By Julio Rodríguez Matute. PAYPAL.ME/RODRIGUEZMATUTE2
EVENTS OF THE YEAR.-
The Second Gulf War occurs, in which the US and allied countries invade Iraq; Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is arrested. Earthquakes in Kerman (Iran), Boumerdes (Algeria), Colima (Mexico), Xinjiang and Yunan (China), Bingol (Turkey), Magway (Myanmar), Flores (Indonesia), Altai (Russia), Puerto Plata (Dominican Rep.) and Hokkaido (Japan), leave almost 30 thousand victims in total, although unofficial sources said that the earthquake in Iran left more than 50 thousand dead. The civil war in Liberia ends while in Venezuela the Oil Strike ends and exchange control begins. The shuttle Columbia disintegrates upon re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere and its seven crew members die. A terrorist attack occurs against the Nogal Club in Bogotá and in Venezuela, the Vista Hermosa Massacre happened. Yugoslavia disappears and the country adopts the name of Serbia and Montenegro. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected governor of the state of California and Nestor Kirchner assumes as President of Argentina. The Concorde aircraft ceases operations, the International Criminal Court is created in The Hague (Netherlands) and the video-calling platform Skype is created.
Dominican Amelia Vega wins the first Miss Universe crown for her country in Panama, Goizeder Azúa becomes the fourth Venezuelan Miss International in Japan, the Honduran Dania Prince wins the Miss Earth in the Philippines, Turkey achieves first place in the Eurovision Song Contest in Riga (Latvia) with the song “Every way that I can” performed by Sertab Erener and “Chicago” wins the Oscar for Best Picture. This year, they released in the cinema “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”, “Finding Nemo”, “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”, “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”, “X2”, “The Last Samurai”, “Almighty”, “Matrix Reloaded”, “Matrix Revolutions”, “Bad Boys II”, “Final Destination 2″,”Chasing Papi”, “American Wedding”, “Scary Movie 3”, “Peter Pan” and “Hulk”. Radio plays the songs “Baby Boy” by Beyonce & Sean Paul, “Crazy In Love” by Beyonce & Jay-Z, “Beautiful” and “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera, “Get Busy” by Sean Paul, “Hollywood” by Madonna and “Un Siglo Sin Ti” by Chayanne. This year the “Guarachera de América” Celia Cruz, the actors Bob Hope, Gregory Peck, Charles Bronson, Eduardo Palomo and John Ritter (Three’s company), the actress Katharine Hepburn, the singer Maurice Gibb (of the Bee Gees), the musician Barry White, the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin Dada and the former Venezuelan president Wolfgang Larrazábal, died.
EVENTS PRIOR TO MISS WORLD.-
On January 11, the Miss World organization canceled the sale of the videos of the Miss World 2002 candidates in bathing suits, filmed in Nigeria, for reasons that have not been clarified. People who had made the purchase through the contest website would be reimbursed. On Wednesday, February 5, it was announced that the ‘Miss Canada International’ organization had just lost the Miss World franchise. According to Julia Morley, President of the contest, Sylvia Stark’s license would not be renewed because she wanted her winners to pay for her clothes, hotels and travel expenses and that she was looking for a new licensee for Miss World in Canada. For its part, Attorneys for the Bennett family said Lynsey was still considering legal action against Stark after she was removed from office as Miss Canada International on Tuesday, January 21. On Friday, February 21, it became known that the Vancouver-based organization ‘SP Productions’ had obtained the Miss World franchise for Canada.
In early April, Julia Morley and BBC producer Peter Estall paid a visit to the People’s Republic of China looking for sites of interest for the outdoor filming of the Miss World 2003 pageant. However, the pageant’s website did not advertise officially the venue of Sanya, China, due to the epidemic outbreak of SARS in that Asian country, so it was rumored that the event could change its venue, with Turkey being the country that would host the contest in the event that it was canceled in China. Although Sarawak (Malaysia) had given up offering itself as the venue for Miss World due to inadequate facilities, it was ensured that the pageant could be held there in 2005 or 2006 when the construction of a new convention center with capacity for 5,000 people was completed. The Minister of Tourism, Datuk Abang Johari Tun Openg said on Tuesday, April 15 that Kuching City could host the famous contest. On the other hand, Australia announced its intentions for the ‘Gold Coast’ to host Miss World 2004. Directors of the contest would be present at the ‘Miss World Australia’ to take a look at the area and give their approval. According to, they were interested in the venue because it needed more exposure, it had scenic beauty, and it could provide a safe location for the contest.
On May 1, and after the WHO certification that SARS had already been controlled, China announced that the 2003 contest would be held in Sanya, from November 9 to December 6. For this, they began to build the exhibition center that would bear the name of “Beauty Crown” with 5,500 seats and it was expected that it would be ready by October 31. The first phase of the project included the construction of a 35-meter-high tower, the main building, a plaza, a parking lot and a cruise ship pier with a total area of 40,000 square meters and an investment of 120 million yuan (about $ 14.5 million). During the second phase, a recreation center would be built. However, the Miss World organization, quite secretive, especially because of what happened in Nigeria the previous year, informed its directors that the final venue of the event would only be known when it was fully certain that the SARS outbreak had been controlled. It didn’t take long, because at the beginning of June, the pageant’s website officially confirmed that China was the host of Miss World, in which 117 countries were initially expected to participate.
MISS ENGLAND SLANDERS JULIA MORLEY.-
Miss England, Daniella Luan, said on Wednesday, October 15 that she wanted to withdraw from Miss World 2002 and Juliette Garside, organizer of the local English pageant, convinced her to stay alone when organizer Julia Morley agreed that she would not be chosen as a winner or finalist. For her part, Ms. Morley said she was seeking legal advice on the claims and in a statement said she would show the ballots to prove that this was not the case. Apparently, it was an excuse given by the girl for not having been among the 20 semifinalists of Miss World 2002.
TV DOCUMENTARY DIFFAMS THE MISS WORLD ORGANIZATION.-
The Channel 4 documentary “Beauty Queens and Bloodshed” that aired on Saturday, October 11 made a series of damaging claims and accusations about Julia Morley and the Miss World Organization about the events surrounding the Miss World finals in Nigeria and the case of Amina Lawal in 2002. “This is extremely distressing and I want to fully refute it. Our attorneys are now going to study the program and then we will decide what action to take,” Julia Morley said in a statement. The show claimed that the contest had been rigged, that Azra Akin had won because she was Muslim, and that a girl had a better chance of winning the more her Director paid for the franchise to the Miss World Organization. The program further claimed that Venezuela paid $ 1 million, while Australia paid only $ 25,000 dollars. All of this was forcefully denied by Morley. “Dealing with the specific accusations about Venezuela and Australia: Venezuela paid a license of less than £ 10,000, not the million dollars that the documentary claims. Australia did not pay any fees as it was part of a program to develop competition in Australia”, Morley replied. The documentary also hinted that Miss Wales had said they were asking her to buy 30 dresses and that she actually spent £ 22,000 to buy them. On this, Julia replied: “Michelle Bush approached us to tell us that she was having difficulties and I personally gave her a thousand pounds for her wardrobe. She told us that her parents had no money and therefore it is surprising that she claims that her parents spent £ 22,000 on her clothes. We do not believe that maybe there is any evidence”. The contest auditor, Michael Anthony Macario, also testified in favor of Julia Morley. For his part, the director of Miss World Australia, Jim Davie, also denied what the documentary said and certified that what Julia Morley said was true. Chaperones, Directors and even Miss Norway, Kathrine Sorland, denied the accusations of Channel 4. Some judges of the 2002 edition, such as Pilín León, Eliot Cohen, Terry O’Neill, Eric Way and Ben Murray-Bruce, came out in defense of the contest, affirming that it was never fixed and that they voted for their personal preferences.
These were the words of Pilín León: “It is of great interest to me that through the Miss World organization it is known that never, neither now nor at any time in the past, have I acted improperly or allowed any person to influence my decisions by participating as a judge in the Miss World contest, which I have done on several occasions. I would also like to take this opportunity to make it clear that I have never received instructions from Miss World in favor of any of the contestants, and that, we have been ordered to vote on a personal level for the contestant who, in our opinion, meets the conditions required to face the challenge of the highest crown of world beauty. I am and have been an honest and upright person in all my actions and I have always acted in accordance with my moral values and conscience, and with the right on my side, I can publicly state that I have never received any instruction in favor of anyone or against any of the contestants prior to the Miss World 2002 Contest. I would like to notify the Miss World organization, through this communication, that if these allegations were transmitted, I would accompany them in the respective legal actions in order to protect my reputation, of which I am very proud. I have always considered that the Organization is honest and that is why I have accompanied the Miss World organization whenever it has seen fit to invite me. I would be grateful if you could make this statement public or send it to whomever you deem necessary, for the sake of decency and truth”.
SANYA, A SOURCE OF DIVIDENDS FOR MISS WORLD.-
At this year’s contest in Sanya, the organization hoped to introduce the first of a series of partnerships with international consumer goods companies, which would see the launch of a wide range of Miss World products, from makeup to fashion and care hair related items. It was also planned to publish a Miss World magazine. “I want to develop Miss World marketing and merchandising,” said Julia Morley, adding that she was also in talks to link up with “a very famous modeling school.” But one of the first licenses it would grant was for the development of a “QVC-style” shopping section on the Miss World website, where users could view and buy the dresses worn by the competitors. “It’s not just about the dresses. It’s about giving young designers a chance. Each country presents its design and the girls wear them”, Morley said. Since her husband’s death, Julia had been reviewing the show’s format. “I’m not saying my husband didn’t do a great job. But when he died two and a half years ago, it was necessary to move forward and update”, she said. “I don’t like swimsuits on stage. I like to see bathing suits on the beach. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s not the kind of thing I’d personally like to work with”, Morley added.
Meanwhile, Morley also hoped to bring Miss World back to British television screens. The year before, Miss World had been broadcast to 142 countries, but it was the first time it had not been televised in the UK. “Before switching to Sky (in 1997), we had 12.5 million British viewers. When Channel 5 did (in 1999), it had a bigger audience than ever: 8 million tuned-in viewers”. Morley said she was in talks with “three major British channels”. “Miss World is fun, it’s fashion”. “So, was British TV elitist? We should have some spectacular shows. We should have some of these family shows. But instead, you see guts spilled and horrors everywhere”, she said.
Morley had spent most of the year flying back and forth from China in an attempt to ensure that this year’s Miss World was a success. Morley hoped that a successful show in China would help distance the pageant from the tragic events of the previous year. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but since then nobody has given a damn (Amina Lawal)”, she said. “I still do”, added Morley, who insisted that she only went ahead with the event there after receiving assurances from the Nigerian government that the stoning would not take place. Do you regret having gone to Nigeria? “Hindsight would tell me not to go to Nigeria. Even though my emotions tell me I did the right thing. I was doing it for the right reason”. It was Agbani Darego who convinced Morley to hold the event in that country. “She told me, ‘I guess you would never consider Nigeria’. She said, ‘We will never have a chance to move on if people don’t come to visit us’. Meanwhile, a successful show in China should help restore Miss World’s financial fortune. Over the past 50 years, Miss World had made millions for both the Morley family and a number of charities, but profits had fallen in recent years. In 2000, the company made £ 500,000 and in 2002 broke even. “I neither lost money nor made money last year,” Morley said. Miss World charged an up-and-coming tourist destination Sanya about $ 3 million for hosting the event. And then there would be additional income from television rights. The event was an opportunity to show how far China had opened up and to attract visitor dollars to a tourist province that was trying to leave behind the image of beaches and prostitution. For her part, Turkish Miss World Azra Akin arrived in Beijing for a fashion show on Wednesday, July 23 to promote the 2003 Miss World pageant on the island of Hainan.
WHAT HAPPENED IN VENEZUELA.-
On February 1, it was rumored that Osmel Sousa wanted to send Eva Ekvall (Miss Venezuela 2000) to Miss World 2003, for her undeniable physical and spiritual qualities. Sousa said that he was looking for a candidate who was very well prepared, who was “a strong one” for Miss World and Eva met all those conditions. However, Eva did not accept. Months later, it was announced that the girl who would go to Miss World for Venezuela would be Amara Barroeta, first runner-up of Miss Venezuela 2002. But, on Wednesday, October 15, it was learned that Amara would no longer go to Miss World. According to provisions of the organization chaired by Julia Morley, a winner was required for this contest. Therefore, Miss Venezuela World who was elected on Thursday, October 16, would go to Miss World.
After Miss World 2002, Bangladesh, the British Virgin Islands, Madagascar, Morocco, Saint Maarten and Liberia announced that they would not continue with the contest franchise, while Cameroon, Togo and Cote D’Ivoire this year showed no interest in applying for it. Of the 118 countries that had the rights of the world contest, Ghana excused itself from not attending this time because their national contest had been postponed to the end of the year, as required by local sponsors. This year, Andorra, Armenia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, Guadeloupe and the Northern Marianas would debut, while Lesotho, Haiti, Taiwan and Turks-Caicos would return.
Miss Denmark 2000-2001, Maj Buchholtz Petersen, had left out in her year of reign by the local organizers and she was not sent to Miss World. On this occasion, when no contest was held, the organizers contacted her to send her to the 2003 edition to be held in China, and, although they notified her at the last minute, she accepted the proposal. As the Miss Belarus pageant was held every two years, the directors entered their 2002 queen, Volha Nevdakh. On the other hand, Phoebe Monjane, who was Miss Harare and 1st runner-up in Miss Zimbabwe 2002, was selected by her country’s organizers as the representative for Miss World 2003 in China, after the national pageant was postponed to February 2004. Portugal registered a model named Vanessa Job selected in a casting, because they did not hold a national contest either; Vietnam entered the Miss Photogenic Vietnam 2003, Quan Dinh Thuy Nguyen and Argentina to Grisel Rita Hitoff, who was “Queen of International Tourism 2002”. They did not hold a contest in Estonia either, but the directors appointed the winner of the “Miss Model Estonia”, Kristiina Gabor, who had won that event on Saturday, May 17. The American Virgin Islands registered ‘Miss St. Croix 2002’, Alexandrya Evans, only 16 years old and, at the last minute, on Saturday, November 1, Natalia Rodríguez was designated as ‘Miss Uruguay World 2003’. “Promociones Gloria” that owned the Bolivian franchise, this year acquired the rights for Panama and Paraguay. They appointed Ivy Ruth Ortega for Panama and Karina Buttner for Paraguay. For its part, Egypt canceled its national event this year. Here is the information of the national contests heading to Miss World 2003:
* MISS JAPAN INTERNATIONAL.- Hana Urushima and Nishide Kaoru were chosen at the Century Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo on Monday, September 30, 2002 for Miss International and Miss World 2003.
* MISS MAURITIUS.- On Saturday, October 19, 2002 the new ‘Miss Mauritius 2002’ was crowned. The winner was Marie Aimée Bergicourt, 23, heading for Miss Universe and Miss World 2003. The finalists were Véronique Retourné and Audrey Grégoire.
* MISS ANTIGUA & BARBUDA.- It took place on Sunday, November 3, 2002 with 10 girls at the Cultural & Exhibition Center in Perry Bay. The winner was Kai Davis (to Miss Universe’03) and the finalists were Ann-Marie Browne (to Miss World’03), and Juany Gómez (to Miss Intercontinental’03).
* MISS BELGIUM.- On Friday, November 29, 2002, the representative of Belgium was crowned for Miss Universe and Miss World 2003. The winner was Julie Taton, an 18-year-old Public Relations student. The finalists were Zoe van Gastel, 19, and Saidja Hellbuyck, 20.
* MISS MOLDOVA.- The ‘Miss Moldova 2002’ contest was held on Saturday, November 30 at the Moskova Center in Kishinev, with 22 participants. The winner was Elena Danilciuc, 17 years old, heading to Miss World 2003. The finalists were Inna Gamurar, Irina Syli, Natasha Solomatina and Elena Lyashenko.
* MISS ALGERIA.- On Monday, December 2, 2002, Mounia Achlaf, a 20-year-old Pharmacy student, was crowned on her way to Miss Universe and Miss World 2003. The finalists were Massika Benkeria, Amel Allik and Ouahiba Titah. The event was held in Khaldoun, Algiers, and brought together 11 candidates.
* MISS NEPAL.- Sixteen candidates participated on Saturday, December 7, 2002 for the crown of ‘Miss Nepal 2002’ at the Birendra International Conference Center in Kathmandu. The winner was Malvikka Subba, 21 years old and 1.64 m, who also won the awards for Miss Personality, Best Hair and Best Talent. The finalists were Pinky Shah (also Miss Photogenic) and Yangchen Sherpa. Shagun Sharma won the Best Smile and Prabha Kadariya the Best Dressed award.
* MISS SOUTH AFRICA.- The contest was held on Sunday, December 8, 2002 at the Sun City Superbowl with 12 candidates. The winner was Cindy Nell, a 21-year-old student and businesswoman from Pretoria, heading for Miss Universe and Miss World 2003. The finalists were Tammy-Anne Fortuin, 20, from Cape Town; and Bridget Masinga, 21, from Kwazulu-Natal. The big favorite, Lee-Ann Liebenberg, barely reached the semi-final. Miss Personality was Zenobia Badroodien.
* MIS LIETUVA.- The Lithuanian beauty queen was chosen in a study of LNK television with 16 candidates on Friday, December 13, 2002, with Vaida Griksaité winning, heading to Miss World. The finalists were Ksenija Lomakina and Skaistė Steikūnaitė, while Auksé Packeviciuté was ‘Miss Popularity’, Greta Nekrasiuté was ‘Miss Elegance’ and Skirmanté Velioniskyté, ‘Miss Photo’.
* MISS ANGOLA.- The new Miss Angola was crowned on Saturday, December 14, 2002 at the Luanda International Fair, among 18 competitors. The winner was Ana José Sebastião, representative of the province of Luanda, heading to Miss Universe 2003. The finalists were Selma Antunes, from Huíla (to Miss World 2003), and Francelina Vicente, from Uíje. Magda Paz Pinto, from Benguela, and Regina Jones, from Moxico, were elected Miss Sympathy and Miss Fotogenia, respectively.
* MISS CURAÇAO.- Miss Elegance, Vanessa Van Arendonk, who in 2001 participated in Miss International, won on Wednesday, December 18, the right to represent her island in Miss Universe 2003 among 10 girls. The finalists were Angeline da Silva de Goes (Miss Photogenic and Best Figure, to Miss World 2003) and Ana María de Freitas (Miss Popularity). For her part, Elise Eman was Miss Friendship.
* MISS BOTSWANA.- Boingotlo Motlalekgosi won the crown among 23 candidates on Friday, December 20, 2002, heading for Miss World 2003. The finalists were Juby Peacock and Karen Nganda. Miss Photogenic was Wannitah Moduwane; Miss Personality was Tebogo Sekwati; Miss Friendship, Karen Ngada; Miss Elegance, Gobonaone Modisane; and Miss Talent, Lindah Sejamitlwa.
* MISS MALAWI.- Mable Pullu won the title of ‘Miss Malawi 2003’ on Friday, January 24 at the Le Meriden Mount Soche hotel with 10 candidates. Interestingly, Mable is the daughter of ‘Miss Malawi 1978’, Martha Kamanga and her sister Elizabeth also won the crown in 2001, which caused controversy.
* MISS GERMANY WORLD.- On Saturday, January 25, the election of ‘Miss Germany World 2003’ was held. The winner was Miss Schleswig-Holstein, Babett Konau, 24, from the city of Kiel. The finalists were Miss Nordrhein-Westfalen, Natalia Topmann and Miss Bild T-Online, Laura Müller.
* MISS INDIA.- The winners of the “Sunsilk Femina Miss India 2003” contest were Nikita Anand (to Miss Universe 2003), Ami Vashi (to Miss World 2003) and Swetha Vijay (to Miss Earth 2003). The contest was held on Friday, January 31 at the Goregaon Sports Complex in Mumbai with 26 candidates. The 5 finalists were completed by Parmita Katkar and Shonali Nagrani.
* MISS COSTA RICA.- Andrea Ovares López, a 21-year-old law student from the city of San José, won the crown of ‘Miss Costa Rica 2003’ towards Miss Universe, on Friday, January 31 at the Auditorium Nacional, located in the Costa Rican Center for Science and Culture (Children’s Museum). The finalists, among the 11 participants, were Karolyne Howards and Marianella Zeledón, who was the great favorite. This year Miss Costa Rica World was not chosen, as Ruth Chaves, event director, decided that Shirley Álvarez, who did not travel to Miss World 2002, would travel to the 2003 event.
* MISS GUADELOUPE INTERNATIONAL.- Lauranza Doliman won on Friday, February 14, among 12 participants, the first edition of this contest towards Miss World.
* MISS NICARAGUA.- The ‘Miss Nicaragua 2003’ contest was held on Saturday, March 1 at the National Theater of Managua with 12 participants, the winner being Claudia Salmerón Avilés, a 24-year-old graduate in Political Science and Economics, from Managua, heading to Miss Universe 2003. ‘Miss Nicaragua World 2003’ was Hailey Britton Brooks, from Bluefields, 21 years old and a student of Social Communication. The finalists were Marisela Rodríguez, Marynés Arguello and Jamila Abdallah. The judges were made up of Ivania Navarro (Miss Nicaragua ’76) and Henrique Fontes (Director of Global Beauties), among other personalities.
* MISS NORWAY.- It was held on Sunday, March 2 in Storefjell, where the representatives of that country were chosen for Miss Universe and Miss World. Miss Norway Universe 2003 was Hanne-Karine Sørby, 24, from Porsgrunn, while Elisabeth Wathne, 20, from Mandal, was chosen ‘Miss Norway World 2003’ out of 14 candidates. The event was hosted by former Norwegian Miss Universe Mona Grudt and on the jury was Stephen Douglas, representing the Miss World organization, and Edgar Botero, President of Miss World Colombia.
* MISS UKRAINE.- On Saturday, March 8, in the Lavra gallery of the city of Kiev, the election of ‘Miss Ukraine 2003’ was held among 25 girls. The winner turned out to be Ilona Yakovleva (Kharkov) heading to Miss World. The finalists were Tatiana Legina (Ivano-Frankivsk), Elena Romanyuk, (Sevastopol), Ekaterina Tsaran (Odessa) and Ekaterina Stepychkina (Vínnytsia).
* BINIBINING PILIPINAS.- Carla Gay Sunga Balingit, 19, won the right to represent the Filipinos in Miss Universe 2003 on Saturday, March 15th. The event was held at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City with 27 entrants. To Miss World was chosen ‘Mafae’ Verdadero Yunon and to Miss International, Jhezarie Games Javier, both 21 years old. The Top 5 was completed by Kate Baesa and Ella Mae Evangelista.
* MISS NORTHERN MARIANAS.- Kimberly Nicole Castro Reyes, an 18-year-old student, won the national crown on Saturday, March 22, in the event held at the Theater Hall of the Nikko hotel in San Roque, Saipán, among 8 competitors. Reyes also won the award for Best National Costume and, initially, she would go to Miss Universe in Panama, however, the directors, not being able to afford the Miss Universe franchise this year, decided to send her to Miss World. For ‘Miss International 2003’ was chosen Nancie Rae King Ripple, also 18 years old, and the 1st. runner-up was Olivia Aloka Tebuteb, who also won the Miss Congeniality and Miss Spirit awards. For her part, Flavian Barcinas Hocog, from the island of Rota, was named Miss Photogenic.
* THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN NIGERIA.- Celia Bissong Ohumoto, 19, won on Saturday, March 22, at the Hotel Eko Le Meridien in Lagos, the title of the ‘Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria 2003’, for Miss Universe and Miss World 2003. 24 contestants participated.
* MISS SPAIN.- The Sevillian Eva María González Fernández, 22, won the 44th edition of Miss Spain on Sunday, March 23, a contest held at Marina D´Or, in Oropesa del Mar, among 52 candidates. The brand new Miss Spain was chosen to represent her country in the 2003 Miss Universe. For her part, Miss Malaga, María Teresa Martín Bueno, aged 22, was the 1st maid of honor on her way to Miss World 2003; and Miss Salamanca, Patricia Ledesma Nieto, was 2nd maid of honor towards Miss Europe 2003. The remaining finalists were Miss Córdoba, María Carrillo Reyes; Miss Tarragona, Laura García Dulce and Miss Madrid, Lourdes Fernándes Simón. The semifinalists were completed by the representatives of Barcelona (Laura Ocaña), Castellón (Blanca Benlloch), Cuenca (Natividad Escribano), Las Palmas (Diana Ruíz),Ana Ciprés Iñiguez). The Mexican singer Paulina Rubio, Jesús Vázquez and Fernando Ramos were the presenters of the event.
* MISS ECUADOR.- Andrea Jácome Ruiz, from Guayas, was chosen on Thursday, March 27, as ‘Miss Ecuador 2003’ for Miss Universe among eleven candidates, in an evening held at the Theater of the House of Ecuadorian Culture in Quito. Mayra Rentería, from Esmeraldas, was the Vice-Queen towards Miss World, while the finalists were Leovana Orlandini Febres-Cordero, from Guayas, Verónica Heredia Cañizares, from Esmeraldas and María Arveláez Ortiz, from Azuay.
* MISS AUSTRIA.- Tanja Duhovich, 21 years old, 1.74 m tall and from the city of Vienna, won the crown of ‘Miss Austria 2003’ on Saturday, March 29, at the Casino in Baden. The finalists were Jasmin Molnar, 16, and Bianca Zudrell, 19. 18 candidates participated.
* MISS CAYMAN ISLANDS.- Nichelle Welcome, 23, won on Saturday, March 29, the title of ‘Miss Cayman Islands 2003′ among 6 girls at the Lions Center in Georgetown, on her way to Miss World’03 and Miss Universe’04. Welcome became the queen of the islands’ 500-year celebrations and the first to be elected in the past 18 months. The finalists were Terry-Ann Arch and Erikka Moxam.
* MISS BULGARIA.- This year there were two Miss Bulgaria contests. The second was organized by the former Miss of 2001, Ivaila Balakova, who also acquired the Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss Earth franchises. This event was held on Sunday, March 30 at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia with 30 entrants and was attended by Miss World 2001, Agbani Darego. The winner was Elena Tihomirova who was crowned ‘Miss Bulgaria Universe’. The finalists were Rajna Naldzhieva (to Miss World 2003) and Antoaneta Kospartova (to Miss Earth 2003) thanks to the votes of the viewers.
* MISS ISRAEL.- On Tuesday, April 1, the new ‘Miss Israel 2003’ was chosen from among 20 participants, amid the air of war. The winner was Sivan Klein, an 18-year-old aspiring soldier from Jerusalem who wants to be a psychiatrist, on her way to Miss Universe in Panama. For Miss World was Miri Levy, 20, from Haifa, while Stavit Budin, 18, was selected to compete in Miss International. The other finalists were Shahar Nehorai, Matar Cohen and Shimrit Cohen. The semifinalists were completed by Alina Shtutman, Liraz Leibovich, Nivit Bash and Orit Fisher.
* FROKEN SVERIGE.- Miss Norrbotten, Helena Stenbäck, 23, won the title on Sunday, April 6 at the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm to represent Sweden in the Miss Universe 2003 in Panama. For her part, Isabelle Jonsson, Miss Gästrikland, who came in second place, would go to Miss World 2003. The other two finalists were Miss Ångermanland, Theres Bylund and Miss Halland, Caroline Johansson. This quartet was chosen among the 8 finalists most voted by the public and that reached the final of a total of 28 participants. But, at the end of October, it was announced that this organization had lost the rights to Miss World in Sweden. The new directors appointed 19-year-old Idha Sofringsgard as their representative from that country, who was 2nd runner-up in Miss Bikini International ’03 on June 14.
* MISS GUATEMALA.- On Monday, April 7, in a hotel in the capital, Miss Guatemala was chosen from among 9 candidates. The winner turned out to be Florecita de Jesús Cobián Azurdia, a 19-year-old singer and Legal and Social Sciences student from Antigua Guatemala, who was also Miss Internet. Florecita was Miss Guatemala Latina, 1st runner-up in Miss América Latina 2001 in the Dominican Republic, Miss Trifinio Internacional in Honduras, 2nd place in Talent and Evening Gown at Miss Earth 2002 in the Philippines and ‘Miss Rainforest International 2003’ in Belize. The finalists were Dulce María Duarte, who won the Miss Friendship and Best Figure awards and the right to represent Guatemala in Miss World 2003; Pamela Prado (Best Hair), and María Alejandra Morales. Other winners were Talía Fajardo (Miss Personality), Rosángela Pineda (Miss Photogenic), Isabel Mello (Miss Sympathy), Ruth Machorro (Prettiest Legs), and Guisela De León (Best Talent in Art).
* MISS CZECH REPUBLIC – The “Miss Czech Republic 2003” was chosen at the Boby centrum in Brno on Saturday, April 12. The winner was 18-year-old Lucie Vachova, heading to Miss World 2003 and Miss Universe 2004. The finalists were Klara Medkova, 19 (also Miss Congeniality and Miss TV, who would go to Miss International 2003) and Marketa Divisova, also 19 (to Miss Europe 2003).
* MISS & MR. ALBANIA.- It was held on Tuesday, April 15 with 40 Misses and 20 Místers at the Palace of Congress in Tirana. As ‘Miss Albania 2003’ was elected Denisa Kola, 20, from Peshkopi, heading to Miss Universe and Miss World. The finalists were Oneida Sulaj and Qendresa Cacaj, while Jonida Vokshi was Miss Elegance; and Delina Cici was Miss Personality and Miss Friendship. Mr. Albania was Gerald Shahu (to Mr. World 2003) and the finalists were Dritan Shehaj and Arben Bajrami. Among the guests were Italian actress Ornella Muti and former Miss USA 2001, Candace Krueger.
* STAR GREECE.- Marietta Chrousala, 20, a model and journalism student from Athens, won on Saturday, April 19, at the Vergina Theater of the Hyatt Regency Casino in Thessaloniki, the crown of ‘Star Greece 2003’ among 18 candidates, for Miss Universe and Miss Europe. As ‘Miss Greece 2003’ was Vasiliki Tsekoura, 23 years old (to Miss World 2003); and the other finalists were Lina Zaproudi (to Miss International 2003), Katerina Kariotou, Kim Mantzouratou (Miss Young), and Ioanna Koutrouli.
* MISS SLOVAKIA.- On Saturday, April 26, in Bratislava, the new ‘Miss Slovakia 2003’ was crowned, with 19-year-old Adriana Pospisilová winning the rights to go to Miss World 2003. The finalists were Miroslava Luberdová (for Miss Europe) and Simona Slobodniková (to Miss International). Silvia Mikusová won the awards for Miss Congeniality, Miss Press and Miss Internet, while Andrea Novosedlíková was Miss Wella. Twelve candidates participated.
* MISS BRAZIL.- Miss Tocantins, Gislaine Ferreira, was chosen on Saturday, April 26, in Via Funchal in Sao Paulo, as the new ‘Miss Brazil 2003’, winning her pass to Miss Universe. The finalists were Miss Goiás, Lara Brito (to Miss World 2003) and Miss Pará, Carlessa da Rocha (to Miss International 2003). The finalists were Miss Rio Grande Do Norte, Maria Cecilia Valarini; and Miss Sao Paulo, Juliana Volpini. The new queen was announced by Daise Nunes De Sousa, Miss Brazil 1986. But, the scandal rumors did not wait. Some Brazilian publications announced that there was “suspicion of fraud” in the election because a newspaper had received a fax 24 hours before the election where Miss Tocantins was already mentioned as the new queen. To clarify the matter, the organizer, Boanerges Gaeta, made the voting forms available to the press. The fact that Miss Tocantins was not from that state but from Minas Gerais was also criticized, having been the 1st runner-up in her regional contest before being handpicked as a representative of Tocantins. At least six of the candidates announced that they would sue the contest organization for these alleged fraud.
* MISS TURKEY.- The final was held on Tuesday, April 29 at the Izmir Cultural Park with 22 participants. The winner, who was crowned by her predecessor, reigning Miss World Azra Akin, was 23-year-old Tugba Karaca, who won the right to go to Miss World 2003. The finalists were Özge Ulusoy (to Miss Universe), Gizem Kalyoncu ( to Miss International), Yelda Kaya (to Miss Europe) and Asli Temel.
* MISS PERU WORLD.- Claudia Hernández, representative of Piura, won the crown of ‘Miss Peru World 2003’ on Wednesday, May 7, at the Sheraton Lima Hotel & Casino. The finalists were Ivette Santa María (Lima) and Aldana García (Cuzco). The semifinalists were Diana Goytizolo (Amazonas), Tania Pérez (Ica), Danitza Autero (Miraflores), Marcela Granda (La Punta), Ericka Canales (Ayacucho), Karla Tarazona (Ancash-Pomabamba) and Paola Ángeles (Apurimac).
* MISS KOREA.- On Wednesday, May 21, Miss Korea was chosen in the auditorium of the Sejong Cultural Center in Seoul. The winner was Yoon-Young Choi (to Miss Universe ’04) and her finalists were Ji-Yea Park (to Miss World ’03), Ji-Soo Shin (to Miss International ’03), Yoo-Mi Oh, Choon-Young Ahn, Hye-Seon Yang, and So-Hoon Lee. 56 beauties from all over Korea took part in the pageant.
* MISS LEBANON.- Marie-Jose Hnein was crowned ‘Miss Lebanon 2003’ in Edma, on the outskirts of Beirut, on Friday, May 23, achieving her pass to Miss World 2003 and Miss Universe 2004, after the 16 candidates participated on a ‘reality show’ for 8 weeks, locked up in the Grand Hill hotel. The reality show was temporarily suspended due to the war in Iraq and resumed after the war. The public eliminated one candidate each week, however, the 16 young women were present at the final event. The finalists were Leen Sleiman (also Miss Photogenic) and Rita Lamah. Manale Aziz, Elise Gertrayal and Celine Zaymoun rounded out the six girls who made it to the grand final.
* FEGURÐARDROTTNING ÍSLANDS.- The ‘Beauty Queen of Iceland 2003’ was chosen on Broadway on Friday, May 23 with 21 candidates. The winner was 21-year-old Ragnhildur Steinunn Jónsdóttir, from Keflavík, who would go to Miss Europe 2003 and Miss Universe 2004. The finalists were 18-year-old Tinna Alavis, from Kópavogur, 19-year-old Regína Dilja Jónsdóttir, also from Kópavogur, Erna Guðlaugsdóttir from 22, from Reykjavik and Æsa Skeggjadóttir, 20, from Hornafjörður. This contest resumed the Miss World franchise this year because the ‘Ungfru Island.is’ pageant did not take place and the organizers decided to send the second runner-up, Regína Dilja Jónsdóttir, to China.
* SUOMEN NEITO.- Johanna Hynninen, 20, was crowned on Sunday, May 25 as the representative of Finland to Miss World 2003. The finalists were Katri Alajoki and Sanna Kankaanpää, both 17 years old. 10 candidates participated.
* MISS NAMIBIA.- Petrina Thomas, 21, won the pageant in Windhoek on Sunday, June 1, heading for Miss World ’03 and Miss Universe ’04. The finalists were Gabrielle Schröder (also Miss Personality) and Mbapewa Njembo. Tanya Strauss was Miss Photogenic and Fenni Angukku, Most Popular.
* LES VEUS D’ ANDORRA.- The first edition of the beauty pageant of this principality was held on Thursday, June 12 at the new Pavilion of Escaldes, in Andorra la Vella. The lucky one was María José Girol, 18, while the finalists were Duli Martinez and Mari Carmen Sola. At the same event, Mr. Andorra was chosen, who turned out to be Camilo Saenz, and the finalists, Laurent Beaumard and Adrián Hortiguela. 9 finalists from each category participated.
* MISS TAHITI.- On Friday, June 20, the new ‘Miss Tahiti 2003’ was chosen from 12 girls in Papeete. The winner was Heitiare Tribondeau, 20, while the finalists were Hina Tetuanui and Ivanui Guillemoto. The winner was going to compete in Miss World as in recent years, but, in the end, the organizers decided to send their queen to the national Miss France pageant, to which they had not sent a candidate since they won the crown in 1999.
* MISS MACEDONIA.- Marija Vasik, 19, won the title on the way to Miss World 2003 in an event held on Wednesday, June 25 in Skopje. The finalists were Ivana Risteska and Katerina Mitevska.
* MISS BELIZE.- Leila Pandy, a 23-year-old Marine Biologist, won the crown of ‘Miss Belize 2003’ at the Belize City Center on Friday, June 27, with the opportunity to represent her country in Miss Universe 2004. The first runner-up was Dalila Vanzie (who was later appointed on Saturday, October 4 to compete in Miss World 2003 in China). The remaining candidates were Jerrilyn Arnold, Isela Durán, Andrea Elrington, Farah Evans, Argentina Novelo and Nadine López.
* MISS NORTHERN IRELAND.- On Monday, June 30, the final of this contest was held at the Hotel Europa in Belfast, heading for Miss World 2003. The winner was Diana Sayers, a 21-year-old law student, while the finalists were Mehrnoosh Dehaghani and Tori Saunder, both 19 years old.
* STAR CYPRUS.- It was held on Thursday, July 3 at the Strovolos Municipal Theater in Nicosia with 12 candidates. As “Star Cyprus 2003” was chosen Nayia Iacovidou (to Miss Universe 2004); “Miss Cyprus 2003” was Stella Stylianou (to Miss World 2003); Miss Carlsberg was Iliana Charalambous (to Miss Europe 2003); Miss Mediterranean, Demetra Mouski (to Miss International 2004) and the finalists were Michaella Michael and Fotini Michaeloudi.
* MISS GIBRALTAR.- Kim Falzun, 20, won the crown of ‘Miss Gibraltar 2003’ on Saturday, July 5 in St. Michael’s Cave, among 7 young ladies. Falzun, who was also elected Miss Photogenic, won her pass to Miss World 2003 in China. The finalists were Stephanie Martinez and Ivanka Bensadon. Louise Nuñez was Miss Congeniality while Suellen Hurtado won the award for Best Interview.
* MISS ARUBA.- Afro-Aruban Fatima Salie won the crown of ‘Miss Aruba for Miss Universe 2004’ on Sunday, July 6 in the hotel’s Great Hall Wyndham Aruba Resort & Casino, among 11 participants. The 1st. runner-up was Nathalie Bierrmans (also Miss Photogenic), heading to Miss World 2003. The remaining finalists were Kendra Matthew (Miss Elegance), Ruthlin Werleman and Falon López (Miss Friendship). For her part, Darrelyn Nicolas was Miss Internet. Fatima could not participate in Miss Universe due to problems with her nationality (she was a South African citizen), so Zizi Lee, 1st runner-up of Miss World 2001, was appointed for Miss Universe 2004.
* NUESTRA BELLEZA WORLD MEXICO.- Erika Lizeth Honstein won, in a close online vote, the right to represent Mexico in Miss World 2003 in China at midnight on Tuesday, July 8. Erika had a total of 3,646 votes while Lilian Villanueva, her opponent, obtained 3,500 votes. For the first time the public chose by popular vote ‘Nuestra Belleza World Mexico 2003’.
* MISS WORLD COLOMBIA.- Claudia Molina Torres was crowned on Saturday, July 19 at the Corferias Pavilion in Bogotá as ‘Miss World Colombia 2003’. The Barranquillan, a third-semester business administration student at the Universidad del Atlántico, represented Cartagena and prevailed against the even group of 33 contestants. As vice-queen, Casanare’s candidate, Georgette Giovanna Medina, was chosen, who was in the National Beauty Contest in 1998 as Miss Boyacá, while the blonde Lian Simpson Silva, representative of Valle del Cauca, was the first princess. The Top 7 was completed by María Claudia Ramírez (Antioquia), Sheila Rincón (Cauca), Paula Andrea Saldarriaga (Vaupés) and Alejandra Orozco Chaparro (Cali). The animation was in charge of the Venezuelan Ernesto Calzadilla (Manhunt Internacional 1999) and the ex-beauty queen María Fernanda Kerguelen. The judges included Mister Venezuela 2001, Daniel Navarrete and former Miss World 1981, Pilín León.
* BEAUTY OF RUSSIA.- On Wednesday, July 23, the new ‘Beauty of Russia 2003’ was chosen at the Dom Kimo Film Center in Moscow. The winner turned out to be 21-year-old Svetlana Goreva from the city of Dmitrov, who prevailed against 38 other contestants. Goreva thus won the right to represent Russia at Miss World 2003 in China. The finalists were Anastasia Pavlotskaya (Novosibirsk), Yekaterina Zvereva (Yekaterinburg), Viktoria Andreyeva (Podolsk) and Elena Musikhina (Murmansk). Svetlana already had experience in beauty pageants because she participated in Miss Moscow ’97 and ’98, she was 1st. runner-up in Miss Russia ’99 and represented her country in Miss Universe and Miss International 2000.
* MISS & MR. LATVIA.- Agnese Eiduka from Valmiera and Artūrs Pudenko from Riga won the titles of ‘Miss and Mister Latvia 2003’ on Friday, July 25 in Kemer, Turkey. The finalists were Tatjana Orlova from Ventspils and Andris Gitendorfs from Riga. Sandija Snikere and Aleksejs Krasko won the ‘Miss & Mr. Photo’ award. Because the Miss World contest in China lasted a month, Miss Latvia refused to go to the pageant so as not to abandon her studies for so long. Meanwhile, the 1st runner-up had “braces” on her teeth, so she was discarded. So the organizer, Inta Fogele, decided to appoint and send Miss World to the Queen of the Latvian Sports Academy, Irina Askolskaya.
* MISS TAIWAN.- Anna Liu won the crown of ‘Miss Taiwan 2003’ in Taipei on Sunday, July 27. If an agreement was reached between two beauty organizations on the island of Formosa, which were deputing the licenses of Miss World and Miss Universe, Anna Liu could represent Nationalist China in the Miss World, to be held in Hainan, an island of the People’s Republic of China. Liu was invited to participate in the ‘Miss China’ for Miss World but she declined the invitation as she believed in the independence of Taiwan.
* MISS IRELAND.- Miss Newbridge Silverware, 19-year-old Rosanna Davison, daughter of singer Chris de Burgh, was crowned ‘Miss Ireland 2003’ for Miss World on Friday, August 1st at the City West Hotel in Dublin. The finalists were Miss Wright Of Swords, Jenny Lee Masterson and Miss Irish Sun, Victoria Le Froy. The event was organized by former Miss Ireland, Andrea Roche. At the end of October, Julia Morley sued her ex-director in Ireland, Kieran Murray, for undisclosed reasons, although rumors indicated that it was because Mr. Murray preferred to keep the Miss Universe franchise.
* MISS BOLIVIA.- The contest was held on Friday, August 1 at the Gran Mariscal Sucre Theater in the city of Sucre, with 18 beautiful candidates. Miss Litoral, Gabriela Oviedo became ‘Miss Bolivia 2003’ for Miss Universe; Miss Beni, Helen Aponte, achieved the crown of ‘Ms. Bolivia 2003 ‘heading to Miss World and Muriel Cruz, Miss Santa Cruz, was selected for Miss International. The remaining finalists were Cecilia Justiniano (Miss Santa Cruz); Claudia Azaeda (Miss Litoral), Patricia Escobar (Miss Cochabamba) and Salima Cassis (Miss Tarija). Justinian publicly protested the result shortly after the contest. In the judges pannel was Mariángel Ruiz, Miss Venezuela 2002.
* MISS UGANDA.- Aysha Salma Nassanga, 19, was voted ‘Miss Uganda 2003’ on Saturday, August 9 at the Speke Resort in Munyonyo. The finalists were 20-year-old Barbara Asea (also Miss Friendship) and 21-year-old Lydia Lynn Nagujja. Karen Hasahya, 19, won Miss Talent and Shamin Feddie was Miss Photogenic. The winner was awarded a Toyota Corsa car, $ 5,000 and all expenses paid for her participation in Miss World. As guests were Miss Kenya 2002, Maryanne Kariuki, and Miss Bolivia 2001-2002, Paola Coimbra.
* MISS WORLD OF PUERTO RICO.- Miss Bayamón, Joyceline Montero García, 20, who had been ‘Miss Puerto Rico Teen 2001’, won the crown of ‘Miss World of Puerto Rico 2003’ on Thursday, August 14 at the Sala Festival Antonio Paoli of the Luis A. Ferré Fine Arts Center. The finalists were Miss Cidra, Angieliz Vázquez Collazo; Miss Dorado, Windy Pagán Navarro; Miss Barranquitas, Mary Olga Ortiz; and Miss Caguas, Nicole Vega Amaral. 52 candidates participated. The winner received as prizes a bank account with $ 10,000, a Mercedez-Benz C-230 and a vacation in the Caribbean. The 1st runner-up protested the jury’s ruling and hinted that the winner had bought the crown.
* MISS WORLD NEW ZEALAND.- It was held on Saturday, August 16 at the Sky City Theater. It was won by 20-year-old Amber Peebles, who was informed that she would not go to Miss World but to Miss International, as the organizers decided not to continue with the Miss World franchise. The finalists were Katie Price and Mara Tait Jamieson. Miss Personality was Kelly Olver, and Miss Friendship, Rebecca Rao. Julia Morley transferred the rights of Miss World to Marina McCartney, former Miss New Zealand Universe 1997, who appointed Melanie Jane Paul as the representative of that country in Miss World 2003.
* MISS WORLD HUNGARY.- Eszter Toth, 18, won the title of ‘Miss World Hungary 2003’ on Tuesday, August 19, an event held in the town of Hajdúszoboszló. The finalists were Judit Takacz and Adriene Bende. 20 candidates participated.
* MISS HONG KONG.- It was held on Saturday, August 23 at the Hung Hom Coliseum. The winner was Mandy Cho Man Lei, 20, heading to the ‘Miss Chinese International’. The finalists were Rabee’a Yeung Lok Ting (for Miss World) and Priscilla Chik Doi Doi (for Miss International). The Top 5 was completed by Ivy Tam Ching Man and Carrie Lee Ka Yee. Twelve candidates participated.
* MISS SWAZILAND.- Thembelihle Zwane was elected ‘Miss Swaziland 2003’ and Miss Photogenic among 12 candidates on Saturday, August 23 at the Royal Convention Center in Mbabane. The finalists were Nomonde Fihla and Londziwe Simelane. The winner was awarded a Peugot car, cash and a fully paid vacation in Mauritius. The outgoing queen, Nozipho Shabangu, who was hospitalized after having suffered a spectacular car accident on Wednesday, August 20, three days before the contest, could not be present, suffering injuries to her mouth and one of her legs.
