By Julio Rodríguez Matute. PAYPAL.ME/RODRIGUEZMATUTE2
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE PENULTIMATE YEAR OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.-
In Venezuela the “Tragedy of Vargas” occurs in which an avalanche buries and destroys a large part of the state, leaving more than 30,000 victims. In Puebla (Mexico) the great avalanche of Teziutlán also occurs. An earthquake destroys the cities of Armenia and Pereira in Colombia with about 2,500 fatalities. Other strong earthquakes affect Izmit and Duzce (Turkey), Athens (Greece), Nantou (Taiwan), Oaxaca and Puebla (Mexico), Chamoli (India) and northwestern Algeria, with thousands of victims. An F5 tornado, the strongest in history, devastates Oklahoma (USA) and a cyclone sweeps Odisha (India) leaving about 10,000 dead, while a tsunami affects Vanuatu. In Russia the Second Chechen War begins while in Kosovo the war ends. The Euro enters into circulation as the official currency in twelve countries of the European Union. The pro-Castro Hugo Chávez assumes the Presidency of Venezuela, creates a Constituent Assembly and modifies the constitution, changing the official name to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, turning, little by little, the richest country in Latin America into one of the poorest communists states in the world. US President Bill Clinton is acquitted in an impeachment process in the Senate while Boris Yeltsin resigns from the Presidency of Russia. A massacre occurs in the National Assembly of Armenia where the Prime Minister of that country is assassinated. In the United Kingdom there is a decentralization of powers that allows the creation of Parliament and National Assembly in Scotland and Wales. The Portuguese colony of Macau is transferred to China, a country that begins to restrict the internet. The copilot of an Egyptair plane made it fall into the sea, after an hour of flight, off the coast of Massachusetts (USA), leaving 217 dead. Microsoft creates the messaging service MSN Messenger, Bill Gates becomes the richest person in the world, and on December 31, the US returns control of the Panama Canal to that country.
Mpule Kwelagobe from Botswana, who had already competed in Miss World 1997, obtains the Miss Universe crown in Trinidad-Tobago, making her debut in the contest. For her part, the Colombian Paulina Gálvez achieved the second Miss International title for that nation in Japan. Swedish Charlotte Nilsson wins Eurovision in Israel with the song “Take me to your heaven” while in 1999 the OTI Festival to be held in Veracruz, Mexico was suspended due to floods. The film “Shakespeare In Love” wins the Oscar for Best Picture. The reality show “Big Brother” is premiered in the Netherlands and the program “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”, “Family Guy” and “SpongeBob” are premiered in the US. In the cinema they premiered “Star Wars, Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace”, “The Mummy”, “Sixth Sense”, “American Beauty”, “Tarzan”, “8mm”, “The Matrix”, “Virus”, ” Instinct”, “The Green Mile”, “Bicentennial Man”, “Notting Hill”, “The Out-of-Towners”, “The Bone Collector”, “The World is not Enough”, “American Pie”, “Toy Story 2”, “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me”, “Lake Placid”, “Inspector Gadget”, “Cruel Intentions”, “Blue Streak”, “Music of the Heart”, “The Omega Code”, “Stuart Little”, “Bats” and “All About My Mother” by Almodóvar.
On the radio we enjoy the songs “Livin ‘la Vida Loca”, “Bella (She’s All I Ever had)”, “Shake Your Bon-Bon” and “Por Arriba, Por Abajo” by Ricky Martin, “Mambo No. 5” by Lou Bega, “I Want It That Way” and “Larger Than Life” by Backstreet Boys, “If I Let You Go”, “Swear It Again” and “Seasons in the Sun” by Westlife, “If You Had My Love ” and “Waiting For Tonight” by Jennifer Lopez, “It’s Not Right But It’s Ok” and “My Love Is Your Love” by Whitney Houston, “Better Off Alone” by Alice DJ, “Blue” by Eiffel 65, “Boom, Boom boom boom!!” by Vengaboys, “Around the World” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Changes” by 2pac & Talent, “All Star” by Smash Mouths, “Genie in a Bottle” by Christina Aguilera, “Man !, I Feel Like a Woman” by Shania Twain, “I Need to Know” by Marc Anthony, “Bailamos” and “Rhythm Divine” by Enrique Iglesias, “Beautiful Stranger” by Madonna, “Smooth” by Santana & Rob Thomas, “Strong Enough” by Cher, “That’s the Way It’s” by Celine Dion, “You Drive Me Crazy” by Britney Spears, “Perdóname” by Luis Fonsi, “Atado A Tu Amor” by Chayanne, “Inevitable” by Shakira, “If You Are Not” by Franco De Vita, “My Life Without Your Love” by Christian Castro and “Ese” by Jerry Rivera. This year, actor Oliver Reed, baseball player Joe DiMaggio, Croatian President Franjo Tudman, King Hussein of Jordan, King Hassan II of Morocco and former Brazilian President Joao Baptista Figueiredo passed away, as well as politician John F. Kennedy (in a plane crash), the Colombian comedian Jaime Garzón (assassinated in Bogotá), the British presenter Jill Dando (assassinated in London) and the Venezuelan actor Jorge Tuero (in the Vargas Tragedy).
THE POSSIBLE VENUES OF MISS WORLD DROPPED.-
At the beginning of the year, the Morleys received the unpleasant news that the Seychelles government was not interested in holding the Miss World pageant for the third year in a row, perhaps due to the fact that the country’s promotion during the 1998 event was not quite significant. Then, the Morleys’ gaze went to Israel, where the reigning Miss World was from, a country that was interested in sponsoring the event the previous year, however, the talks did not come to a successful end due to security problems. So the Morleys began negotiations with Las Vegas, Nevada (USA), looking for the venue for the event. According to the Tulare Advance-Register of Tulare, California, in its March 14, 1999 issue, David Altman, executive director of Miss World, said that he would like to negotiate a deal to keep the Miss World pageant in Las Vegas during several years. He added that the organization had been in serious negotiations with the MGM Grand hotel to move the pageant to Las Vegas in the fall of that year. For his part, Don Welsh, MGM Grand’s senior vice president of marketing, said in April that the hotel was studying the dates available at the MGM Grand Garden, noting that the last time the contest was held in the US was in Atlanta in 1991.
For reasons not determined, the negotiations in Las Vegas fell through in the middle of the year. Apparently, no one was interested in sponsoring an “empowered” pageant where beauty was no longer important and where contestants would no longer display their statuesque bodies in bathing suits. Due to the Americans’ refusal, the Morleys turned to Ireland, whose directors had said they wanted the venue by 2001. When negotiations were about to be finalized in early August, Ireland rejected the proposal. Tourism Minister Jim McDaid defended his decision not to host the show in his country in November due to high costs. Then the National Director of Ireland, Kieran Murray, tried to enlist the support of private companies, without success. The last hope of hosting the Miss World pageant was dashed on Thursday, Aug. 12, but Murray said there might still be a chance of landing the event in 2001 at more than double the cost.
MISS WORLD RETURNS TO LONDON.-
In the midst of despair, Eric Morley contacted the directors of Channel 5 in London, the channel that had broadcast the contest in 1998, and with them he secured the sponsorship of the forty-ninth edition of the contest in the British capital. Channel 5 managers, in record time, agreed in the third week of August that Miss World 1999 would be held at the Olympia Exhibition Center in West Kensington in December. Due to London’s inclement autumn cold, the Morleys had to urgently search for a sunny country where they could make the prerecorded filmings outdoors. Having ruled out the Seychelles Islands, they searched among the nations that had previously hosted this segment and, happily, it did not take long to get the go-ahead from Malta, a Mediterranean island nation that had already hosted the contest’s filmings in 1987.
By October 1999, the Morleys had 106 directors in as many countries. Representatives from Guyana, Iceland, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Tahiti returned to the contest after several years of absence and, in addition, it had the debut of Scotland and Wales, countries that made up the United Kingdom. Due to the recognition of the establishment of the Assembly in Wales and the Scottish Parliament, the Miss World Organization decreed that each country should now have its own representation for the first time in the pageant’s history. Northern Ireland was in stand by because, until that moment, the full devolution of the powers of the National Assembly in this fourth country of the United Kingdom had not been approved. On the other hand, the British Virgin Islands, Mauritius, Taiwan, Holland, Lithuania, Nicaragua and Thailand did not hold a Miss World contest this year.
While the first three did not nominate anyone, the others did select a contestant for the 49th edition of Miss World. The Dutch chose Ilona van Veldhuisen, a finalist in “Miss Nederland 1997” and who had competed in Miss International in 1998, while the Thais sent Kamala Kamphu na Ayutthaya, third runner-up in the last edition of the contest held in 1997. In Lithuania there was no contest because the old organizers of Miss Lithuania, who held it until 1996, filed a lawsuit against the new director, Benas Gudelis, for appropriation of the brand and improper license. The litigation lasted several months, and although Gudelis ultimately won the trial, Miss Lithuania 1999 could not take place, so he had to organize an emergency casting. There, Renata Mackeviciute was chosen as the Lithuanian representative to Miss World 1999. In Nicaragua, due to budgetary issues, the national event was not held and the 1st runner-up from the previous year, Lilianna Sofía Pilarte, was designated as Miss Nicaragua ’99. As for Trinidad, the Miss World franchise passed this year to another organization, which chose Sacha Anton for Miss World ’99. The official pageant was in mourning after the death of its director Kim Sabeeney as a result of a heart attack, shortly before the celebration of Miss Universe ’99 on the island, and because of this, the 1999 national event for Miss Universe was suspended. The new director, designer Peter Elias, organized it in February 2000. It should also be mentioned that Miss Croatia, Miss Estonia and Miss Latvia had been chosen the previous year (SEE MISS WORLD 1998) and that this year Belize, Bonaire, Cape Verde, Egypt, Iraq, Macau and Suriname decided not to renew the Miss World franchise. Below is the list of some of the national contests where the candidates for Miss World ’99 were chosen:
* MISS BELARUS.- The first edition of Miss Belarus was held on Wednesday March 18, 1998 at the National Opera and Ballet Theater in Minsk. The winner was 18-year-old Svetlana Kruk from Grodno city and her finalists were Yulia Kruglaya from Baranovichi and Olga Skoda from Gomel. 18 candidates participated and the event was broadcast on Belarusian television in prime time.
* MISS JAPAN INTERNATIONAL.- The final was held on Saturday, September 26, 1998, on the same stage at the Koseinenkin Hall in Tokyo where, hours later, Miss International 1998 would be crowned. The winners were Kana Onoda (Miss International ’99) and Aya Mitsubori (to Miss World ’99).
* MISS COSTA RICA.- Arianna Bolaños, 21, was elected Miss Costa Rica for Miss Universe ’99 and, at the same event, Fiorella Martínez, 22, was crowned Miss Costa Rica World ’99. The finalist was Michelle Roqhuett Leiva. The contest was held on Friday, October 16, 1998.
* MISS CURAÇAO.- The Willemstad Pro-Art Center hosted the event on Sunday, October 18. It was won by Jouraine Gregoria Ricardo and the finalists were Dayanarah Zulay del Carmen Roozendaal and Liselotte Tromp, while Ivandra Frans was Miss Personality. Six candidates competed.
* MISS BENIN.- The winner of Miss Benin ’98 was Elvire Missainhoun, radio host of a news program in English. The finalists were Lucette Hodonou and Zita Wama. The contest was held in Cotonou on Saturday, November 14. 22 women, representing the six departments of Benin, competed for the title. The special guest at the pageant was Patricia Spehar, Miss France ’97.
* MISS SOUTH AFRICA.- Sonia Raciti (KwaZulu-Natal), won the crown and Miss Photogenic on Saturday, December 12, 1998 at the Sun City Superbowl, obtaining the pass to Miss Universe and Miss World ’99. The finalists were Heidi van Zyl (Gauteng) and Keziah Jooste (Western Cape). The Top 5 was completed by Marguerite Rabbolini (Eastern Cape) and Amanda Ngomane (Northern Province). 9 girls participated.
* MISS ANGOLA.- It took place on Friday, December 18, 1998 at the Karl Marx movie theater in Luanda. The winner was Miss Cabinda, Egidia Torres, heading to Miss Universe ’99. The finalists were Miss Namibe, Lorena Silva (to Miss World) and Miss Huila, Mariseth Sandra. Miss Sympathy was Miss Kwanza Sul, Yola Terleira and Miss Photogenic Miss Huambo, Victoria E. Kitumba. 18 girls competed.
* FEMINA MISS INDIA.- Gul Panag from Delhi was declared “Femina Miss India-Universe ’99” at the Palmolive Femina Miss India show that was performed at the Poona Club Limited in the city of Pune on Saturday, January 16, 1999. She was followed by the girls from Mumbai, Yukta Mookhey and Shivangi Parikh, who were chosen “Femina Miss India-World” and “Femina Miss India-Asia-Pacific”, respectively. Gayatri Joshi and Sri Krupa Murali completed the Top 5. 29 candidates participated.
* BINIBINING PILIPINAS.- The Filipinos held their national contest among 29 candidates on Saturday, February 20 at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. The winners were Janelle Bautista (Bb. Pilipinas Universe), Miriam Quiambao (Bb. Pilipinas World) and Lalaine Edson (Bb. Pilipinas International). The finalists were Michelle Arcangel and Joelle Marie Pelaez. Days later, Janelle Bautista was forced to renounce the crown for citizenship issues, since she was an American, so Quiambao assumed the title from her. Georgina Anne Sandico, one of the semifinalists, was sent to Miss International.
* MISS UKRAINE.- The competition took place on Friday, February 26 at the “Meteor” Ice Sports Palace in Dnepropetrovsk with 24 participants. The winner (to Miss World) was Olga Savinskaya, 19, from Kharkiv, and the finalists, Zhanna Pikhulya (to Miss Universe), Yana Rozumovskaya, Lilia Zalunina and Olga Maliy.
* MISS SPAIN.- Lorena Bernal Pascual, representative of Guipúzcua, was crowned “Miss Spain 1999” on Tuesday, March 2 at the Institución Ferial de Jaén, among 52 competitors. Lorena, who had also taken the Miss Photogenic award, was born in Tucumán (Argentina) in May 1981 but was taken to live in the Basque Country at 8 months of age. She was sent to Miss World for not being 18 years old, as required by Miss Universe. The Maids of Honor were Miss Sevilla, Carmen Fernández and Miss Lérida, Inma Nadal González (also Miss Elegance). The remaining semifinalists were Miss Barcelona (Itziar Claramonte), Miss Burgos (Sara Pliego), Miss Córdoba (Mónica Villaplana), Miss Jaén (Griselda Pérez), Miss Madrid (Gloria Mezcua), Miss Las Palmas (Luz Marina Sosa), Miss Pontevedra (Diana Nogueira), Miss Tenerife (Ana Belén de Armas) and Miss Valladolid (Rosana Pastor). As none of the runner-ups could go to Miss Universe, one due to the illness of a relative and the other because she was registered in Miss Europe, the organization appointed Miss Pontevedra, Diana Nogueira, to that contest.
* MISS ISRAEL.- Rana Raslan, 21, was crowned by Miss World Linor Abargil as the new Miss Israel in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, March 9. Raslan, who was the first Arab to win the contest, said: “It doesn’t matter if I am Jewish or Arab. I will represent Israel to the best of my ability.” At first she would go to Miss World like hers two predecessors of hers, but the organizers decided to send her to Miss Universe. The other winners were Genny Chervoney (Beauty Maiden, to Miss World); Nofit Shevach (Queen of Grace, to Miss International); Galy Raz (Teen Queen, to Miss Asia Pacific) and Hen Talala, (Beauty Princess, who was supposed to go to Miss Europe but did not attend because it was held in Lebanon).
* MISS GUYANA.- After 7 years without a contest, Miss Guyana was held again on Sunday, March 21 at the Georgetown National Cultural Center with 7 candidates. The winner, heading to Miss Universe, was Morvinia Sobers, and the finalists were Indra Changa (for Miss World) and Nevillean Dundas. For her part, May-Ann Cheong was Miss Photogenic and Sinicka Bohb, Miss Friendship.
* DOMINICAN BEAUTY GALA.- The Miss Universe and Miss World franchises were lost this year by the National Beauty Contest. The new holders of the franchise held “The Dominican Beauty Gala” on Tuesday, March 23, where Luz García was chosen as Miss Dominican Universe. The first runner-up was Lucy Ceballos, who was announced to go to Miss World, but that did not happen because shortly after she was dismissed for bad public behavior (she beat up another ex-Miss because of a boyfriend), so Luz was also sent to Miss World. The remaining finalists were Mayerling Llopart, Nerka Méndez and Marlene Hernández.
* MISS BELGIUM.- Brigitta Callens, 18 years old, from Oudenaarde, was chosen on Friday, March 26, at the Londerzeel studios, in northern Belgium, on her way to Miss World ’99. The finalists were Alexandra Monteiro, 21, and Valerie Van Castel, 19.
* MISS AUSTRIA.- It was held on Saturday, March 27 in Vienna. The winner was 20-year-old Sandra Kölbl, for which she was sent to Miss World ’99.
* FROKEN SVERIGE.- Miss Sweden took place on Saturday, March 27 at the Stockholm Concert Hall. The winner, heading to Miss Universe, was Emma-Helena Nilsson, while the finalists were Jenny Louise Torsvik (to Miss World) and Sofia Ragenklint.
* STAR HELLAS.- The Greek beauty pageant was held on Wednesday, March 31 at the Diogenis Pallas in Athens and was attended by Eirini Skliva, Miss World ’96. The winner, as Star Hellas, was Sofia Raptis (to Miss Universe) and “Best Hair”, while Evi Vatidou was crowned as Miss Hellas (to Miss World) and “Best Body”. The finalists were Fay Georgakopoulou (for Miss Europe) and Penelope Lentzou (for Miss International). 16 young ladies participated.
* MISS BRAZIL.- It was at the Scala in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, April 8, with the participation of 27 candidates. It was won by Miss Rio Grande Do Sul, Renata Fan (to Miss Universe) and, as Miss Brazil World, Miss Rio de Janeiro, Paula de Souza Carvalho, was crowned. The other finalists were Alessandra Ferreira do Nascimento (Minas Gerais, to Miss International), Karine Bonatto (Mato Grosso) and Aline Schmitt Crescencio (Santa Catarina).
* MISS PERU WORLD.- The Jockey Plaza Shopping Center in Lima was once again the venue of the contest that brought together 22 young ladies and was hosted by Antonio Vodanovic and Jéssica Newton (Miss Peru 1987). The winner was Miss Callao, Rosa Elvira Cartagena, while the finalists were Miss Cuzco, Wendy Monteverde; and Miss Ayacucho, Fiorella Renteria. The semifinalists were completed by the representatives of La Libertad (María Fernanda Olazo), Amazonas (Katherine Mayer), Piura (Marina Mora), Ancash (Paola Rentería), Moquegua (Lucía de Olazaval), Lima (Francesca Ratto), and Lambayeque (Lorena Muro ). The event was held on Thursday, April 8.
* MISS CZECH REPUBLIC- The blonde Helena Houdová won the title on Saturday, April 10 at the Grandhotel Pupp in Karlovy Vary, on her way to Miss World ’99. The finalists were Sárka Sikorová (to Miss International ’99) and Jitka Kocurová (to Miss Europe ’99 and Miss Universe 2000).
* MISS TURKEY.- Ayşe Hatun Önal from Istanbul won the crown on Friday, April 16 at the Eresin Hotel in Istanbul, in the event organized by Kanal D. Öznur Erkan (for Miss Universe), Hülya Mutlu (for Miss Europe) and Merve Alman (to Miss International) were the finalists.
* MISS ECUADOR.- The 49th edition of Miss Ecuador was held on Friday, April 16 at the National Theater Casa de la Cultura in Quito with 19 candidates. The winner was Carolina Alfonso de la Paz, a native of Quito. Miss World Ecuador was Sofia Morán from Manabi, while the finalists were Ina Vallarino, Paulina Flores and Vanessa González.
* MISS SLOVAKIA.- Andrea Veresová, 18, from Zilina, became the most beautiful girl in Slovakia, as well as Miss Congeniality and Miss Internet on Sunday, April 18. The finalists, Andrea Bartková and Dusana Fridrichová, were sent to Miss International and Miss Europe respectively.
* FEGURÐARDROTTNING ÍSLANDS.- It took place with 23 girls on Friday, May 21 at the Broadway Restaurant in Reykjavik. The Icelandic Beauty Queen crown went to 18-year-old Katrín Rós Baldursdóttir from Akranes, while the finalists were Ásbjörg Kristjánsdóttir and Bryndís Björg Einarsdóttir.
