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Beauty With Attitude

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         Although Miss World 2013 Megan Young has been crowned as the first Filipina titleholder of the oldest international beauty pageant, she has yet to receive her prizes, Victoria Young, the beauty queen's mother disclosed on Tuesday. In fact, she doesn't even know exactly what prizes should be received by her daughter since Mrs. Young researched on the Internet for any information about the prizes but found none. However, she confirmed that Megan received the P1 million prize for winning the local title of Miss World Philippines.

         "But I have talked to people who have experience in Miss World pageantry. They said every time she has activities to attend to raise money, she will get an honorarium.
         Mrs. Young is also hopeful that with a Miss World crown on her daughter's head, this would translate into higher talent fee for endorsements.
         While Mrs. Young is extremely happy with the victory of Megan, she also complained that she hardly sees her daughter now because of too many Miss World activities she has to attend to. In fact, when Megan went to her mother's hometown, Olongapo City, to visit her grandmother, she could only spend 15 minutes with the old woman because of her very hectic schedule.

    Source:, 10/15/2013

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  • 10/16/13--18:21: Miss Serbia 2013

  • Milica Vukliš, 20, from Belgrade, was crowned Miss Serbia 2014 on October 15th, 2013 at the Pink Television Studio in Belgrade. She will compete in Miss World 2014 which will be held in London, England sometime in October next year. Arne Zeković, 20, was 1st runner-up and will represent Serbia in Miss Universe 2014, in Fortaleza, Brazil. Jovana Maksimovic, 23, was 2nd runner-up.

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    Miss Universe Kosovo Mirjeta Shala. Facebook photo

    By Richard Johnson

    The universe is shrinking for this year’s Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, as gays decline to travel to homophobic Russia — and the Kremlin refuses to issue Miss Kosovo a visa.
    Mirjeta Shala, the dark-haired beauty crowned Miss Kosovo in August, was packed and ready to fly from New York to Moscow  to join the winners from 90 other countries for the Nov. 9 pageant, airing on NBC.
    “They won’t let her in,” Donald Trump told me on Friday, the day before she was to travel. “She’s very beautiful. Many people thought she was a contender. Unfortunately, she couldn’t get a visa.”
    Fadil Berisha, the pageant’s official photographer, also hails from Kosovo, which used to be part of Yugoslavia. “[Shala] was denied a visa because Russia doesn’t recognize Kosovo’s independence,“ Berisha said. “Her fans in Kosovo will go crazy because they were expecting her to win, and this is a beauty contest, not a political event.”
    Bravo TV host Andy Cohen, who hosted last year’s pageant, dropped out this year because of Russia’s criminalization of homosexuality. Cohen was replaced by Mel B. and “MSNBC Live”‘s Thomas Roberts, who is also gay.
    Roberts told Variety, “Boycotting and vilifying from the outside is too easy. Rather, I choose to offer my support of the LGBT community in Russia by going to Moscow and hosting this event as a journalist, an anchor and a man who happens to be gay.”
    But some of the homosexual hairdressers and stylists who are usually part of the Miss Universe crew aren’t making the trip. “Everyone’s afraid. They think they’ll be jailed,” Berisha said.
    Trump told me, “Some don’t want to go. Others want to go to make a statement. I agree with the second view.”
    The controversy is just a taste of what will happen February when the Winter Olympics are held in the Russian resort town of Sochi.

    Source:, 10/18/2013

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         Micaela Orsi Jorcin, Miss Universe Uruguay 2013, has withdrawn from competing in Miss Universe 2013 pageant to be held on November 9 in Moscow. Her photo has been taken down from the official Miss Universe website - which brings down the total number of contestants to 86. 

         In a letter than Jorcin posted on the Miss Uruguay Facebook page on October 19, she states (my  translation; the original Spanish follows):

         In today's date and through this medium, I want to make public my non-participation in the Miss Universe beauty pageant to be held on 9 November in Moscow, Russia. In February of this year, I was elected Miss Universe Uruguay in order to represent my country in the most important pageant  and to fulfill a personal dream. I was coerced to sign a contract of employment in which Mr. Antonio Vergara yields the Miss Universe franchise to Mr. Alejandro Gamella after my coronation. Not being too familiar with the legalities, I signed the contract just like the other contestants did. But when I consulted with lawyers and with experts on the matter, as well as with the Miss Universe Organization, I learned that the contract does not have any validity, since there is a history that franchises are not transferred to third parties. I started my preparation during the month of April in Corozal, Sucre, Colombia staying at the home of the director of Miss Universo Uruguay, Antonio Vergara. The type of accommodation that was provided to me was not consistent with the level of the event that I was expecting. In the month of June I returned to Uruguay to see my family. On my return to Colombia on September 19 in the company of my mom, I was presented with certain proposals that bothered me and that went against the values that my family instilled in me.  As days went by,  there was no sign of wardrobe, national costume, evening gown, or airline tickets for my trip to Russia. 

         On October 8, we had a conversation to discuss the situation at hand, since time was running out fast. There were only 10 days to travel. After this talk my mother and I decided to return to Uruguay, and consequently to withdraw my participation from the contest. I want to make clear that the reasons mentioned above were the reasons for a deep disappointment that ruined my dreams about this experience. My commitment with Uruguay was to represent my country in a dignified manner at the Miss Universe contest. Given that the conditions were not appropriate to do so, I gave up this opportunity that had been presented to me.

         I regret very much to have disappointed a lot of people who have supported me during this time, but I could not fail myself going to a contest in unfavorable conditions. Not having obtained the financial support that I needed from the beginning, I thus made this decision that I am communicating now.

    Thanks again for all your support
    Micaela Orsi.  

              Orsi is the second Uruguayan candidate to withdraw from a major pageant this year. Mercedes Bissio del Puerto had to withdraw from Miss World 2013 (which took place last month in Indonesia) citing personal reasons, though sources say that Bissio had a falling out with the organizers. 

    By Rafa Delfin

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    Daniela Álvarez Reyes, a 19-year-old student from Cuernavaca, Morelos, was crowned Nuestra Belleza Mexico Mundo 2013 (Miss World Mexico 2013) in Toluca on October 20th. She will represent Mexico in the 2014 Miss World pageant to be held in London.  