* MISS ARMENIA.- Lusine Tovmasian, 17, from Yerevan was crowned among 15 participants on Tuesday, August 26 at the Yerevan Sports and Concert Complex, winning the right to go to Miss World and Miss Universe. The finalists were Anush Grigorian and Lusine Sahakian. Lusine is the sister of Miss Armenia 2001, Irina Tovmasian and was crowned by Miss Europe 2002, the Russian Svetlana Koroleva.
* MISS JAMAICA WORLD.- Jade Fulford won the title on Saturday, August 30 at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel, among 20 candidates. The finalists were Chantelle Fisher and Tracy Cowan. In attendance were the reigning Miss World, Azra Akin, as well as Julia Morley and the former Jamaican Miss World, Lisa Hanna.
* MISS MALAYSIA WORLD.- Candidate number 13, Sze Zen Wong, 23, was crowned ‘Miss Malaysia World 2003’ on Friday, September 5 at the Reinassance Hotel in Kuala Lumpur among 19 candidates. Wong also got the best hair and cutest legs of the event. The finalists were Alexis Leong Ly Ee, Sabahan Sharon Liew Fei Chun and Penangite Ng Chelsia.
* MISS TANZANIA.- The tenth edition of Miss Tanzania was held on Friday, September 5 at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar es Salaam. The winner was Sylvia Bahame, and the finalists, Doto Nusurupia and Nargis Mohammed. 26 candidates participated. After the election, a rumor circulated that the organization might not send its new queen to China due to financial difficulties, however, an economic agreement was reached with the Miss World organization and Miss Tanzania was able to travel to the pageant.
* MISS GUYANA WORLD.- Alexis Glasgow, a 21-year-old flight attendant, was chosen on Friday, September 5, at the National Center for Culture in Georgetown, as ‘Miss Guyana World 2003’. In addition, she won the Best Smile award. The finalists were Nevillean Dundas (Miss Friendship), Suzette Shim (Miss Internet and Miss Photogenic), Shamaine Davis and Chelan Yhap. 13 girls participated.
* MISS KENYA.- 18-year-old Janet Muthoni Kibugu won her Miss World ticket on Friday, September 12 at a Nairobi hotel, beating 31 other contestants. The finalists were Medina Hussein and Isabel Munjiru. As a special guest was the newly elected Miss Tanzania, Sylvia Bahame.
* MISS NEPAL.- Amid applause and also protests, Priti Sitaula, 22, was crowned ‘Miss Nepal 2003’ on Saturday, September 13 at an event that took place at the Birendra International Convention Center in Kathmandu with 16 candidates. For her part, Prerna Shah, 19, was the first runner-up and, in addition, Miss Personality, heading for Miss Asia Pacific 2003. The second runner-up was Numa Rai, 20. Other awardees were Rupa Upadhyaya, who won the Miss Photogenic and Miss Talent awards; and Sheila Rani Gurung, who achieved the Miss “Best Dressed” sash. As this year’s event was brought forward from December to September, it was decided to send the brand new queen to Miss World 2003 and not to Miss Nepal chosen in December 2002.
* MISS SWITZERLAND.- On Saturday, September 13, the new Miss Switzerland was elected in the city of Locarno. The winner was Bianca Sissing, 24, on her way to Miss World 2003 and Miss Universe 2004. From a South African mother, Bianca lived for many years in Canada, where she completed her studies in Psychology in the city of Toronto. The finalists were Barbara Megert (Miss Friendship) and María Dolores Dieguez (Miss Photogenic). The remaining semi-finalists were Tanja Berger, Caroline Roth and Taya Schmid.
* MISS MALTESE ISLANDS.- The winner, heading to Miss World 2003, was Rachel Xuereb, 21, who also won the sash for “best hair”. The finalists were Fiona Cassar and Gabriella Azzopardi. 31 candidates participated in the event held on Saturday, September 13.
* MISS SLOVENIA.- Tina Zajc, a 19-year-old student, won the crown of ‘Miss Slovenia 2003’ among 12 candidates on Sunday, September 14, at the Cankarjev Dom in Ljubljana, achieving the right to represent her country in Miss World in China. The finalists were Sandra Makovec and Nives Brauner. The Miss Internet award was won by Vesna Vitrih, while Miss Photogenic was Jasna Vukasin.
* MISS WORLD BAHAMAS.- Although in principle it had been said that due to lack of sponsors there would be no contest this year, 19-year-old Shantell Hall won her passport to Miss World 2003 on Sunday, September 14, among only three candidates, in the Lancelot Room at the Holiday Inn SunSpree Hotel. The finalists were Camille Burrows-Roberts (Miss Friendship) and Sharie Delva (Miss Photogenic).
* MISS KAZAKHSTAN.- Saule Zhunusova, a 16-year-old student from Pavlodar, won the crown among 32 contestants on Tuesday, September 16 at the Abai State Opera and Ballet Academic Theater. The finalists were Aigerim Khodzhabergenova, Asia Musaeva and Dana Zhusupova.
* MISS WALES.- Imogen Thomas, 21, won the title of ‘Miss Wales 2003’ on Thursday, September 18 at the “Jumpin ‘Jaks” in Swansea, among 20 candidates.
* MISS CHINA WORLD.- On Sunday, September 21, in Sanya, the first edition of the Miss China contest for Miss World was held with 32 competitors, with the winner being 21-year-old Qi Guan, from Jilin Province. The finalists were Bing-Jie Song, Lina Liu, Yi-Nuo Xin, and Hai-Yan Sun. The contest was held a week after the “New Silk Road” modeling competition from which the Chinese representatives to Miss World first came out. The event was attended by Azra Akin and Julia Morley.
* MISS GEORGIA.- The ‘Miss Georgia 2003’ contest was held on Sunday, September 21 at the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater. The winner was 18-year-old Irina Onashvili, who prevailed against 19 other competitors. The first runner-up was Nino Murtazashvili (to Miss Universe 2004).
* MISS WORLD TRINIDAD-TOBAGO.- The designer Peter Elías obtained this year the Miss World license for Trinidad & Tobago. During a reception on Monday, September 22 at Restaurant Trotters in St. Clair, Elías officially introduced Magdalene Walcott, 21, as the country’s candidate for Miss World 2003. She had been 2nd. runner-up in the Miss Trinidad-Tobago Universe 2003.
* MISS WORLD USA.- 19-year-old Kimberly Harlan, from Atlanta, Georgia, was selected as the new ‘Miss World USA 2003’ on Wednesday, September 24 at a casting held in Los Angeles.
* MISS WORLD ITALY.- Silvia Cannas, a 21-year-old language student from Sardinia, won the crown of ‘Miss World Italy 2003’ on Thursday, September 25, an event held in Rome Cinecittá among 30 candidates. Silvia was also awarded the sash of ‘Miss Mondo Stampa’. Other winners were Tiziana Morgillo as ‘Ragazza Cioè’, Dania Filoscia as ‘Miss Elegance’, Marilena Itta as ‘Ragazza Le Donne’ and Ambra Chessari as ‘Miss Cinecittà’ and ‘Miss Photogenic’.
* MISS POLAND.- Karolina Gorazda, 23, from Krakow, who had been ‘Miss Poland-UK 2002’, was crowned ‘Miss Poland 2003’ on her way to Miss World on Saturday, September 27 at the Farat television studio in Warsaw. The finalists were Paulina Panek (to Miss Universe ’04) and Daria Kuchniak. They completed the Top 5: Kamila Sulej and Sylwia Dorenda. 21 candidates participated.
* MISS BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA.- On Sunday, September 28, Irna Smaka won the crown of ‘Miss Bosnia & Herzegovina 2003’ among 40 candidates, in the event held in Aqua Disco, Sarajevo, on the way to Miss World 2003. The finalists were Dina Mujezinovic and Mirjana Vasic. For her part, Lana Kljajic was Miss Photogenic; Vedrana Grozdanic was Miss Media; and Marina Sakic, Miss Congeniality.
* MISS & MR. CROATIA WORLD.- On Sunday, September 28, the new ‘Mister and Miss Croatia World 2003’ were elected in the city of Zagreb. ‘Miss Croatia World 2003’ was Aleksandra Grdic, 24 years old. The finalists were Elizabeta Plel (also Miss Sympathy) and Mirela Škundric, heading to Miss Europe and Miss International 2004. For his part, Mario Valentic was elected on the same day as ‘Mister Croatia 2003’ for Mister World. The finalists were Mario Mlinaric and Matko Novakovic while David Vukelić was elected Mr. Sympathy. 20 girls and 20 gentlemen participated in the event.
* MISS SCOTLAND.- On Sunday, September 28, the new ‘Miss Scotland 2003’ was chosen from among 20 finalists. The winner turned out to be Nicola Jolly, a 22-year-old business graduate from the city of Inverbervie, heading for Miss World 2003. The finalists were Sarah Dixon, 18, from Aberdeen and Nicola McLean, 19, from Ellon. Nicola had been a finalist the previous year in the same contest.
* MISS SERBIA & MONTENEGRO.- Bojana Vujadinovic, 22, won the former Yugoslavia’s top beauty title on Wednesday, October 1 at the Save Center in Belgrade. The finalists were Dragana Dujovic (to Miss Universe and Miss Photogenic), Biljana Veljkovic (to Miss Europe), Jasna Bozovic (to Miss International) and Katarina Hadzipavlovic (to Miss Earth). 30 candidates participated.
* MISS FRANCE WORLD.- Virginie Dubois, a 19-year-old Dietetics student, was selected by the Miss France Committee on Thursday, October 2 to represent the French country in Miss World 2003. Virginie is a tennis champion and was Miss Teenager Ile de France in 2001.
* MISS DOMINICAN WORLD.- María Eugenia Vargas García, representative of Santiago, 19 years old and member of the National Ballet, won the crown of ‘Miss Dominican World 2003’ on Thursday night, October 2, an event that performed at the La Fiesta Theater of the Hotel Jaragua and had 11 candidates. The finalists were Elizabeth Rondón (Dajabón), María Alejandra Guzmán (Moca), Rosmery Peña (Santiago) and Helen Núñez (Santiago). The new queen was crowned by the former Venezuelan Miss World Pilín León, Latin American Ambassador of Miss World. The contest was animated by Venezuelan Daniel Carlés and Soraya Castillo and was organized by Belkys Reyes.
* MISS ZAMBIA.- Cynthia Kanema, 20, won the contest held at the Mulungushi Conference Center on Friday, October 3, with 13 contestants. The contest had not been held since 1999.
* MISS ENGLAND.- Jacqueline Turner, Miss Dorset, 25, won the crown of ‘Miss England 2003’ among 44 candidates at the nightclub “Po Na Na” in Hammersmit, West London, on Thursday, October 9. The finalists were Jessica Warner, 18, and Lindsey Perry, 20.
* MISS BARBADOS WORLD.- On Sunday, October 12, at the Sherbourne Conference Center, the new ‘Miss Barbados World 2003’ was chosen from among 6 contestants. The winner was 22-year-old Raquel Wilkinson. The finalists were 19-year-old Tania Sealy and 17-year-old Kathy-Ann Patrick.
* MISS VENEZUELA.- Ana Karina Añez Delgado, Miss Lara, won the crown of ‘Miss Venezuela 2003’ on Thursday, October 16, on the way to Miss Universe 2004, in a 4-hour show held in Studio 1 of Venevisión, which began 30 minutes later than scheduled due to a long presidential message. ‘Miss Venezuela World 2003’ was Valentina Patruno Macero, Miss Miranda, and ‘Miss Venezuela International 2003’, Eleidy María Aparicio Serrano, Miss Costa Oriental del Lago. Interestingly, Eleidy had been one of the 16 girls eliminated from this year’s interactive contest, but was later “rescued” by public votes along with three other beauties, to complete the 20 candidates. The finalists were Silvana Santaella, Miss Peninsula de Paraguaná; and Mercedes Pulido, Miss Capital District. The remaining semifinalists were Miss Trujillo, Francys Barraza; Miss Federal Dependencies, Paola Cipriani; Miss Vargas, Hilda Fleitas; Miss Aragua, Aura Ávila; and Miss Anzoátegui, María Fernanda Tóndolo. Valentina Patruno, the new Miss Venezuela World, also took the titles of Miss Internet and Miss Popularity, while Miss Vargas, Hilda Fleitas, obtained the Miss Photogenic award. Osmel Sousa announced that, from that year on, the contest would have two queens with the same level of importance and that both “Miss Venezuela Universe” and “Miss Venezuela World” would receive the same awards.
* MISS SINGAPORE WORLD.- On Sunday, October 19, at the Hotel M in Singapore, the representative of that country was chosen for Miss World 2003, among 15 semifinalists previously chosen from among 70 entrants. The winner was Corinne Kanmani Mahinda Luxshman, who also won the ‘Best Body’ award of the contest. The finalists were Victoria Galistan, who also won the Miss Goodwill and Face of the Year awards; and Sharon Sim, also Miss Photogenic. Other winners were Judyvein Cheng (Miss Oriental Charm); and Cassandra Ng (Miss Crowning Glory and Best in Swimsuit).
* MISS NEDERLAND.- The Dutch beauty pageant was held on Sunday, October 19 at the Broadway Theater in Aalsmeer. It was won by Sanne de Regt (to Miss World 2003) and the finalists were Nathalie Hassink and Femke Fredriks. Twelve candidates participated.
* MISS WORLD AUSTRALIA.- Olivia Stratton, 22, took the title of ‘Miss World Australia 2003’ on Wednesday, October 22 at the University of the Sun Coast in Queensland. The finalists were 24-year-old Pippa Hanson and 22-year-old Louise Bransgrove. Miss Photogenic was 19-year-old Tara Rushton and the Miss Friendship award was shared between 24-year-old Sylvie Ghazal and Saskia Boerma, 20. At the event, in which 32 girls participated, the reigning Miss World, Azra Akin from Turkey, was present. After the final, the organizers declared bankruptcy, did not pay the bills or give the prizes to the winner. Stratton was helped by local designers, who helped her with her Miss World wardrobe.
* MISS WORLD CANADA.- Held on Wednesday, October 22 at “The Courthouse” in Toronto. The new Canadian queen to go to Miss World was Nazanin Afshin-Jam, born in Iran 24 years earlier, but a Vancouver resident who also won the ‘Best in Swimsuit’ award. The finalists were Marie-Andree Poulin, 23, of Ste.-Foy, Quebec and Yolaine Grant, 24, of Ottawa. Miss Friendship was Josie Dworak from Mississauga. The event was organized by SP Productions.
* MISS WORLD ETHIOPIA.- The first edition of ‘Miss World Ethiopia’ was held on Thursday, October 23 at the Hilton hotel in Addis Ababa. The winner was 21-year-old Hayat Ahmed Mohammed and the finalists were Atetegeb Tesfaye and Yordanos Teshager. The semifinalists were completed by Selamawit Adamu, Emnet Haile, Mister Alemayehu and Tsedey Tsegaye. 25 beauties participated.
* MISS THAILAND WORLD.- Jenjira Kerdprasop, 22, won the crown of ‘Miss Thailand World 2003’ on Saturday, October 25 at the BEC-TERO Hall in Bangkok. The finalists were Narumol Boonya (at Miss Chinese International 2004) and Jatuporn Saengthong. The remaining semi-finalists were Kanokwan Thong-gate, Chaleekorn Julakasian and Paweena Roongrattanavilai (also Miss Smile). For her part, Pinkaew Pruttiprasert won the Miss Friendship award. 18 candidates took part in the event. The second runner-up, 24-year-old Jatuporn ‘Joy’ Saengthong, was stripped of her title after a Thai newspaper published a photo of her in 1996 when she was getting married. The contestant, who claimed not to be the “lady” of that marriage, was disqualified and did not obtain the prizes that were due to her for a value of 13 thousand dollars. The organization did not replace the finalist.
* MISS SRI LANKA WORLD.- On Thursday, October 30, the representative of Sri Lanka was chosen for Miss World 2003 at the Galadari Hotel in Colombo. The winner was 21-year-old Sachini Ayendra. The event was sponsored by the Ceylon Association of Newspapers and numerous tourism companies.
* MISS WORLD CHILE.- Alejandra Soler Artigues, 25, from La Serena, who had been the first runner-up of this same event the previous year, took the national crown towards Miss World 2003 on Sunday, November 2 in a study of Chilevisión with 13 candidates. The finalists were Grethel Mariane Latorre Schramm, 23, from Temuco, Claudia Barria, 24, from Quilpué. The Top 5 was completed by Macarena Rosi, from Santiago and Hil Hernández, from Castro. There were certain protests against her triumph as it was rumored that Alejandra was the favorite of the director, Millaray Palma, who served as a judge.
* MISS ROMANIA.- The Romanians chose their queen for Miss World on Friday, November 7, being the last national contest. The winner was Patricia Chifor, 17, while the finalists were Andreea Cefalan, 18, and Mihaela Necula, 19. Delia Tudose was Miss Photogenic and Paula Patz Miss Popularity. The event was organized by “Face2Face Models”.
THE FIRST LOSSES.-
Shortly before starting the 53rd edition of Miss World, four of the 116 originally expected candidates dropped out. Miss ALGERIA (Mounia Achlaf), would not be present due to financial issues who also could not attend Miss Universe that year; Miss MALAWI (Mable Pullu) and Miss TAIWAN (Anna Liu). Nor would Miss TAHITÍ (Heitiare Tribondeau) be present because the organizers decided to send her to the national Miss France pageant instead of paying the Miss World franchise. At the beginning of November, the list of participants had reached 112.
PRELUDE TO MISS WORLD.-
On Saturday, November 1, a special charity auction was held with the assistance of top Hainan government officials to auction off some special gifts from Chinese beauty queens Qi Guan, Ying-Na Wu and Li Bing. The entire proceeds of which would go to a charity for poor children. However, the highest bid reached an incredible 28,000 US dollars for a complete package for the pageant, which included a commemorative plaque of Miss World’s “Crown of Beauty”, the autographs of the three Chinese beauties and a stay in five-star hotels. Qi Guan, who would be the host delegate for the contest, told the press that she was excited to meet all of her fellow contestants, but that she was mainly concentrating on helping to raise funds for poor children. Her wardrobe would feature a series of ethnic-inspired designs. Miss World ticket sellers had already managed to place 80% of the tickets for the final event, which ranged from a low of $ 80 to $ 2,000 for the premium seats, mostly reserved for wealthy entrepreneurs and local dignitaries. Local organizers expected a $ 2,000,000 profit from ticket sales for the final alone, an amount that would go to charitable funds.
On a lighter note, the local organizing committee, in their rush to beautify Sanya for the arrival of the delegates, had hired staff to clean up the betel nut stains that remained in the city. Betel nut is used like tobacco or chewing gum, and it tends to be popular in South and Southeast Asia. When the chewing person spits it out, it leaves a reddish stain. Citizens had even been urged to stop chewing the substance. Apparently, this was a local custom that the committee did not want to show the Miss World girls!
THE CASE OF ARMENIA.-
The Vice Minister of Culture and Youth Affairs of Armenia (and president of the national agency “Miss Armenia”), Karen Aristakesyan, was concerned that she could not get the 12 thousand dollars of franchise she needed to be able to send her representative, Lusine Tovmasian, to Miss World. “I didn’t think it would be impossible to find the money in Armenia”, Aristakesyan said on Wednesday, November 12. “I asked about 30 people for the money, but there was no result”. Aristakesyan appealed to the Miss World organizers and they agreed to extend the payment deadline until Wednesday, November 26. 17-year-old Miss Armenia was devastated by the turn of events, having learned of the financial shortcomings only a day before she was supposed to leave. “I had my luggage packed on November 7 and was in the mood to go”, she said. “And suddenly, just before departure, they called me on the phone and told me that I would not go”. “I wish they had told me a little earlier that there were financial difficulties. A couple of weeks ago I went to the embassy and got my entry visa, and we were trying to solve the dress problem, but the organizers did not tell me that they could not pay the small membership fee”. But what could it look like “small” for a teenage girl with dreams of world recognition, it was another matter for the organizers. The 2003 Miss Armenia pageant had been held on a budget of $ 15,000. Her apparent absence from Miss World was especially tough news for Lusine, as she had already been overlooked for a chance to compete in Miss Europe in France, where they sent their first runner-up as the intention was for Lusine to go to Miss World.
Aristakesyan said that she was busy trying to get the money, because if Armenia does not participate in the pageant this year, the Miss World organization would not take Armenia seriously in future pageants. “They will probably take away our participation license, which was very difficult to get. But it will be really embarrassing. We represent a country”, Aristakesyan said. While the organizers tried to find the franchise quota to participate in Miss World, the disappointed beauty read every day the conditions presented by Miss World for the competition. The rules said that each participant had to have 30 cocktail dresses and 20 evening dresses (each dress cost at least $ 150-200), shoes of the same amount, bathing suits, etc. “The funniest point is where it is mentioned that: ‘If you arrive by plane, luggage may be lost, make sure the participant has enough money to buy everything she needs here”, Lusine said. “If I had that much money, I would pay the franchise and participate with just one dress”, she concluded.
DID NOT COMPETE
ARRIVAL IN HONG KONG.-
China was preparing for the largest event ever held on its borders. With journalists from major Chinese and international press outlets invited to attend the pageant, with special accommodations and a specially built media center at the pageant site, local organizers eagerly awaited the arrival of the girls to the most populous country on the planet. Some of the Miss World 2003 participants began to travel to Hong Kong, the city that would be the point of arrival, on Thursday, November 6, since they had to arrive between Friday, the 7th and Saturday, the 8th to that former British colony in China. Hong Kong was precisely the first city to host the international Miss World in 1989, when the contest left the city of London for the first time. In the case of Venezuelan Valentina Patruno, she traveled via the US on Thursday, the 6th with four suitcases. The contest officially began on Sunday, the 9th, but for many, it was two or even three days of flights. Miss Belize, Dalila Vanzie, had her belongings (including passport and visas) stolen while doing last minute shopping in Houston, Texas, before continuing on to Hong Kong. The Miss had to go to the consulate of Belize and China in the US, who quickly solved the problem of the passport and visa and thus, she was able to travel to the contest. For her part, Miss Botswana, Boingotlo Motlalekgosi, had to find a new wardrobe for the pageant in a hurry, since thieves had entered her house and took everything from her. This year, the city of London would not receive the candidates as on previous occasions, since the girls had to go directly to Hong Kong for the gathering.
Miss TURKS & CAICOS (Shenika Stubbs) and Miss HAITI (Lizfanny Emiliano Pierre), the latter with Dominican blood, were the first to be removed from the contest’s official website. Apparently they had problems with the visa. And, despite being waited until the last minute, Miss AMERICAN VIRGIN ISLANDS (Alexandrya Evans), Miss ARMENIA (Lusine Tovmasian), and Miss FIJI (Aishwarya Sukhdeo) did not arrive. Miss Fiji had health problems shortly before traveling to Hong Kong. For her part, Miss AUSTRIA (Tanja Duhovich), decided not to travel because she knew she had no chance of winning the crown, but she would be replaced by the second runner-up of the pageant, Miss Vorarlberg, Bianca Zudrell. However, Bianca could not bring herself to the contest either. Bianca only found out about her luck on Sunday, November 2, and she was disappointed. “There was very little time left,” she said. “I still do not have the visa, nor the insurance and the sponsors of the gowns are missing.” So she had no choice but to stay home. “I would have really liked to travel there,” she said.