* MISS KOREA.- Held on Sunday, May 23 at the Auditorium of the Sejong Cultural Center in Seoul. The winner was Yeon-joo Kim (to Miss Universe 2000) and the finalists Na-na Han (to Miss World), Soo-hyun Seol, Hyo-joo Kim (to Miss Asia Pacific), Ok-mi Kang, Hye-won Lee and Hye-im Shon.
* MISS ALBANIA.- Venera Mustafá, 19, from Pristina (Kosovo), was crowned Miss Albania on Saturday, May 29 among 24 contestants.
* MISS WORLD COLOMBIA.- The 19-year-old Mónica Escolar Danko from Barranquilla, a lover of water skiing and dance, won the scepter and the crown at the Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Theater in Bogotá on Monday, June 14, despite her response when, doubtful, she said she would like to have been the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She prevailed over the candidates from Cundinamarca, Consuelo Elvira Sanabria, and Norte de Santander, Ana Paola Pineda, who were elected vice-queen and first runner-up, respectively. The remaining semifinalists were the candidates from Vaupés, Luz Teresita Acevedo; Amazonas, Paola Andrea Vanegas; Risaralda, Andrea Juliana Arango; Santander, Mónica López; Valle, Adriana Gómez; Nariño, Ángela María Grisales; Colombia-USA, Catalina Rodríguez; Huila, Vanessa Solano, and Antioquia, Hilda María Cano. 28 candidates participated. Among the prizes for the new Miss World were a late-model car and 7 million pesos. It is worth noting the solidarity character of this reign, which made a contribution of 10 thousand dollars to the children affected by the earthquake in Armenia. The hostess was the Venezuelan Nina Sicilia (Miss International ’85).
* MISS TAHITI.- Manoa Fruge was elected on Friday, June 18 at the Papeete city hall.
* STAR CYPRUS.- It was held on Thursday, July 1, and was won by Chrystalla Groutidou, who would host Miss Universe 2000 in Cyprus. As Miss Cyprus and representative of the country in Miss World was Sofia Georgiou, while Marina Christodoulou was Miss Carlsberg and Nicoletta Violari Miss Mediterranean. The finalists were Koula Mixail and Vicky Pogiatzi.
* MISS BOTSWANA.- Alimah Isaacs was crowned on Saturday, July 3 for Miss World.
* MISS ARUBA.- It was held on Saturday, July 3, with Tamara Scaroni winning for Miss Universe. For her part, Cindy Martinus was crowned Miss World Aruba and Morajma Dake was Miss Tourism Aruba.
* MISS GIBRALTAR.- Abigail García was the winner on the way to Miss World. The finalists were Katie Cload and Magelle Ignacio. The contest was held on Saturday, July 10 at the Queen’s Cinema.
* MISS HONG KONG.- The Hung Hom Coliseum in Hong Kong was the venue for the event which was won by Sonija Kwok (for Miss Universe and Miss Chinese International) and the finalists were Marsha Yuan (for Miss World) and Myolie Wu (for Miss International). The contest was held on Sunday, July 11.
* MISS BAHAMAS WORLD.- The Miss Bahamas International pageant was renamed “Miss Bahamas World” and was held on Sunday, July 25 at the Princess Country Club in Freeport, Grand Bahama, with 13 participants. The crown went to Mary Watkins, a girl of only 16 years old, from a Freeport foster home as she had been abandoned as a child by her parents. As finalists were Lawanna Stuart and Shukuyana Smith.
* MISS BOLIVIA.- It was held at the Japanese Social Club in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra on Wednesday, August 4 with 18 participants. The winner was Miss Santa Cruz, Yenny Vaca Paz (to the South American Queen ’99 and Miss Universe 2000). Miss Bolivia ’99 was Miss Tarija, Raquel Rivera (to Miss World) and Miss Bolivia International, Miss Santa Cruz, Natalia Arteaga Gamarra. The finalists were Miss Potosí, Marcela Cuellar and Miss Litoral, Anabella Bejarano.
* MISS CANADA INTERNATIONAL.- Held on Thursday, August 12 at the Living Arts Center in Mississauga with 30 candidates. It was won by Mireille Eid from the Canadian capital on the way to Miss World. Three contestants resigned on the eve of the contest. They were Miss Toronto, Melanie Neill; Miss Niagara Region, Giovanna Bonomo; and Miss Southern Ontario Julie Janecka, alleging mismanagement by organizer Sylvia Stark, who had been convicted in 1997 of obstructing justice. “I question her professionalism and her legitimacy,” said Miss Toronto, who resigned in disgust along with the two aforementioned companions of hers.
* MISS IRELAND – Miss Galway, Emir Holohan Doyle, a 19-year-old music student, was crowned Miss Ireland on Tuesday, August 17 at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin among 30 contestants. The judges included Miss World ’97, Diana Hayden and Boyzone manager Louis Walsh.
* MISS MALAYSIA WORLD.- It was won by Jaclyn Lee Tze Wey, 24 years old and with a degree in economics. The finalists were Elaine Daly, 22, and Melissa Kiran, 19. The event was held at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, August 20.
* SUOMEN NEITO.- The Finns chose Maria Laamanen as their Miss World representative on Saturday, August 21. The finalists were Elina Hurve and Miia Lakkisto.
* MISS WALES.- Clare Marie Daniels was crowned among 24 finalists, at the Deeside Leisure Center in Queensferry, North Wales, on Thursday, August 26, marking Wales’ formal Miss World debut.
* MISS TANZANIA.- Hoyce Temu was chosen on Friday, August 27 at a hotel in the capital on the way to Miss World. Ayan Hassan and Hellen Ongara were the finalists.
* MISS HUNGARY.- The Thália Theater in Budapest hosted the event where Erika Dankai was crowned on Friday, August 27, to represent her country in Miss World and in the Model of the Year. 12 beauties competed.
* MISS SWAZILAND.- Colleen Tulonen was elected on the night of Saturday, August 28. The finalists were Patricia Bennett and Zodwa Mamba. Naniki Mnisi and Okwakhe Phungwayo completed the Top 5.
* MISS SWITZERLAND- Anita Buri, 21, from Berg, in the Canton of Thurgau, was crowned Miss Switzerland on Saturday, August 28 in Lugano to represent the country in Miss World ’99 and Miss Universe 2000. The first runner-up was Angelika Nierhoff, 23, and the second runner-up Kristina Siegenthaler, 18.
* MISS JAMAICA WORLD.- It took place on Saturday, September 4 with 20 girls at the Le Meridien Jamaica Pegasus Hotel where the 19-year-old Desiree Depass was selected for Miss World. Kacy Hamilton won the title of Miss Jamaica International and Zudi Munroe that of Miss Jamaica Caribbean.
* MISS NEW ZEALAND WORLD.- Coralie Warburton, a 20-year-old law student from South Auckland, won the competition held on Sunday, September 5. The finalists were Julia Ryan and Anna Trubuhovich.
* MISS AUSTRALIA WORLD.- Nalishebo Gaskell, 21, from the city of Darwin and of Zambian descent, was crowned Miss Australia World on Monday, September 6.
* MISS SCOTLAND.- Stephanie Norrie, from the city of Cumbernauld, won the title of “Miss Scotland ’99” at the Grosvenor House hotel in Glasgow on Tuesday, September 7, marking the Scottish debut in Miss World. Amanda Jane Taylor was a finalist.
* MISS NEPAL.- Held on Friday, September 10 with 14 entrants. The winner was 19-year-old Sweta Singh (to Miss World). The first runner-up was Nikita Bhandari (for Miss Asia Pacific). The other finalists were Kripa Shrestha, Subani Buramagar, and Ritu Subba.
* MISS VENEZUELA.- Miss Miranda, Martina Thorogood, 24, was chosen “Miss Venezuela 1999” among 26 candidates on Friday, September 10 at the Poliedro de Caracas. By decision of Osmel Sousa, Martina would go to both Miss World ’99 and Miss Universe 2000. The finalists were Miss Nueva Esparta, Norkys Batista (to Miss Atlantic, Miss Mesoamerica, Miss Latina and International Coffee Reign) and Miss Vargas, Andreína Llamozas (to Miss International). The semifinalists were completed by María Luisa Flores (Apure), Antonella Baricelli (Carabobo), Rocío Álvarez (Cojedes), María Laura Lugo (Costa Oriental), Eva Priscila Soler (Delta Amacuro), Claudia Moreno (Federal District) and Mayerling Moreno (Monagas). The 5-hour event was animated again by Maite Delgado, and this time with “El Puma” José Luis Rodríguez, Carmen Victoria Pérez, Bárbara Palacios and Fausto Malavé.
* NUESTRA BELLEZA MEXICO.-It was held on Friday, September 10 (and broadcast on Saturday 11) at the Lienzo Charro “Cuna de la Charrería” in the city of Pachuca, in the state of Hidalgo and was called “Nuestra Belleza Milenio México”. The event was presented by Marco Antonio Regil and Lupita Jones and 32 beauties participated in it. As in the previous year’s contest, two winners were crowned. Nuestra Belleza Mexico 1999 was Leticia Judith Murray Acedo de Sonora (Miss Universe 2000) and Nuestra Belleza World Mexico 1999, the young Danette Velasco Bataller from the Federal District (Miss World ’99). The finalists were Lynette Delgado Gastelum from Sinaloa (also Miss Photogenic and Miss Personality), Graciela Soto from Morelos and Rosa María Aragón from Tamaulipas. The Sinaloan had been designated as Miss Dorian Gray, Steps to Fame 1999, which gave her the right to represent Mexico in Miss International ’99. A few days after the contest was held, she decided to renounce her title, which passed to Graciela Soto Cámara from the state of Morelos.
* MISS ROMANIA WORLD.- Nicoleta Luciu, 19 years old, won the contest on the night of Saturday, September 11, in Bucharest. The finalists were Cristina Varzaru, 21, and Cristina Anghel, 16.
* MISS SLOVENIA.- Neda Gacnik, 19, was elected on Saturday, September 11, at the Linhart Hall in Cankarjev dom in Ljubljana, but was crowned by her predecessor on Monday, September 20, at a popular event held in Preseren Square in Ljubljana.The finalists were Mateja Kisovec and Silvija Osojnik (Miss Photogenic). 22 young ladies competed for the title.
* MISS PANAMA.- Analía Núñez was crowned on the way to Miss Universe 2000 on Saturday, September 11 at the Anayansi Theater of the Atlapa Convention Center. She also won the award for Miss Internet. For her part, Jessenia Casanova was chosen Miss Panama for Miss World and Marianela Salazar as Miss Panama for Miss Asia Pacific. The finalists were Vanessa Vicuña and Kenia Meláis who was also Miss Photogenic. Twelve beauties participated.
* AN ITALIAN FOR MISS WORLD.- It was held in Chianciano Terme on Thursday, September 16. It was won by Roman Gloria Nicoletti, 19 years old and 1.73 m, who was also Miss Photogenic. The finalists were Alessandra Vanni (also Miss Elegance) and Marianna Borro (also Ragazza Cioe’1999).
* MISS POLAND.- Held on Saturday, September 25 in the Congress Hall of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw and which was won by Marta Kwiecien, among 20 candidates, on the way to Miss World. The finalists were Emilia Raszynska (for Miss Universe), Dorota Czaja and Dominika Milewska.
* NORSK MISS WORLD.- Blonde Anette Haukaas won the crown on Saturday, September 25 to represent the Norwegians at Miss World ’99. The finalist was future MP Stine Lund.
* MISS UNITED KINGDOM.- “Miss Take a Break”, Nicola Willoughby, 18, from Lincoln, was crowned at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Wednesday, September 29. The finalists were Caroline Porter (Miss Blackpool), Anna Backhouse (Miss Swindon) and Zoe Salmon (Miss Northern Ireland). The reigning Miss Wales and Miss Scotland, who had already won their direct pass to Miss World, also competed in the event. 25 contestants participated.
* MISS WORLD OF PUERTO RICO.- Arlene Torres, Miss Bayamón, was elected as “Miss World of Puerto Rico ’99” among 31 candidates on Thursday, September 30 at the Luis A. Ferré Fine Arts Center. The finalists were Janice Velez Rosario (San Lorenzo) and Wanda Treviño (Mayaguez). Mabelle Bello (Adjuntas) and Yesenia Rodríguez (Yabucoa) completed the Top 5. The presenters of the event were the Venezuelan Daniel Sarcos and the Puerto Rican Dagmar Rivera, finalist of Miss Puerto Rico 1972
* MISS GHANA.- Mariam Sugru Bugri, representative of the Brong Ahafo region, was elected “Miss Ghana 1999” (to Miss World) on Saturday, October 2. The first runner-up was Felicia Ocloo.
* MISS ZAMBIA.- Cynthia Chikwanda, 21, was anointed Miss Zambia for Miss World on Saturday, October 2. The finalists were Sidonia Mwape (to Miss Universe 2000) and Diana Sipungwee.
* MISS WORLD USA.- Californian Natasha Allas, 25, who had been Miss California Teen USA 1992, was selected as Miss World USA 1999 on Tuesday, October 5. The finalists were Angelique Breaux, also from California, and who was 2nd. runner-up at Miss USA ’99; Lauren Poppell from South Carolina, Jaclyn Solinger from Iowa and Erin Towne from Hawaii.
* BEAUTY OF RUSSIA (KRASA ROSSII) .- It was held on Thursday, October 7 at the Moscow Youth Palace with 27 participants. The winner was 23-year-old Elena Efimova (from the Kemerovo region) heading for Miss World ’99. The finalists were 21-year-old Anna Tatarintseva (Nizhny Novgorod) for Miss Asia Pacific ’99 and 17-year-old Elena Smyshlyaeva (Yekaterinburg). The Top 5 was completed by Vera Izmailova (Tyumen) and Alena Albasheeva (from the Republic of Buryatia), 17 years old.
* MISS SINGAPORE WORLD.- Audrey Quek won at the Theater-Rest. Neptune on Saturday, October 16.
* MISS WORLD CHILE.- It was held on Saturday, October 16 at Canal 13 TV’s Studio 3, and the winner was Lissette Sierra, 24, from Arica. The finalists were Pamela Díaz, 18, from Puerto Varas and Magdalena Pons, 18, from Curicó. 10 finalists competed.
* MISS KENYA.- Held on Tuesday, October 19 at the Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi. The winner, heading to Miss World, was Esther Muthee and the finalists were Nelly Wamai and Michelle Njeri.
* MISS YUGOSLAVIA.- Lana Maric won the title on Wednesday, October 20 in Belgrade, heading for Miss World ’99. The finalists were Danica Prvulovic (for Miss Universe 2000), Marija Petkovic (for Miss Intercontinental), Ljiljana Ajdukovic (for Top Model of the World) and Marija Jevtic (for Miss Europe).
* MISS LEBANON.- It was held on Saturday, October 23 in Beirut. It was won by Norma Naoum, heading to Miss World ’99 and Miss Universe 2000. The finalists were Sahar Ghazzawi and Nicole-Rita Ghazal.
* MISS PARAGUAY WORLD.- The event, enlivened by the singer Dyango on Saturday, October 23 in Asunción, brought together 16 young people who competed for the title. The winner was Mariela Candia.
* MISS KAZAKHSTAN.- The third national Kazakh beauty contest was held in the “Congress Hall” of Astana on Friday, October 29 with 30 candidates. The winner was Assel Issabayeva (to Miss World) and the finalists were Ainur Ismailova, Julia Novozhilova and Elvira Dzhakupova.
* MISS BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA.- Alisa Sisic, a 20-year-old nurse from Zenica, was crowned on Friday, October 29 in Sarajevo. The finalists were 19-year-old Samra Begovic from the village of Bosanska Gradiska and 18-year-old Zeljka Rakovic from Banja Luka.
* MISS FRANCE FOR MISS WORLD.- Madame De Fontenay lost the Miss World franchise in 1999 and the Morleys awarded it to Antoine de Villejoie from the Miss France Committee, who held the “Miss France for Miss World” contest at the end of October at the Palace Trianon de Versailles, Sandra Bretones being the winner. The finalists were Karine Jalabert (Miss Teenager France 1999), Sophie Lahoussine and Myriam Levacher.
LETTER FROM THE MORLEYS TO MISS FRANCE ORGANIZATION
DID NOT COMPETE
The Director of Miss Canada International, Mrs. Sylvia Stark, 36, came to the fore after three contestants withdrew on the eve of the national pageant accusing her of organizational mismanagement. But these problems were not new to her. Ms. Stark’s criminal record included being sued twice by contestants in the Miss Huronia, which she used to hold in the early 1990s. She was charged in 1995 with fraud of more than $ 1,000 for issuing a forged document and in 1997 for obstructing justice, following complaints that the money raised for charity by Miss Huronia was not used for such a thing. Ms. Stark received a suspended sentence, which meant that she did not serve any jail time and one year of probation. She was also sued by two former Miss Huronias. Helena Guergis sued after winning Miss Huronia in 1992 and paid Ms. Stark $ 4,000 to enter Miss Universe Canada in Edmonton. Guergis later discovered that the cost to enter the competition was $ 1,075. She demanded to recover the money from her along with the cost of the flight and the dress worn in the competition. Guergis said that she won the lawsuit against Ms. Stark, but she was unable to collect the money from her.
For her part, Heather Davison took Ms. Stark to court after receiving no awards, including the $ 2,000 she was promised when she became Miss Huronia in 1991. She received $ 500, but was never able to cash the bad checks of Mrs. Stark. Brooke Ross, a spokeswoman for the pageant, said the reported criminal and civil legal issues were not true. “That’s all false, false statements,” she said. “Are we in 1999 and are we not looking back at the past right now?” As for the contestants who dropped out, she said “three girls that I think are sadly confused,” Ross said. The three contestants who withdrew said they had contributed $ 2,000 to enter, a fee they were supposed to pay for the hotel and food. But, they said, the hotel and food had actually been paid for by sponsors. They said there was a lack of professionalism about the event, there were no auditors, the swimsuit competition was judged by the sponsors, and the girls were kept isolated from the news. They didn’t know until they got to the competition that if they won, they would have to leave school and their jobs for a year. Stark had been running the Miss Canada International pageant since 1995.
THE “QUEEN PINOCHIO” DISMISSED FOR BEING A LIAR.-
She was crowned Miss Peru World and even President Alberto Fujimori went for a bike ride with her, but her reign ended amid strong accusations. The organization fired the beauty queen for lying about the loss of her crown from the Miss Amber World pageant. It all started when its director, Jéssica Newton, sent her to compete in the Dominican Republic for Miss Amber World contest, where the brunette Rosa Elvira Cartagena was voted the Most Popular Miss, according to the viewers of the program “Sábado de Corporán” space where the event was broadcast. Perhaps thinking that no one was going to find out, she invented that she had won the main title, when she actually did not qualify even in the top three (the event was won by Miss Costa Rica, Viviana Brenes). The press echoed the supposed triumph until the aforementioned program was broadcast in Peru weeks later, discovering that the Cartagena version was false and that in reality, she had never won the contest. But before that, the model had dared to denounce to the press and to the Lima police that the crown obtained in the Miss Amber World had been stolen when she was at the door of her house in the urbanization Mirones Bajo. And to top it all, according to Newton, Cartagena had organized a popular collection to recover the crown from her. Thus, she earned the nickname “La Reina Pinocha” (Queen Pinocchio).
Cartagena was officially dismissed at a press conference called by Newton on Thursday, August 19. The beauty committee accused her of being a liar and added that a Peruvian beauty queen should be a role model for the youth, but that Cartagena had lied on numerous occasions and that for this reason she could not continue to be the queen of Peruvians. Cartagena, between tears and sobs, had denounced the theft of her scepter and her crown, valued at 100,000 dollars, but she was dethroned by the organizing company of the beauty contest for having publicly failed to tell the truth. Jéssica Newton said that her institution made that decision, unprecedented in Peru, because Rosa Elvira Cartagena, the beautiful 20-year-old mulatto, lied when claiming that she had won Miss Amber World. However, it was rumored that the real reasons for her removal had been other. According to sources, her mulatto appearance would have caused great discomfort among some Peruvian social circles, concerned about the international image that her presence in Miss World could generate for Peru, motivating dark actions that compromised Jéssica Newton and forced the model, who had the support of the Fujimori government and her Chalaco people, to hand over her crown. Weeks later, President Jamil Mahuad of Ecuador, with whom Peru had signed a peace agreement on October 26, 1998, in a symbolic act crowned Cartagena again after being dismissed as Peruvian representative to Miss World ’99.
