By Julio Rodríguez Matute. PAYPAL.ME/RODRIGUEZMATUTE2
EVENTS OF 2004.-
A 9.1 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Banda Aceh (Indonesia) produced a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that mainly affected the coasts of Indonesia, Thailand, India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, leaving almost 300,000 victims and thousands more missing. Other earthquakes hit Morocco, Japan, Iran, Turkey and West Irian (Indonesia). Al-Qaeda caused terrorist attacks on four trains at Madrid’s Atocha station, leaving almost 200 dead, while the Moscow metro suffered a terrorist attack by Chechen groups and the Beslan Massacre occurred in North Ossetia, in which terrorists kidnapped more than a thousand people in a school, leaving 335 dead, 186 of them children. Hurricane Frances hit the Bahamas and the east coast of the US, while Hurricane Ivan devastated several Caribbean islands, Florida and Alabama, and Hurricane Jeanne left more than 3,000 victims in Haiti. This year ended the global SARS epidemic that began in 2002. In Caracas (Venezuela), there was a fire in the east tower of Parque Central and in Buenos Aires (Argentina) the fateful fire in the “República Cromañón” nightclub. The Olympic Games were held in Athens, George W. Bush was re-elected President of the United States, and Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook as a university project at Harvard. Venezuela and Cuba founded ALBA and the presidential recall referendum was held to remove Hugo Chávez from power, without success, due to a CNE who was fond of him. Sony’s Play Station 2 went on sale, while digital cameras and DVD VCRs were very popular.
Jennifer Hawkins from Australia won Miss Universe in Quito (Ecuador), Jeymmy Paola Vargas from Colombia took the Miss International crown in Japan and Brazilian Priscilla Meirelles won the Miss Earth title in the Philippines. For her part, the Ukrainian Ruslana was proclaimed the winner at Eurovision with the song “Wild Dances” in Istanbul (Turkey). The following films were premiered: “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, “The Butterfly Effect”, “The Day After Tomorrow”, “The Terminal”, “Alexander”, “The Passion of the Christ”, “The Aviator”, “Spider-Man 2”, “Shrek 2”, “The Incredibles”, “Troy”, “The Fockers: My Husband’s Family”, “The Polar Express”, “Around the World in 80 Days”, “King Arthur”, “Catwoman”, “Alien vs. Predator”, “Anaconda 2: The hunt for the Blood Orchid” and “Dirty Dancing 2”. In the US “The Apprentice”, “Big Brother 5”, “Desperates Housewives” premiered and the TV series “Friends” ended after 10 seasons. “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” won the Oscar for Best Picture. The following songs were played in the radio: “Gasolina” by Daddy Yankee, “Toxic” by Britney Spears, “Me Dediqué a Perderte” by Alejandro Fernández, “Dragostea Din Tei” by O-Zone, “Sueños” and “Cantar Hasta Morir” by Diego Torres, “Rosas” by Van Gogh’s Ear, “Call On Me” by Eric Prydz, “She Will Be Loved” and “This Love” by Maroon 5. The actors Marlon Brando, Christopher Reeve and Peter Ustinov, the actress and dancer María Antonieta Pons, the singers Laura Branigan and Sacha Distel, the musician Ray Charles, former Presidents Ronald Reagan (USA) and José López Portillo (Mexico), Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and the President of Palestine, Yasser Arafat died this year.
In 2004, El Salvador, Honduras and Saint Lucia returned to Miss World after the franchises were resumed in those nations, in addition to Egypt, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) and Turks & Caicos, countries and territories that were pre-registered in 2003 but did not appear. Fiji finally debuted in the contest (see Designated). A total of 123 nations and territories had the Miss World franchise for this year. Of these, Andorra and Belize did not hold their national competitions in 2004, and Swaziland canceled its event three days before the finals. For their part, Haiti and Tahiti did not renew their franchise with Miss World. Next, the national contests heading to Miss World 2004:
* NUESTRA BELLEZA MEXICO (Sept. 5, 2003).- It was held at the Teatro del Arte in the city of Morelia, Michoacán, with thirty-eight candidates and where the Mexican representatives for Miss Universe and Miss World 2004 were jointly elected. The main title went to Rosalva Luna from Sinaloa, heading to Miss Universe 2004, while the crown of Nuestra Belleza Mundo México went to Yessica Ramírez from Baja California. As Substitute was Alejandra Villanueva (Nuevo León) and the other two finalists were Jiapsi Bojórquez (Durango) and Paulina Michelle Alatorre (Federal District). The girls from Aguascalientes, Liliana Bejarano; Guanajuato, Rubi Valdes; Nuevo León, Alejandra Arredondo; Sonora, Amada Castillo; and Zacatecas, Cecilia Magallanes reached the Top 10. The states of Nuevo Leon, Guanajuato and Jalisco participated with three candidates, while Chihuahua, Durango, Puebla, Sonora, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas competed with two beauties. The states of Campeche, Coahuila, Chiapas, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí and Tabasco were not represented on this occasion.
* MISS JAPAN (Oct.8, 2003).- Held at the Radisson Miyako Hotel in Tokyo together with Miss International and where Tamiko Kawahara (Miss International 2004) and Minako Goto (Miss World 2004) were crowned. Although the Miss World franchise in Japan changed hands in 2004, the new directors respected the title and allowed Goto’s participation in Miss World.
* MISS PANAMA (Nov.26, 2003).- Jéssica Rodríguez Clark was crowned Miss Panama for Miss Universe on Wednesday, November 26th at a pageant held at the Figali Convention Center. On her part, Melissa Piedrahita was chosen as Miss Panama for Miss World. The first runner-up was the great favorite of most of the attendees, Giselle Bissot Kieswetter. Marianina Tissera appeared as second runner-up, and Lilian Thompson as third runner-up. 11 candidates participated.
* MISS BELGIUM (Dec.12, 2003).- The event was held at the Spiroudome in Charleroi on Friday, December 12th, with 10 finalists previously selected from a group of 20 participants. The winner was Ellen Petri (Miss Antwerp), 21, heading to Miss Universe and Miss World 2004. The runners-up were 20-year-old Lindsy Dehollander (Miss West Flanders) and 21-year-old Leen Hens (Miss Liege).
* MISS SOUTH AFRICA (Dec.13, 2003).- The contest, together with the “Miss South Africa Teen 2003”, was held at the Sun City Superbowl. The “Miss South Africa 2003” title went to Joan Ramagoshi, 24, owner of her own PR agency and from the city of Pretoria, heading to Miss Universe and Miss World 2004. The finalists were Marisa Eggli, 20, from Cape Town; and Siza Majola, 23, from Durban. Rounding out the Top 5 were Charlene Garber and Lebo Sekete. One of the finalists, Nomalanga Mtetwa, was disqualified because her enrollment did not meet the organization’s requirements. Nomalanga had previously been accused of fraudulently running a modeling agency that promised trips to London. The “Teen” queen was 18-year-old Masechaba Dlengezele, from Johannesburg, and runners-up were Pearl Thusi from Durban and Soula Bouzianis from Johannesburg.
* MISS FRANCE (Dec.13,2003).- Forty-six young women competed on Saturday, December 13th at the Deauville International Center for the crown of Miss France. At the end of the event, Laëtitia Bleger, 22, a stewardess from Alsace, was proclaimed the winner heading to Miss Universe. The finalists were Miss Bourgogne, Lucie Degletagne; Miss Flandre, Aurelie Tuil; Miss Artois-Hainault, Laetitia Marciniak; and Miss Tahiti, Heitiare Tribondeau. Heitiare was scheduled to represent Tahiti at Miss World 2003, but her organization preferred to send her to Miss France. The French organization subsequently designated the third runner-up, Laetitia Marciniak, as their representative at Miss World 2004.
* MISS ANGOLA (Dec.20, 2003).- Telma de Jesús Sonhi, from the province of Lunda-Sul, was chosen “Miss Angola 2004” at the Cine Atlántico in Luanda, heading for Miss Universe 2004. The finalists were Silvia Anair Joao from Deus, to Miss World 2004; and Ana Carolina Benge Pereira Jorge (elected Miss Angola Africa 2004). Albertina Kaconda was Miss Photogenic and Miss Silk Skin; Jurelma da Silva was Miss Congeniality and Rosa de Almeida was Miss Ebonet. 26 candidates competed.
* MISS GHANA (Dec.20, 2003).- Serena Naa Ashie Roye, who was Miss Ghana-UK 2002, was crowned “Miss Ghana 2003” at The Accra International Conference Center.
* MISS MOLDOVA (Dec.24, 2003).- It took place at the Opera Theater among 24 participants aged between 15 and 20. The winner was Marina Chivaciuk, 20 years old and from the city of Tiraspol (TransDniester), on her way to Miss World 2004. The finalists were Cristina Fiodorova and Mariana Mihailova, who also won the Miss Internet sash. The remaining semi-finalists were Alexandra Oltu (Miss Congeniality) and Nadejda Nastenko (Miss Charm). For her part, Aliona Arşinova was “Miss Watercolor”, elected by the homonymous magazine.
* MISS COSTA RICA (Jan.23).- Nancy Soto won the pageant held at the National Auditorium of the Children’s Museum, heading for Miss Universe 2004. Shirley Calvo was crowned Miss Costa Rica World and Tatiana Vargas was the first runner-up. 10 candidates participated.
* MISS GERMANY WORLD (Jan.31).- Held at the Europark Rust on Saturday, January 31st among 22 candidates. The winner was Miss Nordrhein-Westfalen, Claudia Hein, an aerobics instructor from Cologne, 24 years old and 1.73 m tall. The finalists were Miss Rheinland-Pfalz, Inka Weickel, 20, and Miss Schleswig-Holstein, Ina Neuhaus, 21. The Miss Germany Corporation later appointed Inka Weickel for Miss World, because the winner would be 25 years old for the world pageant and, in addition, she had work obligations that prevented her from being absent for a month. However, Claudia Hein continued her reign as the titular Miss Germany World.
* MISS UKRAINE (Feb.6).- It was won by Lesja Matveeva, a 19-year-old and 1.80 m student from Kyiv in the contest held at the National Palace of Ukraine among 24 candidates. The finalists were Lysa Mariya (Dnepropetrovsk); Nataly Volkova (Dneprodzerjinsk), Lena Popova (Ujgorod), Nataly Gandrabura (Odessa), and Anna Babkova (Harkov).
* MISS ALGERIA (Feb.22).- Miss Karmen Hamdaoui, 24 years old and 1.72 m tall, from Boumerdes, a survivor of the 2003 earthquake in which she lost her home, was crowned “Miss Algeria 2004”.
* MISS NICARAGUA (February 28).- Marifely Argüello Cesar, a fourth-year Graphic Design student, 22 years old and 1.75 m tall, was crowned “Miss Nicaragua 2004”, among 12 young ladies, at the Rubén Dario National Theater of Managua. In addition, she received three additional awards: Miss Clarins Face, Miss Photogenic and Miss nica.com. In second place was Anielka María Sánchez Castillo, a fourth-year student of Management Economics, 19 years old and 1.78 m tall, who was crowned Miss World Nicaragua. The finalists were Anasha Campbell, Mariana Ortega and Laura Vado.
* MISS ECUADOR (March 4).- María Susana Rivadeneira, a 24-year-old Quito painter, based in Guayaquil and a professional model, not only won the crown of queen of Ecuador, but also won two more prizes from the sponsors of the contest, which was held at the Guayaquil Art Center Theater. María Susana, who won the sashes of Miss Sedal and Miss Rostro Yanbal, would thus be the host candidate in Miss Universe 2004. For Miss World, Miss Cristina Reyes was elected; to Miss Earth, Maria Luisa Barrios; Miss International, Irene Zunino; and Miss Mesoamerica, Priscila Del Salto. Fourteen girls participated in the event held on Thursday, March 4th.
* BINIBINING PILIPINAS (March 6).- Held at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, among 26 candidates. The winner, heading to Miss Universe, was Maricar Manalaysay Balagtas, 21 years old and 1.72 m tall, from Bulacan, who was a finalist in this same contest in 2001 and who won the Miss Globe International in Turkey that same year. Maricar also won the Miss Internet, Miss Philippine Airlines, Miss Red Bull, Miss Personality, Best Swimsuit and Miss Creme Silk Beauty awards. As Miss World Philippines was crowned Karla Rabanal Bautista, 19 years old, 1.75 m tall and from Cebu; and Miss Philippines International was Margaret Ann Bayot, 21 years old, 1.75 m tall and from the city of Makati, who was also Miss Lux and People’s Choice Award. The finalists were Tracy Ann Javelona (also Miss Close-up Smile, Binibining Avon and Best in Gala Dress) and Princess Jasmine Jewere Tiongson, also Miss Ponds. The semifinalists were completed by Honeylet Christine Gascon, Gemma Carlos Gatdula (Miss Photogenic), Christy Del Rosario, Liwayway Baterna (Miss Friendship) and Margaux Mitz Flores. For her part, Jeanne Harn was Miss Talent.
* MISS UNIVERSE PARAGUAY (March 6).- Yanina González was crowned “Miss Universe Paraguay 2004”, during a gala dinner held in the Theater of the Hotel Excelsior, among 12 candidates. With the titles of Vice-Queen and Miss Photogenic was Tania Domaniczky, 20 years old, the great favorite of the general public, who would be in charge of replacing the titleholder in case of absence for any reason in the Miss Universe pageant (later she was designated to go to Miss World 2004). Adriana García, 21, and Romina Bogado, 19, completed the runner-ups.
* THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN NIGERIA (March 13).- Anita Uwagbale, an 18-year-old accounting student, representing Edo, was chosen as “The Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria 2004” heading to Miss Universe and Miss World. The event was held on Saturday, March 13th at the Expo Center Hotel and Suites on Victoria Island in Lagos with 24 candidates. The finalists were Yvonne-Amy Ugochi Nwachukwu, Miss Abia; Mary Abosede Ayodele, Miss Lagos; Sylvia Ugumma, Miss Abuja; and Cordelia Ejakita, Miss Delta.
* MISS NORTHERN MARIANAS (March 20).- The contest was held at the Nikko Hotel in Saipan, with the participation of 8 candidates. The winner, heading to Miss World, was Tracy Lynn D. Del Rosario, 23 years old, while as “Miss Northern Marianas International 2004” was Kenyelyn Litulumar Arriola, 18 years old and as “Miss Northern Marianas South Pacific 2004” Louiena Ruth Leon Guerrero Pangelinan, 19, was crowned. The finalist of the contest was Rayna Lizama Camacho who also won the award for Best National Costume. Other winners were Cassandra DeLeon Guerrero Fejeran, who won the Miss Friendship and NMBPA Spirit Awards, and Leina Kaipat Ogumoro who was Miss Photogenic. It should be noted that for the first time in the history of this contest the title of Miss Northern Marianas Universe was eliminated, since the organizers desisted from sending their representatives to Miss Universe due to the cost of the franchise.
* MISS BULGARIA (March 20).- The Miss Bulgaria 2004 election took place on Saturday, March 20th at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, with the participation of 36 candidates from 25 towns in that country. The winner was Gergana Guncheva, 17 years old and 1.72 m tall, from Sofia, heading to Miss World. As “Miss Bulgaria Universe 2004” was Ivelina Petrova, from the city of Varna, while as “Miss Bulgaria Europe” was crowned Kristiana Radneva from Sofia and as “Miss Bulgaria Earth” Elisaveta Nikolchovska from Plovdiv. A total of 4,595 girls applied to this year’s contest.
* MISS ISRAEL (March 22).- On Monday, March 22nd, at the Haifa Convention Center, the new beauty queens of Israel were elected, in a contest that featured 20 girls. Heading for Miss Universe was Gal Gadot, 18, from the city of Giv’at Tal and 1.78 m tall (years later she became famous as an actress by playing Wonder Woman); Miss World Israel was Rita Lukin, 22 years old and 1.80 m; Miss International Israel, the blonde Li’or Keren, 20 years old and 1.70 m; and Miss Europe Israel, the brunette Helen Masala, 19 years old and 1.72 m. The finalists were Keren Friedman (audience favorite) and Karin Lazar. Semifinalists were Vicky Makrianis, Lital Rozenszweig, Moran Segev and Shiran Cohen.
* MIS LIETUVA (March 25).- The most beautiful woman in Lithuania was chosen among 16 candidates at the event held at the Forum Palace Entertainment Center in Vilnius. The winner was 19-year-old Agnė Maliaukaitė, who won the right to represent her country at Miss World. The finalists were Brigita Būdaitė (also Miss Photogenic) and Eglė Ilekytė. Giedre Laučyte was Miss Audience and Miss Talent.
* MISS MALAWI (March 26).- The pageant had 16 candidates and was held at the Chichiri Conference Hall in Blantyre. The winner, heading to Miss World 2004, was Florence Zeka, a 23-year-old student, who also won the award for Best Catwalk. The finalists were Rhoda Nyirenda and Mable Banda (also Miss Smile). For her part, Rachel Landson was chosen Miss Personality.
* POND´S FEMINA MISS INDIA (March 27).- The Bandra-Kurla complex in the center of Mumbai, was the venue for the contest where they chose Tanushree Dutta, an actress and student of the University from Pune, 20 years old, a native of Jamshedpur and 1.70 m tall, as “Miss India Universe 2004”. As “Miss India World 2004” was Lakshmi Pandit, a 23-year-old model and 1.75 m tall, while the third queen, “Miss India Earth 2004”, was Sayali Bhagat, a 20-year-old student at the University of Mumbai and 1.75 m tall. The remaining finalists were Jyoti Brahmin and Simran Chandhok, heading to Miss International and Miss Asia Pacific 2004. The remaining semifinalists, chosen from the group of 29 entrants, were Mihika Varma, Himani Thapa, Mughda Godse, Shrutha Kerthi Mudram and Vanessa Rodrigues. Shortly after the finals, Miss India World Lakshmi Pandit found herself embroiled in controversy, when private Indian TV channel Aaj Tak claimed that the beautiful young woman was married to aspiring model Siddhart Mishra. The report mentioned that Pandit had concealed her marital status in order to enter the contest. Pandit, in an interview with Aaj Tak, denied that she was married. “I’m single and not married,” she said, while she declined to elaborate on her relationship with Mishra. Due to media pressure and the fact that she had given false information about her age, since she was actually 25 years old, Lakshmi Pandit resigned from the crown on March 31st. She confessed that she pretended to have gotten married at some point in order to live with her boyfriend, far from being criticized by society, but in reality she was still single. On Thursday, April 8th, it was announced that Sayali Bhagat was the new Femina Miss India-World 2004, while Jyoti Brahmin was promoted to Miss India-Earth, Simran Chandhok would go to Miss Asia Pacific and Mihika Varma to Miss International.
* MISS AUSTRIA (March 27).- Miss Oberösterreich, Silvia Hackl, 21 years old, 1.72 m tall, from the city of Linz, won the crown of Miss Austria 2004 in Vienna on Saturday, March 27th, and also took the Miss Elegance award. The finalists were Bianca Brauneis from Vienna and Julia Bayer from Hallein.
* MISS SPAIN (March 28).- María Jesús Ruíz Garzón (Miss Jaén) won the title of Miss Spain on Sunday, March 28th in a disputed final held at the Marina D’Or complex, Oropesa del Mar (Castellón). The 21-year-old girl thus won her ticket to Miss Universe 2004. The Maids of Honor, heading to Miss World and Miss Europe, were Miss Barcelona, Maite Medina Cerrato, 24 years old; and Miss Melilla, Farah Ahmed Ali, 22. As third, fourth and fifth ladies were Cristina Torres Domínguez (Miss Seville, 22 years old); Aránzazu Amoldo Testa (Miss Orense, 23 years old); and Ilda Herrera Peris (Miss Valencia, 20 years old). The remaining girls who reached the 12 finalists were the representatives of Alicante (Candela López), Cantabria (Vanesa Martínez), Castellón (Paula Plana), Córdoba (María Ángeles Blanco), Madrid (Sandra Almaraz) and Salamanca (Estefanía López).
* QUEEN OF THE CARNIVAL OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS (Apr.10).- It was held at the Lionel Roberts Stadium, where 17-year-old Charlene Kilpatrick was chosen from among six contestants. The finalists were Sharon Peltier and Je-Vonia Grosvenor.
* MISS BRAZIL (Apr.15).- On Thursday, April 15th, at Credicard Hall in Sao Paulo, the election of Miss Brazil was held, a contest that celebrated 50 years of existence. The representative of Rio Grande Do Sul, Fabiane Niclotti, a 19-year-old Nursing student and Tourism Promoter from the city of Gramado and 1.82 m tall, was elected Miss Brazil Universe among the group of 27 entrants. As Miss Brazil World 2004 was chosen the candidate from the state of Minas Gerais, Iara Maria Coelho, a 22-year-old law student and 1.81 m tall; while the blonde Grazieli Massafera, Miss Paraná, appeared as Miss Brazil International. She is a 22-year-old model and 1.72 m tall. The finalists were Catarina Guerra from Roraima and Priscilla Meirelles from Amazonas. The remaining semifinalists were Anelise Sobral from Rio de Janeiro; Célia Renata da Silva from Santa Catarina; Luana Najara Aben Athar from Rondonia, Karoline de Souza from Bahia and Fernanda Dorigon from Alagoas. 34 former Brazilian beauty queens gathered at the contest’s 50th anniversary celebration.
* MISS CZECH REPUBLIC (Apr.17).- On Saturday, April 17th, the election of Miss Czech Republic was held at the Grand Hotel Pupp, in Karlovy Vary. The winner was Jana Dolezolova, 22 years old and 1.76 m, heading to Miss World 2004. The finalists turned out to be Michaela Wostlova, 22 years old and 1.75 m (to Miss International), and Edita Hortova, 18 years old and 1.74 m ( to Miss Europe).
* MISS SLOVAKIA (Apr.17).- It was held at the Slovak National Theater in Bratislava with 12 girls. The contest was won by Maria Sandorova, 19 years old, 1.75 m tall, from the city of Cana (also Miss Congeniality). The finalists were Tatiana Krcmeryova, 19 years old and 1.80 m, (also Miss Press and Miss Internet – to Miss Europe) and Aneta Kailingova, 18 and 1.73 m (to Miss International). The remaining finalists were Andrea Pisarcikova (21), Jana Cimova (21) and Stanislava Vitkova (20, Miss Wella).
* MISS CAYMAN ISLANDS (Apr.17).- Also on Saturday, April 17, at the Lions Center in Georgetown, they crowned “Miss Cayman Islands 2004” heading to Miss Universe and Miss World, among 6 candidates. The winner was Stacey-Ann Kelly, who also took home the Miss Photogenic and “Best in Gown” awards. The finalists were Jovani Hessing, who also won the title of “Best Legs” of the contest; and Derecha McLaughlin, who took home “Best Smile.”
* STAR HELLAS (Apr.19).- 26 candidates participated in the Night Club Fever in Athens to represent Greece in the main international beauty contests. On the one hand, Valia Kakouti, a 23-year-old ballet teacher and 1.79 m tall, won the “Star Hellas 2004” crown on her way to Miss Universe. As “Miss Hellas 2004” was chosen Maria Spiridaki, a 20-year-old model and 1.83 m, headed for Miss World 2004 in China. For Miss International was Olga Kypriotou. The remaining finalists were Axia Andreadaki and Eva Masiali. Miss Yang was Violeta Raseva and her finalist was Angelina Renieri.
* MISS PERU (Apr.19).- The representative of Pasco, Liesel Holler Sotomayor, a 23-year-old medical student and 1.79 m tall, was crowned “Miss Peru Universe 2004” at the event held at the Swissotel in San Isidro, Lima, among 20 candidates. On the other hand, Miss Trujillo, María Julia Mantilla García, 19 years old and 1.75 m, niece of Miss Peru 1969 who bears the same name, was elected “Miss Peru World 2004”. The finalists were Miss Amazonas, Fiorella Castellanos; Miss La Libertad, Lucia Alva; and Miss Junín, Tatiana Miranda. The Top 10 were Miss Lima, Bárbara Casallo; Miss San Martin, Paola Merea; Miss Piura, Fiorella Lizarzaburu; Miss Tumbes, Silvana Benavides and Miss Tacna, Silvia Maldonado.
* MISS EGYPT (Apr.26).- Miss Egypt 2004 was crowned on Monday, April 26th at the Media City Convention Center in Cairo. The winner was Heba El-Sisy, a 1.73 m law student, heading to Miss Universe 2004. The runner-ups were the sisters Samah and Dina Adel, 18 and 22 years old, who would travel to China to Miss World and Miss International respectively. Seba Hassan, Yasmine Gamal and Azza Khan rounded out the finalists. The contest, sponsored by the firm PANTENE, was criticized for going against the religious and social principles of Egypt, but the organizers ignored the criticism and stated that the 16 entrants participated of their own free will and that they decided to parade in gown, bathing suit or in traditional Islamic dress. Panamanian Justine Pasek was a member of the judges. Ultimately, the Egyptians decided to send the new queen to both Miss Universe and Miss World.
* MISS TURKEY (May 3).- It was held on Monday, May 3rd at the Grand Cevahir hotel in Istanbul, with the participation of 20 candidates. The winner, heading to Miss World, was Nur Gümüşdoğrayan, 18 years old and 1.80 m tall. Fatoş Seğmen, a beautiful blonde 1.82 m tall and 21 years old, was selected for Miss Universe; Birce Akalay, 19 years old and 1.76 m for Miss Europe; and Gülşah Şahin, 21 years old and 1.74 m for Miss International. Former Turkish Miss World Azra Akin was among the judges.
* MISS GUATEMALA (May 3).- Marva Cecilia Weatherborn Serrano was the winner of the “Miss Guatemala 2004” crown heading to Miss Universe, becoming the first woman of color to win said beauty title in the history of the pageant. As Miss Guatemala for Miss World was Damaris Stefanie García Guerrero. Yeisi Karen Vanesa Peñate Orellana and Odelia Noemí Barahona García completed the list of finalists. The event was held at the Westin Camino Real hotel in Guatemala City and 8 beauties entered the pageant.
* MISS & MR ALBANIA (May 9).- The election of Miss & Mister Albania 2004 was held on Sunday, May 9th, at the Congress Palace in Tirana. 35 young ladies and 18 handsome men from all over the country participated in the event. The winner was Agnesa Vuthaj, 18 years old and a native of Pec, Kosovo, heading to Miss World 2004 and Miss Universe 2005. The finalists were Vilma Basha and Lejla Shalsi. Other awarded included Eda Starova (Miss Congeniality); Albiona Seitaj (Miss Elegance); Klara Bici (Miss Intelligence); and Elsa Prega (Miss Photogenic). Mister Albania 2004 was Daniel Gashi.
* SUOMEN NEITO (May 23).- Nina Tikanmäki from Naantali was the winner of the Finnish beauty crown for Miss World in the event held on Sunday, May 23rd in Ikaalinen with 10 candidates. The finalists were Anna Aalto from Lohja and Mirjam Ersta from Hyvinkää.
* MISS MODEL ESTONIA (May 29).- The beauty pageant “Miss Model Estonia” was held at the Terrarium club in Tallinn on Saturday, May 29th. The winner was Mari-Liis Sallo, who won the right to represent the country at Miss World. Merit Sarv was made the first princess and Triinu Kivilaan was the second princess. However, Mari-Liis gave up going to Miss World for university study issues. The first runner-up did not want to go because she had “braces” on her teeth and the second one she could not go because she was only 15 years old and she was in a musical group. Therefore, the girl who took fourth place (and who paid for the trip to China), Moonika Tooming, was appointed to Miss World.
* UNGFRÚ ÍSLAND (May 29).- The ceremony was held at the Broadway Club, resulting Hugrun Hardardottir as the winner of the beauty queen title of Iceland. The finalists were Sigrun Bender, Halldora Rut Bjarnadottir, Anna Birta Tryggvadottir and Margret Magnusdottir. 24 candidates competed.
* MISS NAMIBIA (June 5).- It was held at the Windhoek Country Club with 10 candidates. The winner was Adéle Basson, who would then be the representative of that country in the Miss World 2004 and Miss Universe 2005 pageants. The finalists were Fenni Angukka and Leefa Shiikwa. For her part, Thea Heesakkers was elected Miss Photogenic.
* MISS BOTSWANA (June 5).- Held on Saturday, June 5th at the Boipú Hall in Gaborone. The winner was Juby Peacock, a 20-year-old University of Botswana student. The finalists were 18-year-old Tshegofatso Robi (also Miss Talent) and 20-year-old Lungile Ndlangamandla. Other awarded included Onkemetse Mbakile as Miss Personality; Kefilwe Mogami as Miss Photogenic; Pauline Barungwi who won the award for Best Figure; and Thato Botlhoko who got the Miss Popularity sash. Peacock was criticized for being the cousin of Alimah Isaacs, former Miss Botswana, who was in charge of the beauty pageant. 14 candidates participated.
* MISS KOREA (June 13).- Kim So-young from Seoul was crowned “Miss Korea 2004” at the Olympic Hall of the Olympic Park in Seoul on Sunday night, June 13th, heading to Miss Universe 2005. The finalists were Han Kyoung-jin from Kyonggi Province, heading to Miss World 2004; Kim In-Ha, who got the right to go to Miss International 2004; Cho Hye-jin (to Miss Earth 2004); Choi Young-ah (to Miss Asia Pacific) and Kim Hye-yeon, who got the “Hankook Ilbo” award. 58 girls participated.
* MISS GUYANA WORLD (June 15).- Suzette Shim, the second runner-up of the Miss Guyana World 2003 contest, was officially named “Miss Guyana World 2004” through a casting that brought together 21 girls and was conducted by KM Chung Productions, who carried the Miss World franchise in that country. Her official coronation took place in the month of August.
* MISS LEBANON (June 18).- Nadine Njeim won the title of “Miss Lebanon 2004” heading to Miss World 2004 and Miss Universe 2005. The runner-ups were Lamita Franjieh and Cynthia Saade. This year, the contest was held in a reality show style in which the 16 candidates lived together in a house and some of them were eliminated by viewers, who could see them 24 hours a day. In the end, only six candidates remained as finalists in the election held at the LBC channel’s TV studio in Beirut.
* MISS NORTHERN IRELAND (Jun.21).- Kirsty Stewart was elected on Monday, June 21st as “Miss Northern Ireland 2004” at the Europa Hotel in the city of Belfast, in an event that brought together 20 candidates. The finalists were Rochelle McNicholl and Mary Gormley.
