By Julio Rodríguez Matute. PAYPAL.ME/RODRIGUEZMATUTE2
EVENTS OF 1988.-
Mikhail Gorbachev initiates an economic restructuring program (Perestroika) in the Soviet Union; additionally, it begins to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. WHO begins its mission to eradicate polio. Osama Bin Laden founds the terrorist network Al-Qaeda while the war in Nagorno-Karabakh begins and the independent State of Palestine is proclaimed. In Scotland, the Lockerbie air tragedy occurs in which a PANAM plane explodes and crashes due to a bomb placed by Libyan terrorists, leaving 270 victims, 11 of them on the ground. The US mistakenly shoots down an Iran Air plane with 290 occupants, almost at the end of the Iran-Iraq war, while in Colombia an Avianca plane flying from Cúcuta to Cartagena crashes, one of the biggest air accidents in the history of that country. An earthquake destroys the north of Soviet Armenia, leaving around 50,000 dead, while other earthquakes on the India-Nepal border and in Yunnan, China also leave more than 2,000 victims. Hurricane Gilbert devastates Jamaica, the Yucatan Peninsula and Monterrey (Mexico). Bangladesh suffers a severe flood that leaves almost a thousand victims; months later it suffers a devastating cyclone that kills thousands more and leaves millions homeless. In Apure, Venezuela, the El Amparo Massacre takes place and in Burma, thousands die during demonstrations against the government. George H.W. Bush, Carlos Salinas de Gortari and Carlos Andrés Pérez are elected Presidents of the USA, Mexico and Venezuela (Pérez in his second term), while in France, François Mitterrand, in power since 1981, is reelected for seven more years and in Pakistan Benazir Bhutto is the first woman elected as Prime Minister of that country. The Olympic Games are held in Seoul, South Korea, with 159 countries, games that were boycotted by North Korea, Cuba, Albania and Ethiopia, with the Soviet Union achieving first place in medals, followed by East Germany and the United States.
Thailand achieves its 2nd. crown of Miss Universe in Taiwan with Porntip Nakhirunkanok while the Norwegian Catherine Alexandra Gude obtains the title of Miss International in Japan. The song “Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi”, by the Canadian singer Céline Dion, wins the Eurovision Song Contest in Ireland representing Switzerland while the Argentine Guillermo Guido triumphs with his song “You are still my woman” at the OTI Festival held in Buenos Aires. The film “The Last Emperor” wins the Academy Award. In the cinema the films “Rain Man”, “Rambo III”, “Crocodile Dundee II”, “Beetlejuice”, “Mississippi in Flames”, “Poltergeist III”, “Halloween IV” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” are released. Televen begins its broadcasts in Venezuela and Telepacífico in Colombia. On Broadway, the uninterrupted performances of the play “The Phantom of the Opera” began which have only been temporarily suspended in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Paulo Coelho publishes his book “El Alquimista”.The series “Roseanne” and “The Golden Years” are broadcast on North American TV. On the radios the songs “Man in the Mirror” and “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson, “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin, “Together Forever” by Rick Astley, “Sweet Child o ‘Mine” by Guns N ‘Roses, “One More Try” and “Faith” by George Michael, “Got My Mind Set on You” by George Harrison, “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” by Belinda Carlisle, “Two Hearts” by Phil Collins, “Shake Your Love” by Debbie Gibson, “Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen, “Prove Your Love” by Taylor Dayne, and “Shattered Dreams” by Johnny Hates Jazz are played, while in Latin America, the songs “Como Tu Mujer” by Rocío Durcal and “Louis” by Franco De Vita are musical hits. This year the Miss Universe María Gabriela Isler (Venezuela) and Ximena Navarrete (Mexico), the singer Rihanna, the British singer-songwriter Adele and the singer also known for his transvestism, Conchita Wurst, are born. Also, in 1988, the singer Andy Gibb, the Mexican actor Ramón Valdés (Don Ramón), the Venezuelan actress Doris Wells, the musician Billo Frómeta, the American actor John Carradine, the porn actor John Holmes, the former Panamanian President Arnulfo Arias and the mogul Christina Onassis died.
WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE MISS WORLD.-
While the Morleys were considering three possible venues for the preliminary events of Miss World this year (Ireland, Spain and Singapore) and losing the case against the use of the name “Mrs World”, on February 12 the meeting of Miss World and Miss Universe the Austrian Ulla Weigerstofer and the Chilean Cecilia Bolocco, took place at the Vienna Opera Ball, in one of the few occasions in which the two main world beauty queens posed together. Ultimately, Morley decided to bring the preliminary Miss World events to Spain, which would pay £ 200,000 for venue fees, sponsored by the Costa del Sol Tourism Office and Air Europa. In addition, and due to the low audience that the contest had in 1987 (of only 12 million viewers, the lowest number since ITV bought the broadcasting rights), Morley decided to reverse the bad decision of the previous year to eliminate the bathing suit and this time the one-piece swimsuits were back in the competition. And in the middle of the expansion plans, in June it became known that the Miss World Group had an agreement valued at £ 13.5 million for the merger of the company with the Scottish independent radio station Red Rose, directed by Owen Oyston, from which Morley would be the President, action that took place at the end of August.
SOVIETS CHOOSE THEIR FIRST BEAUTY QUEEN.-
Less than two years after Soviet newspapers ridiculed the Miss World competition as trivial and decadent, there was a change at the heart of the Soviet Union. On Sunday June 12, 40 of the most beautiful girls in the capital paraded for the title of Miss Moscow. At least that’s what everyone called it. The idea was suggested earlier in the year by a group of young people from the Komsomol youth organization. Mariya Kalinina, 16 (she was 17 in September), was crowned with the official title of the event “Moscow Beauty 1988”, while her finalists were Oxana Fandera and Elena Peredreeva. The Soviet capital’s first beauty pageant dazzled viewers with a swimsuit competition that broke with Russian prudishness. “She is charming and graceful, feminine and artistic,” Tass News Agency said of the brand new Miss. “It is distinguished by good taste and a sense of humor, since it is not enough to have a good appearance to win the contest.” Kalinina, a brunette recently graduated from high school, won a Mediterranean cruise for emerging as the winner of 11 competitions during the three-day event. The final was seen by a crowd of 12,000 at the Luzhniki Sports Palace and millions more on television. Although little publicized, the Ukrainians had also chosen their first Miss Kiev, a title obtained by Darina Nikolayeva, and the Lithuanians Ingrida Mikelionyté as “Beauty of Vilnius 1988”.
Julia Morley told the media that this year they were expecting the historic participation of the USSR and China. When knowing the election of “Miss Moscow”, Julia sent the corresponding invitations so that they were encouraged to carry out the national contest to send their winners to Miss World. They had also extended an invitation to the three Baltic Republics. According to Morley, negotiations were almost finalised and, subject to internal contests being completed. However, this did not happen. In Estonia, the first beauty contest since 1932 was held. Heli Mets was crowned, but unfortunately she did not get permission to compete in London. However, another country of the communist bloc, Bulgaria, debuted in Miss World. The first Bulgarian beauty contest was organized by Strahil Ganovski and was held in a hotel in the capital under the name “Miss Rodina”, and Sonia Vassileva was elected. On the other hand, representatives from Taiwan, Ghana and Guyana were returning to the event after years of absence. In Ecuador, the national contest was not held, so Cristina López was appointed; in Aruba, their contest would be held again in December, while in Panama, the country was experiencing a serious political and social situation due to the economic blockade imposed by the US, whose objective was to weaken the regime of Manuel Noriega and hasten his departure. In addition, the general strikes also caused a major banking crisis in the country. On the other hand, an attempted coup d’état caused a state of emergency to be declared in Panama, so no beauty contests were held. Another country that did not hold its national event was Brazil due to the fact that its organizer, Silvio Santos, suffered problems with his voice, suspecting throat cancer, and having to leave the country for treatment. However, Julia Morley contacted the organizers of the “Club Ilha Porchat”, who chose Miss Brazil for Miss International, to send the representative of that country this year. Two other countries chose their queens but, for economic reasons, they excused themselves from the start. They were ANTIGUA with Irma-Marie Senhouse and TONGA with Manusiu Fuapau Veikoso. On the other hand, Cote D’Ivoire, Senegal, Tahiti and Zaire decided not to continue with the rights of the Morley contest. Among the 87 countries that were expected in the Miss World 1988 competition we have the following:
* MISS COLOMBIA.- Miss Santander, Diana Patricia Arévalo, was elected on Sunday, November 15, 1987 at the Cartagena Convention Center as the Queen of Colombians, obtaining the right to go to Miss Universe 1988. The Vice-Queen, Jazmín Oliveros from the Department of Chocó, won the representation of the country in Miss World 1988. The Princesses were Olga Arenas (Valle), Alma Lucía Díaz-Granados (Magdalena) and Lucía Brun (Córdoba). 18 candidates participated.
