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Miss World 1990



                In 1990, the world population exceeded 5 billion people. West Germany and East Germany are reunited, the same goes for North Yemen and South Yemen. The Berlin Wall begins to be torn down. The South African government frees Nelson Mandela after 27 years in prison, lifts the veto on the African National Congress and talks begin to end Apartheid in South Africa. Panamanian General Manuel Antonio Noriega is deposed and surrenders to the US troops. Iraq invades Kuwait, which would start the Gulf War the following year. The “Cold War” ends. Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus and Armenia declare themselves independent from the USSR, Namibia from South Africa, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia from the USA and Transnistria from Moldova. Poland becomes the first eastern European country to abolish the socialist economy and withdraws from the Warsaw Pact. Helmut Kohl becomes Chancellor of Germany and Violeta Chamorro is elected President in Nicaragua, being the first woman President in the Americas like Mary Robinson in Ireland, while Lech Walesa, César Gaviria and Alberto Fujimori in Peru are elected in Poland, Colombia and Peru. This latter country was suffering from high hyperinflation at that time. In Chile the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet ends. Douglas Wilder becomes the first African-American governor of the United States, while Margaret Thatcher resigns as Prime Minister of Great Britain. An earthquake kills about 50,000 people in northern Iran and other earthquakes kill more than 1,600 people in Luzon, Philippines and Romania. The Chicago metropolitan area is affected by the worst tornado in its history and Hurricane Diana hits Mexico, a country that is visited for the second time by Pope John Paul II. In Rwanda the civil war begins and in Sri Lanka massacres of civilians occur in the middle of the war. In Orlando, Florida, the theme park “Universal Studios” opens. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is closed to the public due to the danger it represents, it will not reopen until 2001. In the US, smoking is prohibited on commercial flights and in bars. Germany wins the Soccer World Cup by defeating Argentina 1-0 in Italy. The Soviet Mikhail Gorbachev wins the Nobel Peace Prize, the Hubble space telescope is launched, the Super Nintendo goes on the market in Japan, the first web server is created and what will be known as the “world wide web” is founded .

                The Norwegian Mona Grudt is crowned Miss Universe in Los Angeles, the Spanish Silvia De Esteban takes the title of Miss International in Japan, the song “Insieme: 1992” by the Italian Toto Cutugno wins Eurovision in Zagreb, Yugoslavia and Carlos Cuevas from Mexico with his song “Un Bolero” wins in La Vegas at the OTI Festival. The film “Driving Miss Daisy” wins the Oscar for Best Picture. The cinema premieres “Dances with Wolves”, “Days of Thunder”, “Ghost, the shadow of love”, “Pretty Woman”, “Hard to Kill”, “Cyrano de Bergerac”, “The Hunt for Red October” , “Home Alone” with Macaulay Culkin, “Back to the Future III”, “Arachnophobia”, “Predator II”, “The Godfather III”, “Robocop II”, “Gremlins II”, “Fire Eagles”, “Dick Tracy “, “Captain America”, “Sleeping with the Enemy”, “The Exorcist III”, “Edward, Scissorhands”, “Forbidden Dance” and “Tie me up” with Victoria Abril and Antonio Banderas. The broadcasts of the Spanish channel Antena 3 begin. The series “The Prince of Bel-Air” and “Law and Order” are premiered on US TV and “Mr. Bean” on British TV. On the radio you can hear the songs “Vogue” by Madonna, “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” by Michael Bolton, “Because I Love You” by Stevie B., “Dangerous” and “It Must Have Been Love” by Roxette, “Freedom” by George Michael, “Kingston Town” by UB40, “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Connor, “Sacrifice” by Elton John, “From a Distance” by Bette Midler, “I’ve Been Thinking About You” by Londonbeat, “Sadeness Part 1” by Enigma, “Step By Step” by New Kids on the Block, “La Bilirrubina” and “Bubbles of Love” by Juan Luis Guerra and 4:40, as well as “Completely in love” and “Tiempo de Vals” by Chayanne. This year the Philippine Miss World Megan Young, the Venezuelan Miss Universe Stefanía Fernández, the English actress, model and activist Emma Watson, the Spanish singer Melody and the Peruvian soccer player Luis Advíncula were born. The actresses Ava Gardner and Greta Garbo, the actor Sammy Davis Jr, the painter Alejandro Otero and the Venezuelan baseball player Baudilio Díaz died during this year.

Venezuela, Peru, Chile and Colombia


                In February and after the events in South Africa, the British newspaper “The Daily Mirror” interviewed Julia Morley about the possibility of lifting the veto to South Africa in the contest, imposed in 1978, to which she replied: “With the speed the world is changing, with Perestroika, the liberation of Mr. Mandela and the unification of Germany, we can safely say that South Africa will be back in the contest this year … and we could even do the contest in Soweto” . And in fact, for that date, they had no defined where the final of the fortieth edition of the contest would be held. It had been said that the previous events would take place in Singapore and the final in Venezuela but this did not materialize. Meanwhile, in London, Miss United Kingdom, Suzanne Younger, replaced Miss World, Aneta Kreglicka, in several presentations because she preferred to dedicate herself to her studies. The excuse they gave was not exactly that, but that she could not attend because she had injured an ankle …

                And perhaps due to Kreglicka’s absence from many performances as well as the non-primetime broadcast of the pageant, it caused Miss World’s finances to lose their charm and collapse. And in fact they were already bad from the previous year. By 1989, the event’s winnings had dropped from £ 789,000 (earned in 1988) to £ 248,000. But thanks to the business union with Owen Oyston and the merger of Miss World with the radio companies acquired by Oyston and now bearing the name Trans World Communications, the pageant seemed to be safe. Finally, Eric Morley decided to return the finals of Miss World 1990 to London as he wanted to celebrate 40 years of the pageant in the land where it was born. Already the year before, the organization chaired by Morley had to direct and produce the entire event on its own in Hong Kong, but with the help of technicians from the BBC and Thames and with choreographer Ken Warwick at the helm of the production. For the 1990 edition, Morley again hired Warwick as Director and Doug Rowland as producer and was sponsored by the firm “European Leisure”. It also continued with the support of Walters International Computers and managed to have the preliminary events held in Norway, thanks to the support of the airline Air Europa. Unfortunately they could not get the Royal Albert Hall, but thanks to the company Stoll Moss Theaters, it was possible that the site was the London Palladium. In addition, Thames Television agreed to broadcast the event, albeit delayed.

Chile, USSR, Peru, Ireland and Venezuela


                This year Romania debuted in the contest and Madagascar returned after an absence of 15 years. However, five countries declined to continue sending representatives to the contest: Liberia (due to the civil war), China, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Tonga and Turks & Caicos, the latter three due to the issue of franchise charges. Five other countries did not hold a contest or nominate candidates: Bermuda, Ecuador, Guyana, Malaysia and Swaziland. In Aruba, Trinidad-Tobago and Switzerland their national competitions were not held either, but the Swiss nominated Priscilla Leimgruber, 2nd runner-up of the previous year, the Trinidadians their 1989 queen, Guenevere Kelshall and the Arubans the 1st runner-up of the Coastal Carnival Queen contest 1990, Gwendolyne Kwidama, who had previously been sent to Miss Universe. Despite having the reigning Miss World, Miss Poland lost the Morleys’ franchise to a new contest called “Miss Polski.” In Belize, the rights went to the official contest and in Puerto Rico, Ana Santisteban held a separate event for Miss World in May at the Dorado theater. Three African countries excused themselves from sending their elected queens due to economic problems, so Miss COTE D’IVOIRE (Muriel Edoukou), Miss GAMBIA (Mai Coker) and Miss UGANDA (Jessica Kyeyune) did not participate. Among the remaining 87 countries expected to compete were the following:

* MISS SPAIN.- She was elected on Friday, October 6, 1989 in the town of La Orotava, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The winner was the Sevillian Raquel Revuelta, 22 years old and a tourism student, who participated as Miss Western Andalusia. Raquel initially would go to Miss Universe and Miss World 1990, however she only traveled to the first. Silvia Jato, who was also Miss Photogenic, was Miss Galicia and took the title of “Miss National”. The 1st Maid of Honor was Gemma Figueras, Miss Catalonia, while the title of 2nd Maid went to Judith Atienzar, Miss Balearic Islands. Miss Eastern Andalusia, Carmen Carrasco, despite not having classified among the first, was sent to Miss World 1990.

* MISS COLOMBIA.- Lizeth Mahecha (Atlántico) was crowned queen of the Colombians, among 20 candidates, on November 12, 1989 at the Cartagena Convention Center, and went to Miss Universe. The Vice-Queen was Ángela Mariño (Cundinamarca), who was assigned to go to Miss World. The Princesses were Mónica Evers (Valle), Helena Benavides (Chocó) and Victoria Vellojín (Cartagena).

* MISS GERMANY.- The contest was held on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria on Wednesday, December 6, 1989. It was won by Christiane Stöcker, who went to Miss Universe and Miss World 1990. The finalists were Ilka Endres (who later became Miss Germany and representative of the country in Miss Universe 1995) and Verona Feldbusch (Miss Germany in Miss Universe 1993 and the most famous Miss of that country).

* FEMINA MISS INDIA.- It was held on December 16, 1989 in Bombay, where the representatives of India were elected to Miss Universe (Suzanne Sabloak) and Miss World (Naveeda Mehdi).

* MISS FRANCE.- The final was held on December 28, 1989 in Saint-Denis. The winner was Gaëlle Voiry, Miss Aquitaine, who traveled to Miss Universe and Miss World. The finalists were Céline Marteau (Normandy), Karine Richefeu (Center-West), Sylvie Tardy (Perigord) and Florence Olivier (South Coast).

* MISS VENEZUELA.- Andreína Goetz (Bolívar) won the crown of “Miss Venezuela 1990” at the Poliedro de Caracas on Thursday, February 1, in an event that had the participation of 27 candidates and was presented by Bárbara Palacios (Miss Universe 1986), Gilberto Correa and the Mexican Rebeca de Alba. Sharon Luengo (Costa Oriental) was chosen as “Miss World Venezuela” and traveled to London. “Miss Flower’s Queen Venezuela” was Chiquinquirá Delgado (Zulia), who also went to Miss Hispanidad Internacional, “Miss Venezuela Internacional”, Vanessa Holler (Portuguesa), who later won Miss Latin America, and “Miss Wonderland Venezuela”, Stefania Bacco (Merida). The finalists were Yormery Ortega (Miranda) who later won Miss Globe, Carime Bohórquez (Sucre), Sonia Ruggiero (Monagas), Carolina Durán (Falcón) and Naylú Rincón (Pen. Goajira) and later Queen of the Barranquilla Carnival.