    Immediately after the Nuestra Belleza Mexico Mundo 2013 pageant, the remaining contestants competed again for the Nuestra Belleza Mexico 2013 (Miss Universe Mexico 2013) title which was won by Josselyn Garciglia Bañuelos, 23, from Baja California Sur . She will represent Mexico in 2014 Miss Universe pageant. 

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    Laura Elisa Alvarez, a 24-year-old model and nutritionist from Mérida, Yucatán has been elected as Miss Grand International Mexico 2013. Alvarez is the winner of  Rostro de Mexico 2012 (Face of Mexico 2012) and will represent Mexico in the new pageant, Miss Grand International 2013 to be held in Bangkok, Thailand on November 19.   

    Information courtesy of Jesús Rábagov (President of Rostro de México)


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         The Miss Universe pageant is not new to controversy, specially in this year's pageant. First, the host country Russia's draconian anti-gay laws have persuaded openly gay TV host Andy Cohen to boycott the pageant by not returning as the co-host. Second, Russia refused to grant a visa to Miss Kosovo Mirjeta Shala because her country is not recognized as a legitimate country by the Russian government; consequently, Miss Kosovo's good friend, Miss Albania Fioralba Dizdari, decided to withdraw from the pageant as a symbol of solidarity. Third, it is reported that Miss Georgia Janeta Kerdikoshvili has also been denied a visa allegedly due to Russia and Georgia's hostile relationship over the disputed territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

         And here's the latest controversy: 27 contestants have been selected to walk the runway during the Tony Ward Couture Fashion Show at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia on Wednesday, October 30th. These contestants represent the following countries: Australia, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Ukraine, Nicaragua, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Panama, Sweden, Turkey, Venezuela, India, Great Britain, France, Japan, Spain, Belgium, Canada, El Salvador, Austria, Lebanon, Russia, Philippines, Thailand and USA.

         Below are the head shots of the participants. Notice that no single black contestant was chosen, not even the popular Yityish Aynaw, the first black Miss Israel. What gives? Who made the decision to select these 27 contestants and on what basis? Could it be that the Russians in general are racists towards black people, and therefore do not wish to see black girls on stage, even though many of them are stunning, professional models? I guess we will never really know.

    Miss Israel Yityish Aynaw


    By Rafa Delfin

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    A gaggle of Miss Universe hopefuls strolled Red Square for a photo shoot last weekend prior to the contest. Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters

    By Christopher Brennan

         Seeing scores of beautiful women in cocktail dresses is not particularly uncommon for Moscow, especially not in a setting like a money-soaked upscale restaurant. The city center may see an increase in turning heads, however, as the contestants for the 2013 Miss Universe beauty pageant have arrived in Moscow, where the competition is being held for the first time, and will spend the next two weeks preparing before the eventual finale Nov. 9.

         Having already arrived and participated in a lingerie fashion shoot last week, the young women, who range in age from 18 to 27 and represent 87 different countries, held an opening dinner at the swanky restaurant Zafferano on Friday. As representatives from their countries' national pageants, the group will compete in the preliminary round Nov. 5 after a week of photo shoots, fashion shows and meetings with fans. The final event will then be televised live from Crocus City Hall at 5 a.m., a time that is probably more aimed towards audiences on the U.S. East Coast than Moscow viewers.

         The president of the Miss Universe organization, Paula Shugart, said Friday that the pageant would reveal all the judges next week but mentioned that Sports Illustrated supermodel, Anne Vyalitsyna, would join previously-announced judge Steven Tyler of Aerosmith along with a team of other Russian judges. The jury will be joined by the competition's hosting duo, former "scary" Spice Girl Melanie Brown and MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts.

         Not everything is without controversy in the land of free champagne and B-list celebrities, however. Brown and Roberts are replacing the pageant's usual pair of presenters, Giuliana Rancic and Andy Cohen, the latter of whom refused to host the show because of recent anti-gay propaganda legislation and said he "did not feel right as a gay man stepping foot into Russia."The organization responded by issuing a statement saying the law is "diametrically opposed to the core values" of the competition and also hiring Roberts, who is gay and published an op-ed saying the show was "a huge, visible opportunity for LGBT people. 

         The reaction, stronger than that of other organizations like the International Olympic Committee, prompted the thought that the contest could act as a platform for criticizing homophobia. Though contestants may be asked pressing questions on stage during the final, at Friday's dinner, which was followed by a small concert, the young women were not open to speaking out. Erin Brady, the reigning Miss U.S.A., who will share an apartment with the eventual winner in New York City, said she and her fellow contestants avoid the question, as it is most of the women's first time both at Miss Universe and in Russia and they are focused on enjoying the experience. Miss Bahamas Lexi Wilson said that most of what she knew about Russia before coming here was the country's politics, but when asked about her feelings on the anti-gay law she told The Moscow Times, "I would like to keep that private." Short of photo-ops on Red Square and the unavoidable video montage of women and monuments that will follow, the pageant seems to want little connection to Russia or its laws, and the actual NBC event will probably look incredibly similar to one being held in Las Vegas or Burbank, California.

         While the controversies surrounding Miss Universe may focus on the differences between countries and cultures, the women praised the beauty and personalities of their international counterparts. Miss Russia, Elmira Abdrazakova, played hostess to a horde of Russian press that was keen on asking the contestants whether they were single — most of them are not — and said she had become good friends with the other girls, particularly mentioning Miss Poland. Other contestants bounced around the party in geographic groups, like the Scandinavian trio of Miss Finland, Miss Norway and Miss Sweden or a group of Caribbean contestants.

         While "new friends" was a commonly occurring refrain throughout the night, there was still an air of competition. Perhaps for fear of ruining their figures ahead of the swimsuit competition, the women, who also cannot drink alcohol, did not go for the food provided by Zafferano, and at the end of Friday night had left nearly a full buffet of bliny and potatoes untouched. The beauty queens were then whisked back to their hotel to get their beauty sleep.

