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Beauty With Attitude

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  • 08/16/13--18:18: Miss Lithuania 2013

  • The new Miss Lithuania 2013 (Mis Lietuva 2013) is Rūta Elžbieta Mazurevičiūtė, 22, from Garliava, who was crowned August 15th. She will represent Lithuania in Miss World 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia, on September 28. 

    The first runner-up is Simona Burbaitė who will represent Lithuania in Miss Universe 2013 to be held in Moscow on November 9.

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  • 08/17/13--12:30: Miss Guatemala Universe 2013

  • The new Miss Guatemala Universe 2013 is Andrea Paulette Samalyoa Muy, 23, who was crowned August 14th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Guatemala City. She will represent her country in Miss Universe 2013 pageant in Moscow on November 9th. 

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  • 08/17/13--12:40: Miss Kosovo Universe 2013

  • The new Miss Universe Kosovo 2013 is Mirjeta Shala, 19, who was crowned at the Square 21 in Pristina on August 16th, 2013. She will represent Kosovo in the Miss Universe 2013 pageant, scheduled for November 9th  in Moscow, Russia. This is the first Miss Universe Kosovo pageant under a joint partnership between former Miss Albania Agnese Vuthaj, Miss Universe renowned photographer Fadil Berisha, Labinot Gashi and Radio Television 21 after the Miss Kosova Organization headed by Agron Selimi and Art Motion relinquished the Miss Universe license earlier this year.

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  • 08/18/13--10:46: Miss Bulgaria 2013

  • The new Miss Bulgaria 2013 is Nansi Nikolayeva Karaboycheva, 20,  from Pazardzhik, who was crowned in Sofia on August 18th. She will represent Bulgaria in Miss World 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia, on September 28. The 1st runner-up is Daniyela Dinkova Nedelcheva and the 2nd runner-up is Dzhuliya Danailova Stoyanova.

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  • 08/18/13--10:56: Miss Cape Verde 2013

  • The new Miss Cape Verde 2013 is Christina Spencer who was crowned August 17 in the capital city of Praia. She will compete in Miss World 2013  in Jakarta, Indonesia  on September 28. The first runner-up is Ailine Fortes (left) and the second runner-up is Selene Silva (right).

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  • 08/18/13--18:24: Miss World Philippines 2013

  • The new Miss World Philippines 2013  is Megan Lynne Young who was crowned at the Grand Ballroom of the Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque on August 18th, 2013. The 23-year-old actress, model and spokesperson will represent the Philippines in Miss World 2013 pageant scheduled for September 28th, 2013 in Indonesia. Her court includes 1st runner-up Janicel Lubina, 2nd runner-up Zahra Bianca Saldua, 3rd runner-up Maria Paula Bianca Paz and 4th runner-up Omarie Linn Osuna. Miss World is the only major crown that the Philippines has never won, and Filipino fans feel strongly optimistic that Megan could bring its first Miss World crown to her country.

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    IRIS TELMA JONSDOTTIR is the new national director of Miss Iceland (Ungfrú Ísland). She was Miss Iceland 2012 and competed in Miss World 2012 in Ordos, China. A national pageant to select the Icelandic representative to Miss World 2014 will take place on September 14, 2013 in Reykjavik.

    What prompted you to be interested in pageants, and how did your interest in pageants prompt you to acquire the Icelandic franchise of Miss World? 

         My mother participated in Miss Iceland 1987 and I found it exciting when I was young. Then when I grew older in 2010, I was asked to participate in Miss Reykjavík. After that I got through to Miss Iceland and ended up as a 1st runne-up. After that experience at Miss Iceland my interest in pageants only got stronger. I got really lucky in 2012 when I was chosen to go to Miss World 2012 in China to represent my country. In China I got to know more about pageants, how differently they are organized in some countries and I learnt a lot from that experience. I saw a lot of things at the Miss World competition that I could incorporate into making the Miss Iceland pageant much better. Pageants always get better and change slowly from year to year and I wanted to make Miss Iceland a bit more similar to that.

    You represented Iceland in Miss World 2012. Tell us about your experience competing with over a hundred beautiful young women and what have you learned from the pageant?