* MISS SUOMI.- The election of the most beautiful young woman in Finland was held on Thursday, February 8 with 10 finalists. It was won by Tiina Vierto who went to Miss Universe and who was also supposed to go to Miss World, but this did not happen for reasons not clarified. The finalists were Anu Yli-Mäenpää (to Miss International) and Nina Björkfelt (who ended up going to Miss World).

* MISS DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.- The two queens of the 1990 Dominican national pageant who were crowned on Friday, February 16 in Rahintel’s Studio A turned out to be Rosario Rodríguez (to Miss Universe) and Brenda Marte (to Miss World). The finalists were María Isabel De León, Elizabeth Crespo and Keila Peña.

* MISS USA.- The Century II Convention Center in Wichita, Kansas, hosted the “Miss USA 1990” event on Friday, March 2, presented by Dick Clark, Leeza Gibbons, and former Miss USA 1985 Laura Harring. The title went to Miss Michigan, Carole Gist, the first black woman to win the Miss USA crown in history and who ended the Texas hegemony of five consecutive crowns. The finalists were Miss South Carolina, Gina Tolleson (who went to Miss World), and Miss New Jersey, Karin Hartz. The Top 6 was completed by Karin Meyer (Alaska), Brenda Leithleiter (Georgia who later won Miss Flower’s Queen 1990) and Tiffany Tenfelde (Kentucky).

* MISS ESTONIA.- 20-year-old Liis Tappo was elected on Thursday March 8 at the Sakala Center in Tallinn with 10 participants. The finalists were Kairi Kruusement and Helene Tedre.

* MISS TURKEY.- It was held on Saturday March 17 and won by Jülide Ateş, who was sent to Miss Universe and Miss World. In second place was Eysan Ozhim (to Miss Charm International) and in third place Aylin Aydin (to Miss International).

* MISS PERU.- It was held on Monday, March 26 at the Municipal Theater of Lima with 18 candidates. It was won by Marisol Martínez (Arequipa), who went to Los Angeles for Miss Universe that same year and the 1st runner-up, Giselle Martínez (Lima), was sent to London for Miss World.

* FEGURÐARDROTTNING ÍSLANDS.- The election of the Queen of Beauty of Iceland was held on Wednesday April 18 at the Iceland hotel in the capital city. The lucky one was Ásta Sigríður Einarsdóttir, who traveled to London for Miss World. The finalists were Þórdís Steinsdóttir, Sigríður Stefánsdóttir, Dís Sigurgeirsdóttir and Linda Björk Bergsveinsdóttir. Among the judges was Linda Pétursdóttir, Miss World 1988.

* MISS LATVIA.- Velga Bražņevica was crowned on Saturday, May 12, at the Latvian TV Studio, in an event that had 10 contestants. The finalists were Baiba Falkane and Inga Vanaga.

* MUTYA NG PILIPINAS.- The Manila Midtown Hotel Ballroom witnessed the election of Antonette Elizalde Ballesteros (to Miss World), Mutya Crisostomo Laxa (to Miss Asia Pacific), Maria Clarissa Domingo (to Miss Wonderland), Carla Blanco Perez (to Miss Globe) and Amelia Joy De La Cruz (to Miss Charm). The finalists were Donna Fe Roque and Julie Sheila Jovellanos. The final was held on May 19.

* MISS SOUTH AFRICA.- Suzette van der Merwe was crowned on Saturday 19 May at the Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg. The finalists were Olivia Scrooby (sister of Miss South Africa 1982) and Cheryl Coombe-Davies.

* MISS IRELAND.- It was held on Monday, May 21 at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin. Siobhan McClafferty, who went to Miss World 1990 and Miss Universe 1991, was the winner.

* MISS HUNGARY.- The Budapest Sports Hall was the setting for the election of the new “Miss Hungary 1990”, a title that went to Kinga Czuczor, on her way to Miss World in London. The finalists were Krisztina Lévay and Mónika Kárpáti. The final took place on Saturday, June 2.

* MISS USSR.- Masha (Maria) Kezha, 17, from Belarus, was elected “Miss USSR 1990” on Friday, June 8, at the Concert Hall of the Orlyonok Hotel in Moscow with 24 competitors. She had to go to Miss Universe 1991 but was not accepted because she was not 18 years old on February 1, and was replaced by the first runner-up, Yulia Lemigova from Moscow. The other finalists were the Russian Irina Vasilenko (to Miss International) and the Latvian Lauma Zemzare (who was sent to Miss World).

* MISS COMMONWEALTH BAHAMAS.- Lisa Giselle Strachan won the title on Sunday, July 1 at the Le Cabaret Theater on Paradise Island, an event that had the participation of 13 candidates. The finalists were April Crother, Charlotte McSweeney, Robyn Burrows and Chavale Sainders.

* MISS CURAÇAO.- Held at the Centro Pro Arte with seven competitors on Sunday, July 1. It was won by the very tall Jacqueline Krijger at 6 feet who also took the Miss Photogenic and Miss Elegance titles. She was sent to Miss World 1990 and Miss Universe 1991. The finalists were Semiah Faries (only 5 feet tall) and Suzette Saunders.

* MISS POLSKI.- The first edition of “Miss Polski” was held on Friday, July 6 at the Forest Opera in Sopot with 27 contestants. Ewa Szymczak was the winner, being crowned by the reigning Miss World, the Polish Aneta Kreglicka. The finalists were Beata Sudolska, Lidia Banach, Agnieszka Boska and Agnieszka Balas.

* MIS LIETUVA.- The election of the most beautiful woman in Lithuania was held on Sunday July 15 at the Sports Palace in Vilnius. It was won by 21-year-old Greta Bardavelytė from the city of Klaipeda. The finalists were Jurate Kunevičiūtė and Jūratė Gužyte.

* MISS THAILAND WORLD.- Chanakarn Chaisri was chosen on Saturday July 21 in Bangkok to represent the country in Miss World in London, where she used the stage name “Panida Umsaard”. The finalists were Rungnapa Wattanathamrong, Saowalak Supak Suphang, Thiphawan Chanket and Supaporn Suksawat.

MISS PANAMA.- The Miss Universe franchise passed into the hands of RPC Channel 4, who already had the Miss World franchise since 1982, and held the national event on Friday, August 10 at the Anayansi Theater of the Atlapa Convention Center. In the pageant, three queens were crowned, they were Liz Michelle De León (to Miss Universe 1991), Madelaine Leignadier (to Miss World 1990) and Ana Lucía Herrera (to Miss Hispanidad Internacional 1990). The finalists were Lourdes Rivera Maruri and Diana Stumvall. 15 contestants participated.

* MISS GUAM WORLD.- Mary Esteban won the crown on Monday, August 27 at the University of Guam facilities. The finalists were Anna Thompson and Rhonda Gonzales.

* MISS JAMAICA.- Erica Aquart was crowned on Saturday, September 1 at the National Arena in Kingston on her way to Miss World. “Miss Jamaica Wonderland” was Jillian Henry, “Miss Jamaica International” Karen Roper, “Miss Jamaica Maja” Cheryl Gore and the runner-up was, Bridgette McDonald.

* MISS SINGAPORE WORLD.- 16 candidates appeared in the final held on Saturday, September 15 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The lucky one was Karen Francis Ng and the finalists Cori Teo and Catherine Ho.

* MISS BRAZIL WORLD.- After two years, the contest was held again on Saturday September 22 in the Auditorium of the Brasilia Convention Center with 27 candidates and the animation of Deise Nunes de Souza, Miss Brazil 1986. The title went to Karla Cristina Kwiatkowski from Paraná, in second place was the representative of Rio Grande Do Sul (Leila Cristine Schuster, then Miss Brazil for Miss Universe 1993) and in third place Miss Pernambuco (Ana Cláudia Pessoa Romão). The honor roll was completed by Santa Catarina (Anelise Helena Leite Leal) and Sao Paulo (Liliana Cristina Bardella).

* MISS DORIAN GRAY, STEPS TO THE FAME.- This is the name of the contest that chose the Mexican representative heading to Miss World days before the final of “Señorita México 1990” which took place on September 29 in Veracruz. This preliminary event was held at the Hotel Mocambo in the Port of Veracruz on Saturday, September 22, with the participation of the 32 contestants who would later compete for the right to go to Miss Universe. 5th place went to Lilia Serrano from Chiapas, in 4th place was María Guadalupe Amparan from Chihuahua, the 3rd. place went to Lupita Jones from Baja California, with the representatives of Sinaloa and Yucatán holding hands. María del Rosario Simancas de Sinaloa was named in and Luz María Mena from Yucatán became the new Miss Dorian Gray with the right to represent Mexico in the 1990 Miss World contest.

* MISS UNITED KINGDOM.- It was held on Tuesday, October 2 at the Hippodrome Club in London, where Miss Blackpool, Helen Upton of the city of Tividale, was elected as the British national beauty, being crowned by the reigning Miss World, Aneta Kreglicka of Poland. This was the eighth beauty title that the young woman won that same year. The runner-ups were Miss Solihull, Rebecca Aston and Miss Derby, Amanda Johnson (who later became Miss United Kingdom in 1993).

* MISS KONINKRIJK.- The contest to elect “Miss World Nederland” this year was called “Miss Koninkrijk” (Miss Kingdom) and was held on Wednesday 10th October at the Centro Pro Arte in Willemstad, Curaçao. It was won by the blonde Gabrielle Stap from The Hague, who obtained the honor of representing Holland in Miss World. The finalists were Meliza Garmers from Curaçao and Jill Nayce from Utrecht.