* MISS IRELAND (July 2).- It was held at the City West Hotel in Saggart with 19 contestants, who sought to become the successor of Rosanna Davison, the reigning Miss World. The winner was Miss Donegal, Natasha Nic Gairbheirth, 21, from Gweedore and runners-up Miss Limerick Post, Caroline Casey, and Miss VIP, Roz Lipsett. Directors Andrea Roche and Mags Humphries obtained a court order to use the ‘Miss Ireland’ title after a battle with a rival organisation.
* MISS GIBRALTAR (July 3).- Helen Gustafson won the crown on Saturday, July 3rd at the Alameda Open Air Theater among 12 candidates. The new Miss Gibraltar thus won the right to represent the territory at Miss World. The finalists were Kelly Villalta (19) and Elaine Martinez (18). Other honorees included Kathryne Estella (Best Interview), Louise Nuñez (Miss Photogenic) and Gabriella Reyes (Miss Friendship).
* MISS ARUBA (July 4).- Held in the Ballroom of the Wyndham Aruba Beach Resort, Spa & Casino with 13 candidates. The winner, in the 40th edition of the contest, was Maya Danielle Frigerio, heading to Miss Universe 2005 and who also won the sash for Best Figure. The finalists were Luisana Nikualy Cicilia, Naomi Schrier, Ayleen Somers, and Isaura Giel. For her part, Nabila Peña was Miss Friendship and Giannina Kelly, Miss Internet. Frigerio was crowned by the outgoing Miss Aruba, Fatima Salie, who would represent Aruba at Miss World 2004. However, on September 15th, the President of Star Promotions, Renny Laclé, officially announced that the 1st. runner-up of Miss Aruba 2004, Luisana Cicilia, would be the representative of Aruba in Miss World. Fatima Salie, Miss Aruba 2003, could not attend because she still had a South African passport, which also prevented her from attending Miss Universe 2004.
* STAR CYPRUS (July 7).- Held at the Pavilion Music Hall in Nicosia, with the participation of 11 girls. The “Star Cyprus 2004” winner was Elena Hadjidemetrioui, heading to Miss Universe 2005. Constantina Evripidou was Miss World’s candidate from Cyprus, while Christina Demetriou obtained the title of Miss Carlsberg to represent the island nation in Miss Europe 2004.
* MISS GUADELOUPE INTERNATIONAL (July 10).- Jennifer Desbouiges won the crown of “Miss Guadeloupe International 2004” to represent her Caribbean island in the Miss World 2004 pageant. Jennifer, 18 years old and 1.76 m tall, is from Baie-Mahault and studies Social and Family Economy.
* MISS WORLD COLOMBIA (July 10).- Paula Andrea Mariño from Bogota, a student of social communication, with the desire to project herself as a model and later as an actress, was elected Miss World Colombia on Saturday, July 10th, in Corferias of Bogota. The Vice-Queen was Carolina Sierra Barrero, from Meta, and the Princess, Vivian Vanessa Gómez, from Cali. In the group of 8 finalists, among the 33 candidates, were the representatives of Antioquia (Catalina Moreno Cruz), Casanare (María Fernanda Rodríguez), San Andrés (Sandra Arango), Cundinamarca (Adriana Kerguelen Jinete) and Caldas (Melisa Grisales Henao). Rounding up the Top 15 were the contestants from Santander (Andrea Carvajal Morales), Medellín (Jenny Johanna Garcia), Vichada (Caroslay Londoño), Barranquilla (Nayibe Charanek Solano), Cartagena (Tina Mena), Huila (Diana Marcela Amaya) and Atlantico (Cristina Gomez Angarita).
* MISS ENGLAND (July 17).- Danielle Lloyd, a 20-year-old model and 1.72 m tall, from Aigburth, won the Miss England 2004 crown among 36 girls on Saturday, July 17th, at the Bournemouth International Center. The finalists were Miss Leicestershire, Kate Solomons and Miss Cornwall, Anna Swan.
* MISS WORLD OF PUERTO RICO (July 23).- Miss Luquillo, Cassandra Castro Holland, 19, was crowned Miss World of Puerto Rico 2004 on Friday, July 23rd. The event was held at the Luis A. Ferré Fine Arts Center in Santurce with 30 candidates. The First Runner-up was Miss Caguas, Nichole Córdova, who also won the Rostro Ebel Paris award, and the Second Runner-up was Miss Rincón, Amanda Díaz, who also won Best Figure and Miss Photogenic. The five finalists were completed by the representatives of Dorado, Marilinda Rivera (also Best Communicator); and Comerío, Janitza Alicea (also Prettiest Legs and special award “Wilnelia Merced Forsyth”). Cassandra Castro also took home the award for Most Beautiful Hair. The remaining semifinalists were: Nyliana Pérez (Santa Isabel), Yarisel Rodríguez (Ponce), Eunice Pike (Arecibo, also Miss Elegance), Sheila Rodríguez (Isabela) and Ana María Sousa (Fajardo). Other winners were Miss Friendship, Christine Rodríguez (Miss Peñuelas); and Miss Model “AQU”, Denise Fernández (Miss Cidra). Cassandra Castro came from being third runner-up in Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2004 representing Fajardo.
* MISS WORLD TURKS & CAICOS (July 30).- Beryl Handfield beat 7 other contestants in the pageant held at Regatta Village on Friday, July 30th.
* MISS NEPAL (Aug.7).- Payal Shakya was crowned “Miss Nepal 2004” at a gala held at the Birendra International Convention Center in Kathmandu, on her way to Miss World. The event brought together 18 girls and took place amid angry protests from women’s rights activists. The finalists were Sarah Gurung and Anita Gurung.
* MISS KENYA (Aug.7).- Juliet Atieno Ochieng, 19, from Nairobi, was crowned Miss Kenya for Miss World on Saturday, August 7th at a hotel in the capital city. The finalists were Mita Sambo and Nelly Gathii.
* MISS UGANDA (Aug.7).- Barbara Kimbugwe, 21, won the title of Miss Uganda at the Speke Resort Munyonyo among 22 contestants. The finalists were Aidat Nabukalu (deaf mute from birth) and Percy Nabiryo. For her part, Amelia Nanyonga won the Miss Friendship award.
* MISS HONG KONG (Aug.13).- It took place on TVB TV City, with Kate Tsui Tsz-Shan (for Miss Chinese Intl. 2005) winning. The finalists were Queenie Chu Wai-man (for Miss World 2004), Fu Sze-sze (for Miss International 2004) and Lu Lu Ng.
* MISS WORLD HUNGARY (Aug.19).- Veronika Orbán became the winner of the national final of the Hungarian beauty pageant for Miss World that took place at the Hajdúszoboszló spa with 20 candidates. The beauty queen is a 20-year-old girl from Zalaegerszeg and she had placed third in this same contest in 2002. The finalists were Enikő Halász and Gőr Lőrincz.
* MISS MALAYSIA WORLD (Aug.21).- Gloria Ting Mei-Ru, 22, from Sarawak, won the crown at the event held at the Grand Hall of the Renaissance Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, August 21st, which brought together 14 young ladies from all over the country. The finalists were Pang Su Yen, 21, from Kuala Lumpur, Parveen Kaur, 21, from Selangor, and Sophie Lim Meow Yin, 19, from Sabah.
* MISS THAILAND WORLD (Aug.21).- It was won by the 23-year-old Muslim Nikallaya Abdul Dulaya at the BEC Tero Hall of the Suan Lum Night Bazaar, Bangkok. The finalists were Pradapduaen Na Lamphun and Alexandra Steburg Satiperk. 50 candidates participated in the event.
* MISS MONGOLIA (Aug.22).- It was held at the Tsuki House in Ulan Bator with 30 candidates. It was won by Sodtuya Chaadrabal, a 21-year-old student of Economic Sciences at the National University of Mongolia, heading to Miss World and Miss International. Her finalist was Alimaa Delgermaa.
* MISS TRINIDAD & TOBAGO (Aug.22).- Held at the Queen’s Hall in St Ann’s, where three queens were crowned: Cheryl Ankrah (to Miss Universe), Kenisha Thom (to Miss World) and Jenna Andre (to Miss Earth). For her part, Shawna Maharaj was selected as Miss Photogenic. 7 “magnificent” participated.
* MISS HONDURAS NATIONAL BEAUTY (Aug.28).- The Miss World franchise for Honduras was awarded in 2004 to Junior Exidio Zelaya of JEZ Productions, thanks to the help of the former Venezuelan Miss World Pilín Leon, however, the pageant national was organized by the designer Eduardo Zablah. The contest was held at the José Simon Ascona Gymnasium in La Ceiba and was won by Kimberley McNab from Bay Islands when the favorite was Miss Department of Cortés, Gabriela Zavala, who came second, headed to Miss Earth. Third place went to Miss Santa Bárbara, Ingrid Saudy López (to Miss International). The finalists were Alejandra Pineda from Comayagua and Kembill Cruz from Atlántida. 18 candidates participated.
* ROMANIA WORLD (Aug.29).- The pageant took place at the Vox Maris Complex in Costinesti. The winner was Adina Cotuna, 21, from Arad, while the runners-up were Roxana Nasta from Oradea, and Adriana Popescu from Constanta. For her part, Diana Dumitrescu was Miss Popularity.
* MISS NORWAY (FROKEN NORGE) (Aug.29).- Helene Tråsavik from Egersund (to Miss Universe) and Hege Tørresdal from Haugesund (to Miss World) were the winners of the pageant held on Sunday, August 29th in Haugesund, in an event televised that had the participation of 12 candidates. The first runner-up was Lene Rasmussen.
* MISS TANZANIA (Sept.3).- It was won by Faraja Kotta in an event held at the Diamond Jubilee in Dar Es Salaam, with the participation of 26 candidates. The finalists were Verediana Kamagushi and Cecilia Assey. Rehema Sulle (also Miss Photogenic) and Sabrina Ambaye completed the Top 5.
* MISS WORLD ITALY (Sept.3).- Valeria Altobelli, 20, from Sora (Frosinone) won the contest held at the Cinecittà Campus, with the participation of 32 contestants. Valeria also won the title of “Miss Talent” and “Miss Personality”. Other winners included Sara Bruni Paolucci (Scholarship category), Emanuela Cioccari (Sport category), Elen Lea Staccone (Miss Cinecittà category) and Alessia Malafronte (ragazza Cioè).
* MISS WORLD SWEDEN (Sept.3).- Eva Helena Hjertonsson from Kalmar was selected to represent Sweden in Miss World. A modeling agency took over the Miss World franchise in late 2003.
* MISS WORLD MALTA (Sept.4).- 20-year-old Antonella Vella, from Mosta, was crowned on Saturday, September 4th at the Great Hall of the Westin Dragonara Resort, giving her the right to represent her nation at Miss World. The finalists were Marilyn Grima, 19, from Mellieha and Christine Tonna, 25, from Pietá. 24 contestants entered the Maltese national contest.
* MISS WORLD PORTUGAL (Sept.4).- The contest gave two winners: Patricia Oliveira, 18, from Cacem, for Miss World and Frederica Santos for Miss Earth.
* MISS WORLD BAHAMAS (Sept.5).- The Miss World Bahamas contest had been set for August 29th, but was postponed to September 5th due to Hurricane Frances that hit the island of Grand Bahama, where the contest was scheduled. That day, a private event was held with five participants. The winner was Brianna Clarke, who was Miss Teen Bahamas 1996 and first runner-up in the Miss Bahamas 1998 pageant. Brianna, from Nassau, was officially crowned in a ceremony held on Tuesday, September 21st at the Ruby Swiss restaurant.
* MISS WALES (Sept.9).- The winner was 21-year-old Amy Guy, from Ruabon in Wrexham, on her way to Miss World. The finalists were Jessica Davey from Tonypandy and Michelle Sheehan from Swansea. The event featured 24 finalists and was held at the Jumpin’ Jaks nightclub in Swansea. The Welshwoman Helen Morgan, who for a few days was Miss World in 1974, was present as a judge.
* MISS WORLD CANADA (Sept.9).- It was held at the York Event Theater in Toronto, Ontario, with 28 girls on Thursday, September 9th and where 18-year-old Tijana Arnautovic from Ottawa was crowned. The finalists were Marie-Andrée Poulin from Montreal, who qualified in the same position the previous year, Victoria Kukushkina from Eastern Ontario, Natalie Mec from Etobicoke and Sherylynn Butt from Labrador.
* MISS SCOTLAND (Sept.10).- It was won by Lois Weatherup out of 11 candidates. In third place was Nicola McLean, who two years later won this same event. It was carried out at the SECC in Glasgow.
* MISS BOLIVIA (Sept.10).- It was held in the halls of Bingo Bahiti in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, on Friday, September 10th. 19 contestants competed for this beauty title. As Miss Bolivia Universe was crowned Miss Santa Cruz, 20-year-old Andrea Abudinen Richter. Miss Bolivia World was Miss Beni, María Nuvia Montenegro, 18 years old, and Miss Bolivia International, Miss Tarija, Vanessa Morón, 20 years old. The first runner-up was Miss Cochabamba, Monserrat Pol.
* MISS POLAND (Sept.11).- Katarzyna Borowicz, 19, from Ostrawa won the crown at the Roma Theater in Warsaw, among 24 candidates, earning her ticket to Miss World. In addition, she won the Miss Public and Miss Max Factor awards. The finalists were Marta Kossawkoska from Bydgoszczy and Justyna Bagińska from Wierzbięcina. Completing the Top 5 were Aleksandra Zowczak and Anna Romaniuk.
* MISS CHINA (Sept.12).- Yang Jin, a 20-year-old model from Chongqing, won the title of “Miss China 2004” in the New Silk Road model contest, in which 46 female and 29 male models competed in Sanya.
* MISS SLOVENIA (Sept.12).- It was held at the Linhart Hall in Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, and the winner was 22-year-old Živa Vadnov, from Preserje. The finalists were Tanja Hauptman, 19, from Destrnik and Sanja Štiberc, also 19, from Podgorci, who was also Miss Photogenic. Miss Internet was Ines Fischer, 21, from Muta.
* MISS SWITZERLAND (Sept.18).- Fiona Hefti, 24, was crowned as “Miss Switzerland 2004” on Saturday, September 18th at Studio 1 of the Schweizer Fernsehens DRS in Zurich, heading to Miss World 2004 and Miss Universe 2005. Also, she was Miss Photogenic. The finalists were Natasha Grippaldi, Michèle Beglinger and Francesca Kuonen. For her part, Jasmina Sarajlic was Miss Friendship. An error in the sum of votes initially gave Kuonen as 2nd runner-up when she had been 3rd. Sixteen contestants competed.
* MISS WORLD AUSTRALIA (Sept.20).- Sarah Davies, 22, from the Brisbane suburb of Sherwood and who was Miss Universe Australia in 2002, won the title of “Miss World Australia 2004” at the Wentworth Sofitel hotel in Sydney. The event was attended by 18 participants. The runner-up was Alethea Lindsay, 20, from Western Australia.
* BEAUTY OF RUSSIA (Krassa Rosii) (Sept.20).- It took place on Monday, September 20th at the Russian State Central Concert Hall in Moscow with 49 competitors. The winner was 19-year-old Tatyana Sidorchuk (Perm), on her way to Miss World in China. The finalists were 22-year-old Tatyana Fomina (Moscow), 21-year-old Elena Polubedova (Yekaterinburg), and 17-year-old Irina Solovyova (St. Petersburg).
* MISS WORLD ETHIOPIA (Sept.22).- It took place in the City Hall of Addis Ababa with 24 participants. The winner was Sayat Demissie, 20 years old. The runner-up was 23-year-old Nitsehet Haimanot.
* MISS VENEZUELA (Sept.23).- Miss Guárico, Mónica Spear, 19, won the Miss Venezuela 2004 contest held at the Poliedro de Caracas on Thursday, September 23rd, heading to Miss Universe 2005. Miss World Venezuela was Miss Trujillo, Andrea Milroy, 20, and Andrea Gomez, 19, Miss Federal District, was elected Miss Venezuela International. The finalists were Miss Miranda, Stephanie Thomas and Miss Amazonas, Bárbara Clara. The semifinalists were the representatives of Carabobo (Desiree Pallotta), Delta Amacuro (Jesika Grau), Lara (Emmarys Pinto), Sucre (Julenne Recao) and Zulia (Anabel Montiel). The event, in which 28 candidates participated, honored Maritza Sayalero, the first Venezuelan Miss Universe.
* MISS GEORGIA (Sept.24).- Salome Chikviladze, 20, won the pageant, in its second edition, to compete in Miss World 2004. The finalists were Mari Bagrationi and Ruziko Bochoidze, while Natia Dolidze won the Miss Internet sash. 15 contestants participated.
* MISS BELARUS (Sept.24).- Olga Antropova, 21, from Polotsk, Vitebsk district, won the crown of “Miss Belarus 2004” at the event held at the Palace of the Republic in Minsk with 24 finalists selected among 91 registered young ladies. The finalists were Olga Gerasimovich and Olga Kuryshko. Miss Photo was Elena Aladka and Miss Charm, Irina Kuchko.
* MISS SAINT LUCIA (Sept.25).- Sascha Andrew-Rose won the event to represent Saint Lucia at Miss World 2004 on Saturday, September 25th at “El Gaiety” in Rodney Bay, among 7 contestants.
* MISS BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA (Sept.26).- The winner was Njegica Balorda, 19, from Zvornik crowned in Sarajevo. The finalists were Sandra Alidžić from Lukavca and Daliborka Bubić from Doboja.
* MISS JAMAICA WORLD (Sept.26).- After two postponements due to a hurricane, Miss Jamaica World was crowned on Sunday night, September 26th at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel with 20 candidates. Miss Body Collections, Tonoya Toyloy, 24, took top honors heading to Miss World 2004 in Sanya, China. The finalists were Carolyn Yapp and Candace Thorbourne. Debbie-Ann McKreith and Jordanne Halsall rounded out the final five. Toyloy also won the “Beauty of the Beach” and “Public Vote” awards, while Thorbourne won the Talent Show.
* NUESTRA BELLEZA EL SALVADOR (Oct.1).- The contest was held in the style of a Reality-Show and marked the return of El Salvador to Miss World after 10 years of absence. The event started with 19 girls but four were eliminated. 15 contestants reached the grand finale in the contest held at the Amphitheater of the International Fair. The winner was Andrea Muschenborn, while the finalists were Rocío Menjívar, Natalia Durán and Sally Ruiz.
* MISS MAURITIUS (Oct.2).- The winner was Magalie Antoo, 22, from Roches-Brunes, while the runners-up were Meenakshi Putty and Joëlle Sénèque. The final of the contest was held at the Hotel Coco Beach and had the participation of 12 candidates. In principle, Mauritius’ representative to Miss World would be Connie Ross, the runner-up from the previous year, but director Primerose Obeegadoo decided that the new queen would go to Miss World 2004 and Miss Universe 2005.
* MISS BARBADOS WORLD (Oct.2).- Kennifer Marius took the title among five contestants. The former Miss Holetown was also awarded Best Talent and Miss Fitness during a four-hour show at the Sherbourne Conference Centre. The finalists were Tiffany Straker, Cathy-Ann Allman, Natasha Morgan and Jillian Reid.
* MISS SINGAPORE WORLD (Oct.3).- It was won by Lisa Huang Shu Jun (also Miss Photogenic) among 17 contestants, at the event held at the M Hotel in Singapore. The finalists were Ferrinn Wong Fon Quin (for Miss Earth 2005), Madeleine Cheong Siew Hong (for Top Model of the World), Celest Foo Choon Lian (for Miss Intercontinental Tourism), Gaiyethri Rahman (for Miss Globe), Rebecca Elizabeth Wong and Adelinadia Nurafni Bte.Bakri.
* MISS WORLD TAIWAN (Oct.3).- Dorothy Chu Yi-Hui from Nantou beat 23 other beauties in the pageant held at the Han Loi hotel in Kaohsiung. The finalists were Weng Hui-jun and Zhan Chun-chun. Since China does not recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty, the country would be represented as Chinese Taipei.
* MISS SERBIA & MONTENEGRO (Oct.4).- The pageant was held at the Sava Center in Belgrade. The winner was 17-year-old Jelena Pejic. 18-year-old Jelena Mandic was chosen as Miss Serbia & Montenegro Universe and Sandra Obradovic was chosen as Miss Serbia & Montenegro Europe. The finalists were Jovana Marjanovic and Dina Dzankovic. 31 contestants participated.
* MISS WORLD URUGUAY (Oct.5).- The former Uruguayan Mr. World Ignacio Kliche desisted from continuing with the Miss World franchise and it passed into the hands of Mr. Alberto Nóbel. The contest was held at the Radisson Victoria Plaza Hotel in Montevideo, and the winner was Jimena Rivas, 18 years old. The finalists were Eliana Dide and Daina Alpuin selected from the group of 12 contestants.
* MISS SRI LANKA WORLD (Oct.9).- Colombo’s Studio 9 agency selected Anarkalli Akarsha, an actress of 17 years and 1.65 m., as the new “Miss Sri Lanka World 2004” on Saturday, October 9th.
* MISS ZIMBABWE (Oct.9).- Oslie Muringai (20) from Bulawayo was crowned among 15 girls at the Large City Hall in Harare. The finalists were Edwick Manjopa (20) and Fungisai Mugwagwa (21).
* MISS & MR. CROATIA WORLD (Oct.10).- Ivana Znidaric, 18 years old, from Cakovec, won the contest held with eight girls during daytime hours at the Panorama Hotel in Zagreb. Iva Šikic, Ivana Mamilovic, Ines Gracin, Dajana Mikic, Marija Zoretic, Marija Plejic and Ivana Radic also participated. For his part, the model Bojan Polanec was chosen as “Mister Croatia 2004”. There were no prizes and since the contest was held without prior notice, the new queen could not be crowned by her predecessor.
* MISS NEDERLAND (Oct.10).- Held as a Reality Show in Studio 21 at the Mediapark Hilversum. It was won by Miranda Slabber of Zeeland. The finalists were Anna Marie Hendriks and Sharita Sopucua.
* DOMINICAN MISS WORLD (Oct.10).- Claudia Cruz, 18, was crowned at the Hotel Jaragua in Santo Domingo on Sunday, October 10th, in a reality show-style event, broadcast by Color Vision and in which the public had voice and vote in the election of the new queen. The finalists were Wilma Abreu (also Miss Talent and Miss Photogenic) and Genevet Gutiérrez.
* MISS KAZAKHSTAN (Oct.12).- The Miss Kazakhstan 2004 contest was held on Tuesday, October 12th at the Almaty State Theater. The winner was Aleksandra Kazakova, a student at the University of East Kazakhstan. The finalists were Daina Abdraimova, Anara Pazylova and Aynura Aytasova.
* MISS US WORLD (Oct.16).- Nancy Randall, 24, of Brazilian origin but living in Chicago, won the title of “Miss US World 2004” on Saturday, October 16th in Dallas, Texas. Nancy, who was Miss Tourism Brazil 2003, first runner-up in Miss Tourism World 2003 and Miss City of Rio de Janeiro 2004, won the contest by being selected from among 22 other contestants. The finalists were Kristen Berset, Anna Hanks, Lisette Diaz and Danielle Bounds.
* MISS MACEDONIA (Oct.17).- Sara Leshi, 17, from Skopje, was elected “Miss Macedonia World 2004” in a contest held in the capital of that former Yugoslavian country. The finalists were Ana Trajcheva (also Miss Charm), Yemilija Pendeva, Jana Stojanovska, Yenyi Stojanovska, Marina Simonovska, Milena Petreska, and Daniyela Stojanovska.
* MISS WORLD CHILE (Oct.21).- Verónica Paz Roberts Olcay, a 21-year-old Kineseology student, was the winner of the Miss World Chile 2004 crown in an event held at the Main Studio of the Megavisión Channel in Santiago among 10 candidates. The finalists were Malena Vásquez and Cecilia Huerta. Subsequently, Malena Vásquez and Christiane Nielsen, both candidates for Miss World Chile, denounced on Channel 13´s program “Viva La Mañana” that a series of irregularities were committed in the contest that had not been clarified. Among them would be, according to the story of those affected, the non-existence of the rules of the contest as well as the lack of knowledge of the prizes. This was not the only controversy that arose from the contest broadcast by Mega’s “Siempre Contigo” program on Thursday, October 21st. Former beauty queen Daniella Campos opposed announcing Veronica Roberts as the winner, a situation that would have led the channel’s production to remove Campos from TV program.
* ARGENTINE BEAUTY (Oct.23).- The Argentine representative to the “Miss World 2004” pageant was chosen by a new organization called “Beauty Argentina”. The winner was Verónica Estarriaga, a kinesiology student from the Federal Capital, 24 years old and 1.70 m tall.
* MISS VIETNAM (Oct. 30).- It was held on Tuan Chau Island and was won by Huyen Thi Nguyen, 19, from Hanoi. The finalists were Trinh Chan Tran and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Bich. Of the 3 thousand girls who registered in the competition, the group was reduced to 41 and later to 21 finalists.
* MISS DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (Oct.31).- Held in the Congo Room of the Grand Hotel Kinshasa, where Miss Nelly Dembo Osongo, 21, was crowned in an event that was supported by the President of the Republic, General Joseph Kabila and the Ministry of Tourism, with the slogan “Reconciliation for National Reunification”. The finalists were Violette Nyakapo Isingo, 18, and Patricia Mbaluku, 20. Other winners were Hardie Ngomb as Miss Elegance; Sandra Mianda Kasonga as Miss Charm; Brielle Pambu Mbuyi (Miss Safari) and Jeannette Nakasunyu (Miss Courtesy). Twenty candidates from 11 Provinces of this country, previously called Zaire, participated in the contest.
– ANTIGUA (early November).- Shermain Sunja Jeremy, 23, was appointed to represent Antigua & Barbuda at Miss World 2004.
– ARMENIA.- The national organization decided that “Miss Armenia 2003” should go to Miss World 2004, Lusine Tomavsian, who could not compete in Miss World the previous year.
– CURAÇAO (early November).- Sue-Ann Stephanie Hudson, a model and owner of her own business, 20 years old and 1.70 m tall, was appointed to represent Curaçao in the Miss World 2004 pageant.
– DENMARK (early November).- The Danish appointed Line Solling Larsen for Miss World 2004.
– FIJI.-The winner of “L’Oreal Miss Suva City 2001”, Aishwarya Sukhdeo, who represented her country in Miss Asia Pacific 2002, was going to participate in Miss World 2003 but could not due to health reasons. However, she was appointed for Fiji to debut at Miss World 2004 in China.
– LATVIA.- The Latvian organization decided that “Miss Latvia 2003” Agnese Eiduka, who could not participate in Miss World 2003 due to her university studies (see article Miss World 2003), would be the country’s representative in Miss World 2004.
– NEW ZEALAND (Oct. 12).- When the Miss World New Zealand pageant relinquished the rights to send a delegate to Miss World in 2003, the winner, Amber Peebles, was sent to the Miss International pageant in Japan. The Miss World organization then handed over the license to former Miss New Zealand Universe 1997, Marina McCartney, who asked Amber to represent New Zealand at Miss World 2004 in China.
– ZAMBIA.- The contest was scheduled for September 4th and later, on the 22nd of the same month, it was announced that it had been cancelled. The organizers then decided to appoint Miss Zambia UK 2004, Rosemary Chileshe, as the representative for Miss World.
– SWAZILAND.-The contest was to take place on September 24th but was abruptly canceled three days earlier. The directors announced that the event was postponed until July 2005 and did not designate any representative of the country to Miss World.
PRIOR EVENTS TO MISS WORLD.-
On Wednesday, April 28th, the Miss World Organization confirmed that the 2004 pageant would be held again in Sanya, Hainan Island, China, ruling out Queensland, Australia, which had been sounding since November 2003 as a possible venue. Sanya had first won the Miss World title in 2003 after the government fought an aggressive marketing campaign to bring the pageant to the tropical island to promote it as a tourist resort. That year, 162 nations and territories watched the event on television with an audience of more than 2 billion people.
Days later, on May 7, Julia Morley went to High Court to fight an attempted £500,000 lawsuit in a charity dinner dispute. Nigerian art dealer and promoter Angela Onyeador claimed that she was owed the money after she agreed to pay £200,000 for the 2002 dinner at the Grosvenor House hotel in return for 60% of the profits. She said that she had received less than £27,000. For her part, Julia Morley denied the claims, claiming that Ms Onyeador was acting from a “corrupt motive” when she signed deals to support the dinner. The case related to the most problematic year in the history of the contest, when the 2002 event was hastily moved from Nigeria to London after hundreds of people were killed in riots sparked by comments about the contest in a Nigerian newspaper. Immediately after the dinner, Ms. Onyeador obtained a freezing order for the assets of the company behind the contest. Her claim centered on an agreement she made with Allianz Nigeria Ltd for the organization of the dinner. However, Ms. Morley claimed that the agreement included proposals that the profits from the dinner had been “artificially and deceptively” reduced. The Miss World organization had signed an agreement with Allianz Nigeria Ltd to host the dinner, but the contract stated that “ultimate control of the events rested with Miss World”. Morley accused Mrs Onyeador of trying to divert the money from the charity it was intended for.
Shortly after, on June 30, it was publicly announced that The Miss World Organization had been released from the aforementioned lawsuit. Judge Robert Reid ruled in Morley’s favor, saying Allianz Nigeria Ltd, the company Onyeador made the deal with, was not an agent for Miss World. The company was run by Fidelis Anosike, “someone who could reasonably be described as a complete con artist,” the judge said. Reid added that Onyeador, who said she wanted the money for a Nigerian charity she ran, was a witness “prone to inaccuracy” and ordered her to pay Miss World’s legal costs of around £455,000. “We have always said that this had nothing to do with Miss World. We are pleased that our position has been vindicated by the judge”, said a spokesman for the lawyers who represented Miss World, in charge of Julia Morley. Morley le dijo a la corte que Onyeador había descrito a Anosike como uno de los hombres que se juntaban con el entonces presidente del Senado de Nigeria, Chuba Okadigbe, “en busca de una oportunidad para ganar dinero”.