         I'm so thankful that I got to go to China 2012, that I got the opportunity to compete in a huge pageant like Miss World. That was a dream come true for me. Not only that I got to travel to the other side of the world, but I also got to travel around China and spent five weeks with 116 amazing girls. I also learned a lot from it.  For example, I got to be on my own. I had to speak English for five weeks 24/7 because there was no one speaking my language, I learned a lot in communicating and it's not always easy to be optimistic and smiling all day, every day, but I learned to deal with it and I realized that after those five weeks that I could really do more than I had thought. To participate in pageants like Miss World, you have to work hard, it's a full-time job, you have little sleep, you need perseverance and lots of energy, you try to have fun and make the best of things. I'm so much stronger as a person after my Miss World adventure.

    What makes your organization different from the other pageant organizations in Europe? In other words, what makes your group stand out?

         Iceland is a little country, therefore the pageant here is a bit smaller than in many other countries in Europe. But of course, there are other small pageants in Europe as well. Iceland has always been known for beautiful women and I think what makes my group stand out is that I have an extremely strong group of participants, many young women who have a big opportunity of becoming Miss Iceland and eventually Miss World.

    Tell us your strategy in recruiting potential contestants for the Miss Iceland pageant. In other words, where do you find likely candidates and what do you do to convince them to sign up for the contests?

         I advertised online that I was searching for participants and consequently I received many tips or applications. I called the girls I wanted to meet up with. I never convinced the girls to participate; they have to want it badly and be ready to work for it. The girls that I would have to convince especially are not ready for this job. So from the group that I met, I chose my official contestants who will be competing for the crown.14th of september.

    IRIS (center) with some of the Miss World 2012 contestants during a photo shoot in a desert in Ordos.

    What is the most challenging aspect of your job as a pageant director?

         I love my job; this is something I have a huge interest in. Now that I have been in this beauty business for 3 years it's good to be on the other side of the table and give advice to the girls. Putting a pageant like this together takes a lot of time and hard work, so I'll be really happy and proud when I have passed that challenge and when I see all of my girls doing great job on stage. 

    Got any favorite beauty queens? 

         I got to know Ivian Sarcos a bit at the Miss World 2012 journey, she is a wonderful person and really beautiful but over all the Icelandic beauty queens are always my favorites. Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir, Miss Reykjavík 2005, Miss Iceland 2005 and Miss World 2005 is without a doubt my all time favorite. I remember watching Miss World 2005 crowning and how excited I was. That's probably why I had goose bumps the entire time on the stage in Ordos last year while I was competing.

    Do you think pageants will still be relevant? Do you agree with critics who say that pageants are demeaning to women?

         Yes, I think the pageants will continue to be held, but of course there will probably be some changes for the better as always. No, I don't agree with critics who say that pageants are demeaning to women. As I know from my own experience in Miss World, I only got stronger as a person. But, of course, not all people are the same. Some can handle criticisms, and some cannot. If you can't handle criticisms, then you're not the right person for the job. I feel like I am the right person to run a pageant because I know how and what to respond to critics of pageants. The Miss Iceland pageant has been held for 63 years and I am sure that it will continue for another 63 years, I hope!

    Is there a question that you haven't been asked that you want people to ask you, and what would your answer be?

         Many people ask me about my opinion regarding critics of pageants. My answer is simple: all of us have his or her opinion, and I have mine. And even if we disagree, we can always agree to disagree in a civilized fashion. I have experienced both Icelandic and Miss World pageants and I have learned a lot from both, and I have only good things to say about them.