                After its borders were opened and gradually there were progressive changes that led to an early reunification, an unprecedented event took place in East Germany. It was the election of the first and only Miss German Democratic Republic (Miss DDR) in history, a contest that was held in the northeastern city of Schwerin and which brought together 3,511 entrants. After months of elimination rounds, the final of the contest took place on Saturday 22 September in the Schwerin TV Hall with the participation of 15 finalists and where the 19-year-old blonde Leticia Koffke, a nurse from Brandenburg was the winner. She had been the first runner-up of Miss Brandenburg 1990. Doreen Bambach, just 16 years old, and Evelyn Schiedlatzek were the finalists. Leticia won with a total of 109 points awarded by the 13 judges and received as a prize a mirror and a wool sweater, true luxuries for those who lived under the shadow of communism. But her reign as Miss DDR was lifelong, as the country ceased to exist when the two German nations were reunited on October 3, 1990. However, Leticia represented the missing country in the “Queen of the World 1990” contest. There, she ended first runner-up, while the Yugoslav Daniela Mihalic become the winner and the Bolivian Rosario Rico-Toro was the second runner-up. Later, on December 12, Leticia won the first Miss Germany Corporation (MGC) contest after reunification, an event held in Wesseling near Cologne, ranking Monika Zaun from Cologne in second place and again Evelyn Schiedlatzek from Saxony, in the third. It should be noted that at that time there were three Miss Germany contests, the “Miss Germany Corporation” (which Leticia won), the “Miss Germany Company” (which had the Miss Universe and Miss World franchises and which Christiane Stöcker won) and the “Miss Germany Association” (which emerged in 1989 and whose owner at that time was Marion Winz).


                At the beginning of October, the British press wondered where the contest would take place, since according to, at that time, the Morleys did not have a defined host country and it was speculated that it would not be broadcast on television, according to a spokesperson for Trans World Communications. But the truth is that the Morleys were working without making much noise, so that the contest on their return to London was a success. However, Owen Oyston, the Morleys’ partner at Trans World Communications, was not happy at all as Miss World had brought the company into the red, bringing a loss of £ 1.17 million in the first six months of 1990, when in the same period of the previous year they had obtained a profit of £ 1.57 million. £ 1.24 million was set aside to cover Miss World’s expected losses for the year. The higher interest charges reflected an increase in debt to £ 9 million with the purchase of Piccadilly Radio in April 1989. The company said the board was planning “significant disposals of assets” to reduce debt. One one-off charge covered the full costs of launching three “split-frequency” radio stations in the summer. One extraordinary item included the cost of Trans World’s failed merger negotiations with Yorkshire Radio Network this year. It also emerged that 350,000 of the previous year’s £ 750,000 in sponsorship funds for the contest, offered by Formosa Airlines, Taiwan’s national carrier, were still unpaid, and legal action was said to have been initiated to recover the debt.

                “I would be the first to admit that we are going to lose money this year,” said Morley, CEO of Trans World. Oyston, the group’s chief executive, took a longer-term view at the time of the results, citing “significant asset disposals.” And you wouldn’t be surprised if that included the Miss World pageant. Oyston, the Lancashire-born actor turned entrepreneur who made his fortune with a chain of northern real estate agents and lost a good chunk to the ill-fated “News On Sunday” newspaper, joined his commercial radio station Red Rose with the contest of Miss World in 1988, taking it to the main stock exchange. “It was a half-marriage at best,” said one observer. But an external disaster seemed much more urgent at the time. After many years, the ITV television network decided to stop broadcasting the show live the year before. “Viewership was clearly declining in primetime”, explained David Elstein, Thames Television’s director of programs. “It was also hugely expensive”.

                The BBC had already distanced itself from beauty pageants in the early 1980s, when television controller Michael Grade said they were “an anachronism in this age of equality and on the brink of offense.” That was easy to say when you lost the best bid, noted Elstein, whose company stole Miss World from the BBC for £ 600,000 in late 1979. However, audience figures dropped from 25 million in the late 1970s to half of that level, where they stabilized: There were only 12.5 million in 1988. Some people argued that the audience no longer attracted advertisers; and others, that television controllers had an elitist view of beauty pageants that was not confirmed by the figures. Whatever the reason, without British television coverage, Top Shop, the clothing chain, withdrew its sponsorship for the contest in 1989. Sky Television rejected an approach, and a dalliance with rival satellite broadcaster BSB came to nothing. With little time to spare, Morley managed to hire a team from Thames Television on behalf of the company and organized the contest in Hong Kong. Thames, but not the rest of the independent television network, paid a modest fee and showed the contest after midnight, to an audience of less than 200,000 people. Meanwhile, the event had lost its annual booth at Albert Hall. This year, the place chosen to hold the contest was to be Venezuela until a newly appointed government minister blocked the plans, “leaving us,” Morley says, “in a nutmeg squeezer”.

                In a partial concession to feminists, the old allure of meat had been downplayed in recent years. In 1951, Morley specified that the contestants should present themselves in the latest fashion to attract media attention. They never did since. However, the swimsuits were still briefly on display. “You can’t pretend to be the most beautiful woman without at least showing that you have an average figure,” Morley explained. But since the previous year, simple beauty was no longer enough and the participants had had to answer questions about the environment and their contribution to the community. For this year’s show, Thames TV paid, Elstein said, “less than £ 20,000” to screen 90 minutes of the contest starting at 11:40 p.m. He added that there was no long-term commitment. “We will discuss it year after year. Clearly, a pure beauty pageant is becoming more and more anachronistic.” European Leisure, the fast-growing leisure and nightclub group formed three years earlier, had contributed “just over £ 100,000”, said Michael Ward, Chairman and CEO. It also had an option on the next two contests. Other modest income came from a £ 6,000 a day appearance fee for the new Miss World. Morley insisted that the demand for these visits had increased along with the rate, although the winner was not required to do any. Meanwhile, in the boardroom, Morley and Oyston were said to be more at odds than ever. Morley was said to be frustrated by Oyston’s daily “interference” with management when she was supposed to be the strategist. Some suggested that Oyston viewed Morley as a thorn in his side and that he would be happy to be rid of Miss World. “The relationship between the two never gelled,” added one observer. But as president of Trans World, Morley had a few tricks left. He said: “I will follow the wishes of the shareholders.” That may mean staying, even if Miss World goes. On the other hand, he had the option of matching any buyer’s price. “There will be no shilly-shallying around this time” he said. “Unless we get a broadcast deal in the UK before the end of the year, we will go overseas”.

                On the other hand, Alexandra Bastedo declined hosting the event for personal reasons after three consecutive years in the conduction of Miss World with Peter Marshall, so Morley asked ex-Miss Ireland 1980 Michele Rocca to be the hostess of the fortieth edition of the event as she had done very well in conducting the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988. After she thought about it for several days, she accepted the challenge and traveled with the Misses to Oslo.

Vigeland Park


                The contestants of Miss World 1990 were asked to arrive in London between Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 October, since on Wednesday 24 they were all traveling together on an Air Europa flight to Oslo, capital of Norway. Some of them began to arrive the previous weekend to rest and acclimatize. Miss Romania was days before in Annapolis, Maryland, as part of an exchange program. “Everything here is very sumptuous,” said the beauty queen who was leaving her country for the first time, which until the previous year had been under the Soviet communist yoke. A total of 81 of the 87 expected candidates were present. In the end, Miss ESTONIA (Liis Tappo), Miss LEBANON (Lina Jamal Mita), Miss LITHUANIA (Greta Bardavelyté), Miss SAINT VINCENT & THE GRENADINES (Susan Bennett), Miss SOUTH AFRICA (Suzette van der Merwe) and Miss TAIWAN (Qiu Yong Tin) did not arrive. Upon arrival in Oslo, the participants were greeted at the airport by a philharmonic orchestra that serenaded them. In Norway they stayed at the Quality Hotel Ambassadeur in the city of Drammen (four stars, today it is the Scandic Ambassadeur hotel) and in the following days they taped their self-introductions, filmed their national costumes, recorded images wearing their swimsuits outdoors, and also did the production number with the Miss World ballet, choreographed by Preston Phillips. They also had a welcome dinner and toured some of Oslo’s sights. Some filmed with temperatures of minus 5 degrees in bathing suits on the banks of the Heimsil River. Many of the girls complained about the cold and others celebrated that for the first time in their lives they saw snow, which in some cases and for filming purposes, was created artificially with machines. Miss Iceland, although accustomed to the cold, almost fainted when filming scenes while skiing. The final shots in folk costumes were taken at Vigeland Park in Oslo. A piano performance by artist Richard Clayderman was also recorded during a dinner offered to the participants and for which the public had to pay an access equivalent to £ 80 as well as a musical number with a children’s choir from Norway. On the other hand, on Sunday, October 28, the candidates were evaluated at the Quality hotel in swimsuits, evening dresses and were interviewed by a panel of Norwegian judges made up of:

01.- Knut Meiner – Norwegian photographer.

02.- Ruth Moxnes – Fashion Entrepreneur in Oslo.

03.- Thomas Ledin – Norwegian rock singer.

04.- Terje Aass – Director of the Aass Brewery.

05.- Ann-Mari Albertsen – Norwegian TV journalist.

06.- Jarle Johansen – Norwegian businessman.

07.- Ingeborg Sorensen – Model and Miss World 1972 finalist.


               These seven judges cast their vote, which would be added to those of the London panel of judges, using the same system used in previous years. Each judge had to choose the 10 candidates they liked the most in swimsuits and in interviews / evening dresses, awarding two points to those selected in each competition and one point to those who did not. The contestants traveled back to London on Tuesday, October 30, staying at the Hilton hotel on Park Lane. They kept the same roommates as in Norway. Some of them got somewhat exotic “roommies”, for example, Miss United Kingdom got Miss Mauritius as a roommate. But not everything was rosy, some Latin American participants complained that Miss Venezuela, one of the great favorites, made fun of the other fellow contestants in Spanish whenever she could. Miss Papua New Guinea was one of those who suffered the “bullying” of the Venezuelan.


                The first activity that the Miss World beauties had in London was the visit to the children of the King’s College Hospital and the Christmas party that the contest, together with the Variety Club of Great Britain, offered annually to disabled children and that was held in the Hilton hotel facilities on Wednesday, October 31st. On Thursday, November 1, the participants took a sightseeing tour of the British capital and went shopping at the renowned Harrod’s shopping center. On Friday the 2nd, the Variety Club of Great Britain luncheon was held at the Grosvenor House hotel and all the contestants attended wearing their national costumes and taking with them the national gifts that would be auctioned during the gala to benefit “Beauty with a Purpose”. The event, which was attended by renowned personalities such as the actor Telly Savalas (the popular Kojak), concluded with the girls standing on the tables in their costumes, as was traditional, and in gratitude for the proceeds during the auction, which reached the figure of US $ 200,000. The money raised was intended to provide free operations to disabled children from different countries in hospitals in the United Kingdom and New York. In the evening, the 81 beauties attended a musical in the West End. After this first public presentation of the candidates in London, favorites began to emerge in the bookmakers, led by Miss U.S.S.R..