* MISS FRANCE.- It was held on Thursday, December 31, 1987, from 11 pm to 1 am, at the L’Empire Theater in Paris, with the participation of 36 contestants and broadcast on FR3. The winner was Miss Bresse-Bugey, Sylvie Bertin, who refused to participate in Miss Universe and Miss World, being replaced in these contests by the first runner-up, Miss Alsace, Claudia Frittolini. The finalists were Elsa Victoire (Martinique), Graziella Pequin (Brittany) and Nathalie Huc (Roussillon). For the first and only time so far, the new Miss France was chosen by telephone vote of the viewers without the help of the judges. A total of 14,543 calls were processed, of which the winner obtained 2,934.
* MISS VENEZUELA.- The doctor Yajaira Vera, Miss Miranda, was crowned at the Municipal Theater of Caracas on Friday, February 5, representing Venezuelans in Miss Universe. As Miss World Venezuela was Miss Federal District, Emma Rabbe. Other winners were María Eugenia Duarte (Peninsula Goajira) as Miss Venezuela International, Constanza Giner (Aragua) as Miss Wonderland Venezuela and Marilisa Maronese (Portuguesa) as Miss Venezuela Latina. The remaining finalists were Nancy García (Táchira), Joanne Goiri (Lara) and Livia Castellanos (Municipio Libertador). 26 candidates participated in the contest.
* MISS USA.- On Tuesday, March 1, the finals of “Miss USA 1988” was held at the Convention and Performing Arts Center in El Paso, Texas, with 51 contestants. The winner was the local candidate, Courtney Gibbs, Miss Texas, a state that won the national crown for the fourth time in a row and who traveled to Taiwan for Miss Universe. In 2nd place, going to Miss World, was Miss California, Diana Magaña. The finalists were completed by Donna Rampy (Georgia), Monica Farrell (Florida) and Dana Richmond (Mississippi), the latter was sent to Miss International where she was the 1st runner-up.
* MISS DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.- Patricia Jiménez and María Josefina Martínez obtained the titles of Miss Dominican Republic (for Miss Universe) and Miss Dominican World in the event held at the Casa de España (House of Spain) on Saturday, March 12. The finalists were Trini Comas (for Miss Latin America), Ivette Peña (for the International Coffee Queen) and Rosa Elena Villanueva (for Maja International).
* MISS TAIWAN.- The first beauty pageant in the Republic of China (Taiwan) since the ban imposed by the government of that country in 1964, was held on Saturday April 16 at the Chunghwa Stadium in Taipei, with the participation of 15 finalists. The winner was Hu Fei-Tsui, who would host Miss Universe in May of that same year. In second place was Chang Shu-Chuen (who was supposed to go to Miss International but did not participate) and in third place Wu Yi-Ning (to Miss World).
* MISS MÉXICO.- It was held on May 8 at the Benito Juárez Auditorium in the city of Veracruz, with Raúl Velazco and the Venezuelan Maite Delgado as TV hosts, and where the Veracruz-born Adriana Abascal López-Cisneros won the crown towards Miss Universe 1989 to be held in Cancun. The second place winner was María Alejandra Merino Ferrer from Tabasco, who attended Miss International. The remaining finalists were Elsy Guadalupe Aceves (Jalisco), Luz Angélica Ruiz Velasco (Aguascalientes), Olga Esther Ancona (Quintana Roo) and Jannette Hamui Cárdenas (Federal District). As of this year, the Mexican representative to Miss World was the winner of the special award “Miss Dorian Gray”, on this occasion, Jannette Hamui from the Federal District. But she gave up the title shortly after. Second was Adriana Abascal who, for winning Miss Mexico, could not accept the title, so that the responsibility of representing Mexico in Miss World fell on Miss Tlaxcala, Cecilia Cervera, third place in “Miss Dorian Gray” (Steps to Fame).
* MISS INDEPENDENCE OF HONDURAS.- The rights of Miss World went this year to Channel 5. The contest was held at the Manuel Bonilla National Theater in Tegucigalpa and where two queens were crowned, Becky Manzanares as “Miss Independence of Honduras” and Alina Patricia Díaz as “Miss Honduras World”. The finalists of the Independence pageant were Mónica Cueva and Yolany Hernández, and the princesses of “Miss Honduras World”, Rosaura Gómez Alemán and Ivonne de Lourdes Nasser.
* FEGURÐARDROTTNING ÍSLANDS.- Linda Pétursdóttir won the title of “Queen of Beauty of Iceland” on Monday May 23 at the Hotel Iceland in Reykjavik, with the honor of representing the country in Miss World and Miss Universe. In second place was Gudbjörg Gissurardóttir (to Miss International) and in third place Gudrun Margret Hannesdóttir. 11 beauties participated.
* MISS SWITZERLAND- On Saturday June 4, Karina Berger was elected “Miss Switzerland 1988” at an event held at the House of Congress in Zurich. The finalists were Corine Wittwer and Laura Leibbrand.
* MISS ECUADOR.- It was held on Wednesday June 15 at the Guayaquil Art Center Theater with 15 candidates. It was won by María Eugenia Molina who went to Miss Universe 1989. Other winners were Cristina López to Miss World 1988 and María Alicia Sevilla to Miss Asia-Pacific 1988. The finalists were Macarena Vega, Alexandra Argudo and Gianella Montaño.
* MISS COMMONWEALTH BAHAMAS.- It was held on Sunday July 3 at the Le Cabaret Theater on Paradise Island. It was won by Natasha Rolle who attended Miss World. The finalists were Holly Sands, Shelley Saunders, Marilyn Deveaux and Corlette Deveaux. 13 candidates competed.
* MISS POLAND.- Joanna Gapinska won the title on Saturday, July 16 at the Forest Opera in the city of Sopot, an event that featured the participation of 16 finalists and the presence of the reigning Miss World, Ulla Weigerstorfer from Austria and the organizer of Miss World, Julia Morley. The finalists were Roza Golasiewicz, Iwona Bukowska, Bozena Brozyna and Elzbieta Lebioda.
* MISS IRELAND – Collette Jackson was chosen from 36 girls heading to Miss World and Miss Universe on Friday July 22 at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin. The finalists were Lisa Keating and Muriel Leddy.
* MISS HOLLAND.- The event was held on Saturday, August 20 at the Novotel in Amsterdam, with Angela Visser winning out of 24 candidates. The new Miss Holland went to Miss World (replacing the 1st runner-up, Nandy Hendrikx who refused to go to London) and later to Miss Universe, where she won. The other finalists were Deborah Kiela (to Miss Wonderland and Queen of the World ’89), Ghislaine Niewold (to Miss International ’89), Saskia van Marrelo and Manou Bleeker.