    Photos courtesy of  Íris Telma Jónsdóttir

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    The Miss Universe Organization has released a statement condemning Russia’s laws banning “gay propaganda.” This year’s competition is being held in Moscow, but over 27,000 people have signed a petition calling on the organization to move it. The pageant isn’t moving, but the statement suggests contestants will not be prohibited from speaking out against it:
    The Miss Universe Organization believes in equality for all individuals and is deeply concerned by the laws recently enacted in Russia and currently in place in several other countries. Both the law, as well as the violence experienced by the LGBT community in Russia, are diametrically opposed to the core values of our company. Our organization has always embodied a spirit of inclusion and is a celebration of people from all countries and walks of life.
    It is our hope this year’s Miss Universe contest in Moscow will help foster a common understanding and appreciation of the rights of all individuals, regardless of their nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation.
    In our sixty year history we have witnessed, and been a party to, many social changes including those within the LGBT community. It has been our experience that the Miss Universe pageant provides a forum through which contestants from more than 90 countries, as well as their families and friends, forge bonds with citizens of a host country, helping to serve as a catalyst for social change.
    The safety of our contestants, staff and crew is of the utmost importance and we are working with our Russian hosts to ensure the security and well-being of those traveling to Russia for the pageant.
    Bravo’s Andy Cohen has already announced he will not be hosting the pageant because he refuses to go to Russia. The Miss Universe statement stands in stark contrast to the International Olympic Committee, which has suggested thatathletes will be punished for speaking out against the country’s laws. The U.S. Olympic Committee has similarly said that athletes will have to “comply” with the draconian laws.

    Source:, 8/20/2013

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         Were it not for providence, the 2011 winner of Miss Nigeria beauty pageant, Feyi Sodipo, would have been a missing person by now after an attempt by some suspected kidnappers to forcefully whisk her away in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital failed. 

         The three suspects which included two men and a lady, it was gathered posed as security operatives working for the organisers of the Miss Nigeria beauty pageant. The trio were said to have taken Sodipo from Lagos to Abeokuta, and had forcefully tried to snatched her Hyundai car which she won after the contest, when her mother raised an alarm which drew the attention of the security details attached to the Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun. 

         The security operatives were said to have accosted the suspects and asked them to identify themselves but they were unable to provide a convincing answer. The development brought about the suspicion that they were not sent by the organisers of the pageant and the suspects were subsequently apprehended  on the instruction of the command’s Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, to the Ibara Divisional Police Headquarters for interrogation. 

    Source:, 8/22/2013

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    Malene Riis Sørensen (20, 5'11", Jylland) was crowned Miss World Denmark 2013 during the Miss World Denmark 2013 National Final held on August 3rd, 2013 at First Hotel Copenhagen. Malene also won "Miss Popularity" award at Miss World Denmark 2013 Final. She is a journalism and psychology student and currently works as a model. She will represent Denmark at the Miss World 2013 pageant in Indonesia on September 28. Critical Beauty is grateful to Malene and to her national director, Lisa Lents, for allowing this e-mail interview.

    What was going through your mind after you were judged as the winner?

         I was extremely happy and tried to enjoyed the moment, because it’s a once in a life chance experience! I felt very lucky, honored and surprised! It was a big chow in Denmark this year and it was an amazing feeling winning in front of a huge crown including celebs, press, former beauty queens, friends & family!

    In your bio, you mentioned that you study journalism and psychology. What is so fascinating about these two fields of study?

         Journalism has always been fascinating to me and it gives me  so many opportunities to express myself. I would like to be a journalist for a women’s magazine where I can write about women, beauty, clothes, exercise and food. I have studied psychology for around three years. I think it’s very interesting to study the human’s mentality and psyche that is why I would like to continue studying psychology. 

    What three adjectives would your friends use to describe you?

         They would describe me as a loving, intelligent and independent person.

    What is your best quality? Your worst quality?

         My best quality is that I am a very positive and optimistic person & I’m a good listener. My worst quality is that I can get a little grumpy when I am too busy & feeling stressed out. 

    What do you like to do for fun?

         I love reading books, dancing, modelling, shopping, cooking, skiing and traveling. I also like to be creative and enjoy photography.

    What makes you most uncomfortable?

         I am uncomfortable when I am too busy and I don’t feel like I have enough time to do everything I want.

    If you were a fruit, what would you be and why?

         If I were a fruit I would be a strawberry, because I am sweet and soft like a strawberry!

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

         If I could come back as an animal in my next life I would be a little lovely bird because then I could fly anywhere I wanted to, because I love travelling.

    What would you say to a young girl who has low self-esteem?

         My message is to be yourself and love yourself for who you are no matter what other people might say. Remember we are all unique and beautiful in our own ways!

