita's win
    Margarita takes her victory walk

    Greek authorities did not allow the contestants to wear swimsuits in the open-door theater to honor the sanctity of the place. Instead, they had to wear the ancient Greek clothing for women called chiton (shorter version), accessorized with sandals and armlet. A separate swimsuit segment was videotaped for the television audience.
    The morning after her coronation, Margarita enjoys a continental breakfast fit for a queen

    Margarita's homecoming parade


    Margarita is interviewed about her Greek experience
    Margarita's official swimsuit portrait as Miss Universe 1973

    Margarita makes a guest appearance on the popular American game show, "What's My Line?"


    RELIVING MARGARITA'S MISS UNIVERSE MOMENTS:




    WATCH MISS UNIVERSE 1973 IN ITS ENTIRETY:





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    And the 2013 Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria is… Anna Ebiere Banner.
    Just a few minutes ago, the 18 year old aspiring beauty queen, representing Bayelsa state was crowned MBGN 2013 (Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria). Anna will represent Nigeria at the Miss World 2013 Finale in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 28.




    The 1st runner-up  is 19 year-old Stephanie Okwu representing Imo state. She will represent Nigeria at the Miss Universe 2013 competition in Moscow, Russia on November 9th. 


    Meanwhile, 20-year-old Powede Lawrence representing Adamawa state will compete inMiss Tourism 2013 competition.


    SOURCE: Bellanaija.com, 7/20/2013


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  • 07/21/13--08:47: Miss Ireland 2013 crowned


  • Aoife Walsh, 23, from Clonmel in Tipperary has been crowned Miss Ireland 2013 on July 20th in Dublin. She will compete in Miss World 2023 pageant in Indonesia on September 28.




    Absolutley delighted for Miss.Tipperary and now Miss Ireland Aoife Walsh, feel so cool that I know her! pic.twitter.com/VLmYeolyjc
    View image on Twitter


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    The new Miss World Trinidad and Tobago 2013 is Sherrece Villafana (in blue bikini) who was crowned at the National Academy for the Performing Arts in Port of Spain on July 20th. The  19-year-old beauty will represent Trinidad and Tobago in Miss World 2013 in Indonesia on September 28. In the above photo, Villafana is flanked by the first runner-up Ria da Costa (farthest left); Athaliah Samuel, the interim national director of Miss World in Trinidad and Tobago; and second runner-up Starlet Lewis.







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    The new Miss Universe Italy 2013 is Luna Isabella Voce, 24, who was crowned July 20 at the Rainbow MagicLand Theme Park in Rome. She will compete in Miss Universe 2013 in Moscow, Russia on November 9th. Voce had represented Italy before in several pageants, notably in Miss International 2008, Miss Earth 2010, and in Top Model of the World 2011 where she won.

    Italy has never won the Miss Universe crown. In 1987, Roberta Capua was first runner-up to Cecilia Bolocco. The last time Italy placed was in 2008 when Claudia Ferraris made the top 10.




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    The new Miss Jamaica World 2013 is Gina Hargitay, 18, who was crowned at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on Sunday, July 21st. Jenaae Jackson (right), 23, was first runner-up, while Amanda McCreath (left), 23, finished second runner-up. Hargitay will compete in Miss World 2013 to be held in Indonesia on September 28.

    Gina Hargitay


     

     