* MISS HONG KONG.- Michele Reis won the title on Sunday, August 21 at the Academy of Performing Arts, achieving her pass to Miss World and Miss Universe. Her prizes also included a $ 130,000 apartment, a Honda brand car, a round trip to Japan, and a week-long tour of Europe for two. The finalists were Sheila Chin and Cynthia Cheung.
* MISS UNITED KINGDOM.- Miss Manchester, Kirsty Roper, who had suffered months before from bacterial meningitis, was crowned on Wednesday August 24 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, being then the British representative in Miss World. The public could vote for their favorites by phone. Second was Miss Wolverhampton, Angela Newland and third Miss Peterborough, Nicola Kidd.
* MISS GERMANY.- Andrea Stelzer, who was Miss South Africa 1985 and with dual citizenship, won the German beauty title on Saturday, August 27 at the Plaza Hotel in Hamburg. The finalists were Katja Munch and Iris Klein (later Miss International 1989). Andrea could not compete in Miss World because she had South African citizenship (a country banned from Miss World by the Morleys since 1978) so she only went to Miss Universe. Therefore, the first runner-up traveled to London for Miss World.
* MISS GUAM WORLD.- The University of Guam was once again the site of the contest held on Monday, August 29, where Rita Pangelinan, who was also Miss Personality, was chosen. The finalists were Gisele Barrett, Cindy Mandelcorn (both 1st runner-ups by tie) and Lorena Navarro.
* MISS JAMAICA.- Days before the arrival of the devastating Hurricane Gilbert, the finals of “Miss Jamaica 1988” was held on Saturday September 3 at the National Arena in Kingston. Andrea Haynes won it on the way to Miss World. Finalists were Kim Scott (Miss Jamaica International), Nicola Seixas (Miss Jamaica Wonderland), Wendy Nash (Miss Jamaica Maja) and Tarra Chin. 20 contestants.
* MISS BERMUDA ISLANDS.- Julia Morley took away the Miss World franchise from the Miss Bermuda organizer due to her dissatisfaction with how the event was held in 1987, which is why a parallel contest called “Miss Bermuda Islands” was held for the first time, an event that It was held on Sunday, September 4 and won by Sophia Cannonier, who went to Miss World 1988 and Miss Wonderland 1989.
* MISS MALAYSIA WORLD.- It was held at the Shangri-Lah Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, September 14, with Sue Choy-Fun Wong winning an event in which the parade in swimsuits was prohibited and where the candidates paraded in shorts and T-shirts instead of swimsuits. The finalists were Didi Liu, Veronica Alison Shockman and Riguan Rashidi.
* MISS WORLD CANADA.- The blonde Morgan Fox was crowned on Wednesday, September 14 at the Soft Rock Café in Vancouver to represent her country at Miss World in London.
* MISS SINGAPORE WORLD.- Sixteen candidates competed on Friday, September 16 at the Neptuno Theater-Restaurant, where Shirley Teo won, in an event organized by Alex Liu from Metromedia Marketing (who years later created Manhunt, the first international men’s competition), since the rights of Miss World in that country changed hands in 1987. The finalists were Noor Masitah (who held the same position the previous year) and Maria Neo. The newly elected Miss Ireland, Colette Jackson and Miss Turkey International 1988, Didem Aksel, were invited as special guests.
* MISS SPAIN.- The final gala of “Miss Spain 1988” took place in the casino of La Manga del Mar Menor in the city of the same name, in the region of Murcia, on the night of Friday, September 23 with the presence of twenty-eight candidates. The title went to Miss Western Andalusia, the Cordovan Eva María Pedraza (also selected as Miss Sympathy), who for unknown reasons did not attend Miss World as traditionally did the previous holders, but attended Miss Universe 1989 in Cancun, Mexico where she did not obtain any placing. Miss Costa Brava, Susana de la Llave, obtained the band of “Miss Nacional” and was sent to London for Miss World while the Maids of Honor were Miss Euskadi, Mercedes Martín Mier and Miss La Manga, Pilar Cedrán Abellán.
* MISS PERU WORLD.- On Tuesday, October 11, at the Segura Theater in Lima, Miss Martha Elena Kaik was chosen as “Miss Peru World 1988” among 10 finalists. The second place went to Nuria Puig (to Miss Wonderland) and the third to Patricia Figueroa (to the Queen of the International Coast).
* MISS THAILAND WORLD.- Paphassara Chutanupong won the title on Saturday, October 15 at the Bangkok Convention Center. The finalists were Risa Honghiran and Moo Pimpaka. Paphassara went to Miss World using the stage name Thaveeporn Hunsilp. After the election, the other contestants, unhappy with the outcome, ransacked the winner’s hotel room, flushed the cloak and scepter down the toilet, and stole some of the winner’s belongings, such as a gold Buddha, cash and her identity documents. Definitely bad losers !!
DID NOT COMPETE
BLOW BELOW THE BELT TO MORLEY.-
On September 26, ITV announced that it would stop broadcasting the Miss World pageant beginning in 1989 due to declining viewership numbers and growing complaints that the event was degrading to women. Viewership numbers had plummeted dramatically in recent years (from 18 to 12 million viewers). Thames publicity director Roy Addison said: “It’s hard to keep a show in decline. Maybe its day is over.” The Miss World beauty pageant could move abroad, possibly to the United States, following Thames Television’s decision to remove it due to falling audience figures. Miss World owner Eric Morley said he was considering offers to screen the pageant abroad. “The show will go on … If anything, it will be on cable,” Morley said. However, Julia wanted the pageant to stay in Great Britain. “I would be very sorry to have to leave London, I have always considered Miss World a typical British event,” she said. She also bitterly attacked the critics, adding that they were negotiating the future of the contest and that she hoped the event would become a world-wide spectacle like the Olympics. “We have already had 10 offers from countries around the world eager to make Miss World with contracts of between three and five years,” she concluded. On the other hand, IMG continued with the worldwide broadcasting rights.
NATIONAL DIRECTOR ARRESTED BY THE JUSTICE.-
Gordon Connolly, Manager of Entertainment and Publicity for Douglas Corporation and who had the Miss Isle of Man pageant franchise for Miss World, was due to attend the competition in London on November 17 to support his representative, but the police ordered him in late October that he could not leave the island. Connolly had been suspended from his job at the Isle of Man Villa Marina Entertainment Complex by the Entertainment and Advertising Committee of Douglas Corporation after an internal audit indicated potential discrepancies. Connolly was taken to Douglas Police Headquarters for questioning by detectives. He was detained while the allegations of irregularities related to the sale of tickets at the venue were being investigated. When his corruption case was discovered, he had to serve a sentence, so the Miss Isle of Man contest was suspended indefinitely (it was not done again until 2017 with other organizers).
FIRST STOP, LONDON, THEN MÁLAGA.-
The candidates for Miss World were due to arrive in London on Wednesday, October 26, since on Friday, October 28, they all left together on a courtesy flight from Air Europa to Malaga, Spain. A historic record of 84 contestants (up to that point) came to London from all corners of the globe. Only three expected candidates did not arrive: Miss SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES (Judy Charles), Miss GAMBIA (Oumou “Omie” Haidara Faye) and Miss BRAZIL (Elizabeth Ferreira da Silva). The latter was Miss Brazil International chosen by the Ilha Porchat Club (where Maristella Silva Grazzia came from in 1981) and had won the award for Best National Costume at Miss International in Japan. However, the reasons why she did not arrive in London for the contest are unknown. On the other hand, in India there was a last minute replacement. The titleholder (to Miss Universe), Kalpana Pandit, was disqualified when it was discovered that she had a US passport. The first runner-up, Dolly Minhas, was supposed to go to Miss World, but after the winner was disqualified, she assumed the title in September so she would go to Miss Universe the following year, while the second runner-up, Anuradha Kottoor, who in a First she would go to Miss Asia Pacific, was sent later to Miss World. Upon arriving in London, the candidates were photographed in full color and under equal conditions for the contest’s ‘program book’.