Finally 106 of the 112 expected countries arrived. Anyway, until that moment, 106 was a participation record in the history of Miss World. Even before the candidates began arriving in Hong Kong, bookmakers and fans had already started to choose their first favorites for Miss World 2003, which included delegates from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Norway, Brazil, South Africa, Venezuela, USA, Ireland, Bolivia, Trinidad-Tobago, Georgia, Turkey, China, Peru, Croatia, Dominican Republic and Slovakia.
On Sunday, November 9, the day the contest officially began, the candidates went very early to the Tsing Ma Bridge, which links the city to Hong Kong International Airport, where they held a photo shoot. They then posed as a group for the press at “The Golden Bauhinia” Plaza in Wanchai. Subsequently, the 92 beauties who had arrived in Hong Kong until that moment, made a tour of the most important tourist sites in the city aboard four double-decker buses. The journey started from Bauhinia Plaza to Admiralty, Wanchai, they met Causeway Bay (one of the busiest areas in Hong Kong) where they received warm receptions from people on the street. The tour continued at the Western Market, where a traditional Chinese dragon dance welcomed the contestants to Hong Kong. In the evening they enjoyed a welcome dinner at the hotel where they were staying, the Mandarin Oriental.
Miss Vietnam was unable to make it to Hong Kong, so she took a flight to Sanya and would meet the other girls there on Tuesday. Similarly, Miss Costa Rica and Miss Ecuador also came to Sanya instead of going to Hong Kong. Miss Ecuador, Mayra Katty Renteria, had traveled for three days and made five stopovers, and apparently when she arrived in Sanya, she had not informed anyone before, so officials quickly went to an emergency plan when she informed someone that she had come for Miss World. She seemed to be enjoying her stay up to that point, saying that Sanya looked a lot like her hometown. On the other hand, Miss Costa Rica, Shirley Álvarez, seemed to have received a great cultural ‘shock’ upon arrival.
On the morning of Monday, November 10, the girls took a special tram up to Victoria Peak, a high point on the side of the city. Once there, they climbed the Peak Tower, a uniquely constructed building from where visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire Kowloon Bay and the surrounding buildings. The girls brought their cameras and took the opportunity. They also visited the Jade market in Yaumatei, the Tsuen Wan shopping area and some temples. In the evening there was a charity banquet at the Hong Kong Country Club, in which the candidates socialized with government officials, diplomats and wealthy businessmen in Hong Kong. The dresses of some Asian contestants were inspired by their national costumes: Miss Japan wore a kimono, Miss Korea’s dress was similar to her national costume, Miss India wore a traditional Indian dress, and Miss China’s dress was actually a stunning turquoise qipao. As the activity was held outdoors, some candidates felt very cold due to the freezing night winds of Hong Kong.
This event was organized by the United Nations Refugee Agency and the Miss World Organization. Some of the contestants offered some auction items for the guests to bid and raise funds for UNRA and also raised money for the benefit of the organization “Po Leung Kuk”, whose objective was the care of the young, the elderly and the protection of the innocent.. At this dinner, Miss Venezuela was awarded an honorary award by representatives of the “Miss Hong Kong Beauties” page.
FIRST STOP IN SANYA.-
Tuesday, November 11, the participants traveled together to Sanya, Hainan Island, where the final would be held on December 6. The contestants arrived on a Hainan Airlines jet at 12:30 pm, with Miss World Azra Akin and Julia Morley leading the way. There, they were received at the international airport with great excitement. Members of the local organizing committee were there to greet the delegates as they got off the plane, they received garlands, and then a contingent of children from the local elementary schools accompanied them. Among the gifts at the opening ceremonies were the performance of the military band, bamboo cane dancers and the famous dancing lions. The entire island was excited about the girls’ first, albeit short, visit, and everywhere were banners and posters celebrating Miss World. Of course, when more than 100 beautiful women travel anywhere, they bring a lot of luggage. More than 1,000 pieces of luggage arrived as planned, and 30 volunteers had to be called to the plane along with 10 trucks to unload everything. In addition, three types of tags were made for the luggage that went to each of the different cities, since the candidates would travel to different Chinese cities.
That evening, the girls enjoyed a private welcome dinner, where only the “creme de la creme” of Hainan society were invited to attend. After speeches by some important sponsors and key government members, Julia Morley was given a special gift by government officials and she proceeded to give a lengthy speech, in which she thanked the government and people of Hainan for bringing Miss World to China and for showing so much support for the contest. She also mentioned that she wanted to show Hainan to the world in the best Miss World pageant and intended to redefine the pageant again this year to reflect the times. The delegates, dressed in cocktail dresses, took the stage to introduce themselves to the spectators. Some participants, like Miss Nepal, chose to wear traditional costumes from their country, while others were dressed in the latest western fashions. In this party, the contestants from Georgia, Ireland, Macedonia, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Angola, Korea, Peru, Russia, Turkey and Venezuela.
Located at the southern tip of Hainan, China’s second-largest island (including Taiwan), Sanya is an important political, economic, cultural and foreign trade port and also a famous coastal tourist site full of tropical landscapes and local customs. The city had a population of about 343,000, and Hainan Island had just under 8 million at the time. With its typical tropical oceanic monsoon climate and beautiful landscapes, Sanya was an ideal site for the contest. The 5-star Sheraton Sanya Resort served as the host hotel for the contestants and offered a private beach, gym, a wide range of vacation activities, meeting rooms, and a fully equipped business center. Under the slogan “Building Beauty”, the city of Sanya was rebuilding five bridges and four roads, built three roads along the coast and a commercial and residential area near the mouth of the Sanya River. It also cleaned three bays in order to create a more favorable setting for its welcome visitors.
On Wednesday, November 12, the girls got up at 5:30 a.m. to practice the ancient Chinese art of Tajiquan, which is a form of gentle exercise and slow-motion meditation. The Sheraton Sanya had its own private beach, so after the energizing Tajiquan, the girls changed into their bathing suits for a private photoshoot. Delegates were shown heading out of the water onto the beach, and although there was security, some locals managed to catch a glimpse from afar. The young women had the opportunity to rest and relax before their next excursion, spending the rest of the day in the pool, playing tennis or cycling, followed by a private dinner where the contestants appeared before the public in a kind of Fashion Show. That day a press conference was also held where the reigning Miss World, Azra Akin, and Julia Morley attended, who gave the details of what would be the fifty-third edition of the pageant.
TRIP TO XI’AN.-
On Thursday, November 13, the Miss World 2003 delegates departed at 7:30 a.m. and arrived at Xianyang International Airport in Xi’an, north China, at 10:30 a.m. local time. Members of the press and viewers alike gathered to take a look at the girls. The candidates had been in China for less than a week, but the activities seemed to have left them a bit exhausted. They arrived wrapped in sweaters and jackets to face Xi’an’s cold weather. Still, some of the delegates managed to remain energetic, such as Miss India, who was wearing a beautiful sari. The first order of business was a special reception at the airport with some dignitaries, but the girls were rushed to their hotel, the Sheraton Xi’an, to settle in and rest before the official welcome gala in Xi’an Nanmen. The candidates were expected to dress formally for this event, because it was being done in the style of the Tang dynasty, one of the most famous in Chinese history. On Friday morning the 14th, the girls divided into two groups for a tour of various sites where the city’s famous terracotta warriors and horses could be found. They then teamed up to visit the Goose Pagoda and the Shaanxi Historical Museum. A benefit banquet was held that night in the walled ancient city of Xi’an, which was the capital of several Chinese dynasties a long time ago.
On Saturday, November 15, rehearsals took up much of the day as the candidates prepared for a large-scale celebration of their stay in Xi’an, with a huge fashion show to be televised from the Xi’an Stadium. Tickets to the event were totally sold out. The extravagant show featured performances by former Chinese playwrights, as well as other song and dance numbers as the girls took to the stage in groups in front of the excited audience. Julia Morley even had a chance to say a few words and, smiling from ear to ear, thanked Xi’an for its hospitality, saying that it had been a great pleasure to be in the city. The grand finale of the event saw all the delegates on stage, singing and dancing with all the other artists and groups of children gathered for an electrifying climax.
Miss Paraguay had to cancel her original Paris-Hong Kong flight and take a flight to Tokyo, then Hong Kong, and finally on Saturday night she joined the other delegates in Xi’an. Miss Panama had traveled with Miss Paraguay but instead of accompanying her to Xi’an, she had so much luggage with her that she had to fly to Sanya first. She later joined the other girls in Shanghai, being the last contestant to arrive. Miss Fiji had been expected until that day, the last opportunity given by the Miss World organization to arrive, but, due to health reasons, she could not make it to the contest. The favorites, at that time and according to reports from China, were the representatives of the People’s Republic of China, Ireland, Poland, Macedonia, South Africa, Venezuela, Peru, Lebanon, Uruguay, Russia and Ukraine. On the other hand, the bookmakers began to also give the favorites of the bettors. Intertops gave the girls from the Dominican Republic (6-1) and Venezuela (7-1) as the big favorites. Behind them came the Misses of South Africa, Canada, Denmark, Norway, China, Switzerland and the Philippines. In the case of Miss Ireland, her odds at the bookmakers were 50-1.
NEXT STOP: SHANGHAI.-
On Sunday, November 16, the 105 candidates (Miss Panama had not arrived) traveled to the city of Shanghai, one of the largest cities in the world and the commercial center of China. The plane took off at 1:00 pm and soon, the delegates reached their fourth destination. The festivities were more low-key this time, with a short break before an evening press conference with 80 media representatives waiting to meet the girls. In this city, the young women stayed at the Hong Qiao State Guest Hotel. It was also a special occasion for Miss Macedonia FYRO, who celebrated her birthday with a special cake, while her friends at the pageant celebrated with her. On Monday the 17th, the delegates made a tour of the town. First, they were taken to the famous Bund, It houses most of the major companies and is one of the most congested places in China. Then, they were taken to the high-tech Pudong satellite, which is best known for its new age building designs. The delegates were fascinated by all this, but they probably had more fun while wandering the shops of a major market in the city center. Of course, Miss World is “Beauty with a Purpose” and the rest of the afternoon was dedicated to a special event for children at a local orphanage. The last night of this short trip to Shanghai was sponsored by a major charity in the city, which held a banquet with a fashion show whose central focus would be the beauty of the eyes, to help children in poverty. The girls dressed formally and each brought a small gift to be auctioned for the children. The charity gala was a great success and the people who attended were happy to see all the candidates.
FROM SHANGHAI TO BEIJING.-
On Tuesday, November 18, the 106 girls traveled to Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China. The city, whose name means “northern capital”, has a history of more than 3,000 years. In this one is a concentration of magnificent constructions of classic style, that represent the apogee of the ancient architecture of China. The hopefuls for Miss World 2003 arrived at noon aboard two planes from the city of Shanghai, and were taken to the Chang An Grand Hotel where they received a colorful welcome by Chinese artists. The first order of business was an evening press session at the hotel, where an Associated Press reporter would not leave Julia Morley alone, asking “Why have Miss World in China? Why now and not in 2008 (Games Olympics in Beijing)? “Calm and collected, Morley simply replied” why not now? We have chosen China and we want to hold our contest here in the present, it’s that simple!”.
Delegates stood during the conference, while several speeches were delivered, but they were the focal point of the conference. Miss Italy, Silvia Cannas, commented “I’ve only been here three hours and I’m hardly going to get to know… but my first impression is that this is a beautiful city, very big”. This was the general consensus among the girls. The candidates were also fascinated by the special Chinese fruit fudge. Miss Latvia, Irina Askolska, ate it straight off the display pole in front of intrigued members of the press. Miss Venezuela, Valentina Patruno, told reporters that: “I am going to triumph with the title of Miss World and I am sure that all Venezuelans are going to celebrate my victory”. The representative of Spain, María Teresa Martín, said that “beauty is not everything” and that “personality” was also a factor to take into account. “Being beautiful is important, but it is also important to be serious, responsible, cultured and friendly. Character tends to tip the balance in the end”, said the 23-year-old from Malaga. The Puerto Rican Joyceline Montero considered that the contest was the “perfect stage for women to expose their best qualities”. For the first time the pageant was held in China, a country in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) banned the holding of beauty pageants when it came to power in 1949. The Peruvian, Claudia Hernández, just turned 22, also considered that “a shiny makeup was not enough”. “I think we are ambassadors for the culture and idiosyncrasies of our respective countries.” The Ecuadorian Mayra Renteria believed that all the girls present “wish they were beauty queens” and that this edition (the 53rd) “is the best of the last decade” because it takes place in a country as exotic as China. “The event also serves to help the poor,” said Dalila Vanzie, Miss Belize.
On Wednesday the 19th, on a cold morning, the delegates received special jackets for the weather and were taken to the nearby Great Wall of China, which dates back to 250 BC and was concluded in the 17th century. The Great Wall, which crosses mountains and rivers, is still one of the great wonders of the world and many of the stones that were used in its construction measure more than two meters and exceed a ton in weight. The entire wall extends for 6,000 kilometers and, according to experts, with the number of stones and tiles used in the construction, a wall five meters high and one meter wide could have been erected around the Earth. For the Chinese, the Great Wall is the only world construction visible from the moon. The most famous part of the Great Wall, near Beijing in the town known as Badaling, it was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644 AD) and is considered a World Heritage Site. It was originally built to keep foreign invaders out, but foreign beauties were more than welcome. The candidates held the flags of their respective countries, representing the unity of all nations as they gathered at one of the seven wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China. They smiled, laughed, and had fun playing in the snow and posing for photos and footage that would later be used in the contest broadcast on December 6. Many of the girls were fascinated because they were seeing snow for the first time in their lives. Miss Malaysia, Sze Zen Wong, said that this had been the most fascinating experience of her life, being able to see the famous Great Wall and the snow at the same time. Later that day, some environmental activities, such as tree planting, were carried out to promote the natural environment of these beautiful places. The girls also made a stopover at a ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken’ to have a coffee and warm up. In the evening, there was a private event at the hotel.
On Thursday the 20th, the second day of the tour took place when the contestants were taken to the historic Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace, major tourist attractions in Beijing. The Forbidden City was the residence of the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. This represents the majesty of the Chinese civilization of some 5,000 years of history. The Imperial Palace is included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list. It consists of more than 9,000 lounges, halls and rooms. On Friday morning the 21st, the girls attended a public event, where the locals were able to shop, together with the Misses, for a short period of time. The remainder of the day was spent preparing a large-scale charity banquet, which was held in the Great Hall of the People for the benefit of disabled children and orphans and which was broadcast live on Chinese television. A thousand people paid for the opportunity to meet the Miss World delegates in person. The spectacular event went off without a hitch and that same night, the Misses packed their bags to return to Sanya the next day.
RETURN TO THE ISLAND OF HAINAN.-
On Saturday, November 22, the participants left Beijing and returned to Hainan Island, specifically to Haikou, the main city of the island. Hainan residents eagerly awaited the return of the Miss World delegates. There was a general stir among the locals, excited to see the beauties in their special paradise. When the girls got off the plane in Haikou that Saturday morning, they joined in the celebrations of the “Hainan Island Happy Festival”. Little children were waiting for them to offer them flowers and hold their hands as they arrived with all kinds of artists who welcomed the contestants. The girls yelled “I love you Hainan! I love you Haikou!” when they arrived at Hainan’s main sea port, Haikou, for the opening ceremony of the Hainan Island Festival. Miss China 2001 (Li Bing) and 2002 (Ying-Na Wu) also came to the city to participate in the festivities. Miss Nigeria, Celia Bissong, took a few moments to dance a bit with some of the artists and was really having a great time. In the evening, they headed to the Meishi Mayflower Golf Resort for a special reception party and where they would be staying that night. Special performers from Hainan’s cultural dances and songs were on hand to entertain the Misses, as well as the governor of Hainan. There was food and a general fun atmosphere for the thousands of attendees. The party concluded with a beautiful set of fireworks. The contestants finally returned to Sanya on Sunday, November 23.
DATA AND GOSSIP.-
* Miss World returned to British television on Sky One after a year-long boycott. The pageant also returned to television in Brazil, Australia, South Africa, and several other countries. However, not many countries were opting to show the “U-Decide” special that would be shown a week earlier.
* Television rights to the contest in China were taken by ‘Phoenix Television’, which broadcast short daily segments of the contest as part of its coverage.
* As has been the norm in the previous 52 editions, the Miss World organization would give all the money raised to charitable causes. On this occasion, to the Chinese Charity Federation (FCC).
* 100,000 hearts of gold, sent especially by Miss World President Julia Morley, were also put up for sale across China to raise money for the FCC.
* Wilnelia Forsyth, the former Miss World 1975 from Puerto Rico, created the line of swimsuits that the contestants wore in the “U-Decide” special and in the “Beach Beauty” competition.
* If there was a problem that the girls had, it was because of the fabulous food that was served at all the parties and banquets they had been attending. Miss Wales and Miss Peru were among those who said that following a diet was something really difficult in the pageant. There always seemed to be one or two girls who came to the pageant skinny and, in a matter of a month, they grew several sizes!
* The Miss World organization announced that the Irish host of the television program “Ireland AM”, Amanda Byram, would be the animator of the final that would take place on December 6 in Sanya, China. Byram became very popular on British television when she was featured on the television program “The Big Breakfast Show”. Later, she was the official voice of American TV’s television series, “Paradise Hotel”, the first in the real television concept that aired in the summer of 2003. Byram traveled to Sanya the third week of November. Her male counterpart was New Zealand-born but Los Angeles-based TV host, producer, and writer Phil Keoghan, known for being the host of the CBS reality show “The Amazing Race.” On the other hand, singer Bryan Ferry joined Puerto Rican vocalist Luis Fonsi to provide the music for the final of the contest.
* Miss Greece, Vasiliki Tsekoura, was pleasantly surprised when she arrived at the hotel in Sanya and was met with a romantic surprise. Her boyfriend, to show her how much he loved her, had come to Sanya early to put together an arrangement with 3,000 roses, along with a musical accompaniment.
* Miss Moldova, Elena Danilciuc, had the best hair in the competition. Meanwhile, Chinese reporters mentioned that Miss Peru, Claudia Hernández, was the most photogenic candidate.
* Angeline da Silva de Goes, Miss Curaçao, was prepared by a Venezuelan team made up of fashion photographer Sergio Di Francesco and Valencian Alexander González, who prepared Amelia Vega, the recently crowned Miss Universe 2003 from the Dominican Republic.
* Miss World created this year, for the first time, the so-called “Fast-Tracks”, a series of mini-competitions that assured the winners their pass to the 20 Miss World semifinalists. This year there would be five competitions that would be taken into account to qualify for a place in the semifinal. These were: Beach Beauty, Talent, Personality, Sport & Fitness and Popular Vote.
* The tallest candidate was Miss Georgia at 6 feet 4 inches. The shortest, Miss Sri Lanka at 5 feet 2 inches.
* The Sheraton Sanya Resort, where the girls were staying, had to prepare 3,000 kg of fresh fruit every day to satisfy the requirements of the candidates.
* The contestants had, among all, more than 650 suitcases that were handled in 45 minutes by the staff of the Sheraton Sanya Resort.
* Hainan Airlines provided two Boeing 737s to transport the contestants and the Miss World Organization for China on their two-week tour.
* Eight contestants had their birthday during their stay in China.
* This year two doctors and a dentist participated in the contest.
* The Miss World website http://www.missworld.tv received 100 million visits per day during the event.
* The official page of Miss World this year charged 5 dollars to all those who wanted to register to obtain information and vote for their favorites.
* After changing from icy to tropical climates in a matter of days, the girls visited the special Miss World Clinic to get a checkup and treatment for the colds some of them developed during the rally.
* In a rather amusing incident in Beijing, a reporter found a couple of contestants in the men’s room, who had apparently misunderstood the signs on the door.
* On Thursday, November 20, the voting for Miss World officially began through the telephone service. To do this, the public had to call the number 00 682 38 143. Before making the call, the country number (of the country from which it was being called) and the number of the entrant had to be noted:
|ANGOLA||004||ECUADOR||033||LESOTHO||061||SERBIA & MONTENEGRO||088|
|ANTIGUA & BARBUDA||005||ENGLAND||034||LEBANON||062||SINGAPORE||089|
|BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA||017||GUATEMALA||045||NEW ZEALAND||072||THAILAND||099|
|BOTSWANA||018||GUYANA||046||NICARAGUA||073||TRINIDAD & TOBAGO||100|
|BULGARIA||020||HONG KONG||048||NORTHERN IRELAND||075||UGANDA||102|
|CAYMAN ISLANDS||022||ICELAND||050||NORWAY||077||UNITED STATES||104|
The numbers 002, 007, 010 and 037 corresponded to the American Virgin Islands, Armenia, Austria and Fiji that did not make it to the contest.
* Until Sunday, November 24, Venezuelan Valentina Patruno led the Bet365 and Victor Chandler bookmakers, second in Intertops and Skybets, third in SportingOdds and Centrebet, fifth in WilliamHill, Gamebookers and PaddyPower; and sixth in Ladbrookes, BetFair and BlueSQ; which meant that it appeared among the first in all the bookmakers. Others that scored were the candidates from Norway (first in five bookmakers); Ireland (first in three); and Miss India and Miss Dominican Republic (first in a bookmaker each).
* Julia Morley was interviewed by the Chinese journalist, Shui Junyi, who asked her all kinds of questions about Miss World and the problems of the 2002 edition. Of course, Julia made sure to bring up the whole idea of ”Beauty with a Purpose” and how she intended to make the event relevant to society. He personally said that he had not paid much attention to the contest and that he did not like such contests, but realized that the Chinese people viewed it very differently and that, as a means of liberal exposure and reform, the contest had served its purpose function in China. Julia added, “I think China is a really lovely place”. “Instead of thinking politically about things, why not think socially and let everyone enjoy it together for no special reason?”
* Hong Kong’s Tsing Ma Bridge, one of the city’s busiest roads, was closed for the first time in history to allow girls to parade on it.
* The Chinese authorities relaxed their controls to allow 10 lucky contestants a chance to pose alongside the Terracotta Army. In Xi’an, the city gates were opened for the first time since President Clinton’s state visit to let the contestants through. All were given the keys to the city and invited to return at any time.
* The Sanya government spent approximately $ 3 million buying the venue rights to this year’s Miss World, which it hoped to recoup through increased tourism.
* 23 of the contestants first saw snow when the group visited the Great Wall of China. 15 of them had never seen the sea before arriving in China.
* Miss Malta, Rachel Xuereb, received a marriage proposal from her boyfriend on Saturday, November 29. The groom, on his knees, handed her a ring. The Miss promised to marry him as soon as the contest ended, yes, as long as she did not win…
* Tickets for the Miss World 2003 were unaffordable, at least, for the pocket of many. Tickets in the VIP area, with entry to the coronation ball, cost a mere $ 2,000 per person. For special guests (also including dinner), tickets cost $ 1,200. For level A stands, US $ 880; level B, US $ 580; level C, US $ 280; and for level D (the back row), US $ 80.
* A man spared no expense to ensure he saw the 106 contestants in this year’s Miss World in China, paying $ 28,000 for his ticket, authorities said. Chen, from Sanya City, bought the ticket at a charity auction, local officials said. “The money will be donated to charity,” said Zhos Xiong, head of the Sanya organizing committee. Tickets at the newly built 4,000-seat “Beauty Crown” theater were completely sold out, organizers said.