               And just as the favorites emerged, there were also angry protests from British feminists who continued with the “song” that the contest was a “cattle market.” Even in Norway there were small protests when some people showed signs that read “Miss World: Ugly Business”. But Julia Morley defended her candidates saying, “I challenge anyone who thinks girls are bimbos to come and confront them; they will come out worse.” “Now we have students, doctors and nurses, almost all of them are fluent in English and many speak other languages”. For example, Miss Guatemala was a specialist in caesarean sections, plastic surgeries, and tendon operations, Miss Canada was a psychology student who applied to conduct research on communications in Botswana, Miss Finland spoke six languages, and Miss Cook Islands was an accountant for a major transnational company. Miss Cook Islands said: “Anyone who calls us bimbos does not know what is behind all this. I am proud to be here, especially as we help raise money for charities”. For her part, Miss Canada said: “We are very well educated girls who are pursuing university studies or working as doctors or engineers. We can have a smart conversation very well. Furthermore, we are ambassadors for our countries”. Miss Guatemala said that she had been specializing for seven years and wanted to train for four more years to become a pediatric surgeon.


                On Saturday 3, the beautiful young women were evaluated by the judges, who observed the girls in bathing suits and evening dresses and who they got to know a little more with small one-minute interviews. On Sunday morning November 4, they attended the Press Presentation at Leicester Square’s Hippodrome Nightclub (currently a casino), which was not really a “racetrack” as Miss Puerto Rico told her mother over the phone: “The most famous hippodrome in the country”. 80 of the 81 candidates attended, as Miss Portugal was feeling unwell. The young women were grouped into four lines according to their height, this time the tallest in the first row and the shortest in the last upper row. Miss Thailand, who had said she was 5’11 ” tall, came forward in the front row when in fact she was about 5’8”. After the group photo, Miss USA excused herself and went to rest because she was suffering from a severe flu. Then, as usual, the reporters grouped their favorites, and among those mentioned were Miss USSR, Miss Venezuela, Miss Ireland, Miss Peru, Miss Chile, Miss Sweden, Miss Norway and, of course, Miss United Kingdom. There, the photographers voted for their choice for Miss PHOTOGENIC, an award that would be announced on the day of the dress rehearsal.

Above: Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey, Cayman Islands, Egypt, India, United Kingdom, Madagascar, Trinidad-Tobago, Costa Rica, Mauritius, Aruba, Malta, British Virgin Islands, Singapore, Finland, Chile, Belize, Papua New Guinea, and Namibia. Second row: France, Kenya, Macao, Poland, Sri Lanka, Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Guam, Hong Kong, Ireland, Korea, Iceland, Guatemala, Colombia, Bolivia, USSR, Spain, Panama, Latvia and Ghana. Third row: Australia, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Gibraltar, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Cook Islands, Uruguay, Romania, Philippines, Japan, Italy, El Salvador, Denmark, Barbados and Austria. Bottom: Curaçao, Argentina, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Hungary, New Zealand, Paraguay, Canada, American Virgin Islands, Venezuela, Peru, Norway, Israel, Honduras, Greece, Brazil, Thailand and the USA. Portugal was missing.

                The contestants from Aruba, Belize, Egypt, France, Germany, Nigeria and Turkey had previously participated in Miss Universe that same year; of them, the Turkish was a semifinalist. Miss Trinidad-Tobago also competed in Miss Universe but in its 1989 edition. Miss Belgium, Miss Costa Rica, Miss Luxembourg and Miss Poland participated in the Miss International 1990, of which the Belgian and the Polish were semifinalists, while in the edition In 1989 of that contest was Miss Paraguay. Miss Venezuela had won Miss Model of the World’90 in Taipei. The Spanish woman was a veteran in competitions as she had been a semifinalist in the 1985 Maja International, a semifinalist in the 1989 Miss All Nations and also participated in the 1986 Miss Latin America. The Norwegian was in the 1990 Miss All Nations as well as Miss Guatemala and Miss Belize and the Peruvian in Miss Hispanidad Internacional ’90. The Dominican replaced Nigerian Bianca Onoh with the title of Miss Intercontinental 1989 when the latter gave up the crown. For her part, Miss Curacao was practicing at the Miss Hawaiian Tropic 1990. The youngest participants at 17 were Miss American Virgin Islands, Miss Bolivia, Miss Cayman Islands, Miss Malta and Miss New Zealand, while the oldest, at 25, was Miss Guatemala. The tallest candidate was Miss USA, at 6 feet tall, while the shortest, at 5 feet 4 inches, were Miss Aruba and Miss Mauritius. Here is a table with the most important information about the girls:

01 AMERICAN VIRGIN ISLANDS Keima Akintobi 17 St.Thomas High School graduate
02 ARGENTINA Romina Rosales 18 Buenos Aires Nutrition Student and Tennis Teacher
03 ARUBA Gwendolyne Charlotte Kwidama 20 San Nicolaas Secretary
04 AUSTRALIA Karina Brown 19 Sydney Tourism and Japanese Student
05 AUSTRIA Carina Friedberger 20 Eisenberg Languages Student
06 BAHAMAS Lisa Gizelle Strachan 19 Nassau Journalist
07 BARBADOS Cheryl Jean Brewster 22 Saint Philip Bank clerk
08 BELGIUM Katia Alens 23 Antwerp Model
09 BELIZE Ysela Antonia Zabaneh 20 Independence Tourism Student
10 BOLIVIA Daniela Domínguez Martilotti 17 Tarija Mass Communications Student and a Model
11 BRAZIL Karla Cristina Kwiatkowski 20 Curitiba Student
12 BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS Suzanne Spencer 22 Tortola Marketing Management Assistant. Graduated in Art
13 BULGARIA Violeta Galabova 18 Sofia Medical Student
14 CANADA Natasha Palewandrem 21 Ottawa Communications and Psychology Student
15 CAYMAN ISLANDS Bethea Michelle Christian 17 Grand Cayman Works at the Tourism Department
16 CHILE María Isabel Jara Pizarro 21 Santiago Fashion Design Student
17 COLOMBIA Ángela Mercedes Mariño Ortíz 20 Bogota Secretary and student of Communications
18 COOK ISLANDS Angela Manarang 23 Rarotonga Accountant
19 COSTA RICA Andrea Murillo Fallas 20 Heredia Law and Journalism Student
20 CURACAO Jacqueline Nelleke Josien Krijger 23 Willemstad Works in Public Relations
21 CYPRUS Emilia Groutidou 18 Nicosia Painting and Restoration Student
22 CZECHOSLOVAKIA Andrea Roskovcova 19 Benesov Agriculture Student
23 DENMARK Charlotte Christiansen 23 Copenhaguen Model
24 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Brenda Marte Lajara 21 Santo Domingo Marketing Student and News Reporter
25 EGYPT Dha’lia Mahmoud Quotb El Beheri 20 Cairo Tourism Student
26 EL SALVADOR María Elena Henríquez 20 San Salvador Student
27 FINLAND Nina Björkfelt 22 Turku Languages Student
28 FRANCE Gaëlle Voiry 21 Lyon Public Relations Student
29 GERMANY Christiane Stocker 23 Darmstadt Student and Organizer of Fashion Events.
30 GHANA Dela Tamakloe 24 Accra Model and Secretary Student
31 GIBRALTAR Sarah Yeats 18 Gibraltar Student and Actress
32 GREECE Sofia Lafkioti 19 Athens Marketing Student and Model
33 GUAM Mary Esteban 22 Dededo Graduated in Education
34 GUATEMALA María del Rosario Pérez Aguilar 25 Guatemala City Medical Student
35 HOLLAND Gabrielle Stap 21 The Hague Economy and Business Student
36 HONDURAS Claudia Bendaña McCausland 21 Tegucigalpa Law Student
37 HONG KONG Elaine da Silva 18 Kowloon Side Actress
38 HUNGARY Kinga Czuczor 20 Budapest Languages Student
39 ICELAND Asta Sigridur Einarsdóttir 19 Garðabær Student
40 INDIA Naveeda Mehdi 18 Bombay Actress and Student of Psychology and Computers
41 IRELAND Siobhan McClafferty 20 Portmarnock, Dublín Stewardess and a Model
42 ISRAEL Ariela Tesler 18 Tel-Aviv Wants to study Journalism
43 ITALY Cristina Gavagnin 19 Trieste Dentistry student
44 JAMAICA Erica Aquart 20 Kingston Model
45 JAPAN Tomoko Iwasaki 20 Shizuoka High School Student and Golfer
46 KENYA Aisha Wawira Lieberg 19 Embu Student of Hotel Management
47 KOREA Hyun-jung Ko 19 Seoul Student and Actress
48 LATVIA Velga Braznevica 23 Riga Medical Student
49 LUXEMBOURG Bea Jarzynska 18 Luxembourg Student
50 MACAU Alexandra Paula Costa Mendes 19 Macau Works in Public Relations
51 MADAGASCAR Ellys Raza 20 Antananarivo Student
52 MALTA Karen Demicoli 17 Zejtun Commputer clerk
53 MAURITIUS Marie Desirée Audrey Pitchen 23 Beau Bassin Bank clerk
54 MEXICO Luz María “Lulú” Mena Basso 23 Yucatan Classic Ballet Teacher
55 NAMIBIA Ronel Liebenberg 22 Windhoek Flight Attendant
56 NEW ZEALAND Adele Valerie Kenny 17 Murupara Model
57 NIGERIA Sabina Ifeoma Umeh 21 Lagos Graduated in Theater Art. Commercial Director of a company
58 NORWAY Ingerborg Kolseth 20 Hundorp Receptionist
59 PANAMA Madelaine Leignadier Dawson 20 Panama City Production and Business Administration Student
60 PAPUA NEW GUINEA Nellie Ban 24 Manus Executive Secretary
61 PARAGUAY Alba María Cordero Rivals 21 Asuncion Chemistry student and TV presenter
62 PERU Gisselle Martínez Cuadros 21 Lima Graphic Designer and a Model
63 PHILIPPINES Antonette Elizalde Ballesteros 23 Manila Model and Graduate in Behavioral Sciences
64 POLAND Ewa Maria Szymczak 23 Orzesze Medical Student
65 PORTUGAL Filomena Paula Dias Miranda Marques 22 Lisbon Nurse and Engineering Student
66 PUERTO RICO Magdalena Pabón 23 San Juan Psychologist
67 ROMANIA Mihaela Raescu 21 Craiova Medical Student
68 SINGAPORE Karen Frances Ng 17 Singapore Business Administraton Student
69 SPAIN María del Carmen Carrasco García de la Torre 22 Madrid TV Presenter
70 SRI LANKA Angela Mary Jane Gunaskera 23 Colombo Flight Attendant
71 SWEDEN Daniela Jessica Maria Almen 19 Vidsel Model
72 SWITZERLAND Priscilla Leimgruber 20 Bern Law Student
73 THAILAND Panida Umsaard (Chanakarn Chaisri) 19 Bangkok Public Relations Student
74 TRINIDAD & TOBAGO Guenevere Helen Kelshall 22 Port of Spain Stewardess
75 TURKEY Julide Ates 19 Istanbul English and Literature Student
76 UNITED KINGDOM Helen Upton 19 Birmingham Model
77 URUGUAY María Carolina Casalia Abelia 19 Montevideo Architecture Student
78 UNITED STATES Gina Marie Tolleson 21 Spartanburg, South Carolina Student and Model
79 U.S.S.R. Lauma Zemzare 19 Riga, Latvia Photographic Model
80 VENEZUELA Sharon Raquel Luengo González 19 Maracaibo Industrial Engineering Student and Dance Teacher
81 YUGOSLAVIA Ivona Brnelic 18 Rijeka, Croatia Economy Student