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    PETALING JAYA: Three of the four Muslim finalists of the Miss Malaysia World pageant who were deemed to have insulted Islam have issued an apology.
    Contestant Sara Amelia Muhammad Bernard, 20, said she had issued a formal apology to the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department (Jawi).
    “My intentions were not to offend Muslims or my own religion,” she said yesterday.
    Finalist Wafa Johanna De Korte, 19, also issued an apology.
    “I’m not at all against the fatwa ruling. I respect that the fatwa is there to protect the Muslims of Malaysia.
    “If anyone is insulted, I’m deeply sorry, but it was never my intention to insult anyone,” she said.
    It was reported that Jawi has launched an investigation against the four pageant finalists as they were deemed to have insulted Islam.
    Jawi director Datuk Che Mat Che Ali said Jawi’s enforcement unit would look into the matter following a Malay daily’s report that the girls were bent on taking part in the beauty pageant despite the edict by the National Fatwa Council.
    The council had issued a fatwa that was gazetted on Feb 8, 1996, under the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) 1993, which states that participating, organising or contributing to any sort of beauty contest is haram (not permissible) and a sin for Muslims.
    Finalist Miera Sheikh, 19, declined to comment about the Jawi probe.
    However, she expressed her respect for Malay culture and said that she strongly embraces her Islamic roots.
    “I may not be a perfect Muslim but I was brought up in an Islamic and Malay culture despite my open-mindedness on certain things in life,” said Meira.
    “To me, Islam will never fade in my life until my last breath because my roots from my ancestors till my parents’ generation and mine will still be Islam.”
    The fourth finalist, Kathrina Ridzuan, could not be reached for comment.
    Pageant organiser Datuk Anna Lim said the four would be allowed to attend the event as guests.

    SOURCE: The Star, Malaysia, 7/25/2013

    Related articles:

    Miss Malaysia World: Disqualified Muslim Finalists to be Investigated for Insulting Islam



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  • 07/25/13--20:02: Miss Uzbekistan 2013 crowned


  • Rakhima Ganiyeva was crowned Miss Uzbekistan 2013 or in Tashkent on July 20th. She will represent Uzbekistan for the first time in Miss World 2013 pageant in Bogor, Indonesia on September 28.





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    People of All Ages, Including a Few Men, Enter Contest as a Protest

    by ELLEN EMMERENTZE JERVELL


    REYKJAVIK, Iceland—In early July, eight women wearing sweaters began their week by filing into a sunlit meeting room in Iceland's cozy capital to hatch a scheme.
    The objective: Put Miss Iceland to death.
    The women, including a 48-year-old pastor and an author in her early 30s, don't actually want to harm the reigning 5-foot-9 beauty queen crowned in 2011. Instead, they dream of ending a competition that has endured for nearly half a century and helped put this Nordic island nation of 315,000 people on the map.
    "Our goal must be to kill it," Asa Richardsdottir, 49-year-old producer in the fine arts industry, said between sips of coffee. Matthildur Helgadottir-Jonudottir, an event manager also in her 40s, nodded in agreement. "Yes," she said in a loud voice.
    As a form of protest, the eight women applied to enter the beauty contest.
    The unusual development stems from a rather unclear statement made by the new chief executive of the Miss Iceland contest, Rafn Rafnsson, in hopes of diversifying the field of contestants beyond the statuesque blonde with striking blue eyes that has become the Icelandic stereotype. "There is no Miss Iceland stereotype," said Mr. Rafnsson, a longtime cameraman and television producer.Following years of hullabaloo over whether the small country actually needs beauty contests, feminists are freshly emboldened because scores of Icelanders who don't exactly fit the beauty queen mold signed up for the 2013 event slated for September, generating a wave of local media attention.
    After Mr. Rafnsson's statement, the floodgates opened. Women of all ages, including a prominent member of the nation's Parliament and an 80-year-old pensioner, applied to enter the contest and even a handful of men took the plunge. Within a week, 1,300 people raised their hands to strut their stuff.
    "I'm doing this to illustrate how pointless they are," Sigridur Gudmarsdottir, 48, a minister in Reykjavik, said after signing on to compete shortly after registration opened in June. While viewing her participation as nothing but a joke, she said she hopes the ploy "poses the question of what beauty really is."
    When Reynir Sigurdbjornsson, 47, a male electrician, signed up online, he was disappointed that there wasn't a button to select sex. "This competition is discriminating [against] men," he said.
    But Mr. Rafnsson is in a bit of a jam because he ultimately wants to send a viable contestant from Miss Iceland to compete in Miss World in 2014.Some might consider the outpouring of interest is a boon for Mr. Rafnsson as he prepares to run his inaugural show. In 2012, Miss Iceland—known locally as Ungfrú Ísland—didn't even take place, because, the organizers say, they "didn't have time." Now, the nation is at least talking about the event.
    "We have to follow the rules set by the international contest," he said while sitting in a spartan office on the outskirts of Reykjavik.
    That means rejecting any applicants younger than 18 or older than 24. In addition to the age limits, contestants must be unmarried, childless and, of course, female.
    Mr. Rafnsson is now stuck trying to put a pretty face on what remains an exclusive engagement. "It's good that people show interest; they are free to interpret what they want about the contest," he said.
    But that spin hasn't stopped the backlash.
    "Who cares what he meant?" Brynhildur Heidardottir Omarsdottir, a literary critic who also signed up for the event, said. In her opinion, Mr. Rafnsson has given feminists the stage they need to disparage the event for objectifying women and promoting a narrow stereotype of the ideal female.