CHANNEL 5 ANNOUNCES THE BROADCAST OF MISS WORLD.-
On Wednesday, October 6, a spokesperson for London’s Channel 5, a television station that began broadcasting in 1997, told a press conference that the first Miss World beauty pageant to take place in the United Kingdom since 1990 would be broadcast in Great Britain on Channel 5 on Saturday, December 4. Channel 5 had won a bidding war for television rights in the UK, when it beat a bid of US $ 1.35 million (£ 850,000) from Sky One to cover the event for two years. “I am delighted that we are bringing Miss World into the 21st century. Last year’s event captured the imagination of the public and proved that it remains one of the most beloved events on British television.” Among the innovations planned for the Miss World ’99 pageant was the expansion of the pageant to feature 99 entrants. The contest’s spokesperson, Stephen Douglas, (the Morleys’ son began using this name from 1998 so that he would not be related as a descendant of Eric and Julia), said that Miss Scotland and Miss Wales would compete for the first time this year, in honor of delegated parliaments. However, the return of the contest to British TV was not well received by all. Rachel Loos, Elle’s deputy director, compared Miss World to the Eurovision Song Contest. “It’s tacky and smells like another era. I’m not surprised Channel 5 is bringing it back because, despite ourselves, we watch it and find it strangely entertaining, humiliating and deeply distressing,” she said. Soccer and feature films aside, the previous year’s contest had drawn Channel 5’s largest audience when it brought the contest to terrestrial television for the first time in a decade. Channel 5’s Adam Perry played down the financial benefit of acquiring the competition, but the 1998 broadcast had achieved a top four rating for Channel 5, with 3.2 million viewers. Advertising for the event on Saturday, December 4, had long since sold out at a good rate. Organizers hoped that bringing the contest back to Britain after years abroad would make this year’s event even more popular. But despite what the British might think, the televised contest was still very popular around the world.
MISS NORTHERN IRELAND IS NOT ACCEPTED.-
Lack of progress in the peace process may have cost Northern Ireland a place in the Miss World ’99 pageant, a Northern Irish newspaper reported on October 15. Around 99 women from around the world would compete for the glittering crown in London in December, but Miss Northern Ireland Zoe Salmon from Bangor would not be one of them. The stalemate in political talks and the continued inability to achieve government in Stormont meant that the province did not yet have its own parliament, thus frustrating the young woman’s ambitions, excluding her from the beauty pageant. Miss Northern Ireland organizer Alison Campbell said she hoped the decision would be reversed. “When I asked the question, why not this year? They told me it had to do with the schedule,” she said. “We had our competition in June, which was before the decision was made.” “Now I’ve been told that if I apply for a Miss World license for Northern Ireland next year, they would consider it.” Finally, the National Assembly of Northern Ireland was passed and its powers officially restored on Thursday, December 2, two days before the Miss World final, but it was too late to include Miss Northern Ireland in the 1999 pageant.
MISS BOSNIA DISQUALIFIED FOR NUDITY.-
A tearful Miss Bosnia was forced to give up her crown on Tuesday, November 9, after photos of her posing nude surfaced in a Sarajevo newspaper. Alisa Sisic, a 20-year-old nurse from the central Bosnian city of Zenica, had been elected Miss Bosnia 10 days earlier. On Thursday the 4th, photos of Sisic posing nude appeared in the Sarajevo daily Dnevni Avaz. Shocked by the photos and worried that they might tarnish the name of Miss Bosnia, the organizer of the pageant, who was left to decide on Miss Bosnia’s fate by Eric and Julia Morley, consulted with his colleagues and decided to revoke Sisic’s title. “After consultations with London, we have decided to disqualify Alisa Sisic,” said Zdravko Zubak, the organizer on Tuesday. “Alisa Sisic, Miss Bosnia 1999, is disqualified according to the rules of the Miss World pageant and will not represent Bosnia-Herzegovina in the final competition in London,” the owner of the Miss World Bosnia franchise said at a press conference. The first runner-up, Samra Begovic, 19, of Bosnian nationality but living in Sweden, received the title. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Sisic, who also lost the prize of 2,000 Bosnian Marks (about US $ 1,064) and a Skoda Felicia car, tried to put on a brave face, saying: “This is difficult for me, but I am not going to cry”. She said she had never given permission for those pictures taken the previous year to be published, but photographer Edin Karahusic and Dnevni Avaz newspaper insisted they were free to do so. Sisic lashed out at the newspaper and the photographer saying “you have destroyed my life” and she burst into tears. Zubak said that he had fully supported her, but that he had no choice but to disqualify her.
THE CONTEST BEGINS.-
The candidates for Miss World ’99 were due to arrive in London between Friday the 12th and Monday, November 15. But the expected 99 candidates did not arrive in the British capital, some did not arrive for economic reasons and others for visa reasons. Miss BENIN (Elvire Missainhoun), Miss BELARUS (Svetlana Kruk), Miss CURAÇAO (Dayanarah Zulay del Carmen Roozendaal), Miss NICARAGUA (Lillianna Sofía Pilarte Centeno) and Miss BARBADOS (Olivia Harding) could not attend. The Curacao girl had previously been sent to the Top Model of the World in Germany, an event held in October, managing to qualify as second runner-up after the Slovak Zuzana Fabryova, who won the title, and the Colombian Mónica Escolar, who would have competed with her again in Miss World. On the other hand, three national organizations had previously announced that Miss ALBANIA (Verena Mustafá), Miss UGANDA (Nabrosa Fibola Contz) and Miss NAMIBIA (Vaanda Katjiuongua) would not compete this year, for budgetary reasons, in addition to Miss NORTHERN IRELAND (Zoe Salmon ), already mentioned above, for parliamentary issues. However, the 1999 contest, renewed after feminists condemned it as a degrading “cattle market,” this year attracted a record 94 contestants, the highest number of contestants up to that point in the contest’s history, which for the first time exceeded 90 contestants. Organizers insisted it was about “female empowerment” and not who looked good in a bikini. “We are very proud to have gotten 94 countries this year. This is a world record,” said Eric Morley, introducing the 49th edition of the contest. The sensation of the moment was the debut of Scotland and Wales in Miss World. “The issue of devolution (of powers) in Wales and Scotland changed the way we handled things. It had to be that way.” “These two countries proved that they were running their own affairs and that meant that they had the right to have their own representative at Miss World,” said Julia Morley. “Why could they only compete in soccer?” She asked. For his part, Eric Morley confirmed that this year, talent and personality would be vital when choosing the winner.
The first official activity of the contest was held on Tuesday, November 16, with the official launch of the contest by Channel 5, who held a press conference at the Home Club in Leicester Square with the attendance of 89 of the 94 beautiful participants, to ensure the contest would be horny, but it would be neither porny nor cheesy. The candidates came to the place in two groups and who posed for the press at the entrance of the nightclub. By that time the representatives of Madagascar, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Swaziland and Tahiti had not arrived in London. Stephen Douglas presented them in groups of 4 alphabetically, with the exception of the last group which was of five. This nightclub closed its doors for good two years later, in 2001.
TRIP TO MALTA.-
Already complete the group of 94 contestants, all of them traveled to Malta on the morning of Thursday, November 18 at the invitation of the Malta Tourism Authority. After 3 and a half hours of flight, the beauties arrived on the Mediterranean island from London aboard an Air Malta plane. The girls were greeted with flowers at the international airport and participated in the welcoming ceremony. Later they boarded buses that took them to the north of the island, where they took a ferry to the island of Gozo. There, the girls stayed at the Golden Tulip Vivaldi Hotel for a week. They did all the filming on the beaches and pools of Gozo. The participants were divided into 8 groups with a dozen entrants each. The candidates recorded their performances while doing beach sports, sunbathing, swimming, riding jet skis or while enjoying the pool at the host hotel for the swimwear section of the show. The week was devoted almost exclusively to filming, but the girls also enjoyed a day off.
The weather on the island had been too beautiful for the contestants to think about competing with each other. “We’ve been relaxing here and getting to know the girls, it’s been a really good time,” Miss Canada said in an interview from her room in Malta. The contestants visited a local beauty school and watched a popular TV show taping in which they were asked questions about their countries. “The Maltese are excited that we are here and they have been very hospitable, so wherever we go they support us. That is what makes the experience worthwhile.” Miss Italy was in that same group and had learned some words in the language of the others. “It feels like I’m in school because you’re always learning new languages,” she said. “The most important thing is your personality and that is something you carry from within,” added Miss Canada. She said that she was not homesick and that she spoke to her mother on a daily basis. On Thursday, November 25, the Misses returned to London, arriving in the evening at Stansted Airport in Essex, 42 miles northeast of the city center, giving them only time to unpack and go to bed.
ACTIVITIES IN LONDON.-
In reality there were few recreational or tourist activities in London. In that city they were lodged in three floors of the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel in Piccadilly. As soon as they returned from Malta, they dedicated themselves to rehearsing up to 12 hours a day for the grand finale at the Olympia, a performance hall located just 15 minutes from the hotel by car. They generally arrived at 8 in the morning and left at 8 or 9 at night. On Friday, November 26, they went to dinner at the Marouch Lebanese restaurant, where they danced, had fun and were served champagne and desserts. On Sunday 28, a lunch was held with the children of the Variety Club, where the candidates gave the small gifts brought from their countries. On Monday 29 the “Miss World Family & Christmas Party” was held for relatives of the contestants who were in London. They did a talent show at the party. Miss Canada sang Conga (a Gloria Estefan song), with Miss Italy and Miss Lebanon dancing as background singers, but her cassette was damaged while she was singing. She was not scared, but made everyone stand up and made them dance. Five of the contestants fell ill during the contest with a strange allergy, including Miss Portugal, but recovered in time for the finals.
Subsequently, on Tuesday, November 30, a charity luncheon and national gift auction were held at the Grosvenor House hotel under the motto of “Beauty with a Purpose” and the money collected would go to benefit the various charities of the Variety Club International. Julia Morley mentioned that the Variety Club had saved the lives of hundreds of children and that thanks to the contributions they were sending 12 dialysis machines to El Salvador that week. On Thursday, December 2, a dozen candidates were invited to a photo session in the ‘Living Island’ Zone of the Millennium Dome, a place selected by Eric Morley for the fiftieth anniversary of the contest in 2000. They were the representatives of United Kingdom, Venezuela, India, United States, Belgium, Germany, Latvia, Singapore, Philippines, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong and Puerto Rico. That same day, at night, the Dress Rehearsal was held at the Olympia and, the next day, Friday, December 3, the judges evaluated them privately, in a three-minute interview with each one, where the contestants appeared in evening dresses and were able to use interpreters if required.
And, despite the fact that they had said that the swimsuit presentation had been removed from the contest, the candidates appeared in front of the judges in groups of eight so that they could compare them. “We were not allowed to model our swimsuits like in Miss Universe! We had to stay there like pieces of meat in a market!”, complained Miss Brazil, Paula Carvalho. Most of the girls felt the same about that competition. When asked how they felt during the preliminary interviews, most of the contestants had a similar opinion. They loved being interviewed by “Superman” Dean Cain and racing driver Eddie Irvine. Who they did not like at all was Linda Petursdóttir, Miss World ’88 from Iceland. “She wouldn’t let us go until we told her what we most regretted having done in our past. She was like torture!” Said a European contestant. The judges issued three lists with the ten contestants of their preference in each one of them, one list by personality in interview, another by beauty and elegance in evening dress, and the last by figure and deportment in a bathing suit. The ten most named would be the 10 semifinalists. The results were kept by Reg Poole and Michael Macario, from a British auditing firm. The fate was already set!!.
Miss USA recorded all her experience in the contest with a video camera. Her parents are Finnish, as is Miss Swaziland’s father; Miss Spain was born in Tucumán (Argentina) and her parents are Argentine and Miss Israel lived for nine years in Kazakhstan, the country where she was born. Miss Australia’s mother is from Zambia and she lived in that African country until 1991, becoming the first black-skinned Miss Australia. Her twin sister Nandila traveled to London with her and they were sometimes confused during the pageant. Miss Ireland’s father is Kuwaiti and Miss Bosnia resided in Sweden. Miss United Kingdom, Nicola Willoughby, was the last candidate in Miss World history to wear that sash. Sixty-two of the contestants were college students. Miss Canada turned 24 the day after the Miss World finals. The Dominican and South African came from competing in Miss Universe, where the latter was 4th. runner-up. The Colombian was 1st. runner-up of the Top Model of the World ’99 and the Latvian 2nd. runner-up in the Miss Baltic Sea ’99. The Hungarian competed in Miss Europe ’99, the Dutch in Miss International ’98 and Miss Aruba in Miss International ’99. The Bolivian was in Miss Intercontinental ’97 and Miss Costa Rica in the International Coffee Queen ’99. Miss USA was Top 6 in Miss Teen USA 1992. For her part, Miss Estonia won Miss Globe ’98 and had been 1st. runner-up in the Miss Hawaiian Tropic Intl. ’99. Here is a table with the most important data for each contestant:
|AMERICAN VIRGIN ISLANDS||Shani Afua Smith||17||I was promoted from sixth grade with the second highest honours in my class, and throughout junior and senior high school I maintained high honours. I have graduated with awards for outstanding citizenship and leadership. Being in the pageant meant requesting deferment in my admission to Johnston & Wales University in Rhode Island. However I intend to complete my studies. I have a particular interest in forensics, in the future I would like to establish and manage police laboratories in the Virgin Islands. I enjoy reading, playing the Jimbay Drum and softball.|
|ANGOLA||Lorena Silva||21||I am a first year student of Engineering in Electronics. I joined Luanda Institute. After 4 years I received a certificate as Electricity Technician, medium level. My hope is to be an Electronics Engineer and to fight against poverty in Angola, and corruption in schools, thus helping to make a better place for children – the most vulnerable targets of war. I really enjoy reading and playing the piano. Speak Portuguese and Spanish.|
|ARGENTINA||Denisse Verónica Barrionuevo||20||I am in my second year at the Faculty of Engineering Systems. I also teach Dancing and English. My hobbies are sports, music and painting. Exhibiting my paintings was most exciting. My dear father is an Attorney and my mother a teacher. My ambition is to prosper in life and make my parents proud. Speak Spanish, Portuguese and English. She is from Misiones.|
|ARUBA||Cindy Vanessa Cam Lin Martinus||19||Growing up in Aruba is a true joy. A very small island where all inhabitants know each other. My father is Aruban and my mother Oriental, this gave me a great insight into intolerance. My pledge is to never discriminate on any level. I want to be an integral part of my Islands future, so have decided to pursue a career as a Teacher. I strongly believe in “Despues di yobida semper solo ta sali” – meaning “After Rain comes Sunshine”. Never hold onto negative experience – learn from them, accept them and continue with the developing the most important project in your life yourself! Speak English, Dutch, Spanish & Papiamento.|
|AUSTRALIA||Nalishebo Kay Gaskell||21||I am a registered Nurse. My father met and married my mother while working in Zambia. After 18 years in Zambia we moved back to Australia where we have lived for 8 years. Travelling through South Africa, Europe and Australia has installed in me liking for people and their cultures. Educated at Northern Territory University I won a scholarship to undertake a Bachelor in Health Sciences, which I completed last year. Working as a R.N. in Orthopaedics Intensive Care and Paediatrics, I really enjoyed looking after Aboriginal people. I wish to pursue further studies in medicine and to be a role model for teenagers by encouraging and teaching the importance of commitment, self love, and integrity and to make a difference in the lives of others. Speak English, Lozi, Nyanga.|
|AUSTRIA||Sandra Kölbl||20||I am a shop assistant and hope one day to have my own Fashion Shop. My mother died 12 years ago, she was an actress ad model. Every time I model or move in front of the camera I feel like I am part of my Mum. I am a member of a Carnival Band which I see as my huge family. I play Big Base Drum rhythm and percussion. My other talent I believe is the ability to relate to people. I find it easy to put myself someone else’s position and to appreciate their feelings and problems. There is nothing more relaxing for me than invigorating walk with my dog Blacky.|
|BAHAMAS||Mary Watkins||17||I am a student at the College of the Bahamas, with a full scholarship, I hope to obtain a B.S. Degree in Computer Sciences. I live in a home called Harmony House, for girls from nine different families. It teaches life skills, encouragement, guidance and a stable environment for teenagers who have been neglected, abandoned or abused. It’s taught me that I can be just as good and successful as any other teenager. I have life skills and confidence to succeed in all areas of my life. My primary goal as Miss Bahamas is to make the public more aware of Harmony House and the positive things that are being taught there. To let them know that each girl in that home has the potential to be anything or anyone they wish to become. For all children in foster homes around the world I would like to tell them to stand tall. You can succeed and make it to the top, because I have been one of those who has excelled from the bottom to the top. Do something positive in your life, don’t let it go down the drain. I would like to visit different foster homes if I become Miss World and be an inspiration to the other children.|
|BANGLADESH||Tania Rahman Tonni||19||I have always lived in a cultural environment at home. I have been involved in Dance, Music and acting for a long time. My parents have always inspired and encouraged me. I am also a photographic model in three large advertisements for a multi-national company which appear regularly on our TV screens. I am presently working in a seven part TV series. My wish is to achieve higher studies in English Literature and International Relations and establish myself as a powerful actress. Speak English & Bengali. She is from Dhaka.|
|BELGIUM||Brigitta Callens||18||I am a student of languages. I traded 6 years of ballet for a new passion “Golf”, from the age of twelve my father and I have been playing Golf ever since. Belgium may be a small country, but has everything to prove itself Big! A terrific location in the centre of Europe with numerous kinds of landscapes – The North Sea in the Northwest with magnificent coasts and dunes – The Ardennes with its vast forests and unspoilt nature in the south – And in between Peaceful Graveyards as described in the poem “Flaunders Field” by John McCrae 1915. Brussels, the multicultural capital and NATO headquarters. Bruges known as the “Venice of the North”. This and so much more is Belgium. I am looking forward to participating in the Miss World Contest regardless of what the outcome might be. Where people from all over will be united, each the result of their culture, their family, their surroundings and their own creativity. Speak Dutch, French, English & German.|
|BOLIVIA||Ana Raquel Rivera Zambrana||21||I graduated at La Salle School and I am now at University studying Business Administration. I want to finish my studies and become a successful business woman. I play volleyball, and enjoy reading and poetry. Bolivia has some of the richest mineral resources in the world, Tin, Silver, Copper, Tungsten, Bismuth, Antimony and Zinc are also mined. Despite these mineral riches most Bolivians are subsistence farmers, raising sugar cane, corn, cotton, soybeans are major crops. I gladly invite everybody to visit my country so they can share with us its beauty. I play volleyball, and enjoy reading and poetry.|
|BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA||Samra Begovic||19||I attended Grammar School in Sweden. When I was 16 unfortunately I had to leave my country because of the war. We moved to Orebro in Sweden. Thanks to my parents I am a very independent and ambitious person. My great love is fashion and music and I wish to pursue a career in the Fashion World. I would also like to study Management & Economics. I enjoy playing the piano. Speak Bosnian, Swedish & German.|
|BOTSWANA||Alimah Isaacs||20||I am a Student. Our family comes from Otse a very humble village surrounded by a majestic range, among which lies the legendary “Lentswe la Baratani” Hill of Lovers, this conveys eternal and unconditional nature and love. “Manyelarnong” home of the vulture, houses a rare population of Cape Vultures only found in this part of the world. The range also includes Otse Peak – the highest point in Botswana. These have served as a source of inspiration, stability, boldness, motivation and hope in my life. In my Senior high school years I was placed in the technical stream becoming the only female in the class. I am Chairperson for Environmental conservation Society and awarded a medal for involving youth in seeing their future in serving their community. I was appointed Head of Design and Technology for Southern Botswana. My major role is to motivate other young girls to enter this field. One of the pillars that Botswana stands on is our Nations belief in self reliance, democracy and development. Without these, we will fight a losing battle with Poverty and Aids which are proving to be the two greatest challenges for Africa in the 21st Century.|
|BRAZIL||Paula de Souza Carvalho||18||I am a Student of Architecture. I have always had a special admiration of Arts “pencil and paper”, so decided to study Architecture. Painting and Dancing are my greatest hobbies. I took part in the Rio State Team in the Brazilian Handball Championships. Horse Racing is another sport I used to do. My father died in a car accident when I was 8, but he is always with me in all my decisions. He was a good person. This makes me feel strong and has taught me to face life with strength. I always see the positive side in each situation and I am close to my mother. I studied English at Cambridge so as to learn about European culture, and travelled extensively, which increased my interest in other customs and traditions. My wish is to be a good professional in Architecture. Speak Portuguese, English & Spanish.|