* The main table of the final was sold to a lucky person for $ 45,000, whose proceeds went to the Federation of Charity of China (FCC).
* The presidential suite at the Sheraton Sanya hotel was auctioned along with a pair of tickets for the final on http://www.sina.com, the largest portal in China.
ACTIVITIES IN SANYA.-
Sunday, November 23, the day the candidates returned to Sanya, was a day off for the beauty queens to rest. On Monday 24, the delegates submitted their applications and went through interviews for the ‘Miss World Scholarship’, a special award given on the final night. A total of 54 of the 106 girls applied for the award, which would allow them to receive funding for their higher education, for which they were interviewed by international educator Dr. Colin Niven. The scholarship was going to be awarded to the contestant whose application best suited the theme of “Beauty with a Purpose”. On the other hand, the rehearsals for the finals began the last week of November in a room at the Sheraton Sanya hotel. The “Beauty Crown” Theater was officially ready, and during that week the stage was being set. Meanwhile, the candidates were learning a series of choreographic movements that they would show during the opening of the show.
“MISS WORLD U-DECIDE”.-
Between Tuesday, November 25 and Thursday the 27th, the filming was carried out outdoors for the program “Miss World U-Decide”, which was broadcast via satellite on Saturday the 29th to many countries by Star World. This one-and-a-half-hour special, where the viewer got to know the 106 candidates a little more and could see them parading in swimsuits on the beach of the Sheraton Sanya, was presented by the Irish Amanda Byram. The program also presented images of the different activities that the participants had during their tour of China. The candidates were divided into nine groups, which were made up as follows:
|GROUP 1: Malta, Botswana, New Zealand, Antigua, Philippines, Wales, Israel, Iceland, Vietnam, Korea, Japan and Turkey.|
|GROUP 2: Albania, Italy, Belgium, France, India, Northern Marianas, Argentina, Bolivia, Aruba, Curaçao, Spain and Peru.|
|GROUP 3: Angola, Brazil, Andorra, Portugal, Barbados, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Nepal, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia and Germany.|
|GROUP 4: Mexico, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Venezuela, England, USA, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Denmark and Norway.|
|GROUP 5: Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Canada, Ireland, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Finland, Sweden, Kenya and Nigeria.|
|GROUP 6: Hungary, Serbia & Montenegro, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Costa Rica, Gibraltar, Paraguay, Panama, Zambia and Zimbabwe.|
|GROUP 7: Northern Ireland, Russia, Tanzania, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Uganda, Colombia, Chile and Kazakhstan.|
|GROUP 8: Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Belize, Lebanon, Mauritius, Switzerland and Thailand.|
|GROUP 9: Namibia, Scotland, Greece, Swaziland, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, Moldova, Holland, Belarus and Australia.|
On Friday, November 28, the first of the “Fast-Tracks” of Miss World 2003 was held, that of “BEACH BEAUTY”, a competition that was held, outdoors, on the private beach of the Sheraton Sanya, with the candidates wearing swimsuits designed by Wilnelia Forsyth. This event was won by Miss IRELAND (Rosanna Diane Davison), who thus secured her pass to the 20 Miss World semifinalists. In second place was Miss SWITZERLAND (Bianca Nicole Sissing) and, in third place, Miss BOLIVIA (Helen Aponte Saucedo). The Top 10 of this competition were the representatives from Belgium, Ethiopia, Jamaica, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland and Uruguay. The judges of this competition was conformed by the ex-Miss World Wilnelia Forsyth, the English actress Donna Derby, Julia Morley, the Chinese photographerLiu Zhankun and Miss World choreographer Ken Warwick.
TALENT COMPETITION AND MISS PERSONALITY.-
The Miss World 2003 talent show was held on Saturday, November 29 at the Sheraton Hotel Sanya. 60 of the 106 contestants applied and 21 were shortlisted to present their skills in this competition, which was ‘optional’. On the other hand, if the delegates had known before that the winner would advance to the semifinals, all, surely, would have participated in the preselection. The event was hosted by Stephen Douglas and the girls competed in front of a panel of four judges, all men, made up of British celebrity Bruce Forsyth, Mister World 2003, Gustavo Gianetti from Brazil, Pop Idol director Kenny Warwick and arranger musical Mike Dickson. Amanda Byram took the stage and explained that she was about to announce the winner of the ‘MISS PERSONALITY’ award and that this winner would immediately become one of the 20 semifinalists in the final on December 6. And the winner was, Miss BOLIVIA (Helen Aponte Saucedo) !. Chosen by her fellow contestants, an excited Helen received her award and thanked the audience accompanied by a translator. In second place was Miss BARBADOS (Racquel Olivia Wilkinson) and in third place Miss ANTIGUA & BARBUDA (Ann-Marie Browne).
The first contestant to present her talent was Miss Czech Republic, Lucie Vachova, who did a dance routine to Cher’s “Strong Enough”. However, she only danced for less than a minute, which was not long enough to make a fair judgment. Then came Miss Antigua & Barbuda, Ann-Marie Browne, who sang an a cappella version of de “Like a Prayer” by Madonna and who demonstrated excellent voice and acting skills. The audience cheered as this beautiful Caribbean delegate showed off her great voice while wearing a formal black dress. The third contestant to present her talent was Miss Canada, Nazanin Afshin-Jam. Her Persian dance was enough to make her one of the main candidates for this award, with her incredible and exotic movements. Then came Miss Lithuania, Vaida Griksaite, who did a dramatic monologue. To the surprise of the audience, she spoke some words in very fluent Chinese!
Following the program, Miss Macedonia FYRO, Marija Vasic, recited a poem; Miss India, Ami Vashi, did a traditional Indian dance; Miss Latvia, Irina Askolska, did a rhythmic dance to the song “When you Believe” by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston; then it was the turn of Miss China, Qi Guan, who could certainly become an opera singer with her amazing voice. Miss Puerto Rico, Joyceline Montero, was one of the hits of the night with her magic tricks. She was dressed in a sexy Chinese suit and an umbrella, doing tricks with flowers and scarves. The public went wild when she joined several of them to form the Puerto Rican flag. Miss Colombia, Claudia Molina, did a very energetic indigenous dance; Miss Argentina, Grisel Rita Hitoff, danced to the rhythm of Tango; Miss Ireland, Rosanna Davison, recited a poem written by her, inspired by all the experiences she had had in China; Miss Korea, Ji-Yea Park, did a traditional Korean dance; Miss Venezuela, Valentina Patruno, played the flute, Miss Botswana, Boingotlo Motlalekgosi, sang and then Miss Northern Marianas, Kimberly Reyes, stole the show with her Polynesian dancing and spinning fire. Miss Georgia, Irina Onashvili, sang a sweet and interesting ballad, a beautiful song about her hometown, Tbilisi; Miss Dominican Republic, María Eugenia Vargas, also did a dance routine, where she looked very beautiful; Miss Ethiopia, Hayat Ahmed, performed a typical dance from her country, and Miss Estonia, Kristiina Gabor, wowed the crowd with her choreography of “Young Hearts That Run Free” by Kym Mazelle.
At the conclusion of the show, the winners were announced: 3rd place went to Miss ESTONIA, 2nd place to Miss PUERTO RICO and the talent winner was Miss GEORGIA (Irina Onashvili) who also automatically advanced to the semi-finals. On another note, Miss Aruba, Nathalie Biermanns, was unable to present her talent, due to a minor injury that was being treated at the time. At the end of the program, the presenters thanked everyone for their support, and, to close, Irina sang her song along with all her fellow contestants, who were also part of the audience.
The speedy Miss Canada, Nazanin Afshin-Jam, reached the 20 semifinalists of Miss World 2003 on Sunday, November 30, by winning the sports competition. She beat Miss Czech Republic, Lucie Vachova, who came in second place, with Miss Romania, Patricia Filomena Chifor, finishing third. Nazanin, born in Iran, and a qualified pilot, was a clear winner of the competition that consisted of running, swimming and working out in the gym. She said, “It was tough. The level of competition was very high. Now I can have dessert tonight. And I’m in the Top 20. That’s great!” The Fitness and Sports Training Pre-Event consisted of several aerobic and fitness activities, designed to find the most suitable delegate among the 106 representatives from around the world who participated in swimming, running and other athletic disciplines. Canada has never won the Miss World title, but bettors from the UK, Australia and the Caribbean had the Canadian beauty among the top favorites for the title. The fifth finalist would be the winner of the ‘People’s Choice’. While some of the delegates felt that awarding semi-final spots to award winners was ‘neat’ and ‘interesting’, there were others who felt the system was pointless. A delegate from Eastern Europe commented: “Is it fair for me to have fewer chances to become Miss World because I don’t have a special talent and I’m not very athletic?”
ROOMMATES.- Here is the table with the roommates of the candidates for Miss World 2003:
|Botswana – Antigua & Barbuda||Czech Republic – Northern Ireland||Trinidad & Tobago – South Africa|
|Brazil – Angola||Australia – Scotland||Curacao – Aruba|
|Chile – Colombia||Albania – Italy||Zambia – Zimbabwe|
|Russia – Ukraine||Estonia – Romania||Latvia – Kazakhstan|
|Singapore – Hong Kong||Venezuela – Uruguay||Mexico – Nicaragua|
|Holland – Belarus||USA – England||Georgia – Germany|
|Ireland – Canada||Sweden – Finland||Argentina – Bolivia|
|Belgium – France||Japan – Philippines||Israel – Iceland|
|Uganda – Tanzania||Wales – New Zealand||Croatia – Bosnia & Herzegovina|
|Nigeria – Kenya||Macedonia – Bulgaria||Cyprus – Sri Lanka|
|Guyana – Belize||Panama – Paraguay||Vietnam – Korea|
|Puerto Rico – Ecuador||Malaysia – China||Costa Rica – Gibraltar|
|Poland – Lithuania||Jamaica – Barbados||Hungary – Serbia & Montenegro|
|Slovenia – Slovakia||Swaziland – Namibia||Bahamas – Cayman Islands|
|Spain – Peru||Malta – Turkey||India – Northern Marianas|
|Andorra – Portugal||Denmark – Norway||Ethiopia – Lesotho|
|Guadeloupe – Nepal||Guatemala – Dominican Republic||Switzerland – Thailand|
|Lebanon – Mauritius||Greece||Moldova|
The Global Beauties page held the competition again with the votes of 36 webmasters from other websites dedicated to the world of beauty. The winner was Miss IRELAND (Rosanna Davison) and behind her were the representatives of Venezuela, China, South Africa, Peru, Norway, the Dominican Republic, Switzerland, Macedonia, Brazil, Ethiopia and India.
LAST DAYS OF COMPETITION.-
Miss Wales, Imogen Thomas, turned 21 on November 29 and Miss Philippines, María Rafaela Yunon, made her a birthday cake to celebrate. The candidates divided into groups on Sunday, November 30, and visited various tourist spots on Hainan Island. That night they had a party at the hotel that was hosting them. On the morning of Monday, December 1, the 106 girls fighting for the Miss World 2003 crown were harassed by cheering crowds of Chinese as they paraded through the streets of Sanya on Hainan Island. In addition, they took a cable car in the center of the city and took a look at the reconstruction projects of Sanya. The streets of the city were packed along the four-mile route of the procession, as the beauties opened a road bridge where they were greeted by the ‘dancing lions’, before planting 106 trees at the new “Beauty Crown Theater” where the Miss World final would take place on Saturday, December 6. The girls were also given concrete handprints and hundreds of books were donated to local schools. Miss World Executive President Julia Morley said: “The reception for the girls was magnificent. China has taken them seriously. And it was great to be able to give something to the community”. Some 10,000 locals gathered to celebrate with the Miss World delegates, who enjoyed musical and dance performances throughout the morning. This was followed by the opening of the “Beauty Crown Theater”, where they would begin rehearsing on stage for the final show. On Tuesday, December 2, the “Miss World Family Party” was held, where the girls were able to share with their family, friends and directors. On Wednesday 3, the interviews with the jury began in a room of the Sheraton Sanya hotel and they lasted until Friday, December 5, evaluations that were interspersed with the rehearsals. This year, the girls entered in groups of six, as they were divided for the finals. Another change that occurred was that this time they did not use the evening gowns for the interview, but a casual dress. And, as in previous years, the judges also saw the video of “Miss World U-Decide” to evaluate the contestants in swimsuits and to cast their vote with their fifteen favorite candidates.
On Wednesday, December 3, there were also two press conferences in Sanya. The first one brought together the photographers at the Gloria hotel to present the three winners of the “Miss World Beach Beauty” (Miss Ireland, Miss Switzerland and Miss Bolivia) wearing the official swimsuits of the contest, designed by the former Miss Puerto Rican world Wilnelia Merced-Forsyth. Likewise, Miss Norway, Elisabeth Wathne, posed with a white bikini that would be the design to be used in the 2004 contest. At another press conference, Azra Akin (Miss World 2002) was introduced, who spoke about her experiences as queen of beauty and her plans for the future. She was accompanied by the current Mr World, the Brazilian Gustavo Gianetti who was one of the members of the judges. On Thursday the 4th, at noon, six of the Miss World candidates, chosen at random, held a press conference for the hundreds of journalists, Chinese and foreign, who were present in Sanya to cover the beauty pageant. They were Miss Venezuela, Valentina Patruno; Miss Canada, Nazanin Afshin-Jam; Miss China, Qi Guan; Miss Hong Kong, Rabee’a Lok Ting Yeung; Miss Poland, Karolina Gorazda; and Miss England, Jacqueline Turner. Miss England noted that her favorite visit was Xi’an, where they saw the ancient temples and admired the figures of the terracotta warriors. Miss Poland said she was very impressed to visit the Great Wall in Beijing and mentioned how her family members called to see if she was really there. She also appreciated the moments when the children ran up to them with fresh flowers. Miss Venezuela said she was extremely impressed with China and never thought that at just 21 years old she would have the opportunity to see the Great Wall, tour Sanya and most of mainland China. Miss Canada said that China was a mysterious country, where the classical and the modern age met. She was impressed by the skyscrapers in Shanghai, the warrior figures in Xi’an, Tiananmen Square, and Sanya. Miss Hong Kong said that she was very happy to visit mainland China, as her parents did not have the opportunity to do so. She said she would remember the experience forever. Miss China thanked everyone for giving her the opportunity to revisit some of these cultures that made her country such an incredible place on the planet. She also thanked her fans, who hoped that she would win the first Miss World title for her country.
On Friday, December 5, the dress rehearsal for Miss World was held at the “Beauty Crown Theater”. The 106 candidates came on stage dressed in Chinese suits and then in their evening gowns. At the event, the reigning Miss World, the Turkish Azra Akin, crowned Miss Nepal “for rehearsal purposes only” and the rehearsal runner-ups were made up of Miss Holland and Miss Uganda. The representatives of Ireland (who had greatly improved their chances, as they went from 50-1 to 9-1), China and India were considered the great favorites by the English bookmakers, who also gave serious possibilities to Miss Norway, Miss Venezuela and Miss Canada. At 16-1 odds on the readabet.com website were Miss China, Miss India, Miss Ireland, Miss Norway and Miss Venezuela. Topping the second tier with odds of 25-1 was Miss Brazil. Irish sportsbook Paddy Power had Miss Ireland Rosanna Davison at 8-1. For her part, Miss United States, Kimberly Harlan, her odds, according to readabet.com, were 66-1. The big favorite, Miss Ireland, was criticized by some of her fellow pageants, who had complained that Rosanna was constantly being pushed and favored by the Miss World organizers.
The popular vote for Miss World was taking shape with a new Top 10 for girls on Thursday, December 4. Miss Macedonia had joined the leaders at the expense of Miss Serbia and Montenegro. Votes cast on the Miss World website (www.missworld.tv) would place one of the beauties among the 20 semi-finalists. Voting could be done by phone or via the website. In alphabetical order, the most voted girls were the Misses from Albania, Australia, Brazil, India, Macedonia FYRO, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Thailand and Venezuela. Miss Australia, Olivia Stratton, said: “It’s great to know that so many people support me. Thank you very much. It is all very exciting as we approach the grand finale tomorrow. And a special thank you to my mom and dad for giving me this great opportunity”. Voting would close at midnight on Friday, December 5, and the winner of the vote would be announced during the final on Saturday, December 6.
DATA OF THE PARTICIPANTS.-
The representatives from Albania, Belgium, Cayman Islands, Mauritius, Nigeria and South Africa came from competing in Miss Universe 2003, where the South African was 2nd. runner-up. The Belgian also participated in Miss Europe 2003. The Russian was 1st. runner-up in Miss Russia ’99, competed unsuccessfully in Miss Universe 2000 and was 2nd. runner-up in the Miss International of that same year. Miss New Zealand was in Miss Asia Pacific 2000 and Miss Costa Rica in Miss Asia Pacific 2002, Miss Hawaiian Tropic Intl. 1999, Queen of International Tourism 2002, Intl. Queen of the Sea 2002 and Intl. Queen of Coffee 2003 contests. The Paraguayan woman had been 2nd. runner-up in the South American Queen 2003, Argentina participated in Queen of the World 2000 and won the International Tourism Queen 2002. The Venezuelan won Miss Italia Nel Mondo 2001 on behalf of Miami-USA, Miss Lebanon competed in the Elite Model Look ’99 and the Hungarian in the Elite Model Look 2000. For her part, Miss Belarus was a semifinalist in Miss Europe 2002, the Peruvian competed in the Intl. Flowers Queen 2003 and the American was Miss Georgia Teen USA 2002 and 4th. runner-up of Miss Teen USA 2002. Here is a table with the most important information of each contestant of Miss World 2003:
|01||ALBANIA||Denisa Kola||21||1.70||Peshkopi||She is studying business administration at the faculty of economics. Hobbies: Writing, being a member of the Red Cross, reading, music, piano, volleyball, basketball, swimming and she enjoys almost every kind of dance. Languages: Albanian, English & Italian.|
|02||ANDORRA||María José Girol Juménez||19||1.71||Andorra La Vella||She is a student and is taking special courses in Administration. She enjoys dance, including Flamenco, Hip-hop, funky and classic dance and would like to teach dance. Maria has a talent for designing her own clothes. Her other interests lie in the conservation of animals which are about to become extinct.. Hobbies: Karate, athletics, working out in the gym, aerobics, climbing, and going to the cinema. Languages: Catalan, Spanish, French, English, Portuguese.|
|03||ANGOLA||Selma Katia Antunes Carlos||20||1.70||Lubango||Selma is currently a model and a student at a language institute and wants to be a journalist. Her hobbies are reading, writing and aerobics. Languages: Portuguese, (studying French & English).|
|04||ANTIGUA & BARBUDA||Ann-Marie Browne||24||N.A.||St. John’s||She is an outstanding athlete and acquired a bachelor’s degree in Biology/Pre-Physical Therapy, Health and Human Performance. She is currently working as a Brand & Marketing Manager. She is a social activist and a humanitarian and has recently established her own foundation called ‘Friday’s Child’ to assist the terminally ill children in the islands. Hobbies: Horse ridding, track & field, basketball, volleyball, singing, and enjoys Afro Caribbean, contemporary and modern dance.|
|05||ARGENTINA||Grisel Rita Hitoff||24||1.72||Buenos Aires||She is a teacher at a School of Arts. Her hobbies are: Classic dance, tango, jazz, tap, Spanish dance, running and riding her bicycle. Grisel also enjoys drawing landscapes and big pictures of the human face, she also enjoys making special meals for her friends. Languages: Spanish and Basic French.|
|06||ARUBA||Nathalie Chantal Biermanns||21||1.75||Oranjestad||She studied photography with the intention of going into film production. Her dream is to become a movie producer. Currently she is working part-time as a Show Hostess for a TV company in Aruba and full time in Public Relations in a Chinese/Japanese Restaurant. She enjoys practicing Yoga and Reiki; jogging, photography, writing and working out in the Gym, but most of all listening and talking to people who impact and bring joy to her life. Languages: Papiamento, English, Dutch and Spanish.|
|07||AUSTRALIA||Olivia Stratton||22||1.73||Adelaide||She is currently completing her Masters Degree in Gastronomy at The University of Adelaide and a graduate of the Swiss Hotel Association, Le Cordon Bleu Academie d’Art Culinaire de Paris and Diploma in Linguistics. As a Corporal in the Australian Army Cadet Core, Olivia acquired many skills including first aid, bush survival and sign language. Olivia is a professional model, loves meeting new people, travelling, public speaking, the performing arts, music and keeping fit. Her sporting achievements include winning National Champion equestrian titles. Speaks English & German.|
|08||BAHAMAS||Shantell Nicole Hall||19||1.75||Freeport||She graduated from St George’s High School. She also joined the Silent Lambs Pantomiming Group and went on to be the elected leader. Shantell’s ambition is to be a High School Teacher. Her hobbies include: dancing, singing, surfing the net, tennis, baseball and basketball.|
|09||BARBADOS||Racquel Olivia Wilkinson||23||N.A.||Bridgetown||She is involved in the Barbados Cadet Corp, where she acquired the rank of female Sergeant Major. She is currently working as a Sales Associate, her ambition is to qualify as an accountant. She enjoys Caribbean Rhythm, dancing, travelling and meeting people, modelling and outdoor activities.|
|10||BELARUS||Volha “Olga” Vladzimirovna Nevdakh||23||1.73||Minsk||Olga is currently studying Fine Arts, her future ambition is to be an Art Critic and Art Producer. Before, Olga worked as a hair and make up stylist. She is fond of sport, swimming, dancing, drawing and has a great love of animals. Languages: Belarusian, Russian, & English.|
|11||BELGIUM||Julie Taton||19||1.68||Jambes||Julie had completed one year of her studies in Public Relations when she won her national title. Her ambition is to work in P.R. and television and eventually open her own business. Julie enjoys Jazz and Funk dance and keeping fit. Languages: French, English & Flemish.|
|12||BELIZE||Dalila Violeta Vanzie Montano||25||1.75||Dangriga||Dalila has an Associates Degree in Biology and a Doctorate in Dental Surgery. She is a Dental surgeon by profession, and has been serving as the Chief Dental Officer of Belize’s Southern Regional Hospital for the past year and a half. Dalila’s professional special interest is in pedodontics (dentistry for children), and her ambition is to open the first ever Pedodontic Clinic in Belize; she is also a member of the Local HIV/AIDs task force. She was a member of the prestigious Belize Choral Society and was soon inducted as the lead singer of a popular teen rock band. She loves hiking, traveling, biking, jungle caving, tennis, preparing her own spicy pasta recipes, recreational dancing, singing, sci-fi movies, video games and technological gadgets. Languages: English and Spanish & Creole.|