On the other hand, the winner of the Miss World 2003 scholarship, the Albanian Denisa Kola, was received at the International University of Lisbon (Portugal) on July 19th, 2004 to use her award, valid for four years, and thus continue her university studies. “This is a wonderful day for me, I am very happy,” said Ms. Kola after completing her enrollment process at the University. “I would like to thank the Miss World Organization for making this dream come true for me, as well as the Miss Portugal World and Miss Albania Organizations for helping me get this far. It has always been my dream to achieve this, and I am delighted that the Organization Miss World has worked so hard to make this dream a reality for me,” added the lucky Miss Albania.
On August 20th, Julia Morley, in an official statement, provided details of what was going to be the 54th edition of Miss World, “a celebration of the culture of beauty, peace and understanding, in a context of achievement and excellence”. Miss World 2004 would bring together contestants from 120 countries, which would bring the contest closer to the Olympics in terms of the number of countries represented. The 120 contestants would bring gifts that would be auctioned off at a spectacular gala dinner to raise funds for charities in China. In addition, each representative would bring an illustrative book of her country. These books from around the world would make up the ‘Miss World library’, which would be donated to a school in China. Past year, The China Charity Federation had been a major beneficiary of the many activities supported by Miss World and this year they would continue that partnership along with the charity that Miss World had supported for over 40 years, the Variety Club. Morley also announced that the “Fast-Tracks” for 2004 would be: Sports and Fitness, Top Model, Beach Beauty, Talent, and Scholarship Award. “We have embraced the internet and through our partnership with TWIi, the company that produces the successful Manchester United website, we have introduced state-of-the-art technology as part of a global voting system that can be taken by anyone with an internet connection. All contestant photos and information will appear on this site. As Miss World becomes interactive, fans will have the opportunity to decide who will be the next Miss World. Exciting things are also planned for the dedicated website operated by Sina, China’s leading portal,” Morley added in her statement.
And indeed, on October 19th, the details of how this global vote would work were published.In 2004, for the first time, the public would choose the new Miss World through telephone votes, by text messages or through the Internet. Viewers of the “Miss World – U Decide” special, which was set to air worldwide on November 26th, would have 8 days to cast their votes. To ensure fairness, a mathematical formula was devised so that all countries would have equal opportunities, even if the preliminary program was not broadcast in them. For those countries where the “Miss World – U Decide” signal was not received, voters could cast their votes through the pageant’s official page. The votes of each country would be counted nationally and the highest number of votes would automatically award 10 points to the contestant who obtained the first place; 9 points for the second, 8 points for the third and so on until the tenth, which would get 1 point. The same formula would be used in all countries, regardless of the size of the country, its population or the number of votes, the points would thus have the same value.
On the other hand, several European girls of Miss World 2004 met on September 30th in London to celebrate the launch of what would be the world’s largest lottery, which would include 9 European countries with a population of 200 million people. The opening event was attended by the misses from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, France, Spain and Switzerland. Miss England, Danielle Lloyd was asked what she would do if she won the lottery: “I would buy a house in the country for my family, and a nice house for myself, after that I would buy a red Ferrari”. Miss Northern Ireland, Kirsty Stewart replied: “If I won the lottery I would take care of everyone close to me and then I would take care of myself – nice cars, nice house and long holidays”.
Of the 120 candidates originally pre-registered, eight gave up attending Miss World in early November for financial reasons. They were the candidates of the AMERICAN VIRGIN ISLANDS (Charlene Kilpatrick), ALGERIA (Karmen Hamdaoui), ARMENIA (Lusine Tovmasyan), GUATEMALA (Damaris Stefanie García Guerrero), MALAWI (Florence Zeka), MONGOLIA (Sodtuya Chaadrabal), and TUNISIA (Rym Laalai), in addition to the representative of LESOTHO, whose identity is unknown, although her election was held on August 28th. “Although some candidates have withdrawn, 112 beauties from all over the world are still competing, a record in the history of Miss World” said the President of the pageant, Julia Morley. All the candidates were expected to arrive on Monday, November 8th, in Sanya, Hainan Island, the venue, for the second consecutive year, of the popular world beauty pageant.
DEPARTING TO CHINA.-
The 112 expected candidates had to arrive at the Phoenix airport in Sanya, Hainan Island (China) between Saturday, November 6th and Monday, November 8th, so the girls from Latin America began traveling on Thursday, November 4th from their respective countries. And precisely that Thursday, at 11:35 at night, the Venezuelan representative Andrea Milroy left for Miss World; she brought 6 suitcases to the pageant and traveled full of many expectations and with the sole idea of leaving Venezuela very high. Andrea traveled by British Airways via London and, on Friday the 5th, at 7 pm, she took the flight that would take her, first to Hong Kong, and from there to Sanya, where she arrived on Sunday morning.
“On Thursday I said goodbye to my town, La Libertad, where they wished me all the best in the Miss World contest whose final will be held in China. There were many people who applauded me and encouraged me. I felt very special. It is something I will never forget”, said Miss Peru, María Julia Mantilla, who left for the Asian country on Saturday, November 6th, to try the crown on December 4th. “In the north, I carried out several activities, among them crowning the new Miss La Libertad, a contest where I took the opportunity to dance a marinera in a beautiful dress”, she added. “On Friday, I arrived in Lima and finalized details to travel first to Los Angeles, where I will be a few hours and then finally arrive in China. The trip makes me happy but at the same time nervous because there are many people who look forward to my presentation at the Miss World 2004. There are more than a hundred candidates behind the crown”, explained the former model of the “Habacilar” program. Regarding her stay in China, she pointed out that “in this type of contest, Latinas are well regarded and in recent years we Peruvians have left good impression as in the case of Marina Mora and Claudia Hernández, who raised the name of Peru”. The slender model also spoke out against those who claimed that the participants in beauty contests had few neurons. “I do not consider myself a ‘little pumpkin’ because I am a woman who has prepared myself too much. I thank my parents because they always sacrificed to give me a good education. I can feel proud of having a good education. I am a woman prepared for today’s world. Participating in Miss World does not put me at a disadvantage compared to other women”. She said that she received advice from former Mrs. World, Lucía Boggiano. “In Chiclayo I had the opportunity to meet her. We have coincided in several parades. I have received advice from her, how to persevere and never take a step back. I take them very humbly,” she concluded. When the people of Reinas del Perú took her to the airport, she said: “I’m coming back with the crown!!”.
MISSES FACE PROBLEMS.-
Nor everything was rosy. The Peruvian portal TERRA accused Miss Venezuela of being a reconstructed woman and, according to them, Andrea Milroy was about to be disqualified from the Miss World 2004 contest after it was reported that the candidate was very “plastic and unnatural”. These statements were supposedly made by Hany Ferman, Image Director of Miss World, who stated that the prototype of a Miss World was that of a natural and fresh woman and that highly operated girls did not fall within the canons of the contest. The Peruvian portal speculated that Andrea Milroy, the Venezuelan sovereign, had undergone more than fifteen operations in order to her participation in China. Vistazo magazine published photos of Miss Venezuela indicating that she had a new nose, cheekbones, raised eyebrows, double chin removal, chin, bust, calf implant, lip collagen, ear cropping, buttock implant and liposuction on legs and arms. On the problem of the Venezuelan, Miss Peru, María Julia Mantilla said: “Today it is normal to have a retouch, but some already abuse it. In my case I only have a slight nose surgery”.
In the case of Miss Ireland, Natasha Ni Gairbheirth, the poor little thing had to pay 4 thousand sterling pounds at Dublin airport for excess baggage! On the other hand, a woman of Dominican origin accused Luisana Cicilia, Miss World Aruba, of having attacked her and caused injuries in a fight on the eve of Halloween, which could cause the Aruban police to prevent the beauty queen from leaving the island during the course of investigations. Cicilia finally managed to travel to China without problems. Miss Egypt, Heba Ahmad El-Sisy, had her trip scheduled for Sunday, November 7th. But, unfortunately, hours before her departure, her mother fell into a coma and had to be taken to a clinic in an emergency and, for this reason, the Egyptian beauty queen could not take her flight to China. “I hope that the Miss World organization understands my situation and allows me to reach the pageant days later,” Heba said. “I really want to go to Miss World and get a good place to bring this win to my mother,” added Heba. Miss Egypt left for China on Wednesday, November 10th after her late arrival was accepted by the Miss World organization.
Vietnamese newspapers published on Monday, November 8th, the disappointment of Huyen Thi Nguyen, Miss Vietnam 2004, at not having been able to travel to Miss World in China due to financial problems of the organization, which apparently did not have enough funds or, at least, enough time, to cancel the registration rights of your candidate in the world contest. However, the young woman did not lose hope of being able to travel to China at the last minute. On the other hand, despite rumors that Tracy Lynn del Rosario from the Northern Mariana Islands would not make it to the contest, the islands government announced that funds had been approved to support her participation, however, that did not happened.
THE MISSES ARRIVE.-
The first candidate to arrive at the Sheraton Sanya hotel, where the contestants would stay, was Miss Canada, who arrived on the night of Saturday, November 6th. 18 more girls arrived on the morning of Sunday the 7th. Most of the delegates had already registered at the Sheraton hotel on Monday morning, for a total of 72. And by that night, 91 misses had already arrived in Sanya. Thirteen more candidates arrived on Tuesday. Pageant officials were in charge of receiving the girls and their numerous luggage (over 300 bags was the official count at Sanya’s Phoenix Airport). Some had to pay high sums of money in excess baggage, but others were lucky that their airlines waived that charge. The girl who traveled with the most luggage was Miss Australia, with 12 pieces, while the one with the least luggage was Miss Korea, with only two. Miss Austria was the only delegate who lost her suitcases. She had a nervous breakdown and had to be treated, but then calmed down when she received the news that her luggage would arrive on a later flight. The contest had not started and the Chinese press had already adopted ‘favorites’: photos of Ellen Petri from Belgium appeared in several newspapers on Monday, as well as Agnesa Vuthaj from Albania. Both beauties had impressed the media with the sheer beauty of theirs.
For her part, Miss Ecuador, Cristina Reyes, arrived in Sanya along with Miss Bolivia early on Sunday but Reyes arrived with the flu, being treated by the Sheraton hotel doctor upon arrival. Both she and Miss Bolivia were invited to a local TV program, in which Miss Ecuador helped the Bolivian, who did not speak English, with the translation. Miss Ecuador shared room 13-32 with Cassandra Castro, Miss Puerto Rico, who arrived on Monday after traveling for two days.
On Tuesday, November 9th, somes participants paraded through the streets of Sanya in yellow and red vehicles, and others in floats, although the official start of the contest was postponed to Thursday, November 11th. Wearing flower crowns, the delegates had their first contact with the people of Sanya, who were very eager to see them. Nearly half a million people cheered the contestants as they paraded through the city streets. The celebrations continued into the evening when the local community was treated to a music and dance party, celebrating the closing of the Hainan Festival, culminating in an incredible fireworks display that lit up the night sky. Julia Morley commented: “The welcome given to Miss World in China has been one of great celebration and happiness. The girls competing in the Miss World 2004 final are overwhelmed by the reaction they have received and have been given a real boost in a moment of competition. It is an honor for the people of Sanya, and indeed China, that so many people have taken the time to take to the streets and celebrate in honor of Miss World. We are delighted to be back in China for the second year in a row and look forward to a great stay that will culminate in a fantastic final on December 4th”. After the parade, the misses were invited to visit the ‘Crown of Beauty’ Theatre, built the past year and venue for the finals of the contest. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, this year the contestants would not tour mainland China like in 2003. They were scheduled to visit Beijing for three days for a charity event, but the trip had to be canceled at the last minute.
On Wednesday, November 10, Miss Aruba, Luisana Cicilia, celebrated her 21st birthday in style, being feted by the other 105 misses in addition to the reigning Miss World, the Irish Rosanna Davison, and the ex-Miss World 1975, Wilnelia Merced from Puerto Rico. The impromptu celebrations were held with an exquisite lunch to warmly welcome the girls to the Sheraton Sanya Resort Hotel, the official home of Miss World. Luisana said: “It was very special to see so many people from all over the world singing happy birthday to me in so many languages. I had all the nations of the world wishing me happy birthday, that’s amazing! It was the best gift from God that anyone could wish for and I will never forget this wonderful experience for the rest of my life”. The celebrations were especially moving for Miss Aruba, as she was away from home for the first time on her birthday. At lunch, the General Manager of the hotel, Claudio Nardini, thanked the Miss World organization for returning to China for the second consecutive year. “We are honored to welcome her back to the Sheraton Sanya Resort, her home away from home”, he said. Julia Morley responded: “The Sheraton Sanya Resort makes us feel at home, it is our second home and we are very proud to stay here once again for the 54th edition of Miss World. The hotel team is like our family, they are very important when you spend more than a month in a strange place”. That day the girls began to film segments for the program “U Decide” and for the program of the final night and the recordings would be extended until Sunday the 14th.
On Thursday, November 11th, one of the last candidates arrived, Miss Egypt. The girls were divided into groups, and those who did not have to film the “U Decide” special were able to attend field trips to Deerpark and Valley of the Butterflies that day. Deerpark’s beautiful location in Sanya was the setting for the first of several Hainan Island tours. The Deerpark has a background of typical Hainan things. Tourists at the deer park hugged the contestants as they walked to the top of the park, where they had the opportunity to stop for photos and sign autographs. This was quite overwhelming for most of the contestants. Miss Jamaica commented that “the best part of China is the people, they are very friendly, welcoming and natural”. Miss Portugal stopped to take a photo with a baby, saying: “The island is simple and very natural and it makes me feel very good.” Many of the contestants stopped to shop for some of the traditional Hainan jewelry, which was on display at some of the Deerpark stalls, especially Miss Nepal, who found the stalls to be quite different: “The shops are different and very traditional, we saw things like typical hats and wind chimes…”. The girls admired the scenery, as the park has the best overview of Sanya. The tour continued towards the colorful valley of the butterflies. The contestants had the opportunity to see the museum, before walking through the valley, which is home to many different species of butterflies. Miss South Africa was quite surprised with all the butterflies, “I loved the butterflies, because there were so many, and in my country we have butterflies, but not that big.” The contestants then continued to a rest point where they took time to drink milk from freshly cut coconuts and cool off. For one of the girls this was a bit symbolic as Miss Jamaica mentioned that the butterfly was the symbol of the Miss Jamaica World pageant.
On Friday, November 12th, a group of 80 contestants made another tour and went to the beach. Sun, sea and relaxation under the shade of palm trees was the perfect welcome for the girls as they enjoyed a rare moment of free time on the beach in Sanya. The girls ate lunch under palm trees and umbrellas on the white-sand beach before giving in to temptation and playing on the seashore, much to the delight of the Chinese press. “This is amazing, the sea is so beautiful and the sand feels wonderful between my toes. I can’t get over the fact that I’m here”, commented Miss FYRO Macedonia, taking her first steps into the sparkling clear blue waters of the South China Sea. “In my country we don’t have a sea. We have a beautiful big lake, but it’s not the same! I’m so happy.” Miss FYRO Macedonia was joined by her friend Miss Bulgaria and many other girls as they headed straight into the waves, jumping for joy as the refreshing waters washed over them. Earlier, the group had faced a barrage of photographers and excited people while making an unannounced visit to the Yalong Bay Seashell Museum. Crowds rushed to take pictures with the girls. Miss Russia took the opportunity to buy gifts for her friends at home. The presence of the girls in the store caused such a reaction that the checkout line lasted for more than an hour. “I can’t believe the reaction we’re getting in China,” said Miss England, Danielle Lloyd. “Wherever we go, the crowds go crazy and treat us like celebrities. I’ve taken pictures with a lot of people!”.
Some contestants began to sound strongly in the printed media. Among those mentioned were the candidates from Egypt, Peru and Belgium. And the betting had also begun. Miss India, Sayali Bhagat, began to emerge as the favorite of the Miss World pageant, at least in the bets on the Intertops site. The girl from India was 7/1 in the betting, followed by representatives from Brazil, Albania and the Dominican Republic at 9/1. At the bottom of the list were the representatives of Turks & Caicos with 100/1 and Kenya with 150/1.
On Saturday, the 13th, photo shoots were done and also the audition for the talent competition, which was optional. 85 of the 107 participants who had arrived in Sanya auditioned for talent, including Venezuelan Andrea Milroy who presented a flamenco dancing, the Honduran Kimberley McNab who danced to the rhythm of “Punta” and the Ecuadorian Cristina Reyes who, accompanied of her guitar, she sang the theme “I was born in this country”. The Honduran suffered a mishap as the CD with the music did not work and she had to dance without a track. The 20 best in talent would go to the final of that competition on November 19th, from which a winner would go directly to the semifinalist line. That same Saturday, the Welcome Dinner was held on the beach of the Sanya Sheraton Hotel, which was called “The Beach Party of Miss World”. Fire and grass skirts were not usually the ideal companions to start a party, but they were the fundamental ingredients of its success. A traditional highlight in the Miss World calendar, the beach welcome party kicked off just as the sun dipped below the horizon and fireworks went off at the end of a particularly hot day in Sanya. Among the guests of honor at the party was Mayor Zhang, who enjoyed the evening with Julia Morley. Dancers began the evening with a performance of traditional Hawaiian dance and fire shows, quickly followed by the arrival of the Sheraton Sanya Resort’s resident band of South American musicians, Los Rios Latinos. As sizzling Latin rhythms took over the night air, the girls kicked off their heels to dance barefoot on the sand. The first to arrive on the improvised dance floor were the girls from Paraguay, Venezuela and Mexico. But it wasn’t long before Miss Netherlands and Miss Wales brought the rest of the girls to the front of the stage for a night of dancing. In a moment of spontaneous enthusiasm, Miss Italy drew a standing ovation from the guests as she jumped onto the stage, grabbed the maracas and played along with the band. Miss Paraguay commented: “This is amazing. The atmosphere on the beach tonight is electric. The Latin music has brought everyone to their feet, it’s like being back home!” Miss England forgot the weariness of the all-day photo shoot to hold hands with her partner from Sweden and show off her own samba moves as the band burst into a La Bamba theme and a conga snaked between the tables.
It had been said that, for budgetary reasons, Miss Vietnam would not participate, but would be sent to the 2005 pageant, but at the last minute, the directors decided to send her to this year’s edition. In the early hours of Sunday, November 14th, Miss Vietnam, the last contestant, arrived in Sanya, thus closing the group of 108 entrants. For her part, Miss URUGUAY (María Jimena Rivas Fernández), could not arrive, according to visa problems, and Miss DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (Nelly Dembo Osongo), recently elected on October 31st, did not have time to process her visa, so her participation in Miss World was postponed to 2005. Miss NORTHERN MARIANAS (Tracy Lynn del Rosario) and Miss MOZAMBIQUE (identity unknown) were the other two girls who did not arrive because their directors could not pay the costs of their queens’ participation on time. Although the government of the Northern Marianas had secured the funds, these were not made effective at the time, so her participation in Miss World was canceled.
The following is the list of roommates at Miss World 2004
|Jamaica – Barbados||Czech Republic – Northern Ireland||Australia – Romania|
|Brazil – Angola||Trinidad & Tobago – Turks & Caicos||Curacao – Aruba|
|Chile – Colombia||Slovakia – Bosnia & Herzegovina||Zambia – Zimbabwe|
|Russia – Ukraine||Guyana – Dominican Republic||Latvia – Slovenia|
|Singapore – China||Hungary – Serbia & Montenegro||Mexico – Nicaragua|
|Iceland – Finland||Saint Lucia – Cayman Islands||Georgia – Belarus|
|Ireland – Canada||Netherlands – Scotland||Argentina – Bolivia|
|Belgium – France||Puerto Rico – Ecuador||Guadeloupe – Nepal|
|Uganda – Tanzania||Wales – New Zealand||Albania – Croatia|
|Nigeria – Kenya||Macedonia – Bulgaria||Turkey – Sri Lanka|
|Estonia – Israel||Panama – Costa Rica||Vietnam – India|
|Japan – Fiji||Malaysia – Chinese Taipei||Paraguay – Portugal|
|Poland – Lithuania||Antigua & Barbuda – Bahamas||Greece – Cyprus|
|Spain – Peru||El Salvador – Honduras||USA – Gibraltar|
|Switzerland – South Africa||Moldova – Kazakhstan||Italy – Malta|
|Egypt – Lebanon||Denmark – Norway||Thailand – Philippines|
|Ghana – Botswana||Hong Kong – Korea||Ethiopia – Namibia|
|England – Sweden||Venezuela – (Uruguay)*||Germany – Austria|
|Mauritius – (Northern Marianas)*|
* Miss Venezuela and Miss Mauritius were alone at first because their roommates did not arrive. However, days later, the Venezuelan and the Mauritian were roommates.
ASSIGNED NUMBERS FOR TEXT MESSAGING VOTES:
The Miss World 2004 candidates were divided into seven groups of 14 contestants and an eighth group of twelve girls. Each one was assigned a number with which the public could send their votes through text messaging. In the following table, the numbers assigned to the contestants:
|101: Ecuador||102: Puerto Rico||103: Cayman Islands||104: Saint Lucia|
|105: Netherlands||106: Scotland||107: Egypt||108: Lebanon|
|109: Sri Lanka||110: Turkey||111: Belgium||112: France|
|113: Dominican Republic||114: Guyana||201: Russia||202: Ukraine|
|203: Kazakhstan||204: Moldova||205: Georgia||206: Belarus|
|207: Chile||208: Colombia||209: Czech Republic||210: Northern Ireland|
|211: Tanzania||212: Uganda||213: Bulgaria||214: FYRO Macedonia|
|301: New Zealand||302: Wales||303: Italy||304: Malta|
|305: Ghana||306: Botswana||307: Japan||308: Fiji|
|309: Philippines||310: Thailand||311: England||312: Sweden|
|313: Hong Kong||314: Korea||401: Latvia||402: Slovenia|
|403: Hungary||404: Serbia & Montenegro||405: Trinidad-Tobago||406: Turks and Caicos|
|407: Costa Rica||408: Panama||409: Antigua-Barbuda||410: Bahamas|
|411: Zambia||412: Zimbabwe||413: Ethiopia||414: Namibia|
|501: Poland||502: Lithuania||503: Bosnia & Herzegovina||504: Slovakia|
|505: Austria||506: Germany||507: Cyprus||508: Greece|
|509: Canada||510: Ireland||511: Kenya||512: Nigeria|
|513: El Salvador||514: Honduras||601: Romania||602: Australia|
|603: Finland||604: Iceland||605: India||606: Vietnam|
|607: Mexico||608: Nicaragua||609: Uruguay||610: Venezuela|
|611: Aruba||612: Curacao||613: Albania||614: Croatia|
|701: Angola||702: Brazil||703: Paraguay||704: Portugal|
|705: Barbados||706: Jamaica||707: Gibraltar||708: United States|
|709: Estonia||710: Israel||711: Switzerland||712: South Africa|
|713: Guadeloupe||714: Nepal||801: Argentina||802: Bolivia|
|803: Spain||804: Peru||805: Denmark||806: Norway|
|807: Singapore||808: Peop.Rep.of China||809: Chinese Taipei||810: Malaysia|
|811: Mauritius||812: Northern Marianas||813: Mozambique||814: Dem.Rep. of Congo|
* TRAVEL DATA: The candidate with the shortest travel time to reach Sanya was Miss Hong Kong, while the one with the most travel time was Miss Turks & Caicos, who spent 4 days flying to reach Sanya.
* 360 KILOS OF WATERMELON PER DAY: The candidates consumed an average of 360 kilos of watermelon per day, in addition to another load of kilos of melon, pineapple and banana…
* IT IS NO LONGER HOLLAND: For the first time in the history of Miss World, the sash of Holland was not used, but instead the official and real name of the land of the Dutch was chosen: the Netherlands.
* POSTPONED VOTES: Voting for Miss World via the internet was scheduled to begin on November 10th, but was initially postponed to Sunday the 14th to allow all the girls to reach the contest and to start all with equal opportunities. However, it was on Tuesday the 16th when the official page of Miss World officially opened the voting.
* DESIGNER FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE TIME: The candidates for Miss World 2004 wore swimsuits from the “Miss World by Wilnelia” brand, designed by Puerto Rican Miss World Wilnelia Merced. “I have been attentive to fashion trends in Europe to design these pieces that will make them look sophisticated and feminine. For the presentation of the candidates they will be wearing bikinis in solid and bright colors combined with sarongs with silver sequin appliqués and the logo in metal on the bottom of the swimsuit. Then, the 20 finalists will wear turquoise one-piece swimsuits with the logo in Swarovski crystal,” Wilnelia said.
* STRONG COMPETITION: The Venezuelan Andrea Milroy acknowledged that she saw around forty girls as strong competition. “There are very beautiful girls,” she commented. Milroy said that the reception had been excellent, “they have treated us with great affection. Even the Miss World organization itself has been very receptive to all the candidates.” The crown worries her, obviously, but above all because of the projection that it could mean for her. Following the maxim of the Miss World pageant, “Beauty with purpose”, Andrea Milroy intended to develop a work in favor of special children. “It is no secret to anyone that I have a brother with cerebral palsy, and I believe that this distinction will help project this work.”
* SURGERIES: Miss World of Puerto Rico, Casandra Castro Holland, went through several aesthetic processes to participate in Miss World. The beauty underwent liposculpture, restylane treatment – which consists of injections to reduce expression lines in the mouth area – and laser hair removal on her legs, armpits and bikini line. Despite the fact that she weighed 115 pounds, the queen decided to undergo liposculpture to reduce fat in the area of the abdomen and lower back. “I had a little belly,” explained Miss Puerto Rico, who had a quick two-day recovery.
* AMERICAN OR BRAZILIAN?: Nancy Randall, Miss United States, is Brazilian from the state of Rio de Janeiro. In fact, she was the first runner-up in the “Miss Rio de Janeiro 2004” contest representing the city of Rio (a local contest she had won) and later represented Brazil at Miss Tourism World 2003, held at the end of 2003 in Venezuelan city of Valencia, achieving the position of first runner-up. After this, Nancy, with an American father and a Brazilian mother, went to study in the American city of Chicago and decided to try her luck at Miss US World, winning the crown and the opportunity to represent the United States at Miss World.
* WHAT QUEENS EAT: The food served for the candidates at the Sanya Sheraton Hotel consisted of fish and shellfish; but there was always something different for every taste. Of course, you could eat to exhaustion!
* OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER: Puerto Rican Ricardo Medina was hired as the official photographer for this year’s contest.
* TICKET SALE: On November 16th, the sale of tickets for the Miss World Grand Final began, with prices ranging between 20 and 2,000 dollars.
* AUCTION: The Miss World organization auctioned, through EBAY, an all-expenses-paid first-class trip to this year’s pageant, departing from London on December 2nd.