|BULGARIA||Violeta Slavcheva Zdravkova||22||I went to High School, then studied hairdressing. At the moment I work as Fashion Model taking part in the biggest Fashion Shows in Bulgaria. I am very sensitive and generous, and a very ambitious person, this helps me in every situation in life. Speak Bulgarian and English.|
|CANADA||Mireille Eid||23||After graduating I spent my first year working for the Federal Government with Industry Canada, providing policy criteria and evaluation for the community access program. Due to my Canadian-Lebanese background, I am fluent in French, English and Arabic and I am studying Spanish and Italian. I enjoy learning about different cultures, country’s charm, lifestyles and spirit. I have created self-esteem symposiums and success seminars, targeted to promote and build self confidence in youths. Speak English, French & Arabic. She is from Ottawa.|
|CAYMAN ISLANDS||Mona Lisa Tatum||22||At present I am working as an Administrative Assistant whilst at school in Cayman Brac High School. I attained 13 GCSE O’level passes, with distinction passes in Typing and Information Technology and graduated within the top 3 students in my year. I participated in Volleyball, swimming and performed with the school band that won awards at the National Children’s Festival of Arts Competition in Grand Cayman. I am lead singer in a band called “Heat”. I have performed overseas with Caymanian band “CMX-5” and with regionally recognized band “Tradewinds”. For the future I would like to concentrate on Business Management and music/video production technology. My dream with my sister is to establish a club that will promote local talent and a night spot that provides entertainment as well as fine dining. She is from Cayman Brac.|
|CHILE||Lissette Pilar Sierra Ocayo||24||I am a second year student in an exchange programme of Social Work. Gastronomy in 1.N.A.C.A.P. Tourism. I have lived and travelled throughout South America with my family. After returning to Chile I reside in Arica in the North, a beautiful city called “The City of Eternal Spring”. This is related to the history of Africa, here we have the mummies of Chinchorro culture, when I saw them I was fascinated because I love Archaeology and these are the oldest mummies in the world. Here is also the “Morro” that is a wall of rock, but on top is a Museum of the battle of Peru and Bolivia. I love my country and I really learned to value it, especially when I am away. I went on an exchange programme to the United States, receiving both diplomas. I came home and studied Tourism. My mother is recovering from a cancer tumor in the head and we are so happy and relieved to have her home with us. It’s taught me to be stronger, face hard situations that you only learn in the lessons of life and keep facing forward to achieve goals. Speak Spanish and English.|
|COLOMBIA||Mónica Elizabeth Escolar Danko||21||I am a Pre-school student in the University of Atlantico and also work with children’s education between Senior Kinder and 3rd Grades. I enjoy Reading, Swimming and Dancing. My special effort right now is to head and promote the construction of a school donated by Miss Colombia World 1999 for the children of Armenia, so badly affected by the 1999 earthquake. Speak Spanish and English. She is from Barranquilla.|
|COSTA RICA||Fiorella Martínez Martínez||23||I am a student and have achieved best grades in journalism and Master in Marketing. I hope one day to be a great journalist. I enjoy playing piano and ballet. I am part of a multi-cultural family of which I am very proud. I find old customs from South America, and the most traditional thoughts of the North of my continent. I can say I am like a bridge that joins the traditions of the cultural values. My message to everyone is “We are not alone in the World, we need people and they need us, communications is vital”. Speak Spanish and English. She is from San Jose.|
|CROATIA||Ivana Petkovic||18||I have graduated from High School and enrolled in the Study of Economics. I have competed music studies, where I learned to play the piano and sing. I am very keen on dancing and have completed my studies in classic-dance. I enjoy lots of different sports, including tennis, swimming and scuba diving. I love learning languages because I feel they bring people close to each other. As Miss Croatia I participated in numerous activities, one being against drug abuse. I also became the promoter of a humanitarian organization “shield” dealing with demining of the Croatian soil. Since 1995 2,200 people including children have been killed. I have a motto “Look beyond yourself and be involved”. Speak Croatian, English & Italian. She is from Zagreb.|
|CYPRUS||Sofia Georgiou||18||As a child I adored sports, I wanted to try everything, swimming, basketball, volleyball, even fishing, which is something I still like doing today. I also took ballet classes for 9 years but I chose to stop because I wanted to dedicate myself to learning languages. In my spare time I enjoy bowling, pool-table and many other things. I started modeling – I enjoy this very much and take advantage of any opportunity that comes my way. I plan to study video and audio production, which I believe will put me in contact with a lot of people and give me the chance to prove my abilities. Speak Greek, English, French, German & Dutch.|
|CZECH REPUBLIC||Helena Houdova||19||I successfully finished sports grammar school where I specialized in athletics and shooting. Last year I started to study social and Cultural Anthropology in the Faculty of Humanitarian Studies at West Bohemian University. I am also studying sign language. I enjoy philosophy, psychology, sociology and law, which has led me to my present studies. I would like to pursue the problems of minorities, Human Rights, problems of Refugees, Rights of Animals and Ecology in the future. I am fond of any kind of sports and enjoy singing and playing the piano. Speak Czech and English. She is from Plzen.|
|DOMINICAN REPUBLIC||Luz Margarita Cecilia García Guzmán||22||I am a TV host. In High School I got the best grades, entered debate contests and achieved first place three years in a row. I graduated with Honours from San Pedro Marti School. Since I have always showed interest in business I chose business administration. I graduated last May from the University of Puerto Rico. During this time I have developed other talents and now host a famous show in my country. Both my parents have been an inspiration for me and gave me the best example to follow. In October I organized in Santo Domingo the show “Beauty for a Cause”, invited 17 other young women from Latin American countries to model in a Fashion show to benefit children with AIDS (HIV). My philosophy for life is ‘Always be willing, add the positive and take away the negative, multiply love and never divide mankind.’ I enjoy reading, swimming and music, also acting and dancing. Speak Spanish and English.|
|ECUADOR||Sofía Morán Trueba||19||I am in my 2nd level studying medicine and look forward to achieving my aim as a good psychologist. I have also worked in TV News Programme. We are a very happy family, we like to share together and respect our customs and all our special festivals. My father is a Lawyer and Journalist and by his dedication to defend poor people of our country, has led me to understand more about the elderly and poor. This pageant for me is a big door opened to the experience and advantage of meeting other young women from all over the world to gain relationships, opportunities and contracts. I enjoy writing, cycling, drawing and dancing.|
|ESTONIA||Karin Laasmae||19||I won a scholarship to study at the Estonian Business School, beside University I work part time in a Beauty Salon as a Manager. For that reason I don’t have much free time, but I do like to visit art exhibitions. I enjoy the Theatre, Operas and Ballet. I have my own studio flat overlooking the sea and a sweet dog called Roy. As an Aquarius I consider myself optimistic, independent, friendly and always helpful to others. My motto is honesty is the best policy. From a child I started Ballroom Dancing and took part in several international competitions. I was also a member of the girls swimming team and President of the Organization of School activities & Newspaper. My wish is to finish University with the best grades. Speak English, Russian & Finnish.|
|FINLAND||Maria Laamanen||18||I competed my schooling with honours and am now studying in one of the most respected schools in Turku. I wish to pursue a career in International Business and I am hoping to go to University for Business and Commerce. My greatest interest is Horses, I have been riding since I was six years old and I love being with horse and other animals too. Speak Finnish, English & Swedish.|
|FRANCE||Sandra Bretones||18||After successfully having passed the national examination of Baccalaureate in French Literature, I am studying Psychology at University in France. I live in the North of Paris near the City of Calais which is historically well know to the British people. During the French Revolution, many French Aristocrats escaped the notorious guillotine crossing the channel from the Port of Calais thanks to the help tendered by the British Aristocrats. My personal hobbies are playing golf, the piano, and singing. My dream is to become a professional singer. Speak French and English. She is from Paris.|
|GERMANY||Susan Höcke (Hoecke)||18||I attend Anne Frank Gymnasium, a grammar school in Berlin where she is from. My aim is to pass my Arbitur exam in two years. My favourite subjects are Spanish, French and geography. In my spare time I like to read or I improve my languages. I also enjoy travelling to France or England. In the future I would like to study Latin Americanistics or a similar field. Apart from the interesting languages, the cultural way of life of the various countries fascinate me. Speak German, English, Spanish & French.|
|GHANA||Mariam Sugru Bugri||19||I am a student, studying to be a specialist in the shipping industry. I was educated in one of Ghana’s leading schools the Achimota Secondary School. I also acquired a diploma in Shipping Management, clearing, forwarding and export practice and awaiting con current diploma from the Institute of Commercial Management (ICM) UK. I am a passionate advocate for Breast Cancer awareness. Dedicated to educating the public prevention and early detection in Ghana. My ultimate ambition is to follow in my father’s footsteps in Public Health, with emphasis on preventative medicine, immunization against killer diseases in children and breast cancer. With my experience in social work, I hope to make an impact on issues that have a bearing on women’s empowerment which will result in their participation in decision making in Government.|
|GIBRALTAR||Abigail García||22||I work as a bank clerk and want to further my career in banking and achieve my goal as a Customer Service Manager. To help me achieve this I am currently undertaking a U.K. correspondence course in Banking with the C.I.B. Institution. This intensive course is studying six different banking topics in less than four years. I am a very independent and active person. I enjoy sports, especially squash, aerobics and jogging. I really like meeting and socializing and during my reign as Miss Gibraltar the Tourist Board has assigned me to assist the St Bernadette Occupational Therapy Centre, which caters to children with special needs. They are happy children and have accepted and adapted to their problems. I am a very happy person who enjoys life, helping others and with a smile on my face for everyone. Speak Spanish and English.|
|GREECE||Evangellia “Evi” Vatidou||23||I started classical ballet at the age of seven, at the same time took piano lessons. Both have been my favourite activities during my spare time. I graduated high school and passed exams to a higher professional Dancing Academy of the Greek National Ministry of Culture. After 3 years I received my diploma as a ballet dancer and teacher. I continued to study and received a superior diploma for the Vaganora System at the Varna Academy and Royal Academy London. Also I received my diploma for piano from the National Conservatory. I danced in the Opera “Drama Helectra” in the ancient theatre of Herodis Atticus in Athens, plus many others. Whilst studying ballet I began working as a fashion model in Greece and Internationally. I enjoy very much the meeting of new people and their different cultures. I like horse riding, water skiing and look to future an International Career. Speak Greek, English & French. She is from Athens.|
|GUATEMALA||Ana Beatríz González Scheel||20||I received my degree in Ciencias y Letras after that graduated as an Executive Trilingual Administrative Assistant. I also took courses in Marketing, Advertising, Computer Sciences and lots of others. Next year I am going to the University of Nebraska & Lincoln to study Advertising. I am from a very close and loving family and we have travelled a lot together. I used to be in a theatre group and was a soloist in the band. Guatemala has suffered 30 years of war and natural disaster, like hurricane Mitch last year. Because of this there are a lot of orphans that need protection and love. I will work hard for them and hope I can show you pictures of New Happy Faces. Speak Spanish, English & German.|
|GUYANA||Indra Changa||20||I am a TV News Anchor/ Producer at the Guyana TV Broadcasting Co. Ltd., in Georgetown. Also a lead singer with a local group called “Majesties”. I was born in a small mining community deep in the rain forest of Guyuna. At 5 years old I was sent for education to live in Georgetown with my aunt – a school teacher and very religious person who had a great influence on my up-bringing. It was in church that I discovered my love for singing and this has now become my second career along with playing the guitar. I have had several lead roles in plays at the National Culture Centre but take very seriously the importance of an academic education. I am a 3rd year student at the University of Guyana, pursuing a Bachelor degree in Programme & Communication.|
|HOLLAND||Ilona Marilyn van Veldhuisen||22||I was a nurse for 5 years, I loved this job but it was emotionally very hard. Now I am working as an Assistant Secretary for a Consultancy for the Environment and Landscape. I do modelling and I enjoy the catwalk. Fashion is very important to me. I like to wear elegant clothes. I like Horse Riding, basketball. I love to swim. I go running. Speak Dutch, German & English.|
|HONDURAS||Irma Waleska Quijada Henríquez||23||I am a Financial Executive, hoping to achieve a University degree in Business Management, I already have my certificate in Human Relations, community involvement. I enjoy reading and dancing, especially national popular and folklore dancing.|
|HONG KONG, CHINA||Marsha Yuan Hu-Ma||21||At school in my senior year I was the best Volleyball middle blocker, getting the most blocks of the season. In the same year I was cast as the lead role in the musical “Anything Goes” arousing the showbiz tick, getting this from my mother a very well respected famous actress in Hong Kong. I graduated from American Musical & Dramatics Academy in New York City in 98. I went onto AMDA to develop further skills in singing, acting, tap, jazz and ballet. My dream is to play the lead role in “Miss Saigon”. I truly believe “It’s not what life holds for you, it’s what you bring to it”. Speak English and Mandarin.|
|HUNGARY||Erika Dankai||22||I studied at the Gabor Bethlen High School of Economics. I became an accountant, my first job was in the Marketing Department of an Advertising Company. At present I am studying to be a chartered accountant, after which I would like to take my degree in the same field. In my spare time I take part in Fashion Shows and photo shoots. I enjoy all kinds of sporting activities. I am looking forward to meeting all the other representatives from all over the world during my stay for the Miss World Contest. Speak Hungarian & English.|
|ICELAND||Katrin Rós Baldursdóttir||18||I live with my parents in Akranes. I am in secondary school and I am hoping to finish a year before my schoolmates in Spring 2000. During my summer vacation I worked in a hospital, it was very interesting and a great experience for me. I am determined, honest, private person, my future hope is to finish university and graduate as a doctor. I really like to help people to feel better and do something creative. I enjoy skiing, badminton and spending time with my family who are very supportive along with my friends since I have been elected to represent Iceland. Speak Icelandic, English & Danish.|
|INDIA||Yukta Mookhey||20||I have just graduated in Zoology and also completed one and a half years of software programming. My family comes from the Northern part of India. My father was in the Gulf for 17 years in a Travel Company, hence my primary education was in a British School in the Gulf. I did three years of training in India in Classical Music. I have a love of music, reading and drawing and enjoy using my talents in singing, art, creative visualization (graphics). I also enjoy sports especially cycling and swimming. Speak English, Hindi & Marathi.|
|IRELAND||Emir-Maria Holohan Doyle||19||I am a student of Classical Music. I am studying for a degree in Music Performance. I was student of the year in 93, Music Student of the Year 94, 96 and 97 and in 98 awarded a diploma in Music Performance ABCM (Hon). My hobbies include photography, painting, reading and singing. I have had what I call an electric upbringing, born in Dublin, raised in London, then moved to the most rural part of Ireland. I have experienced many different ways of life and met all kinds of different cultures. I am lucky I come from a multi racial family, my father is from Kuwait and my mother is Irish. We are a close knit family and all share a common love of music, everyone from six to sixty plays an instrument or sings. Throughout my years at boarding school I was chosen on numerous occasions to act as an Ambassador both abroad and at home. As Miss Ireland I see this as an extension of this my greatest achievement to date. Speak English, German & French.|
|ISRAEL||Genny Chervonay||18||I am a Fashion Model. I graduated high school, majored in Biology & Russian. I enjoy modeling both in Israel and abroad. I was born in Russia and immigrated with my family to Israel nine years ago. We live in a beautiful beach town in the south of Israel called Ashdod. My integration in Israel was quick and easy. When I compete my military service I plan to study communication at University. I enjoy reading and most sporting activities. Speak English and Russian.|
|ITALY||Gloria Nicoletti||19||This year I graduated from High School with a diploma in accountancy. I have registered with the faculty of psychology at University, I wish to study this subject, because the human mind fascinates me, above all I would really understand others and help them understand themselves. I love to enjoy myself in the company of other young people, this is why I entered the competition. Here I hope to make new friendships and share in the experience of different and diverse cultures which simply gives a unique experience. I have a “Joie de Vivre”, that I think communicates itself to other people. I love dancing especially Latin American, also swimming.|
|JAMAICA||Desiree DePass||20||I am a travel consultant and hope to make a career in International Relations. I am vivacious, easy to talk to and adventurous. I love meeting new people. I have won various medals for swimming. Dancing is my great love. I danced in Cuba with the National Dance Company “Danza Contemporánea de Cuba”.|
|JAPAN||Aya Mitsubori||23||I have studied cooking, dressing, social welfare management, secretarial work and Japanese Flower arranging. After I graduated from college I worked for monetary, currency deals and secretarial activities in a bank. I want to be a woman with elegance and a Tender Heart. I would like a career in Acting and prefer to live and work in Japanese Kimono. I want to read more books and have deeper communication with diversified people. I enjoy Japanese dancing. Speak Japanese & English.|
|KAZAKHSTAN||Assel Issabayeba||19||I graduated in 1997 and entered Karzach University of International Relations and World Languages. I am interested in psychology, philosophy and History. In my free time I like classical literature, listening to classical music and I also enjoy dance and swimming. I am from a very close and loving family. Kazakhstan has a great variety of vegetation and relief, rolling grasslands, towering mountains, forested hills and sandy deserts. It covers an area of over 2.7 million sq. kilometers and is the size of Western Europe. Speak Russian, English & Turkish. She is from Almaty.|
|KENYA||Esther Muthoni Muthee||24||I am a student at the University of Nairobi studying economics. My aim is to head a rehabilitation centre for Aids Orphans and the needy. I also study sociology, philosophy, finally choosing economics as my major. In my spare time I have competed part 1 course in certified Public Accountancy. My mother being talented in drama encouraged my participation in the same. This later enabled me to supplement the meagre loan facility at University, as I took up part-time modeling and acting. I also participated in charity fashion shows for our children’s home. I got the head role as an actress in an African movie “Saikati the Enkaabaru”. Theme of which is based on the empowerment of Women in our current society. My desire to join Miss World Pageant enables me to reach out to millions of less privileged humans by assisting in sensitising peace and goodwill. At the time when the majority of the six billion people in the world continue to live below poverty level and various health challenges I believe that among the goals of the formal and informal organizations, they should play an ever increasing role of assisting the less fortunate. Speak English, Kikuyu & Kiswahili.|
|KOREA||Na-na Han||21||Firstly I wish to say how happy I am to have the opportunity to make friends from all across the world. I am an only child so my parents give their unconditional love to me and think I am the most beautiful girl in the world. Well I will see – what about the other girls from other countries. In elementary school I was a member of “Little Angels” famous for its dancing and singing performances, we toured many countries introducing Korean culture. Since then, I have great feelings when introducing my country to others who do not have much information on Korea. This is a good chance for me to introduce Korea to all the beautiful girls across the world. I am going to do my best to make this opportunity a success. Speak Korean and English. She hails from Seoul.|
|LATVIA||Evija Rucevska||20||I have a B.Sc. in Business Management. At the moment I work for a Multinational company, but look forward to starting my own business. During the last years I have been living in Latvia, U.S.A., Norway, and Australia, mainly studying through scholarships and awards from the Rotary Club, State Governments and Companies – future employers. Excellent grades provided me the opportunity to obtain awards and recognition. My investment of time and effort has been worthwhile for me and my sponsors. I enjoy all sports. I’m also a talented dancer. Speak Latvian, Russian, English, Norwegian, German & French.|
|LEBANON||Norma Elias Naoum||22||I am a student in my 4th year of Law. My ambition is to be a Judge. I like painting, drawing and dance. I enjoy sports, jogging and swimming. Speak Arabic and French.|
|LIBERIA||Sebah Esther Tubman||21||I am a high school graduate and a student of Dunbosco Polytechnic College. My ambition is to become a Human Rights Lawyer. I am committed to scholarship programs and fund raising for the sponsorship of several orphanages. As our country is recovering from seven years of civil war the rate of illiteracy is high, and we have too many orphans. I am a very happy person striving to do my best. I enjoy singing, dancing, reading, designing clothes for myself, amongst many other things. I like music, my favourite artists are Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. I enjoy singing their music also.|
|LITHUANIA||Renata Mackeviciute||19||I am a student studying at Business School in Law facility. My future hope is to get my law degree. I enjoy reading and a lot of sports. I have for six years practiced Ballroom Dancing. I am a strong willed person, this helps me follow my law studies, that is very important to me. I am interested in psychology, I think people have amazing personalities and I like to reveal their characters by communicating them. My home town has an atmosphere of peacefulness. It’s a lot nicer than noisy streets of large cities. We have extremely beautiful lakes, forests and parks and I feel a strong connection to nature. Speak German and Russian. She is from Siauliai|