    Source: The Moscow Times, Oct. 29, 2013

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    New York, NY–November 1, 2013—NBC, Donald J. Trump and Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, announced today the roster of celebrities and experts who will judge the 2013 MISS UNIVERSE® Competition, airing Saturday, Nov. 9 on NBC (9-11 p.m. ET/PT) from Crocus City Hall in Moscow.

    The panel of judges includes:

    Steven Tyler

    · Steven Tyler, Aerosmith’s front man and lead singer

    · Chef Nobu, Acclaimed chef proprietor of Nobu and Matsuhisa restaurants

    · Tara Lipinski, Gold medal figure skater and 2014 Winter Olympics figure skating analyst for NBC Olympics’ multi-platform coverage

    · Carol Alt, TV personality, star of Fox News Channel's 'A HEALTHY YOU AND CAROL ALT’, international supermodel, actress, author, entrepreneur and raw-food enthusiast

    · Anne V, Supermodel, actress, philanthropist and mentor on Oxygen's upcoming season of “The Face” with nine consecutive appearances in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

    · Farouk Shami, Founder of Farouk Systems, Inc. makers of CHI and presenting hair care sponsor of the 2013 MISS UNIVERSE® Competition

    · Italo Fontana, Pioneering designer of U-BOAT Watches

    · Philip Kirkorov, iconic Russian pop-star 

         In addition to his judging duties, Steven Tyler will take the stage for a special performance. Tyler and the celebrity judges join an exciting broadcast that includes performances by Grammy-nominated band Panic! At The Disco and international recording artist EMIN. As previously announced, Thomas Roberts, anchor of (“MSNBC Live”) and Melanie Brown, best known to audiences as Mel B (“America’s Got Talent”), will co-host the pageant. Jeannie Mai, recognized for her fashion segments on NBC’s “Today,” will serve as commentator.

         Throughout the MISS UNIVERSE Competition, contestants representing 86 countries will compete in three categories: swimsuit, evening gown and interview. The telecast concludes with Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo crowning her successor.

         Italian swimwear and lingerie designer Yamamay will unveil their official Miss Universe collection during the worldwide telecast by featuring a one-of-a-kind emerald, ruby and diamond swimsuit valued at one million dollars. The new Miss Universe will be photographed in the million dollar suit the day after the event.
    Fans can vote their favorite contestant into the semifinals through the Miss Universe Fan Vote sponsored by High 5 Games. Voting will take place now through November 8 by logging on to www.missuniverse.comor

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    A Brazilian has won the 9th Miss International Queen transgender beauty pageant in Thailand, with US and Thai contestants placing second and third.

    Marcelo Ohio won first prize which included 300,000 baht (9,677 dollars), a crown with real gemstones and free surgery "for anything" at a famed plastic surgery clinic in Bangkok, organizers said.

    The pageant held in the beach resort of Pattaya since 2004, ended around midnight Friday.

    US citizen Shantell D'Marco came second in the beauty pageant, with Thai contestant Nethnapada Kanrayanon placing third.

    There were 25 contestants from 17 countries in this year's contest, organized by the Tiffany's Show Pattaya Company, including three from Brazil.

    The show was launched 40 years ago to provide Pattaya beach resort, 100 kilometres south-east of Bangkok, with a novel form of entertainment while offering transgenders a legitimate career option, said Arisa Phanthusak, Tiffany's manager and organizer of the Miss International contest.

    In 2004, the show went international, offering transgenders from other countries an opportunity to bask in the limelight.

    "After Thailand, I think the Philippines and Brazil are the countries that are most tolerant of transgenders," Arisa said.

    Transgenders are numerous in Thailand, where many have found successful careers in the entertainment, fashion and cosmetics sectors and even in government service.

    "It is in our character to be tolerant," Arisa said. "We are free here, and we are service-oriented people," she said.

    Source: The New Age, New Zealand, 11/2/2013

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    The 2013 Miss Universe Preliminary Competition took place on November 5th at Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russia. 86 women from all over the world competed in swimsuit and evening gown competition. The show was live streamed via the official Miss Universe website. The fifteen countries with the highest preliminary scores will advance to the semifinals which will be revealed during the live telecast of the finals on Saturday, November 9th on NBC and Telemundo at 9 PM EST.

    Miss USA Erin Brady shows off her sexy figure during the swimsuit round of the preliminaries
    Photo credit: Miss Universe Organization

    If you missed the live streaming of the preliminaries, you can watch the entire show on YouTube:

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         Critical Beauty correspondent Héctor Joaquín Colón-González attended the Press Junket on November 4th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. CB had requested the Miss Universe Organization to interview 15 specific delegates, but since some of the delegates were not available, we ended up interviewing others who were not on our list. Due to time constraint, Héctor Joaquín had to do a quick and brief interview (more like a one or two-question inquiry). 

    Here's Part One:

    Miss Peru Cindy Mejia:

    When you won, you made several statements on homosexuals that shocked everyone. 
    What have you learned from this? 

         Well, I've learned not to talk anymore with the press with much confidence. I definitely thank God for changing my views about gay people,  specially when they're the ones who are supporting me unconditionally. My best friend is gay and unfortunately my words were badly misconstrued. 

    Miss Venezuela Maria Gabriela Isler:

    How has your experience been like in Russia so far?

         My mother always told me that one must always prepare oneself for the worst, and when you find the best, then you should be thankful to God. Since I arrived on the first day, I was expecting to meet strong and competitive candidates and that we would be talking about the pageant all the time, but the reality is that I have met girls who are very approachable and attentive and who want to make friends. From the first day, I felt very comfortable and in spite of what the girls thought that Venezuela came with a diva attitude, everything has been the opposite. The girls warmed up to me and told me how beautiful Venezuela is, how good to know that I am a nice person!

    What does Osmel mean to you?

         For one year, I saw Osmel as a mentor, as the person who directed me to the right direction, the person who knew how to give me great advice and who is never wrong in his decisions. It's hard for me to trust anyone, but I practically surrendered my life and preparations in his hands, trusting him, and I will remember him and the organization because thanks to them that I am a better person, I smile a lot, I enjoy the things in life. It was a year of personal growth not only for a beauty pageant but for the rest of my life. Osmel taught me to be wise!