DID NOT COMPETE:
Next, a table with the most important data of the contestants of this year
|01||ALBANIA||Agnesa Vuthaj||18||175||Peja, Kosovo||Agnesa has just finished High School and is newly registered as a student of political sciences at Prishtina University & Academy of Fine Arts. It is her intention to be a diplomat, especially in charge of cultural affairs, and in time start her own TV programme on the national channel. Agnese is a co-ordinator for the organisation of conferences on the UN model, this has been certified as “The value based leadership programme” and Friendship without Boarders”. Hobby/sports interest include: music, literature, foreign policy, travel, basket ball and dance (modern Rhythms).|
|02||ANGOLA||Silvia Anair João de Deus||20||178||Luanda||She is a first year student at the Angola Polytechnic University of Information Technology. She also works part time as a model and TV Presenter. In her spare time she also works on a counselling and information exchange for HIV/Aids & Tuberculosis. Her hobbies are: reading, cooking, aerobics, singing, dancing the salsa, rumba, samba and pop.|
|03||ANTIGUA & BARBUDA||Shermain Sunja Jeremy||23||175||Parham Town||Shermain has had a great love for dance and song from a very early age, making her singing debut in church choir at the age of 12, she also took many leading parts in the school musicals. In school Shermain was an honor student, Deputy Head Girl, on the debating team and won many speech contests. She also had an athletic side, being on the basketball & track teams, and was awarded MVP for basketball, and athlete of the year. At the beginning of the millennium Sherman moved to NY, attending the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and became the recipient of the Thrugood Marshall Scholarship for academic excellence and the Student Service Award for excellence in Service on campus and in the community. In June 2004, Shermain graduated magna cumme laude with a B.A. in International Justice and a minor in English. At this present moment she is employed by the Government of Antigua & Barbuda and is posted in New York at the Permanent Mission to the U.N. where she is the special assistant to the Ambassador. In her leisure time she enjoys: Dancing singing, writing songs and lyrics, reading, track & field events, ballet, Hip Hop and Jazz dance.|
|04||ARGENTINA||Verónica Estarriaga||24||170||Buenos Aires||She is a third year University Student studying Kinesiologia, one of her future ambitions is to have her own Medical Beauty Centre. In her free time Veronica enjoys sports, especially aerobic and gym. She also loves the sea, and when she has the time she goes to the beach to swim for a long time. Another hobby that she enjoys is dance, especially jazz dance.|
|05||ARUBA||Luisana Nikualy Cicilia||20||180||Dakota||Having completed her high school studies, she is currently working in the tourism industry and modelling part time. Her ambition is to finish her studies in Travel & Tourism and to work for the Aruba Tourism Authority. Luisana enjoys an array of activities & hobbies which include: Poetry, Cinema, Volleyball, “Hoggs” childhood, and dancing to the Salsa, Merengue, Tambu & Ballads, she was part of the “Popcorn Dancers”|
|06||AUSTRALIA||Sarah Janette Davies||22||174||Sherwood, Queensland||Her special passion was for Rhythmic Gymnastics and was proud to be the Queensland Champion. She was also elected House Group Sport Captain & Prefect. In her final year of school she participated in a Chinese Exchange program and lived for a few weeks with a family in Shanghai. Since leaving school Sarah has acted in TV commercials and modelled professionally on a part-time basis whilst studying at university, graduating on 12 October 2004 with a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Communication and Public Relations. Sarah’s plans for the future include establishing a career in television|
|07||AUSTRIA||Silvia Hackl||21||172||Linz||She completed 5 years at Business School followed by 2 Semesters at University studying law, she is now working as a Marketing Assistant for a P.R. Agency. From the age of 6 to 16 Silvia played professional Table Tennis and has won the Austrian Table Tennis Tournament. During her leisure time she keeps fit, swims, plays table tennis, enjoys all kinds of dance, and inline shooting. She has visited many foreign countries and likes meeting new people. Favourite food is Pasta, Pizza, Chinese and Mexican food. Personal Motto is “Live every day with all its ups and downs.”|
|08||BAHAMAS||Brianna Clarke||23||168||Nassau||Having won a scholarship to attend Elmira College in New York she recently graduated with a BA in Economics magna cum laude. Since then she has worked at two of the most prominent national development non-profit organisations in the US, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Enterprise Foundation, in order that she may gain knowledge and experience. Her ambition is to take a PHD in Planning & Development. Brianna has had a variety of part time jobs to help supplement her education and where ever possible enjoys working with the non-profit organisations.|
|09||BARBADOS||Kennifer Marius||20||163||Christ Church||Having completed her high school education, took courses in small business management, massage & spa therapy, nail technology and is currently working as a Beauty Therapist. Her ambition is to qualify as a Reflexologist. When not working Kennifer enjoys Latin Dancing, listening to music, volleyball and swimming. For the past 3 years she has been a swimming instructor for young children and with the local health team visits the nursing homes to give therapeutic massages to the elderly.|
|10||BELARUS||Olga Mikhailovna Antropova||22||180||Polotsk||On completing her secondary education she trained as a Hair Stylist and Make-up Artist, then worked as a stylist in a modelling agency. Olga is also studying design, as her ambition is to join her father, who is a designer, and open a design studio. Leisure/sports interests are: History, literature, visiting exhibitions, riding her bicycle, fitness, yoga and traditional folk dancing, she also enjoys collecting stone boxes.|
|11||BELGIUM||Ellen Petri||22||168||Merksem||At the age of 9 she started ballet classes and fell in love with its history, culture, passion and rhythm, she also specialised in the study of human beauty and make up, graduating at the age of 20. Ellen is currently working as a model and choreographer, her ambition is to work with television. Hobbies include: ballet, fitness and travel.|
|12||BOLIVIA||María Nuvia Montenegro Apuri||18||178||Reyes, Beni||Maria is a student and would like to study foreign languages and marketing. Her hobbies and leisure interests include: reading, basketball and dancing to tropical music.|
|13||BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA||Njegica Balorda||19||177||Zvornik||She has just completed her secondary school education and is planning to study Psychology, her ambition is to become a Psychologist with a first class degree. Njegica loves talking with people and learning the way they think and how they behave in different situations. Her hobbies include: reading, modern dance and swimming.|
|14||BOTSWANA||Juby Kgomotso Peacock||20||173||Maun||At the moment Juby is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, she also is a singer/songwriter who is on the verge of releasing her first single album titled ‘First Love’. At school Juby was a house captain, member of the debating club an active member of PACT, in university she has been a volunteer at the career and counselling centre. She has worked in a hairdressers and as a receptionist at a computer company. Juby’s ultimate dream is to open a School of Art where she can use her background as a social worker. Hobbies/sporting interests are: Reading, music, badminton & ballroom dancing.|
|15||BRAZIL||Iara Maria Rezende Azevedo Coelho||23||181||Luz, Minas Gerais||On finishing High School at 17, Iara lived in Belgium for a year as a Rotary exchange student. Many other exchange students from Australia, USA and Belgium have stayed with her family and became like her own brothers. Iara is currently a student at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica, she also works part time as a model, her ambition to become a good professional lawyer. In her leisure time Iara enjoys travelling, swimming, playing “peteca” (a kind of shuttlecock), acting and dancing, especially the Samba.|
|16||BULGARIA||Gergana Stoyanova Guncheva||17||173||Sofia||Gergana is currently studying polygraphy and photography and will complete her secondary education in 2005, her ambition is to study journalism and eventually become a Television Journalist. Her father is a volley ball coach and her mother has been a rhythmic gymnastic dancer, being brought up in this sphere has helped her enjoy both sport and dance (rhythmic gymnastics, ballet, Latino, folk and traditional dances), and to win many prizes. She also enjoys: drawing, painting, going to the theatre and cinema.|
|17||CANADA||Tijana Arnautovic||18||180||Ottawa||Tijana was born in Yugoslavia and emigrated with her family to Canada. She is an Honours graduate from high school; winner of a full scholarship to the prestigious Carleton university in Ottawa. Her future ambition is to complete her degree in International Business and proceed to law school as she is planning to pursue a career in criminal law, however she is leaving her area of specialization open at this time in order to explore all her options. Her hobbies are: playing the clarinet, reading inspirational books, trying new foods and watching “Hockey Night in Canada”. Her sporting activities are Swimming, basketball, beach volleyball, traditional Serbian and gypsy-style dance, salsa and cha-cha.|
|18||CAYMAN ISLANDS||Stacy-Ann Rose Kelly||24||180||Bodden Town||Stacy-Ann, a Cayman’s first scholarship recipient achieved a First Class Honours Bachelor’s Degree from the University of the West Indies, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media and Communication (with specialization in Public Relations). She was actively involved in every facet of campus life and earned the respect of tutors and peers alike, Stacy-Ann occupied position like Deputy Public Relations Officer on the Guild of Students and Official Spokesperson for UWI, in addition represented UWI in intercollegiate sports. In the near future she sees herself as an accredited “Master Communicator” and her ambition is to hold a prominent position in Corporate Cayman. Sporting interests are: Basketball, netball, football, volleyball, badminton, squash, track & field and she enjoys Reggae, modern & contemporary dance.|
|19||CHILE||Verónica Paz Roberts Olcay||21||172||Santiago||Graduated school with outstanding qualifications and although both her parents are professional engineers, and Veronica inherited their mathematical skills, she has chosen a biological career and is studying to be a physical therapist at the Universidad Mayor of Chile. She is particularly interested in neurological rehabilitation, and has been working as a volunteer since 2001 at the therapy with horses rehabilitation centre. Veronica has various hobbies such as: reading, music, Scottish dances, ballet, writing and travel. In sport she enjoys: hockey and fencing.|
|20||CHINA, PEOPLE´S REPUBLIC||Jin Yang||20||173||Chongquing||She is studying accountancy at the Zhong Nan University of Economics and Law. Her ambition is to be a financial specialist and one day become the General Manager of a hotel. Her hobbies are Chinese painting, drawing, singing, recitation and dancing, especially her national dance, swimming, running and playing basketball.|
|21||CHINESE TAIPEI||Dorothy Yi-Hui Xu||18||174||Nantou||Yi Hui is a student of the Zhong Xing High School. Since she was a very young child she has loved to dance and is now part of a dance company. It is her ambition to become a great dancer. Yi Hui enjoys singing, basketball, modern and jazz dance, shopping and eating.|
|22||COLOMBIA||Paola Andrea Mariño García||22||178||Bogotá||Paola, influenced by her grandfather who was a director of a news publication called ‘El Colombiano’, is studying Communication and Journalism and is in her ninth semester. Because of her father’s work, (geologist), she has travelled extensively, she also won a one-year scholarship to Universidad de Comillias in Spain. Her mother is a psychologist and works with children, this has also had a great influence on Paola and for the past seven years has been helping in teaching disabled and special children. She has also been heavily involved in radio broadcasting and hosts a weekly program for children which is aired live throughout Latin America, USA, Spain and Italy. Her hobbies are: Reading, movies, theatre, travelling. Sporting interests include: Volleyball, swimming, water skiing, snow skiing, horse ridding, roller-skating, gymnastics, and Colombian typical music and all modern dances.|
|23||COSTA RICA||Shirley Calvo Jiménez||22||173||Sabanilla||Shirley completed her Degree in Business Studies and is currently a government employee combining this with her studies in order to obtain her Master’s Degree in Business Administration and International Relations. She is also in charge of a project that is intended to protect the flora and fauna. In her spare time she enjoys reading and dance, especially tropical rhythms.|
|24||CROATIA||Ivana Žnidaric||17||180||Cakovec||She is attending the Linguistic High School learning English and German, Her ambition is to extend her studies to learn Russian, Italian and Hungarian at university because she adores their culture and history. Her hobbies are: reading, acting and dancing, especially classic, modern and Latin-American. Her sporting interests are: Keeping fit, swimming, bicycling and driving.|
|25||CURACAO||Sue-Ann Stephanie Hudson||20||170||Willemstad||From a very early age she has loved anything to do with singing, dancing and acting, she sang for her school concerts and at festivals. At the age of 14 she started modelling and working in her spare time at the local radio station. Not forgetting her education, she also focused on a two year course for Office Assistant, after successfully completing this, she started working as a flight attendant. Unfortunately the aviation company closed, but this led to Sue-Ann starting her own company the ‘Triple S Entertainment & Production Co. bringing famous stars to the island. Sue-Ann loves the outdoors, swimming, scuba diving, animals and nature. She also enjoys singing and dancing the salsa, meringue and cha cha.|
|26||CYPRUS||Constantina Evripidou||19||175||Limassol||She is currently a student of Physical education at the University of Athens, her ambition is to complete her degree. Constantina enjoys most track sports, volleyball, swimming, aerobics and jogging. In her leisure time she is a keen photographer, likes watching the movies and dancing the Greek Sirtaki.|
|27||CZECH REPUBLIC||Jana Dolezelova||23||176||Unicov||She studied at the faculty of Pharmacy at the Charles University in Prague, graduating in June this year. Her ambition is to continue her studies and qualify as a pharmacist and practise in the Health Service. Hobbies include: reading, good films, travelling, sports – such as swimming and cycling, dancing disco & flamenco and has played the piano for 10 years she has taken part in many musical competitions.|
|28||DENMARK||Line Solling Larsen||23||175||Hadsten||On completion of her elementary education she worked for a year as an Au pair in a family with 3 children. After which she took a 6 month course in psychology, intercultural communication, law and politics at the Hadsten Hojskole, then continued her studies by taking the nursing orientated courses. She was accepted into the School of Nursing in September 2002 and is still studying with the ambition to be a fully qualified nurse working around the world, and perhaps one day have her own little antique shop. In between her studies Line has worked as a model in Denmark, Italy and Korea. In her spare time she loves to read, mostly historical novels and trade literature about antiques, she enjoys singing and dancing. Her sporting interests include: Swimming, cycling and pilates.|
|29||DOMINICAN REPUBLIC||Claudia Julissa Cruz Rodríguez||18||175||Bonao||Claudia has just commenced her studies in Psychology but her ambition is to make a career in show business. One of her special talents is dancing, she also enjoys teaching young children the joy of dance and song and hopes that one day if she does well in her career she will be able to open a free Performing Arts School for Children and help them develop their abilities. In her leisure time she enjoys: Reading, cooking, volleyball, singing with the choir, and all types of modern and Latin American dance.|
|30||ECUADOR||Cristina Eugenia Reyes Hidalgo||23||181||Guayaquil||She is a lawyer from UCSG (Universidad Catolica Santiago de Guayaquil) and has a Bachelor degree in Politics and Social Science, a minor in Public Law and is now in her second year of Mass Communication at UTPL. She completed her apprenticeship at the Court of Law and then worked for an attorney in her city. Currently she is the anchorwoman of the local newscast at TC Television. Cristina is also a poetess and has published a book with her best friend called “Travesia” plus she is the vice president of a foundation called “Espiritu de Esperanza” which helps rescue and support the street children. Her ambition is to obtain a master’s degree in Human Rights, participate in Politics and her dream is to become a Mayor or even President of her country. In her leisure time she likes to sing and play guitar, acting, reading, walking swimming, biking and dancing the merengue.|
|31||EGYPT||Heba Ahmad El-Sisy||22||175||Cairo||She is a student of Law at Elmansoura University studying English in the British Counsel, and is taking acting classes. Her ambition is to become an actress. In her leisure time Heba enjoys: reading, travelling, most sports including aerobics and handball, acting and dancing the salsa and traditional belly dancing.|
|32||EL SALVADOR||Andrea Denise Müschenborn Charlaix||18||170||San Salvador||Andrea has graduated from the German School. Throughout her life she has practiced many activities, such as playing the piano, clarinet, ballet, jazz, lyrical & hip hop dances, horse ridding, kick boxing, karate, swimming, diving, surfing. She also enjoys, tennis, jogging, reading, music, meditation and painting. When she was 10 she won a medal for swimming, at 12 she won another in Karate, at 14 she won a scholarship of Dance at the Jazzing Dance Studio and another scholarship to go to Germany for being one of the best German speakers in her class. Her achievement was when she got the highest grade in an aptitude test called APES. She wants to be in the mechanics and electronics field.|
|33||ENGLAND||Danielle Lloyd||20||173||Liverpool||Danielle completed her general education and went on to take advance science in Chemistry and Biology at College, plus a further course as a Beautician which included Indian Head Massage, this lead to her opening her own beauty shop. She also takes on modelling and promotional work. She enjoys travelling, all types of dance, running, swimming and the gym.|
|34||ESTONIA||Moonika Tooming||23||178||Avinurme||She has been studying music and piano for 17 years and is President of the Student Union in the Estonian Academy of Music. She also teaches singing in high school and conducts a secondary school children’s choir. Next year she would like to continue her studies in Educational Management and in the future establish her own school of fine arts. Her hobbies are: Astrology, crafts, composing balads for very special friends, singing, playing the piano, swimming, aerobics, racket ball and ballroom dancing.|
|35||ETHIOPIA||Sayat Demissie||18||171||Addis Ababa||She is now a student, with the ambition of qualifying as a Lawyer and eventually becoming a High Court Judge. In her leisure time she enjoys: Reading, writing poems and short stories, gymnastics, tennis, acting and dancing, including Latin, Hip Hop, modern and the Ethiopian traditional dance.|
|36||FIJI||Aishwarya Sukhdeo||24||170||Suva||She received her International baccalaureate Diploma, won various public speaking & essay writing contests, is a graduate with MBBS degrees is in her final year as a medical student and is due to graduate at the end of this year as a Doctor. During her studies she has worked as a trainee doctor in different countries helping humanity. During her leisure time Aishwarya enjoys: Kathak (Indian classical dancing), she is a green belt in Hapkido (Korean marshal arts), aerobics, jogging, walking, swimming, tennis modern & contemporary dance and public speaking.|
|37||FINLAND||Nina Johanna Tikanmäki||19||172||Naantali||She obtained her high school diploma and plans to take one year off her studies to fulfill her duties as Miss Finland. Her ambition is to continue her studies either in Economics or Hotel Management at University level in either Finland or Switzerland. Nina has done a variety of jobs, one of the most interesting was working in a small local hotel and being with the exchange students teaching them Finnish or to ice skate. Hobbies include: Reading, sailing & travel. Her sporting interests are: Gymnastics, jogging and most types of dance i.e. modern, ballet, hip hop and break dance.|
|38||FRANCE||Laëtitia Marciniak||23||173||Villeneuve-le-Comte||She has completed her High School diploma and two years of the four year university course. Her ambition is to become a school teacher, especially to children who are unable to go to school due to ill health. She is a sportswoman, practicing dance (jazz, modern and African), volley ball, fitness, running, swimming & motor cycle. She also gives sports lessons to children. Any spare leisure time she has is enjoying socialising with friends, travelling, and reading, listening to music and sketching. Laetitia is a godmother of the national association “Children’s Dreams” which has been in existence for 10 years.|
|39||GEORGIA||Salome Chikviladze||20||175||Tbilisi||She is in her 4th year studies at the faculty of Mechanic Auto Construction at the Technical University of Georgia. Her ambition is to become an Economist Manager. Salome also models part time. In her free time she paints, writes novels and enjoys socialising with her friends and dancing the Georgian Folk Dances. She would also love to travel around the world.|
|40||GERMANY||Inka Weickel||20||171||Alzey||She is a second year student of economics and business management. Her ambition is to become a manager in the fashion or cosmetic industry. Inka enjoys many kinds of sports: fitness, swimming, tennis, skiing and is just starting to play golf, but most of all she is an enthusiastic dancer (all standard dances, from waltz, tango, to jive and boogie). During her semester vacations Inka has done some promotion work and has worked in a big German Bank.|
|41||GHANA||Serena Naa Dei Ashi-Roye||23||175||La||Serena is an undergraduate student, studying for a Batchelor of Arts degree in Marketing and Advertising. Her hobbies include, acting, Contemporary, Africa and Street Dance, fitness, art & design, football, volleyball, netball badminton, skiing, and keeping fit. Her favourite art forms are: sculpting and life drawing. Serena’s future ambition is to set up her own advertising agency in Ghana, also to be a top model and actress.|
|42||GIBRALTAR||Helen Gustafson||24||171||Gibraltar||At school she enjoyed drama, dancing and was a member of the choir, she went on to attend Liverpool University where she graduated with a BA (Hons) in Business Studies in 2003. Next she embarked on her studies for the Association of Chartered Certified Accounts, the first step to quality as an accountant, her ambition being to obtain a management position within the finance industry. Interests are varied and include: travel, dancing, singing, fashion design, cross-stitching, bird watching, football, aerobics, swimming, bowling, music, reading and the cinema.|
|43||GREECE||Maria Spiridaki||19||180||Heraklio, Crete||She is currently a student at the University of Politics in Athens, her ambition is to be a journalist. In her spare time Maria enjoys working as a model in fashion shows and for editorials. Maria’s sporting interests are: Extreme sports & sea sports, she also enjoys: acting, theatre, music, TV presentation, folk & modern dance.|
|44||GUADELOUPE||Jenifer Desbouiges||18||177||Pointe-a-Pitre||She is currently at Baimbridge High School where she is studying economics & social studies, her ambition is to be a psychologist working with children in difficulty. Her hobbies are: badminton, hand ball, volley ball, swimming, sailing, walking, singing and dancing to International music, disco reggae, salsa & beguine.|
|45||GUYANA||Suzette Marissa Shim||19||175||Georgetown||Suzette is currently a third year student, pursuing a degree in Business Management at the University of Guyana whilst also working as a Legal Clerk with the Supreme Court Registry. Her ambition is to complete her degree and pursue a career in the world of fashion design. In her leisure time Suzette enjoys reading, hiking, volleyball, cricket, classical dance and making jokes. Her motto is “it’s possible to achieve anything through hard work and the grace of God”.|
|46||HONDURAS||Kimberley Michelle McNab||19||172||Roatan, Bay Islands||Her greatest achievement has been completing high school with honours and regularly making the Dean’s list, she is currently studying business management at the University of Honduras. Her ambition is to open her own import/export seafood company. Hobbies include: beach volleyball, reading books and dancing to Caribbean and modern music.|
|47||HONG KONG, CHINA||Queenie Chu Wai-Man||23||174||Victoria||She left for the U.S.A. to pursue her college education when she turned 18. In March this year she achieved her Bachelor degree in Communications and Political Science at the University of Washington. Now back in Hong Kong she has been working as an intern news reporter, her ambition is to contribute to the movie business and be a politician, but in the meantime whilst working in the media she will continue to study politics. She enjoys Taekwondo, reading, travelling, listening to music, debating, cooking, acting and playing tennis, aerobics, badminton, athletics, dancing Cha Cha and ballroom.|
|48||HUNGARY||Veronika Orban||20||178||Zalaegerszeg||Having completed her education she attended a Technical School for Hairdressing and now works as a hair stylist. She has a special talent for Hair ‘sculpting’ and creating special hair styles. Her ambition is to have her own Beauty Shop. She enjoys listening to music, reading, swimming, running and dancing.|
|49||ICELAND||Hugrún Dögg Hardardottir||21||170||Selfoss||She has a diploma from Iceland’s Make-up school and is in her last year studying the Pivot Point System of Hairstyling. Her ambition is to complete her current education and work in the Fashion World in Iceland, Italy and the USA. Hobbies are: Fashion, drawing and dancing. Her sporting interests are: Gymnastics, jazz ballet and going for physical training at least 4 times a week.|
|50||INDIA||Sayali Bhagat||20||175||Nashik||Sayali is studying marketing, finance and business studies at the University of Mumbai, she scored a gold rank last year, her ambition is to go into Business Management. In her spare time she has excelled in the field of acting and modelling and has a special talent for Indo-Western Fusion Dance. Hobbies/Sporting Interests are: Music, reading, travelling, dance, Yoga, long jump and high jump.|
|51||IRELAND||Natasha Nic Gairbheirth||21||171||Gweedare||She has just completed a 3 year Law and Politics degree at the National University of Ireland, her ambition is to become a successful Barrister. Natasha enjoys debating and was captain of her schools debating team for five years and won many competitions, she also enjoys poetry and won an overall first prize for two consecutive years. One of her greatest passions is singing and dancing, she loves to participate in theatre productions, especially musicals. Other leisure activities / hobbies include: Tennis, basketball, baseball, acting and Irish dancing.|
|52||ISRAEL||Rita Lukin||23||180||Ashdod||Rita was born in Kazakhstan and immigrated , with her parents, at the age of 9 to live in Israel. She graduated high school, majoring in fashion design and has obtained a diploma as a professional makeup artist. Rita is currently working as makeup artist and model. Her ambition is to study and become a successful psychologist. Hobbies are reading books, making clothes, riding her bicycle, Kickboxing, aerobics, badminton. She has been ice skating since the age of 4 and has competed in many contests.|
|53||ITALY||Valeria Altobelli||20||182||Rome||She holds a diploma in Classical Studies with the top marks (100/100) and is now in her first year at University studying law. Her dream is to become a Judge or a professional notary, and would like to specialize in copyright or international law to link her passions: music and foreign languages, to the work of jurisprudence. She has also attended courses of Journalism and won a special prize in a contest titled ‘Science and planetary emergencies’. One of her hobbies is composing songs and writing poetry for which she has won many competitions. Her other hobbies are: singing, playing guitar, piano, keyboard, percussions, reading, body building, volleyball, soccer, and dance – modern, hip hop & Jazz.|
|54||JAMAICA||Tonoya Anne Toyloy||24||176||Edgewater||Having achieved a Bachelor of Pharmacy Degree with First Class Honors, she is now about to embark on an exciting career in her chosen field. Her ambition is to own her own Pharmacy. During her education Tonoya was the proud recipient of ten scholarships/Bursaries for academic performance and other awards. She has been a Teacher’s Assistant, Airline Agent and a Pharmacy Assistant. Hobbies are: Playing the piano, water color painting, drawing, football, netball, lawn tennis, track and field.|
|55||JAPAN||Minako Goto||22||171||Akita||Her proudest moment was on passing the entrance exam to University, she is currently in her third year majoring in the department of English. It is her ambition to be a Newscaster. Minako has a special talent for the piano and Japanese Traditional Dance. In her leisure time she promotes the “Green Campaign” (has planted many trees), plays volleyball and loves to shop.|
|56||KAZAKHSTAN||Aleksandra Andreyevna Kazakova||19||178||Almaty||She is a student at University studying Economy, her ambition is to be a lawyer. In her leisure time Alexandra enjoys, basketball, music and to dance, especially the modern dances. She is very much looking forward to discovering China and meeting all the girls from so many different countries.|
|57||KENYA||Juliet Atieno Ochieng||19||170||Kisumu||Having lost her father in 1996 and her mother in 2001 she shares a very close relationship with her two sisters and three brothers and the local community. Juliet has completed her high school education with good grades and won a regional High school skit – writing competition. It is her ambition to become an international journalist. Her leisure pursuits include: Volleyball, singing, dancing, acting, writing, reciting poetry, playing instruments, dancing hip-hop and techno.|
|58||KOREA||Han Kyoung-jin||19||174||Seongnam||At school she won a bronze medal at a model plane competition, and was a cheerleader. She is now attending the Seoul Institute of the Arts majoring in visual design, her ambition is to become a fashion designer and have her own brand of clothing which will harmonize the soft line of the Orient and brilliant color of the West. KyangJin has a special talent for drawing and painting, she also enjoys listing to music, all kinds of dance, swimming and cooking.|
|59||LATVIA||Agnese Eiduka||20||177||Valmiera||She completed her school education coming top of the class in Art, and moved to Riga, the capital, to continue her Art Studies, specialising in the making of National Costumes and design. Her ambition is to be a dress designer. In her leisure time Agnese enjoys: travelling, aerobics, yoga, Latin American dance and Belly dancing.|
|60||LEBANON||Nadine Nassib Njeim||20||175||Beirut||Growing up was not easy during the war, but she has kept her hopes high for a better future. Nadine is a student of journalism and her ambition is to own her own business. She enjoys: camping, swimming, biking reading, all kinds of dance and has a special talent for painting and drawing.|
|61||LITHUANIA||Agne Maliaukaite||19||174||Panevezys||Agne has only just finished high school and would like to study tourism at University. It is her ambition to have her own tourism agency. She enjoys participating in: sports and keeping fit, horse riding, learning languages, playing the piano and the arts, especially painting.|
|62||MACEDONIA F.Y.R.O.||Sara Leshi||17||177||Skopje||Sara is still a High School Student with excellent results in languages and basic sciences. Her future ambition is to continue her studies at Oxford University and dreams that one day she will become a famous actress. Sara likes animals, especially horses and enjoys ridding, swimming, tennis, basket ball and traditional and modern dance. Beside her school activities she is dedicated to humanitarian organisations that help children with special needs.|
|63||MALAYSIA||Gloria Ting Mei Ru||23||171||Sibu, Sarawak||Gloria has a diploma in International Tourism (1999), High School Diploma (2001), diploma in Fashion Design (2003), and is currently working as a full time model. Her ambition would be to establish her own fashion line in Asia. She prefers outdoor activities such as: Kickboxing, scuba diving, swimming, surfing, rock climbing, volleyball, basket ball, golf and chilling out with her two dogs on a good walk. She also enjoys reading non-fictional books, singing, photography, cooking and designing.|
|64||MALTA||Antonella Vella||20||178||Mosta||Dancing is one of Antonella’s talents, she has practised ballet and jazz for many years and started to teach students who attended the same school as herself. She has also choreographed various musicals and dance shows such as ‘Beauty & the Beast’ and Madonna. At 17 she entered Beauty School, after qualifying she worked with a large beauty company gaining much experience, then went on to take a beauty specialization course in Milan, Italy. On December 2003 Antonella achieved her goal and opened her own salon in Malta specialising in hair, skin, nails, fitness and make-up courses. In her spare time she still enjoys all kinds of dance, gym, volleyball, netball, basketball, table tennis and art.|
|65||MAURITIUS||Marie-Natacha Magalie Antoo||22||176||Rose Hill||On completing her school certificate she attended a course in Public Relations. She is now working as a hotel representative for a tour operator, with the view to having her own Tour Operator Company. She considers to be a dynamic and friendly person who enjoys the company of friends, going to the cinema and listening to RnB and house Music. Hobbies are: Swimming, volley ball, singing and dancing the Sega.|
|66||MEXICO||Yessica Guadalupe Ramírez Meza||22||183||Tijuana||She is currently a 3rd year student in Business Administration. She has also studying for three years to be a teacher. Her ambition would be to have her own Fashion Designer Company and be an International model. Her hobbies are: reading, listening to music, dancing to modern, pop and salsa music, and watching sports. Her favourite sport is Basketball to which she has been committed since a little girl and has even competed in international tournaments.|
|67||MOLDOVA||Marina Chivaciuc||21||174||Tiraspol||She graduated from High School and is currently studying at the Shevchenco Pedagogical University. Her future ambition is to be a Teacher of History, English or French. Her hobbies are: dancing Latino and Hip-Hop, keeping fit, swimming, basket ball, horse racing, yoga and reading. She also enjoys learning about and exploring World cultures.|
|68||NAMIBIA||Adéle Basson||24||170||Windhoek||In 1996 she was chosen as an ambassador for her school and went to Germany as an exchange student. At the end of 1997 she was fortunate again to be chosen to go to Nevada USA on a rotary exchange programme. 1998 chosen as Head Girl and awarded the Prestige shield for leadership. 1999 started studying for a Law Degree at the University of Stellebosch and successfully completed her studies. In January 2004 she enrolled at the University of Northwest for a six month practical Legal Training Diploma, was top of the class and invited to write articles for the circle magazine. Also during her school holidays in 1999 she took an exam and qualified as an Estate Agent (Realtor), this has enabled her to make a contribution towards her study costs. Adele’s ultimate goal is to be a Family Advocate. In her spare time she enjoys reading biographies, debating & oratory jogging and keeping fit in the gym. She has also had 3 years training in ballroom dancing and is an enthusiastic Formula One supporter.|