The 84 beauties arrived that same Friday at Malaga airport and from there they were transferred to the Torrequebrada Hotel and Casino in Benalmádena on the Costa del Sol where they were hosted and where they received a lavish welcome dinner where the former Miss Spain Remedios Cervantes was also present. Once in Spain, names of favorites began to be known, among which were the representatives of Germany, the USA, Bermuda, the United Kingdom and France. For a week they made the taping of the National Costumes at the Malaga City Hall, they visited Puerto Banús in Marbella, where they recorded some shots in swimsuits and together with Ken Warwick’s dancers they did the musical opening in the Plaza de España, in the Mirador de los Jardines del Muro and the Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán de Benalmádena as well as the Plaza de Toros de La Malagueta with the theme “La Isla Bonita” popularized by Madonna but adapted to the occasion by Phil Tate. Of course, there was time to enjoy the facilities of the four-star hotel, the sun, the beach and the tourist attractions of the Spanish Costa del Sol. On Sunday, November 6, the 84 beauties returned to London aboard an Air Europa chartered flight and, once in the British capital, they were accommodated at the Tara Hotel, as in previous years. The rest of the day was free to rest from the trip.
ACTIVITIES IN LONDON.-
During the first four days in the city, the participants took the usual tours through the most emblematic places of the city, participated in photographic sessions for the press and enjoyed the facilities of the Morley Spa near Heathrow; they also enjoyed a West End musical and went shopping at Harrod’s. On Friday, November 11, the customary lunch sponsored by the Miss World Group and the Variety Club of Great Britain was held at the Grosvenor House hotel, where the young women attended dressed in their national costumes and carrying gifts from their countries that were auctioned to benefit the “Beauty with a Purpose” charities. By the way, they hoped to exceed the sum of £ 200,000 that had been raised the previous year at this gala. Miss UK appeared dressed in an evening gown as her Britannia dress had been lost during the return trip to London. The next day, the candidates welcomed the children from King’s College to the hotel for the annual Christmas party, where they spent the whole afternoon with them.
On Sunday, November 13, the Press Presentation was held in the Great Hall of the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, where the 84 young women posed in four rows of twenty-one candidates, the shortest in the front and the tallest in the back, wearing short-sleeved white tights with belts and gold-colored shoes, sponsored by Top Shop, by the way, the last year the firm sponsored the pageant. As usual, after posing together, the girls were grouped together by the different media who chose their favorites. Each journalist cast their vote on a ballot with the names of the three contestants they liked the most. Surprisingly, at the end of the activity, Miss GUATEMALA (Mariluz Aguilar Rivas) was awarded as Miss PHOTOGENIC even though she had not been selected in the different groups of “favorites” of the press.
Several of the girls made it to Miss World with previous experience in international pageants. Miss Sweden had won Miss Hawaiian Tropic International in 1984, Miss Hong Kong had been crowned Miss Chinese International 1988 (where Miss Macau also competed) and Miss Venezuela had just won the Miss Hispanidad International months before where Miss Ecuador also participated. In Miss Universe 1988 the representatives of Belgium, France, Nigeria and the British Virgin Islands competed; Miss Singapore took part in Miss International 1986 and Miss Uruguay in the 1988 edition of the same contest. Miss Kenya and Miss Costa Rica were in Miss Wonderland, Miss Samoa participated in Miss Asia Pacific and Miss Lebanon in Maja International 1988. For her part, Miss Greece had been a semifinalist in Miss Europe 1988 where Miss Portugal also participated. Miss Chile was a semifinalist of Miss America Latina 1986. Meanwhile, Miss Dominican Republic had been Miss Teenage Dominicana 1983 and participated in Reina de la Costa Internacional 1985 and won Señorita Independencia de América 1987. Seven of the contestants had the minimum age of 17 years (Taiwan, Cook Islands, El Salvador, United Kingdom, Western Samoa, Yugoslavia and Isle of Man) while the older ones, at 24, were Miss Bolivia, Miss Denmark and Miss Jamaica. Six contestants reached 5′ 11” (Argentina, Bahamas, Canada, Germany, Nigeria and Greece) while five candidates were the shortest at 5′ 4” (Kenya, Uganda, Turks-Caicos, Isle of Man and Papua New Guinea). Miss Colombia had put on her registration form that she was 5′ 11” when in fact she was 5′ 7” and it was evident when the tallest girls posed in the last row. It should be noted that forty-five of the girls (more than half of the total number of contestants) were students and another three were already professionals. Here is the table with the data of the 84 participants:
|01||AMERICAN VIRGIN ISLANDS||Cathy-Mae Sitaram||19||St. Croix||Law Student|
|02||ARGENTINA||Gabriela Karina Madeira||19||Buenos Aires||Student of Marine Biology|
|03||AUSTRALIA||Catherine “Cathy” Bushell||21||South Brisbane||Model|
|04||AUSTRIA||Alexandra Werbanschitz||21||Graz||Student of Music|
|05||BAHAMAS||Natasha Michelle Rolle||21||Nassau||Clerk at the Attorney’s General Office|
|07||BELGIUM||Daisy Van Cauwenbergh||19||Limbourg||Student|
|08||BELIZE||Pauline Young||19||Belize City||Draftswoman of the Urban Development Group|
|09||BERMUDA||Sophia Cannonier||19||Warwick East||Dancer|
|10||BOLIVIA||Claudia Mabel Nazer Calabi||24||Tarija||Teacher|
|11||BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS||Nelda Felecia Farrington||22||Tortola||Research assistant|
|12||BULGARIA||Sonia Vassileva||19||Varna||Singer and Student of Physical Education|
|14||CAYMAN ISLANDS||Melisa McTaggart||23||Grand Cayman||Investor in Retail Jewelry|
|15||CHILE||María Francisca Aldunate Sanhueza||22||Santiago||Dress Designer|
|17||COLOMBIA||Jasmín Oliveros Segura||20||Bahía Solano||Marine Biology Student|
|18||COOK ISLANDS||Annie Wigmore||17||Titikaveka||Clerk at a Trust company|
|19||COSTA RICA||Virginia Steinvort||19||San José||Art Student|
|20||CURACAO||Anuschka Monique Cova||19||Willemstad||Student|
|21||CYPRUS||Aphrodite Theophanous||18||Papos||Sales Assistant|
|22||DENMARK||Susanne Johansen||24||Copenhague||Economics and Philosophy student|
|23||DOMINICAN REPUBLIC||María Josefina Martínez Marte||21||Santo Domingo||Student|
|24||ECUADOR||Cristina Elena López Villagómez||20||Guayaquil||Student|
|25||EGYPT||Dina El Naggar||20||Giza||Broadcaster and Student of Political Science and Economics|
|26||EL SALVADOR||Karla Lorena Hasbun||17||San Salvador||Student|
|28||FRANCE||Claudia Frittolini||20||Illzach||Ground Stewardess|
|30||GHANA||Dzidzo Abra Amoa||23||Volta||Bio-chemistry student|
|31||GIBRALTAR||Tatiana Desoiza||23||Gibraltar||Marketing Consultant|
|32||GREECE||Ariadne Mylona||19||Chania, Crete||Student|
|33||GUAM||Rita Mae Pangelinan||23||Windward Hills||Psychologist and Consumer Sales Representative|
|34||GUATEMALA||Mariluz Aguilar Rivas||18||Guatemala City||Student|
|35||GUYANA||Christina Amanda Jardim||20||Georgetown||Student|