               Following the press presentation, the annual “Miss World Family Party” hosted by Julia Morley was held at the Hilton hotel, where some girls showed off their talents. On Monday, November 5, rehearsals began at the London Palladium and lasted all day Tuesday. In the bookmakers Miss U.S.S.R. was in front with odds of 6-1, followed by Miss United Kingdom with 8-1, Miss Denmark and Miss Venezuela with 10-1, Miss Ireland with 12-1, Miss Gibraltar with 14- 1 and Miss Philippines, Miss Switzerland, Miss Thailand and Miss Finland with 16-1, according to the Coral Agency. On Wednesday 7 the Dress Rehearsal was held and where the European Leisure plaques were delivered to Miss VENEZUELA (Sharon Raquel Luengo González) as Miss PHOTOGENIC who had been previously chosen by journalists on the day of the Press Presentation, and Miss NIGERIA (Sabina Ifeoma Umeh) as Miss PERSONALITY, selected by the contestants themselves. In addition, the final part of the production number “Hazy Shade of Winter” was recorded on stage and the opening number that would be shown during the transmission, with about 45 contestants on stage dressed in their evening dresses, the production had to exclude those Misses that never learned the choreography!



                And finally the most anticipated day arrived, Thursday, November 8, the date on which the fortieth Miss World in history was going to be chosen. In the foyer of the London Palladium, an entertainment center that has a discreet capacity for 2,286 people, the program book of the contest was sold, which by the way, showed the contestants with the photographs sent by their directors, so this year there were not official photos. At 7:45 pm the event began with the participants elegantly dressed in their evening gowns with the six Ken Warwick dancers singing the song “London Nights” popularized by the British group London Boys. Coincidentally, the two great favorites, Miss Venezuela and Miss United States, ended up at the center of the stage and in the first row. Then the 81 candidates in their evening dresses paraded one by one while at 8 o’clock the satellite transmission of the contest began, but in Great Britain it could not be seen live, but delayed at 11:40 p.m. through the screens of Thames Television. The broadcast began with images from some of the previous contests from 1952 to 1989 and the prerecorded musical opening that was made the night before. After this, Peter Marshall welcomed the event and introduced his partner in the hosting, the Irish Michele Rocca, whose shots were also pre-recorded the night before. Then, they proceeded to present the videos of the introductions of the participants filmed outdoors in Norway accompanied by images of their national costumes, which this year was made by continents, starting with the group from Africa and Asia-Oceania, followed by the girls from America and the Caribbean Islands and, finally, the European ones. As viewers watched these videos, at the London Palladium, the candidates paraded individually in bathing suits.

                Continuing with the first part of the event that was pre-recorded, the comperes presented a video made in Norway, showing the different activities that the competitors carried out there and presented the Norwegian judges while the British rock band “Smokie”, famous in those Viking lands, entertained with their theme song “Heartbreak Angel” performed by Terry Uttley. After this presentation, the live broadcast from the London Palladium began, beginning with the presentation of the judges by Peter Marshall. They were:

01.- Krish Naidoo – Irish Entrepreneur and National Director of Ireland.

02.- Josie Fonseca – Director of the Models 1 Agency.

03.- Michael Ward – Director of European Leisure.

04.- Kimberley Santos-Hill – Miss World 1980 from Guam.

05.- Eric Morley – Creator of Miss World and Chairman of the Judges.

06.- Wilnelia Merced-Forsythe – Miss World 1975 from Puerto Rico.

07.- Ralph Halpern – Executive Chairman of the Burton Group.

08.- Rob Brandt – Director of Walters International Computers.


                After meeting the judges the comperes of the evening gave way to the video recorded in Norway outdoors, with all the participants in swimsuits, and showing the total scores that each one received from the seven Norwegian judges and the panel of eight personalities in London, so that the minimum score would be 30 points and the maximum 60. Let us remember that each judge had to select their ten preferred candidates in two categories, swimsuits and interviews in evening dress. The contestants selected on each list would get 2 points, while the young women who were not selected would get 1 point. Here is the table with the votes that each of the Miss World 1990 competitors received:

1VENEZUELA 44 44 34 42 42 44 32 250
2UNITED STATES 42 42 32 42 24 44 44 449
3HOLLAND 22 42 34 42 34 42 24 446
4IRELAND 22 22 32 44 24 43 32 443
5JAMAICA 42 42 34 24 22 24 32 242
6NEW ZEALAND 22 44 24 22 22 44 24 242
7ARUBA 42 44 24 24 22 22 32 241
8POLAND 23 44 24 22 24 22 22 441
9TURKEY 24 24 34 22 23 24 32 241
11FINLAND 24 22 22 42 24 23 24 239
17UNITED KINGDOM22222223222434438
18AMERICAN VIRGIN ISLANDS42222224422232237
26PUERTO RICO23222224222242235
28TRINIDAD & TOBAGO42222224222222234
32BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS22223224222222233
46COSTA RICA22222222222232231
48EL SALVADOR22222222222232231
50HONG KONG22222222223222231
58CAYMAN ISLANDS22222222222222230
59COOK ISLANDS22222222222222230
61DOMINICAN REPUBLIC22222222222222230
77PAPUA NEW GUINEA22222222222222230
80SRI LANKA22222222222222230

                As can be seen, this year they did not necessarily include a representative per continent, but rather the general score was respected regardless of the continent from which they came from. On this occasion, the contestant with the highest qualification obtained 50 points and of the 81 candidates, 54 were selected at least once by the judges, which is equivalent to 66.66%. While the video was being presented, the 81 contestants gathered on stage, ready to find out which of them would be the lucky ones. At the conclusion of the prerecorded broadcast, Peter Marshall released the names of the 10 semi-finalists and called them in no specific order. They were:

01Miss HOLLANDGabrielle Stap215′ 10”The Hague
02Miss TURKEYJulide Ates195′ 7”Istanbul
03Miss IRELANDSiobhan McClafferty205′ 7”Portmarnock, Dublín
04Miss JAMAICAErica Aquart205′ 9”Kingston
05Miss VENEZUELASharon Raquel Luengo González195′ 9.5”Maracaibo
06Miss FINLANDNina Björkfelt225′ 6.5”Turku
07Miss NEW ZEALANDAdele Valerie Kenny175′ 10”Murupara
08Miss USAGina Marie Tolleson216′ 0”Spartanburg, South Carolina
09Miss ARUBAGwendolyne Charlotte Kwidama205′ 4”San Nicolaas
10Miss POLANDEwa Maria Szymczak235′ 8”Orzesze

TOP 10:

                It is also worth noting that in position ten there was a five-fold tie, between the representatives of Australia, Finland, Germany, Mexico and Peru, all with 39 points, so the judges in London had to vote again to choose only one of them that would go to the semifinalists box. The lucky one this time was Miss Finland, a country that had been sacrificed from the final the previous year. The UK candidate, this time, failed to reach the semi-finalists. After the names of the 10 semi-finalists were announced, Peter Marshall announced the Queen of the African Continent, a title that went to Miss KENYA (Aisha Wawira Lieberg) and who received her trophy courtesy of European Leisure from the hostess Michele Rocca. By the way, in the group of African women, both Miss Egypt and Miss Kenya had previously tied with 31 points, so Eric Morley, in his capacity as Chairman of the Judges, had to give an extra point in favor of Miss Kenya, who passed to have 32 points and what was seen on the screen. (Note in the table that only one of the judges selected eleven from one of their lists instead of ten, so the total points in his column is 183 instead of 182 and apparently that column is Eric Morley.)

               After a commercial cut, the semifinalists briefly paraded in swimsuits, being introduced by Peter Marshall three by three. While the contestants changed to their evening gowns, Michele Rocca presented the video recorded in Norway with Richard Clayderman at the piano performing Vivaldi’s theme song “The Four Seasons.” Then, Michele Rocca invited Julia Morley to the stage to share details of the advances of “Beauty with a Purpose” and presented a video with the social activities that the contestants did during their stay in London and culminating with the pre-recorded video in Norway with the contestants accompanied by a group of children from an Oslo children’s choir performing the song “We Are The People”. Following this presentation, Peter Marshall interviewed the first five semifinalists on stage, who were already dressed in their evening gowns. The interviews had to do with their professions and activities that they carried out in their countries. Miss Venezuela was the only one who used an interpreter, who confused the Venezuelan with Miss Colombia. Unfortunately they did not let her continue with her answer as Peter Marshall thought she had finished answering. Notably, the judges in Norway, who was watching the live satellite broadcast, would also vote to select the 5 finalists. The overall Norwegian panel vote would count as the ninth judge at the London Palladium.