|69||NEPAL||Payal Shakya||18||164||Kathmandu||She has completed her high school education, won first prize in Public speaking in a school competition and is now a management student. Payal was appointed a Conservation Ambassadress for the World Life Fund and Goodwill Ambassador for the Nepal Cancer Relief Society. In her leisure time Payal enjoys listening to music, cooking, swimming, playing badminton and has trekked in Everest areas.|
|70||NETHERLANDS||Miranda Slabber||24||176||Arnemuiden, Zeeland||From the age of 14 till 19 she trained and coached a korfball team and also enjoys ballroom and Latin American dancing, winning several prizes on a National Level. Having completed 4 years at Teachers Training College, she is now a Primary School Teacher. Her hobbies are: Drama, Formula 1 cars, listening to music, shopping, socialising with family and friends, boxercise, handball, korfball and dance.|
|71||NEW ZEALAND||Amber Jean Peebles||21||170||Karaka||She is a qualified make-up artist and also works in broadcasting. Her ambition is to be an International TV Presenter. Her hobbies are: Art, Debate, Fashion Design, singing, rap and dancing Hip Hop and Rock n Roll. She also enjoys: kick boxing, swimming and going to the gym.|
|72||NICARAGUA||Anielka María Sánchez Castillo||22||178||Masaya||She is currently in her last year at the University in Managua studying Economics. In her spare time she works as a fashion model and is a volunteer at the S.O.S. Children’s Village. Hobbies: Listening to music, reading drama & science fiction books, basket ball and the typical dances of her country, marimba, palo de mayo and folk. Interesting Fact: One of identical twins.|
|73||NIGERIA||Anita Queen Uwagbale||19||177||Lagos||She studied accounting in Maddona University in Port Harcourt where she gained her pre-degree in Accounting, her ambition is to be a Chartered Accountant. Whilst at University she participated in most social activities and helped generate funds for charity. Anita enjoys traditional and many other forms of dance, listening to music, visiting and making friends.|
|74||NORTHERN IRELAND||Kirsty Anne Gabriel Stewart||18||172||Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh||During her college years she was elected to the Shadow Youth Council and received an award from the Youth Mission and Northern Images. She attempted to master the guitar but soon realised it was not for her and joined the school choir. She also has a keen interest in sport: squash, swimming, boating, has played in the netball & basketball team, and was undefeated for three years in the high jump. Kirsty enjoys contemporary and modern dance, she has won medals for her Irish dancing. After completing her education, Kirsty started work for the family business as a sales assistant and trainee butcher, this she enjoyed immensely as it was a very sociable place to work. Now, since winning Miss Northern Ireland, it has paved the way to pursuing her dream in modelling or television.|
|75||NORWAY||Hege Torresdal||20||177||Bergen||She is a student of science studies. Her ambition is to be a veterinarian. Hege is also a keen footballer, and comes from a family deeply rooted in sports, both her parents are handball-coaches. Her interests span from football to jazz-ballet to golf and like many Norwegians she enjoy hiking in the mountains, in the winter she goes snowboarding. This fall she had planned to go to Australia to work on a horse-farm, in order to gain the experience required to enter the studies she is hoping to attend in England, but plans have been postponed until after the Miss World Final.|
|76||PANAMA||Melissa del Carmen Piedrahita Meléndez||22||175||Panama City||Melissa has completed her high school education and is in her first year of University studying psychology, it is her ambition to be a psychologist.. Melissa enjoys the sport of boxing, professional salsa dancing and exercise. For the last eight years Melissa has been modelling in her spare time.|
|77||PARAGUAY||Tania María Domaniczky Vargas||23||175||Asuncion||She is studying Social Communications at the UNIDA University of Paraguay. She is at present entering the Media field, some of the activities include television programmes at the Paraguayan television, theatre workshops and dance festivals. In her leisure time she enjoys Paraguayan dance with the traditional Tenaha over the head, Paraguayan and Arabian Music, reading and painting and socialising with her large, extended family and friends. In sport she likes: Polo, handball and keeping fit.|
|78||PERU||María Julia Mantilla García||20||174||Trujillo||She is currently studying to become a High School Teacher, but also plans to start a second career in Tourism in order to help promote all the interesting places of her hometown. Three years ago Maria Julia was a national champion of Triathlon and Pentathlon, she considers it very important to combine intellectual affairs with sports as it is the only way to have balance. Maria Julia enjoys painting, watching movies, sport and dancing, she is a professional in the typical local dance, The Marinera.|
|79||PHILIPPINES||Maria Karla Rabanal Bautista||20||175||Cebu City||She is currently studying Mass Communication at the University of the Philippines in Dilman ,(having transferred on winning her national title, from the University of San Carlos Cebu where she was taking Philosophy). After completing her current degree she would like to go back and finish a degree in Philosophy as she considers this to be the right course for her pre-law. It is her ambition to become a broadcaster/lawyer. Karla is a good orator and writes inspirational stories for her school, she was a member of the Speech Club and is a thespian. Hobbies are reading, writing essays, cooking, singing, badminton, swimming, fencing, Filipino folk dances and has a special talent for baton twirling.|
|80||POLAND||Katarzyna Weronika Borowicz||19||173||Ostrow Wielkopolski||Her main aim is to carry on the family music tradition and perhaps record her own record. Since the age of 8 she has attend music school, played the piano and danced. Katarzyna used to belong to a Dance group, she enjoys singing, aerobics, sport and watching television.|
|81||PORTUGAL||Patricia Oliveira Raposa De Oliveira||17||170||Cacem||She is currently in her first year in the faculty of Sport. She has two career ambitions; her principal ambition is to work as a children’s sports teacher but would like to combine this with the amazing world of fashion. Her proudest moment was when she had the opportunity of doing the rappel and slide. It made her believe that we can really fly and dream about all the things we always judge impossible. It gave the sensation of freedom. In her leisure time Patricia enjoys Volleyball, step, aerobics, dance (especially the Hip Hop), and listening to music.|
|82||PUERTO RICO||Cassandra Carin Castro Holland||20||178||Luquillo||She is currently in her second year at the communications department of Sagrado Corazon University in Santurce, Puerto Rico. Her ambition is to continue her studies, complete her master’s degree and start her own agency in advertising and public relations. In her free time Casandra enjoys going to the movies, reading about social interests, acting, dancing the Latin dances, going to the beach with her friends, playing beach volleyball, practicing medication, and spending time with her family, Casandra is also a volunteer on the environmental commission for the conservation of Trees and uses her title to become an example to young women everywhere maintaining the idea of ‘Beauty with a Purpose’.|
|83||ROMANIA||Adina Maria Cotuna||20||180||Arad||Adina has completed her high school education and is now studying management and accounting at the West University. Her favourite leisure past time is swimming, she also like to play handball, volley ball and tennis and enjoys reading and singing. At the moment her first priority is to finish her studies, work as a model and work in television, and has a dream to one day manage her own business.|
|84||RUSSIA||Tatyana Alexandrovna Sidorchuk||19||178||Perm||She is a third year student of History and Politics at Perm University. She has been researching work about the history of the Ural region and the founding of Perm, attended courses in politics and speaking and has made some publications. Her future ambition is to become a TV political observer. She is also interested in theatre and has played a role in a play by ‘Chekhov’, sung in a musical group and written poems. She also enjoys keeping fit, and dancing, especially the Russian national dances.|
|85||SCOTLAND||Lois Anna Weatherup||21||176||Linlithgow||Lois has a BA in Textile design from the Heriot-Watt University in Galashiels and has also been modelling part time. Her proudest moment was winning the Clayton Prize for originality whilst at school for designing and making an Indian Mask, this was the main feature in the art exhibition that year. In her leisure time Lois enjoys horse riding, drawing, sculpture, weave & textile design, fashion and socialising. Her ambition is to be a successful model.|
|86||SERBIA & MONTENEGRO||Jelena Pejic||17||178||Belgrade||She spent most her teenage years in Canada, and is now a grade twelve high school student, a member of the Serbian folklore ensemble and Serbian Theatre Company. Since the age of 15 she has had many part time jobs in fast food restaurants, movie theatres, clothing stores and church organisations, organising charity events for children all over the world. Her hobbies are: dancing, jazz ballet, acting, fitness, camping, volleyball, basketball and tennis. It is her ambition to study Child Psychology.|
|87||SINGAPORE||Lisa Huang Shu Jun||22||171||Singapore||She is a recent graduate from the University of Manchester having achieved and Honors Degree in Business Management. Her ambition is to be a successful lecturer as she has always had a passion for education and teaching. Currently she is working as a model. Hobbies are: Singing, dancing (including: Chinese, Malay, Indian and modern dance), photography, swimming, running, tennis and golf.|
|88||SLOVAKIA||Maria Sandorova||20||175||Kosice||She is currently in her second year of studies at the medical faculty at the University of Presov, nursing being her major. She works part time in a café. Maria enjoys studying foreign languages and reading non-fiction as well as fiction and taking part in knowledge contests and quiz shows, she once had the opportunity of being part of “Who wants to be a millionaire?” and won approx 1,500 euros. Whilst at school/college Maria was part of the women’s soccer, handball and volleyball teams. She also enjoys: Aerobic’s, football, ice-skating disco and the Slovak national dance.|
|89||SLOVENIA||Ziva Vadnov||22||171||Ljubljana||Since the age of 5 she has loved to dance and now has her own show dance group called ‘DIESEL’, which has appeared on TV Shows in Europe. She started learning German at the age of 8 and then later English, French and Spanish. Ziva is now a senior at the University of Social Sciences, studying sociology and management, she intends to complete her studies next year. During her school breaks she works to enable her to have the money to travel once her studies are completed. Her other interests include: reading, cycling, skiing, swimming, athletics, roller blading, travel and dancing.|
|90||SOUTH AFRICA||Joan Kwena Ramagoshi||24||168||Johannesburg||Having completed her matric certificate she went on to study Public Relations & Business Communications at College. After which she worked as a Manager at a clothing store and a volunteer at a place called NAPWA (a national association for people living with HIV/AIDS). She is currently enjoying her year as Miss South Africa. Her ambition is to become a successful business woman and run her own business in corporate clothing and events management. Joan enjoys: Horse-riding, tennis, netball reading, dancing especially ballroom and the traditional “sotho” dance.|
|91||SPAIN||Maite Medina Cerrato||24||180||Barcelona||She has worked in taking care of children under five years of age, and someday hopes to run her own kindergarten. She enjoys travelling, socialising with friends, skiing, ice-skating, fishing and riding a bike.|
|92||SRI LANKA||Anarkalli Janina Jayatilaka Akarsha||17||165||Colombo||Anarkalli started acting from the age of nine and has appeared in cinemascope movies and TV Dramas, she attended drama school and is now an Actress. Her ambition is to become an Ambassador for UNICEF. Her hobbies are: writing speeches, writing songs and designing clothes. Sporting interest are: Netball, basketball, cricket, croquet, bowling, pool, athletics, Western dancing and Kandyan Dancing.|
|93||ST. LUCIA||Sascha Gianne Michaele Andrew-Rose||19||173||Rodney Bay||She was a member of the Squash Tournament Team, took part in extra-curricular activities such as netball, drama and chess. She has successfully attained A-level passes in Mathematics, Economics and Management of Business as well as an Advanced Subsidiary pass in General Paper. Her next goal is to attain a Bachelors in computer Information Systems and Business, she eventually hopes to run her own multinational company. During her school holidays she has worked on various projects in her parents company and for a local ice cream company. Sasha also enjoys reading and socializing.|
|94||SWEDEN||Eva Helena Hjertonsson||18||177||Kalmar||Having completed nine years of schooling, she is currently working as a waitress. Her ambition is continue her studies in to the medical field and in the future qualify as a doctor. Her dream is to live by the ocean and enjoy nature. She enjoys horse ridding, socialising with friends and music.|
|95||SWITZERLAND||Fiona Hefti||24||178||Zurich||After high school and lot of travel throughout Europe, she resumed her studies at University in psychology, pedagogic, languages, art and sports. Her ambition is to be a primary school teacher. Hobbies include: Reading, Cooking, and most sport, tennis, aerobics, dance and driving.|
|96||TANZANIA||Faraja Kotta||19||178||Kinondoni||She was one of the top 5 best students in the National “A” level exam results, and is currently a first year student of the University of Dar Es Salaam in the Faculty of Law. Faraja emerged as the winner of the biggest Essay Competition in Tanzania, giving advise on ‘How to Develop Life of the Children and Youth of her country’. This was organised by the Government and UNICEF. From this she was selected to represent her country and travelled to New York (USA) to the Preparatory Committee of the UN special Session on Children between January and June 2001. Whilst there, Faraka was chosen to represent the First African Child to present the Children resolution on behalf of PREPCOM. Her hobbies are: Music, Politics, Reading, Swimming and Serving the society by fighting for youth’s rights.|
|97||THAILAND||Nikallaya “Ya” Abdul Dulaya||23||174||Amphur Muang||After completing high school she attended Suansunantha University in Bangkok and gained a BA (Hons) in Accounting. In her final year she was very fortunate to be cast in the movie “Lob phee, phee mai lob” a comedy film about ghosts, it was a fun experience. Now she is back in her first year of her Masters of Education at Thornburi College, it is her ambition to eventually manage or own her own school or college. Nikallava feels very lucky in having been given a government grant to study and would like to be able to help others as she has been helped. In high school she was a drum major and lead the school band at special events, she can also juggle five sticks. In her leisure time she enjoys: drawing portraits, reading, singing, boxing and basketball.|
|98||TRINIDAD & TOBAGO||Kenisha Nalisha Finita Thom||21||174||Scarborough, Tobago||Kenisha is currently studying for her Level II Association of Chartered Certified Accounts (QCCA), her ambition is to be a Professional Accountant. In addition to her education Kenisha has always worked with the Water and Sewerage Authority, first as a Customer Relations Officer and recently was promoted to Purchase Requisitions Clerk. Being the only girl of four siblings she was always competing with her brothers and became involved in sports at an early age, was in the track & field team, 4 x 100 metre relay, long jump, shot put, won 2 championship trophies in lawn tennis, certificate for outstanding performance in netball, Has performed traditional African as well as French and Spanish dances and participated in the T & T Drama Festival.|
|99||TURKEY||Nur Gümüsdograyan||19||180||Ankara||She graduated from Gankaya College in Ankara and is now preparing for University. Her ambition is to be a Stylist. Nur has been modelling in her free time for the last four years. She enjoys: Yoga, Belly dancing, swimming, running, reading and watching movies.|
|100||TURKS & CAICOS||Beryl Christian Kateri Handfield||19||167||Bottle Creek, Caicos||During High School, she was a Leader of the School debating team, House Captain for the annual track and field championships, Head Prefect and best speaker. She was also a member of the Islands Cultural Group and Steele Orchestra, where she performed as a musician, dancer and singer, and with the group has performed in many countries around the world. Beryl is now a second year student in Hospitality, Tourism and Travel. Her ambition is to become the Minister of Education, Youth, Sports & Culture, and ultimately the owner of her own 5 star hotel. Her hobbies are: Reading, nature, modern and folk dance. She also enjoys softball.|
|101||UGANDA||Barbara Kimbugwe||19||168||Kampala||Having just completed her A level education she is waiting to join university. In addition to her education she is also a television presenter on 3W.com, a programme, which explores local city life style. Her dream is of becoming a famous movie star. Interests/hobbies are: Meeting different people, interacting, cooking local dishes and those from different cultures, basketball and performing both the Magunju and Bakisimba local dances.|
|102||UKRAINE||Lesya Sergeevna Matveyeva||22||170||Kiev||Having just received the Specialist degree, diploma in jurisprudence, she is continuing with the study of journalism and TV Art. And combines this with working at Inter, a TV channel where she assists with the lessons of skill of oration and style of speaking. Lesya ambition is to create her own TV Programme. Hobbies: reading, mainly classical literature, psychology and oriental philosophy, acting, Latin & ballroom dance, yoga and travel. Sporting interests are figure skating, callisthenics, karate, and riding.|
|103||UNITED STATES||Nancy Valeria Randall||24||176||Evanston, Illinois||Nancy was born in Brazil, her mother was a Brazilian model & Carnival Celebrity, her father an American mathematician. The early years were spent in Ipanema, then at age 8 she moved with her family to New Orleans and graduated high school at 18. New Orleans is an exciting place, the birthplace of Jazz. Creole and Cajun culture and the excitement of Mardi Gras, a stunning city with both with Spanish and French influences. After her graduation from University she worked as a managing editor on the Journal of Latin American Anthropology and held a position at Chicago’s main history museum organising exhibitions. Her long term ambition is to become a cultural anthropologist, eventually earning her PhD and teaching at a major research university.|
|104||VENEZUELA||Andrea María Milroy Díaz||20||174||Caracas||Her mother is Venezuelan and her father is originally from Liverpool in England. Andrea completed her elementary and high school education in Caracas. Last year she travelled to London to improve her English. Currently she is studying Marketing and Advertising at University in Venezuela, it is her ambition to graduate. Her brother was born with cerebral palsy, through this her family have learnt how it can teach such incredible feelings, emotions and knowledge, they have joined with other groups of parents and are working hard with a foundation for handicapped people. In her leisure time Andrea enjoys: any kind of sport, going to the beach, reading, music and dancing the Flamenco.|
|105||VIETNAM||Huyen Thi Nguyen||19||172||Hanoi||Huyen is currently studying journalism at the Hanoi University and her ambition is to continue her education abroad. She is preparing herself for a career in which she can serve her community by writing articles and promoting charity activities through the media. She is also very interested in reporting on business matters. Her hobbies include: traveling, swimming, badminton, fishing, reading and listening to classical music.|
|106||WALES||Amy Guy||21||173||Ruabon, Wrexham||In the early years she competed in many shows and represented her country at the age of 12. Later that year she qualified and competed for The Horse of the Year show at Wembley Arena, where she was asked to teach Katy Hill from Blue Peter (National Television Show) how to ride. Amy was also a keen athlete and at 14 was competing in the Welsh National hurdling and 100M sprints, she was also on the North Wales netball squad and cross-country teams. She continued her horse riding success throughout her teen years and represented Wales and G.B. at International level for 5 consecutive years. Amy achieved top grades throughout her school years and gained a place in Nottingham University to study Architecture. She graduated this year with a 2:1 Hons Degree Barch Architecture and feels that so far her university years have been some of the best years of her life. Since graduating Amy has started her placement, which will hopefully help her to gain her Part 2, then it will be another 3 years to gain her professional status as an ‘Architect”. This will allow her to form her own Architectural practice which will cater for both commercial and domestic designs.|
|107||ZAMBIA||Rosemary Mulenga Chileshe||24||180||Lusaka||She graduated Hallam University with a BSc (Hon’s) in Business Property Management. She considered Surveying as her chosen path as she believes it to be a highflying, sophisticated industry, a career which offers different activities every day. During her studies Rosemary has worked in many different jobs, thereby gaining skills in self-management, telephone, working under pressure and patience. In her leisure time she enjoys reading, cooking, socialising, writing, Karaoke singing and dancing to RNB, Zambian Rhumba, and a bit of Salsa. Her sporting interests are: Netball, Badminton, volleyball, running and tennis.|
|108||ZIMBABWE||Oslie Muringai||20||173||Bulawayo||She was Vice President of the Interact Club, Junior Public Speakers & French Club, Athletics Captain and Deputy Head Girl and also represented her school in various sports. She has presented a teen magazine show and live children’s shows. Currently she is studying for a Bachelors Degree in Science and Honors in Physics, a Public Relations Officer of the Physics society and on the organising committee of ‘Shape Zimbabwe’ project and working with the international broadcaster Z.T.V for an AIDS awareness programme. Her ambition is to be a successful and influential woman scientist. Oslie’s hobbies are: Reading, research, dancing including the traditional Shona and Ndebele Dances. Her sporting interests include: Volleyball, swimming, athletics and netball.|
PREVIOUS PARTICIPATION IN OTHER BEAUTY COMPETITIONS.-
Miss Australia participated unsuccessfully in Miss Universe 2002, while the girls from the Cayman Islands, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa had just competed in Miss Universe 2004 in Ecuador. Miss Fiji was in Miss Asia Pacific 2002 and Miss New Zealand in Miss International 2003. Miss Singapore came from Miss Chinese International 2002 and World Miss University 2003, while the Paraguayan won the South American Queen 2004 where the Bolivian was 1st Princess. The Panamanian was in the International Coffee Queen contest 2004 and Miss Malta in the unofficial Miss Europe 2002. For her part, the Peruvian competed in Miss Teen International 2003 where she was in the Top 8, Miss Albania was Miss Kosovo 2003 and Miss Bahamas won Miss Teen Bahamas 1996 and was 1st runner-up in Miss Bahamas 1998. On the other hand, Miss England was a semifinalist in Miss Hawaiian Tropic International 2004 representing Great Britain, also becoming 1st runner-up in Queen of the World 2004. Miss Brazil competed in Miss Tourism International 2003, Miss Puerto Rico had been third runner-up in Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2004 and Miss Dominican Republic was fifth runner-up in Miss Dominican Republic Universe 2004. The Dutch woman was in the Elite Model Look Holland ’98 and Miss Universe Netherlands 2002, while the Russian competed in Krassa Rosii 2003 and was Top 10 in Miss Volga 2002. The Venezuelan had won Miss Global Beauty Teen Venezuela 2001, was 2nd runner-up in Miss Global Beauty Teen 2001 in Canada and, in 2004, she won the “Rostro Ebel” and Miss Elegance sashes at Miss Venezuela.
The first great challenge of the Miss World 2004 contest was the “Beach Beauty” competition, held in the afternoon of Sunday, November 14th. That day early in the morning, the recording of the “U Decide” special had been finished since all the contestants had already arrived in Sanya. The beach area of the Sheraton hotel in Yalong Bay, adorned with Hawaiian motifs, was the venue for this important contest, which began at 2:30 on that hot afternoon with more than 32°C. In this event, the 108 contestants individually paraded before the judges with yellow, red, fuchsia and blue bikinis. The design of the swimsuits was in charge of the former Miss World 1975, the Puerto Rican Wilnelia Merced, who was one of the six judges of this competition. The other judges were Claudio Nardini (General Manager of the Sheraton Sanya); Li Xiaobai (Chairman of the New Silk Road Model Contest); Krish Naidoo (international consultant for Miss World); Paul Kirrage (producer of many television events, including this year’s Miss World broadcast); and Julia Morley (President of the Miss World Organization). The parade was accompanied by a large audience that especially cheered Miss China, Miss Hong Kong and Miss Chinese Taipei. After being evaluated, the judges selected a Top 20. The chosen ones were the candidates from Ecuador (Cristina Reyes); Lebanon (Nadine Njeim); France (Laetitia Marciniak); Dominican Republic (Claudia Cruz); Hungary (Veronica Orban); Czech Republic (Jana Dolezelova); Uganda (Barbara Kimbugwe); Philippines (Maria Karla Rabanal); Denmark (Line Larsen); Trinidad & Tobago (Kenisha Thom); Panama (Melissa Piedrahita); Bosnia & Herzegovina (Njegica Balorda); Australia (Sarah Davis); Mexico (Yessica Ramirez); Venezuela (Andrea Milroy); Aruba (Luisana Cicilia); Brazil (Iara Coelho); Paraguay (Tania Domanickzy); United States (Nancy Randall); and Bolivia (Nuvia Montenegro).
Afterward, the 20 semifinalists paraded in baby blue one-piece swimsuits, also designed by Wilnelia Merced, and the judges decided on the top 10 in this parade. They were the representatives of Australia (Sarah Davies); Bolivia (Nuvia Montenegro); Brazil (Iara Coelho); Dominican Republic (Claudia Cruz); Ecuador (Cristina Reyes); Mexico (Yessica Ramirez); Paraguay (Tania Domanickzy); Philippines (Maria Karla Rabanal); Trinidad & Tobago (Kenisha Thom) and the United States (Nancy Randall). These 10 girls changed again, and this time they paraded in red bikinis. The judges deliberated and the final results were announced: Third place, Miss Trinidad & Tobago; in second place, Miss Australia and the winner of Beach Beauty 2004, Miss United States, the brunette of Brazilian origin, Nancy Randall, who automatically went to the semifinal of Miss World 2004 and who won 25 additional points. Later it was announced that the fourth place went to Miss Philippines and the fifth to Miss Dominican Republic.
Nancy told the media: “I’m so excited I’m in awe, I work my body and try to keep a good physique, so this is fantastic. There are so many types of beauty and physical appearance here, to win this award is such an honour. The best part is that now I am in the final of Miss World, which means that my mother will be able to see me at home. I will represent my country in the best possible way in the final… I came here to enjoy China and I have had a wonderful time. I have wanted to visit this country for so long but had no idea it would be so beautiful. Everyone in China has been so welcoming and hospitable and I look forward to returning to see more of the country and its surroundings. Miss World is a great experience for a woman. You meet all these wonderful girls and if you have something that you really care about yourself, you have the opportunity to do something about it.” Some candidates felt somewhat disappointed not making it in this competition, since, as we remember, the winner of this event the previous year was the Irish Rosanna Davison, who later became Miss World, and seven of the 10 semifinalists of the Beach Beauty managed to enter the 20 semifinalists of the contest. The Beach Beauty marked the beginning of the world votes through the internet, from the contest’s website (missworld.tv). On her part, Wilnelia Merced said goodbye to Julia and the participants, and traveled to Shanghai and Beijing before returning to London.
VISIT TO A BUDDHIST TEMPLE.-
On Monday, November 15th, the participants had the day off to rest. However, some took the opportunity to go to the gym. On Tuesday the 16th, the candidates’ agenda began early with a visit to the Nan Shan Buddhist temple. “The place is two hours away by bus. It is on a mountain and they asked us to go with covered clothes so as not to offend the monks”, said Miss Puerto Rico. At the temple, the beautiful young women were treated to an impressive display of Chinese Kung Fu by a group of Shaolin monk teachers. A colorful and meaningful traditional Chinese dance followed, the purpose of which was to protect the country and its people from evil. Silence fell over the temple courtyard as the girls awaited the honor of witnessing a high-ranking monk ring the ceremonial bell to signal a flock of snow-white doves to be released from the girls’ hands. Miss Estonia commented: “The pigeons were very symbolic for me. They represent peace and friendship, and it felt like a cleansing of the group spirit.” Miss Israel also felt a special affection for this moment. She commented: “I really enjoyed releasing the birds, that was a very special moment for me. My country needs a little peace and that is why I felt this moment in the depths of my heart. Miss World allows us to share much of our different cultures and we will all take a little piece of each one of us back home. Hopefully, that will benefit the world in many ways”.
After the birds took flight, the monks presented each girl with a white beaded bracelet to ward off evil spirits and protect them during their time in China. On her part, Julia Morley received a decorative vase, a symbol of the special relationship forged between the temple and Miss World. Ms Morley said: “We are all so honored to be treated with such kindness by such special people. The girls have been overwhelmed by this experience and the tremendous display of friendship and ease we have found here today.” The temple complex in Nan Shan is located high in the hills of Hainan Island and marked a special occasion for the Miss World contestants. After the visit, Miss Nepal commented, “It was very exciting. It was interesting to see a different style of Buddhism than what we practice at home. It’s a culture that inspires so many people around the world and it was wonderful to share it with the other girls.”
That same afternoon, after returning from the temple, the Miss World Organization released the names of the 20 contestants who qualified in the talent auditions. “I hope to join that group so that these young representatives of the world and the local public get to know the music of my land,” said Miss Puerto Rico. However, the lucky ones were the representatives from Antigua & Barbuda (Shermain Jeremy), Aruba (Luisana Cicilia), Australia (Sarah Davies), Bahamas (Brianna Clarke), Barbados (Kennifer Marius), Botswana (Juby Peacock), Brazil (Iara Coelho), China (Jin Yang), Chinese Taipei (Dorothy Yi-Hui Xu), Czech Republic (Jana Dolezelova), Ecuador (Cristina Reyes), Estonia (Moonika Tooming), Fiji Islands (Aishwarya Sukhdeo), Italy (Valeria Altobelli), Korea (Han Kyung -Jin), Philippines (María Karla Rabanal), Russia (Tatyana Sidorchuk), Spain (Maite Medina), Thailand (Nikallaya Abdul) and Trinidad-Tobago (Kenisha Thom). These 20 delegates would have the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of a group of judges on November 19th. The winner would thus obtain an automatic place in the semifinals.
MISS AUSTRIA WITHDRAWS.-
The contestant from Austria, Silvia Hackl, couldn’t take it anymore and decided to withdraw from the contest on Wednesday, November 17th. The reason? Her luggage never arrived at the hotel. The young woman spent many days without clothes to wear, because her luggage did not arrive with her in Sanya. She had to wear over and over again the only dress she had, the same one she came to the pageant in. Days later, the airline sent her bags, but they arrived at another airport on Hainan Island, several kilometers away from Sanya. The worst of the matter is that no one from the organization moved a finger to look for that luggage and they didn’t allow Silvia to go personally to look for it either. Both she and her National Director, Emil Bauer, tried for days to get someone from the Miss World Organization to pick up the bags, but with no success. Silvia was not allowed to take a single step outside the hotel complex where the candidates were staying, which also eliminated the option of buying new things on the go.
Silvia said: “All the other girls were constantly being photographed in their evening dresses, but I had to wear the same dress for ten days, because no one would let me go shopping. All they said was that I shouldn’t worry, that it was stupid when thousands of children were starving to death every day. Silvia was held without anything to wear for nine days, said Emil Bauer, and was always told that her problem would be solved “tomorrow”… But when a person in charge of the Miss World organization told her that her luggage was not in the airport, even though Silvia had the proof, a notification from the airline, that was enough for her. “I won’t be fooled,” she said. She wanted to leave immediately. But that wasn’t easy either. The organizers did not want to let her go. At first they tried to be nice and sweet to her, but when she continued to refuse to stay in Sanya, they got angry and verbally abused her. It was only thanks to the hotel’s marketing manager, an Austrian, that Silvia was able to fly home after an eleven-day stay in Sanya. He helped her book her flight so she could leave on Friday, November 19th. Although he should not have done it, because, according to Silvia, the Miss World Organization told the hotel manager not to get involved. With the withdrawal of Miss Austria, the number of contestants remained at 107 and Miss Austria´s profile was removed from the pageant website on the 20th. The recordings of “U-Decide” by group five had to be redone to remove the images of the Austrian candidate.
Numerous bookmakers indicated which were the public favorites in Miss World 2004. Here are some of them: CENTREBET 1. USA (9-1) 2. India (11-1) 3. Australia – Trinidad & Tobago (13-1) 5. Brazil – Dominican Republic – Egypt (15-1) 13.- Venezuela (26-1). SKYBET: 1. India (12-1); 2. Brazil (14-1); 3. Belgium – Norway- Russia- Spain – Thailand – USA (15-1). CORAL: 1. Belarus (10-1); 2. India – USA (12-1); 4. Egypt (14-1). INTERTOPS: 1. Albania – Brazil – Dominican Rep. – Holland – India – USA – Egypt (10-1); 8. Germany – Ethiopia (12-1). LADBROKES: 1. India – USA (10-1); 3. Egypt – Germany (16-1); 5. Belarus – Belgium (20-1). BET365: 1. USA (8-1); 2. India (12-1); 3. Egypt – Germany (15-1). GAMEBOOKERS: 1. India (12-1), 2. USA (13-1); 3. Germany (15-1); 4. Egypt (17-1); 5. Belgium – Brazil (19-1). BLUESQ: 1. India (8-1); 2. USA (12-1); 3. Egypt (14-1); 4. China – Germany – Albania (16-1); 7. Dominican Rep. – Belgium – Belarus – Peru – Venezuela (20-1). STANJAMES: 1. India – USA (12-1); 3. Egypt – Germany (14-1); 5. Belgium – Belarus (16-1).