|36||HOLLAND||Angela Visser||21||Rotterdam||Student and Model|
|37||HONDURAS||Alina Patricia Díaz Ordóñez||19||Choluteca||Student|
|38||HONG KONG||Michele Monique Reis||18||Kowloon||TV clerk|
|39||ICELAND||Linda Pétursdóttir||18||Vopnafjörður||Hotel Receptionist and student|
|40||INDIA||Anuradha Kottoor||22||Bombay||Model and Interior Designer|
|41||IRELAND||Collette Jackson||22||Malahide, Coolock||Model|
|42||ISLE OF MAN||Victoria O’Dea||17||Douglas||Shop Assistant and Model|
|45||JAMAICA||Andrea Nichola Haynes||24||Kingston||Graphic Designer Student|
|47||KENYA||Dianna Naylor||21||Mombasa||Tourist Officer|
|48||KOREA||Yeon-hee Choi||22||Seoul||Graduated in Physical Education and Sports Commentator|
|49||LEBANON||Sylvana Samaha||19||Beirut||Business Administration Student|
|51||LUXEMBOURG||Chantal Schanbacher||22||Altrier||Hotel Clerk|
|52||MACAU||Helena da Conceição Lo Branco||19||Macau||Secretary in the Government Information Office|
|53||MALAYSIA||Sue Choy-Fun Wong||19||Penang||Saleswoman|
|54||MALTA||Josette Camilleri||21||Marsa||Computer Operator|
|55||MAURITIUS||Véronique Ash||21||Beau Bassin||Student|
|56||MEXICO||Cecilia Cervera Ferrer||20||Tlaxcala||Tourism Student|
|57||NEW ZEALAND||Lisa Corban||19||Waikato||Dental Assistant|
|58||NIGERIA||Omasan Tokunbo Buwa||22||Warri||Student|
|59||NORWAY||Rita Helene Paulsen||21||Myrvoll||Business Student and Saleswoman|
|60||PAPUA NEW GUINEA||Erue Taunao||19||Port Moresby||Sales representative|
|61||PARAGUAY||María José Miranda Ugarriza||19||Asunción||Student and Cashier in a Boutique|
|62||PERU||Martha Elena Kaik Tosso||21||Lima||Psychologist|
|63||PHILIPPINES||Dana Mayor Narvadez||19||Manila||Tourism student|
|64||POLAND||Joanna Gapinska||20||Szczecin||Student of Art and Culture|
|65||PORTUGAL||Helena Isabel da Cunha Laureano||20||Sesimbra||Model|
|66||SAINT KITTS & NEVIS||Haley Cassius||21||Newtown||Bank Clerk|
|67||SIERRA LEONE||Tiwilla Ojukutu||21||Freetown||Receptionist at an insurance company|
|68||SINGAPORE||Shirley Teo Ser Lee||23||Singapore||Accountant|
|69||SPAIN||Susana de la Llave Varón||19||Figueres||Works in Public Relations|
|70||SRI LANKA||Michelle Koelmeyer||18||Colombo||Student of Speech and Drama|
|71||SWAZILAND||Thandeka Magagula||22||Manzini||Law Student|
|72||SWEDEN||Cecilia Margaretha Hörberg||22||Gothenburg||Model|
|73||SWITZERLAND||Karina Berger||20||Zurich||Photo Model, Fashion Designer and Stylist|
|74||THAILAND||Thaveeporn Hunsilp (Paphassara Chutanupong)||18||Bangkok||Student|
|75||TRINIDAD & TOBAGO||Wendy J.Q. Baptiste||19||Arouca||Student|
|77||TURKS & CAICOS||Doreen Dickenson||20||Palm Grove||Legal Secretary|
|78||UGANDA||Nazma Jamal Mohamed||20||Entebbe||Secretary Student|
|79||UNITED KINGDOM||Kirsty Roper||17||Stone, Staffordshire||Student|
|80||UNITED STATES||Diana Rosa Rodriguez Magaña||23||Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.||Student|
|81||URUGUAY||Gisel Silva Sienra||19||Montevideo||Architecture Student|
|82||VENEZUELA||Emma Irmgard Marina Rabbe Ramírez||19||La Guaira||Medical Student and Model|
|83||WESTERN SAMOA||Noanoa Hill||17||Apia||Student|
|84||YUGOSLAVIA||Suzana Zunic||17||Split, Croatia||Economics Student|
FOUR-DAY PRELIMINARY AND TELEPHONE VOTE.-
Eric Morley, upon learning that the French organizers had used a popular voting system via telephone, wanted to implement it in the Miss United Kingdom contest, which was a success in ratings, gaining the interest of viewers. Because of this, he wanted to repeat it at Miss World. The newspapers covering the contest published photos of the girls and a telephone number for each one (see the PRESS ARTICLES chapter), so that the public could vote for their preferred candidates (each call was worth 8 pence). The public vote would be taken as one more judge and would replace the vote of Eric Morley, who, like every year, was the Chairman of the Judges. Due to the large number of contestants, the Morleys decided that this year, contestants would be evaluated in groups of twenty-one girls over four days, beginning Monday, November 14, by a nine-person panel with representatives from five continents (Eric Morley included , but this time he would not vote). This jury evaluated the 84 young women in swimsuits and in interviews where the girls also wore their evening gowns, using the same selection system as in previous years, the list system.
By the way, and because they only had one telephone line available for the finals (with terminal numbers from 0 to 9), they had to reduce the number of semifinalists again to only ten. On the other hand, Morley’s primary idea was that, in the finals, he would invite two celebrities for the judging to be made up of eleven people, but this did not happen in the end, the panel of judges was still nine members. On the other hand, a rumor spread that one of those “celebrities” would be the Canadian athlete of Jamaican origin Ben Johnson, who rose to fame after being stripped of a gold medal at the Seoul Olympics in September after failing a doping test, two London tabloids reported. However, Morley denied the rumor. “It’s a naughty attempt to create excitement,” he said.
Along with the interviews, arduous rehearsals began at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday, November 14, rehearsals that also occupied the entire Tuesday. On Wednesday the 16th, the contestants flocked to a West End beauty salon to get ready for the Dress Rehearsal that took place that night at the Royal Albert Hall. That day, ITV aired a meridian program titled “Who’ll win Miss World” where it presented the 84 girs with their phone number so the public could call to help their favorites advance to the semifinalist group. At 7:25 pm the Dress Rehearsal began with a musical introduction by Phil Tate and the British National Anthem. Eric Morley gave the customary words of welcome and Andy Ross introduced individully the 84 candidates in their evening gowns. While the girls put on their bathing suits, Peter Marshall and Alexandra Bastedo, the hosts of the evening, recorded the presentation that would be broadcast during the final. This year, John Davidson from the United States did not attend, who for a few years had been presenting the contest for the North American broadcast of Miss World. After this recording, the participants individually paraded in swimsuits, again presented by Andy Ross.
Then, Julia Morley arrived on stage to deliver the trophies courtesy of Top Shop to Miss GUATEMALA (Mariluz Aguilar Rivas) as Miss PHOTOGENIC (although it had already been announced and delivered on the day of the press presentation), to Miss PORTUGAL (Helena Isabel da Cunha Laureano) as Miss PERSONALITY (chosen by the contestants themselves) and, although it was announced, it would also be known the first Miss CHARITY WORLD (precursor of the “Beauty with a Purpose” award), a prize that one of the contestants would obtain due to her job in her home country working with charities in support of the slogan created by Julia Morley. However, it is not certain if this award was announced, as no media made mention of it. All the sequences of the final night were made with the parades and interviews with ten semifinalists chosen at random, the coronation and also, a special number with the group “Koreana” and all the contestants was taped on stage, singing the song “Hand in Hand “, which became famous during the Olympics in Seoul and whose images would be broadcast in the grand finale.