    Miss Myanmar Moe Set Wine:

    It's the first time since 1961 than Myanmar has returned to Miss Universe. 
    How do you feel about it?

         I had to answer that question many times, but the answer is always the same. For me, it is a big honor, I am very thankful to give other image of my country to the world, and that already makes me a winner.

    Miss Nicaragua Nastassja Bolivar:

    You won Nuestra Belleza Latina 2011, and obviously NBL and Miss Universe are two different things. How have you changed since NBL?  

         Well, truthfully I have changed a lot. I still continue being Natassja. I think that I have gone very far but I feel that I am very prepared. When I entered NBL, I was a neophyte who didn't know anything about beauty pageants. Now I do! Now I know I how to apply makeup, my Spanish has improved, I look different, but I am the still the same person inside.  

    Miss Mexico Cynthia Duque:

    When you won Miss Mexico, you were not the favorite, but you won anyway. Now everyone is saying that you're fat. What do you have to say to your critics?

         I am not fat as you can see, Hector Joaquin. But yes, I look more mature. I'm here in Russia having a good time and making myself known, while there in Mexico they are making up stories about me. If the Mexicans say that I am fat, well then let them say it.

    Is it true that you are angry at Lupita Jones?

         Look, minutes ago another reporter told me that they were also saying that I was not getting along with Mrs. Jones but she is here. We get along fine and she is a sweetheart. Obviously, as national director Lupita is strict, and that's her job, but I admire her a lot and thank her for everything she has done for me.

    Miss Panama Carolina Brid:

    Since you were crowned Miss Panama, what have you learned?

         I have learned to become wiser,  to talk to the right people, how to behave. After all, being Miss Panama does not only require you to put on makeup or to fix your hair. It's also a hard job.    

    How do you view homosexuality in your country? 

         I come from a family where I was raised to believe that a man marries a woman, they have children, and they create a family together. But my mother also taught me to love my neighbor and that's what counts, to respect the decision of others. I've always been asked, "Carolina, what would happen if your son turned out to be gay?" And my answer is that I am going to love him. He's my son. What can I do? I will teach him all the values that my family instilled in me and I am going to respect his decision since it is his life. I will tell all my friends that before hurting anyone, they need to remember that we all have feelings, that we all have values. I am and I will always be an ally of the gay community not only in my country but in the entire world.

    Miss Bahamas Lexi Wilson:

    You surprised everyone when you won Miss Bahamas!

         Yes, that is true! I wasn't the favorite but I was very sure that the judges knew whom they wanted to win and that it was my destiny to win Miss Bahamas. I am a very strong competitor. Perhaps I wasn't the favorite, but in my heart I knew that I was since I felt that I was the strongest candidate and that I have the qualities to be an excellent Miss Bahamas, or to be a great Bahamian woman. I'd like to tell all the Bahamians not to lose faith and that I am very sure of winning of Miss Universe!   

    Miss Argentina Brenda Gonzalez:

    We know that the president of Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, is undergoing a health crisis at this moment. What would you tell her now? 

         I would tell her that I love her, that my whole family loves her, and that she is a strong woman, with a domineering character like all of us Argentines and that this situation will go away. I know it will. 

    Miss France Hinarani de Longeaux:

    What are you thinking now?

         That I never thought about going to Miss Universe since I was only the first runner-up in Miss France! And when they told me that they would send me to Miss Universe, I was able to realize one of the biggest dreams of my life - to compete in Miss Universe.

    Miss Israel Titi Yitawish Ayanaw:

    How was it like meeting U.S. President Barack Obama?

         It was the most important experience I have ever had in my life. To me, he is a role model and he represents hope for many black people. When I met him at the White House, I was overwhelmed with emotion and I couldn't hold back my tears. He was so nice to me and he told me that I was really pretty. You could just imagine how I felt at that moment. I don't have the words to describe it.

    Miss Guatemala Paulette Samayoa:

    Why do you want to win?

         I have the passion to win this crown. Believe me, I have dreamed many times to have the Miss Universe crown placed on my head. No Guatemalan has ever won the crown and I am sure that I will make my country happy if I win!

    Miss Canada Riza Santos:

    Riza, we all know what happened when you competed in Miss Universe Canada. You were named the first runner-up and then a few days later you found out that you had actually won and that there was a tabulating error. How did you handle that situation?

         I can tell you that for me, first of all, everything has been a blessing. It is a privilege and it has made me appreciate my victory. When the contest ended, I thought about it many times because I was the first runner-up. And when they called me to tell me that I had actually won, I couldn't believe it. I was totally in shock. But here I am representing my country with much pride and I already feel a winner.

    Miss Colombia Lucia Aldana:

    Lucia, many Colombians say that you are not shining in Miss Universe, that you don't look anything like the past Miss Colombias. What makes you different from the others?

         That I am unique, period! They are them, and I am me, and for me the most important is the legacy that I can leave behind for each person and what I can give others, that I am a human being with virtues and flaws and that makes me special and unique. I am the kind of woman who calls attention, and that a beauty queen should call attention. I think that a queen is not what people expect her to be, but what they want to be. Perhaps they haven't found in me something that they like, so they wait for another girl because the truth is I am a very quiet woman, very passive, very pensive, very analytical and I know when to act and when to stop. I don't like wasting energy for nothing. Therefore I feel a little hurt because I would like to get at least some support from the people whose country I am representing.

    Miss Costa Rica Fabiana Granados:

    You're considered by many fans as one of the favorites for the crown. What do you have to say?

         I'd like to thank everyone who has given me that recognition, to everyone who follows me on my social networks. I think with Miss Universe I am ending my career in pageants. (She had competed in Miss Earth, Miss Continente Americano, Reinado Internacional de las Flores, and Miss Panamerican). 

    Miss Dominican Republic Yaritza Reyes:

    You weren't the favorite to win your national pageant, but you won anyway. How do you describe that moment?

         When I watched the video of the pageant, I saw a completely different Yaritza. What I felt inside, it was like an earthquake that shook me from one side to the other, but when I see the video again I see myself so calm, so passive, and I say to myself that it was not what was happening inside of me, it was something indescribable!