PRACTICING TAI CHI.-
The Miss World candidates got up early on Wednesday the 17th to go to the Sheraton beach and enjoy a relaxing morning session of Tai Chi, the ancient Chinese art of achieving balance and equilibrium. The group presented a picture of calm, taking the lead from an instructor and striking poses to align their mind, body, and spirit. Miss China, dressed in a stunning pink silk two-piece suit, was well versed in the art and helped the other girls pull off some of the more demanding moves. And it has become inevitable, as they have developed stronger friendships, as that morning’s activities also included a degree of laughter and fun, all part of the process of winding down from a busy itinerary. Miss Fiji commented: “It was very beautiful to have the opportunity to taste something so representative of China. I’ve considered learning it for a while now, and today’s lesson has definitely left me wanting to know more. I will look forward to learning Tai Chi when I return home to the Fiji Islands.” The martial arts session was perfectly timed to alleviate any stress levels generated prior to the Miss World Sports Challenge qualifiers, which also took place on the beach at mid-morning Miss Puerto Rico said, “I work hard to achieve a good level of fitness and exercise regularly on the beach near my house. I am ready to give it my all in the sport qualifiers today as it is an opportunity to show who I am. In fact I want the people in Puerto Rico to be proud of me, as I am here to represent them and my country to the best of my ability.”
That same Wednesday, the 107 Miss World contestants competed in a variety of athletic competitions such as swimming and track and field. Miss Puerto Rico, Cassandra Castro, assured that she had a lot of fun participating in the different events. “I participated in everything: sit-ups and push-ups, among other competition exercises. We had a lot of fun, because the activity was held on the beach and everyone participated”, said the Puerto Rican queen. After being evaluated in the different disciplines by a special judges, the 10 girls with the best overall performances were chosen. They were the delegates from Antigua & Barbuda (Shermain Jeremy), Australia (Sarah Davies), Fiji (Aishwarya Sukhdeo), Netherlands (Miranda Slabber), Iceland (Hugrun Hardardottir), Peru (María Julia Mantilla), Russia (Tatyana Sidorchuk), Thailand (Nikallaya Abdul), Trinidad-Tobago (Kenisha Thom) and Wales (Amy Guy). It should be noted that the Misses from Australia and Trinidad & Tobago had been selected among the finalists of the three competitions held up to that time: Swimsuit, Talent and Sports.
On Wednesday night, Julia Morley, accompanied by former Turkish Miss World Azra Akin, held a press conference to announce that “Apprentice” contestant Troy McClain would host the Miss World final. The musical part would be in charge of the Il Divo quartet and Lionel Richie. The Chinese hosts of the 2004 event were so thrilled with their attendance that December 3, the day Lionel arrived in China, the government declared that day as National Lionel Richie Day. Morley also reported that ITV1 and Sky Travel would broadcast the “U-Decide” program and the Miss World final in the UK. Both shows would be produced by Paul Kirrage and directed by Russell Norman and was a co-production of Miss World TV with TWI. A pleasant surprise occurred at the end of the press conference, when the candidates sang happy birthday to Paola Andrea Mariño, Miss Colombia, accompanied by the Paraguayan group that worked at the hotel where the delegates were staying. In fact, Miss Paraguay was moved by the music of her countrymen and began to dance followed by the other candidates, forming the party.
QUEEN OF SPORTS.-
Amy Guy of Wales proved to be an accomplished athlete when she won the Miss World 2004 sports competition on Thursday, November 18th, which gave her the direct passport to the semifinalists of the pageant, also earning 25 extra points for the final. In second place was the Australian Sarah Davies; and in third, a tie between Miss Trinidad & Tobago, Kenisha Thom and Miss Peru, María Julia Mantilla. It was a close battle in all three disciplines, with Miss World records in swimming (Australia) and long jump (Wales).
Miss Wales commented after the event: “I am very happy that I won for the good of everyone in Wales. I come from a small town near Wrexham called Ruabon and I know everyone will be very proud that I made it to the final. My dad and sister are coming to see me, so at least now they can be proud. It took me a lot of determination to win as all the girls were so good, but I am a very determined person and wanted this award very much. This award will take pride of place by my bed tonight and I will sleep with it until I get home.” Speaking about what makes a natural beauty, Miss Wales said: “Beauty can take many forms and be judged in many ways: the way you look, how you carry yourself, how you perform. But true beauty can only be a combination of these things, that’s what makes a true Miss World.” Miss Wales had competed in equestrian events at the highest level in her country. “I have a trophy room at home with all the awards I’ve won over the years”, she said. “I’ll have to ask my dad to make a space, as this award will definitely take pride of place in my room. It’s great to be the first from the UK to make it to the final. I hope at least one of the other girls can join me. We are good friends”.
Miss World premiered one of the best new female voices in the Talent Show on the night of Friday, November 19th, when Miss Antigua & Barbuda surprised the Sanya audience with an incredibly moving version of Barbra Streisand’s song “Papa Can You Hear Me” from the movie Yentl. The audience at Yalong Bay Universal Resort was stunned as Miss Antigua & Barbuda sang her heart out to take first place in the Talent competition and quickly move on to the Final. In addition, she received 25 bonus points to her total point count, making her one of the favorites to win Miss World, along with Miss USA and Miss Wales. For her part, Miss China delivered a hypnotic performance of Tai Chi with swords to take second place in the event, with Miss Barbados in third place, making it a double win for the Caribbean Islands with its original modern dance dramatization entitled “Beauty Comes to Earth”, where the beauty became an earthly woman, discovered the poetry of her limbs and was forced to dance. Miss Antigua & Barbuda had been singing since she was 12 years old, but she had never received any formal musical training. She taught herself to sing after a few elementary lessons from her school’s chaplain and has kept up the practice ever since.
Winning this title marked a milestone in the career of Shermain Jeremy, Miss Antigua & Barbuda, as well as in that of her country. “I’m overwhelmed,” she exclaimed. “No words can explain how I feel right now. I’m in a daze, like a dream. I don’t think my country has come this far in any international competition. My people will be so proud of me and that’s very satisfying. I’m really in awe, I just can’t sum it up better.” “Going into this competition I felt like I had a chance, but when I saw all the other girls at rehearsals, I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it. But I guess that’s only natural when you’re surrounded by so much talent.” In total, 21 countries were represented in the talent competition (including Miss Vietnam, who couldn’t make it in time for the talent elimination), with acts ranging from ventriloquism and mime to yoga, poetry, singing, piano performance and a self-defense demonstration. A further 23 girls performed traditional and modern dance sequences, in traditional costumes, including a crowd-pleasing Can-Can performance by Miss France, an impressive jug dance by Miss Paraguay, and a chilling and exhilarating mime by Miss Russia over the drug issue in your country. The audience cheered each performance to cheer on the girls, with a special round of applause being saved for the host nation, China, when it was announced that they had painted an incredible painting that would be donated up for auction in aid of children’s charities around the world. Until that moment, Until that moment, the Miss World had raised more than 250 million sterling pounds in that work.
VISIT TO WANNING.-
Saturday, November 20th was dedicated exclusively to rehearsals and, at night, they had a dinner on the beach. On Sunday the 21st, the candidates visited the city of Wanning. 120 high school students were in charge of greeting the girls and presenting them with a flower crown. The representative of Ghana, Serena Ashi Roye, was very impressed with the result “It was a great enthusiasm that we received from the people who attended, they are very hospitable.” Wanning people came out to make sure the contestants received a warm welcome, which was also attended by Mr. Hu, Wanning City General Secretary, and Wanning Mayor Zhang. The mayor presented Julia Morley with a certificate making her an honorable citizen of Wanning. This was a gesture, which was received with great gratitude and honor. After lunch, the contestants headed to the serene setting of the tropical gardens in Wanning. They traveled by tram through acres of tropical gardens, which boast more than a thousand species of palm trees. Each of the contestants had the opportunity to plant her own tree. Miss Ireland, Natasha Nic Garbhaith, named her tree “Crann n hEireann” translated as “tree of Ireland”. Natasha found this to be a great moment, “it’s the first time I’ve planted a tree and it represents a new beginning, a new beginning in life.”
The day was quite busy, but it did not end there. After a short break and time to cool off at the KangLe Yaun Hotel and Resort, the contestants attended a dinner at Palm Square. There was plenty of entertainment throughout the night including an Indian dance, a traditional national dance and a bamboo dance. The highlight of the night was left for last, when the lantern parade began. Ms. Morley, Mr. Hu and Mayor Zhang kicked off the parade by releasing the first balloons into the sky. Lantern-style balloons soared high into the night sky. The lantern parade was to set a new world record, and when the 1888 lanterns were launched, a representative from the Guinness Book of World Records presented a certificate to the town of Wanning. It was a long day for the Miss World contestants, but a great day for the people of Wanning.
TOP MODEL ELIMINATIONS.-
On Monday, November 22nd, the candidates were evaluated on the catwalk by a panel of judges who selected the 20 best ones who would pass the Top Fashion Model test on Tuesday. The opening round of Top Model was a hotly contested competition. Many of the girls had worked as models before being selected for Miss World, so the category was one that was very close to their hearts. The semifinalists were announced by the president of Miss World, Julia Morley, in the ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel.
The lucky ones were the contestants from Angola (Silvia Anair), Aruba (Luisana Cicilia), Belgium (Ellen Petri), Botswana (Juby Peacock), Bulgaria (Gergana Guncheva), China (Jin Yang), Chinese Taipei (Dorothy Yi-Hui Xu), Costa Rica (Shirley Calvo), Cyprus (Constantina Evripidou), Czech Republic (Jana Dolezelova), Georgia (Salomé Chikviladze), Greece (Maria Spiridaki), India (Sayali Bhagat), Mexico (Yessica Ramírez), Poland (Katarzyna Borowicz), Puerto Rico (Casandra Castro), Russia (Tatyana Sidorchuk), Spain (Maite Medina), Trinidad and Tobago (Kenisha Thom) and the United States (Nancy Randall). The twenty girls selected for the Top Fashion Model final were placed in the hands of a team of hair and makeup experts and top stylists who advised them for their appearances as models in the Miss World 2004 fashion show. Trinidad & Tobago entered the shortlist for the fourth time in a row while Miss United States was also selected although she had already won the ‘Beach Beauty’ award.
Julia Morley commented: “Modeling is a tough business and the girls will have to work hard to deliver what will be a sensational fashion event. The twenty shortlisted girls will now be directed and prepared by our team of experts. Now they are in the hands of true fashion professionals. I wish the twenty of you the best of luck. The outfits are fabulous and the fashion show for Miss World 2004 will be an event to remember.”
That same Monday night, the contestants gathered in the impressive ballroom of the Sheraton Sanya to display special gifts from their home countries, which were presented in an exclusive charity auction. This year the auction was open to the public from all over the world, through the online auction house http://www.ebay.co.uk. Bidding for special international gifts donated by Miss World contestants began that week with proceeds from the auction going to children’s charity Variety Lifeline. Some of the special gifts donated by the Miss World contestants included the following:
– ANGOLA – A striking wooden carving of a figure, called “The Pensive”. It is considered a symbol of Angola, representing the years of war before achieving independence. The moving, thought-provoking work of art was presented at the auction ceremony by Miss Angola.
– ANTIGUA & BARBUDA – An impressive decorative galleon made entirely of horn
– DENMARK – An enchanting solid silver figurine of Thumbelina, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, accompanied by a limited edition book of poems.
– HUNGARY – A unique porcelain violin from Hollohaza, one of the world’s leading porcelain artisans. This stunning piece was adorned with beautiful black and white graphics with modestly painted gold edges.
– ENGLAND – Football kits signed by the famous football clubs Liverpool and Everton
– JAMAICA – A box of internationally renowned handcrafted “Proud of Jamaica” cigars with a superbly blended flavor. Presented in a handmade wooden cigar box.
– MALAYSIA – A set of weapons like those used by the most fearsome “Iban” of Borneo’s headhunters. The set includes a blowgun, poison dart case, Parang (bowie knife), and a warrior shield with elaborate and intricate motifs.
COMPETENCIA DE TOP FASHION MODEL.-
Miss Mexico (Yessica Ramírez) won the “Top Fashion Model” competition on the night of Tuesday, November 23rd, the fourth of five “Fast-Track” events heading to the Miss World final. As the audience cheered with delight, the other contestants began chanting “Mexico” and addressed the audience with a wave of grace. An excited Miss Mexico greeted the audience, whose excitement was so great that she returned for another catwalk. She looked sensational in a striking blue halter neck dress and matching blue shoes with elaborate laces. Yessica, who is 1.84 m tall, became a semi-finalist and added 25 extra points to her vote count. The 1st runner-up was Miss Angola (Silvia Anair), who was getting closer to the coveted “Queen of Africa” award; Second runner-up was Belgium’s mega-favorite (Ellen Petri), whose height didn’t overshadow her beauty; the third runner-up was Miss Russia, the beautiful Tatyana Sidorchuk, who was also one of the favorites; and the 4th runner-up was Miss Spain, Maite Medina, a 1.80 m model from Barcelona.
The fashion show was held at the Universal Resort Theater in Sanya. The stunning fashion designs were created by top designers from each of the contestants’ home countries. The show began with the 107 contestants parading, headed by Miss Ecuador and following the numbering given for the votes. It quickly became clear that the competition would be fierce, with the girls sporting stunning evening gowns, hair and makeup. The twenty shortlisted contestants then paraded in their daywear, beachwear and cocktail attire to cheers and applause from an audience that included Chinese guests, local dignitaries, international visitors, the fashion show judging panel and the 87 remaining Miss World contestants, who took their seats in the audience to cheer on the fashion show. Later a top 10 was chosen, and finally, the first 5 finalists. They then made one last catwalk in front of the judges. Delegates from Chinese Taipei, the Czech Republic, Greece, Puerto Rico and Trinidad-Tobago made it to the Top 10. Completing the Top 20 were the representatives from Aruba, Botswana, Bulgaria, People’s Republic of China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Georgia, India, Poland, and the United States.
The evening featured incredible entertainment performances by contestants from Italy, Bahamas, Barbados and the winner of the talent show, Miss Antigua & Barbuda. The panel of judges for the ‘Top Fashion Model’ competition was composed of Julia Morley (President of the Miss World Organization); Li Xiaoyan (Chinese designer); the international ambassador of Miss World, Krish Naidoo, the stylist Andrew Minnarik and Li Xiaobai (president of New Silk Road). The Mexican candidate won her ticket to the Miss World final wearing a blue dress that Venezuelan Andrea Milroy lent her, the same one she wore on the day of the caravan through the streets of Sanya. Andrea not only lent her outfit, but she also lent her shoes and accessories. Curiously, that same dress was used by the Venezuelan Ana Karina Añez for the official photographs of the 2004 Miss Universe pageant.
Guests at the Sheraton Hotel in Sanya, the home of Miss World, gathered en masse to catch a glimpse of the contestants as they arrived for the Miss World “Beach Party” filming on the morning of Wednesday, November 24th. Laughing and joking in their immaculate white gowns, the girls headed out onto the waterfront for instructions from cameramen and TV producers, as the sun shone down on beautiful Sanya. Leaving the hotel and meeting offstage, last minute tips from expert stylists, hairstylists and make-up artists were exchanged, before the girls kicked off their shoes and gathered on the beach, wearing creations from the new beachwear collection of Miss World, designed by the ex-Miss World 1975, Puerto Rican Wilnelia Merced-Forsyth.
The white sand beach in front of the Sheraton Hotel was the extravagant setting for the beach party, with the girls gathered in front of the beautiful bar full of fruits. Others headed to the volleyball nets while some just hung out, laughing and chatting with each other. As the Sheraton’s charming staff handed out multi-colored fruit cocktails, Miss World 2004 host Troy McClain, star of the hit series “The Apprentice”, took his place at the bar, laughing and joking with contestants from India, Australia, Puerto Rico, Lebanon and Iceland as they sipped their sumptuous fruit punch. An impressive ice sculpture with the Sheraton logo embossed in the center was installed next to a barbecue near the beach where the Sheraton staff served delicious fresh fish. The waves crashed against the shore as the girls played beach volleyball, against the stunning backdrop of the blue South China Sea. Journalists from all over the world watched, took photos of the magnificent party and photographed the girls as they relaxed and enjoyed the fun. Calypso music filled the air, courtesy of a local band that had set up on the beach. Miss Mexico and Miss Angola laughed and danced to the sensational rhythm of beach music. The girls enjoyed an afternoon of fun and games as television cameras filmed, capturing their charm, beauty and personality in this memorable event.
THE GIRLS BROUGHT GLAMOR TO THE CHARITY AUCTION.-
Glamor was on the agenda on the night of November 24th at the Sheraton Hotel, Sanya, as all 107 girls decked out stunning evening gowns in honor of a special Ebay charity auction photo shoot. Leading fashion photographer Ricardo Medina and hairstylist to the stars, Andrew Minarik, worked together to ensure the girls looked perfect for the exclusive photo shoot. As Ricardo and Andrew got to work, the girls compared stories, chatted with their peers and shared jokes and stories about the gifts they had chosen to auction off in aid of the children’s charity, Variety Lifeline. Miss Serbia and Montenegro was especially proud of the Orthodox religious icon she had chosen. She explained that the icon of Saint Luke is one of the most famous of all the icons of the Serbian Orthodox Church. She commented, “I am bringing this icon as a gift from our nation, and I hope it will bring good luck to whoever is successful in their bid!”
Miss Trinidad-Tobago, who wowed onlookers in her amazing sparkly blue floor-length dress, chose to donate a portrait of her homeland. The image featured the Tobago Jig, and she informed her classmates that it was “the ancestral dance of my country.” She chose the particular image, she told them, because it combined her love of culture with her love of dance. The choice of Miss India’s gift was particularly thoughtful. She had selected a traditional Indian bag decorated with intricate orange jewels. She explained that the stones were from Rajasthan, an area of India known for its large number of precious and semi-precious stones. “The jewelery accent bags are so beautiful, they seemed like the perfect gift for the special auction.”
The 107 gifts donated by the girls were generously matched by a VIP trip for two to the Miss World 2004 finals. The package included first-class round-trip tickets to Sanya, a suite at the Sheraton, VIP tickets, brunch with Miss World 2003 Rosanna Davison, and tickets to the Coronation Ball where the lucky one would have dinner with Miss World 2004!
On Thursday, November 25th, a series of swimsuit photo shoots were held on the beach at the Sheraton Sanya. Excited and enthusiastic, if not a little nervous, seemed to be the overwhelming emotions of the contestants. Miss Australia commented that “we have all settled in very well at the Sheraton, and we are so excited for the final. We can’t wait.” Miss Paraguay agreed saying that the highlight for her had been making such good friends with the other girls. Miss Barbados said that now that she had settled in Sanya, “she was having a ‘relaxing time’, but it was still quite intense, with a lot of filming, photo shoots and press interviews, but it’s a lot of fun and unlike anything else that you have experienced.” Adding to the sense of excitement was the imminent arrival of many of the girls’ families who had traveled to Sanya to offer her love and support. The Miss World Organization had organized a family party so that the girls could spend some quality time with their loved ones.
On Friday the 26th, the candidates had a relaxing therapy as they excitedly left the Sheraton Sanya to go to the Sogo department store. When they arrived by bus, the chain store was closed to the public and staff lined up along a red carpet to welcome the beautiful guests. The girls were so excited about the trip that they chatted happily with each other and greeted the smiling Sogo staff as they entered the store. Once inside, the girls scattered, running in all directions, running through the four floors, trying on clothes, shoes, hats, and jewelry, trying on cosmetics and perfumes. The ground floor featured cosmetics and jewelry, with women’s fashion on the second floor. Much of their time, however, was spent on floors three and four, where special Chinese arts, crafts and gifts were displayed, which the girls began buying for their friends and family.
Miss Ecuador said: “I bought a beautiful bag and fabulous clothes for myself in Sogo, before going up to the third floor where I bought some fabulous souvenirs to take home from China. It was a very fun trip”. Miss Cayman Islands bought decorations for the house she was building. “I want my house to reflect my travels, so I bought some amazing wall decorations with Chinese characters, as well as a beautiful wooden Chinese ornamental sword that I will display in my new home. I also bought my little brother, who is five years old, a very cute hat with Sanya written on it. Finally, to give myself a touch of glamour, I bought a fantastic bag.” Miss Lebanon had a special gift to buy. “Yesterday was my brother’s 27th birthday, so I bought him a very special birthday present in the Chinese gift section. I really hope he likes it. I also bought my mother two bags and some hair accessories. I love shopping. I am very happy to have been able to spend the morning here. The locals who work here are lovely. They’ve been very welcoming.” After touring the store looking for beautiful gifts, some of the girls relaxed in the store’s cafeteria, hanging out and comparing their new purchases. Others continued to wander, seeing what was on offer. Miss Puerto Rico bought many fabulous things: “I bought a great bag, some beautiful Chinese souvenirs and gifts, and also some clothes. I could spend a whole day shopping here! It’s fantastic!”.
PROGRAM ‘MISS WORLD – U DECIDE’.-
On Friday, November 26th, was the world broadcast, via satellite, of the program “Miss World – U Decide”, that lasted an hour and a half, being presented by Troy McClain and showing images of what was the Miss World Beach Party which was recorded on Wednesday. McClain presented the 107 contestants in swimsuits of the Wilnelia Merced collection, from the paradisiacal locations of the Sheraton Sanya Hotel. While each entrant was presented, they in ‘off’ commented on information about themselves and how they were having a good time in Sanya, as well as inviting viewers to vote for them. The candidates were divided into eight groups of fourteen girls, following the same order of numbering given to them for voting (See table ASSIGNED NUMBERS FOR TEXT MESSAGING VOTES). Images of what the young women have been doing since they arrived in Sanya were also presented, as well as the telephone number where the public should send their text messages through cell phones to vote for their favorites. It had been announced that part of the broadcast would be live, but that did not happen. Nor did the American musical group “Hanson” appear, nor was the winner of the Miss World Scholarship announced, which was supposed to be announced during the program. Shortly after, it was reported that the fifth prize-winning candidate who would go directly to the Miss World semifinalist round would no longer be the winner of the pageant’s special scholarship, but rather the Miss chosen by the contestants themselves.
And, although it was said that 160 nations would broadcast this special program, few were the countries that bought the signal for it. Venevisión, the channel that broadcast Miss World in Venezuela, gave up buying the broadcast rights for this year’s “U-Decide”. According to the press, and after the broadcast of “U-Decide”, the great favorites to obtain the crown of Miss World 2004 were the representatives of the United States and Australia. The candidates from Trinidad-Tobago, China, Spain, Belgium, Peru and Paraguay had also stood out. That same Friday it was also announced that the renowned British model and TV presenter, Lisa Snowdon, would join McClain as host of the election gala for the new Miss World on December 4th.
VISIT TO HANG SHA CHILDREN’S HOME.-
Excited crowds of adults and children gathered on Saturday, November 27th to catch a glimpse of Julia Morley and a group of Miss World 2004 contestants (representatives from Angola, Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Belgium, People’s Republic of China, Dominican Republic and Fiji Islands) when they went to Hang Sha, a children’s home on the outskirts of Sanya city. They visited the site to see for themselves the work that had been done to improve the facilities for abandoned children, as well as to surprise them with a selection of gifts. The girls were able to see first-hand an example of how, through the idea of ’beauty with a purpose’, they could change people’s lives. The Miss World delegation was shown around the newly renovated buildings before congregating in the purpose-built courtyard with a playground, bikes and toys. They were greeted by Mr. Wong, the manager of the children’s home, who thanked Morley for all her help in transforming the lives of the children in Hang Sha. His gratitude was then repeated as he saw the packages bought by the girls. Among the gifts were the daily necessities of towels, bedding and basic toiletries such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, as well as many cans of powdered milk. Entertainment for children was not forgotten: a state-of-the-art television and video and a DVD player were also provided. The girls played with the children and chatted with the caretakers while signing autographs and posing for pictures with the children.
Miss Australia took advantage of having studied Chinese and talked to the children and was happy when they understood and responded!. Julia Morley commented: “When I first visited here, there simply weren’t the resources to adequately care for those most in need. There were no proper sewage works, poor facilities and children were often left with little or no stimulation. When the company Hainan Lan Hai approached me and said that they wanted to offer me a gift for all that Miss World had done in the area, I suggested that their contributions could be redirected to Hang Sha. Their support and commitment to the project is unprecedented and is received with gratitude. Together with the staff, we have helped transform it into a happy and healthy home for up to 50 underprivileged children. It is a privilege to be a part of this.” Talking to the girls about their experience visiting the children, it was clear that the opportunity to raise money for projects like Hang Sha was a key part of representing their countries in China. As Miss Angola commented: “If our appearances here can encourage and support the efforts of local businesses to help those who are disadvantaged in their communities, then great. It has been a privilege to be invited to Hang Sha to meet the children, and a real boost of knowing that we can help make a difference in people’s lives. The rest of the day was dedicated to rehearsals and, in the evening, the girls enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Lotus Café.
In the morning of Sunday the 28th, the 107 contestants voted for their favorite for Miss World, whose winner became part of the semifinalists of the contest. Miss New Zealand commented: “Over the last week I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. My decision seemed to change every three days! I narrowed it down to the final three girls I’ve been trying to choose from. My final vote was one of the first choices I made.” You can have a very good idea in three weeks. It will be very interesting to see who wins.” The girls congregated at the glamorous Sheraton Sanya Resort, home to Miss World, and gathered at round tables for chat, nervously waiting to cast their secret ballot. The choice of each contestant was to be based on who the girls believed would be the best Miss World. After more than three weeks together, the girls would rely on their perceptions of their peers to decide who was most deserving of that glittering accolade. Obviously, they couldn’t vote for themselves. Paul Kirrage, producer of Miss World 2004, said: “This isn’t about any particular quality. Girls don’t cast their votes based on personality, good looks or talent. It’s about general impressions and who They think it would be the best Miss World.”
Miss Namibia added: “The Miss World contestants are in an ideal position to find out who is the right girl to win the title. We have spent so much time together over the last three weeks that we know each other very well. It is a very good thing to be able to give her a chance to someone else”. One by one they were led to their seats in a special voting area set up in the lush gardens of the Sheraton Sanya Resort. Miss Italy was also in a good mood, sure of her choice. “After three weeks together, it’s not a difficult decision for me. I know who I will vote for.” Miss World 2004 presenter Troy McClain relaxed on the hotel grounds and watched as the girls continued to cast their important votes. Despite the pressure, the girls were in a good mood, laughing and joking with each other. Miss Russia had clearly made a lot of new friends in the last three weeks. “There are so many wonderful girls here. They are so nice and friendly. For me, one winner is not enough! It is very difficult to choose.” Miss Sri Lanka agreed that this was a very important moment. “It’s hard because of all the people in the world, all the viewers and the people who vote, we know each other the best, so there’s immense pressure involved. They’re such a nice girl group overall. However, I just to cast my vote and I must say that I am very happy with my choice.” This award would be announced on December 4, the day of the final. Also, on the afternoon of Sunday, November 28th, a book donation was made by the candidates to create a special library for the children of Sanya.
Julia Morley and the contestants gathered that afternoon in the Caribbean Room of the Sheraton Sanya Resort to welcome a contingent of children from the local Sanya First Primary School. The eight children and their director, Mr. Lin Chui Bin, were invited to the ceremony to receive a World Library made up of books donated by each of the girls. The children, dressed in a variety of outfits, including Hainan Island regional attire and the costumes of the minority tribes of Li, Miao and Hui, proudly gathered around the impressive display of books and flags representing nationalities of the girls. The Miss World contestants filled the room, delighted to see that their chosen books had captured the children’s imagination. They posed for waiting photographers and chatted with children who were delighted to be able to practice their English words. Director Lin Chui Bin explained that he was creating a “separate section in the library for all the Miss World books, so all the children would have a chance to see them.” He thanked Julia Morley for the girls’ kindness, adding that the 2,894 children at the school were eager to see the books. The selection of books donated by the candidates included a magnificent copy of ‘National Treasures of Georgia’, ‘Journey Through Kenya’, ‘Curaçao: Tropical Moods in the Caribbean’ and ‘The Magic of New Zealand’. At the end of the ceremony, Julia Morley further surprised the children by asking if they would like some ice cream. Unsurprisingly, the response was unanimous, with many of the contestants saying they would keep the kids company.
Monday, November 29th was a day of rehearsals, Miss Germany celebrated her 21st birthday accompanied by her parents and the rest of the contestants and, in the evening, the young women attended a moving and informative lecture by a prominent doctor from the Hospital of Addis Ababa fistulas in Ethiopia. Midwife Ruth Kennedy, who worked for the amazing clinic set up to help poor young women with childbirth injuries, flew in from its African headquarters to give a lecture on the horrors of the fistula problem that particularly affects women in Africa and Asia. The girls were moved, some to tears, when Ruth spoke about the medical consequences for the poor, uneducated and malnourished women she treats in Addis Ababa. She explained that these very young women were engaged from the age of ten and were expected to become pregnant in their teens. Because their bodies were not fully formed, they were often unable to give birth and their babies died while still inside them. The internal damage was so great that the bladder ruptured and the women became incontinent. Having suffered this trauma during their failed birth and having to mourn the stillbirth of their baby, these young women were ostracized by their communities, abandoned by their husbands and forced to live in isolation due to their incontinence. “Two million women are known to have fistula,” explained Ruth Kennedy, who worked for renowned British surgeon Dr. Catherine Hamlin, who created the Fistula Center with her late husband, Dr. Reg, in 1974, after two decades of working with suffering women in Ethiopia. “The main problems we face are the lack of education, medicine and nutrition. As Ambassadors of your countries, I ask you to help your sisters who are in need. Help us spread the word and communicate these problems and issues to the rest of the world. Be advocates for your sisters in Africa and Asia.”
Miss Cayman Islands was one of the first to speak. “I have a degree in communications and would like to get involved. How can I use my skills to promote greater awareness of this issue?” Ruth explained that by spreading the word over the Internet and bringing information back to their home countries, the contestants could help inform other parts of the world. Miss Hong Kong asked if the Fistula center communicated with human rights organizations. Ruth explained, “We now work with UNFPA and received an award from the UN in 2004. Thanks to these efforts, the world is waking up.” Miss USA asked about the future of the girls who underwent surgery to repair her fistula. Ruth told the audience: “Once cured, these women can go home and rebuild their lives. If their husbands left them because of the stigma attached to incontinence, they can find another husband and try to start over. They can try to have another baby and we tell them that once they feel the baby inside them, they should start walking to the hospital, that’s why we have started to set up assistance centers. Ethiopia is a mountainous country, which creates problems when traveling. Despite an 85% success rate of all operations at the Fistula hospital, there are a few that we can’t completely cure and we can’t go home. For these women, we have established a special village, called Desta Mender (Joy Village). In each of the houses the women live together as a family, there is a central community hall, a training center for teaching and literacy and a farm with cattle and chickens, thus a home has been created for those who can never be what they were before her birth injury.” Miss Nepal asked Ruth if she had any plans to visit Nepal and she replied that they would travel to any part of the world where they could get food and lodging and there were more than 20 potential patients.