Miss Venezuela was chosen ass Miss Photogenic

                After the interview with the first group of semifinalists, the video of the production number recorded in Norway was played with some of the contestants dancing and singing in the snow along with Ken Warwick’s ballet, the songs “Hazy Shade of Winter” by The Bangles and “Nasty” by Janet Jackson. Among the candidates who participated in this musical were the host, Miss Norway, along with Miss Ireland, Miss Colombia, Miss Argentina, Miss Venezuela, Miss USA, Miss Australia, Miss Iceland, Miss United Kingdom, Miss Uruguay, Miss Austria, Miss Germany , Miss Czechoslovakia, Miss Cyprus and Miss Israel, some of them wearing Norwegian costumes courtesy of “Snow & Rock” and Laura Jane Zaks. The final part of this musical number was the pre-recording made the day before on stage with a dozen candidates along with the Ken Warwick ballet. Then, the second group of semi-finalists continued the interviews with Peter Marshall. In this part, Miss Poland was the only one who needed the services of an interpreter. After a commercial break, the 10 semifinalists paraded individually in evening dresses, while Michele Rocca described the gowns worn by the contestants.

                Then Peter Marshall announced the names of the five finalists. They were Miss FINLAND, Miss IRELAND, Miss NEW ZEALAND, Miss UNITED STATES and Miss VENEZUELA. After this, Marshall proceeded to announce the name of the Queen of the Caribbean Islands, a title that went to Miss JAMAICA (Erica Aquart), who received her European Leisure trophy from Michele Rocca. It is worth mentioning that this year five continental queens were awarded again, since Oceania was included along with the Asian continent. The finalists then left the stage to welcome young Australian singer Jason Donovan, who performed his hit “I’m Doing Fine.” Then it was time to call the outgoing Miss World Aneta Kreglicka on stage and on her final walk a video of the welcome she received in her native Poland was shown. Michele Rocca then called Julia Morley to the stage to present the awards on behalf of European Leisure and Peter Marshall welcomed Eric Morley to announce the final results.

                But before announcing the verdict, they had to contact the Norwegian panel to cast their vote, so they made a phone call to Oslo, where the judge Ingeborg Sorensen, Miss Norway and Miss World 1972 finalist, gave the qualification of the Nordic judges loudly and, as explained above, this vote would be taken as the ninth judge of the night. The positions were converted into points, 10 for the winner, 9 for the second place, 8 for the third and 7 for the fourth and fifth place. The score was as follows: Miss Venezuela with 10 points, Miss Ireland achieved 9 points, Miss USA had 8 points, and Miss Finland and Miss New Zealand, both reached 7 points. This vote did not change the rating of the remaining eight judges at the London Palladium (see final ranking table) as Eric Morley immediately announced the final results in reverse order: as SECOND RUNNER-UP, Miss VENEZUELA, Sharon Luengo, and as FIRST RUNNER-UP and also Queen of the European continent, Miss IRELAND, Siobhan McClafferty. Both received tiaras from Julian Morley and the trophies were presented by Julia Morley.


                And, Eric Morley announced as MISS WORLD 1990, Miss UNITED STATES, Gina Marie Tolleson !!!. Gina, a model and second-year journalism student at the University of Georgia in Athens, who had been Miss South Carolina and first runner-up for Miss USA 1990, trained in ballet, jazz and tap dance, age 21 and 6 feet tall, the tallest Miss World up to that time, with brown hair and hazel eyes, who dreamed of being a news anchor and whose hobbies were horseback riding and gardening, thus became the second American to wear the coveted crown of beauty. Remember that the previous one was Marjorie Wallace in 1973 who did not reach the end of her reign. Gina didn’t let a little thing like the flu stop her from winning the beauty pageant. She received her Miss World sash from Julian Morley and the trophy from Julia Morley. Dressed in a strapless white chiffon gown embroidered in rhinestones and puffed sleeves at the shoulder level, the same outfit she wore at Miss USA but with the previously leather sleeves modified, Gina sat on the throne to be crowned by the outgoing Miss World, the Polish Aneta Kreglicka. Julian Morley presented her with the royal scepter before beginning her triumphal walk to the chords of the unforgettable official pageant march, created by Phil Tate. The event was expected to have an audience of approximately 500 million people in 55 countries. It was also said that the beauty pageant would be broadcast in the US on a delayed basis in December. At the end of the broadcast and after the required photographs, everyone attended the Coronation Ball held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London where the awards were presented to the winners. The following is the table where you will see how the judges voted in the final ranking:

3NEW ZEALAND887787877675th.
4UNITED STATES99101010101098851st.
3NEW ZEALAND3355353455th.
4UNITED STATES2211111231st.

                As you can see, the judges voted by position and this ranking was converted into points on the Walters International computer. The first place was equal to 10 points, the second 9 points, the third 8 and the fourth and fifth places 7 points each. As can be seen, the Norwegian judges did not alter the final results in any way, so Morley gave the result immediately after communication by telephone with Sorensen. Returning to the Coronation Party, Miss Kenya, as Queen of Africa, received £ 500. Miss Jamaica and Miss New Zealand, for being Queens of the Caribbean and Asia-Oceania respectively, received £ 1,000. By the way, the New Zealander was proclaimed 4th.runner-up. For their part, Miss Aruba, Miss Poland, Miss Holland and Miss Turkey, for being semifinalists, obtained £ 500, the same as Miss Finland received for being the 3rd. runner-up. Miss Venezuela, after being second runner-up, took a check for £ 1,000 and Miss Ireland, for being first runner-up and Queen of Europe, another for £ 2,000. For her part, the new Miss World, who also won the Continental Queen of the Americas award, received a check for £ 10,000 and an employment contract that would generate a minimum of £ 30,000 additional for personal appearances and publicity during her year of reign, the highest award given to a winner up to that point. “It was impressive and it happened very fast, I was disheveled and very exhausted,” said the brand new world beauty queen at her first press conference after being crowned. She swore that the winner would be Miss Venezuela and not her …

                In an interview the next morning, in the middle of a champagne and strawberry breakfast, Gina confessed that she had been very ill with the flu. “Last night I was praying that I felt better and could get out.” “I felt so bad during dress rehearsal that I had to get off stage and all I could do was pray that I was okay,” Tolleson said of her flu, which was apparently caused by the legendary inclement weather in London. She said she hoped to be home by Thanksgiving, a request that was granted. She also added that she would use the money to pay for a Jeep Cherokee she had recently purchased, make some purchases and “just sit” on the rest. But first, she’d get some sleep. “I’m just going to rest the rest of the day, to catch up on my desperately needed sleep.” She said that she and her mother called her father at their home in Spartanburg, South Carolina, before going to bed Thursday. “I’m a daddy’s girl,” she said. “I wish he could have been here”. For his part, her father, who celebrated the victory with a wine toast Thursday night, said Gina hoped to get an apprenticeship at CNN in Atlanta. Following the royal breakfast the morning after being crowned Miss World, Gina attended “Good Morning, Britain.” She recalls: “After an extensive photoshoot, I started thinking about what I would be doing for the rest of the year. I had no idea what my year as Miss World would be like.”


               “My first official duty was to go to Cardiff, Wales, With Julia Morley, International President of the Miss World Organisation. She and I attended a tribute dinner. I spoke to the group and presented a cheque for approximately $150,000 to the hospital there to begin building a children’s wing. At the time, Variety Club was unknown to me. I didn’t know what it was, but I did know that it was a charity organisation. I was beginning to understand the significance of the organisation. Variety Club became the theme of my year”.

               On Sunday, November 18, ten days after winning the title, Gina returned home to Spartanburg, South Carolina. From London she traveled to New York in Concorde and from there on a private flight to Greenville-Spartanburg airport where she arrived at 1:45 pm that Sunday. Phil Hayes and Karen Petit, who were helping coordinate the Miss’s return home, said in a statement that former Miss United States Betty Lane Cherry-Gramling of Orangeburg was scheduled to perform later that day. Ms. Gramling represented the United States at Miss World in 1956 and was named first runner-up. Local, state and federal officials, along with civic and business groups, greeted Ms. Tolleson upon her arrival. She never stopped smiling at the dazzled girls asking for autographs, her mom and dad standing backstage and the 100 people greeting the new Miss World at the Greenville-Spartanburg airport, Gina Marie Tolleson kept smiling. Even when a few tears came to her eyes, Miss Tolleson smiled. And why not? She was crowned Miss World in London, flew to the United States on the Concorde and looked forward to a year of traveling around the world to promote Miss World charities. After receiving many gifts and compliments at the welcome home party, Gina confidently took the microphone and remembered her victory. “The next day, I rushed in and was pretty much forgotten,” said Miss Tolleson. “Not know what to do”. She recalled asking the contest organizers, “Can I get home by Thanksgiving?” Her wish was granted, but she would not be home for long. A week later she had to go to Belize.

                Miss Tolleson, who was wearing a purple dress adorned with her Miss World sash to her reception, said she had her first official engagement as Miss World on Saturday night where she presented a check for about $ 140,000 to a university hospital. “It meant a lot to me. It let me know how my year was going to be and how valuable it would be.” Miss Tolleson’s arrival drew an enthusiastic crowd that Sunday afternoon. During the ceremony, 11-year-old Summer Barnette held up a “Welcome Home, Miss World” sign made by her friend, Natasha Nichols. “It was fun,” said Summer, who got Miss Tolleson’s autograph. Natasha’s mother, Hilda Nichols, said: “I think you are very excited. We are proud to have someone from Spartanburg to represent us, aren’t we girls?” Miss Tolleson’s studies were put on hold. She was seeking a degree in broadcast journalism and said she wanted a career in broadcasting. “I am not interested in being a movie star. I am looking forward to finishing my education at the end of my reign.” At the moment, she was practicing using a video camera given to her by her mother in England.