    What have you learned from Magali Febles?

         Magali is a very committed and determined person; she is a fighter and no one can take that away from her. When she dedicates herself to something, she does it well and she succeeds in doing it. That's what I've learned from her as a woman, as a human being, and as a candidate.

    Miss Ecuador Constanza Baez:

    How do you view homosexuality in your country?

         Imagine in this industry I am so used to working with homosexuals, transsexuals, lesbians. Everyone! I respect the decision of each individual. I believe that as long as you're happy and you have balance in your life, you must respect the happiness of others. I think that sometimes laws regarding homosexuality in certain countries are rather obsolete and even more so when we live in a country that has evolved. Denying reality seems to me totally incomprehensible, but we must also understand that there are certain cultures that are not progressive, but at the end of the day we need to respect each other, and if there's mutual respect then we can have everything.

    Side notes:

    Miss Aruba Stefanie Guillen Evangelista is very sad because her aunt died recently and she is completely alone here in Russia.

    Miss Haiti Mondiana Pierre, in spite of her young age, had an operation  a year ago to remove her ovaries and therefore she cannot bear children.

    Miss Chile Maria Jesus Matthei: She is the niece of presidential candidate Evelyn Mathei.  She is actually the presidential candidate for the 2013 elections of the Alianza party, which unites two official parties - Renovación Nacional and Unión Demócrata Independiente, and she is also the first woman from the Chilean left to be a presidential candidate in the history of the country.

    All photos courtesy of the Miss Universe Organization


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    Haiti Accident Update - Video Interview

    07 November 2013

    Miss World CEO Julia Morley & Miss World 2013 Megan Young visited Haiti at the end of October, 2013 to visit the projects that are being funded through the Miss World Charity Beauty with a Purpose. The delegation were met on arrival by Miss Haiti 2013 Ketsia Lioudy Iciena, and Haiti's Minister of Tourism.

    Initially planned to be a 10 day trip, the visit was cut drastically short by the collapse of the flooring at an orphanage they were visiting in Port au Prince.

    This short video documents the team's visit up until the moment of the accident, and an interview with Miss World Megan Young during the aftermath.


    04 November 2013
    Miss World in Orphanage Collapse Horror

    -Miss World CEO Julia Morley Injured

    At 14:30 on Thursday 31st October, Miss World Chairman Julia Morley and Miss World Megan Young visited an orphanage housing 78 children in Port Au Prince Haiti. The children were in their school class on the second floor of this temporary building.

    When they saw Miss World in her crown around 20 children rushed toward her. As they came forward the floor collapsed. Julia and one of the children, Jonathan, suffered fractures after falling through the floor, landing 8 to 10 feet below, being hit by the debris from above. Miraculously all the other children and Miss World Megan Young escaped either unhurt or with just cuts and bruises.

    The Orphanage at which the floor collapsed.
    However, Julia was in agony after the fall. It was impossible to move her from the building without a stretcher and we had to wait for a few hours for medical help. Finally a temporary ambulance transferred Julia and Jonathan to a local Medishare hospital. X-Rays revealed that Julia had suffered a significant fracture high in her hip area and that Jonathan had suffered a leg fracture. The doctors repaired Jonathan’s leg fracture but felt that it was too risky to treat Julia's injuries at the local hospital.

    It was therefore decided that Julia would be airlifted to Miami to undergo immediate surgery.

    Julia was therefore flown overnight by Air Ambulance from Haiti to Miami. She is currently in Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, after surgeons completed a 5 1/2 hour operation to put her hip back together.

    The surgeon has said that the operation went very well. It was a much more difficult operation than the first X-ray revealed in Haiti. The surgeon described it as a “high impact break with a lot of soft tissue damage”. This took a lot of additional time to repair. As part of the repair they have inserted a metal plate on Julia's hip (instead of a pin) to add more stability to the joint.

    The surgeon says that she now needs rest and intensive therapy. With the length and scale of the operation, she will be here in Miami for a while before she can return to London. The good news is that with hard work over the coming week, the surgeon believes that she can make a full recovery.

    Children gathered at the Orphanage the day after the incident
    Megan Young also fell through the floor but manage to land on her feet and thereby escape injury. Furthermore, despite the shock of the fall, Megan held on to her Miss World crown as the building collapsed around her. Miraculously Megan ensured that the Crown remained undamaged despite all that was going on.

    Part of this incredible story was captured on film as Megan’s year is the subject of a new film documentary.

    "We went into the orphanage hoping for a good day. I was happy that day and the children we were with seemed so full of energy and joy. We get onto this second floor platform, and we aren't even there for a minute and we hear a crack and everybody falls through.

    "Nothing like that has really happened to me before. It was such a shock. I felt like a deer in the headlights. I didn't really know what had happened or what to do. We had all fallen down, but I was still on my feet. I had the crown in one hand and the other hand instinctively holding up one of the decks in place with two people. There were lots of kids under the decks still and we just instinctively held on. it was such a scary situation for me. it makes you realise there is so much more that should be done for these kids. it's not the only orphanage out here in Port au Prince, and I am sure others are in a similar state."

    "We just hope that Julia recovers from it as quickly as possibly and dear Jonathan. My thoughts are with them at this time. It was a real eye opener and just shows how much work needs to be done in Haiti. I want to go back and continue with the work that we have started, and make sure nothing like this can happen again."

    Speaking from Jackson Memorial Hospital earlier today, Julia Morley described her experience.

    “I heard a loud crack and then the floor started to slide. My first thought was for the children and Megan. As I fell through, I remember catching some of the younger kids and breaking their fall. I landed on my feet but with the extra weight of the kids I fell back. Then came the intense pain and I knew something was seriously wrong.

    “I was so relieved that nearly everyone escaped unhurt. I stayed with poor Jonathan in the hospital. He was in the bed next to me and we cuddled each other while waiting for our X-Rays. I am glad to say that his leg has now been set and he will recover quickly.

    “I will return to Haiti as soon as I am well enough. There is a lot of work still to do. I want to go back and see the kids and to check on Jonathan's progress. This terrible accident highlights the continued need to provide a safe environment for these young kids. Many of them were themselves orphaned as a result of buildings collapsing during the terrible earthquake of 2010.”