Miss Barbados asked where monetary donations should be sent and Ruth explained that the best way was through http://www.fistulahospital.org. Miss Tanzania was the last girl to stand up and address Ruth and the rest of the audience, which included the 107 contestants and the previous year’s Miss World winner, Rosanna Davison. In an emotional call, she said: “In Africa we suffer because we are poor and lack resources. We need to educate women so that they can help others. What we lack in resources we must make up for with will and determination. We can and will empower our women”. Julia Morley said: “I know all of you will have a lot to think about tonight. When I first visited the hospital in Ethiopia, I was surprised that women still had to endure such conditions in the 21st century. The important thing, however, is education. I think we’ve all educated ourselves tonight and we need to work to spread the word about the amazing work Ruth and her team are doing.” Morley then invited Miss Ethiopia onstage. Through tears, Miss Ethiopia said, “I’m lucky to be here, but it hurts me that while we are here, enjoying our lives, others are suffering. I know they mean it from the bottom of their hearts when they say they are moved by the fistula problems in Ethiopia. I thank Ruth and Miss World for the seminar tonight. It is very important to educate the world on this subject.”
On Tuesday, November 30th, after rehearsals, a group of European Misses attended a press conference in the Caribbean Room of the Sheraton Hotel. Some of the contestants, including the Misses from Gibraltar, Netherlands, Latvia, Greece, Sweden, Finland and Moldova, joined the press conference specially called by the Chinese media to discuss a variety of topics, including their period nerves prior to Miss World and how they were finding the experience of visiting China, many for the first time. Miss Gibraltar, Helen Gustafson, was asked by the assembled media what the differences were between the Asian and European contestants. She explained that the differences were few and far between. “We’ve all really bonded as a group, regardless of where we come from. We’ve all had a lot of fun together.” Miss Finland, Nina Johanna Tikanmaki was asked what she wanted to do with her life after Miss World. “I have my whole life ahead of me, so I feel like I can decide what I want to do. Participating in Miss World can only open doors for me.” The questions also challenged the girls on their understanding and belief in Miss World’s charity work, asking specifically about the issue of HIV and AIDS in the developing world. Miss Netherlands, Miranda Slabber, spoke of her belief that education was the key to solving these problems. “Educating people to understand what they are up against is the only way they will be able to protect themselves and their families. Beauty with a Purpose is an ideal conduit for education and support.”
MISS WORLD FAMILY PARTY.-
On the night of Tuesday, November 30th, the 107 Miss World candidates enjoyed a meeting with their families in the so-called “Miss World Family Party”. The girls wore their most spectacular dresses for the lavish event that took place in the grand ballroom of the Sheraton Sanya Resort. Delicious cocktails were served in the reception area and the girls introduced their families to their fellow contestants, while being entertained by a fabulous Latin band. Once inside, the girls and their guests were ushered to their tables. A sumptuous four-course dinner was served, and the girls enjoyed delicious international entrees, butternut squash soup, and then a traditional “Christmas dinner” of turkey and vegetables. The festive theme continued with dessert, with Christmas pudding and coffee served. The room was decorated with firecrackers, Christmas streamers, balloons and snowflakes as the girls shared stories of their Christmas plans with traditional Christmas hymns softly playing in the background. The president of Miss World, Julia Morley, took the stage to thank the guests and candidates gathered there.
After dinner, guests enjoyed performances by some of the girls, including Miss Italy, who sang ‘The Greatest Love of All’ and then invited Sheraton Sanya Resort Manager and fellow Italian Claudio Nardini to join her in the stage to perform a duet performance of ‘Volare’. Miss Antigua & Barbuda delivered a stunning rendition of Barbara Streisand’s classic ‘Papa Can You Hear Me’, which earned them the coveted Best Talent award, securing their place in the final. She dedicated her performance to her father, her costume designer and the president of Miss World, Julia Morley, who were in the audience. Miss Chinese Taipei jumped onto the floor to perform a heartwarming modern dance routine, while Miss China treated attendees to a traditional Chinese dance. The girls watched, cheered and twirled on the dance floor, where their fellow contestants performed. Then it was the turn of the other guests to speak. Later, the organizers turned up the volume of the music and the girls began to relax as they danced to the rhythms of Abba, Michael Jackson and The Bee Gees. At the end of the night, the girls and their families were asked to come together, form circles and celebrate a wonderful evening with dancing to Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York’ and the traditional Scottish New Year’s anthem ‘Auld Lang Syne”, with Miss Scotland taking center stage performing a Scottish dance. The evening was a huge success with guests including Miss World 2003 Rosanna Davison saying how much they enjoyed the family party.
Miss Gibraltar said: “What a wonderful evening and a great opportunity for the girls to let their hair down and relax with their families. Miss World really knows how to throw a party.” Miss Germany agreed. “I had a great night.” Miss Saint Lucia said: “After being here for about three weeks getting to know each other, it was really great to meet all of the girls’ family and meet up with mine.” Miss Dominican Republic said: “I realized that even though we are in a competition and there is a fight for the unknown, when we put all that aside is when we really become a family.” Miss Belgium stated: “I think the family party was very positive. We all felt at home and close to each other.” Miss Northern Ireland said: “I’m so thankful that we had the family party, seeing my sister, brother, mom and dad was overwhelming!” Miss Bosnia & Herzegovina commented, “I think the family party was great, maybe the best night here. Even though my family wasn’t here, I wasn’t alone. Everything was perfect.” Miss Costa Rica: “I felt part of a great family.” Miss Zimbabwe: “Although my family was not present, the family party made me feel like part of a larger family.” And Miss Ireland finally commented: “I had a fantastic night that I will always treasure.”
SANYA HAPPY FOR MISS WORLD.-
Chinese officials said the Miss World celebration had done wonders for the local economy and tourism revenue. Zhou Xiong, spokesman for the Miss World China organizing committee, said he was pleased that Sanya had been chosen as the host of the pageant again.”This is very important because our cooperation last year was very satisfactory, very successful and excellent. We received a lot of praise at home and abroad,” he said. Li Boqing, another government official on the organizing committee, said the organization of Miss World helped promote Sanya as an overseas tourist hub with an increase in foreign visitors. “It has an obvious impact on Sanya, especially in terms of its image,” he said. “We are making a name for ourselves through the Miss World organization.” He added that the number of tourists in Sanya rose 30 percent in the first 10 months of this year from the same period in 2003, while tourism receipts rose 40 percent compared to the same period last year.
WORLD AIDS DAY.-
On the afternoon of Wednesday, December 1st, a group of Miss World contestants gathered in honor of World AIDS Day to discuss with the assembled media the impact that HIV and AIDS had on the world today, specifically in relation to their own countries. Candidates from BRAZIL, PUERTO RICO, PHILIPPINES, TANZANIA, FIJI ISLANDS, SOUTH AFRICA and UNITED STATES were among the contestants who met with the press contingent that included Chinese and international press. Miss Brazil opened the precedent in which she spoke openly about the problems her country faced in dealing with the effects of HIV and AIDS, but said she was encouraged “by the programs in schools that inform people about the dangers of HIV”. Preventing the spread of HIV was the most important part of the program, with education being the key. In fact, the theme that was clearest throughout the discussion was the need for education.
Miss Puerto Rico spoke poignantly about her own upbringing, admitting that when she was in school there had been no information about HIV and AIDS. She believed that “all of society needs to work together: government, families and schools to provide a proper education. The communication is very important”. Miss Philippines stated that “one of the advantages of participating in Miss World is that you get to be an ambassador. You get to speak about issues like HIV and AIDS.” She summarized her thinking on the subject with three points: Awareness (about HIV and AIDS), Acceptance (Not stigmatizing those who are infected), and Help (not just to help those who are HIV+, but help to help educate). The next contestant to speak was Miss Tanzania, who reiterated that she believed the Miss World Beauty With a Purpose pledge was an ideal vehicle to help promote these issues. In particular, she informed the audience about the problems endemic to sub-Saharan Africa. She spoke of education as ‘essential for the future of Africa’ and she was especially interested in highlighting the plight of women on that continent. She appealed directly to the press that she heard that “you can never be too young to make a decision (to help)”. The next speaker was the qualified medical doctor Miss Fiji, who spoke about the problems that her country of origin had with the virus. She was interested in pointing out that HIV is indiscriminate in who it affects. “Any person, of any sex, race, age and gender can be affected” and that is why it is key that everyone is educated about the dangers.
Miss South Africa pointed out that HIV not only ‘infects a lot of people, but also affects a lot of people’. She believed that spreading the message of safe sex was essential. Miss USA ended the conference revealing the shocking statistics investigated for World AIDS Day. She told the stunned audience that every minute five people in the world die from AIDS-related illnesses. Which meant that she was the third biggest killer in the world. She spoke that it was a global emergency, that it was ‘the moral issue that defines our days’ and that education was the fundamental issue to be addressed. That Wednesday, the last photo session of the candidates for the local and international press was also held in the gardens of the Sheraton Sanya hotel.
DEFENDING THE CONTEST.-
Another press conference was held on Thursday, December 2nd, where the Miss World contestants came together to defend the relevance of the pageant and denied that it degraded women. Most argued that strutting in front of more than two billion viewers did not promote sexism, but instead helped the poor and drew attention to the suffering in the world. “We are not here to show naked bodies. I think we are all here to fight for a cause, some for AIDS, some for abused women,” said Gloria Ting, Miss Malaysia. Miss Philippines, Maria Karla Bautista agreed. “We’re not just here to show beauty, we’re also here to show our purpose. The fact that we’re showing off our bodies hasn’t changed that,” she said. “We all come together to share our culture and attributions, so that people know more about our countries, what we are working for. We are here for a cause,” she concluded.
Last year’s winner, Rosanna Davison of Ireland, said the fame of Miss World helped many ambitious and smart young women to promote their countries and advance their careers. “Yes, the girls are beautiful and it kind of helps them become representatives and ambassadors of their countries,” she said. “It’s a wonderful thing to represent her country and it’s a great honor for any girl… it gives young women the opportunity to have a say on global issues,” she added. Davison, the daughter of “Lady in Red” singer Chris de Burgh, said she would be returning to college shortly to continue her studies and that she was considering a career in television as one of her many options. Critics of the pageant have long ridiculed it and attacked it as degrading the event.
MISS WORLD FOR THE THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR IN SANYA.-
In this press conference, Julia Morley, President of Miss World, officially announced that the 55th edition of the pageant would be held in Sanya again, for the third consecutive year. “I am delighted to inform you that the 2005 Miss World pageant will be held here in Sanya,” she announced. According to her, the Chinese island of Hainan, where the city of Sanya is located, “is like our home” and thanked the authorities for their collaboration and the kindness of the locals. In the appearance before the press, Morley and the mayor of Sanya, Chen Ci, announced that the celebration of 2005 would be a common enterprise, whereby both parties would cooperate for the greatest success of the event.
Hainan, wanting to promote itself as a safe, tropical tourist destination, paid Miss World $4.8 million to host the pageant in 2003, and built a huge convention center as well as highways to the site of the event. This year, however, the city of Sanya offered security measures and other services, but paid nothing, a formula that could be repeated next year, Efe said. “This is a safe island,” Chen said on Chinese television, defending Miss World’s decision to repeat the event in Hainan for the third consecutive year. Since the celebration of Miss World 2003, China has entered a frenzy of pageants, shows and beauty contests of all kinds. Among them stood out “Miss plastic surgery”, “Miss and Mister of the Third Age” or “Mr. Model Citizen of Shanghai”.
THE WINNER OF THE “CONTESTANT’S CHOICE”.-
That night the Dress Rehearsal of Miss World was held, where the winner of the last ‘Fast-Track’ of the contest: “Contestant’s Choice”, which was chosen by the contestants themselves, was announced. The winner was Miss AUSTRALIA, Sarah Janette Davies, 22, who was shocked to learn that she had received the most votes from her fellow contestants and thus secured her place in the final of Miss World. The result of the contestants’ choice was a surprise announcement at the dress rehearsal and it was made particularly special as many of the girls’ families and friends were in attendance. Miss Australia was overwhelmed by the result. She said that she felt “extremely flattered and privileged to be chosen by the contestants, since during the month that we have been together in Miss World they are the people who know you best”.
Winning that award was especially exciting since her mom, dad, one of her sisters, and her boyfriend were in the audience to watch her compete. They couldn’t wait to congratulate her after her, telling her how proud they were of her after all her hard work. Miss Australia had been a runner-up in the talent show with her rhythmic gymnastics routine, came second in the Beach Beauty competition, and was narrowly edged out in the sporting event after losing the two-meter dash event to Miss Wales. Miss Australia admitted that her “initial ambition had been to make it to the final fifteen. Securing the final spot on the ‘Fast-Track’ with the support of the other girls has been like a dream come true. I can’t wait for the final now! Anything can happen now!” During the rehearsal, Miss Canada was “fakely” crowned as the new Miss World, with the delegates from China and Uganda remaining as finalists.
THE DAY OF LIONEL RICHIE.-
Friday, December 3rd was Lionel Richie Day. The award-winning soul sensation, who was in China to perform at the Miss World final, was thrilled with the honour. She spent the day chatting with the media and posing for photos with the Miss World contestants at the glorious Sheraton Sanya Resort. Claudio Nardini, General Manager of the Sheraton Sanya Resort, welcomed Lionel Richie to the exquisite setting of the Lagoon on the resort’s lush grounds, where Lionel chatted with some of the girls. Contestants from JAMAICA, BOLIVIA, NAMIBIA, ZAMBIA, CHINESE TAIPEI, CHINA, CANADA, USA, IRELAND and ENGLAND posed for photos with Lionel Richie, who said, “I’m so glad to be here. What a wonderful way to spend a couple of days”. “With the beautiful girls and the beautiful surroundings, this doesn’t feel like a job!” He then posed next to the white grand piano in the lobby of the Sheraton Sanya Resort. At a press conference later that day, Lionel discussed his career and the impending Miss World final with the assembled media. About Sanya, he commented, “This is the best kept secret in the world. It’s wonderful here. You really get a sense of old and new. I’d love to take a vacation here. I definitely plan to come back.”
The press was interested in asking Lionel Richie about the competition on Saturday night, asking him what his judging criteria would be if he were asked to select the winner of the Miss World final. “Personality would be the first criteria,” Lionel said. “Then it would have to be the brains. Intelligence is what I think is important. Someone who represents their culture and takes pride in their culture impresses me. For me, intelligence comes first. That’s what makes Miss World so difficult. In addition to beauty, these girls are also very intelligent. It’s a very difficult decision.” Lastly, Lionel talked about his perceptions of China. “In the last eight or ten years I’ve been invited to do a tour in China and I’ve been so busy touring that it hasn’t happened yet. I really want to accept the offer from the Chinese and come to play some concerts here. It is one thing for someone to tell you about China, and another thing for you to see it for yourself. Now that I’ve seen China, I’ll be back.”
LAST MINUTE FAVORITES.-
It seems that luck was on the side of Miss Peru, María Julia Mantilla, because in the last polls the beautiful Trujillan girl was in a good position according to an average balance of the votes by continents. According to the projections of those who would be very close to the world crown, there was Miss Peru, who had reached 9-1 followed by Mexico, India, Egypt, the United States, China and Thailand. That meant that among those countries would possibly be the fate of the “Miss World” crown, with the delegate from Peru being the best voted, with the best criticism and the most bets in her favor. However, the contestants themselves believed that Miss World should be Australia, United States or Trinidad and Tobago. In fact, there was one judge from Australia and one from Antigua & Barbuda. Miss United States led 12 of 13 bookmakers. Miss Belgium was the most photogenic of the contest according to the Global Beauties website, with the representatives of Northern Ireland, United States, Australia and Peru being finalists in that voting. On the other hand, Miss Thailand could easily become the first beauty from the Far East to be crowned Miss World, while Miss Angola represented Africa’s best hope. According to insiders, Miss India had lost ground in the last two weeks, but was still going strong, as was Miss Mexico, who was already ranked as having won the Top Fashion Model award.
A few hours before the final of Miss World 2004, some contestants stated the following: Miss UGANDA: “I’m getting nervous, my heart is dedicated to giving my best tonight, to make my country’s dream come true.” Miss COLOMBIA: “Tonight will be a very happy day because our dreams may come true, but it will also be a bit sad because it will be our last day of a fantastic and unforgettable month.” Miss FRANCE: “I am looking forward to the day of the final and I am very excited. I want to do my best representing my country and I am very proud to be here.” Miss JAMAICA: “Representing my country Jamaica and participating in the big show is a great honor and a highlight of my life. Mere words cannot express the anticipation I feel for tonight. Miss World has been an incredible experience.” Miss BAHAMAS: “The Miss World experience has been wonderful… the family party… the talent show, so many great moments. I think tonight will be full of wonderful surprises.” Miss ANGOLA: “I enjoyed my time in Sanya, first because it is a wonderful place and second because I had the opportunity to be in contact with people from many different cultures.” Miss SPAIN: “Although my dream is to become Miss World, if not I would be very grateful to have had this fantastic opportunity.” Miss DENMARK: “I am extremely proud to be part of tonight’s show. It’s going to be magnificent and it’s really been worth all the practice.”
Miss MEXICO: “I’m quite nervous but also excited because the big day I’ve been waiting for has arrived.” Miss CANADA: “We have worked very hard to put on a good show tonight. I am confident it will be a great success. I will do my best to make it to the final and everything else is in God’s hands.” Miss POLAND: “I am very excited for tonight. It was a great experience to be able to participate in this competition and get to know China.” Miss EL SALVADOR: “I am very excited for the final, just because I know that I will participate in such a glamorous and well-organized show. Having the support of my family here reminds me that my people believe in me, which gives me the strength to continue “. Miss HONDURAS: “I am very anxious for the final. I know it will be a wonderful and unforgettable night for everyone in the world.” Miss NIGERIA: “My feelings about tonight, I know that I have done my best to represent my country Nigeria in the best way that I can and also my family . And for tonight I leave it in God’s hands.”
Miss ANTIGUA & BARBUDA: “I’m really looking forward to tonight. I’m going to do my best but above all to have fun.” Miss PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: “When our friendship has spread to all corners of the earth, the whole world becomes a family. I will never forget this moment when we hug each other, the warmth comes from the bottom of our hearts.” Miss CHINESE TAIPEI: “I am looking forward to tonight, I am excited. This is a moment that will always be special to me and that I will never forget.” Miss SINGAPORE: “From beautiful Singapore, I present myself as a confident and charismatic woman willing to make a difference in this world. Touching and changing hearts through inner beauty, I will show you the best of me.” Miss ZAMBIA: “I can’t wait for tonight, It should be a great show.” On what they think of Sanya, China and their time at Miss World 2004: Miss CZECH REPUBLIC said, “I love Sanya because of the nice weather and the Chinese people are always friendly and helpful. Staying at the Sheraton is like being at home.”
Miss TURKS & CAICOS: “Sanya is a lovely place and it’s very similar to home except for the mountains. It’s time away from home but it’s like home.” Miss SLOVENIA: “I have enjoyed Sanya very much. I love its climate and above all the lovely people who will remain in my heart forever. I hope to have the opportunity to come back to Sanya again.” Miss LATVIA: “Since she was young she collected butterflies. It was very exciting for me to visit the butterfly museum.” Miss HUNGARY: “I really enjoyed the last four weeks in Sanya. I enjoyed being with all the contestants, wonderful people, weather and nature.” Miss PANAMA: “Here in Sanya I feel at home, it is a beautiful place. I am very happy to be representing my country and my culture.”
Miss ARGENTINA: “Thank you very much for the fantastic welcome you have given us. You have made me feel like one of you from day one.” Miss EGYPT: “Sanya has been a great experience for me as I have made many new friends.” Miss BELARUS: “My time here has been the most memorable experience of my life and I will treasure it always.” Miss NICARAGUA: “It makes me very happy to be here. It is a great pleasure to share this experience with all the Miss World contestants.” Miss MOLDOVA: “This is my first time in China, and the most memorable thing for me was the parade through the streets, I was surprised how colorful it was.” Miss UKRAINE: “Hainan Island has brought sunshine into my life. The people here have given us a warm welcome.” Miss GEORGIA: “I really enjoyed my time in Sanya. I have made many friends who I hope will be my friends forever.” Miss GREECE: “Sanya is completely different from Greece. It is an exotic and hospitable city that I will never forget.” Miss SWITZERLAND: “I had a wonderful and exciting time in Sanya. I have met girls from all over the world and made many friends. It’s my first time in China and I really want to come back very soon to visit more of this wonderful country.” Miss MAURITIUS: “I think Sanya is a very beautiful place and all the people who live here are very friendly, warm and friendly.”
Miss MALAYSIA: “The weather here in Sanya has been fabulous. The food, the people, the places, the hospitality, everything has been wonderful.” Miss CURAÇAO: “After spending weeks with all these women, I am leaving much more confident, mature and appreciating my life, my family and friends and everything around me even more.” Miss NORWAY: “Dr. Kennedy’s speech about all the women suffering in Ethiopia made a great impression on me. I have decided to use this knowledge to make Norwegians aware of the situation and to be able to help them.” Miss BOLIVIA: “I love Sanya, it’s a magical place. Miss World has been a fantastic experience.” “All day we have rehearsed the final night. After breakfast, they took us by bus to the Theater where the contest will be. We stayed there until nightfall, when they brought us back to the hotel to have dinner and sleep.”
Miss VENEZUELA: “I feel that Sanya is my second home. It will always be in my heart.” Regarding her possibilities, Andrea Milroy added: “I have family and friends in Spain, the United States and Venezuela who have voted for me and that can help me a lot. I feel very calm and I know I’m doing well. If they don’t select me, it’s simply because I wasn’t what they were looking for”. She was very happy because she expected the visit of her parents, Carola and Roger Milroy; by Osmel Sousa and his friend and make-up artist Antonio Álvarez. Andrea said that she was going to wear the white dress by Gionni Straccia that she wore in Miss Venezuela, although less uncovered and decorated with Swarovsky crystals. -Is it true that no media outlet has mentioned you in her list of favorites? – “Yes, they have mentioned me. Of course, I do not have the favoritism that I enjoyed in Miss Venezuela. The favorites are the candidates who have won the preliminary competitions and it is logical that they do more publicity and are the most requested.” -Which candidate did you vote for for the title of Miss Popularity? – “Rather than the most popular, we voted for the one that we believe can do a good role as Miss World. I voted for Miss Mexico, Jessica Ramírez.” -What have you learned during these weeks of living with your fellow contestants? – “Respect for other cultures, to live together as harmoniously as possible and to understand that you have to be prepared to win and to lose.”
Miss PERU: “There are very beautiful girls in the contest, but I feel prettier than all of them. It’s not vanity, it’s just that I’m very sure of myself. I’ve just been interviewed by the organizer of the contest, Julia Morley, I told her aspects of my life, but we already know that the winner for the first time will be chosen by the public through the Internet and I hope to have a good vote”. María Julia said she felt like a winner because her stay in China was very enriching at a cultural and social level. And it is that she, along with the other candidates, had the opportunity to visit and have breakfast with a group of children at a school in Sanya. “I study education and it is important to have a vision of what is happening in the educational field in a country like this. I do not speak Chinese, but I was able to realize two things. First, there is a very marked orientation towards respecting the rights of others, which seems fundamental to me. And second, respect for the elderly, you can’t imagine the affection and respect these children have for the school janitor, an older man. These are things that impressed me a lot.”
Miss PUERTO RICO: “I feel calm. Obviously I’m going to be nervous because it’s normal in these competitions… rather I’m anxious to be ready on time.” “I greet the people of Puerto Rico, family and friends who have supported me throughout this contest. It is a pride for me to represent my Island, and to let the world know of our natural beauties. The final decision will not be in my hands but I’m still happy with what I did for myself and for Puerto Rico.” The Puerto Rican said that she was going to wear a gown designed by Harry Robles that night. The dress is in bright green satin crepe and was created on the model’s body. The style is column that opens to the mermaid type knee. The neckline is heart-shaped at the front and straight at the back, held up by one-inch-wide cuffs. The creative part of the dress was some decorations made of micas cut into thin strips of twelve inches. Until 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 4th (local time in Sanya), fans and missologists could send their votes through the Internet or by telephone or cell phone messages to the numbers provided for this purpose in each country in the world. It would be the popular vote that would decide which of this year’s 107 candidates would win the crown in this 54th edition of the Miss World contest.
THIS WAS THE FINAL OF MISS WORLD 2004.-
After almost a month of concentration, the big day finally arrived. The Sanya “Beauty Crown” Theater dressed up on Saturday, December 4th for the final of the “Miss World 2004” pageant. The event began at 9 p.m. local time in Sanya and was broadcast live on television stations in Venezuela, Trinidad-Tobago, Jamaica, France, South Africa, India, Greece, Nigeria, Russia, the Philippines and the United Kingdom (ITV), while in other dozens of countries was rebroadcast on a delayed basis. The gala began with a group of Chinese dancers and jugglers, with oriental drum music, being the protagonist a small boy dressed in yellow and with a mask on his face, who did contortions to the delight of the audience. Soon after, the presenters of the evening, Troy McClain, Angela Chow and Lisa Snowdon, arrived on stage and they explained that, for the first time in history, it was the public from their homes, who would decide the winner of the fifty-fourth edition of the contest. Explaining the procedure, the emcees invited the 107 participants to the stage, who appeared wearing yellow, red, blue and fuchsia bikinis accompanied by their respective sarongs, designed by former Puerto Rican Miss World Wilnelia Merced-Forsyth. The girls came out in four groups, performing spectacular choreography by Donna Walsh and Sandy Bentes. The closing of the opening was with all the girls on stage. As the girls prepared for their next outing, a video was shown of the contestants’ welcome upon arrival in Sanya and the subsequent parade of floats through the city’s streets. Footage of the tree-planting ceremony and welcoming party in Wanning was also shown. After the first commercial break, Troy McClain introduced the panel of special guests, who this time would not judge the contestants but would only issue opinions about them. They were:
1.- The Australian actress, Kate Ritchie.
2.- The cricket champion of the Caribbean island of Antigua, Sir Viv Richards
3.- Chinese photographer and director of the New Silk Road modeling agency, Li Shaobai.
4.- The International Ambassador of Miss World, the Irishman Krish Naidoo.
5.- Julia Morley, president of Miss World.
Later, Lisa Snowdon presented the votes of some countries, for example the voters of Russia, who gave the best scores to the candidates of that country, Ukraine, Belgium, Italy and Moldova; the Brazilian public that obviously voted for the girl from their country in first place, followed by Peru, Puerto Rico, Chile and Venezuela; and finally the Chinese, who voted for the People’s Republic of China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States. Angela Chow was in charge of introducing the first musical artist of the night, the legendary Lionel Richie, who performed the theme “Long, Long Way to Go”. Then, the 107 competitors were presented individually, wearing their designer gowns from each country, in groups of seven, starting with Miss Ecuador and following the same order of numbering given to them for voting via text messaging. The last two groups were of six and five candidates. Each group of girls did a little choreography before the performance of the next group of ladies. In the same way, a general choreography was made for each two groups of contestants. Curiously, the order was the same according to the rooms and the roommates of each one. For the closing of this segment, all 107 young women came out together.
Once they were all on stage, McClain and Chow proceeded to announce the winner of Best Designer Dress, an award that went to Miss BELGIUM (Ellen Petri) in a black strapless gown with leather appliqués by designer NickyVankets and inspired by the “Phantom of the Opera” masquerade ball. The award was presented by the Chinese fashion designer Li Shao Yen. It was time to meet the winner of the Scholarship Award and Angela Chow said that this year, more than 70 candidates applied for it. To present the award, Chow called on stage to Dr Colin Niven of Dulwich College International and Poly Asia President John Paith. The winner was Miss JAMAICA (Tonoya Toyloy) who wanted to continue her studies in Pharmacy. After the second commercial break, McClain, Chow and Snowdon presented the videos of the winners of the five ‘Fast-Tracks’ (Beach Beauty, Sports, Talent, Top Fashion Model and Contestants’ Choice) who went directly to the group of 15 semifinalists (this year the number of semifinalists was reduced, since in 2002 and 2003 there were Top 20).
The five winners (Miss UNITED STATES, Nancy Valeria Randall; Miss WALES, Amy Guy; Miss ANTIGUA & BARBUDA, Shermain Sunja Jeremy; Miss MEXICO, Yéssica Guadalupe Ramírez Meza; and Miss AUSTRALIA, Sarah Janette Davies) walked to the front of the stage before that the videos of these first five selected in the “U-Decide” program will be shown. It was also emphasized that the five winners of these preliminary events had obtained an additional 25 points to those awarded in the global votes. Next, the presenters announced the first five of the ten semifinalists, chosen by the public through worldwide voting. They were: Miss PERU (María Julia Mantilla García), Miss DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (Claudia Julissa Cruz Rodríguez), Miss PHILIPPINES (María Karla Rabanal Bautista), Miss TRINIDAD-TOBAGO (Kenisha Nalisha Finita Thom), and Miss POLAND (Katarzyna Weronika Borowicz). In the same way, their presentation videos of the “U-Decide” program were shown.