The following day, Thursday, November 17, the judges interviewed the last group of participants and cast their final vote. These two lists issued by each judge (one for swimsuits and one for interview / evening gown) were converted into points (4 if the girl appeared on both lists, 3 if she was only on one of the lists and 2 if she was not considered as a possible finalist) and the machine, sponsored by Walters International Computers, added these qualifications to issue the list of the 10 official semi-finalists. It should be noted that Eric Morley did not vote, but was in charge of tabulating the public’s telephone votes, which were closed at noon on Thursday. The ten candidates selected by the public through the telephone vote would obtain 3 points each. (SEE TABLE OF SCORES). On the other hand, the bookmakers announced that the top favorite was Miss Venezuela with odds of 4-1, followed by Miss United Kingdom with 9-2 and in third place Miss Iceland with 6-1. This year the bets of all the contestants were not announced. For its part, the Daily Mirror newspaper mentioned Miss Finland, Miss Germany, Miss Venezuela, Miss Poland, Miss Israel and Miss United Kingdom as favorites.
THE FINALS OF MISS WORLD 1988.-
Phil Tate and his orchestra kicked off the thirty-eighth Miss World finals ceremony at 7:45 pm on Thursday, November 17 in a packed Royal Albert Hall, which by the way would be the last time in history that the pageant was held in this scenario after 20 uninterrupted years. Following the British National Anthem, Andy Ross introduced Eric Morley and then the 84 entrants in their evening gown parade. As the candidates changed their clothes, Julia Morley presented special distinctions to various National Directors for their performance in the “Beauty with a Purpose” work in their respective countries. After this, the contestants individually paraded in swimsuits. While this was happening, at 8:30 pm the event began to be broadcast on ITV screens in a 90-minute program. It began with the musical opening of Ken Warwick’s dancers and the contestants, which had been prerecorded on the Spanish Costa del Sol together with the individual presentation of the girls in their national costumes, in addition to showing the candidates in different parts of Malaga in bathing suits and showing the judges’ rating that included the popular vote (VP). Here is the TABLE OF SCORES: (Note: The order of the judges does not necessarily correspond to that presented in the finals, where some were substituted, however it is not known who voted in the preliminary round, although there were surely some national directors among them).
|12||TRINIDAD & TOBAGO||2||4||2||4||–||4||2||2||2||2||24|
|35||BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS||2||2||2||3||–||2||2||2||2||2||19|
|43||AMERICAN VIRGIN ISLANDS||2||2||2||2||–||2||2||2||2||2||18|
|63||ISLE OF MAN||2||2||2||2||–||2||2||2||2||2||18|
|71||PAPUA NEW GUINEA||2||2||2||2||–||2||2||2||2||2||18|
|76||SAINT KITTS & NEVIS||2||2||2||2||–||2||2||2||2||2||18|
|80||TURKS & CAICOS||2||2||2||2||–||2||2||2||2||2||18|
As can be seen, on this occasion the ten contestants with the highest scores went to the finals and not by continents as has always been done since 1981 (with the exception of 1983), although all the continents were represented in the first ten with the exception of Africa, since Miss Kenya, who obtained the highest qualification for that continent, reached 21st place. As can be seen, the last column corresponds to the popular vote and where the 10 girls with the most votes by telephone obtained 3 points. Since five participants tied for eighth place with 24 points and there could not be 12 semifinalists but 10, Eric Morley, in his role as Chairman of the Judges, had to rescue three of them (Miss Austria, Miss Korea and Miss Norway), giving them an extra point to break the tie. If there had been 12 semifinalists like the previous year, Miss Finland and Miss Trinidad-Tobago would have entered; and if there had been 15 like until 1986, Morley would have had to break the tie and choose three of five girls who obtained 23 points (Holland, Ireland, Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Hong Kong). It is also worth noting that 42 candidates, exactly half of all the competitors, were considered in at least one of the jury’s shortlists. While viewers watched the prerecorded swimsuit from Spain, at the Albert Hall, the candidates had put their evening gowns back on and gathered on stage ready to find out who would be the semi-finalists. The broadcast began live as Peter Marshall explained the telephone voting system and Alexandra Bastedo announced the names of the 10 semi-finalists. As I called them, the new phone number where the public could call to support their favorites appeared on the screen, valid only for the United Kingdom. This was 0898-991-44x, where x was the final number that corresponded to the semifinalist number, the last one would have the number 0. The ten lucky ones were:
|01||AUSTRALIA||Catherine “Cathy” Bushell||21||5′ 8”||South Brisbane||0898-991-441|
|02||AUSTRIA||Alexandra Werbanschitz||21||5′ 8”||Graz||0898-991-442|
|03||ICELAND||Linda Pétursdóttir||18||5′ 7”||Vopnafjörður||0898-991-443|
|04||KOREA||Yeon-hee Choi||22||5′ 7”||Seoul||0898-991-444|
|05||NORWAY||Rita Helene Paulsen||21||5′ 8”||Myrvoll||0898-991-445|
|06||SPAIN||Susana de la Llave Varón||19||5′ 9”||Figueres||0898-991-446|
|07||SWEDEN||Cecilia Margaretha Hörberg||22||5′ 9”||Gothenburg||0898-991-447|
|08||UNITED KINGDOM||Kirsty Roper||17||5′ 5”||Stone, Staffordshire||0898-991-448|
|09||UNITED STATES||Diana Rosa Rodriguez Magaña||23||5′ 10”||Rancho Palos Verdes||0898-991-449|
|10||VENEZUELA||Emma Irmgard Marina Rabbe Ramírez||19||5′ 9”||La Guaira||0898-991-440|
As in almost all contests, there were girls who were not satisfied with their elimination. On this occasion, Miss Curaçao showed her dissatisfaction and was the only one who did not applaud Miss Venezuela when she was named last among the semifinalists. After dismissing all the participants from the stage, Peter Marshall proceeded to introduce the panel of judges. They were:
01- The President of the Costa del Sol Tourism Board, Angelo Carazzo.
02- Miss World 1966 from India, Dr. Reita Faria-Powell.
03- British stylist and Chairman of the UK Kimber Group, James Kimber.
04- Kenyan Top Model Khadija Adam Ismail, Queen of Africa in Miss World 1984.
05- Eric Morley, Organizer of Miss World and Chairman of the Judges.
06- Renowned British fashion designer Lindka Cierach.
07- Burton Group Promotions Director Richard Birtchnell.
08- Kimberly Santos, Miss World 1980 from Guam.
09- Walters International Computers Director, Rob Brandt.
After meeting the judges, Peter Marshall and Alexandra Bastedo called the semifinalists on stage in their evening gowns, who were interviewed individually and interleaved by both. Bastedo served as an interpreter for Miss Spain and Miss Venezuela, although she urged the Venezuelan to speak in English. Right away and while the semifinalists changed into their swimsuits, the American singer Donny Osmond, known for his appearances in Miss Universe in 1979 and 1980, entertained the audience with his song “If it’s Love that You Want.” Then came the parade in swimsuits of the 10 semifinalists with personal details of each one of them narrated by Peter Marshall and with the same background music that in 2001 was used for the parade in swimsuits of Miss Universe. This year the qualifications of the semifinalists were not shown on the screen as they were the previous year. At the conclusion of the individual parade, the semifinalists posed as a group in front of the judges. After the commercial break, Peter Marshall called Julia Morley and the outgoing queen, Ulla Weigerstorfer, to the stage, who were interviewed by Alexandra Bastedo, recounting the advances of “Beauty with a Purpose”, highlighting the visits they made to Guatemala, Poland and Taiwan . Peter Marshall then called the 5 finalists of the contest to the stage.