    From the Miss World website

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    Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo

    In two hours, the new Miss Universe 2013 will be crowned at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russia tonight at 10 PM, Moscow time. For the first time since 1973, the pageant will not be shown live in the United States. The delayed telecast will be shown in the U.S. at 9:00 PM (EST).  The live telecast in Moscow will start at 10:00 PM, Moscow time, which means it will be 1 PM in U.S. East Coast. The delayed telecast will be shown in the U.S. at 9 PM EST. You have two choices: you can wait to see the delayed telecast (which means you will have to turn off all your electronic devices and avoid all social network if you don't want to know the results) or you can view the live stream via any of these links:

    Critical Beauty correspondent Hector Joaquin is chatting with fans from around the world via Twitcam. Say hello to him and ask him what he thinks of the contestants so far!

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    Venezuela's Maria Gabriela Isler, a 25-year-old accomplished flamenco dancer, was crowned Miss Universe 2013 Saturday night at the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, Moscow, Russia. Her victory marks Venezuela's seventh Miss Universe crown (1979, 1981, 1986, 1996, 2008, 2009, 2013). Her court includes 1st runner-up Patricia Rodriguez of Spain, 2nd runner-up Constanza Baez of Ecuador, 3rd runner-up Ariella Arida of the Philippines, and 4th runner-up Jakelyne Oliveira of Brazil. 

    Figuring in the top 10 were Yaritza Reyes of the Dominican Republic, Amy Willerton of Great Britain, Manasi Moghe of India, Olga Storozhenko of the Ukraine, and Erin Brady of the USA.

    Rounding up the top 16 were Jin Ye of China, Fabiana Granados of Costa Rica, Whulandary Herman of Indonesia, Nastassja Bolivar of Nicaragua, Monic Perez of Puerto Rico, and Dominique Rinderknecht of Switzerland. 

    The show was co-hosted by NBC anchorperson and journalist Thomas Roberts and entertainer Mel B (formerly of the Spice Girls). Entertainment was provided by Azerbaijani singer Emin Agalarov, the pop group Panic! At The Disco, and Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler, who also served as a judge.

    Besides Tyler, the other judges were American model and actress Carol Alt, fashion designer Marc Bouwer, Italian watchmaker Italo Fontana, retired American figure skater and Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski, Japanese celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Farouk Systems founder Farouk Shami, and Russian model AnneVyalitsyna. A total of 86 countries competed in this year's edition. 

    ***Note: the Miss Photogenic Universe award was won by Poland's Paulina Krupinska and the Miss Congeniality Universe went to China's Jin Ye. However, the awards were not distributed during the telecast to give way to Steven Tyler's performance.

    The Top Five 

    My thoughts:

         For the first time since 1973, the pageant was not shown live on American soil, which distressed many pageant fans on the Eastern seaboard of the United States who are used to watching the telecast live. The live telecast from Moscow started promptly at 10 PM Moscow time, which would have been 1:00 PM on the U.S. East Coast. To those who did not want to wait for the delayed telecast on NBC at 9:00 PM, they could view the live stream from various independent sites.

         I happen to be one of those people who couldn't wait for 9 hours for the delayed telecast, so I opted to view the live stream from a Spanish-language TV station. The transmission was rather decent except for the annoying ads, but about 15 minutes towards the end of the show, the connection started to act up and my Internet froze. CB correspondent Hector Joaquin would later explain that the Internet connection at the Crocus City Hall Media Center had been mysteriously severed as soon as the five finalists were announced.

    The Critical Beauty Media Room (a/k/a my office) -featuring my laptop, my iPad, my PC. My iPhone took this picture!

         My favorite for the crown was Olga Storozhenko of the Ukraine (photo, below). This woman could do no wrong. I had never seen any unflattering pictures of her from the moment she arrived in Moscow until the finals. Her Hollywood goddess face, her regal and polished bearing, her sultry voice, her perfectly well-toned soft body - I was really hoping that the Ukraine would have its first Miss Universe crown after having sent so many strong and beautiful girls in previous years. But the more I analyzed her images and videos - and her performance in the preliminaries - it dawned on me that she would be just too perfect or "aristocratic" to be Miss Universe. I couldn't imagine her "getting down and dirty" or being surrounded by underprivileged children or sick people. Some fans perceived her as icy cold, with which I disagree, especially after having seen her quirky side in the video interview.

         I didn't have any other favorites after the prelims, but when Olga was shut out of the Top 5, I found myself cheering and rooting for Miss Spain Patricia Rodriguez, whom I thought was the most facially beautiful. But she lacked energy and was less radiant than the others. Avid fans now realize that girls who had competed previously in Miss World, like Patricia, will never win Miss Universe as long as Donald Trump runs the pageant. Ada Aimee de la Cruz of the Dominican Republic (who was 1st runner-up in Miss Universe 2009), had competed in Miss World 2007. Yendi Phillips of Jamaica (who was 1st runner-up in Miss Universe 2010) was a Top 16 semifinalist in Miss World 2007. Gabrielle Walcott of Trinidad & Tobago (who was 2nd runner-up in Miss World 2008), did not even place in Miss Universe 2011. Three girls who competed in Miss World 2013 - Russia, South Africa and Namibia - were all shut out in Miss Universe 2013. Trump realizes the importance of protecting the Miss Universe brand, so any reference to Miss World would simply diminish the prestige of his brand. Take note of that, national directors!

         Back to the top five assessment. Miss Brazil Jakelyne Oliveira made the cut because she had the best swimsuit body (she's your typical tanned, sexy Brazilian beach garota) but I found her face a little odd (maybe it's her pug nose). Miss Ecuador Constanza Baez was off my radar until she wowed me in the swimsuit competition, but she's a regular butterface and her mint-colored frilly gown didn't do justice to her fabulous figure. She would also fix her hair once in a while, which annoyed me. Miss Philippines Ariella Arida  - who won the 16th semifinal stop via online voting - had the most beautiful hair, so silky and bouncy, but her bright sunny yellow strapless gown was more appropriate for a high school prom (although the color perfectly suited her dusky complexion). Her facial expressions were also bland. Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler gave a strong and consistent performance throughout the entire competition; she was not in my top five list (Spain, Ukraine, Great Britain, USA, Dominican Republic), but she's Miss Venezuela, and that's good enough for the judges to crown her in her iridescent silver gown. Like all past Venezuelan representatives, Gabriela emitted an effervescent personality and remarkable stage projection. Though compared to her predecessor, Gabriela's beauty is ordinary. It's easy to get tired of looking at her.