               “Gina has made friends all over the world,” said Julia Morley, who accompanied Gina Tolleson back to Spartanburg. Ms Morley said that other trips were planned to the UK, Australia, South Africa, Germany and the Caribbean. At the airport, beaming friends and family watched as Ms. Tolleson accepted a variety of gifts, ranging from a Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce sweatshirt to an offer of free use of a Columbia gym, including a private trainer. She received letters of congratulations from Governor Carroll A. Campbell Jr. and textile mogul Roger Milliken. Spartanburg Mayor Chester Brown, after awarding her the city’s Distinguished Citizen Award, said that the following week would be officially declared Gina Tolleson’s week. “My homecoming had a special meaning to me. Returning to the United States on Concorde, I was greeted by all my friends, relatives and many others who shared their warm feelings towards me and that touched me greatly. I had an excellent support system: people who took their time, their heart and their love to organise a celebration for me. It was a day I’ll never forget. It was filled with laughs, smiles and tears. There were banners and signs, radio and television interviews, gifts that were just incredible and just a wonderful day to remember. I now look back at this day with such warmness. It’s a good pat on the back. It’s like saying “a job well done”. I was very proud and happy to be home at such an opportune time. Thanksgiving. This time of year is so important for me to be with my family. Even though it was a short visit, it was a good one. It was also a time for Julia to experience a traditional American family holiday”.

                On Saturday, November 25, Gina traveled to Belize to fulfill commitments in support of the Variety Club Lifeline Program. She arrived accompanied by doctors from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Plans were to flagstaff a new program. This was a clinic for children to be examined. Also, they officially donated a paediatric echocardiogram machine to the Belize City Hospital. “We spent the entire day visiting the facilities and talking with the patients. For me, this visit really affected me in the way I looked at the remainder of my year. There’s much sorrow and heartbreak in the places we visited. However, to see a small child smile at you, to see a small child get excited, to have some hope and for them to laugh and giggle, just because you came over to say “hello” to them, gives you so much gratification and so much warmth. You remember these experiences when you go into these countries. These experiences humble you. Even though you get many advantages and perks and even though you have many nice things done for you throughout the year, you will get this reality check, knowing that there are children suffering and knowing that you can help. There is a sense of self maturity knowing you helped. This is a non selfish feeling and that’s very nice”. Subsequently, Gina returned to the United States at the end of November. On Saturday, December 1, Gina participated in the Greenville Christmas Parade down Main Street in town.

                “My next visit was to Essen, Germany, for the World Motor Show. Every motor company from around the world participates in the show. I was there to present awards, sign autographs and make appearances with the companies. A special day happened on March 2nd, St David’s Day in Cardiff, Wales. The Variety Club of Wales held a luncheon in my honour and I also visited the children’s wing of the hospital. I had a wonderful time in Wales. Princess Diana, Prince Charles and Prince William were also there visiting Wales at the same time. We were greeted by daffodils and leeks, their national symbols. Remaining in Wales for the weekend, I was treated as a dignitary. Escorted by the Lord Mayor and his wife, I toured the country, its castles and rode in the Rolls Royce owned by King George I. This automobile is the official property of Wales. Returning to London, I attended the star-studded Variety Ball. Many international and nationally recognised celebrities such as Dudley Moore, Roger Moore and Michael Caine attended. The event raised over half a million dollars for the children. I was next involved in the Alderhey Appeal, a hospital in Liverpool. This was their 75th birthday appeal spearheaded by Paul and Linda McCartney. We were there to visit the hospital and to present a cheque to the hospital on behalf of the Variety Clubs of Great Britain and Liverpool to begin building a wing onto the hospital to house the parents of the sick children. This would give the parents a proper place to sleep instead of sleeping in chairs in the children’s rooms. Recently, I received a letter stating the success of the appeal and hoping that donations would continue. This is a very special appeal to me.”

                “In March, I returned to the United States as the honary spokesperson for the First Fashion Show, a benefit for the American cancer Society in Columbia, South Carolina. This was my second year as the spokesperson for this worthy cause. American Cancer Society Board Member Phil Hayes was primarily responsible for this happening. This event was to bring more awareness for the need for money to do cancer research. I always hope to be involved in this effort. This is such an important event and a chance for continued involvement in community services. In Des Moines, Iowa, I was involved with a very strong Variety Club Chapter. The then International President of Variety Clubs International, Stanley Reynolds, is a member of the Des Moines Chapter. I participated with several celebrities such as Tony Hatch, Jackie Trent, Emma Samms, Ben Davis and Maureen Arthur in the 14 hour telethon. $2.5 million was raised.”

                “As a broadcast journalism major, it was my first opportunity to do extensive on-camera television work. Participating in this telethon was an affirmation for me to continue my pursuit of a broadcast career. I felt comfortable in front of the camera. The atmosphere of raising money for these children and for the programs that Variety Club patronise was so exciting. It gives you a natural high knowing that what you’re doing really does make a difference. I really knew that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. And I know I would always be involved with Variety Club. I knew that the theme of the Miss World title was “Beauty with a Purpose” and that we do it for the children. Even though I would not be Miss World again, god willing, I would return as Gina and I would always be there, as I know most previous Miss Worlds are. Another telethon in Winnipeg, Canada, in the province of Manitoba, gave me the opportunity to see the incredible things Variety Clubs do for hospitals, day care centres and other children’s affiliated activities. Anything pertaining to the health and welfare of deprived children, Variety Club does. We raised over $1 million. Again, entertainers and other people pulled together to contribute to the telethon’s success. A national television appearance on “To tell the Truth”, in Los Angeles, California, was a fun experience for me, wearing a unique gown designed by my designer Marie De George of Atlanta, Georgia. My next appearance was the Variety Club International Convention in Vancouver, Canada with over 60 Variety Club “Tents” worldwide participating. I was a guest for the opening ceremonies to honour the children and to gain awareness of the Miss World title. We hosted a children’s rally where Bea Arthur, Emma Samms, Maureen Arthur and I helped bring attention to children’s causes. I was one of the presenters for the Humanitarian of the Year awards dinner. This award is presented to a person who has dedicated most of their life to humanitarian causes, particularly deprived and handicapped children”.

                “My next appearance was in the Dominican Republic. I was there to have promotional photos taken and for a dignitary visit. The Dominican Republic was the site of Columbus’ New World discovery and the Americas 500 years ago and the photos would be used to promote this anniversary. During May, I visited South Africa for ten days. I was greeted by a band and the new Miss South Africa. The grand reception was followed by interviews with the press. I was nervous and curious about the country with its much publicised political disruptions. This nervousness was quickly put to rest by the friendliness encountered during this welcoming ceremony. SABC, the local television station, supplied a crew for their show, Good Morning South Africa telecast each morning. Each day this show featured a segment called the Miss World Diary. This videotaped documentary featured events of the previous day. This public attention brought an awareness for the real purpose of the trip; which was to launch the Children’s Foundations National Fundraising Campaign. This is an organisation which helps many needs of the children in South Africa including education, hunger, orphanages, adoption, better health care and awareness. Various photo shoots were scheduled including the “Cosmopolitan” article and cover, a fashion shoot for the Sunday Times magazine and an article promoting the Children’s Foundation cause. All fees were donated direct to the charity. Many meaningful activities were scheduled with children beginning with a party for a children’s home in the Johannesburg zoo. These were black children from deprived families in Soweto. Charity galas were scheduled each night. I spoke on behalf of the Children’s Foundation and my work with children around the world to encourage donations to the Foundation. Travelling to Cape Town, I was captivated by the beauty of the city and its people. After being welcomed by the Cape Town Mayor, I participated in a significant and important visit to the Children’s Red Cross Hospital, home of the world-renowned heart surgeon, Dr Chris Barnard. He welcomed me to the hospital although no longer practising, he assists the hospital with the clinics. I was there to present a cheque to the hospital for $10,000 from the Children’s Foundation. South Africa is incredibly advanced technologically. I was very impressed with their hospital system. Dr Barnard continues his untiring efforts in his awareness campaign to save children’s lives through preventative health care. Most of the children there are having problems with rheumatism in their heart. If a mother could recognise or have the ability to take a young child to a clinic when they get a sore throat, an ear ache or some other malady, so many of these diseases could be prevented. During an appearance at a shopping mall, I was honoured by a special performance by the internationally recognised Children’s Choir of South Africa. This group gave an incredible performance. I was greeted by a young marching band, who not only learned the music but the words to my national anthem. The Star Spangled Banner. Their presentation gave me a tremendous sense of honour and feeling of their respect for my nationality. It really touched me knowing that these young people had taken the time to learn this for me. It was a special moment for me and something I’ll never forget. When a person or group acknowledges your nationality with pride and respect when you’re travelling, it makes you feel very proud and, at that moment I did”.

                “The following day we departed to Bloemfontein, on the west side of South Africa. I compare this to the Midwest section of the US. There we were guests of Boet Trowskie, a famous movie producer in South Africa, responsible for The Gods Must Be Crazy and other film projects. At a dinner in his home honouring Julia and myself, an auction was held and a life-size version of the Cosmopolitan cover photo went for $5000 as a donation to the Children’s Foundation. Although this part of South Africa reminded me of the Midwest both in infrastructure and geographically, the people reminded me of the people in my home town of Spartanburg, South Carolina. They were very down-to-earth, very giving and very loving people. Thank you, Mr Trowskie for your contribution. This was followed by a visit to the Mala Mala private game reserve, which is rated as one of the top ten resorts in the world. Margaret Thatcher was visiting the reserve just prior to my arrival. This was a chance to experience the true Africa. Many people told me that only after visiting a reserve could you truly understand the essence of Africa. And I did. It was truly breathtaking. It is so comforting to know that there is a place in the world where it is not overcrowded and that these animals are free to roam and to live as they have done for thousands and thousands of years. We also did a fashion shoot for an Afrikaans-speaking magazine. The magazine donated the fee for the shoot the Children’s Foundation. Durban was our next destination. Located on the east coast of South Africa, a large segment of the population is Indian. There we spoke to a ladies luncheon club called the Mahursani’s Ladies One Hundred Club. This speech addressed the problems of the children in South Africa and our purpose for the visit. After lunch we visited the Lake Haven Children’s Home, an inner-city orphanage. No orphanage, no hospital, no particular visit is the same. But I have to say, it doesn’t matter what language the child speaks, it doesn’t matter if she has blond hair or black hair, or if she has black skin, white skin or Indian skin, children are children. It seems that no matter where I go, how bad the conditions are, there is always a smile that will always warm your heart. They showed me where they live, their hobbies and where they ate. They were very proud to show me their facility and I was proud to become friends with them. I’ve received many letters from them and I’m continuing my correspondence with them. The 10 day visit raised $1 million for the Children’s Foundation. I was very proud to be part of this trip”.