    Tomorrow is the end of the world. How would you spend it?

         I would spend the day with the people who are close to my heart. We would go for a walk in the forest, enjoy the nature and gaze at the animals and the sky. Then we would be sitting at the beach eating delicious food and gaze at the sunset over the ocean. In the evening we would build a fire and sit around it. We would be singing for a while and tell how much we care for and love each other. Then we would look at the stars all night trying to sight shooting stars. We would stay awake so that we could be skinny dipping while we gaze at the beautiful view; sunrise over the ocean.

    What are the three things you would never do to the person you love?

         I would never force the person I love to do things that the person does not want to do and I would never hurt someone on purpose!

    Would you ever pose nude for Playboy magazine? Why or why not?

         I would never pose nude for Playboy magazine because I do not want the whole world to see me naked. I love my body and I cherish it and don’t want to share it with everyone. It’s a very personal thing for me!

    How are you preparing for the Miss World 2013 competition?

         I try to prepare myself mentally and physically. I practice for the Fast Tracks / Challenge Events, fx. I am preparing a dance for the Talent competition. I eat healthy, exercise, try to get enough sleep, practice catwalk, do photo shoots and much more.  I am so exited and I am super busy preparing for the big event!

    Why do you want to become Miss World 2013?

         I want to become Miss World 2013 because it is a dream come true! It would give me so many opportunities in life! I would love to travel the world and represent the Miss World Organization while working for charity. I love to help and support other people and I want to make a difference in this world. Becoming Miss World would give me the opportunity to use my voice in a benefiting way! I love travelling, modeling and meeting new people & cultures. Denmark has never won Miss World and I would love to change that!

    How do you see yourself five years from now?

         Five years from now I see myself as a loving, strong and mature woman who is very successful. I have managed to accomplish what I wanted and reached some of my goals and dreams. Five years from now I still have a lot of dreams to follow. One of them would be making women love themselves for whom they are; they have to know that they are unique and beautiful both on the inside and on the outside!


    Singer/Musician - Rihanna

    Actor – Channing Tatum

    Actress– Leighton Meester

    Color– Red

    Fashion Designer - Yara Yosif

    Perfume - Daisy Eau So Fresh by Marc Jacobs 

    Flower - Lavender

    Writer– J.K. Rowling

    Book– Harry Potter 1-7

    Movie– ”A Walk To Remember”

     Photo credits: Miss & Mister of Denmark Organization

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    Here's a great video gem - the full broadcast of the Miss Universe 1965 pageant held at the Miami Beach Auditorium in Miami Beach, Florida on July 24, 1965. I have never seen this video before and I am just simply amazed by the sheer elegance and classiness of the entire production - something that has been missing since former MUO president Harold Glasser stepped down in 1986. 


    The video is fascinating for several reasons. First, we see how stage projection, runway walk and posing have evolved since then. Every girl looked so "stiff" on stage, but what we think as stiff today was actually the standard for grace and elegance in those days.

    Second, the eventual winner, Apasra Hongsakula of Thailand, expected for Miss USA Sue Ann Downey to win (notice Apasra's puzzled look after USA was called as second runner-up). Her reaction changes from puzzlement to total surprise when she was declared the winner, and since she did not speak or understand English very well, she didn't realize that she had won over Finland's Virpi Miettinen. 

    Third, we learn that the announcer mentions 18-year-old Apasra's height: 5'4" - which officially makes her as the shortest Miss Universe from the 1960s - and not the 1969 winner Gloria Diaz who is 5'5".

    Fourth, there was a "Parade of Friendship" when the girls were riding on floats waving to the public; later we would see this parade changed to "Parade of Nations" on the telecast.

    Fifth, a mini-pageant called Miss Little Universe was held and won by Miss Little USA (how endearing to see the Miss Universe contestants playing Big Sisters and escorting their Little Sisters during the Miss Little Universe pageant!)

    And Sixth, contrary to the popular notion that the Miss World pageant introduced the "Dances of the World" segment when Julia Morley took over the pageant in 2001, Miss Universe actually had its delegates dance to their national costumes during a dress rehearsal.