They were Miss KOREA, Miss UNITED KINGDOM, Miss VENEZUELA, Miss ICELAND and Miss SPAIN. They all were asked the same question, to tell something interesting about their nations. The Korean girl spoke about the mountains and the delicious food of her country, the Englishwoman about the fascinating nightlife of London and its architecture, the Venezuelan stunner answered in English and highlighted that her country not only had beautiful beaches but interesting museums such as the Children’s and included the slogan of that time that said that Venezuela “was a country to love.” For her part, Miss Iceland spoke that her country was very clean and healthy, that they had the best fish in the world and stressed that a woman was the President of her country while the Spanish lady said that her land was rich in history and culture and that invited everyone to visit the Costa del Sol, which this year welcomed beauties from all over the world. The total number of telephone votes that each of them obtained were also shown on the screen:
|1||Miss UNITED KINGDOM||168,500|
It should be remembered that the telephone vote was equivalent to the vote of the Chairman of the Judges, Eric Morley, and the positions you see in the table indicated the ranking that each one obtained according to the public. Immediately, they shown on TV the prerecorded video taped the night before with the group “Koreana”, a group from South Korea founded in 1962 with the name of “Arirang Singers” and made up of Mary Hwa-ja Hong, Tom Seung-kyu Lee, Jerry Yong-kyu Lee and Cathy Ae-sook Lee, who along with the contestants performed the hit “Hand in Hand,” the official theme song for the Seoul Olympics. Here the lyrics of the song:
|HAND IN HAND |
See the fire in the sky
We feel the beating of our hearts together
This is our time to rise above
We know the chance is here to live forever
for all time
Hand in hand we stand
all across the land
We can make this world a better place in which to live
Hand in hand we can
start to understand
Breaking down the walls that come between us for all time – arirang
Every time we give it all
We feel the flame eternally inside us
Lift our hands up to the sky
The morning calm helps us to live in harmony
for all time
Hand in hand we stand
all across the land
We can make this world a better place in which to live
Hand in hand we can
start to understand
Breaking down the walls that come between us for all time – arirang
Hand in hand we stand
all across the land
We can make this world a better place in which to live
Hand in hand we can
start to understand
Breaking down the walls that come between us for all time
– hand in hand Breaking down the
– hand in hand – wall between us –
Hand in hand – breaking down the wall
Breaking down the wall between us –
Breaking down the – hand in hand –
wall between us – Hand in hand –
breaking down the wall!
At the conclusion of the “Koreana” ‘s theme song, the show’s comperes proceeded to call Julia Morley on stage to present the trophies on behalf of Top Shop and Eric Morley to introduce the Continental Queens of Beauty. They were: Queen of AFRICA, Miss KENYA (Dianna Naylor); Queen of the AMERICAS, Miss VENEZUELA (Emma Rabbe Ramírez); Queen of ASIA, Miss KOREA (Yeon-hee Choi); Queen of EUROPE, Miss ICELAND (Linda Pétursdóttir) and Queen of OCEANIA, Miss AUSTRALIA (Catherine Bushell). Then Eric Morley made the final announcement, the expected results in reverse order: SECOND RUNNER-UP was Miss UK (Kirsty Roper) and FIRST RUNNER-UP was Miss KOREA (Yeon-hee Choi). Both were crowned on stage by Julian Morley and Julia presented them with her Top Shop trophies. On stage, the two options for the title were waiting, the favorite of the bookmakers (Miss Venezuela) and who had just been elected Queen of Europe (Miss Iceland). With the British being a finalist, it was already obvious that the winner would be the Icelandic and that’s how it was!
MISS WORLD 1988.-
And Morley finished announcing what everyone expected. Miss WORLD 1988 was … Miss ICELAND !. Linda Pétursdóttir, a 5′ 7” tall blonde with blue-gray eyes, hotel receptionist and language student, fluent in English, Finnish and German, as well as Icelandic, who planned to become a translator and whose hobbies were the Bodybuilding and swimming, she had become the second Miss from her country to obtain the coveted beauty crown in the history of the pageant and in the last four years. Interestingly, she was the third consecutive Miss World to win in a black gown. Linda had not been favored by the public vote (she was fourth) but had the support of most of the judges. Julian placed the Miss World 1988 sash on the shoulders of the brand new queen and Julia presented the Top Shop trophy. She then sat on the throne to be crowned by the outgoing queen, the Austrian Ulla Weigerstorfer. Julia Morley presented her with her royal scepter before taking her triumphant walk with the official march of the contest, performed by the Phil Tate orchestra. An estimated 700 million people watched the contest on TV in about 60 countries. After the broadcast and posing for the required photographs, all the girls attended the Coronation Ball held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, where they danced and celebrated until dawn.
There, as was customary, the prizes were awarded to the winners. Miss USA, Miss Austria, Miss Norway and Miss Sweden, being semi-finalists, each earned £ 200. Miss Kenya, who did not qualify but was a Continental Queen got £ 500; Miss Australia, being a semi-finalist and Continental Queen, also won £ 500, while Miss Venezuela (3rd runner-up) earned £ 1,000 for reaching the Top 5 and being a Continental Queen, while Miss Spain (4th runner-up) won £ 500. Miss United Kingdom (2nd runner-up) took a check for £ 1,000 and Miss Korea (1st runner-up) took another for £ 2,000. (The award for the first runner-up was lower from the previous year.) Miss World 1988, Icelandic Linda Pétursdóttir, won a check for £ 5,000 plus an employment contract that would pay her no less than an additional £ 25,000 in performances during her reign year aside from first-class travel around the world worth approximately for an additional £ 100,000. This is how the judges voted in the final stage of the contest:
THE REIGN OF THE ICELANDIC MISS WORLD.-
The new Miss World received the press in her suite at the Hotel Tara, where she had breakfast with strawberries and champagne as was customary among the winners. She then had an interview for a morning show on British TV and others for Icelandic stations. She subsequently went to the Top Shop headquarters in Oxford Circus to sign autographs. At night she was on Terry Wogan’s TV show. Days later she made her first international trip to Germany, where she met Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason. She returned to the UK to visit some inland cities, including Aberdeen in Scotland and on December 18 she returned to her native Iceland. In her land, she was honored, she was given a Toyota car and was appointed Extraordinary Ambassador by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland, John Hannibalsson, who granted her a red diplomatic passport, becoming the Ambassador number 21 of her country. In addition, they offered her one year of free first-class travel on the Icelandic airline Flugleider. In January she returned to her duties as Miss World, traveling on behalf of Icelandic companies to promote national products. During her reign, in addition to England, Scotland and Germany, she traveled to the US, Switzerland, Norway, France, Spain, Denmark, Luxembourg, El Salvador, Japan, Korea, Italy, Holland, the Soviet Union and even the Shetland Islands, a British archipelago north of Scotland. She handed over the title to her successor in November 1989 in Hong Kong.