|13||BOLIVIA||Helen Aponte Saucedo||19||1.83||Beni||Helen is studying Law at the University U.P.D.A. Her Hobbies are: singing, dancing salsa, rap, shakira and the romantic dances, going to the gym and swimming. Speaks Spanish, English & Portuguese.|
|14||BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA||Irna Smaka||19||1.80||Kaknja||She is studying her first year of Law at the University in Sarajevo. Irna is very proud to be a part of the ‘Special Olympic Committee’ helping children with special needs in her country. She enjoys dancing, reading, playing handball, swimming and acting. Speaks Bosnian, English, Arabic & Persian.|
|15||BOTSWANA||Boingotlo Motlalekgosi||19||1.75||Gaborone||Boingotlo means humbleness. She is a first year student at the University of Botswana pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences, majoring in Psychology and Economics. Her dream is to have a Sports Development Foundation where talent of the young people in her country can be developed. Hobbies: travelling, reading, watching and playing sports especially athletics and enjoys singing and traditional dance. Languages: Setswana & English.|
|16||BRAZIL||Lara Andressa de Brito||24||1.74||Goiania||She has graduated in Journalism and Economic Science and is now working as an actress / TV announcer / Journalist. Her ambition is to become an important TV Sports Commentator. Lara enjoys classical ballet and boxing!. Languages: Portuguese and Spanish.|
|17||BULGARIA||Rayna Delyanova Naldzhieva||17||1.73||Sofia||She is currently a student at The National Choreography School in Sofia. She enjoys most sports, in particular aerobics and jogging and of course all types of dance – folk, classical and modern. Rayna also likes listening to music. Languages: Bulgarian & basic English.|
|18||CANADA||Nazanin Afshin-Jam||24||1.75||Vancouver||Nazanin is of Iranian origin and a graduate of the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and Political Science, including Scholarship studies at the Science Po in Paris and Herstmonceux Castle in England. Nazanin is a Global Youth Educator with the Red Cross, where she teaches global issues such as landmines, poverty-disease cycle and children affected by war. She currently studies Broadcast Journalism and plans to be a foreign correspondent. She is also an accomplished international model, actor and pilot and has achieved the highest possible rank in The Royal Canadian Air Cadets. She speaks English, French, Farsi and conversational Spanish.|
|19||CAYMAN ISLANDS||Nichelle Antoinette Welcome||24||1.70||Georgetown||She is an Accountant. She likes Jet skiing expeditions, boat trips and scavenger hunts. Nichelle also enjoys reading, writing, poetry, cycling, aerobics, dancing, Hip Hop, Soca and Calypso.|
|20||CHILE||Patricia Alejandra Soler Artigues||25||1.78||La Serena||She is studying Tourism and Administration at La Serena University. Alejandra enjoys swimming, walking, cooking and a little of everything. Languages : Spanish and a little English.|
|21||CHINA, PEOPLE´S REPUBLIC||Qi Guan||21||1.79||Changchun, Jilin||Qi graduated from Beijing Institute of Clothing & Technology with a Bachelor’s Degree. She majored in fashion design and is now working as a Designer. Qi is also an excellent athlete, she has been professional and has played volleyball for six years. Furthermore she also plays piano, violin and sings as well. Her hobbies are: painting, roller skating, swimming, running, climbing and enjoys both Chinese and Spanish dance. Languages: Mandarin (Chinese) & English.|
|22||COLOMBIA||Claudia Milena Molina Torres||18||1.74||Barranquilla||Claudia is in her 4th Semester studying Business Administration at the Atlantic University in Barranquilla, and would like to go in to politics. Her hobbies are: basketball, volleyball, skating, swimming, listening to music, singing, reading about lyricists and writing poems. She also enjoys Cumbia, Napale, Joropo, Salsa, ballet, disco rock and Arabian dance. Languages: Spanish & English.|
|23||COSTA RICA||Shirley de los Ángeles Álvarez Sandoval||23||1.71||Desamparados||Shirley is a studying Public Relations and Designer Fashion at the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. In her spare time Shirley teaches dance, photography and theatre to children. Her hobbies are: horse riding, reading, painting, dancing the Tango, flamenco and tropical, swimming, tennis, basketball and soccer. Languages: Spanish & English.|
|24||CROATIA||Aleksandra Grdic||24||1.75||Virovitica||After studying linguistics in high school she is now studying law. Hobbies are: Thai-bo, fitness, reading, riding a bicycle, running, roller-skating, acting and both rock & modern dance. Languages: Croatian and English.|
|25||CURACAO||Angeline Fernandine da Silva de Goes||19||1.79||Willemstad||She is studying Social Economy at the University of the Netherlands Antilles, her ambition is to be a Certified Public Accountant. Her hobbies are: reading Spanish books, going to the movies, singing, dancing Salsa, bike riding & horse riding. Speaks Papiamento, Spanish, Dutch, English, & Portuguese.|
|26||CYPRUS||Stella Stylianou||18||1.71||Nicosia||She is now studying English Literature at the University of Athens. Her ambition is to be a good translator and an English Teacher. Stella enjoys singing, dancing, acting, swimming and reading books. Languages: Greek & English.|
|27||CZECH REPUBLIC||Lucie Vachova||19||N.A.||Pribram||She is currently at Grammar school and is due to graduated next year. Her ambition is to specialize in Sports, especially gym and athletics. Her other interests include dancing, swimming, playing the piano and traveling. Languages: Czech, English & German.|
|28||DENMARK||Maj Buchholtz Petersen||20||1.78||Skagen||She is currently a college student, and in her free time she models and works as an assistant in a chiropractic-clinic. Her ambition is to get a university degree in design and interior decorating. Maj enjoys swimming, working out, snowboarding, dancing and travelling to the Far East. Languages: Danish, English, Spanish & German.|
|29||DOMINICAN REPUBLIC||María Eugenia Vargas García||19||1.75||Santiago||She graduated to being a professional ballerina at the age of 17 and was admitted to the ‘National Ballet Company’ and studied advertising. Her ambition is to become a ‘Prima Ballerina’ and start her own academy. She enjoys music, jazz dance and jogging. She speaks Spanish & English.|
|30||ECUADOR||Mayra Katty Rentería Matamba||18||1.83||Esmeraldas||She is studying at the University and enjoys modelling. Her ambition is to become an International Model. She loves all forms of dance, especially Salsa and pop, singing and playing volleyball.|
|31||ENGLAND||Jacqueline Turner||25||1.75||Dorset||Jacqueline gained many computer qualifications, and certificates in First Aid and Life Saving in the water. She is a Personal Fitness Instructor & Counsellor. In her spare time she designs clothes, writes songs, goes dancing and watches football. She has competed in Long Jump and Javelin successfully.|
|32||ESTONIA||Kristiina Gabor||19||N.A.||Parnu||Kristiina is studying for her Bachelor’s degree at the Pedagogical University in Tallinn. Her ambition is to be a Review Editor. Kristiina’s greatest passion is dancing. She is a member a dancing group with whom she gives performances all over Estonia. She has also played the piano for many years. She used to teach dance but is currently helping to sell Classical Music CD’s at the concert hall. She also enjoys jogging and many types of different dance. Languages: Estonian, German, Russian & English.|
|33||ETHIOPIA||Hayat Ahmed Mohammed||21||N.A.||Hayat is studying Information Management Systems. She also has a special interest in Law especially in the areas of Human Rights and issues pertaining to the empowerment of the Ethiopian women. Her hobbies are: martial arts, swimming, Ethiopian traditional dance, car racing, designing clothes, travelling cross country and reading. She speaks Ambaric, Tigrigna & English.|
|34||FINLAND||Katri Johanna Hynninen||20||1.80||Naantal||Johanna is studying environmental ecology in Helsinki University, her ambition is continue her studies in medical sciences. She likes most sports, working out in the gym and jogging, her special talent is playing the piano. Languages: Finnish, English & Swedish.|
|35||FRANCE||Virginie Dubois||19||1.74||Paris||Virginie secured a general certificate of education in sciences, and has recently received a certificate in dietetics; she wants to become an engineer in nutrition. Virginie enjoys running, gymnastics, tennis, salsa & disco dancing and cooking. Languages: French, English & Spanish.|
|36||GEORGIA||Irina Onashvili||18||1.92||Tbilisi||She studied at the music college and attended courses for computers, accounts and business studies. She is currently a second year student of law at the State University. Irina’s hobbies are: reading, embroidery, knitting, basketball, tennis, table tennis, singing, modern dance and Georgian Folk dances. Languages: Georgian, Russian, English.|
|37||GERMANY||Babett Konau||25||1.74||Kiel||Babett has completed secondary school and is now a qualified dental assistant. Wants to become a TV presenter. Her hobbies are: photography, musicals, disco dancing, shopping, beach-volley ball, swimming, judo and keeping fit. Languages: German and a little English.|
|38||GIBRALTAR||Kim Marie Falzun||20||1.70||Gibraltar||Kim has completed her secondary education and is currently working as a Liaison Officer at Sovereign Trust Ltd. She wants to become a Teacher. Kim’s hobbies are keeping fit, aerobics, cycling and modern dance. Languages: English & Spanish.|
|39||GREECE||Vasiliki Tsekoura||23||1.83||Athens||Vassiliki is a senior at the University of Athens, studying physical education. She is an athlete, and was in the national team in track and field. In her spare time she works as an aerobic/yoga instructress. She enjoys everything connected to sport and dance, going to the cinema, music and reading. Languages: Greek, English, French and a little Serbian.|
|40||GUADELOUPE||Lauranza Doliman||23||1.75||Goyave||She is studying Tourism. Her hobbies are nature walks, jet skiing, reading and going to the cinema. Lauranza also enjoys disco, salsa, reggae dance and slow music. Languages: French, & English.|
|41||GUATEMALA||Jennifer Dulce María Duarte Hernández||21||N.A.||Chiquimula||She graduated as an Urban Elementary Teacher, and she is studying Juridical and Social Sciences. She was on a basketball team and likes poetry, the oratory arts, dancing the Salsa and reading.|
|42||GUYANA||Alexis Glasgow||22||1.75||New Amsterdam||After graduating secondary school, she has completed courses in the Introduction to Computers and Microsoft software, her ambition is to gain a diploma in Marketing and learn Spanish. She is currently a flight attendant. Her hobbies are drama, dancing, singing, cricket and football.|
|43||HOLLAND||Sanne de Regt||21||N.A.||Goes, Zeeland||She is a Gymnast. After graduating High School she gained her cosmetology and hair dressing diplomas and is now working as a hair stylist and make-up artist. Sanne enjoys nature, long walks, swimming, fitness, self defense, ballroom and Latin dance. Languages: Dutch, English & German.|
|44||HONG KONG, CHINA||Rabee’a Lok-Ting Yeung||22||1.63||Vancouver, Canada||She has graduated from the University of British Colombia in Vancouver majoring in Economics and Psychology. She also enjoys designing and making her own clothes, her ambition would be to become a successful fashion designer. She likes to travel, snowboard, fish, water ski, dance R & B and Hip Hop. Languages: English & Cantonese.|
|45||HUNGARY||Eszter Toth||19||1.77||Tatabanya||Eszter is studying economic-communication at the Kodolanyi Janos College in Budapest. Her ambition is to be an advertisement designer. Her hobbies are drawing, playing paintball, making picture frames, Squash, Skiing and snow-blading. She speaks Hungarian, English and German.|
|46||ICELAND||Regína Dilja Jónsdóttir||20||1.76||Reykjavik||She has two years of Social studies and then became a Nursery School Teacher. She wants to be an actress. Her hobbies are: photography, web design, acting, jazz, free style dancing and travelling. Languages: Icelandic, English & Danish.|
|47||INDIA||Ami Vashi||23||1.75||Mumbai||Ami has graduated in Business Administration & Finance from the University of Southern California. After University she joined an American company as a Financial Analyst but decided to move back to India where she is now working for Pratharn, an N.G.O who focus is to provide education to the underprivileged. Her ambition is to set up programs with self-sustaining NGO’s, which will provide education and awareness to the deprived. Ami enjoys reading, writing poetry, doing investments, Basketball, water sports, Indian Dance Bharata Natyam & yoga. Speaks Hindi, English, & Gujarati.|
|48||IRELAND||Rosanna Diane Davison||19||1.79||Enniskerry||She is studying Archaeology, Sociology and the History of Art. Her ambition is to pursue a career in the Arts, Fashion, Sports Science & Nutrition. She likes swimming, water-skiing, hockey, tennis, netball, athletics, hill walking, snow skiing, pilates, and is a keen dancer having studied ballet & modern dance. She is a sculptress, loves music, cinema and art. She speaks Irish, English and French.|
|49||ISRAEL||Miri Levy||20||N.A.||Haifa||She graduated high school majoring in film and theatre. For the past two years she has been a volunteer, guiding a young disabled girl, so now she plans to study special education at the University. Hobbies: theatre, drama, gym, horse riding & animal nursing. Speaks English & Hebrew.|
|50||ITALY||Silvia Cannas||21||1.77||Cagliari, Sardinia||She has a Bachelor in Humanistic Studies and is now studying foreign languages. Her hobbies are reading philosophic books, cinema, music, Jazz & Hip Hop dance, body building, swimming and volleyball. Languages: Italian, French and English.|
|51||JAMAICA||Jade Marisa Fulford||21||1.82||Mona||She is in her final year as a student of the University of the West Indies pursing a degree in International Relations Her ambition is to become an Ambassador for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Hobbies are: swimming, dancing, cooking, creative and modern dance. She speaks English & Spanish.|
|52||JAPAN||Kaoru Nishide||25||N.A.||Kyoto||She graduated from Chukyo University with a Bachelor of Business and Administration Degree, and is currently working for International Cultural Association, her ambition is to be an entrepreneur and having her own company. Kaoru hobbies are: listening to music, reading books, swimming, rhythmic gymnastics and she enjoys playing the piano. Her special talent lies in Japanese Calligraphy.|
|53||KAZAKHSTAN||Saule Toleukazievna Zhunusova||17||N.A.||Pavlodar||She is a student at ‘Kazakh Specialized School. Her future ambition is to be a Lawyer. Saule enjoys cooking, dancing, folk music and working out. Languages: Kazakh, Russian and English.|
|54||KENYA||Janet Muthoni Kibugu||18||N.A.||Nairobi||She is studying Actuarial Science, and she would like to work part time for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Janet enjoys cooking, travelling, listening to Hip Hop Music, swimming, volley ball, cycling and traditional dance. Languages: Kiswahili and English.|
|55||KOREA||Ji-Yea Park||24||1.71||Jeonbuk||She belongs to the “Little Angels” , the Korean traditional dancing team. She majored in Korean traditional dance at Chung-Ang University and is currently attending Dong-Kuk University as a Drama Major. Her ambition is to be a Choreographer and to direct plays and musicals. Hobbies are: going to the movies and the theatre, bowling, tennis, swimming, exercise, traditional, ballet, modern and jazz dance. Languages: Korean & English.|
|56||LATVIA||Irina Askolska||23||1.75||Riga||Irina is studying Sport and Pedagogy at the Academy of Latvia, on the completion of her studies she would like to be an esthetical gymnastic trainer to children. Her hobbies are: travelling, swimming. Rollerblading, tennis, singing and dancing. Languages: Latvian, Russian and a little English.|
|57||LEBANON||Marie-José Hnein||19||1.76||Baabda||Marie-Jose graduated high school with a French Baccalaureate (Economic Section) and is now in her first year in Business Management at the A.U.T. Her hobbies are: Classical & Jazz Ballet, Piano, swimming, running, Gymnastics and paragliding. Languages: Arabic, English and French.|
|58||LESOTHO||Makuena Mpinane Lepolesa||20||N.A.||Maseru||Makuena obtained her High School diploma from the international school of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, where her mother was working as an Ambassador for the Lesotho Government. She is currently studying Media Studies at the University of Orange Free State in South Africa. She enjoys reading, singing and basketball. She speaks Sesotho, Amharic, English and a little Spanish & French.|
|59||LITHUANIA||Vaida Griksaite||20||N.A.||Klaipeda||Vaida is in her second year studying law, her ambition is to become an actress. Her hobbies are: Collecting amber pieces at the Baltic Sea, Embroidery, swimming, tennis, running and dance, e.g. disco, waltz, folk and rock’n roll .Languages: Lithuanian, English & Chinese.|
|60||MACEDONIA F.Y.R.O.||Marija Vasik||19||1.80||Skopje||She started her studies at the Medical Faculty in Skopje. Her hobbies are: Tennis, basketball, swimming, fitness, modern and folk dancing and writing poetry. Languages: Macedonian, English, Serbian, Bulgarian, Croatian, German, Greek & Spanish.|
|61||MALAYSIA||Sze Zen Wong||23||1.71||Kuala Lumpur||She has completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Information Technology. Her goal is to manage her own retail outlet in the fashion industry. She enjoys reading, baking, modern dance, swimming, rock climbing, basketball, jungle trekking, yoga and working out in the gym. Her special talent is in sign language. She speaks Malay, English, Mandarin, Cantonese & Elementary French.|
|62||MALTA||Rachel Xuereb||22||N.A.||Gwardamanga||Her first occupation was as a manager of a gift shop, then, she attended an induction training course to become a facilitator, it is her ambition to teach children with special needs. She is working as a model. Rachel enjoys modern dance, cooking, reading, swimming and working out at the gym. She speaks Maltese, English & Italian.|
|63||MAURITIUS||Marie-Aimée Bergicourt||24||1.74||Pamplemousses||Marie-Amie has a diploma in: I.T., Peer Counselling Family Life Education, and Youth Leadership & Club Management. Her ambition is to manage an Import/Export Company. Her hobbies are: Reading, Hiking, volleyball, long jump, cycling, long & short distance racing, Mauritian Sega, Cha Cha, Jive and Salsa dancing and Playing the clown in the family circle. She speaks English, Creole & French.|
|64||MEXICO||Erika Lizeth Honstein García||22||1.79||Hermosillo, Sonora||She studied Business Tourism & Administration and wants to become a top model. Her hobbies are: writing poetry, singing, dancing and kick boxing. She speaks Spanish, English, French.|
|65||MOLDOVA||Yelena Danilciuc||18||1.75||Chisinau||Elena is a student at the Academy of Economy and wants to own her own model agency. She enjoys, cooking, Latino & disco dancing and basketball. She speaks Moldavian, English, Romanian & Russian.|
|66||NAMIBIA||Petrina Twahangwapo Thomas||22||N.A.||Keetmanshoop||She works as an administrative clerk in a small Financial Institution. Her ambition is to study Civil Engineering. Petrina loves watching soccer, tennis, gymnastics, singing, R & B, Jazz, Kizomba dance and designing fashion dresses. She speaks English, Afrikaans & 3 other local languages.|
|67||NEPAL||Priti Sitoula||21||1.62||Bishal Nagar||She is in her 2nd year studying for her Bachelor of Art Degree at the Ratna Rjya Campus and works as a kindergarten teacher. On graduation she plans to take her Masters’ in child psychology. Priti enjoys basketball, swimming, composing poems and essays. She speaks Nepali, English & Hindi.|
|68||NEW ZEALAND||Melanie Jane Paul||23||N.A.||Auckland||Melanie is an Auckland University student currently studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a double major in Management and Commerce degree as well as a model. She likes acting, singing, reading, architecture, dancing, swimming, fishing, boating and experiencing new and different cultures as well as ancient civilizations.|
|69||NICARAGUA||Hailey Aisha Britton Brooks||22||1.71||Bluefields||She is studying Journalism and computers and wants to have her own TV Show. Her Hobbies are: Reading, exercising, playing tennis, swimming, reggae, Zokka, Hip Hop dance and singing.|
|70||NIGERIA||Ohumotu Celia Bissong||20||1.80||Calabar||Ohumotu is an Economics student at the University of Calabar. She is currently participating in the campaign against HIV/Aids in her country and also helping to promote tourism. She enjoys: singing, dancing and playing musical instruments. She speaks English and Yala.|
|71||NORTHERN IRELAND||Diana Sayers||22||N.A.||Saintfield||Diana is studying law at University and wants to be a Barrister, specializing in Corporate Law. She likes Drama, poetry, playing the cello, tennis, kickboxing, scuba-diving, the gym, contemporary dance and travelling. She is taking flying lessons. She speaks English, basic French & German.|
|72||NORTHERN MARIANAS||Kimberly Nicole Castro Reyes||19||N.A.||Saipan||Kimberly is a High School graduate, Member of the National Honor Society, Thespian Society, National Forensics, Speech League Competition, Close Up Foundation participant in Washington D.C., and student at the Northern Marianas College. Her ambition is to become a dermatologist. Kimberly’s hobbies are: reading, playing volleyball and dancing the cha-cha, she is also a professional Polynesian Dancer. She speaks Chamorro, English and little Japanese.|
|73||NORWAY||Elisabeth Wathne||21||1.72||Mandal||She is working in a Health Care Centre for the elderly and disabled. She likes Slalom, working out, disco dancing, redecorating and traveling. She speaks Norwegian, little English and Sign Language.|
|74||PANAMA||Ivy Ruth Ortega Coronas||19||1.71||Panama City||Ivy is studying Engineering and science. She enjoys collecting miniature perfumes, playing volleyball, and listening to every type of music. She admires Nelson Mandela.|
|75||PARAGUAY||Karina Rebeca Buttner Naumann||21||1.80||Asuncion||Karina is studying for her Export Management Degree and Fashion Design. She enjoys fitness, going to the gym and reading. She speaks Spanish & basic English.|
|76||PERU||Claudia María Hernández Oré||22||1.73||Lima||She is studying Administration & Marketing. She enjoys reading Peruvian Literature, composition in Prose and Verse, tennis and pilates. She speaks Spanish & English.|
|77||PHILIPPINES||Maria Rafaela “Mafae” Verdadero Yunon||22||1.75||She studied Tourism and Hospitality Management. Her hobbies are: Tennis, basketball, kickboxing, soccer, volleyball, badminton, aerobics, tae-bo, hip hop, R ‘n’ B dancing, meeting people, travelling, reading and public speaking. She speaks Filipino, English, French, Spanish, Japanese & Mandarin.|
|78||POLAND||Karolina Gorazda||23||1.83||Krakow||Karolina has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Management. Her ambition is to work in public relations. Her hobbies are: dancing, literature, astrology, psychology, fashion, cooking, skiing, horse riding, volleyball, jogging, swimming, biking and basketball. Languages: Polish, English & German.|
|79||PORTUGAL||Vanessa Palma Montero Job||20||N.A.||Oeiras||Vanessa is a fourth year student of Psychology. She joined a travel agency as a volunteer to accompany high school students on their trips, after which she joined a company helping out on business trips and conferences. Vanessa has also worked as a volunteer helping the homeless. Her hobbies are: dancing, writing, travelling, climbing. She also makes her own clothes, paints and sculptures. She speaks Portuguese, English, French, and a little bit of Spanish.|
|80||PUERTO RICO||Joyceline Montero García||21||1.74||Bayamon||She is studying Public Relations at the University of Puerto Rico, and wants to have a degree in marketing. Joyceline helps the Red Cross, the Cancer League and a school for children with special needs. Her hobbies are: roller blading, performing magic tricks, acting, public speaking, and dancing salsa and merengue. She speaks Spanish, English & French and has Cuban roots.|