|MADAGASCAR||Tantely Naina Ramonjy||19||I am a student. I attend my local Grammar School and completed my O Level studies. I would love to pursue a career as a Fashion Designer. Madagascar is the 3rd largest island in the world which lies off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. I live in a small town called Antsirabe which is famous for its thermal waters, which attracts and benefits famous people to spend many weeks with us. I love walking and am keenly interested in Nature preservation which is a growing concern in my country.|
|MALAYSIA||Jaclyn Lee Tze Wey||24||I studied at the University Putra Malaysia and obtained a Bachelor of Science honours (Resource Economics) for my tertiary education. Major – International Trade & Finance. Awarded Dean’s List for achieving full distinctions for two consecutive terms. Awarded distinction in research entitled “The impact on share prices following the announcement of Bonus Issues”. Subjects included: Micro & Macroeconomics, International trade, Finance, Accounting, Business Management & Communication, Chemistry, Physics, etc., etc. I represented Malaysia in Volleyball, awarded “Sportswoman” of the year for outstanding performance in Volleyball and athletics and best blocker. I also enjoy rock and wall climbing. I want to help society to become more aware of the growing need to support the socially deprived and terminally ill. To counsel individuals and organizations in ways to curb the rise in alcoholism, drugs and domestic violence. I want to fulfill my dream and aspirations to become a compassionate counsellor. Speak Malaysian, English, Cantonese, Hokken & Hakka.|
|MALTA||Catharine Attard||21||I am presently studying for a diploma in Computing and Information Systems with the University of Oxford. I work as a clerk in one of Malta’s leading banks in the Information and Technology department. I have been practicing volleyball for eight years and I am playing volleyball with the Senior National Team of Malta. I would like to achieve my diploma so that I would facilitate promotion. It is a wish of mine to travel to Alaska to visit one of the earth’s intact places – I would also like to become a TV Presenter. Speak Maltese, English & Italian.|
|MEXICO||Danett Velasco Bataller||21||I am a student at high school and Dramatic Art. At the moment in my spare time I work as a fashion model, but my real ambition is to be a very good actress. At the age of three my parents divorced, I grew up with my grandmother and father who were strict. As an only child I was very lonely, inspite of my grandmother who was always like a mother to me. When I was 15 years old I went to live with my mother, this was very difficult for both of us because we could not understand each other, so I decided to live alone. This has taught me to value more my real family. So I went back home and began to study. Now I have shown them I can be independent and earn money to help them. Life is a great experience, it must be enjoyed and shared. I thank God. Speak Spanish & English.|
|NEPAL||Shweta Singh||19||At present I am working as an Air Stewardess for Yeti Airlines (Domestic), I am also preparing for my first year graduation from the Arts stream. My future hope is to be a successful pilot and encourage more women pilots in Nepal. Nepal is a country of extreme contrast in climate and geography. It has a unique topography ranging from low lands with sub tropical jungle to arctic conditions in the Himalayas high lands, Mount Everest is the highest peak of the world. Nepal is rich in its cultural heritage, natural beauties and its finest handicrafts. Nepal has always been an independent country, the total population is approx. twenty million and more than 80% of the people depend on agriculture. I enjoy singing, and playing the mouth organ and playing basket ball. Speak English, Hindi & Nepalese.|
|NEW ZEALAND||Coralie Anne Warburton||20||I won a Bursary scholarship in both Accounting and Economics. This enabled me to study law at University for both stages 1 & 2. My Netball Team have won championships at every grade for the past seven years. I am now Umpire and Coach. I enjoy public speaking and debating, have played piano since I was six and have reached grade seven through the Royal School of Music. I have been very fortunate to have a happy and stable childhood. I am involved in youth leadership as many young people today are desperately in need of a friend and someone to trust. They are our future and without a solid moral foundation the current problems can only be expected to get worse. I have three part time jobs to find my way through University: Accounts Clerk, receptionist and telephone operator in a Customer Service Department. These roles have helped me develop a rapport with people, to ensure they remain satisfied and happy. She is from Auckland.|
|NIGERIA||Augustina Iruviere||22||I am a theatre arts under graduate at the Delta State University and would love to pursue a future career as an actress. I come from the Delta area of Nigeria, known to produce one of the best quality crude oil’s in the world. My parents are educationalists, it’s no wonder I am a crusader for the education of women, particularly African women. Currently I am running a programme to educate Nigerian women, with the hope that they will in turn be able to cater for their children who are the eventual victims of ignorance. I enjoy the movies, reading and dancing. Speak English, Yoruba & Isoko.|
|NORWAY||Anette Haukaas||20||At 17 I moved to the USA for a year to attend High School, Senior Year. I took lots of extra classes including Sociology & Drama. I was manager of the boys senior baseball team and graduated in 97. Last year I moved to Troudheim (3rd biggest city in Norway). I worked as a receptionist, saving money to study interior architecture. I am creative, love drawing and painting and have a good eye and look forward to achieving my ambition to be an interior architect. In the meantime I am successful in Photographic & Fashion Work. Speak Norwegian & English.|
|PANAMA||Jessenia Ivonne Casanova Reyes||24||I graduated from the Instituto Justo Arosemena high school in 92 then left for Canada to join my brother. At McGill University I studied languages and later attended Concordia University to study Tourism. While in Montreal I took a job at the International Organization for Civil Aviation (IOCA). I worked with Ambassadors of Panama, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina as a secretary making translations. I enjoyed my work a lot. In March 99 I returned to Panama and I chose to study a second career in Marketing. As you may notice I’ve studied a lot. I feel it’s important to be prepared to face life and nothing can top a good education. This title I have won would not be as important to me if it didn’t allow me to help the poor, sick and needy children in Panama. These are the best moments and good times to remember. I’m sure we will all have a great time in London and that all the girls will give their best to make this event one of a kind. Speak Spanish, English & French. She is from Panama City.|
|PARAGUAY||Mariela Candia Ramos||18||I am a student in High School, I received several educational achievements, some being in Speech, English, diplomacy and Public Relations. Eventually I hope to study medicine. I like surfing the internet, playing the piano and organ and I enjoy singing, poetry and cooking. Contact with Nature brings me to my birthplace. This is a town clinging to the side of the great Parana River, it is a very orange and Jesuit Port Town. It is the powerful witness of the largest Paraguayan engineering feat, the Yacyrota Hydroelectric Dam with a surface of 1600 sq kilometers. Large wetlands, streams and forests, rural fields and paradise islands. The soil is black moist clay, works well for economic growth as this is used for industrialization of Ceramics. It also has a wildlife refuge which is a way to systematically protect the diversity of flora and fauna. Speak Spanish, Guarani, Portuguese & English.|
|PERU||Wendy Monteverde de la Torre||19||Last year I completed my studies as a Flight Attendant, but at the moment I work as a Marketing Assistant. Through my parents I learned that sincerity, simplicity and punctuality are the noble principles which I try to reflect. I consider myself a gentle person, but of strong character when necessary. My love of Music, dance and folklore of Peru made me the national winner for group of Dance “La Saya Punena” that characterizes the beliefs and cheerful colours of the inhabitants of the riverbanks of Lake Titicaca. Representing Peru made me aware of the great tourist, cultural and Folklore potential of my unique country. I hope next year to begin my studies in Marketing and Business Administration. My hobbies include ceramics, wax handicrafts and music. I enjoy Peruvian Folklore Dancing. She is from Lima.|
|PHILIPPINES||Lalaine Bognot Edson||22||I am a Television Host, singer and commercial model. I received a degree in Fashion Design at Newham College of Fashion, London. My future hope is to be successful International Model and business woman, as later on I want to build a chain of Restaurants. My talent is singing and I also enjoy dancing, painting and sewing. My mother was a Filipino nurse at St Andrews Hospital, London, met my dad who is English (Engineer). I had a great childhood surrounded by cousins from both of my Parents. I visited and adored the Philippines so much I didn’t go back to England for some time. I completed my elementary and some of my High School until I had to return to England to be near my mother who was very ill. I finished the rest of my education in London. Most of my talents were inspired by my mother, but of course I equally loved my dad with all my heart. We took my Mother back to the Philippines for she only had a short while to live. It was returning home where I also got my big break in modeling, appearing on a magazine cover. My Mother is my inspiration I am now sharing her dreams because I am representing my beautiful country. Speak Tagalog & English. She is from Manila.|
|POLAND||Marta Kwiecien||20||From an early age I have been fascinated in the History of Art and attended several art courses to make my knowledge of the subject of more profound. I also went to drawing and painting classes, and attended No.XIV Lyceum in Lublin. I chose mathematics and physics as my faculties after which I passed the general study exam and was accepted at the University of Lublin. I am now a second year student in the Building and Engineering department. I also enjoy sketching Lublins magnificent architecture. In my spare time I work as a fashion model – whilst travelling I am very much aware of the misfortunes of others. I would like to direct my greatest sensibility to poverty. I am a devoted vegetarian and I confess to Bernard Shaw’s work “Animals are my friends, I don’t eat them”. My best friend is my dog called Nero. My parents created an incredible atmosphere of warmth and love at our home. After graduating I would like to open my own real estate agency linked with an architectural bureau.|
|PORTUGAL||Joana Ines Texeira||20||I am a student in my 2nd year of University in Portuguese studies. I wish to qualify as a teacher. Mozambique is a place that I love, I feel I could be useful as a teacher there. I already teach some African students, it is the most gratifying thing I have ever experienced. In my spare time I enjoy reading and horse riding. Speak Portuguese, English and French.|
|PUERTO RICO||Arlene Torres Torres||21||As my father worked in various countries it has taught me to appreciate cultural diversity. During my school years I had a very positive participation in Tracks & Field, band cheer-leading, tennis, basketball, soccer and bowling. I earned various recognition in this. I was in the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the USA Air Force to develop leadership in youngsters. I was chosen “Best encampment Non Commissioned Officer” and Female Cadet of the Year. After graduating from High School I attended the Sacred Heart University in Puerto Rico studying in communications. I also became active in the Spanish tradition of the “Tunas” a group of Troubadours whose tradition dates back to the XIV Century. I played the flute, I was the only female to bear the colours of such a group and to perform acrobatics with the flag in all of Puerto Rico. My wish is to be an accomplished professional in the field of Graphic Arts. Speak Spanish and English.|
|ROMANIA||Nicoleta Lucia Luciu||21||I am a student at a nursing college. As well as modeling I have worked in with various TV stations with whom I produced short films. I participated in the most popular shows of TV presentations. I was also a presenter of a few Hip-Hop Shows (Musical shows) in Bucharest. My greatest desire is to become a successful lawyer. I enjoy literature, design and ballet. Speak Romanian & English|
|RUSSIA||Elena Viktorovna Efimova||23||After finishing choreographic school Novosibirsk (centre of Siberia) I worked as a ballet dancer in Opera & Ballet Theatre in Yekaterinburg. I love theatre because it is a continuous game, performance. For this reason I like taking photographs and filming where I can change my looks and make myself new and different. I like creative and brave people who don’t stop in the face of difficulties. I feel without risk people cannot achieve much in life. I love to parachute and drive racing cars. I think everyone should strive to overcome obstacles. I follow this principle in my life. I hate cigarettes and alcohol and drugs.|
|SAINT MAARTEN||Ifiola Badejo||18||After completing elementary school I won a scholarship for being one of the top five students. At 16 entered the University of St Maarten, as well as serving as its Public Relations Officer. I love dancing, singing and writing poetry. I am the founder member of the Junior Aids Committee, first of its kind in the Caribbean. The objective is to educate young people about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases. Several workshops were organized for students where are informed and encouraged to participate in the program. The result of my outspokenness on the issue had taken me to neighboring island to speak on such matters. The Junior Aids Committee hopes to get a regional base by creating similar committees throughout the Caribbean. Last year my mother and I started a consulting agency which handles translations, P.R. and events. My future hope is to pursue my studies in Mass Communications and Public Relations at New York University. Speak English, Spanish, Papiamento & Dutch.|
|SCOTLAND||Stephanie Norrie||20||After achieving a good education I went to Australia, I decided to save the money that I required to get a working visa. I went to a place called Karratha where I started a small cleaning business. I also worked in a local shop. After returning to Scotland I was asked to an interview at the Caledonian University in Glasgow as I was still quite young, they asked me to wait a year before starting the midwifery course. I did a higher in Human Biology and chose a module in psychology. I completed these at night school and worked at a print shop during the day. I am now a student of midwifery. In my spare time I enjoy squash and basketball. Speak English & French.|
|SEYCHELLES||Anne-Mary Jorre de St. Jorre||18||I have 10 GCSE’s and 4 A levels. My ambition is to be a solicitor and one day a Judge. My role model is my grandmother, she is a very strong woman who has given me lots of confidence all through my life. I enjoy swimming, dancing and reading and I am very proud of my beautiful island, The Seychelles. Speak English, French & Creole.|
|SINGAPORE||Audrey Quek Ai Woon||24||I work as a Senior Marketing Executive. “Carpe Diem” seize the day this is my strong belief and conviction. To make the best of opportunities that come my way. I hope to be a role model to encourage the average young person to live their dreams. I would consider myself self-actualized if I could move every average person to put in an extra 20% or more in working towards their goals. I look forward to the larger than life experience to represent my country and will endeavor my best to contribute as much as I can in cultivating new friends. I graduated from National University Singapore with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Estate Management. Completed Pianoforte (ABRSM) in Grade 8 with distinction. Represented National Schools in Swimming. In my spare time I have featured on numerous nationwide campaigns as a photographic model and cast in both English and Chinese in sitcoms and drama productions. Speak English, Mandarin & Cantonese. She is from Shangi.|
|SLOVAKIA||Andrea Veresova||19||This year I completed my Bilingual French High School in Zilinia, I love to study languages. I have just passed my entry exams for University to study law. I would like to pursue a career as a Lawyer like my mother. During High School studies I was a professional dancer of Classic and Latin American. I also danced national Dances of Slovakia. I decided to also work as a model all around Europe. I enjoy Skiing, Volleyball, aerobics and swimming. Speak Slovak, English, French, Czech & German.|
|SLOVENIA||Neda Gacnik||19||Last year I graduated from secondary school. I am now a student hoping to realize my future as a Primary School Teacher. I would like to teach them a positive attitude towards life so they can achieve whatever they set their minds on. That is why I like to help refugees from my neighboring countries. In my spare time I participate in a variety of sports: aerobics, swimming and dancing. I also like reading especially novels, and taking long walks in forests. Speak Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, English & German.|
|SOUTH AFRICA||Sonia Raciti||21||After matriculation in Estcourt, I attended college, where I graduated as a qualified Primary School Teacher, with a major in Design and Technology. I was an active member of the National Youth Choir. I play the guitar and I am also a trained ballet dancer. During my time as Miss South Africa I was appointed as Patron of the All Africa Games as well as to promote the bid to host the 2006 Soccer World Cup in South Africa. I was also appointed Spokes Person of the Princess of Wales Mahau Home for abandoned H.I.V infected babies. Because of my training in the field of education I like to instil strong values in the lives of children through education as well as instil a sense of excellence and love for learning, as I believe education is the corner stone of a winning nation. Speak English & Afrikaans. She is from Johannesburg.|
|SPAIN||Lorena Raquel Bernal Pascual||18||I live in San Sebastian, a Basque country town in the North of Spain. I really love living here because, although it is a small city it has beautiful beaches and there is nothing I love more than the sea. Due to my ancestors I have a mixture of Italian, Croatian, Yugoslavian, Indian, Argentinean and Spanish blood. I attended a French school in Spain and I finished school in France. While studying I attended drama lessons, worked as a model and learnt English. I would like to continue my studies in Psychology. I always wanted to do this because it helps you to get to know yourself – this way you get to understand people better. I enjoy reading, writing and poetry. Speak Spanish, English & French.|
|SRI LANKA||Dilumini De Alwis Jayasinghe||22||I am a Flight Attendant. I have done ordinary and advanced level examinations, diplomas in computer studies, and I.A.T.A. passenger handling course. From a child I always wanted to be a Flight Attendant and I enjoy my current job with Sri Lankan Airlines as Cabin Crew. My maternal and paternal grandparents belong to the distinguished Walanwa families. Walanwa identity describes the residential houses of the nobility in Sri Lanka. One of my ancestors was the first Sinhalese Prime Minister under a well known Sri Lankan King, their ancestral home in Sri Jayawordenpura Kotte still stands majestic and beautiful to behold. I enjoy reading, sketching and singing. Speak English and Sinhalese. She is from Colombo|
|SWAZILAND||Colleen Tulonen||18||I am a student at Medical College. I live in the capital town Mbabane. Because my country is so small our community is quite close to each other, population eight hundred thousand. My father is from Finland, my mother is Swazi. I had a great childhood, and competed my high school studies in Finland. I felt I needed to learn some of my father’s culture. Swaziland is a really beautiful country. What I appreciate most is how we respect and honour tradition, it is filled with culture. Swaziland is a Kingdom we dearly respect our king Mswati the Third. Speak Siswati, English & Finnish.|
|SWEDEN||Jenny Louise Torsvik||23||Travelling as a model often puts me in a situation where I rely on strangers. If you are one of the Top Ten Models of the World, it may be different, but for the rest of us we have a map of the city and our feet. It can easily get a little rough in countries or quarters of cities where they do not understand English or any other of the four languages I speak. In such a situation it is hard not to lose the belief in yourself. The one thing that always helps is my trust and goodwill. No matter how bad things seem to be, there is always a solution, to give up in such situations would be like giving up hope. I want to help, as I was helped in those bad times. My future hope is to become a Documentary Photographer. Since last year I co-operated with the “Cancer Association” and the “Swedish National Institute of Health”. I work with youths informing them of the dangers and consequences of smoking. I try to encourage and then to raise their self-esteem and not to fall for peer pressure. Sports has been a big part of my life, particularly team-skating. We make it up to second place in the Swedish League. Speak Swedish, English, German & French. She is from Skurup.|
|SWITZERLAND||Anita Buri||21||After completing my education, I worked for one year in Munich as a model. After this I started an apprenticeship in the commercial field. After three years I passed my final exams and since then I work in an office where we look for jobs for unemployed people. During the apprenticeship I worked as a model in various fashion shows. I love jazz dance, Latin (Salsa & Merengue), aerobics and Inclineskating. Speak English, Italian & French.|
|TAHITI||Manoa Fruge||19||I am a University student, studying Economics and Administration. My aim for the future is to work in Hotel Management. Before I was crowned Miss Tahiti 1999, I had never been on a catwalk. I am very attracted to the Tahitian way of life and plan to get involved as much as possible for my countries promotion. I am very excited with the idea of meeting so many different cultures. I like the serenity of my home and I am not attracted by the night club lights, I like cooking, traditional dancing and aerobics, all kinds of music (except hard rock). I read Gustave Flaubert and Victor Hugo or any news magazine. Knowing I will be competing with over 90 countries and that Tahiti is a little island in the Pacific what could I do to catch your interest? If I fail to be among the finalists I hope you will still remember the island girl with a flower in her hair. Speak French and English. She hails from Papeete.|
|TANZANIA||Hoyce Anderson Temu||21||I won a scholarship at the National University of Dar es Salaam pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Public Administration. I enjoy Music, debating, swimming and Dancing. My family belong to the famous Chagga Tribe of Kilimanjaro region named after the famed fabulous Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest snow capped mountain of Africa. My parents have been residing on the slopes of the majestic mountain harbouring tropical flora and fauna over the volcanic soil, which provides sustenance to the farmers who grow bananas, beans and maize as their staple food. We also have big gardens growing various types of flowers for export in Europe. The Chagga Tribes were the first to come into contact of Missionaries who gave opportunities for the highest education and commerce. Speak English & Kiswahili.|
