Scandal rocked the Miss Earth 2017 pageant that is currently being held in the Philippines when pageant organizers decided to eliminate Miss Earth South Africa, Irini Moutzouris (above), from the competition because she failed to meet the minimum height requirement of 5'4" (165 cm).
On the official Facebook page of Miss Earth South Africa, the national director Ella Bella Leite posted the following statement:
“Our delegate will not compete at the international event, and the decision has been made to bring her home. The international body have a different set of rules to our local programme, their event is governed by rules and requirements on height and weight, and they made the decision to not allow Irini to compete in the final leg of the competition based on the height requirement. We accept this as their prerogative and have decided to rather bring our ambassador back home to support our end-of-year programe”
Pageant fans are divided on how they feel about Irini's disqualification. Some blame the national director Leite for sending Irini to the pageant despite the height regulation, and/or that Leite had neglected to inform Irini of the minimum height requirement. Some fans argue that Carousel Productions, the owner of Miss Earth, should have bent its rules this one time alone instead of giving the boot to Irini when the pageant has already entered its third week. On the Critical Beauty Facebook page, former national director of Australia, Kelly Louise Maguire (Miss Earth Australia 2010), posted that she was annoyed by the pageant's seemingly arbitrary rules; she also posted a photo of herself with a much shorter Miss Earth Denmark who apparently had not met the minimum height requirement but nevertheless was allowed to compete:
|CREDIT: CRITICAL BEAUTY FACEBOOK
The new Miss Earth will be crowned on November 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila. Meanwhile, the country of South Africa will not get to see its earthly representative shine on stage just because she's petite.