    Contestants receive their swimsuits from Catalina, the official swimsuit sponsor
    Outgoing Miss Universe Corinna Tsopie of Greece waves to the crowd during the Parade of Friendship
    Miss Israel Aliza Sedeh is interviewed by judge Gladys Zender, Miss Universe 1957 from Peru
    The Monte Carlo was one of three official host hotels
    The contestants lounge by the pool at the Monte Carlo Hotel
    The marquee outside the Miami Beach Auditorium in Miami Beach, Florida
    The elegant and beautiful stage of the finals
    Karen Raguianti of Memphis, Tennessee is crowned Little Miss Universe 1965.
    Miss Germany Ingrid Bethake wins Miss Congeniality
    Miss USA Sue Ann Downey wins the Best Native Costume award. Note "native" and not "national".
    Miss Austria Karin Schmidt wins Miss Photogenic
    The 15 semifinalists sashay on stage carrying their plaques of recognition
    Miss France Marie-Thérèse Tullio during the swimsuit competition
    Miss Hong Kong Joy Drake performing a sword dance during the dress rehearsal. Look at that gorgeous face!
    Miss Tunisia Dolly Allouche performing a native dance during the dress rehearsal
    Miss Australia Pauline Verey struts during the Top 15 swimsuit segment
    Miss Philippines Louise Vail Aurelio charms the judges during the Top 15 Evening Gown competition 
    The Top 5: Finland, Holland, Sweden, Thailand, USA
    Apasra Hongsakula of Thailand is crowned Miss Universe 1965!

    Text by Rafa Delfin

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  • 08/25/13--19:50: Miss World Macedonia 2013

  • The new Miss World Macedonia (FYR) 2013 is Kristina Spasenoska, a 21-year-old beauty from Kičevo who was crowned August 22nd at the Summer Club Paradiso in Skopje. She will represent the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in Miss World 2013 pageant to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 28.

     The first runner-up was Mihaela Ivanova, 21, from Skopje and the second runner-up was  Sava Grachanin, 22, from Valandovo.

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    Olivia Jordan, who was 1st runner-up in Miss California USA 2013, has been selected as the U.S. representative to Miss World 2013 pageant to be held in Indonesia on September 28. Elite Modeling Agency, which owns the U.S. franchise, handpicked Jordan from a bevy of applicants. Jordan will attempt to follow the footsteps of Alexandria Mills who won the Miss World crown for the U.S. in 2010.

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    The new Miss Universe Sweden 2013  is Alexandra Friberg, 18, from Stora Vika who was crowned on August 30, 2013 at the Club Ambassadeur in Kungsgatan, Stockholm. She will represent Sweden in Miss Universe 2013 pageant to be held in Moscow, Russia on Nov. 9th. Friberg currently has a world title under her belt - Beauty of the World 2013 - which she won last June in Kyrgyzstan.

    At the same event, Denice Andrée was appointed Miss Earth Sweden 2013 by the director of the Miss Universe Sweden Joakim Granberg of the Starworld Entertainment Corporation. She will represent Sweden in Miss Earth 2013 pageant whose date and venue are still to be confirmed.

     Eleonore Lilja was appointed as Miss International 2013 also at the same event. She will compete in Miss International 2013 pageant in Japan in October.

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  • 09/01/13--18:50: Miss Lebanon 2013

  • Karen Ghrawi, 22, was crowned Miss Lebanon 2013 during a colorful show held in Biel on September 1st. She will now represent Lebanon in Miss World 2013 pageant in Indonesia on September 28. Her court includes 1st runner-up Jose Rita Azize, 2nd runner-up Christina Dagher, 3rd runner-up Dania Kobeissy, and 4th runner-up Nay Riachy. Fifteen young women competed in this year's pageant.

    The pageant, which was aired on LBC International and LDC was hosted by the gorgeous news presenter Dima Sadek, was held at Biel and attended bya number of celebrities and public figures in Lebanon. The newly crowned Miss Lebanon receives a $300,000 house in Beit Misk, $53,000 Audi Q3, a $50,000 jewelry gift from Paolo Bongia, $20,000 voucher from Aïshti and much more.