|THAILAND||Kamala “Ning” Kamphu na Ayutthaya||21||As both my parents are dead, my Great Aunt took care of me. In 1999 my grandparents took me to the USA. I have wonderful Grandparents, I love them so much, they taught me to be careful with money, that’s why I have worked since I was 14 years old. I have learned so much from this. I returned to Thailand. Right now I am a student at the A.B.A.C. University of Thailand. My major is Art and English. I like English and look forward to the time I graduate. Speak Thai and English.|
|TRINIDAD & TOBAGO||Sacha Anton||24||As a child I started dancing modern tap, salsa, jazz and I participated and worked as a member of the Living Waters Youth Group. I am now an Account Executive. I hope one day to own a Marketing and Promotions Company. I enjoy reading, movies, swimming, painting and dancing. I adore Arabic and Thai food. My favourite book is Wuthering Heights and favourite people are Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Lewis, Julia Roberts, Sarah Maclaclan, Sean Connery, Harrison Ford. My favourite time of the year is Carnival and Christmas. I overcame the fear of heights by hang-gliding over the Oscala Forest Reserve while at College in Florida and cliff jumping in Barbados. Speak English, French & Spanish.|
|TURKEY||Ayse Hatun Onal||23||I was born in Adana, the Southern part of Turkey, where I completed my High School education. At present I am a student studying Public Relations at the University of Eskisehir. In my free time I work as a fashion model, its a lot of fun. I would really like to become an International Model and also work in films and television. I like all kinds of music as well as dancing and swimming. I have a special talent for oriental dance and acting. Speak Turkish & English. She lives in Istanbul.|
|20||I am a 4th year student of languages at the Kharkiv State University. I was born in Kharkiv, the first capital of Ukraine. In my short life I have encountered a range of astonishing events, for example, I went to school in one country and finished it in another. You may wonder why that is surprising? The fact is I didn’t change school or the place of my home, the big changes in political life of the last decades of the 20th Century happened in the Soviet Union, but I finished school in the Independent Ukraine. In this way politics entered my life in my childhood. This is a beautiful young country, rich in everything, both in great past history and rich in potential. As an adult I can really try to do something significant for my country, because I love it. I am sure Ukraine will become one of the most developed democratic states in the world. Speak Russian & English.|
|UNITED KINGDOM||Nicola Willoughby||18||I have had a very busy two years studying at college. I’ve recently passed a two year G.N.V.Q. Health & Social Care at Intermediate level with a high grade of merit and RSA Key Skills level 1 & 2. My future ambition is to use the qualification to become a paramedic. I love helping others and giving advice. During my 2 years studying I have done a lot of voluntary work which helped me gain a lot of useful experience. I love my home town ‘Lincoln’, its very quiet and peaceful. One of its main attractions is our wonderful Cathedral, its very beautiful and looks fantastic when lit up at night. I enjoy swimming, writing, reading and hockey.|
|UNITED STATES||Natasha Allas||25||After a four year career as a professional model that gave me the opportunity to travel to many countries, I am now a junior at the University of Southern California, majoring in political science and communications. My education goal is to obtain a law degree. My career goal is to become a CNN Political Commentator and eventually have my own political talk show. I am an avid animal lover and spend a lot of time doing Animal Rescue, working with a non-profit organization called “Pals for Paws”. My commitment to animals earned me the 1999 Award for exceptional dedication to Dog Rescue.|
|URUGUAY||Katherine Gonçalves Pedrozo||21||I am a professional model and my hope is to become known in my profession. I achieved a Bachelor Degree. I love gymnastics and drawing. Speak Spanish & English.|
|VENEZUELA||Martina Thorogood Heemsen||24||I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations with a concentration on Latin American Studies from Lake Forest College, Illinois, USA in 98. During my fifth semester I attended the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, where I studied various courses about Chile in the 20th Century. I also had the opportunity at the New York University, N.Y. City, USA to study photography, studio lighting, colour printing, digital imaging, Non-Silver historical printings and various other courses and internships. I found a great job as Creative Assistant in a large advertising agency which hold many big accounts for famous companies. My hobbies and talents are Flamenco Dancing and photography. Speak Spanish & English.|
|WALES||Clare Marie Daniels||20||I am a Customer Service Representative. I attained 8 GCSE’s and a certified Airline Course. I spent seven years learning French & Welsh and would like to eventually become a Flight Attendant. I absolutely adore rugby, especially Welsh Rugby, I am a huge fan of sixties and eighties music and a No. 1 fan of AREA. Astrology fascinates me, as a Leo I am naturally extrovert, so I love acting. Having done a documentary on BBC2, I think it sparked a potential acting career. I enjoy jogging and dancing. Its emotionally breathtaking to represent my country. My parents own a Fish & Chip Shop and Off License. I come from a working class area, the people are so down to earth and supportive. I want to set an example for all young girls in Wales. It doesn’t matter where you are from, everybody has the same chance if you are prepared to work hard and never give up you will get there. Speak English, Welsh & French.|
|YUGOSLAVIA||Lana Maric||18||I am enrolled in a four year high architecture school. I am a modern girl, ambitious, well aware of my capabilities, goals and tasks in life. I am honest, responsible, compassionate, friendly. I love people in general, music, fashion and sports. I have a talent for playing the guitar which I enjoy very much. In addition I have been training in Karate for ten years. My future hope is to be a successful architect, model, wife and mother. I see this competition as a possibility to meet and make friends with girls from different cultures and traditions. Speak Serbian and English. She is from Belgrade.|
|ZAMBIA||Cynthia Chikwanda||21||I am currently studying management of information systems at the Zambia Institute of Management. I have attained a certificate and diploma, but still have two more levels to do. I hope to graduate and get a higher national diploma and further my studies to get a Masters Degree in Information Technology. I hold diplomas in Food Production and Information Technology. I enjoy reading novels and listening to music and I have “Green Fingers”, I love tending to plants, I also have a passion for cooking.|
|ZIMBABWE||Brita Masalethulini||21||I hold a national certificate in applied Art & Design. I am currently studying for a National Diploma in Graphic Design. My aim is to do a degree in Graphic Design and fine art so as to pave my way into the multi media industry. My passion for Arts stems from childhood, my interests range from photography, painting, designing, sculpture, pottery, tapestry, printmaking, music, dance and theatre. I hope to eventually open an Art School for children to develop their artistic talents. I devote, amongst other things, my time to animal rights awareness campaigns in conjunction with S.P.C.A. I also enjoy swimming, winning a 50 meters trophy in freestyle led me to the thrill of white water rafting in our mighty Zambezi River which claims to be the best river for rafting in the world. As a Zimbabwean I speak with pride of our National Heritage rich in culture and wildlife and its preservation, particularly of our Rhinos and Elephants, and our royal game from poachers. Speak Shoua & English.|
THE MISS UNITED KINGDOM SCANDAL.-
On Sunday, November 28, a London tabloid published photos of Miss United Kingdom, Nicola Willoughby, with her breasts exposed, believed to have been taken some eight months ago. Nicola, a paramedic-in-training and a volunteer at a nursing home, said she was upset that the photos, which were taken when she was 17, had been posted just days before the Miss World finals. She recounted that she was really desperate for money. So when a photographer she worked with offered to pay more if she posed topless, she agreed, mostly because she was promised that the photos would never be published. “It’s not fair. I made a mistake. I’ve changed, ” she said. The photographer was rumored being investigated by Julia Morley as well. The organizers were expected to decide whether Miss Willoughby should be removed and excluded from the contest after posing for those sexy photos. Actually, the images were far from pornographic, but Julia Morley said she would interview Miss UK to decide if she should be stripped of her title after this scandal.
However, on Tuesday the 30th, Miss World President Julia Morley openly supported Miss United Kingdom, who was facing expulsion from the pageant. A distraught Nicola Willoughby, 18, asked not to be expelled from the contest after photos of her topless were published in a British tabloid. “You can’t believe how much I regret taking those photos,” she said. Her heart felt a plea to the organizers that seemed to carry some weight. A spokesperson for the pageant said that Julia Morley was supporting Nicola at the time but that she was looking into the matter before making a recommendation to the Miss World organizing committee about Willoughby’s fate and that she hoped they would not go against her. “I have to decide with a group of people at the international level if they feel comfortable with the situation. There are 94 nations involved in this,” she said. “Nicole was feeling mean and trying to keep her ‘head above water’. The rest of the girls here want her to stay. Girl power is really showing her head. I personally want Nicola to stay. It’s outrageous that people do such a big scandal with boobs. But I recognize that some nations will get mad”. A final decision was expected to be made on Thursday, December 2.
LITTLE GOSSIP ABOUT THE BEAUTY QUEENS.-
* Miss Lebanon and Miss Israel were not allowed to speak to each other at all. The representatives of Spain and Chile did not become friends over the Pinochet issue either. Miss Chile, Lissete Ocayo, was asked if she would go to Spain to visit Pinochet. “Yes, I would,” she replied. As a social worker I feel it is my responsibility to help those who are old and sick. After all, he is a human being”. Noble thought, however, one wonders if any of her relatives and/or friends died or disappeared during the years of the Pinochet dictatorship. By the way, Miss Chile had engraved her name on all her bikinis so that no other contestant would dare to take them…
* One of the girls who preferred anonymity was asked what the contestants’ reaction had been on the Miss UK issue. “Well, when Nicola was with us we pretended nothing was wrong. However, I must confess that the photo was passed from hand to hand under the table during lunch. Regardless of our personal opinions, most of us decided to support her. We all commit. mistakes in life, and if God forgives us, why can’t humans do it too? “
* COMPLAINTS – Many of the girls complained about the daily 10 and 12 hour rehearsals and little time for sightseeing or shopping in London. Miss Cyprus, Sofia Georgiou, was initially delighted when she was 1st. runner-up in her national contest. “Miss Universe will be in Cyprus, so it’s nice to be able to go to different places,” she said. However, she always complained to Mrs. Morley: “I’m homesick, I miss my mom. It’s too much rehearsal … I don’t get to do anything but rehearsing!”
* MISS POPULARITY – Miss Philippines, Lalaine Edson, had many admirers in London. Some two hundred Filipino enthusiasts supported her, showing her admiration for her. Lalaine autographed dozens of photographs for them. Without a doubt, she was one of the most captivating beauties in London.
* DECEPTION – What a Good Photographer Can Do! According to an image posted on the internet, Tania Rahman Tonni, Miss Bangladesh, was one of the favorites to win Miss World. In person, Tania was so short and so ordinary that she almost had to beg for some attention. During a lunch, Miss Bangladesh began to shake, as if she was receiving visitors from “beyond.” In any case, the “spiritual” Miss Bangladesh deserved the title of “Miss-leading” in 1999.
* ANOREXIA – Every morning, when it was time to leave the hotel, a girl was always late. Verónica Barrionuevo, Miss Argentina, stated that she had difficulty putting on contact lenses. One day, a chaperone decided to go help her, and the truth came out: Miss Argentina did not come out until she vomited each and every one of the foods that she had consumed after some of her meals, mainly breakfasts…
* BEHAVIOR – When you look at 94 women from 94 different countries, you find all kinds of personalities. Some were very reserved and “obedient”, like Marsha Yuan, Miss Hong Kong; others were outgoing, but incredibly elegant and well-educated, like Miss Venezuela, Martina Thorogood, and Miss Colombia, Mónica Escolar; There were also those who dazzled everyone with their appearance and personality, such as Miss Latvia, Evija Rucevska; some barely smiled, as was the case with Miss Hungary, Erika Dankai. But there were still those who at times forgot where they were and began to kiss with their boyfriends in the hotel lobby, such as the aforementioned Miss Hungary who never opened her mouth to smile, and sassy Miss Panama, Jessenia Casanova. Miss Sweden, Jenny Louise Torsvik, looked and acted like a princess. Also, Louise had a lovely personality and warmth. She was the kind of person you could talk to for hours without blinking; Miss Norway, Anette Haukaas, was a cool and composed girl. And Miss Iceland was represented by the sexy Katrin Baldursdóttir, who melted hearts with her fiery gaze.
* SIMILARITIES – Some of the girls resembled supermodels, singers, Hollywood stars, and famous former beauty queens. These are some of the associations that were made during the pageant: Miss Israel and actress Cameron Diaz; Miss Canada and singer Celine Dion; Miss Norway and actress Daryl Hannah; Miss Mexico and former Miss USA Ali Landry; Miss Paraguay and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, Miss USA and super model Nikky Taylor; Miss Venezuela and former Miss Universe Bárbara Palacios; Miss Wales and actress Nicole Kidman.
* CONTEST IGNORED AND CRITICIZED – The people of London hardly realized that the Miss World pageant was being held there. Some said the Morleys had done it on purpose. For example, for the first time in history, members of the press were unable to see the dress rehearsal. In fact, the Miss World organization actually limited the girls to press exposure during the weeks they were in Malta and London. British newspapers had also ignored the pageant. They made headlines only when the photos of Miss UK’s breasts were posted. Despite all that, the show went on. And, speaking of the press, in all the events, British journalists and photographers had priority, then those who came from other countries. “Stop! Only British! You will have your chance later” … Those who did not ignore the contest were precisely the feminists, who threatened to prevent the event from being held. The Women’s Campaign of the National Union of Students also criticized the pageant, saying it was “an archaic competition that reinforces sexist stereotypes.”
* GOOD FRIEND.- Unlike in other years, when the Venezuelan candidate was avoided and even stopped talking because she was a favorite, this year’s representative, Martina Thorogood, was very loved among her colleagues. The reason? She helped the other participants as much as she could, she retouched their makeup to make them look perfect and she even lent some of them dresses, as she brought eight suitcases with at least 40 costumes, as well as shoes and accessories.
* The Misses have been banned from making phone calls from their rooms since one of them, homesick for her family, left a £ 300 phone bill in her hotel room in Malta.
* Miss Canada, Mireille Eid had a nasty cold days before the finals, but her spirits were lifted on Thursday with the arrival of her parents, Diane and Ghazi. “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for my parents to see me at the pageant.” In reference to her chances in the contest, she said “It is up to the judges, it will be a tough competition. It really is in God’s hands.”
THEY LET HER PARTICIPATE.-
On Thursday, December 2, it was confirmed that Miss United Kingdom, Nicola Willoughby, could participate in the Miss World final despite posing topless for photographs. It was feared that the young woman would be forced to withdraw after photographs taken eight months ago appeared in a newspaper over the weekend. But Channel 5, which would screen the final, said public pressure and support from the other participants had influenced the decision. Nicola’s mother, Liz Hunt, 40, said: “She was obviously worried. She will be delighted with this decision. It is a shame these photos are coming out now, but they were taken a long time ago and were never supposed to be made public.” “She did them when she was a student to earn extra money for books and supplies. I knew they were going to take those pictures and I didn’t object,” said Mrs. Hunt. For her part, a Miss World spokesperson said: “Everything is fine.” “They tricked her into doing it. She was young, she needed the money … and he (her photographer) promised her photos of her would never be published.” But some national directors were not happy when Nicola Willoughby remained in the pageant despite the photos. Lupita Jones was one of them: “In Mexico we tried very hard to find family-oriented girls with high values and moral principles to represent our country, and then we came here and we see this! I think the rules are very clear. I don’t know what they are thinking!” Much more upset than Lupita Jones, the original Miss Bosnia-Herzegovina, Alisa Sisic, must have been. While she was disqualified, the British was forgiven… In the morning hours of Saturday, the entrants attended a beauty salon to be ready for the finals that began at 8 p.m.
FAVOURITES AND ROOMMATES.-
British bookmakers took bets again for the Miss World contest and the big favorite was Miss Venezuela with 12-1 odds, followed by Miss Israel with 13-1 and Miss United Kingdom along with Miss Spain with 14-1. Others with great chances of becoming Miss World, according to bettors, were the candidates from India, Lebanon, Paraguay, Latvia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Holland, Brazil, Philippines, South Africa, Sweden and Zimbabwe. Here is the list of the ‘roommates’:
|Philippines – Hong Kong||Jamaica – Cayman Islands||Ecuador – Honduras|
|Costa Rica – Dominican Republic||France – Germany||Yugoslavia – Wales|
|Iceland – United States||Gibraltar – Malta||Swaziland – Tanzania|
|Japan – Singapore||Greece – Cyprus||Holland – Ireland|
|Chile – Colombia||Norway – Lithuania||Bulgaria – Hungary|
|Ukraine – Russia||Kenya – Liberia||Israel – Switzerland|
|Sweden – Bosnia & Herzegovina||Paraguay – Panama||Peru – Guatemala|
|Aruba – Bolivia||Bahamas – American Virgin Islands||Guyana – Bangladesh|
|Italy – Croatia||Madagascar – Seychelles||Canada – Lebanon|
|Korea – Malaysia||Nigeria – Ghana||Tahiti – Trinidad & Tobago|
|Argentina – Brazil||Angola – Portugal||Australia – Botswana|
|Nepal – India||Austria – Belgium||New Zealand – United Kingdom|
|Uruguay – Venezuela||Zambia – Zimbabwe||Poland – Latvia|
|Scotland – South Africa||Sri Lanka – Thailand||Spain – Mexico|
|Slovakia – Czech Republic||Turkey – Kazakhstan||Romania – Slovenia|
|Puerto Rico – St. Maarten||Estonia – Finland|
It’s almost unbelievable that feminists never tire of protesting beauty pageants. There they were, throwing flour bombs and holding banners that read, “Fat girls are cool too!” and “Women’s bodies are not for sale.” On Saturday night, December 4, a score of feminists stood in front of the Olympia to protest the contest. The protesters blocked the entrance to the venue, throwing flour and eggs at the guests until the police cleared the crowd. Police detained several protesters outside London’s Olympia, where the annual Miss World pageant was to take place. Women’s rights activists waved banners and chanted slogans outside the venue, calling the competition sexist.
THE FINALS OF MISS WORLD ’99.-
At 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 4, the doors of London’s Olympia Hall were opened to the public. At 7:30 p.m. there was a musical prelude with the Australian pop group Bjorn Again, who parodied the group ABBA, to entertain the audience before starting the show, produced by Lisa Chapman and directed by Hamish Hamilton of INITIAL with Live broadcast for Great Britain and the world through Channel 5. In Venezuela it was broadcast live at 4 in the afternoon. It is worth mentioning that when the show began, the Olympia was not even half full !!. At 8 o’clock at night (London time) the Miss World ’99 began with the opening by the English singer Robert Palmer interpreting his pop/rock song “Simply Irresistible” while the 94 participants paraded to the sound of music wearing short black cocktail dresses choreographed by Bruno Tonioli. At the conclusion of the opening with fireworks, the British presenter but born in Sweden Ulrika Jonsson, 32, entered the scene, who after the customary words of welcome, called her partner in the animation, the also British Melanie Sykes, 29, to the stage. While Jonsson sported a workshop in long pants, Sykes wore a long dress , both dressed in black. It is worth mentioning that for the first time in history, the event was conducted by women! Sykes immediately introduced the judges and chatted with each one a bit. They were:
01.- Northern Irish Formula One racer Eddie Irvine.
02.- Brazilian Supermodel, known for her relationship with Mick Jagger, Luciana Morad.
03.- American actor, famous for his role as “Superman”, Dean Cain.
04.- Miss World 1988 from Iceland, Linda Petursdóttir.
05.- The British photographer, who was repeating as a judge for the second year in a row, Terry O’Neill.
06.- The world heavyweight boxing champion, Britain’s Lennox Lewis.
07.- Miss World 1975 from Puerto Rico and wife of Bruce Forsyth, Wilnelia Merced-Forsyth.
08.- Air Malta’s Chairman, Louis Grech.
09.- And the owner and creator of Miss World, as well as Chairman of the Judges, Eric Morley.
Once the judges were known, Ulrika presented a tourist video of Malta and, in addition, images of the welcome of the contestants to that country, as a prelude to the presentation of the 94 candidates in swimsuits from the beaches of the island of Gozo. As mentioned above, the participants were divided into eight groups, and the first one had to introduced themselves while playing beach volleyball. They were the representatives of France, Dominican Republic, Yugoslavia, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Wales, Honduras, Germany, Hong Kong and Philippines. Some said where they came from and others commented on their ambitions and how much they liked Malta. After the presentation of the video of each group, Ulrika welcomed the girls to the stage, three at a time, wearing their evening dresses with comments in ‘off’ by Mel Giedroyc. The stage had ramps arranged at each exit, ending in a kind of round place with stairs and a set of lights. The prelude to each group was presented by Melanie Sykes. The second group, made up of the candidates from Holland, Malta, Swaziland, Iceland, Tanzania, Ireland, Japan, Gibraltar, Singapore, Greece, Cyprus and United States, did so while jet-skiing in Malta.
After the first commercial break, the public was able to meet the third group with the delegates from Chile, Colombia, Norway, Liberia, Ukraine, Kenya, Switzerland, Israel, Russia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Hungary while playing soccer on the beach. The fourth group showed up from an indoor pool in Gozo. They were the candidates from Sweden, Paraguay, American Virgin Islands, Peru, Guatemala, Panama, Bahamas, Aruba, Bolivia, Bangladesh, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Guyana. From the Captain Morgan yacht we could see the fifth group of entrants made up of Italy, Croatia, Madagascar, Seychelles, Canada, Lebanon, Korea, Trinidad-Tobago, Malaysia, Nigeria, Tahiti and Ghana. And doing aerobics from the pool of the Corinthia Marina hotel, we saw the sixth group of girls with representatives from Argentina, Angola, Brazil, Portugal, Australia, Botswana, Nepal, India, Austria, Belgium, New Zealand and United Kingdom.