                “My next visit was to Poland. As an American I had some preconceived views of Eastern Europe, so I was very excited about going into Warsaw and seeing firsthand the changes that are taking pace. Julia is very familiar with Poland and has been going there for several years. To her, the changes were vast. Our first night we met with the Miss Poland sponsors and staff. The following day we visited a beautiful children’s home and church outside Warsaw, in the country. Approximately 100 mentally handicapped and Downs Syndrome girls lived in this house. They were being taken care of by six or seven nuns who were incredible. They were very co-operative and disciplined people, who made it as comfortable as possible for these girls. It seems that no matter where I go and visit with children in very similar conditions, they are always very proud to show me around. They sang a special song for us. They made a special plea to carry their message around the world to help raise money for them to build a new facility. And I have carried out their request. I was there to crown the new Miss Poland and to experience another country’s version of beauty pageants. The next day was International Children’s Day at the huge arena where the profits from the Miss Poland pageant were used at their best. The day was filled with entertainment and awards. The children I had visited the day before were brought in to participate”.

                “Central America was my next stop, visiting three countries in eight days. My first stop was Belize. I was very excited to return to Belize. This stop was again sponsored by the Belize bank.. We visited the St Joseph Home where I’d like to recognise Miss Mary and a little girl named Keisha. Miss Mary was the matron of the house. This orphanage housed 20 to 30 children. These children took me on a tour of their sleeping quarters, their playground, their kitchen and the living room, equipped with a small television, where they learned to read. Keisha made a strong impression on me. I really connected with Keisha. A young, beautiful girl about 13 years old, Keisha has so much potential to do something with her life, if given the opportunity. Julia suggested we invite her as our special guest to the Fashion Show we were doing that evening. When this invitation was mentioned to her, she absolutely lit up. Miss Mary nodded her approval and Keisha was thrilled. All proceeds from this event sponsored children who were in need of heart surgery in the US. About $10,000 was raised”.

                “We visited El Salvador as the guests of Channel 2, the sponsors of Miss El Salvador. Our purpose was to promote the “Beauty with a Purpose” theme. We visited the Benjamin Bloom Hospital and Hogar dos Ninos, an orphanage and school, to express our continued support both personally and monetarily. The Benjamin Bloom Hospital was destroyed in the 1986 earthquake and efforts have been spent on the rebuilding program. The Miss World Organisation has focused much attention on this rebuilding process, including staging a fashion show featuring many previous Miss Worlds who paid all their own expenses to raise the last part of the funds required to build a temporary children’s hospital. Visits to some of these hospitals can be so saddening yet so strengthening. You see the people that are so involved in caring for these children in such deplorable conditions; such as new born babies in orange crates with light bulbs used as warming devices. It gives you a sense of inspiration and a sense of strength to know that you’re doing something that could have a lasting effect on them. I made a very strong connection with the people in El Salvador and with their struggle. This trip made me very aware of the needs of Central America. Hogar dos Ninos is managed by some very inspirational nuns. They take care of the children teaching them to become selfreliant. They teach the children employable skills such as cooking, also cleaning or tailoring for the boys and sewing for the girls. They are taught to take care of the young babies, gaining the skills needed to become nurses in hospitals. The boys are taught woodworking skills and they actually build their own beds. Even though the home is the recipient of much aid from the rest of the world, more is needed. In Guatemala, “the land of the eternal spring”, we were received by many government officials. My first impression was that God had painted the country green. It was a luscious landscape. Our hosts made a sincere effort to demonstrate their genuine concern for health care issues in their country. Howard Turner, our host and director of the Miss Guatemala pageant, was fantastic in showing us his country and in allowing us the opportunity to experience his culture. We also met with Dr Morales. He is involved with the paediatric foundation in Guatemala and is one of the few surgeons who can perform kidney surgery in that country. He is not only a great man, but a courageous man, working under very adverse conditions”.

                “Saving the best for last, I’d like to acknowledge my love and friendship for the Morleys’ they welcomed me into their home and family with much fervour. Julia and I have shared many laughs and tears during the year. It was an honour to have accompanied such a strong and giving lady who dedicates her life to “our children”. Through her extensive knowledge acquired through her travels I was exposed to a vast collection of culture and emotions. That is something I can never replace in my life and my gratitude to Julia is unending. This was a very important year for me personally. Not only did I grow as a person I became aware of my worldwide community. As an American, you’re caught up in your own world so much, you don’t realise what else is happening. This title gave me a broader perspective on world and social issues and it made me realise how blessed we are”.


Gina Tolleson

                Gina Marie Tolleson was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA on March 26, 1969, daughter of George and Imogene Tolleson. Gina has been involved with beauty pageants since she was 5 years old. At eleven years old, in 1980, she won the “Miss Cinderella South Carolina” pageant and the following year she was crowned “Little Miss America” in Myrtle Beach. She was later “Miss America Junior” at the age of 14, and then she was “Miss South Carolina Teen.” She moved to Buckhead, Atlanta, became a Model, and even participated in various fashion shows in Paris and New York. In 1988 she began studying journalism at the University of Georgia in Athens and her ambition was to become a news anchor. Gina was trained by C.B. Mathis of CB’s Limited in Lancaster, South Carolina. On Saturday, December 2, 1989, she won the title of “Miss South Carolina USA 1990” and competed in the Miss USA held on March 2, 1990 in Wichita, Kansas, where she was the first runner-up, winning her pass to Miss World. She traveled to Norway and then to London where she won the Miss World title on Thursday, November 8. She shared a room with Miss Australia. During her reign she toured the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Poland, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and the entire United States. Gina helped bringing Miss World in Atlanta the following year. She relinquished her crown in December 1991 in Atlanta, Georgia, where she was the official compere along with Peter Marshall. Later, she continued hosting local beauty events heading to Miss World. Gina met Canadian-American actor Alan Thicke, known for the series “Growing Pains” and for hosting the Miss USA and Miss Universe 1988 pageants during Miss World America 1992. She married Alan, 47 years old at the time, on August 13, 1994 at the Greer Valley Ranch, she lived with him in Hollywood, and ended up divorcing him on September 29, 1999. She has a son with Alan named Carter William Thicke born in 1997. Alan passed away on December 13, 2016 of aortic dissection type A. Gina has two other children, Luca and Tiago, born in September 2005 and December 2006, with her second husband Christian Wiesenthal, of Brazilian origin, whom she married in 2003 in California. Unfortunately, the couple separated in August 2009. Gina works as the executive editor of the Santa Barbara magazine since 2002 and currently lives in Summerland, California, with her children.


                Representatives from Belgium, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Ghana, Ireland, Namibia and United Kingdom competed in Miss Universe 1991 in Las Vegas. Of them Miss Curaçao classified among the semifinalists while the Irish was Miss Photogenic. In Miss Universe, but 1992, Miss Kenya competed. The contestants from Hungary and United Kingdom participated in Miss International 1991, where the British managed to be a semifinalist. In Miss Europe 1991 the French, the Polish and the Belgian girls took part. Miss Malta competed in the same contest but in 1992. Miss Poland and Miss Latvia took part in Miss Baltic Sea 1991, where the Polish was second runner-up. Miss Poland also won the Queen of Europe 1991 and the Finnish girl won the Miss Scandinavia of that year where Miss Iceland also participated. The Colombian was in South American Queen in 1991, the Dominican in the 1991 International Coffee Queen and the Costa Rican in that contest but in 1992.

Miss Venezuela, her husband and her first daughter

                Irish Siobhan McClafferty later became a businesswoman and a esthetician and lives in Naples, Florida. The Venezuelan Sharon Luengo dedicated herself to modeling, later she married Albano Domenico and lives in Miami, Florida, with her two daughters, Sophia and Sarah. Miss Turkey, Jülide Ateş, is a renowned TV presenter in her country. She is married to Emre İskeçeli and has a son named Ali İskeçeli. Katia Alens was the first Miss Belgium to appear nude in Playboy magazine. She became a TV presenter, actress, and singer. She married Philippe Quatennens on September 7, 2013 and has two children with her first husband, Werner Buttgereit: Noa born in December 2001 and Romeo in October 2003. Miss Curaçao, Jacqueline Krijger, studied Fashion Design at the Academy Brivil in Caracas, married Alexander Degwitz and has two children, Nicholas and Shera. She moved to Morningside, Florida, in August 2017. In 2020, she ran as a candidate for the Morningside Civic Association. Miss Egypt, Dalia El-Behery is a renowned actress in her country as are Miss Korea, Hyun-jung Ko and Miss India, Naveeda Mehdi. Miss Bolivia, Daniela Domínguez, was a former news anchor and is now a watercolor portrait artist. Peruvian Gisselle Martínez lives with her family in Toronto, Canada.

                Chilean Isabel Jara is a humanistic coach in positive psychology and a property broker in her country. Miss Luxembourg, Bea Jarzynska and Miss Trinidad-Tobago, Guenevere Kelshall, are also real estate brokers. The first lives in Quebec, Canada and the second in Kathy, Texas. Miss Nigeria, Sabina Umeh, made a career in modeling and became a singer-songwriter. She married Kese Jabari with whom she has four children, two of them twins. She is the director of the “Juicygroove” company that promotes Nigerian artistic talent. Miss Thailand, Chanakarn Chaisri, is a renowned chef and runs a restaurant in Bangkok. Miss Panama, Madelaine Leignadier, was a TV host in the 90s and part of the 2000s. She is now a businesswoman and currently gives talks on how to make a profit on Instagram. Miss Puerto Rico, Magdalena Pabón, lives in Columbia, Maryland and is divorced. Miss France, Gaëlle Voiry, took up modeling and founded a laundry company in Lyon. She married, had three children and lived in Combloux. She occasionally appeared on French TV and attended the 2013 Miss France election. On September 28, 2019, at the age of 50, she died in a traffic accident, hit by a 44-year-old irresponsible driver, who was drunk, while she was riding her bicycle in Chens-sur-Léman, Haute-Savoie.

Miss France, Gaëlle Voiry (RIP)



Thanks to Donald West, Daryl Schabinger, Neil Craig, Mario Jérez, Sally-Ann Fawcett, Michael Knittel, Rafael Mirabal-Linares, Victor Eduardo, Aaron Alejandro Montemayor, Jasol Cabral, Edman Raúl Imagen, Mills Aldorino, Herluis Rafael, Víctor Rivero, Marco Tapia, Paraiso de Reinas and Glamour Argentino.


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