|81||ROMANIA||Patricia Filomena Chifor||17||N.A.||Satu Mare||Patricia is studying German, Latin, History, Geography, science, biology, Physics, maths, chemistry & English. Patricia likes to walk in quiet places, travel, socialize, read fashion magazines, gymnastics Tae-bo and dancing. She speaks Romanian English, German and a little Spanish.|
|82||RUSSIA||Svetlana Victorovna Goreva||21||1.80||Tula||Svetlana is a 5th year student of the faculty of International Economic Affairs and a 4th year student of the faculty of Fashion Design. She likes making her own clothes and accessories and her greatest ambition is to become a famous designer and open her own Fashion House. Hobbies are tennis, swimming and the Russian national dances. She speaks Russian and English.|
|83||SCOTLAND||Nicola Joanne Jolly||22||1.74||Inverbervie||Nicola graduated in Business studies but wants to become an actress. She worked in a Corporate Communication department. She likes squad biking, Horse Riding, running, swimming, keeping fit, dancing the traditional Scottish Ceidh dances, as well as disco salsa and choreographed dance routes and has a special talent for creative cooking. She speaks English, Basic French & German.|
|84||SERBIA & MONTENEGRO||Bojana Vujadinovic||23||N.A.||Belgrade||Bojana is in her third year of studying Law at University and has a green belt in Karate. She enjoys running, riding her bicycle, aerobics, modern dance, reading and acting. Speaks Serbian and English.|
|85||SINGAPORE||Corine Kanmani Mahinda Luxshman||24||1.72||Singapore||Kanmani has Ceylonese heritage, and has a Diploma in Business Administration. She is currently working as a Flight Attendant. Her Hobbies are: reading, modern and Indian dancing, acting, cross stitching, athletics and running. She speak English, Mandarin and Tamil.|
|86||SLOVAKIA||Adriana Pospisilova||20||1.74||Bratislava||Adriana worked in TV Marketing and she is studying at University in the medical faculty. Her hobbies are: swimming, roller-blading, running, volleyball, and she enjoys disco dancing, singing and playing the piano. Languages: Czech, English & German.|
|87||SLOVENIA||Tina Zajc||20||1.74||Ljubljana||She is studying geology, and is also a model and singer. She likes all sorts of dance, to go fishing, windsurfing, winter skiing, going to the Slovene Karst caves and to the stone-pits. She also works for a Trust Fund for the De-mining and Mine Victims. Speaks Slovenian, English, German & Croatian.|
|88||SOUTH AFRICA||Cindy Nell||22||1.70||Pretoria||Cindy completed a course in make up, beauty and modelling, and has her teachers diploma in modelling. She is studying tourism management with the ambition to run her own tourism agency. She also attended lessons in ballet, ballroom, Latin American and modern dance, and has recently started ‘sky-diving’. Languages: English and Afrikaans.|
|89||SPAIN||María Teresa Martín Bueno||23||1.75||Antequera||Maria Teresa graduated from University in Granada as a teacher of physical education. She is now continuing further education at University for Sciences, Physical Education and psychology. She enjoys: skiing, horse ridding, basketball, tennis, athletics, dancing Sevillanas and Andalusian dance. She speaks Spanish & English.|
|90||SRI LANKA||Sachini Ayendra Stanley||21||1.58||Kandy||She works as an Accounts Executive at an advertising agency. Her ambition is to study Business Administration and she would also like to start her own brand in women’s clothing and accessories in Asia. Her hobbies are: Music, singing, acting, reading, watching movies, modern dance and swimming. Languages: Sinhalese and English.|
|91||SWAZILAND||Thembelihle Palesa Swane||18||1.83||Mbabane||Thembelihle is studying Journalism and mass communication at the University of Swaziland, and her future ambition is to be an editor of her own magazine. She enjoys surfing the net, volley ball, basketball, tennis and African dance. Languages: Siswati and English.|
|92||SWEDEN||Idha Söfringsgärd||19||1.76||Vaxje||She is a model. Her ambition is to enter the clothes industry. She likes to travel, every kind of dance, especially jazz, going to the gym and aerobics. She speaks Swedish, English and a little French.|
|93||SWITZERLAND||Bianca Nicole Sissing||24||1.75||Lucerne||She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. She has done international volunteer work in Dominican Rep., Honduras and Guatemala and worked in orphanages, and construction projects with women and tribal groups. She is also learning sign language. She likes cooking and creating new recipes. She speaks German, English, and a little of Italian & French.|
|94||TANZANIA||Sylvia Lema Bahame||20||N.A.||Dar-es-Salaam||She is studying at the University of Dar es Salaam in the faculty of law and she is an Assistant Teacher. She likes cooking, reading, stamp collecting, singing, volleyball swimming, roller blading, pop, Zouk, and Rhumba dancing. Languages: Swahili, English and a little French.|
|95||THAILAND||Jenjira “Mix” (Haxholm) Kerdprasop||22||1.71||Bangkok||Her father is Swedish. Jenjira will start studying Sports Psychology and wants to be a Sport’s Teacher. She belongs to the National Archery Team and has also been a figure skater. Her Hobbies are: Reading, weight training, aerobics, yoga, and jazz dancing. Languages: Thai, Swedish & English.|
|96||TRINIDAD & TOBAGO||Magdalene Walcott||21||1.79||She is studying General Management & Accounts. Her goal is to be a Forensic Accountant. She sings ‘Parang’ with the ‘Los Alumnos De San Juan’ Band. Her hobbies are: Reading, Theatre, listening to music, Latin & classical East Indian Dance, singing, netball, volleyball, aerobics and weigh training.|
|97||TURKEY||Kadriye Tugba Karaca||24||1.81||Ankara||She is a student at the Karsiyaka Lycee in Istanbul and during her spare time is a model. Her ambition is to be a successful Psychologist. Her hobbies are: reading, cooking, travelling, keeping fit and playing volleyball. Languages: Turkish and English.|
|98||UGANDA||Aysha Salmah Nassanga Cisse||20||1.78||Kampala||Her ambition is to be an International Lawyer. She is a member of the Forum for African Women Educationalists and has worked with the World Food Programme (WFP). Her hobbies are: reading novels, cooking the Ugandan traditional dishes, dancing, especially the traditional folk dance (Bakisimba) and athletics. Languages: English, Swahili, Luganda.|
|99||UKRAINE||Ilona Viktorivna Yakovlyeva||22||N.A.||Kharkov||She is in her 3rd year at the Economy Faculty of the National University. She enjoys singing, dancing, poetry, reading and disco dance. Languages: Ukrainian, Russian & English.|
|100||UNITED STATES||Kimberly Ann Harlan||20||1.82||Atlanta||She is a professional model. Her ambition is to be a lead actress in Hollywood. Kimberly enjoys travelling, singing, acting, ballet, jazz, tap & lyrical dance, volleyball, basketball, softball, bowling, pool, kick boxing, going to the movies and playing poker. Languages: English and Italian.|
|101||URUGUAY||Natalia Elisa Rodríguez Lassiy||24||1.71||Montevideo||She is studying Architecture and is also a model. Her hobbies are: Sand Boarding, swimming, fencing, all kinds of dance and music. Her special talent is in furniture design and loves all kind of arts. She speaks Spanish, basic English & basic Portuguese.|
|102||VENEZUELA||Valentina Patruno Macero||21||1.72||Caracas||She graduated high school in Miami and took 4 semesters in Communications at the Florida International University, she has also taken courses in Modelling and Etiquette. Her ambition is to be a journalist and also to open a modelling school. Valentina’s hobbies are: playing the flute & the piano, tennis, volleyball, baseball, travelling, ballet, salsa, merengue, hip hop, and reggae. Languages: Spanish, Italian & English.|
|103||VIETNAM||Quan Dinh Thuy Nguyen||17||N.A.||Ho Chi Min City||Quan is a student at High School. Her hobbies are her charity work, sport, martial art and design. Languages: Vietnamese & English.|
|104||WALES||Imogen Mary Thomas||21||N.A.||Llaneli||She is studying for a BSc in Health Studies/Psychology at Worcester University. Her ambition is to be a television presenter. Her hobbies are: athletics, swimming, horse ridding, socializing, dancing and has a special talent in Kickboxing. Languages: Welsh & English.|
|105||ZAMBIA||Cynthia Kanema||22||1.80||Kabwe||She is studying Land Economy and has done some charity work. Her hobbies are: running, swimming, squash, volleyball, local traditional & disco dancing, cooking, designing clothes, narrating, travelling and outdoor sport. Languages: English, Bemba, Lamba and Nyanja.|
|106||ZIMBABWE||Phoebe Tonderai Monjane||21||1.75||Marondera||She is a student at the Chartered Institute of Secretaries, it is her ambition to have her own modelling agency. Her hobbies are: Watching movies, playing golf, eco-tourism, public speaking and the traditional dance. Languages: Shona and English.|
ELECTION OF MISS WORLD 2003.-
The finals of the 53rd edition of the contest was finally held on Saturday, December 6 at 9:00 pm local time, in the recently opened “Beauty Crown Theater”, with a capacity for 4,500 spectators, a height of 36 meters and an area of 10,000 square meters. The contest was televised live and delayed to some 70 countries. Venevisión broadcast it live in Venezuela at 9 in the morning, and in the United Kingdom it was seen through Sky One at 2 in the afternoon. The event began with a Chinese musical number, to the drums of the Red Poppy ladies, and the dancers of the group Pierre Cardin Kongfu, dressed in red, with fans and large red flags, practicing martial arts and juggling (and with them a little boy dressed in orange). Then, the 106 contestants came out, dressed in tight Chinese silk suits in red, who did a beautiful choreography in groups of twelve. At the conclusion of the ‘opening’, the hosts of the night, the TV presenters Amanda Byram and Phil Keoghan, arrived on stage, accompanied by the actress and TV host of Taiwanese-Canadian origin, Angela Chow, who, after welcoming the contest, presented a video with images of the tour that the candidates made in Hong Kong, Xi’an, Shanghai and Beijing. Following this, Keoghan proceeded to introduce the judges. They were:
01.- Jackie Chan, renowned actor born in Hong Kong.
02.- Ory Slonim, President of the Variety Club International.
03.- Agbani Darego, Miss World 2001 from Nigeria.
04.- Pradeep Guha, President of the newspaper “Times of India”.
05.- Julia Morley, Chairman of Miss World and Chairman of the Judges.
06.- Krish Naidoo, Irish entertainment industry entrepreneur and Honorary Chairman of the Fundraising Committee for “Beauty with a Purpose”.
07.- Candace Bushnell, American writer, journalist and TV producer, scriptwriter of the series “Sex and the City”.
08.- Clive Robertson, British actor.
09.- Gustavo Gianetti, Mister World 2003 from Brazil.
10.- Dick Zimmerman, famous North American artist photographer.
Keoghan then invited the group of dancers “Capital Art” to the stage for a traditional Chinese performance. After the first commercial cut, the contestants in their evening gowns were presented in groups of six, who also performed a group choreography. This was the order in which they were presented with voiceover by Mitch Johnson: New Zealand, Wales, Malta, Turkey, Antigua & Barbuda and Botswana; Japan, Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, Iceland, and Israel; Albania, Italy, Belgium, France, India and Northern Marianas; Argentina, Bolivia, Aruba, Curaçao, Spain and Peru; Angola, Brazil, Andorra, Portugal, Barbados and Jamaica; Guadeloupe, Nepal, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia and Germany; Mexico, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Venezuela, England and United States; China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Denmark and Norway; Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Canada and Ireland; Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Finland, Sweden, Kenya and Nigeria; Hungary, Serbia & Montenegro, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Ethiopia and Lesotho; Costa Rica, Gibraltar, Paraguay, Panama, Zambia and Zimbabwe; Latvia, Kazakhstan, Romania, Estonia, Russia and Ukraine; Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Uganda and Tanzania; Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Bahamas and Cayman Islands; Guyana, Belize, Lebanon, Mauritius, Switzerland, and Thailand; Namibia, Swaziland, Australia, Scotland and Greece; and finally, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, Belarus, Holland and Moldova.
At the conclusion of the introduction of all participants, Keoghan and Byram announced the first five semi-finalists: Miss CANADA (Nazanin Afshin-Jam), Miss IRELAND (Rosanna Diane Davison), Miss BOLIVIA (Helen Aponte Saucedo), Miss GEORGIA (Irina Onashvili) and Miss AUSTRALIA (Olivia Stratton) who won the “Fast-Tracks” thanks to the previous Sports, Beach Beauty, Personality, Talent and Popular Vote competitions, respectively. After the second commercial cut, Keoghan and Chow introduced the Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi, who performed his song “That They Call Love (Eso Que Llaman Amor)”. Fonsi was the third Puerto Rican artist to appear on stage in the history of the Miss World, being preceded by Ricky Martin in 1997 and Chayanne in 2002.
After the song of Fonsi, they presented a video of the walks that the beauties made for Sanya, while all the candidates returned to the stage. Immediately, the judge Candace Bushnell entered the stage to announce the winner of the “MISS WORLD FASHION” award for Best Evening Dress Designer, which went to Miss PERU (Claudia María Hernández Oré), created by Norka Peralta, a strapless salmon-colored suit with embroidered crystals and small, delicate sleeves below the shoulder. Then Dr. Colin Niven from the ‘Dulwich College International’ School in Shanghai and actor Jackie Chan arrived on stage, who proceeded to announce the winner of the “MISS WORLD SCHOLARSHIP” award that went to Miss ALBANIA (Denisa Kola). Both winners received an acrylic trophy representing a globe.
Keoghan and Byram then called up the remaining 15 semi-finalists. They were: Miss NEW ZEALAND (Melanie Jane Paul), Miss PHILIPPINES (Maria Rafaela “Mafae” Verdadero Yunon), Miss INDIA (Ami Vashi), Miss PERU (Claudia María Hernández Oré), Miss JAMAICA (Jade Marisa Fulford), Miss VENEZUELA (Valentina Patruno Macero), Miss PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (Qi Guan), Miss NORWAY (Elisabeth Wathne), Miss ETHIOPIA (Hayat Ahmed Mohammed), Miss PUERTO RICO (Joyceline Montero García), Miss DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (María Eugenia Vargas García), Miss LEBANON (Marie-José Hnein), Miss SWITZERLAND (Bianca Nicole Sissing), Miss GREECE (Vasiliki Tsekoura) and Miss TRINIDAD & TOBAGO (Magdalene Walcott).
|01||Miss CANADA||Nazanin Afshin-Jam||24||North Vancouver|
|02||Miss IRELAND||Rosanna Diane Davison||19||Enniskerry|
|03||Miss BOLIVIA||Helen Aponte Saucedo||19||Santa Cruz|
|04||Miss GEORGIA||Irina Onashvili||18||Tbilisi|
|05||Miss AUSTRALIA||Olivia stratton||22||Mount george|
|06||Miss NEW ZEALAND||Melanie Jane Paul||23||Auckland|
|07||Miss PHILIPPINES||Maria Rafaela “Mafae” True Yunon||22||Manila|
|08||Miss INDIA||Ami vashi||23||Surat, Gujarat|
|09||Miss PERU||Claudia Maria Hernandez Oré||22||Piura|
|10||Miss JAMAICA||Jade Marisa Fulford||21||Mona|
|11||Miss VENEZUELA||Valentina Patruno Macero||21||Caracas|
|12||Miss PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA||Qi Guan||21||Changchun, Jilin|
|13||Miss NORWAY||Elisabeth wathne||21||Mandal|
|14||Miss ETHIOPIA||Hayat Ahmed Mohammed||21||Addis Ababa|
|15||Miss PUERTO RICO||Joyceline Montero Garcia||21||Bayamon|
|16||Miss DOMINICAN REPUBLIC||Maria Eugenia Vargas Garcia||19||Santiago|
|17||Miss LEBANON||Marie-Jose Hnein||19||Baabda|
|18||Miss SWITZERLAND||Bianca Nicole Sissing||24||Lucerne|
|19||Miss GREECE||Vasiliki Tsekoura||23||Athens|
|20||Miss TRINIDAD & TOBAGO||Magdalene walcott||21||Tunapuna|
After the third commercial block, Chow appeared dressed in a national Chinese costume and introduced the Wuhan acrobatic group to perform the song called “Silk in the Sky” with acrobatics on cloth. Phil Keoghan then chatted with actor Jackie Chan before calling the 20 semi-finalists back on stage to parade in their evening gowns and pose in a line on stage. A video was presented showing images of the 20 girls at their activities in China and each of them introducing themselves and talking a bit about themselves. After the fourth commercial intermission, Keoghan and Chow would call the five finalists, with fifteen contestants eliminated.
The five finalists were Miss PHILIPPINES, Miss INDIA, Miss PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, Miss CANADA and Miss IRELAND. Then it was time for the final question, a segment hosted by Angela Chow. She asked Miss Philippines what qualities in her she would like the judges to recognize. The Filipina replied that she viewed life with positivity and would like the judges to recognize her good relationship with her fellow contestants and with the people of Sanya. Chow asked Miss India what she had learned from herself in the month that she was sharing with the other 105 contestants from around the world. Miss India said that she lived her life as if she were going to die the next day, that is, she lived it to the fullest and that having been able to share for a month with her fellow contestants, she learned that each success, tribulation or failure was an opportunity to expand her horizons and to grow as a person, and she had definitely learned from each of those moments. Chow asked Miss People’s Republic of China what values of her own country she had tried to show people during the competition. She answered in Chinese and Chow translated for her. She said that she would tell her fellow contestants to put all their tight clothes away so that they could enjoy delicious Chinese food. Angela asked Miss Canada which event in her life had shaped her the most as a person. She replied that it had happened just that year and it had been the death of an aunt; From that sad moment she learned the value of health, love and family and that she felt happy because she had those three things with her there in Sanya. And Chow asked Miss Ireland to describe her life and character to the judges in thirty seconds. The Irishwoman described herself as a warm, fun-loving but humble person who hoped to be a good ambassador for her country and for all the women of the world. She further said that she possessed the qualities of honesty, integrity and loyalty. She also added that from a very young age she had had the opportunity to travel the world and that she loved experiencing new cultures and meeting people.
To conclude this part, Mitch Johnson, in voice-over, said goodbye to each of the five finalists and then a video recorded in Sanya’s Deer Park, Yalong Bay and the shell museum was presented, from where some contestants described these wonderful places. Keoghan and Byram then introduced the next artist of the night, Briton Bryan Ferry, who sang John Lennon’s classic ballad “Jealous Guy” as all the contestants hit the stage. After the last commercial break, the comperes called the outgoing Miss World, Azra Akin, to the stage, who gave her final words as Miss World 2002. Then, Phil Keoghan called Julia Morley to the stage to announce the results in reverse order, such as it was custom. The SECOND RUNNER-UP was Miss PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, Qi Guan and the FIRST RUNNER-UP, Miss CANADA, Nazanin Afshin-Jam. A Chinese sponsor placed the tiaras on both finalists, taking up this tradition.
“And MISS WORLD 2003 is … Miss IRELAND !!”. Brown-eyed blonde Rosanna Diane Davison, 19, dressed in a tight fuchsia gown, with bright embroidery on the chest, a small train in fuchsia and white and a bare back, daughter of Irish singer Chris de Burgh, thus achieved the first (and so far only) Miss World crown for Ireland. Azra draped the Miss World sash across her chest and carried her to the throne, where she proceeded to place the beautiful blue crown on Rosanna’s head. While a shower of confetti fell, the flaming world queen gave her triumphal walk to the chords of the official march of the contest. After her walk, she returned to sit on the throne to be congratulated by her fellows. The broadcast concluded with the girls dancing to a Chinese theme and Angela Chow announcing that the 2004 Miss World edition would be held again in Sanya.
CONTINENTAL QUEENS OF BEAUTY.-
The father of the brand new Miss World, Chris de Burgh, best known for his hit “Lady In Red”, told reporters behind the scenes: “I am absolutely thrilled, I am very proud of her”.Rosanna admitted to being shocked by her triumph and said she wasn’t expecting it. This was followed by the Coronation Ball at the Sheraton Sanya where the continental beauty queens were unveiled, and where it was learned that Miss India, Ami Vashi, had been the THIRD RUNNER-UP while the FOURTH RUNNER-UP had been Miss Philippines, Maria Rafaela “Mafae” Verdadero Yunon. In addition, the Miss World website published the final positions for each of the remaining semifinalists: Ethiopia (6th), Venezuela (7th), Australia (8th), Lebanon (9th), Jamaica (10th), Switzerland (11th), Georgia (12th), Norway (13th), Peru (14th), Trinidad & Tobago (15th), New Zealand (16th), Puerto Rico (17th), Dominican Republic (18th), Greece (19th) and Bolivia (20th). The continental queens of beauty were:
|AFRICA||Miss ETHIOPIA||Hayat Ahmed Mohammed|
|AMERICAS||Miss CANADA||Nazanin Afshin-Jam|
|ASIA & OCEANIA||Miss CHINA PEOPLE’S REP.||Qi Guan|
|CARIBBEAN ISLANDS||Miss JAMAICA||Jade Marisa Fulford|
|EUROPE||Miss IRELAND||Rosanna Diane Davison|
They obtained a trophy of a globe made of glass. This year the awards for the continental queens and finalists were also not mentioned, although it was said that the winner would receive a $ 100,000 prize for presentations and publicity during her year as Miss World.
THE REIGN OF ROSANNA DAVISON.-
As was traditional, the new Miss World had a press conference the morning after her triumph. The date was at the Sheraton Sanya. The fact that Rosanna Davison won the Miss World crown sparked accusations from some quarters that her victory was due more to her family connections than to her good looks. Some candidates did not agree with her triumph. Venezuelan Valentina Patruno told a media the following: “It seems unfair to me that the parents of the representative of Ireland (Rosanna Davison) were always in the front row, they ate and traveled everywhere with us and that the rest of us were not let them do the same. In fact, when they named her the winner, almost all the candidates whistled her, because nobody agreed with that. To tell you that her parents always dined with the judges. Everyone saw it; it was very obvious”. For her part, Miss Slovakia said Rosanna was too arrogant during the competition. But her friends and family dismissed suggestions that her triumph was due to the fame of her father, Chris de Burgh. Organizers said the reports could be attributed to “tantrums” and that Rosanna deserved to win because she had been a favorite from the beginning. ‘The Mail on Sunday’ reported that it was a good thing for the Miss World organizers that Miss Ireland was crowned, because she was the daughter of a wealthy singer and with her status, she would get a lot of publicity, which would help raise the profile of the Miss World pageant. Andrea Roche, Miss Ireland 1998 and now national director, said: “She can’t help who her father is. She just outshined all the other girls”. On Monday, December 8, Rosanna traveled to London aboard her father’s private jet, who was accompanying his daughter in the Miss World final with her mother. On Tuesday the 9th, Rosanna attended a Variety Club International Christmas Charity Luncheon at London’s Hilton Park Lane and also attended a press conference. On Thursday, December 11, Rosanna traveled to Dublin, where she was greeted at the airport by her parents and subsequently attended a reception with the Mayor of Dublin, Royston Bradey, at the “Mansion House”. She also had a civic reception, where she arrived aboard a horse-drawn carriage. The President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, hosted a reception for the first Irishwoman to be crowned the most beautiful woman in the world on Friday, December 12.