At the conclusion of the second commercial block, the penultimate group showed up from the pool of the Golden Tulip Vivaldi hotel. They were Miss Uruguay, Miss Zimbabwe, Miss Venezuela, Miss Poland, Miss Latvia, Miss Scotland, Miss South Africa, Miss Sri Lanka, Miss Thailand and Miss Zambia. Since there were ten girls in this group, they showed up in ball gowns two by two. To conclude the candidates’ presentations, the eighth group made up of Spain, Saint Maarten, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Romania and Czech Republic appeared playing softball on the beach. These dozen girls also paraded in pairs in evening gowns. Once the 94 participants were known, the cheerleaders called all the girls to the stage to announce the winner of the only special award this year (curiously, Miss Photogenic and Miss Personality were not awarded as in previous years). The comperes called Luciana Morad to the stage to announce the winner of the BEST EVENING WEAR, which turned out to be Miss ISRAEL (Genny Chervoney), a strapless aqua blue beaded dress with transparencies at the stomach level, who received her trophy before dismissing the third part of the broadcast.
Upon their return, the hostesses called the ten semi-finalists, with comments from Mel Giedroyc. They were Miss ISRAEL, Miss SPAIN, Miss CROATIA, Miss UNITED STATES, Miss LIBERIA, Miss NORWAY, Miss ESTONIA, Miss VENEZUELA, Miss INDIA and Miss SOUTH AFRICA. As you can see, they ranked five Europeans (including Israel who is actually from the Middle East), two African, two from the American continent and one Asian. The Venezuelan was the only Latin American to enter the semifinal, which this time did not have any representative from the Caribbean Islands. This was followed by a video showing the construction of the stage, the party with the children of the Variety Club and the rehearsals from the Olympia. The turn on stage was for the Irish group Westlife, made up of Shane Filan, Markus Feehily, Kian Egan, Nicky Byrne and Brian McFadden, with the song “If I Let You Go”. It should be noted that this band had only been formed in 1998 and quickly emerged as one of the most listened to in Great Britain and the world.
Melanie Sykes interviewed some of the girls from backstage before beginning the individual parade of the semifinalists in evening gowns with comments from Mel Giedroyc, ending in a kind of living-room at both ends of the stage where they were interviewed by Ulrika Jonsson and Melanie Sykes on a small sofa, who invited them to draw questions from a box. The first five were interviewed before concluding the fourth part of the program. Upon returning from publicity, the remaining five semifinalists paraded and were interviewed by the comperes. Notably, the 10 girls spoke in English. They all answered two questions with the exception of Miss Israel and Miss Liberia who were only allowed to choose one. None of the questions were deep and therefore the answers were not relevant. Perhaps the best was Miss Liberia who said “Some people think I am beautiful, others think I am not. I think I am, since God made us all beautiful.” For her part, Miss India said that she would have liked to be the actress Audrey Hepburn whom she admired for her “inner beauty, compassion and great aura”. She also told that she liked Thai food and that she would love to get to know Paris. Miss Venezuela said that as a child she was very shy, very different from how she was today and Miss Croatia had to ask Ulrika a question…
|01||Miss ISRAEL||Genny Chervoney||18||Ashdod|
|02||Miss SPAIN||Lorena Raquel Bernal Pascual||18||San Sebastian|
|03||Miss CROATIA||Ivana Petkovic||18||Zagreb|
|04||Miss UNITED STATES||Natasha Heather Allas||25||Los Angeles, California|
|05||Miss LIBERIA||Sebah Esther Tubman||21||Monrovia|
|06||Miss NORWAY||Anette Haukaas||20||Trondheim|
|07||Miss ESTONIA||Karin Laasmae||19||Tallinn|
|08||Miss VENEZUELA||Martina Thorogood Heemsen||24||Valencia|
|09||Miss INDIA||Yukta Mookhey||20||Mulund, Mumbai|
|10||Miss SOUTH AFRICA||Sonia Raciti||21||Estcourt, Natal|
The 6th and final part of the program began when the 10 semi-finalists returned to the stage and presented a reminder video of themselves on the beaches of Malta. Ulrika Jonsson then called Eddie Irvine on the stage to announce the names of the 5 finalists. But interestingly, before Irvine received the envelope, Ulrika announced that the first of the five finalists was Miss ISRAEL. Then Irvine, with results in hand, continued calling the other four who were Miss LIBERIA, Miss VENEZUELA, Miss INDIA and Miss SOUTH AFRICA. While setting the stage for the next artist, Melanie Sykes interviewed several of the judges. It was time to present the song “Rhythm Divine” by Enrique Iglesias with a group of dancers. Before hearing the judge’s result, Sykes chatted backstage with the five finalists. On her side, Ulrika Jonsson called on the scene the outgoing Miss World, the Israeli Linor Abargil, with whom she had a little conversation. She then called the five finalists to the stage, who paraded individually once more and for this, five catwalks were arranged from the same number of exits for each of them. Jonsson immediately called Julia Morley on stage for the awards and Eric Morley to give the judge’s verdict.
Eric Morley then released the results in reverse order, as usual. The SECOND RUNNER-UP had been Miss SOUTH AFRICA (Sonia Raciti) and the FIRST RUNNER-UP, Miss VENEZUELA (Martina Thorogood Heemsen). Both were crowned by Julia Morley. And MISS WORLD 1999 was … Miss INDIA !!. Yukta Mookhey, a 20-year-old brunette Zoology graduate whose wish was to see Paris and who was elegantly dressed in a tight, off-the-shoulder light blue suit, a matching shawl and a beaded neckline, received the sash of Miss World from Julia Morley, who took off her shawl and her Miss India sash. She was crowned on her feet by Linor Abargil and then sat on the throne to receive congratulations from the two finalists. Amid a shower of confetti, the rest of the contestants took to the stage, for the first time in history, to congratulate the winners. Yukta’s parents and her grandmother were allowed to take the stage to congratulate her before the event ended, and the contestants sat the grandmother on the throne, who had difficulty walking. Then Yukta took her triumphant ride with Andy Williams’ “Music to Watch Girls By” theme song to end the 2-hour, 10-minute broadcast, which was reportedly broadcast in 170 countries to two billion viewers. Miss Canada later said that her favorite for the crown had been Miss South Africa, although she was happy with the result and that Yukta’s triumph was well deserved.
Afterwards, they all went to the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane (London) for the celebration of the Coronation Ball. At the party it was learned that Miss ISRAEL (Genny Chervoney), had been the third runner-up, and Miss LIBERIA (Sebah Esther Tubman), the fourth runner-up. This year the list of awards that the new Miss World would receive from the sponsors was not released. But it was confirmed that the main prize of the winner was still £ 60,000 (about US $ 100,000 to change), distributed in US $ 15,000 at the time of winning, a monthly salary of US $ 5,000 for 10 months and US $ 35,000 when giving the crown to her successor. The finalists received the same amount of cash prize as the previous year: 1st. runner-up (Miss Venezuela): US $ 10,000, 2nd. runner-up (Miss South Africa): US $ 5,000, 3rd. runner-up (Miss Israel): US $ 2,000 and 4th. runner-up (Miss Liberia): US $ 1,000. Miss Jamaica for being Continental Queen: US $ 1,000. (The other four did not receive it for having reached the Top 5). Best Evening Wear (Miss Israel): US $ 1,000.
|AFRICA||Miss SOUTH AFRICA||Sonia Raciti|
|AMÉRICAS||Miss VENEZUELA||Martina Thorogood Heemsen|
|ASIA & OCEANIA||Miss INDIA||Yukta Mookhey|
|CARIBBEAN ISLANDS||Miss JAMAICA||Desiree DePass|
|EUROPE||Miss ISRAEL||Genny Chervoney|
|* Yukta Mookhey gave India the fourth Miss World crown. Before her, Reita Faria (1966), Aishwarya Rai (1994) and Diana Hayden (1997) won, turning the country into a new powerhouse of beauty.|
* This was the last Miss World that Eric Morley (RIP) lived.
* Singer Robert Palmer died less than four years after (on September 26, 2003) his first and only appearance at Miss World as a result of a sudden heart attack while he was in a hotel in Paris (France). He was 54 years old.
* As Scotland and Wales debuted in the pageant, 1999 marked the last time the Miss United Kingdom sash was worn at the Miss World.
* For the first time in history, all the presenters of Miss World were women. Men were missing in action…
* Venezuelan Martina Thorogood was the first Miss Venezuela titleholder to compete in Miss World since 1958. The previous ones had been Susana Duijm in 1955, Consuelo Nouel in 1957 and Ida Pieri in 1958. Before being “recruited” by Osmel Sousa to compete in Miss Venezuela, Martina worked in an advertising agency in Chicago, Illinois, hence she was fluent in English. By the way, she has English and German ancestry from her grandparents. To compete in the Miss Venezuela contest she had to lose 15 kilos (33 pounds).
* Osmel Sousa, the director of Miss Venezuela, was concerned about the failure of Venezuelans at Miss World in the previous two years and thought the debacle was because the Morleys had always wanted him to send them a winner. At first, it was rumored that Osmel would send Carolina Indriago, Miss Venezuela 1998, to Miss World, but this did not happen, since Osmel decided that he would send the new Miss Venezuela (Martina Thorogood) to London so that she would be better prepared for Miss Universe. It is well known that Sousa was more interested in Miss Universe than Miss World.
* Sonia Raciti gave South Africa the ninth consecutive title of Queen of the African Continent and Jamaica won with Desiree DePass the third consecutive title of Queen of the Caribbean Islands.
* This year the Miss Photogenic and Miss Personality titles were not awarded as there was no company that sponsored these titles.
* José María Almeida was in charge of designing the evening dress that Miss Venezuela wore in the Miss World finals. Made of ice blue natural silk, with white embroidery and crystal sequins, as well as an embroidery of vertical lines to stylize Martina’s figure.
* It is FALSE that Martina Thorogood could not participate the following year in Miss Universe because she was the first runner-up in Miss World. That was an excuse that Osmel Sousa gave to approach the brand new socialist government of Hugo Chavez. His idea was to create a new contest with the name of “Miss Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela” to ingratiate himself with the new ruler, but his attempt did not yield the desired fruit. Chavez, a communist in short, had no intention of supporting beauty pageants. On the other hand, Sousa had had an impasse with Martina after Miss World and did not want to send Norkys Batista to Miss Universe because he did not like her, but he said that Miss Universe did not accept her because she was the first runner-up of Miss Venezuela. Martina herself went to the Miss Universe offices in New York to find out the reasons why she was not accepted in the contest, since she did not have any signed contract with Miss World. There, she was told that they did not prevent her from participating in it, but it was the National Directors who had the power to decide and to send their candidates. In fact, numerous Miss World finalists have participated in Miss Universe without problems, such as the Irish Siobhan McClafferty, who was 1st. runner-up at Miss World 1990 and who later competed in Miss Universe 1991; and Zizi Lee from Aruba, 1st. runner-up in Miss World 2001 and then candidate for Miss Universe 2004. What is certain is that Martina wanted to go to Miss Universe more than to Miss World. And it is also true that several National Directors, among them the Mexican Lupita Jones, raised a cry in the sky to claim Martina’s alleged participation in Miss Universe since she had an advantage after being the first runner-up at Miss World.
* Another false rumor was that Martina was older than she claimed to be. But not!!. She was born on February 4, 1975, so she was 24 years old at the time of Miss Venezuela and Miss World.
* As a curious fact, the two times that the preliminary events of the Miss World were held in Malta, the Venezuelan managed to obtain the position of first runner-up. It also happened with Albani Lozada in 1987.
*The gown that the Colombian Mónica Escolar wore in Miss World, was the same one that Peggy Valbuena, Miss Costa Oriental, wore in Miss Venezuela 1997, designed by RAENRA.
* During the day, the South African Sonia Raciti looked like an ordinary ‘mortal’, very small, thin, with huge eye bags. When the time came for the competition, she was transformed into a beautiful, sexy and eloquent “goddess”, intelligent and interesting. The fact that she looked like “the girl next door” made people feel comfortable around her.
* Miss Spain was baptized as the “Queen of Feathers” for her gown. She really ruined her chance to achieve her crown with a dress made from a ton of purplish black feathers and so many other things, that she just looked outrageous!
* Filipina Lalaine Edson trained for Miss World in Venezuela with Osmel Sousa’s team.
* Outside of the cameras, Miss India was not that popular. The contestants felt that Yukta was too cocky and aggressive at times. She never tired of mentioning that she was there to win, which annoyed the other girls. If they didn’t hate her, she wasn’t a popular choice with contestants either. The truth is that she was focused and confident, qualities that the other potential winners did not have in London.
* Miss Ireland, Emir Holohan Doyle, criticized racing driver Eddie Irvine for bad language during the private interview and further called her a “paddy”. Miss Ireland recounted: “He was supposed to interview me and all he did was rant about the ‘shit world’ while he judged Miss World.”
* Miss World commentator Mel Giedroyc after the pageant became popular in the UK as a television host, comedian and actress on TV series. Since 2016 she presents the program “Eurovision You Decide”, and in 2018 she was the spokesperson for the British votes at that festival.
INDIA IDOLIZES MISS WORLD.-
The newly crowned Miss World of India, Yukta Mookhev, had become a national icon overnight, hailed as an example of the “superior brain and beauty” of Indian women and an effective alternative for those seeking the western emancipation. In a Hindu society that revered many female deities but often viewed a daughter as a burden, 20-year-old Mookhey was born in a country where most of her less fortunate sisters had yet to purchase her marriage to a dowry. In India, two-thirds of rural women had little or no formal education. National pride in the fourth Indian woman to win a Miss World or Miss Universe title in six years had become contagious and provided a unique opportunity for traditionalists to criticize Western women, who many Indians said had lost their charms. women in the quest to be equal to men. “Indian beauty symbolizes a return to the mystical and mysterious female mystique, which today the West has to rescue from ancient books and archives,” quoted filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, according to The Times of India.
The patriotic euphoria was tempered somewhat by revelations earlier that week that far from being a natural beauty, the new Miss World had trained as a super athlete for the crown. Mookhey’s makeup and image experts recounted how they trained her since January. She had a personality trainer, a speech therapist, and a dentist to make sure her teeth sparkled. A beautician made her skin glow on a diet of raw fruits and vegetables. She rehearsed the answers to 150 questions that the judges might ask. Her coaching staff said she spent part of the day running, doing calisthenics, aerobics, yoga, jumping jacks, weight training and US Navy-style exercises to improve her poise. Before leaving for London, she lost 16 pounds. “We worked to make her body tone even in color and to hydrate her skin to give it shine,” said Esthetician Jammu Pai. The national fascination for the Miss World crown was so intense that few people remembered that just a few weeks ago, Indian women’s movements criticized the London-based beauty pageant as “anachronistic” and as a “mockery of female emancipation.” And, once crowned, the new Miss World was quick to dismiss protesters outside the pageant venue who had denounced the proceedings inside as a “cattle market.”
Some people in India were opposed to blatant chauvinism that often relegated women to an inferior status. An advertisement published by 12 women’s organizations that fall listed some of the chauvinistic comments attributed to male candidates from the ruling Indian Nationalist Party (BJP) as they sought re-election in October. In an advertisement, a candidate said: “Sati (self-immolation) by a widow is pure devotion.” Another candidate was quoted as saying: “A husband is doing nothing wrong if he beats his wife.” The government was so angry that it threatened to withdraw the licenses of the women’s organizations responsible for the advertising campaign if an investigation found that they were being financed from abroad to carry out “anti-Indian propaganda”. “We will fight tooth and nail,” promised Ritu Menon of the women’s organization Kali for Women, which printed the ad. Menon added: “India has the highest number of female-headed households in the world. Women work the land, but the land can only be inherited by the male member of the family. Even school textbooks discriminate, subtly reinforce the male stereotype. There are few non-sexist books.”
For years, Indian governments promised that 33 percent of candidates for federal and district legislatures would be women. “We haven’t even had 10 percent,” Menon said. The fields of India were full of women workers. Women built roads, carried heavy loads on their heads and babies in their arms. Husbands often walked ahead, unhindered. In some villages, a girl had not been born in a generation, a sad tribute to ultrasound gender detection and the humble regard for daughters and gifts that could cripple a family’s fortune. “Even when you see a woman walking on the roadside with a load on her head, you can’t help but notice her charm and her grace,” wrote the Times of India praising the beauty of native women. The Hindu religion had countless female deities, generally victorious in their fight against the forces of evil. Fascination with the image of Mother India and rumors of reincarnated goddesses had elevated some mortal women whose actions emulated those of the gods to pedestals of veneration during their lifetime.
THE REIGN OF MISS WORLD 1999.-
The first words of the brand new Miss World ’99, Yukta Mookhey, were “I did the best I could and the rest I left in the hands of God”. Yukta confessed that she thought Miss Venezuela would win the crown, but when she was declared 1st runner-up, she thought she had a chance to win the title. When she was asked about the protesters who threw flour bombs outside the contest site, she Yukta said: “It doesn’t make any sense, I think it’s all a big fuss.” And when asked if as a child she dreamed of being Miss World, she replied: “Yes, I was. Since I was a child, I was quite fascinated by the idea of being known by so many people and being able to influence their ideas, being respected for my opinions and for your principle and your character”. Mookhey graduated from college with a degree in zoology and had worked in software programming. Her family was from North India, but she was educated in a British school in the Persian Gulf region.
At a press conference held on Sunday, December 5 in a London TV studio, new Miss World Yukta Mookhey of India, 20, dressed in a sari, said she hoped to promote tolerance to the Indian style in her new high profile position. But Mookhey had harsh words for campaigners for women’s rights, who had been outside Olympia waving signs saying “Stop this sexist cattle market.” “I have little time for feminists who say that doing this degrades the dignity of a woman,” she declared, adding that those involved “would not object to seeing an obscene movie on television.” The now-ex-Miss India had words of support for Miss UK, who was the subject of a barrage of criticism in the days leading up to the pageant when it was revealed that she had posed for topless photos. Mookhey said that Nicola Willoughby was “young and immature” but she would “learn from her mistake”. Mookhey said she thought India would be “extremely happy” to have won. “Now I am an ambassador for India. I am young and I really want to go,” she told reporters. “In India, we have a whole network of cultures and I want to spread those beliefs in tolerance.” Countries visited as Miss World include Germany for the annual Essen car show, Iceland for the “Ungfru Island” contest, Nigeria and El Salvador for “Beauty with a Purpose” activities, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Yukta Mookhey returned home and arrived in Mumbai on a British Airways flight on Tuesday night, December 14. Her parents went to look for her at the Sahara International Airport, where a private security agency, as well as the police, tried to keep away the crowds. Her father, Inder Mookhey, said he hoped to give her a quiet stay in the city before she embarked on her one-year stint as Miss World. She was taken to a hotel in Bandra, and the next day she began her hectic schedule of personal appearances. Throughout the celebration and holiday, a six-horse carriage carried her to and through her hometown of Mulund. From the relative serenity of press attention in London, Yukta Mookhey returned to India to be overwhelmed by a huge group of photographers, videographers and journalists. Since she became Miss World, Indian newspapers had given extensive coverage to the success of the Indian beauty. But the pressure for public appearances had been too much, and the next day, Yukta Mookhey began her new life as Miss World by visiting a children’s home in the city, while the band played ‘Congratulations’. Accompanied by Julia Morley, executive president of Miss World, Yukta Mookhey was an image of poise amid the tumult of children and journalists. The children danced and also depicted an Indian beauty queen coming down the stairs, surrounded by attendants dressed in the national colors, waving Indian flags. As for the local media, the new Miss World had much more to accomplish. Being a woman from Mumbai, home to the Indian film industry, the question was, would she accept film roles as a lead? Aboard a chariot loaded with heart-shaped balloons, she greeted the cheering people on the streets of Mumbai. On December 23, Yukta visited the Prime Minister of India, A.B. Vajpayee, in the city of New Delhi and on the 27th she attended the launch of the Times of India Millennium Gold Coin.
“The experience of having a world title that puts you on a pedestal, so that the whole world looks at you in awe and admiration, had tremendous responsibilities associated with it. And during my reign as Miss World 1999 I have been very fortunate to have had the benefit of the guidance of the organizers of this prestigious event, a couple who have been very loving: dear Julia Morley and her husband, Eric, the creator of this wonderful pageant and all that goes with it”, said Yukta. “The beautifully crafted Miss World crown that was placed on my head on December 4, 1999, along with the laurels it bestowed on me, also brought with it some important responsibilities, as I mentioned earlier. I am extremely proud, indeed euphoric, of having carried out these responsibilities to the best of my ability. This whole special year as the Miss World of the Millennium has also helped me to be more responsible and mature. The culture and legacy of my country, India, have blended well with my new role as an ambassador for various issues. These are issues that need to be addressed by many countries that are in a position to help those who desperately need not only compassion but also those vital funds”.