    Source: Beirut Night Life, 9/1/2013

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  • 09/01/13--20:15: Miss Hong Kong 2013

  • Grace Chan-hoi Lam was crowned Miss Hong Kong 2013. The 22-year-old university graduate beat hundreds of hopefuls to win the pageant held at TVB City on Sunday, September 1st.
    Grace, who says she enjoys singing, cooking, reading and playing the piano, hopes to become a television variety host and successful artist.
    First runner-up in the competition was Sisley Choi  (left) and second runner-up Moon Lau (right).

    Source:, 9/1/2013

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    Nicolle Velez (third from left), representing the Empire State (New York), was crowned Miss Earth United States 2013 on September 1st at the Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii. She will represent the United States in the upcoming Miss Earth 2013 pageant whose date and venue will be confirmed soon.

    In the photo above, Velez is flanked by (from left to right): Miss Earth Air 2013 Edita Jurisic (Pennsylvania), Miss Earth Ecotourism 2013 Emily Miller (South Dakota), 2012 Miss Earth United States Siria Boroquez, Miss Earth Fire 2013 Lucie Poehere Wilson (who was crowned Miss Earth Hawaii 2013 just hours before the national finals), and Miss Earth Water 2013 Eli Reyes (Texas).

    Nicolle Velez

    The pageant is run by Earth Pageant Productions who also owns the U.S. franchises for Miss Grand International, Bride of The World, and Miss United Continent pageants. At the same event, Blair Griffith (Eastern U.S.) was selected as the U.S. representative to Miss Grand International 2013 pageant which will be held in Thailand in November. Griffith was a former Miss Colorado USA 2011.

    Blair Griffith

    Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warner (Missouri) has been chosen to represent the United States at the Bride of the World 2013 pageant to be held later this year in Taiwan.

    Elizabeth Warner

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    Manasi Moghe (center) was crowned  Miss Diva 2013 (Miss Universe India 2013) during a star-studded event at Westin Mumbai Garden City, Mumbai on Thursday evening. The 1st runner-up is Gurleen Grewal (right) and the 2nd runner-up is Srishti Rana (left). Moghe was crowned by former Miss Asia Pacific 1970 winner, Zeenat Aman. Moghe will compete in 2013 Miss Universe pageant to be held in Moscow on November 9th.

    Former Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen held the Indian franchise for Miss Universe for three years, but decided not to renew it. Femina Miss India reacquired the franchise (they had held it for over three decades) and created a separate pageant, Miss Diva, strictly to select the representative for Miss Universe.

    Manasi Moghe

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    Mutya Datul, 21 (center), of the Philippines was crowned Miss Supranational 2013 at Sports Palace in Minsk, Belarus on September 6th. The 1st runner-up is Jacqueline Morales of Mexico (right) and the 2nd runner-up is Leyla Köse of Turkey (left). This is the first time that the Philippines has won in the pageant's five-year history.

    Completing the top 5 are 3rd runner-up Cok Istri Krisnanda Widani of Indonesia (far left), 2nd runner-up Esonica Veira of the U.S. Virgin Islands (right) and the regional winners in the back row from left to right: Miss Supranational Africa Hillary Ondo of Gabon, Miss Supranational Europe Veronica Chachina of Belarus, Miss Suprational Brazil Raquel Benetti and Miss Supranational Asia/Oceania Esma Voloder. 

    Completing the top 20 are the delegates from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Poland, Canada, Thailand, Luxembourg, India, Myanmar, Latvia, Russia and the Ukraine.

    The pageant is organized and produced by Panama-based World Beauty Association.

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  • 09/10/13--19:52: Miss Universe Bahamas 2013

  • Lexi Wilson, a 22-year old beauty from Nassau (second from right), was crowned Miss Universe Bahamas 2013 in the Atlantis Theatre of Atlantis Paradise Island on Sunday, September 8th. She was crowned by her predecessor Celeste Marshall (second from left).Wilson will now represent the Bahamas in Miss Universe 2013 pageant to be held in Moscow, Russia on November 9th. Wilson's court includes 1st runner-up Chantel O'Brian, 19 (far right); 2nd runner-up Tavette Darville, 23 (far left); and 3rd runner-up Shanae Strachan, 21. 