         Other delegates that made an impression on me included Amy Willerton of Great Britain (photo, left). If there is one contestant who epitomized the old Hollywood glamour à la Veronica Lake, it would be Amy. Her top 10 placement is the best one that her country (Great Britain/United Kingdom/England) has ever had since Karen Lesley Moore placed 4th runner-up in 1983 (exactly 30 years ago!). All that hair-tossing, that sexy-strutting and stunning Jessica-Rabbitesque glitzy red dress paid off for this hot Brit. Then we have Miss China Jin Ye, whose slick hairdo and top model strut in swimsuit made her stand out from the rest. Initially, I was underwhelmed by Miss Dominican Republic Yaritza Reyes's performance during the prelims, but she blew me away with her outstanding performance in both swimsuit and evening gown segments of the finals. Remember, this was the same girl who fell into a hole on stage during the Yamamay fashion show two weeks ago; she quickly recovered and brilliantly finished her routine as if nothing had happened.

         They say that the Q & A segment determines the results. They say that your answer can either make you or break you. That may be true, but not in this year's competition. Four of the finalists (Ecuador, Brazil, Spain, Venezuela) relied on an interpreter. Here's the full transcript:

    Question for Ecuador from judge Philip Kirkorov : What would happen to the world if we could no longer use the internet?
    Ecuador: I believe that computers themselves as one of the technologies nowadays. It has its advantages and disadvantages and one of the disadvantages is that we are no longer as close together with our families. I would like to use this moment to tell the teenagers and everybody that we should use the methodology of computers and the Internet in a positive way. It is never too late to start. Let us start right now.
    Question for Brazil from judge Carol Alt: What is your opinion in places that do not allow women to vote, travel abroad, or drive cars?
    Brazil: Good evening everybody! In my opinion, we as women achieved our independence through time. Unfortunately, nowadays we still have some problems with our independence as women. But we need to keep our open minds because nowadays we are homemakers, we are out there in the work force. In my country, we have a female president. We are capable of everything.
    Question for Spain from judge Anne Vyalitsyna: What is the most significant thing we can do to help elect more women to political offices around the world?
    Spain: I believe in order to select a good woman, she must possess good qualities in order to perform a good job – discipline, knows how to adapt herself, how to respond with her work, her performance and fulfilling her job.  
    Question for Philippines from judge Tara Lipinski: What can be done about the lack of jobs for young people starting their careers around the world?
    Philippines: For the people who have lack of jobs, I do believe that we people should invest in education and that is my primary advocacy, because we all know that if everyone of us is educated and well aware of what we are doing, we could land into jobs and we could land a good career in the future. So education is the primary source and a ticket for a better future.
    Question for Venezuela from judge Steven Tyler: What is your biggest fear and how do you plan to overcome it?
    Venezuela: I believe that one may have a lot of fears but nonetheless this is not something negative. I believe we should overcome all our fears and this in turn would make us much stronger. As soon as we overcome our fears and we're sure of ourselves, we can face any challenge.

         Even though no one stammered or choked, none of the finalists really answered their respective question. Their answers were either safe or general and sometimes poorly delivered, especially that of Spain's. It is this kind of answers that makes potential pageant contestants spend lesser and lesser time practicing with their interviews - falsely assuming that they can still place and win with a safe answer. Did anyone notice that there were only five questions in the bowl? And did anyone notice, too, that the five judges who had been chosen to ask the questions were all highly prominent celebrities? And most importantly, why was the number of judges an even number (8)? What would have happened if there had been a tie, and who would have been obliged to break the tie? Trump himself? Considering that Miss Philippines was the only one to answer in English, this justifies the controversial statement that she expressed during a TV interview in which she had commented that "Latinas can't even speak a sentence in English" - which, by the way, was taken out of context. Expect Latinas to rely on interpreters next year, and the following year... infinity.

         To those of you who did not see the live stream on the Internet, you missed the part when Gabriela did not realize that she had actually won. Even Miss Spain was confused. Watch:

         NBC edited the delayed telecast by cutting out the "confusing" episode. I really wish they stop announcing the winner first before the 1st runner-up. This avoids confusion, especially between the last two girls standing whose native language is not English. Poor Miss Spain was not given a proper "whisk" (usually the whisker would let her pose for the cameras for a few seconds before being pulled completely aside). Everything felt too rushed.  There had been many occasions when the last two girls were from countries that did not speak English and there had never been any confusion. Why? Because they stuck to the pattern of announcing the 1st runner-up first before the winner. You don't need a translator. All the hosts have to do was to announce the name of the country. Perhaps if the hosts had positioned themselves closer to the two girls, then the girls wouldn't have been too confused. I miss former hosts Bob Barber and Bob Goen calling the 1st runner-up first and even pointing at the winner to avoid confusion. Gabriela's crowning moment was messed up by poor stage direction and by the fact that her crown slipped off her head three times. 


       I have to say that the stage is probably the most majestic stage that I have ever seen. And this beautiful picture featuring a replica of the Kremlin is what I'd like for the pageant in Moscow to be remembered for, and not the ugly politics behind it or these eerie Matryoshka dolls (Russian nesting dolls):

    Spasiba, Russia! 

    By Rafa Delfin

    Related articles:

    Miss Universe 2013 hides a murky world of money, power and politics

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    Tomboy Beauty Pageant In The Philippines Causes An Internet Sensation
    That’s My Tomboy Features Androgynous Lesbians Competing In A Live Television Segment Similar
    To A Traditional Beauty Pageant.

         In the Philippines, a new type of beauty pageant in which androgynous women compete in front of a live audience has become immensely popular.