BIOGRAPHY OF LINDA PÉTURSDÓTTIR.-
Linda Pétursdóttir was born in Husávik on December 27, 1969 where she lived until 1979. She then moved with her family to northeast Iceland in a fishing village called Vopnafjörður, with only 600 inhabitants. Her father was Pétur Olgeirsson and her mother, Ásta Dagný Hólmgeirsdóttir. She is the second of three siblings, the eldest named Sigurgeir (1965) and the youngest Sævar (1974). She was an exchange student in Sandstone, Minnesota, USA between 1986 and 1987 and from a young age she liked to play the organ. By the time she was crowned “Beauty Queen of Iceland” on May 23, 1988, she was a shy girl and was studying languages; at the same time she worked as a hotel receptionist. On November 17 of that same year, she was crowned Miss World at the Royal Albert Hall in London. She traveled the world during her year of reign. After handing over her crown, she returned to Iceland, later she continued studies of Graphic Design in Vancouver, Canada. Then in 1993 she became a businesswoman, she opened a spa called “Baðhúsið” in Smáralind, which operated for more than 20 years until closing on December 10, 2014. In 2000 she attended the 50-year-old contest in London as a guest. In 2003 she wrote her autobiographical book “Linda – ljós & skuggar” with the help of Reynir Traustason. She became Isabella’s mother on August 27, 2005. She studied meditation with Deepak Chopra at the Chopra Center near San Diego, California. In 2016 she was a judge of Miss World in Washington as well as in 2015 and 2018 in Sanya, China. In 2016 she studied Philosophy, Political Science and Economics at Bifrost University.
On September 9, 2017, she suffered a stroke that partially paralyzed her, for which she spent time in the hospital without being able to even speak but from which she happily recovered thanks to her healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude towards life. Linda now shares her advice on wellness, weight loss and health in her own consulting business, helping men and women to look and feel their best, as well as teaching them coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety. She is also a defender of animals, graphic designer, meditator and currently lives in Álftanes, Iceland with her beautiful daughter. She is currently the National Director of Miss World for Iceland. She is very active on her social networks and runs her own website www.lindape.com.
FROM THE OTHER CONTESTANTS.-
In Miss Universe 1989 competed the representatives of Gibraltar, Holland, Ireland, Poland and Switzerland. The Dutch, who did not made the semifinal in Miss World, achieved the universal crown while the Polish, who did not entered the Top 10 in London, was the 3rd. runner-up. Miss US Virgin Islands participated in Miss Universe but in 1992. Miss Switzerland won Miss Globe 1989. The young women from the US Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Macau and Trinidad-Tobago participated in Miss Wonderland 1989. Of them, Miss Cayman Islands was a semifinalist. Miss Uruguay was 3rd. runner-up in the 1989 International Coffee Queen Contest, where the girls from Argentina and Ecuador also competed; Miss Israel, Miss Poland and Miss Germany were semi-finalists of the 1989 Miss Charm International where Miss Norway also participated; Miss El Salvador was in Miss Hispanidad, Miss Cook Islands in Miss Asia Pacific, Miss Ghana in World Miss University and Miss France in the International Flower Queen in its 1989 editions. Miss Bulgaria competed in Miss All-Nations 1989 and Miss Philippines in the same contest but in 1990, while Miss Finland achieved the title of Miss Baltic Sea in 1991; Miss Norway competed in Miss Hawaiian Tropic International 1990 and Miss Dominican Republic won Miss Caraibes Hibiscus 1990. The Belgian competed in the 2007 Mrs Globe.
Following Miss World, Kirsty Roper, Miss United Kingdom, moved to London where she continued her modeling career. She had a romantic relationship with businessman Damian Aspinall that ended in 1997. She later became a professional songwriter, hired by Warner Records and more recently by Sony / ATV Music. She has released six albums and a Christmas EP. Her song “Black Coffee” was a hit on British radio in 2000. On July 1, 2000, she married the Italian-Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli. She is considered the richest woman in Great Britain and currently lives in Nyon, Switzerland with her husband and three children: Chiara (19), Falco (17) and Alceo (14).
After winning the universal title in Cancun, Dutch Angela Visser was replaced as Miss Holland by her first runner-up, Nandy Hendrikx, who went to Miss Europe. After handing over the Miss Universe crown, Angela served as a commentator for that pageant from 1991 to 1994. She has appeared in several television series, including “Baywatch”, “Friends”, “Acapulco HEAT” and ” Beverly Hills, 90210 “. She fell in love with real estate agent Phil Missig with whom she has lived since 1999 and they have a daughter, Amelie Rose. They live in Sherman Oaks, California. After passing through beauty pageants, Emma Rabbe, Miss Venezuela, graduated as a Physiotherapist in 1994 at the “May Hamilton” University College of Rehabilitation in Caracas. After graduating, she volunteered at the Foundation for Cerebral Palsy. She made a career as a model, participated in countless novels on RCTV, well remembered for her role in the soap-opera “Mi Gorda Bella”. She also acted in Venevision’s “La Viuda Joven” and finally in the Televen soap-opera “Nacer contigo”. Emma was married to Venezuelan actor Daniel Alvarado from 1998 to 2015 (Alvarado passed away on July 8, 2020). The couple had three children: Daniel Alejandro, born in 1999, José Diego, born in 2001, and Calvin Daniel, born in 2007. She is currently living in Ottawa, Canada, the city where she was born by chance and where she works as a physiotherapist and has lived since 2013 with her sons.
Miss Hong Kong, Michelle Reis, also known by the name of Lee Ka-yan, was going to participate in Miss Universe 1989 but did not do so for health reasons. She became a renowned actress and has participated in multiple movies and TV series. In 1996 she won the “Golden Bauhinia” award for Best Actress. She married on November 23, 2008, the son of billionaire Hui Sai Fun, Julian, retiring from acting. They have a son named Jayden Max born in 2011 and continues to live in Hong Kong. Miss Portugal (Helena Laureano) and Miss Thailand (today Papassara Techapaibun) also dedicated themselves to acting in their respective countries where they are highly recognized and still appear regularly on TV. Miss Nigeria, Omasan Buwa, graduated as an educator, was an Assistant Governor of Delta State, currently works as a Public Relations Officer and lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Miss Norway, Rita Paulsen, worked as a TV Director and Producer in California. She currently lives in Oslo.
Sonia Vassileva, Miss Bulgaria, was arrested years later in Dover, England, and then deported while trying to enter the UK with a passport that did not belong to her, provided by the English model Joanne Booth, thanks to her extraordinary physical resemblance to her. The English model was sentenced to one year and fined £ 1,000. The courier, Edward Cooper, who brought Miss Bulgaria’s passport, was also sentenced to one year in prison. In 1991, Miss Bulgaria appeared nude in Playboy magazine. Currently she is still a recognized model, lives in Los Angeles, California and is known as Sonia Vassi. Miss Guatemala, Mariluz Aguilar, after returning from London continued doing social work, continued with her studies in Business Administration at the Francisco Marroquín University and doing photographic modeling. She later married Jeff Levy and they have two sons, Joshua and Benjamin. She became passionate about motorcycles. She is currently a real estate agent near Lake Atitlán.
Miss Korea, Yeon-hee Choi, became passionate about horseback riding. On numerous occasions she was a champion of this sport and even served as President of the Federation and Ambassador of Public Relations of the National Riding Competition “Gwacheon Horse Love 2012”. She married and had three children, two boys and one female, the latter born in 1999. Miss Poland, Joanna Gapinska, made a modeling career in Mexico and Europe and finally settled in the United States, where she married, has 2 daughters and lives in California. Miss France, Claudia Frittolini, currently heads the official Miss Alsace Committee for Miss France. She has two daughters, Sarah and Jade. Miss Peru, Martha Kaik, is a Psychotherapist specializing in Mindfulness and Consultant in Mental Health and Disability issues in Lima. Miss Singapore, Shirley Teo, founded a successful Protocol Academy named after her in her country. Miss Bolivia, Claudia Nazer, married Ricardo Arellano with whom she had three children: Salvador, Francisco and Cristóbal. Unfortunately, she died in her country on April 4, 2013 from Leukemia. To celebrate 30 years of the pageant, a large group of candidates, led by Miss France, gathered in London to remember the old good times …