    Iris Telma Jonsdottir
    Iris Telma Jonsdottir, Iceland's contestant in the 2012 Miss World event, isn't amused. "They're wrong, they know nothing about this," the 22-year-old beauty queen said.
    Miss Jonsdottir has the unfortunate job of sifting through applications for the coming Miss Iceland contest and the publicity stirred by feminists has even sparked an abnormally high influx of legitimate hopefuls. That means she has a lot more reading to do before selecting the field of 25 women who will actually compete for a chance to move on to Miss World.
    Even without this year's antics, Iceland's history with beauty pageants has had its moments.
    In the 1970s, a cow was stolen from a nearby farm and paraded by opponents of the contest through the hotel where the Miss Iceland competition was held. The animal was wearing a ribbon.
    A decade later, female members of Reykjavik's city council staged a protest by showing up for a council meeting wearing ballroom dresses and homemade crowns.
    More recently, the Miss Iceland contest took heat after contestant contracts were published. The pacts, now abandoned, provided that participants weren't to get pregnant, become mentally ill or to gain weight for the three years following the event.
    One of the most ambitious salvos against Miss Iceland came in 2007, when Ms. Helgadottir-Jonudottir created Untamed Beauty, an alternative beauty contest where everyone was given a prize.
    "At my competition, the criteria of beauty were stretch marks and saggy boobs," she said while sitting with her friends in early July.
    Ms. Omarsdottir, one of Ms. Helgadottir-Jonudottir's peers, isn't deterred by being barred from the 2013 Miss Iceland contest because of her age. During the conversation in the meeting room, she said the group's next salvo against the contest could be a parody video set to the old Tina Turner hit "Simply the Best," that would go viral.
    Ms. Richardsdottir, the producer, said she had already purchased the "fruisland.is" domain name, or "mrsiceland.is." At the least, the group should launch an online protest, she said.
    Brynhildur Bjornsdottir returns to the Tina Turner parody idea: "We are simply the best, naa naa naa," she sang.
    Ms. Omarsdottir held up her arms and started dancing in her seat. "I think a video with some women like us singing and shaking some booty would be just perfect."

    SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, 7/26/2013


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    TOP THREE: (From left) First runner-up Elizabeth Houghton, winner Maria-Anna Zenieris and Rachel Leng (Yahoo! )

    Maria-Anna Zenieris was crowned Miss World Singapore 2013 at the pageant final at the Pan Pacific Hotel on Sunday.
    The 18-year-old Singaporean, who is half-Chinese and half-Greek, topped the list of 15 pageant finalists during a three-hour gala final, which saw the contestants parade in swim and evening wear.
    The outspoken beauty, who recently graduated from United World College and with a diploma in psychology, English and music, wins a $3000 cash prize as well as a working contract with Asia Music People worth about $30,000. She will now represent Singapore in the Miss World finals in Jakarta on 28 September.
    When asked how she would use the title to give help to others during the question-and-answer session, she said to loud applause, "I'm a big charity worker and will engage in more charity work with the title. This is not just a big title to take with you, there are responsibilities that come with it".
    After her win, she later told Yahoo! Singapore that she's ready to take the responsibility that comes with the crown and said all the finalists had done a "good job" and that she was proud of them.
    Student Elizabeth Houghton, 18, was first runner-up and also won Miss Grand Singapore title. She will represent Singapore in Miss Grand international pageant next May in Thailand.
    Second runner-up went to 23-year-old university graduate, Rachel Leng, who also won Miss Beauty with a Purpose.

    SOURCE: Yahoo! Entertainment Singapore, 7/28/2013

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