         The short segment, “That's My Tomboy,” which premiered in early October, airs as part of the musical and variety show It's Showtime broadcast by ABS-CBN.

    The short segment,

         Each contestant introduces themselves and performs a talent, followed by a question & answer segment by the hosts.

    Each contestant introduces themselves and performs a talent, followed by a question & answer segment by the hosts.
    Source:, 11/12/2013
    Related article:

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  • 11/12/13--21:40: Miss Colombia 2014

  • 20-year-old Paulina Vega Dieppa was crowned Senorita Colombia 2013 (Miss Colombia 2013) on November 11, 2013 in Cartagena de Indias. She will represent the country in the Miss Universe 2014 pageant. 

    Zuleika Kiara Suárez Torrenegra, representing San Andrés was crowned Miss International Colombia 2014 and will represent the country in the Miss International 2014 pageant.

    The first runner-up was Maria Alejandra López, representing Risaralda. 

    The second runner-up was Carolina Crovo Sierra, representing Antioquia. 

    The third runner-up was Tania Valencia Cuero, representing Valle.  

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         Australian beauty pageant heavy weights have put aside friendly competition to join forces and raise funds for the Philippines under the banner Beauty Queens Unite.
    Peter Sereno with Miss Earth Australia 2013 Renera Thompson
    Photo by Johan Westen
         Directors and titleholders of Miss World Australia, Miss Humanity Australia, Miss Supranational Australia, Miss Teen, Miss and Mrs Australia International, Miss Earth Australia and Miss Tourism Australia together with pageant industry watchdog Dear Pageant Girl will be acting on behalf of the Red Cross to raise much needed funds for the Philippines.
         The islands of the Philippines were struck by Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda and the strongest typhoon in world history) devastating the lives of over 11 million people and 1.7 million children.  As many as 10,000 people may have been feared dead.
         The Red Cross is at the forefront of the relief efforts appealing for $84million in aid to the devastated country.
         Peter Sereno of Dear Pageant Girl and spokesperson for Beauty Queens Unite appealed to the heads and crowned titleholders of the major pageants in Australia to reach out to their networks and work together to help the victims of the Super Typhoon and help the Red Cross achieve this goal.
         “This is the first and possibly the only time in Australian, if not global history, for rival pageants to set aside the competition and join forces to raise funds to help a country in crisis,” says Peter, whose background is Filipino.
         “The people of the Philippines are the biggest pageant fans in the world.  It is a phenomenon deeply embedded in their cultural psyche and is like a national sport.  Beauty queens are revered in the Philippines and often hold the same status as celebrities and government officials. When the Philippines won their first ever Miss World crown in September the whole country went into shut down – and so did Filipino ex pats around the world.
         “We would like to thank Sylvie Ghazal-Boutros of the Miss Teen, Miss and Mrs Australia International franchise and her Touch of Goodness Foundation for lending us the tagline Beauty Queens Unite – Shine On.  This is her initiative but was generous enough to lend it to us for this project.  It is the perfect description and the best way to describe our Aussie beauty queens; that when times get tough, we set aside our differences and we work together for the greater good.
         “The reigning Miss Earth Australia 2013 is currently in the Manila for the Miss Earth pageant.  Wishing to assist her sisters of the sash she will provide vital ground details back to Beauty Queens Unite and will also network, inspire and mobilize other beauty queens to join Beauty Queens Unite and further the cause” says Peter.
    We wish to thank the following organisations and their queens for assisting with our fundraising efforts:
    • Miss World Australia 2013 and Miss World Oceania – Erin Holland
    • Miss Humanity Australia 2013 – Ashleigh Wheeldon
    • Miss Earth Australia 2013 – Renera Thompson
    • Miss Supranational Australia 2013 and Miss Supranational Queen of Ocenia – Esma Voloder
    • Miss Tourism Australia – Monika Radulovic
    • Miss Australia International 2013 – Felcia D’jamirze
    • Mrs Australia International 2013 – Jordaine Chattaway
    • Miss Teen Australia International 2014 – Aamani Hatoum
    • Miss Australia International 2014 – Natalie Assaad
    • Mrs Australia International 2014 – Kate Johnson
    Donations and auction bids can be made at:
    For more information, agents and interview requests please contact:
    Peter Sereno
    Dear Pageant Girl

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    Janelee Chaparro, 22, from Puerto Rico was crowned in the first ever edition of Miss Grand International 2013 held November 19 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. She receives a cash prize amounting to US$30,000. The pageant is supported by sponsorship from governments and organizations that seek to promote mutual understanding, good will and peace among participating nations.

    Chaparro's court includes 1st runner-up Chantel Martinez, 19, of the Dominican Republic; 2nd runner-up Denisa Paseciakova, 24, of Slovak Republic; 3rd runner-up Annalie Forbes, 20, of the Philippines; and 4th runner-up Kelly Louise Maguire, 26, of Australia. Completing the top 10 were the delegates from Brazil, Cuba, Latvia, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela. Reaching the top 20 were the contestants from China, Colombia, Ecuador, Macedonia, Myanmar, Netherlands, Pakistan, Thailand, USA and Zimbabwe.

    Special awards were given to Myanmar's Htar Htet Htet (Miss Popular Vote), to the Dominican Republic (Best In Evening Gown), to Latvia's Kristīne Rancāne (Best In Swimsuit), to China's Jie Pan (Best National Costume). Seventy-one countries participated in the pageant's first edition.

    Photo credits: Miss Grand International

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     New Miss and Teen queens were crowned this past weekend. They will compete in their respective pageants (Miss USA 2014 and Miss Teen USA 2014).

    Jesica Ahlberg, 24, is the new Miss Alabama USA 2014

    Sarah Baskin-Champion, 17, is the new Miss Alabama Teen USA 2014

    Desirée Perez, 25, is the new Miss Connecticut USA 2014

    Sydney West, 16, is the new Miss Connecticut Teen USA 2014. She is the younger sister of Logan West, Miss Connecticut Teen USA 2012 who was crowned Miss Teen USA 2012.

    Arielle Rosmarino, 22, is the new Miss Virginia USA 2014.

    Olivia Fletcher, 16, is the new Miss Virginia Teen USA 2014.

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