Little was known about what Rosanna did during her reign year. However, on Saturday, January 24th, she was in Bremen, Germany, on the show “Wetten, Dass ..?”, One of the most popular gaming shows in Europe. Subsequently, on the weekend of March 6 and 7, she attended the Variety Club International Telethon in Des Moines, Iowa. She later paraded in a convertible car as the centerpiece of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin. Rosanna, along with Julia Morley, the first runner-up of Miss World 2003, Canadian Nazanin Afshin-Jam; and Miss World 2001, the Nigerian Agbani Darego, gave a visit to Ethiopia from August 9 to 13, 2004. Among the activities carried out in the capital, Addis Ababa, the beauty queens visited the Fistula hospital where they treat women with this disease. In addition, Rosanna fulfilled commitments in Canada, Sri Lanka, part of Europe, Australia, India, England (she participated in London Fashion Week in September), Ireland and, of course, China, where she was with Miss Canada and Miss China in Sanya on June 12 to promote the celebration of Miss World 2004 again in that city and helping to raise thousands of dollars for children’s charities, promoting the goals of Miss World and drawing positive global attention to Ireland. Secondly, the press reported on Saturday July 3 that Rosanna had finally signed her contract with the pageant organizers midway through her reign and denied that she had been aggressive or rude. The young woman issued a statement through her attorneys’ office blaming the Miss World organizers for any delay. She also rejected reports in the Irish press that she refused to take part in commitments as the pageant wanted. The legal statement said Davison signed the contract in mid-June, three months after Miss World organizers unveiled it. She did not offer details on the terms of the contract or the issues in dispute, the statement said. She relinquished her crown in Sanya on December 4, 2004.
Rosanna Diane Davison was born in County Dublin on April 17, 1984, the daughter of Diane and singer Chris Davison, whose stage name is Chris de Burgh. She has two brothers named Hubie and Michael. The song “For Rosanna” was written by her father and included on his 1986 album “Into the Light” in her honor. Davison’s primary education was at Aravon School in County Wicklow. She then attended Rathdown School, Glenageary, County Dublin. She was a prefect of the class before graduating and completing her end of career exams in 2002. On August 1, 2003, she won the ‘Miss Ireland’ contest, which led to Miss World, an event that she won on December 6 of that year, becoming the first (and so far only) Irish to achieve the coveted Crown. Rosanna said during her official reception: “We are a nation of envy. It is what makes us great”, referring to the Irish people. At the end of her reign, she returned to her country and devoted herself to modeling and acting. She appeared in “Harry Hill: An Audience with Harry Hill” in 2004 and in “Comic Relief: Red Nose Night Live” in 2005, as well as “Ringsend” and “The Wake” in 2017. She is signed as an exclusive model of ‘Storm Model Management ‘in London. In 2008 she helped promote the Miss Universe Ireland, organized by Andrea Roche. In 2011 she won a lawsuit against Ryanair airline for defamation, for which she received £ 80,000. In 2013, she posed nude for Playboy in a PETA ad campaign promoting a vegan diet. In February 2015, signed a publishing deal with Gill Books for her first cookbook, “Eat Yourself Beautiful,” which was released in August 2015 and became a best-seller. She also wrote a second book entitled “Eat Yourself Fit”. Since 2006 she has been in a romantic relationship with businessman Wesley Quirke, they got engaged in 2013 and were married by civilian on May 16, 2014 at the Merrion hotel in Dublin and by religious on June 1, 2014 at the Atzaro hotel from Ibiza, spending their honeymoon in the Seychelles. Rosanna was a judge member in Miss Ukraine 2011 and Miss and Mr. Ireland in 2018. She currently lives in Dublin with her children, Sophia (born in Ukraine on November 21, 2019) and twins Oscar and Hugo (born November 19, 2020).
FROM THE OTHER CONTESTANTS.-
Miss Antigua & Barbuda, Miss Curaçao, Miss Czech Republic, Miss Lebanon and Miss Switzerland attended Miss Universe 2004 in Quito, Ecuador, where the Swiss managed to enter the 15 semifinalists. Miss Paraguay, Miss Trinidad-Tobago and Miss Zambia went to Miss Universe 2005 in Thailand. Of these, only the Trinidadian managed to go to the Top 15. Miss Zambia also went to Miss International 2004 and Miss Earth 2005, she won Miss Africa International 2004 and was 1st runner-up of Miss Malaika 2004. The Polish woman was a semifinalist in both Miss Earth 2004 as in Miss Europe 2005. For its part, Miss Ethiopia was a semifinalist in Miss Intercontinental 2007, Miss Bahamas was in Miss International 2004 and Miss Argentina in South American Queen 2004, where the Panamanian also participated. The Scotswoman was named “Miss United Kingdom 2003” for having been the best British participant in Miss World 2003. The German was Mrs. Germany 2015, the American was ‘Mrs Georgia 2013’ and Miss Singapore was ‘Mrs Globe Singapore 2009’.
The canadian Nazanin Afshin-Jam became a diplomat, earned her Master of Arts in Diplomacy from Norwich University in 2011; she is a human rights activist and co-founder of the organization “Stop Child Executions”. After graduation, she joined the Red Cross as a Global Youth Educator. In March 2005 she led a worldwide campaign to save an Iranian woman (curiously also named Nazanin) accused of stabbing her attacker in an attempted rape from the gallows. In November 2008, Afshin-Jam received the “Global Citizenship Award” from the Alumni Association of the University of British Columbia. In April 2009, Afshin-Jam received the “Human Rights Hero Award” from UN Watch in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2009, Afshin-Jam received the “Emerging Leader Peacemaker Award” from the YMCA “Power of Peace” awards. That same year, she chaired the first annual Geneva Summit on Human Rights and Democracy. In 2016 she was awarded an honorary Juris Doctorate, honoris causa from the University of Western Ontario. She debuted as a singer in April 2007 with an album titled “Someday”. On January 4, 2012, Nazanin married Peter MacKay, then Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, in a private ceremony in Mexico. The couple have three children, Kian, born in 2013, Valentia, born in 2015, and Caledon, born in 2018.
Chinese Qi Guan graduated as a teacher of protocol and etiquette from the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology in 2005 and hosted a fashion show on Jilian TV. Indian Ami Vashi graduated from the University of Southern California and currently resides between Pasadena and Mumbai. She participates in various community service initiatives in the Los Angeles area and in India. Filipina Mafae Yunon is a Motivational Speaker, runs her company “Mafae Management Consultancy”, has been married to basketball player Nic Belasco since 2005 and is the mother of six children:Nico, Mike (the first two children from a previous relationship with her husband), Moses, Nicole, Noah and Melo. Mafae is also the organizer of the “Kumu Global Pageant” contest. The Ethiopian Hayat Ahmed owns a very controversial cafe in Addis Ababa called “Beautiful” because she gives condoms to her clients. She became a pilot. Venezuelan Valentina Patruno dedicated herself to journalism and is a TV host, working for Venevisión Continental. She has lived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for many years and on March 28, 2021, she gave birth to her first-born Liam Eduardo, from her relationship with Daniel Sánchez. Australian Olivia Stratton is a culinary artist, a TV presenter and became a spokesperson for the “Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.” Years after winning her title of “Miss World Australia” she sued the organizers because she never received the prize offered. She married millionaire Ross Makris in New York on December 22, 2013, with whom she had a son Zavier in October 2014. The couple separated in 2016. Lebanese Marie-Jose Hnein is an arts consultant living in London. Her alleged relationship with Nigerian millionaire Paddy Adenuga was denied by Adenuga himself at the end of 2016. Swiss Bianca Sissing owns LIVlab Yoga, is a life coach and in 2016 she published her first book entitled “I always believed in power inside me”. It is estimated that on September 21, 2021 her second book “Think healthy, live healthy” will be released. Jade Fulford from Jamaica works as a sales executive for the firm “Interiors by Steven G.” and lives in Hollywood, Florida. She lived for a few years in Norway, where she married Vidar Lien and has a daughter named Fjord born in 2010. She is currently separated.
Miss Georgia, Irina Onashvili, works in Public Relations, is a TV presenter and owner of the “Leblanc” beauty salon in Tbilisi. She is the mother of two children, Saba (2012) and Dati (2017) from her relationship with Lado Vardzelashvili. The Peruvian Claudia Hernández is a communicator and executive woman. She works in public investment and his interests are politics and economics. She was the co-host of the singing show called “Road to Fame” on the ATV channel. She also conducted the 2006 Miss Peru World. From 2006 to 2009 she worked as presenter of the journalistic program “Reportajes” on Panamericana Televisión. The same year she co-hosted the newscast “24 Horas Sabatino”. Hernández also owns a Peruvian NGO called “Identidad y Valores Perú” for promoting Peru’s image abroad and owns “Castor Media”, a marketing and communications agency. In 2012 she returned to television to host the newscast “Good morning, Peru.” In 2013, she had announced her wedding with businessman Iván Aramayo but that did not materialize. Trinitarian Magdalene Walcott is Director of Finance and Administration of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and is the mother of a child. New Zealander Melanie Paul dabbled in acting but later disappeared from public life. After handing over her crown, Puerto Rican Joyceline Montero dedicated herself to television animation and later became a businesswoman. She married the architect Hansell Bajuelo on April 1, 2006 and is the mother of two daughters, Abril (2007) and Aurora (2013). The Dominican María Eugenia Vargas completed her studies in Advertising and did a postgraduate degree in Barcelona (Spain) in event organization. She married singer-songwriter Rando Camasta Cueto in 2017 and has two girls, Laura Amelia and Mar. They live in Santo Domingo. Greek Vasiliki Tsekoura devoted herself to acting. She has been married to soccer player Theodoros Papaloukas since 2012 and they have a daughter born in 2017. Bolivian Helen Aponte is owner manager of “Sushi Tren”, she was married three times and is the mother of six children; her last daughter, Roberta, was born in March 2021. She is currently married to Australian Adam Taylor and they live in Santa Cruz. In 2019, Helen was reported to the prosecution for selling land by forging signatures, but was later acquitted.
Argentinian Grisel Hitoff continued her modeling career and later became a runway teacher and owns a modeling school. She is the mother of the child Nahuel Daian, born in 2010, and resides in Buenos Aires. Miss Aruba, Nathalie Biermanns, became an actress, TV presenter, and founder of the Aruba Theater Foundation. In 2005 she moved to the Netherlands to continue her studies. She is currently married to fellow actor Hossein Mardani, has a son named Darius, born in 2018 and lives in Los Angeles, where she is dedicated to energy healing. Miss Bahamas, Shantell Hall, is married to Wayne Gray and is the mother of two children, Asia and Amir. Lives in Freeport. Miss Belarus, Olga Nevdakh, achieved a nomination for “Photographic Model” at the World Championship of Performing Arts in Hollywood after her participation in Miss World. She then returned to Brest where she runs the Sergey Nagorny Fashion Studio branch, while raising her daughter, Masha. Belgian Julie Taton started working as a presenter for RTL-TVI in 2004 and in 2007 she also started working at Radio Contact. On November 25, 2014, she became an Ambassador for the Belgian Red Cross. On May 2, 2015, she married Harold Van der Straeten and has two children: Côme (2016) and Tahoe (2020). She is the founder of HYVIN, a space for alternative and aesthetic medicine in Waterloo, Belgium. Miss Belize, Dalila Vanzie, owns the Tooth Fairy Dental Clinic. She is married to Aaron Krohn, has two children: Sabrina (2012) and Sebastian (2017) and lives in the city of Placencia. Bosnian Irna Smaka is married to Samir Imamovic and has two daughters: Asja and Rania. Practice as a lawyer. Miss Botswana, Boingotlo Motlalekgosi, is a TV presenter, businesswoman and director of Bridal Empire, which is in charge of providing all kinds of things for weddings. She was also the Director of Miss Botswana in 2011 and owns a ranch on the outskirts of Gaborone, which complements her role as mother and wife. Brazilian Lara Brito worked as a model in Chile and Canada and later devoted herself to acting, actively participating in the Pinheiro theater company, especially in children’s plays. She married Roberto Lopes in January 2006 and has two children: Heitor (2009) and Luisa (2011). The Bulgarian Rayna Naldzhieva is a host of tourist programs on TV in her country, she is married to Georgi Yanev and is the mother of a pair of twins.
Miss Cayman Islands, Nichelle Welcome, works as a Customer Service Manager at Caribbean Utilities Company, is married to Shomari Scott and is the mother of three boys, Matthias (2010), Levi (2013) and the youngest born in 2018. The couple has been the recipient of the “Young Caymanian Leaders” award. They live in George Town. Chilean Alejandra Soler is married to Francisco González, of Greek origin, first cousin of Miss World Chile 2002, Daniela Casanova. She has two children: Leticia and Pablo and they live in Viña del Mar, where she runs a home flower business. Colombian Claudia Milena Molina became an actress, journalist, writer, news anchor and designer. She is married with two daughters and lives in Bogotá. Costa Rican Shirley Álvarez went on to work as a TV presenter and was on various reality shows such as “Bailando por un Sueño”. She was the cheerleader for Miss Costa Rica in 2009 and 2013 and also went on to host several seasons of “Dancing with the Stars”. Today, she is a recognized Costa Rican TV personality. She has been married to businessman Alexander Cuadra since 2004 and has a daughter named Jimena, born in 2005. They live in Heredia. Shirley has a blog called “Shirley’s Diary”. The Croatian Aleksandra Grdic is a renowned model and actress in her country. She participated in various reality shows and had her own TV show called “Absolutely Alex”. She currently lives with her partner, Marko Sijakovic in Virovitica, far from the media and has three children. Cypriot Stella Stylianou is a journalist and TV news anchor in her country. Czech Lucie Vachova worked as a weather presenter on NovaTV and was a gymnasts coach. She also did some roles as an actress. She has been married since August 2009 to the sailor David Krizek and they have two children, David (2012) and Lola (2016). Danish Maj Petersen is a proud mother of three girls and one boy. The Ecuadorian Mayra Renteria was a television presenter with the Minister of Tourism, Freddy Ehlers and runs her own restaurant called “Black Pearl”. In 2008 she had her first daughter, Alanis Nicole, procreated with the ex-footballer, Nicolás Asencio. She is currently married to Carlos Mendoza, with whom she has three more children: Lucciana (2013), Ainhoa (2015) and Carlitos (2020).
Miss England, Jacqueline Turner, continued her career in modeling and also became an actress and TV and event host. She also campaigned to help models overcome bullying. She has been an ambassador for “Formula E” and is working in the artist management area and as a health, beauty and fitness coach. She also dedicated herself to music and did music tours with Chance McCoy in 2019, she belongs to the Amax Talent Agency and is based in Greenville, West Virginia (USA). Estonian Kristiina Gabor, married to Madis Mägi, is the co-founder of an NGO called “Minu Unituste Paev”, created in 2011, which helps sick and needy children. French Virginie Dubois is a nutritionist in Paris and has her own nutrition website: virginie-dubois.fr and has written two books on the subject. She has been married to the French-Lebanese philosopher and theologian Antoyne Fleyfel since 2009 and they have two children. Germany’s Babett Konau owns KONPLOTT Bonn, is still a model and is also a moderator. Miss Gibraltar, Kim Falzun, is married to Zane Ryan and they have a girl and a boy born in 2013 and 2015. Her sister Lian was first runner-up in Miss Gibraltar 2006. Miss Guadeloupe, Lauranza Doliman, worked as a weather girl with audiovisual production on her island for French Guiana. She subsequently developed as a business manager, created a toy brand called “KaruCalin”, then created “Lauranza DS Consulting” and finally founded her own professional image training company called “Harmony Couching by Lauranza”. She married Pascal Bichara-Jabour in 2020. Guatemalan Dulce María Duarte was the director of Miss Chiquimula in 2009. Guyanese Alexis Glasgow, today Mrs. Sverrisson, she married a pilot and is a kindergarten teacher in Iceland. Dutch Sanne de Regt is still continuing her modeling career in her country and is in a relationship with Christophe Haddad. Miss Hong Kong, Rabee’a Yeung is a TV host, emcee, and blogger. She married musician Tim Wong on December 12, 2014 in Hawaii and with him she has two children: Tanya Fayth (2017) and Tristan Hart (2021).
Icelandic Regina Dilja Jónsdóttir is a cabin crew member of Icelandair, is married to Árni Kristinn Gunnarsson and has three boys. The Israeli Miri Levy married in 2009 the musician Pablo Rosenberg with whom she had a daughter in 2013, Bar, who was like a sister to the twins from Pablo’s first relationship, Michael and Amalia. Miri, in addition to continuing to work as a model, is dedicated to caring for children with disabilities with the help of horses. The Italian Silvia Cannas is a businesswoman and owner of a styling and makeup academy in Cagliari called “Faery Academy”. Miss Kazakhstan, Saule Zhunusova, after Miss World, participated in the Reality show “Ya Krassiva” (in the style of Americas Next Top Model) and was eliminated in the second program. Miss Kenya, Janet Muthoni Kibugu, married on June 11, 2011 to businessman Kevin Mulei and is the proud founder and owner of the “Diamond Junior School” in Nairobi. She is also the mother of two boys and a girl born in 2012, 2013 and 2016. Korean Ji-Yea Park married Kook Jin Moon and resides in California, USA where she is passionate about all kinds of weapons. Lithuanian Vaida Griksaite is married to athlete Deividas Cesnauskis and has three children, Deividas, Rojus and Ema. They live in Vilnius. The Mexican Erika Honstein is a renowned actress and was the presenter of “Matutino Express” and “Ritmoson” in her country. She recently dabbled in a TV show targeting real estate. She is also the director of the Miss Quintana Roo Contest and currently lives in Cancun. Moldovan Elena Danilciuc has been married since 2010 to Aleksandr Trach with whom she has a boy and a girl.
Miss Namibia, Petrina Thomas, defines herself as an “influencer” and is also a mother and mentor. Miss Nepal, Priti Sitoula, worked as a TV presenter in her country for two years. She then emigrated to the US to continue her studies and worked at Macy’s and Yale University as a Public Relations Officer. She returned to her country and is currently the Director of a Professional Development Institute, Investment Consultant, and Rotary. She is married to surgeon Bijoy Rajbanshi and has two children, Aarav (2013) and Aashna (2015). Hailey Britton Brooks from Nicaragua is a member of the Council of the “Casa de Vida” Foundation in Managua and is the mother of a girl. Nigerian Ohumotu Celia Bissong finished her studies in New York, where she also pursued a modeling career. She later returned to her country where she became a TV Presenter and Actress, remembered for her role in “Desperates Housewives Africa”. She owns a modeling agency in Nigeria. Northern Irish Diana Sayers currently lives in Los Angeles, California. Her sister Nadia was ‘Miss Universe Ireland 2020’. Kimberly Reyes from Northern Marianas married Walter Manglona and they continue to live in Saipan. Kimberly works as a Counselor at the Marianas High School. Paraguayan Karina Buttner developed as a Fashion Designer in her country with one of her sisters, who founded the brand “Las Buttner”. She has been married since May 2008 to Luis Alberto Vierci and has four children: Renata (2010), Lui (2012), Ivanna (2016) and Facundo (2020). She currently lives between Miami and San Bernardino (Paraguay). Polish Karolina Gorazda got married on July 7, 2007. She has four children born between 2008 and 2016, is a radio presenter and lives in London.
Romanian Patricia Filomena Chifor became a renowned fashion designer in her country and owns the “Armătura Zalău” factory. Russian Svetlana Goreva is currently a candidate for governor of the Ulyanovsk region. She also directs the community organization “Tu Hora” and is the founder of the children’s clothing brand “Lana2rock”. She is married to Alexey Turok and has two daughters. Scottish Nicola Jolly had a column in the “Evening Express” and worked as a host of events and meetings. Later she began working on TV for Sky, BBC and STV. She participated in ‘Celebrity Fear Factor’. Jolly has also been involved in promoting various charities. She is the face of the Cornerstone Cycle Challenge and has supported several other charities, such as Streetwork, the SSPCA, and CHAS. She has been married to pub chain mogul Garreth Wood since 2009 and has a daughter, Ezra, born in 2010. In 2013, she lost her triplets Oren, Asha and Willow to problems after a premature delivery. In 2015, she had another daughter, this time with a “surrogate belly” in the US. In 2018 she founded “Kids Operating Room” with her husband to develop facilities and equipment for pediatric operating rooms in poor countries. They live in Edinburgh. Serbian Bojana Vujadinovic was a TV presenter and in 2016 she married diplomat Kristijan Kolaković. Miss Singapore, Corine Kanmani, is a cabin crew for Singapore Airlines. She is married to K. Vignes and has a son named Vinay Aaron. She is also the creator and founder of numerous beauty contests in her country such as: Indian/Malays/Eurasian International. Slovak Adriana Pospisilova has had a relationship with Andy Andrea Ena since June 2021. Miss Slovenia, Tina Zajc, heads Mineral Raw Materials and Geochemistry at the Geological Survey of Slovenia. She publishes articles, participates in conferences, and advocate for a circular economy and the sustainable use of raw materials. She is married to Tilen Benda and they have a daughter named Luna, born in 2013.
South African Cindy Nell hosted the “Pasella” program on Lifestyle and participated in the South African edition of “Survivor”. She is currently a businesswoman, owner of the firm “Cosmetix” and continues in the middle of modeling. She married fellow businessman Clive Roberts in 2009 and they have two children: Ethan (2011) and Aenea (2013). In 2017, she founded the establishment “Women4Women” to improve the lives of less fortunate women. They live in Camps Bay. The Spanish Teresa Martín Bueno is today a businesswoman, athlete and journalist and stood out in the world of fashion. She is the mother of two girls. Miss Sri Lanka, Sachini Ayendra Stanley, became a respected actress in her country and has also produced a film. Sachini is the first Sri Lankan actress to compete in the performing arts world championship in Los Angeles (USA). In 2016 she won two silver and one bronze medals in the classical/open/contemporary performance categories. She competed again in the world performing arts championships in 2017 and won 4 bronze medals in the acting category. She is married to Ishanga Mahipala. Swedish Idha Söfringsgärd married Robert Alfredsby on November 11, 2011 in Hawaii and has two children: Ella (2012) and Liam (2014). She works at the Swedish Pension Agency. Thai Jenjira Kerdprasop became an archery champion in 2005. Between 2008 and 2015 she was married to Moldovan footballer Petru Racu. She currently lives in Sweden. The Turkish Tugba Karaca made a career as an actress and TV presenter in her country and continued in the medium of modeling. Ugandan Aysha Salma Nassanga works in real estate and is the mother of a girl named Jazmine Sigler. Lives in Florida, USA. Ukrainian Ilona Yakovlyeva works as a popular news anchor in Istanbul. Ugandan Aysha Salma Nassanga works in real estate and is the mother of a girl named Jazmine Sigler. Lives in Florida, USA. Ukrainian Ilona Yakovlyeva works as a popular news anchor in Istanbul. Ugandan Aysha Salma Nassanga works in real estate and is the mother of a girl named Jazmine Sigler. Lives in Florida, USA. Ukrainian Ilona Yakovlyeva works as a popular news anchor in Istanbul.
Kimberly Harlan from the US is divorced from Matt Dice, owns Lily Bee Photography and is the mother of two boys (Jaxon and Beaux) and one female (Lexington). Lives in Kennesaw, Georgia. The Uruguayan Natalia Rodríguez is a ceramist and runs her own company called “OMMNA” with branches in Canelones and Montevideo. The Vietnamese Quan Dinh Thuy Nguyen is married, has a son (2008) and owns a cafe in Ho Chi Minh City. Welsh Imogen Thomas rose to fame after her appearance on “Big Brother” in 2006. In 2011 it was revealed that she had a six-month affair with married Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs. Imogen was married to Adam Horsley from 2011 until they separated in 2018. She has two daughters: Ariana (2014) and Siera (2016). Miss Zambia, Cynthia Kanema, lives in Douala, Cameroon. She is married to Thierno Bah and has two children, a male and a female. She was the first Miss to participate in the four main pageants on the planet: Miss World ’03, Miss International ’04, Miss Universe ’05 and Miss Earth ’05.
HOW THEY CURRENTLY LOOK