“While traveling to countries such as El Salvador and Nigeria, I was deeply moved by the plight of children who need immediate care to improve their medical and nutritional conditions. It is my responsibility to make this sincere appeal to you to do more than you can to help erase the curse of disease and malnutrition, so that these disadvantaged children of the world see a better future. I would like to sincerely thank the organizers for giving ‘the women of the future’ a platform from which they can be heard, both for their opinions, as well as being respected in their own right. It is a great pride for me to be part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Miss World event. To go down in history as the last Miss World of the 20th century and to always crown the new Miss World of the Millennium they will be the most memorable events of my life”. “Throughout the year there have been tremendous pressures for me and tremendous adulation as well. I would not have been able to cope with all of this without the love and support of my dear parents. My parents were always by my side when I needed them, and they have been pillars of strength at all times. I hope to use this rich experience to march forward in my life with great enthusiasm, to move forward and improve myself as a human being and achieve greater challenges. I will carry the torch, together with others, to show the way towards a world of compassionate and loving people”. Yukta presented the crown to her successor in London in November 2000 in London, at the 50th Miss World celebrations.
BIOGRAPHY OF YUKTA MOOKHEY.-
Yukta Mookhey was born in Bangalore, India on October 7, 1979 to a Sindhi family and was raised in Dubai until Yukta was seven years old. Her family moved back to Mumbai in June 1986. Her mother Aroona used to run a beauty salon in Santa Cruz, Mumbai and her father, Inder Mookhey, was a former CEO of a clothing company. Growing up, Inder remembers that she never wore makeup or extraordinary clothes. After school, Yukta studied zoology at the V.G. Vaze College in Mumbai. She has a degree in computer science from Aptech and studied Hindustani classical music for three years. In late 1998, Mookhey entered the Femina Miss India pageant, where she was shortlisted as a contestant. In the semi-final round during the grand finale on January 16, 1999, Judge Sir Viv Richards asked her a question: “How do you define a true athlete?”, To which she replied: “You would define a true athlete as the one who welcomes both defeat and success with a healthy attitude and with a smile”. Yukta moved on to the next round, where all of her Top 5 peers were asked the same question: “In the context of the recent controversy, if you were Chelsea Clinton, what is the most important advice that you, as a daughter, would give to your parents Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, and why? “, to which she stated: “If I were Chelsea Clinton, I would tell my parents that in the values they have taught me, I still support them no matter what. And I hope we can set an example for the rest of the world to see what family ethics and values are all about”. Her charisma, bearing and beauty earned her the Miss India World ’99 crown.
After winning the Miss India World title, Yukta had around 10 months to prepare for Miss World. In addition, she continued her studies at university and occasionally modeled professionally for some brands in India. The 49th edition of the Miss World pageant was held on December 4, 1999 at London’s Olympia Hall. Yukta’s evening dress was designed by Hemant Trivedi. A backless halter neckline dress in pale blue, embellished with Swarovski crystals and a pretty shawl that matched her personality and height. Hemant gave Yukta a pair of white gloves “worn by ex-Miss World Aishwarya Rai and Diana Hayden during their coronation”, saying that “they are lucky as both Aishwarya and Diana had won with them, so although they didn’t match her dress, she asked her to put them on for a few minutes before going on stage as a lucky charm, and she did”. Yukta was very prepared for the finale, and she herself confessed to eating two full chocolate bars without sharing them with anyone before the show began. Upon being proclaimed the winner, she was ecstatic and overwhelmed but with the composure graceful enough to hug the other finalists.
Yukta was committed to the duties and responsibilities of her title throughout the year, and went on to host the first IIFA (International Indian Film Awards, equivalent to the Bollywood Oscars) on June 24, 2000 which was held in the Millennium Dome in London. As a coincidence, her last duty as Miss World to crown her successor was in that same place as well. Yukta’s parting words were among the best ever uttered by an outgoing queen. When asked what the highlights of her year were, she said “right after the coronation I went to the Coronation Ball and everyone was standing clapping, and I didn’t know why, but they told me they were giving me a standing ovation, which was overwhelming, apart from that, despite being in a position where she is probably walking the red carpet, wearing expensive jewelry, being treated to royal dinners, I was also in a place where I could bring a smile to the face of a sick little boy, helping to achieve a wonderful balance between the extremes of life”.
After Miss World, Yukta became involved in various social and charitable causes. She worked for people affected by HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, and thalassemia. Mookhey promised to donate her organs. In connection with this, she stated: “This step will benefit someone, once I leave this world.” She also worked as an educator and provided motivational counseling on various platforms. She partnered with an NGO to guide slum girls, push them toward self-contemplation, understand their needs, and help them become aware of their bodies, through counseling. She spoke out against illegal child labor carried out in the Indian firecracker industries, which is a crime under Indian law. She also helped the hearing impaired, the underserved and low-income segment of society. She expressed: “I have spent my time learning Indian sign language because I feel that hearing impaired people have a lot of latent creativity and are only hampered by their inability to communicate. I would like to help them by drawing attention to this issue.”
Mookhey is an environmental activist and has participated in various cleanup campaigns and social movements to prevent deforestation. In 2018, she joined a campaign to prevent illegal logging at the Salim Ali bird sanctuary, to pave the way for road and subway construction. During the movement, she stated: “I don’t see any reason to build a road and a subway from the sanctuary. The subway can be built underground and the road can be made elsewhere. Human beings are not capable of doing what it can. to do ‘Mother Earth’. So we are only asking to stop the works and also to stop cutting down the trees”. She also sent a letter to the Heritage Cell of the Pune Municipal Corporation, to include the bird sanctuary in the list of national heritage sites. She supported the ‘Swachh Kalyani Nagar’ initiative in Pune, and had campaigned in households to process their waste effectively through segregation and recycling, ensuring minimal or no garbage generation from individual societies. Mookhey entered the film industry in 2001 through the Tamil film “Poovellam Un Vasam”, where she appeared in a song titled “Yukta Mookhey”. She made her Hindi film debut with “Pyaasa” in 2002 starring Aftab Shivdasani. The movie turned out to be a box office flop. Mookhey was chosen for “Market” but had to withdraw due to injury. In 2003, she did “Kab Kyon Kahan” and “Hum Teeno”, but both films were later shelved. Then she participated in the 2004 release “Insaaf: The Justice”, but had to abandon the project. In 2005, she acted in two movies “Memsahab” and “Love in Japan” and in 2006, she appeared in the music video “Kathputali”. After a long break, she appeared in the movie “Good Newwz” in 2019.
On September 7, 2008, Mookhey became engaged to Prince Tuli, a businessman and financial consultant working in New York, in a ceremony held at the Grand Maratha in Mumbai. The marriage was celebrated on November 2, 2008 in a traditional Sikh ceremony at a Nagpur Gurudwara (Sikh temple). The new spouses stayed to live in Nagpur and Yukta decided to abandon her acting career at the request of her husband. They have a son named Ahhreyn Tuli, born in November 2010. In July 2013, Mookhey accused her husband and her in-laws of subjecting her to domestic violence and stalking and a lawsuit was filed under Sections 498A (cruelty) and 406 (abuse of trust) of the Indian Penal Code. She also charged Tuli under section 377 (unnatural sex) of the IPC. In June 2014, the couple divorced. Currently she lives in Mumbai and claims not to wear makeup or perfumes, only organic products. She is a pioneer in social and educational reform. Through her work in politics and education, she has constantly endeavored to help society and has been supporting the Eye Bank Association of India (EBAI).
FROM THE OTHER CONTESTANTS.-
Candidates from the Cayman Islands, Lebanon, Switzerland and Yugoslavia competed in Miss Universe 2000. The Paraguayan won Miss Latin America 2005, Miss Zimbabwe was Miss Malaika 2001, the French was 1st. runner-up at the World Miss University 2000 where Miss Poland also participated. Miss Puerto Rico was 1st. runner-up of Miss Globe 2001 and the Chilean was 2nd. runner-up in the South American Queen 2000. The Uruguayan was in Miss Intercontinental 2000 and Miss Earth 2004 while the Honduran went to the International Queen of Coffee 2000. Miss Bahamas was in the Miss Hawaiian Tropic Intl. 2005.
Venezuelan Martina Thorogood married businessman Juan José Fernández on November 24, 2000 in the Cathedral of Valencia and in May 2002 she had her first child in New York, named Rodrigo. Later, Martina gave birth to 2 more children, Cristóbal and Martina. The family lives between Valencia (Venezuela), New York and the places where Thorogood is sent to work. She has recently served diplomatic duties as a US consular officer at the American Embassy in Mexico City and the Guadalajara and Monterrey consulates of the same country; She, in the same way, has done it in the US dependencies in Venezuela such as those in Caracas and Maracaibo. South African Sonia Raciti is married to Marcus Oshry, has two children and lives in Johannesburg. She has been a judge on several editions of Miss South Africa. In 2016, during the US presidential campaign, she reported that Donald Trump had gotten into dressing rooms during the Miss Universe preliminary, which for her was a kind of sexual harassment. Israeli Genny Chervoney owns a store in Tel-Aviv, participated in several TV documentaries and the Reality Show “Survivor” between 2015 and 2016. In 2011 she married businessman Roni Mana and is the mother of two girls born in 2013 and 2018. The couple separated in February 2020. Liberian Sebah Tubman is now a Christian Youtuber who provides inspiration and spiritual guidance to her subscribers, lives in the US in Washington DC.
Croatian Ivana Petkovic married Iván Cevra in 2005, has two children and continues to live in Zagreb, where she works in digital communications. Miss Estonia, Karin Laasmae is a businesswoman in Tallinn and is married to Hanno Jarvet, with whom she has a son. Norwegian Anette Haukaas now calls herself Antoinette Kristensen, she is an actress and singer, after the contest she went to model in Italy and Spain, and posed half-naked for Interviu magazine in 2001. She also had a relationship with footballer John Carew, she participated on the TV series “Hollywood Wives” and lives in Los Angeles. The Spanish Lorena Bernal is an actress and TV presenter. She has made films and several television series in Spain, which also found an international impact, highlighting the Latin American market, such as “Luna Negra”, “El Secreto”, “Aida” or “Paraíso”. She was also the presenter of several television programs and special galas on the main Spanish television channels. Her big break as an international actress came from the movies “The Deal” and “Clean Break,” where she performed in English surrounded by great American casts and teams. After that, she moved to Los Angeles and starred in internationally acclaimed TV shows like “CSI: Miami” or “Chuck.” She is currently married to former Spanish soccer player Mikel Arteta, whom she married on July 17, 2010. She has three children with him, Gabriel, born on June 8, 2009, Daniel, born on June 27, 2012 and Oliver, born on June 2, 2015. She lived between the United States and Spain (where her acting career continues) and currently in the United Kingdom, where she has lived with her family for several years. American Natasha Allas is married to Doug Croxall, is the mother of three children, Charlie, Dutch and Ava, and is a co-founder of covidrelief.care with her husband, feeding the most vulnerable families in Los Angeles affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Miss American Virgin Islands, Shani Afua Smith, works for the US Army in St. Thomas. Australian Nalishebo Gaskell is married to Christian Elliott, has two children and lives in London. Belgian Brigitta Callens founded a jewelry line called AKINA, then she took up photography and later, she began practicing Raja Yoga, becoming a holistic massage therapist and instructor. She runs her own Institute of Yoga and Mindstyle “La Maison Pure” and works for Life Tv, a Belgian television channel on Health and Quality of Life, where she has a program on Yoga. Brazilian Paula Carvalho currently resides in the US where she works as a designer. Bulgarian Violeta Zdravkova participated in the first edition of “Big Brother” in Bulgaria in 2006 where she was a finalist. Miss Cayman Islands, Mona Lisa Tatum became a renowned news reporter in her country and also worked for CNN in Atlanta. She married Ben Meade in 2020 and currently works as a Marketing Coordinator at the Islands Department of Tourism. Chilean Lissette Sierra made several appearances on TV in her country, including the reality show “Year 0”. She ran as a candidate for councilor for Arica in the 2012 municipal elections, where she was elected. She took office on December 6 of that year. She is married and has a son.
Miss Nepal, Shweta Singh, is a businesswoman and worked for many years training the participants of her national pageant. In 2005 she married Bikash Singh and is the mother of two sons, Binayak and Siddharth. Czech Helena Houdova made a career in the world of international modeling after passing her through the contest, touring the catwalks of New York, Milan, London and Paris. She appeared on the cover of Elle magazine in 2005. That same year, Ella Houdova was named a Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. She created the “Sunflower Children” charitable foundation that operates in 15 countries and supports 11,000 disadvantaged children. The foundation’s mission is to work across cultures to “move people from indifference to compassion.” She has three children with her ex-husband Omar Amanat, an American businessman and investor, who was convicted of investor fraud in 2017 and with the exception of serving at least 10 years in prison. She currently defines herself as a Master of Sacred Sexuality and Trainer of Love and Relationships. The Dominican Luz García became a renowned TV presenter in her country and she also did some theater and film. In April 2008 she married the soldier and former minister of the Dominican Armed Forces José Miguel Soto Jiménez in a villa in La Romana. The couple had a son, Miguel Ángel (born in 2010) and divorced in 2011. In 2012, Garcia was romantically linked with the Dominican journalist and poet Pablo McKinney. She currently presents the program “Noche de Luz” on Antena Latina. The Ecuadorian Sofía Morán is a Consultant, Image Consultant and runs her own modeling agency in Manta called “Motru”. She is married to Juan Eduardo Centeno and has three children. The French Sandra Bretones now calls herself Sandra Lou and is a TV and radio presenter in her country. In 2004 she debuted as a singer. In 2008 she won a lawsuit for 50,000 euros against the TV channel M6 for abusive dismissal. In 2009 she became Lilli’s mother.
The German Susan Höcke was dedicated to acting and has worked in film and TV both in the US and in her country. Miss Ghana Mariam Sugru Bugri, she is married to Edward Caren and has two children. She with them she lives in Dublin, Ireland. The Greek Evi Vatidou made a successful career as a model. She was married to former soccer player and Greek criminal lawyer Alexis Kougias between 2001 and 2007 and with him she had her daughter Maira. Guatemalan Ana Beatríz González Scheel works for Cervecería Centro Americana in Frankfurt, Germany. The Guyanese Indra Changa, today Mekdeci, is a businesswoman and runs her company “Reminescense Guyana” in charge of producing food products; she has a son. Honduran Waleska Quijada resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Miss Hong Kong, Marsha Yuan, is a renowned actress, producer, singer and dancer in Hong Kong, she married Moroccan banker Mehdi El Ajimi on February 22, 2019 and on February 16, 2021 she debuted as the mother of Matys El Ajimi. Others who dedicated themselves to acting were the Hungarian Erika Dankai, the Korean Na-na Han and the Malaysian Jaclyn Lee Tze Wey. The latter is also the founder and executive producer of the environmental firm “Oxygen”, in operation since 2011, and which seeks to eliminate the use of plastic in Southeast Asia. Irish Emir Holohan Doyle is the mother of six children. Her offspring, product of her relationship with James Duffy whom she married in 2003 are Joshua (2002), Samuel (2003), Rianna (2005), Pearse (2006), Gabriella (2008) and Amira (2010). She also became an image and ambassador for the hair care company called “Viviscal” by recovering all the hair lost after becoming a mother. She lives in Ballina, Ireland. Another with many children is New Zealander Coralie Anne Warburton, married to Jarrod Evan Moyle with whom she has four boys and is also a businesswoman for the Warburton Moyle firm. Jamaican Desiree DePass is an airplane pilot and a pampering mom.
Kazakh Assel Issabayeva, today Mrs. Kurmanbekova, devoted herself to studying ballet and over time was the lover (and according to a third wife at the same time) of the dictator and president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who left power in 2019, and with whom she had 2 children, Tauman (2005) and Baiken (2008). Currently Assel she is serving as the Art Director of the ballet company in Astana. Miss Kenya, Esther Muthee, now calling herself Laydi Esther, is a renowned actress and singer in her country. Together with her family, she runs “Ubuntu For Life”, a children’s charity, which works to help street children and homeless children. Latvian Evija Rucevska married Rohan Mehra, has three children, lives in New York and founded the cosmetics company “The Makeup Coach”. Lebanese Norma Naoum is a TV presenter in her country and is the mother of two girls. The Maltese Catherine Attard is also married, has 2 children, she worked as a ‘Risk Manager’ in a Financial Services company and currently runs a manicurist company. The Mexican Danette Velasco converted to Judaism, is married, became the most fertile of the Misses of 99 with seven children and is a teacher in a school in New York. Paraguayan Mariela Candia is the wife and mother of a young son, she works as a surgeon and runs her own clinic in Asuncion. Peruvian Wendy Monteverde is an account executive in Lima and the mother of three children. Filipina Lalaine Edson did not return to the Philippines after Miss World and it was rumored that she had been abducted, but she said she was in the care of her father who was in poor health and who lived in Great Britain. But they say the real reason she stayed in London was because of a new love. Her current husband, Jason Graham, a Manchester-based Chinese-British businessman, was introduced to her by her roommate, Miss Hong Kong during the pageant. She worked as a nurse for a time and is the mother of two children. She is currently a film producer and photographer in England.
Polish Marta Kwiecien posed naked for Playboy magazine in 2003. She is currently Mrs. Dąbska, she is a set designer, stylist and interior designer. Puerto Rican Arlene Torres is married to Maurice Giro, she has a son named Marco and lives in Bergen County, New Jersey. She and her husband run the “Anytime Fitness” gym in Elmwood Park. Romanian Nicoleta Luciu works as a TV presenter in her country, she is also an actress and singer. In 2012 she was co-host of the “Voice of Romania”. She has been married since that year to Zsolt Csergo. She at the time she also posed for Playboy. Ukrainian Olga Savinskaya was working as a model for a long time in Russia for European and foreign brands. In 2010 she undressed for the Ukrainian Playboy Magazine. Russian Elena Efimova had been working as a model and part-time hostess in Moscow, but she “disappeared” from public life in 2000 to marry a businessman and went to live with him. Now she is overweight, she loves to travel and tries not to make her life public on social media. She has no children. Miss St. Maarten, Ifiola Badejo, is a motivational speaker and businesswoman in Philipsburg. Scottish Stephanie Norrie, now Mrs. Stephenson, has 1 son and has lived in Perth, Australia for many years. Miss Singapore, Audrey Quek, is an image consultant and real estate agent in her land. Slovak Andrea Veresova was very successful as a model in her country and she also posed for Playboy in May 2010. She is married since 2007 to Daniel Volopich, lives in Prague (Czech Republic) and has two children.
The Swiss Anita Buri works as a model (photo shoots, catwalks and television commercials) and as a television presenter. She was married for 5 years to former soccer player Marc Hodel. They have one son, born in 2002. She is currently married to Stephan Meier and is a representative and ambassador for the online store intimates.ch, presents fitness exercises for newmove.ch and designs her own line of Blemal bags. Slovenian Neda Gacnik married Ziga Cebulj in February 2013 and has two daughters with him. Miss Tahiti, Manoa Fruge, is currently serving as a General Aviation Surveillance Inspector at SEAC (French Polynesia). Miss Tanzania, Hoyce Temu, worked at the United Nations on behalf of her country. She has also been a TV presenter and creative director. The Thai Kamala Kumpu Na Ayuthaya is married to the Slovak Michael Polak, has three children and lives in Pattaya. Trinidadian Sacha Anton is married to Troy Herrera and has two boys. They live in Houston, Texas. Turkish Ayse Hatun Onal is a renowned singer and actress in her country. The British Nicola Willoughby practiced many years as a model, has a relationship with Darran Tex Campbell and is the mother of three children. Since 2020 she is co-organizer of Miss Lincolnshire.
Miss Swaziland, Colleen Tulonen, resides in Helsinki, Finland and Finnish Maria Laamanen lives in Copenhagen, Denmark with her two children, while Yugoslav Lana Maric lives in Toronto, Canada. Uruguayan Katherine Gonçalves lives in Mexico City where she still continues to do modeling jobs. Miss Zambia, Cynthia Chikwanda, was charged in 2019 with destroying evidence and possessing stolen items for which she lost her job at a Lusaka car dealership. Finally, Miss Zimbabwe, Brita Masalethulini, is a businesswoman, voiceover artist, life coach and motivational speaker, mother of three children by three different men. She is one of the most popular beauty queens in Zimbabwe. She was also romantically linked to the President of the Reserve Bank of her country, Gideon Gono, who was accused of the hyperinflation that Zimbabwe experienced in those years.
HOW THEY CURRENTLY LOOK