    Eight young women competed in this year's national pageant. The remaining contestants were Rochelle Alexandre, Crystal Glinton, Vandia Sands, and Taisha-Monet Smellie.  The show was hosted by Jerome Sawyer, Vice-President of Media Relations of MBO (Miss Bahamas Organization).

    The panel of judges included Mary C. El Fituri, a 3rd generation member of the Miss Bahamas Committee; Ashley Lauren Kerr, the owner of her own fashion line named ASHLEYLauren; Calvin Sepúlveda Onassis, fitness trainer from Puerto Rico; Leslia Miller, Bahamian pageant veteran and fashion model; Dr. Greg Neil, the official cosmetic surgeon of MBO; Amanda Lindroth, interior designer; Isabelle Baulu, Canadian-Barbadian swimsuit designer and swimsuit sponsor for this year's pageant; Michelle Collie, Miss Bahamas 1996; Emma Cohen, Australian model and interior designer; Jordi Kolar, stylist from Palm Beach, Florida; and yours truly, Rafa Delfin, director of Critical Beauty.

    The contestants were judged on three categories: interviews, swimsuit, and evening gown.  Last Friday, the contestants paraded in their cocktail dresses and bikinis right in front of the judges in a closed-door preliminaries held at the Albany Resort. They also underwent rigorous one-on-one interviews with the judges. The scores from the preliminaries determined the top four.

    Giant pictures of the contestants grace the Red Carpet of the Atlantis Theatre:
    L-R : Shanae Stachan, Tavette Darville, Lexi Wilson, Crystal Glinton
    L-R: Vandia Sands, Taisha-Monet Smellie, Chantel O'Brian, Rochelle Alexandre

    Special awards were handed to Tavette Darville (Miss Congeniality, Miss Popularity), Vandia Sands (Best National Costume), and Shanae Strachan (Miss Photogenic, Miss Critical Beauty Bahamas)

    Shanae's 3rd runner-up placement shocked many people in the audience, including myself, since she had been the early favorite for the title. Her performance was solid and strong and she simply looked regal and radiant on stage. These qualities propelled me to select her as the recipient of the Miss Critical Beauty Bahamas 2013 award, the last award of the evening. This was followed by Celeste Marshall's final walk, and then by the announcement of the results. Many people in the audience - specially Shanae's supporters - angrily displayed their disapproval of her low ranking by booing, making noises and walking out of the theater. Someone from the audience was able to videotape the incident and posted it on Facebook. 

    I had the honor of presenting the Miss Critical Beauty Bahamas 2013 award to the beautiful and sophisticated Shanae Strachan. The award consists of a big bottle of Miss Dior perfume by Dior and an elegant bracelet watch by Anne Klein.

    The theme for this year's pageant is "The Golden Era: Five Decades of Pageantry" - celebrating all former Bahamian beauty queens who have represented the Bahamas as goodwill ambassadors to the world. The Bahamas has been competing in Miss Universe since 1963, but has never placed. Hopefully, Lexi Wilson will break the curse! With Miss Universe 2013 pageant just two months away, Lexi will receive intense training from MBO's official coach, the legendary Grace Fontecha who coached numerous beauty queens to victory like Dayana Mendoza (Miss Universe 2008) and Stefania Fernandez (Miss Universe 2009).

    Judges pose with the new queen and her runners-up
    With the new queen! Good luck, Lexi!

    I wish to thank the entire Miss Bahamas Organization, specially its gracious president, Michelle Malcolm, for inviting me to serve in the judging panel. I also wish to thank the entire staff of MBO for their hospitality, and congratulate them for an exceptional job in organizing such a classy event!

    With MBO President Michelle Malcolm

     I had never been to the Bahamas, and my first trip to the country confirmed my belief that the Bahamas is a naturally beautiful country and whose people are naturally warm and friendly. Thank you, Bahamas, for making my stay memorable and critically beautiful!

    The most beautiful rainbow I've seen - in the beautiful Bahamas!

    My first ever Bahama Mama! The best drink I've ever had! Womp!

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