After a new commercial break,a special number was presented with dancers representing the “Buddha with a Thousand Arms” and a video of Miss World 2003, Rosanna Davison along with several candidates this year, recounting their experiences in the contest, before announcing the last five semifinalists who completed the Top 15 of Miss World 2004. They were: Miss CZECH REPUBLIC (Jana Dolezelova), Miss RUSSIA (Tatyana Alexandrovna Sidorchuk), Miss VIETNAM (Huyen Thi Nguyen), Miss PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (Jin Yang) and Miss NIGERIA (Anita Queen Uwagbale). After their “U-Decide” introduction videos were shown, Lisa Snowdon chatted with Australian actress Kate Ritchie, who commented that she liked the dresses worn by the contestants from the Dominican Republic and Australia; She also said that personality and a sincere smile made a Miss World winner. For her part, Viv Richards said that her favorite was obviously Miss Antigua & Barbuda.
|01||Miss UNITED STATES||Nancy Valerie Randall||24||Evanston, Ill.|
|02||Miss WALES||Amy Guy||21||Ruabon, Wrexham|
|03||Miss ANTIGUA & BARBUDA||Shermain Sunja Jeremy||23||Parham Town|
|04||Miss MEXICO||Yessica Guadalupe Ramirez Meza||22||Tijuana Baja California|
|05||Miss AUSTRALIA||Sarah Janet Davies||22||Sherwood, Queensland|
|06||Miss PERU||Maria Julia Mantilla Garcia||20||Trujillo|
|07||Miss DOMINICAN REPUBLIC||Claudia Julissa Cruz Rodriguez||18||Bonao|
|08||miss philippines||Maria Karla Rabanal Bautista||20||Cebu City|
|09||Miss TRINIDAD & TOBAGO||Kenisha Nalisha Finita Thom||21||Scarborough, Tobago|
|10||Miss POLAND||Katarzyna Weronika Borowicz||19||Ostrow Wielkopolski|
|11||Miss CZECH REPUBLIC||Jana Dolezelova||23||Unicov|
|12||Miss RUSSIA||Tatyana Alexandrovna Sidorchuk||19||Perm|
|13||Miss VIETNAM||Huyen Thi Nguyen||19||Hanoi|
|14||Miss PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA||Jin-yang||20||Chongqing|
|15||Miss NIGERIA||Anita Queen Uwagbale||19||Lagos|
After the fourth commercial break, Angela Chow had changed her gown for a more indigenous Chinese dress and she, along with McClain, welcomed the musical group “Il-Divo”. The quartet, made up of Carlos Marin, baritone (Spain); David Miller, tenor (USA); Sebastien Izambard, vox populi (France); and Urs Buhler, tenor (Switzerland), performed the song “Regresa a Mí” in Spanish. After this, Chow and McClain invited the fifteen semifinalists to the stage to reduce the group to just five.
The lucky ones were: Miss DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, Miss PERU, Miss PHILIPPINES, Miss POLAND and Miss UNITED STATES. The finalists were briefly interviewed by the hosts as they were called, with simple questions about their experiences in the pageant and what they would miss about Sanya. The only finalist who used an interpreter was the Peruvian Maju Mantilla, but she, Miss Philippines and Miss USA addressed words in Chinese for the audience present. The Peruvian put the public in her pocket when she replied that what she would miss most about Sanya was “the quality of the people of Sanya. Every time I woke up with the smile of the people. The smile surpasses the language.” The Dominican said that she would take with her the respect of each one of her companions; Miss Poland confessed that her father had died when she arrived in China and that she was there for him; Miss Philippines said that what she had liked the most about the pageant was the camaraderie and friendship that she had achieved with her new friends from all over the world and the North American, very excited, said that she had learned from different cultures, not just from people of Sanya but of each of her 106 companions. The public votes had already been closed and soon the new world queen would be known.
After the fifth and last commercial break, Lisa Snowdon interviewed Rosanna Davison, the outgoing queen, from backstage. Then, singer Lionel Richie returned to the stage to perform a medley of his most iconic songs: “Hello”, “Three Times a Lady” and “Say You, Say Me”, while all the contestants took their places on stage. Lionel commented, “These are truly incredible women. They are not only beautiful, they are also intelligent. The world has had to make a difficult decision.” For the climactic part of the pageant, McClain invited the five finalists back to the stage and Chow called out the outgoing Miss World, Ireland’s Rosanna Davison. Julia Morley came on stage to announce the Top 3 thanks to votes from all over the planet. The three finalists were Miss UNITED STATES, Miss PERU and Miss DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
Then, as usual, Julia Morley reported the result in reverse order. The SECOND RUNNER-UP was Miss UNITED STATES (Nancy Valeria Randall). McClain then called the final two finalists to center stage, briefly interviewing them and Julia finally announcing that MISS WORLD 2004 was MISS PERU, María Julia Mantilla, therefore, the FIRST RUNNER-UP was Miss DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, Claudia Cruz Rodríguez. The brand new Miss World, dressed in a turquoise blue dress with rhinestones by the Trujillo designer Isa Torres, received a sash and crown from the outgoing queen, and then gave her triumphal walk with the official Miss World march.
To culminate the broadcast, Lionel Richie sang his song “Dancing On The Ceiling” under a shower of confetti to celebrate the triumph of the new queen chosen by the public worldwide, which led to a great party on stage with all the participants. The 20-year-old Peruvian Maju Mantilla gave her country the second Miss World crown (the previous one won in 1967) and became the first Latin American to win the title since 1995. After being crowned, Maju said: “The fact that I am the first Miss World to be chosen by a global vote makes this award incredibly valuable. I will treasure the memories of tonight. Now that I have become a genuine global ambassador, I intend to do everything in my power to further the good causes that have been the driving force behind Miss World for more than half a century. I just hope I can do the job with the dignity and style that Rosanna Davison has done over the last year.” Julia Morley commented: “This year has been an exciting and particularly special experience because, for the first time, the world has decided who should be their Miss World. I am sure Maria will do a fabulous job over the next twelve months and she will be a wonderful ambassador for all the good causes we have partnered with over the last 53 years. I would also like to thank the people of Sanya and Hainan for their fabulous hospitality. Everyone has made us feel very welcome on this beautiful island. Once again, the Sheraton Sanya Resort has been a fantastic home for us and has treated us wonderfully over the last month.”
At the end of the 2 hour and 5 minute broadcast, the grand coronation ball was held at the Sheraton Sanya Hotel. The girls were driven by a police convoy from the Beauty Crown Theater in Sanya and arrived at the resort amid the hubbub of guests. The president of Miss World, Julia Morley, took the stage to congratulate Miss PERU and the other contestants. At the party, the prizes were awarded to the Continental Queens of Beauty. Miss World 2004, from PERU, received the additional honor of the title of Beauty Queen of the Americas. Miss POLAND was awarded as the European Queen of Beauty. She took to the stage to collect her award wearing a stunning white chiffon gown. The Queen of Africa award was given to Miss NIGERIA, who seemed elated as she accepted the award. The Queen of ASIA & OCEANIA award went to Miss PHILIPPINES and the Queen of the Caribbean went to Miss DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, who was delighted to receive her award. For her part, Miss AUSTRALIA was given a special award for her achievements in the pageant. These awards were presented in front of a crowd of supporters who enjoyed after a sumptuous dinner. Lionel Richie and a host of Chinese dignitaries took to the stage to celebrate the glittering evening. Dancing erupted as the girls fell into rhythm with the Latin sounds of the resort’s marching band. “What an incredible night,” said the new world queen, who was overjoyed to be congratulated by her fellow contestants.
|AFRICA||Miss NIGERIA||Anita Queen Uwagbale|
|AMERICAS||Miss PERU||Maria Julia Mantilla Garcia|
|ASIA & OCEANIA||Miss PHILIPPINES||Maria Karla Rabanal Bautista|
|CARIBBEAN ISLANDS||Miss DOMINICAN REP.||Claudia Julissa Cruz Rodriguez|
|EUROPE||Miss POLAND||Katarzyna Weronika Borowicz|
At the Coronation Ball it was also reported that Miss POLAND had been the Third Runner-up (fourth place) and Miss PHILIPPINES, the Fourth Runner-up (fifth place). Days later, the official website of the contest (missworld.tv) published the final ranking of the remaining semifinalists: Miss AUSTRALIA (6th), Miss TRINIDAD & TOBAGO (7th), Miss ANTIGUA & BARBUDA (8th), Miss REPUBLIC CZECH (9th), in the 10th position there was a tie between Miss CHINA and Miss VIETNAM, Miss RUSSIA (12th), Miss MEXICO (13th), Miss NIGERIA (14th) and Miss WALES (15th). As was traditional in recent years, the amount of the prizes received by the winner, the finalists or the Continental Queens was not reported, although some media mentioned that the winner would obtain a prize of 100 thousand dollars during the year of her reign. The candidates returned to their countries of origin on Monday, December 6th.
THE FIRST WORDS OF THE NEW WORLD QUEEN.-
Five hours after having achieved the title of Miss World 2004 in Sanya, China, the Peruvian María Julia Mantilla García still could not fall asleep in the luxurious room assigned to her by the organization of the contest in the hotel where the contest was held. She was very excited and at times her voice seemed to crack. “I can’t believe it! I always felt like a winner to encourage myself and I think that helped me to become Miss World. I cried a lot when they announced me as the winner. I dedicate this victory to my Peru, to my land Trujillo, to my family that I love so much.” Those were the words of the brand new Miss World, the Peruvian María Julia Mantilla, from her room at the Sheraton Hotel. “The fact that it is the public of the world who has chosen me is something tremendously precious. I will never forget this night and will try to do my best to promote good causes. I want to play my role as ambassador with the dignity and class of my predecessor,” she added. The phone in her room kept ringing. They called her from all over the world. Her voice was dry from responding so much to the national and international media. “I’m happy, happy,” she said. It was obvious that she felt happy for having given Peru a victory, but it was also evident that she missed the human warmth of her compatriots, because unlike many participants, she traveled alone to said eastern country, and that is why she received congratulations from Peruvians by phone: “I was alone, but the girls from Spain, Bolivia and Argentina supported me a lot; they behaved as if they were my sisters. This is all like a dream.”
“I always liked to compete. I thank my parents for teaching me the sense of perseverance. I tried hard. I came wanting to succeed and I got it,” said the beautiful woman from Trujillo. Among the anecdotes of her long stay in China (almost a month), Maju, as she is known in her homeland, said that she danced the marinera, but that she could not enter the talent competition, because she was considered like national dance. “However they were impressed with the dance,” she said. “When I needed some advice, I would run to the phone to speak with my relatives or with the guys from the Queens of Peru organization. It would have been nice if they had accompanied me, but the circumstances were different,” she said. Of her roommate during the pageant, Spaniard Maite Medina, Maju said: “She’s a great girl. I’m sorry he didn’t get one of the top three places. She was accompanied by her mother at all times.” She also gave special recognition to Marina Mora. “All the advice she gave me in Lima was very helpful, in addition to the intensive classes I had at her academy.” And about Jéssica Newton, she stated: “I did not have the opportunity to meet her when I participated in Miss Peru, we never had any direct contact”. The new Miss World acknowledged that being Miss had its sacrifices “like any job. But you have to have enough will.”
Maju’s life took a complete turn as soon as she received the crown. Julia Morley, the organizer of Miss World, already made her aware that she would have to reside in London during the year of her reign. “From there, we will carry out social work. I am aware that there will be a lot of work involved and it saddens me that I will not have much time for my family.” She walks the earth very well and she hopes to finish her work as Miss World to resume her education career. “I will be a teacher, it is my vocation, modeling is a complement”. The northerner also dedicated many years of her life to athletics. She participated in sports competitions on behalf of her school, and even won medals in the hundred meter dash and high jump. She preserved the innocence and simplicity that made her characteristic when she became part of Miss Peru. She made it clear when they asked her Is it true that the amount of the prizes amounts to one hundred thousand dollars? “I don’t even know. There are several people who have told me, including my family.” She also shows a gentle smile when we let her know that her crush, Giuliano, had become the target of the Trujillo press and had even given some interviews. “I don’t like to talk about my private life. I don’t think he does either.” “On Monday (December 6) I will travel with Mrs. Julia to London and we will be there for about twelve days,” she said.
PARTY IN PERU.-
In Trujillo, her hometown, the people erupted with joy and celebrated in the streets. After the results were known, everything was happiness, joy and tears in Trujillo and even more so in Maju’s parents’ house. Family members, friends, the boyfriend and fellow students shouted with a Peruvian flag and went out in a caravan throughout the Plaza de Armas. The honking of horns and shouts with the name of the new Miss World were reciprocated by the crowd with the slogan “Yes, it could! Yes, it could!” Doña Elvia García de Mantilla, Maju’s mother, said that she contacted her daughter on Friday morning and told her that the contest was very close but that she put everything on her side. Also, she remembered that Maju didn’t think about being queen. “She liked sports. Her ideal was to be in an athletics world championship, until she sprained her knee, stopped practicing the sport and started as a hostess, then she became Miss Libertad, Miss Peru and now Miss World. “I really can’t believe it, she’s exciting. We’ll have her at Christmas and I’m sure she’ll be very well received,” she noted.
On one side of the front door of the house, the father, Mr. Olmedo Mantilla Mayer, with the calm and tranquility that characterizes him, anticipated: “The truth is, this is as pleasant as it was 35 years ago when my sister Maju (also called that) Mantilla Mayer was crowned Miss Peru. Now the joy is greater.” “In the family we were following the contest on cable, on a Colombian channel, when the news broke. We all hugged each other, we cried. We tried to communicate immediately with her, but it was impossible. Thank God and the Virgin of La Puerta, because they are the ones who have led Maju to this triumph,” he said. Giuliano Barraza Arbulú, Miss World’s boyfriend, was in a corner of the Mantilla García family’s home, sitting on a piece of furniture, answering calls to his cell phone -surely congratulations- and ended immediately to answer the usual questions like: “What does it feel like to be the boyfriend of the most beautiful woman in the world?”, to which he answered while kissing the photo of Maju : “Nervous, joy, this for me is the most beautiful thing in my life. She had a lot of faith to achieve victory. She is very persevering and determined to achieve what she sets out to do.”
Barraza said he found out about the election through a friend. “I’m still shaking with excitement,” he said. “I haven’t kissed her for a month and a half, I hope to see her soon,” he confessed, while indicating that he had been dating her for a year and a half. In Lima, Jéssica Newton, former organizer of Miss Peru, said she was happy. “I feel a lot of affection for her because I see that I closed my stage as organizer of these contests with a diamond brooch.” And the former Miss Peru World 2002 Marina Mora, added feeling triple happy: “Maju has been my friend for years, she is Peruvian and, in addition, we are almost countrymen.” “Now we are the first power in Latin America in beauty contests. We have left Venezuela behind,” said proudly Percy Luzio, director of Image for Reinas del Perú, organization that had the franchises of Miss Universe, Miss World and most of the most important beauty contests in the world. For her part, the Peruvian Miss Universe Gladys Zender, winner in 1957, said: “I am proud that the victory of María Julia allows the name of Peru to be heard again throughout the world.” After expressing her congratulations and successes to the new sovereign, she added: “She is a girl who deserved to be a winner. Northern women have always had a reputation for being pretty.”
Maju’s choice as the most beautiful woman on the planet in the Miss World pageant received praise on the front pages of the Peruvian press. A fever of compliments ranging from “Divina!” even the popular popular expression “Vale un Peru” -used to highlight the immeasurable value of something-, appeared in the newspapers that gave wide coverage to the event. “Simply, the most beautiful,” headlined the newspaper El Comercio (the one with the largest circulation) that opened its website to receive more than half a thousand greetings that would be sent online to the new sovereign. Huge photographs of the final ceremony of the contest and the moment in which María Julia Mantilla walked triumphantly abounded in the media. “Miss World is worth a Peru”, pointed out the Expreso newspaper, “Peru has a queen”, indicated Peru 21; the popular tabloid OJO dedicated its entire cover to her and stamped a spectacular “! DIVINE!”. The mother of the beauty queen, Elvia García, told the press that on the eve of her election she prayed to the Virgin to support her daughter. At that time, Maju was studying education at the National University of Trujillo, where she was in her fifth cycle. The newly crowned queen herself had announced that she was weighing the possibility of specializing in tourism, as well as becoming a high school teacher. In Peru, no channel televised Miss World live. Peruvians watched the contest, deferred and edited, on Sunday, December 12, through América TV.
María Julia Mantilla said on Sunday, December 5th, that Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo offered her to officially name her “Goodwill Ambassador” of Peru, after having been chosen as the most beautiful woman on the planet. “President Toledo told me that he would like to name me ‘Ambassador of Good Will’ and that he was going to contact my organization to see what day I am arriving in Lima,” she told the Andina news agency. The Trujillan girl explained that it was the Peruvian ambassador to China, Luis Chang, who called her to greet her for the award she obtained from her and to put her in telephone contact with the head of state. “The president told me that he is very proud of the victory of the Peruvians and that he was happy for my effort to achieve this title. Finally, was supported by the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur) and the Tourism Commission of the Congress of the Republic during the day. Andina also reported that Vice Minister of Tourism Ramiro Salas asked citizens to go to the airport to welcome the queen with palms and flowers, “a simple and beautiful woman inside and out, who has raised the name of Peru very high, and who is now the pride of her compatriots”.
RECEIVED THE FIRST RUNNER-UP WITH HONORS.-
Tired but happy, Claudia Julissa Cruz Rodríguez, the candidate from the Dominican Republic, who won second place in Miss World, returned home on Tuesday, December 7th, through the José Francisco Peña Gómez International Airport. Cheerful and displaying the Dominican flag, Claudia was received with a typical merengue and by the folkloric ballet of the Ministry of Tourism. She was expected upon her arrival by Jatnna Tavares, Belkis Reyes and the Miss World team, along with Hans Danemberg, Undersecretary of Tourism, as well as family members and dozens of Dominicans with welcome banners. When she came out, her people received her with songs, applause and even poetry. Claudia Cruz said she felt tired, but happy, and she highlighted the care that was given to her in China, emphasizing that she was happy to return to her land. The 18 year old arrived in the country at 10:00 at night, on an American Airlines flight. On Wednesday the 8th, a welcome cocktail was held at the Marocha restaurant in honor of the Dominican beauty and on Friday she was received by the President of the Republic, Leonel Fernández, and by Mayor Roberto Salcedo. On Sunday, the vice-queen of the world threw the first ball in the All-Star game and later paraded in a convertible car along the Malecón Libre, where she received recognition from the municipalities of Puerto Plata, Montecristi, Santo Domingo and the Ministry of Tourism.
– What was the first thing you thought when you heard that you were not the winner? “I said: what?! My director Belkis Reyes always told me that my competition was Trinidad-Tobago for the Caribbean and the United States for America. Among all of them I focused on them as my competition and when they say second runner-up the United States I told myself : My God, nothing else remains for me and Peru, and I said to myself: if I lose with her I’ll be happy because she’s a good person and she worked hard, and if I win then I’d feel happier, but I did think they were going to say the Dominican Republic. Yes, I felt a little sad and surprised because you work a lot and I felt that I had done very well. Then, the response that people have given me was much more than if I had received the crown, which was what comforted me. After the contest the other candidates came and told me: for me you are the queen, I admire you and that made me cry”. – On the radio it was commented that the organizers of Miss World had a commitment with Peru because China has contracts for the creation of a free zone in that country that could make clothes of the Miss World brand and that it was probably an engagement. Did you know about this? “No, I did not know. You never know what is going on inside the organization. For this reason, I did not feel bad and more than I was warned, they told me this contest is excellent and you are going to learn a lot but you have to know what Miss World is looking for, she has to be prepared, it is not that she is not good, it may not be your year. The Lord knows what he does and at first it was difficult to say, but I told myself: no Claudia, God knows what He is doing and many offers have come that if he had won he would not be able to accept them. I feel very happy, now I love being called vice-queen of the world,” concluded the beautiful Dominican girl.
THIS WAS THE REIGN OF MISS WORLD 2004.-
Maju flew from China to London on Monday, December 6th, accompanied by Julia Morley and was in the British capital fulfilling commitments. She even received an award from the London House of Lords and visited several shelters for abandoned children and the elderly. Maju’s arrival in Lima was scheduled for Thursday, December 16th at night, accompanied by Julia Morley, President of Miss World. Thousands of people flocked to the Jorge Chavez international airport in Lima to see the arrival of Maju, who arrived on a flight from Spain. The government organized an official welcome for the brand new Miss World, as she was taken from the airport in a 30-car police caravan to the center of Lima. On every street and at every intersection, the crowd cheered and saluted their new Miss World, while Lima froze. She was received in style at the Country Club Hotel and some children were waiting for her playing the cajon. When Maju arrived at the compound, the press went crazy and the children had to be evicted, who were almost run over by the journalists.
The next day, Maju gave an official press conference at a hotel in the capital. Her first words of gratitude were for her parents and her sister, and for those in charge of the Queens of Peru organization who advised her during her preparation and solitary stay in China. “I have waited a long time, I was in Sanya for 30 days and then a few days in London, to be together with you and bring the crown that stays in this house because the crown belongs to all of you,” she said. The Peruvian beauty, who wore the low-cut turquoise dress with which she was crowned, said that during the next 12 months she would travel around the world to raise funds for children with AIDS and other charities for the most needy. Miss World President Julia Morley reported that Maju’s predecessor had raised $2, 5 million for social works and they expected the Peruvian queen to exceed that amount during her administration. Although she did not want to answer about the future of her sentimental relationship with her boyfriend Giuliano Barraza, Maju pointed out that her priority was her work as Miss World and that everyone who loves her should understand that. Later, María Julia was honored by the Peruvian Congress. The President of the Congress, Dr. Antero Flores-Aráoz, received her in the presidential office, accompanied by the first vice president, Natale Ampimo. At noon, Maju attended the municipality of Lima, where she received the “Order of Merit in Great Official Degree” in the municipal palace by Mayor Luis Castañeda Lossio. In the afternoon she had her first social activity in a Christmas chocolate party where she talked with children and the elderly, being proclaimed as the “Ambassador of the poor” by Father Martín Sánchez of the Hogar de Cristo. In the evening, the Queens of Peru organization offered a gala dinner in her name at the “Rosa Naútica”.
On Saturday, December 18, in the morning, Maju received a tribute by the President of the Republic, Alejandro Toledo. In a ceremony held in the Golden Room of the Government Palace, the President of the Republic named her “Good Will Ambassador”, with the aim of disseminating and promoting Peru’s tourist destinations to the international community. “This is going to generate more work for all Peruvians,” Maju pointed out, very nervous. But her anguish increased in the afternoon when the flight that was taking her to Trujillo could not land in that city due to bad weather, so she had to make a stopover in Chiclayo. Overcome the setback, she Maju left by air to her hometown, where she arrived at 5:35 pm before the impatient wait for more than two hours of residents, friends, family, her lover Giuliano Barraza (who received her with a bouquet of flowers and a kiss on the lips) and political authorities. The welcome was with a music band and typical dances. Maju then toured the streets of the city aboard a white limousine, while she greeted the cheering public. Then, in the Plaza de Armas the celebrations continued. Maju was received with a dinner at the Central Club. The next day, Julia Morley was returning to London but the Trujillo airport was closed due to fog and she had to return by land to Lima in order to arrive on time to catch her flight to London. After the hubbub of receptions and celebrations, María Julia Mantilla went to her house in Trujillo, where she would remain until January 2. Initially, she Maju was supposed to return to London on Sunday, December 19th, but she received permission from Julia Morley to share the Christmas and New Year’s festivities with her family in Trujillo. Tito Paz, from the Queens of Peru organization, said that, at the request of the Miss World organization, the sovereign could not give interviews or attend public events. Paz also ruled out any discomfort on the part of Morley, who returned to London on Sunday, December 19th, due to the kiss that Maju and her in love with her gave each other in the City of Eternal Spring. “On the contrary, make the most of her time to be with him and her family,” he said. Maju’s return to London, which was scheduled for Sunday, January 2nd, had to be postponed, and a trip to Bangalore (India) on January 11th was also canceled due to the tsunami tragedy in Southeast Asia.
Maju remained inTrujillo until January 10th, 2005 and from there she traveled to Lima, where she remained without making public appearances but receiving intensive English practice until Monday, January 17th at 9:00 p.m., when she left for Beijing (China) with a stopover in Amsterdam on a KLM flight, to fulfill her first international engagements as world beauty queen. In Beijing, Julia Morley was waiting for her, who had traveled to Sanya to sign the contract for the realization, for the third consecutive year, of Miss World in that city. The contract was signed on January 18th by the Mayor of Sanya, Zhang Qi, and Julia Morley, president of the organization. According to the contract, the city council would disburse a million dollars for the contest. Maju arrived in Beijing on Wednesday, January 19th, and the next day she visited the Great Wall of China. On Friday, January 21st, at a press conference in Beijing, Maju and Mrs. Morley announced that the Miss World Organization had signed a commitment with SOHU and the Chinese Ministry of Health to fight AIDS in the colossus of Asia. On Sunday, January 23rd, Maju flew to London with Morley and she stayed there for several days.
In February, Maju returned to Peru, where she recorded some videos with the Ministry of Tourism to promote Peru internationally. These videos were recorded in Cusco and Macchu Pichu. On Thursday, March 3rd, Maju taped a special for the Don Francisco Show in Miami to air on March 30th, and on Friday, March 4th, she was in attendance at the Variety Club’s Charity Telethon for Children in Des Moines, Iowa, where Some 5 million dollars were raised. Maju also visited Blank Children Hospital and Childserve Rehabilitation Center, which would be the two beneficiaries of the telethon. On Sunday, March 6th, Maju was present at the UNICEF Tsunami Victims Fundraising Dinner in Houston, Texas, held in the great room of the Intercontinental Hotel, where there was a Christian Dior Fashion Show, being the main figure Miss World, Maria Julia Mantilla. There, US$400,000 was collected.
Maju and Julia Morley parted to Russia on April 1st. They arrived in Perm to an enthusiastic welcome. A press conference was held in the morning, attended by many local journalists and TV stations. That night, they went to the Demidkovo camp for a fun picnic on the frozen river and to meet some of the local residents. Everyone enjoyed some wonderful ethnic entertainment and Miss World was transported around this fairy tale town on a horse drawn sleigh. The next day they went to the local orphanage to visit the resident children. The children put on a very entertaining variety show that was enjoyed by all present. That afternoon, Miss World made a celebrity appearance at the city’s permanent circus, which was putting on a special performance for more than 2.000 privileged and special needs children. A fundraising variety show was held in the evening, collecting 1.49 million rubles for Perm children with special needs. On April 4th, they traveled to Moscow for a big press conference attended by all the major newspapers and TV stations in Russia. At night, Miss World and Julia visited Víctor and his parents at his house. Victor was a 20-year-old young man who was studying to be a doctor. At age 5, Julia took him to London for life-saving surgery. After so many years it was an emotional and private reunion for all involved. The next morning there was a visit to the Moscow Children’s Hospital to meet some of their young patients. That night a sumptuous banquet was held in honor of Miss World. On April 6th, Maju and Julia returned to London.
On Thursday, April 7th, Maju took her bags again and this time she flew to Prague. Maria Julia received a fantastic welcome on her first trip to the Czech capital. On a busy schedule, she visited the Minister of Culture and took a tour of the 13th-century palace, which houses the ministry, including a collection of some of the rarest paintings in the world. Maju then attended the Childline Program in the Czech Republic. This charity provides advice and help to children, as well as listening to any issues they wish to discuss. Maria was impressed by the high level of training that all of her counselors underwent. The second day she began with a press conference and a visit to the Polish Embassy gave Maria the opportunity to pay her final respects to the recently deceased Pope John Paul II. At night, she was a special guest in a play that combined cinema with live actors. On the third day she started with the 150 km journey to Kirov Varley, which is deep in the Czech countryside, where the Miss Czech Republic pageant was held. Maria Julia surprised the audience as after speaking for a minute in her native Spanish, she then continued in the Czech language! She received a standing ovation. At the press conference afterwards, Maria congratulated the new Miss Czech Republic and gave her advice on what to expect at the Miss World final, thi time in English.
On Tuesday, April 12th, Miss World and Julia Morley flew to China to prepare for a visit to the Tsunami region. They paid a courtesy visit to Beijing visiting Travel Channel TV and SOHU (Chinese Internet company) and then went to Sanya. They spent two glorious days at the prestigious Sheraton Sanya Resort and then departed for Indonesia via Hong Kong. The purpose of the visit was to meet with the victims of the tsunami disaster. Julia Morley, through her association with Variety International Children’s Charity, helped get portable water treatment plants sent to the area to alleviate the suffering of the victims of this disaster. Jacki Chan, who played a major role in raising funds for children in Asia, joined the party, raising $4.5 million for humanitarian aid in the area. The group arrived in Jakarta on April 17th and were greeted by enthusiastic crowds wherever they went. On April 18th the entire group flew to Banda Aceh to see for themselves the devastation caused by this tidal wave. Visits were made to local camps housing the homeless and local children, some of whom had been orphaned, entertained the group with singing and dancing. The governor gave a wonderful lunch attended by local dignitaries, the Dutch ambassador and some of the foreign soldiers who were helping with the relief work in the area. Later that night, the group returned to Jakarta via Medan to visit Chinese children affected by the tsunami. On April 18th, Miss World and Julia Morley had an audience with the President of Indonesia. In the evening a fundraising event was held. It should be noted that Maju was invited to crown the new Miss Peru World on April 16th, but Morley canceled the trip to Peru at the last minute because they had scheduled the trip to Indonesia.
In May, Maju returned to Peru, where she visited a Hospital for children with cancer and where she received special training for what would be a spectacular 4-day ascent to the high snow-capped mountains of Tibet. On Sunday, June 5th, she traveled to London, invited to the British Red Cross Gala Party, which took place on Tuesday the 7th at the Guildhall in London, as a tribute to Luciano Pavarotti. This event managed to raise over £300,000, where Maju modeled the Red Cross Jewels. On the 8th, Maju flew back to Peru to continue preparing for the challenge in Tibet. Her training included a climb to the mountains of Huaraz. The beautiful Peruvian traveled to China on July 8th and celebrated her 21st birthday with a three-tier birthday cake and banquet in Wenzhou city. The guests, including some of the leading figures in the eastern Chinese city and Ms. Julia Morley, stood up to sing Happy Birthday to Maria Julia, including a special version in Chinese! “This is the first time I’ve celebrated my birthday away from home in Peru, but everyone here tonight has made me feel part of their family, so I’m very happy,” said Maria Julia. “It was a great surprise and it makes me feel very special. It’s a birthday I will remember forever.” In addition to the spectacular cake, Maju and the rest of the guests enjoyed a meal of more than 20 courses, including soups, noodles, various types of vegetables, finely cooked meats and special delicacies of local fish, prepared by one of the best chefs in the city.
Maria Julia was in Wenzhou to celebrate the signing of a contract to seal a deal that would bring 120 beautiful contestants to the city for Miss World 2005. The signing of the contract took place on July 14th. The highlight of the visit in November would be the Miss World Talent Show, when the girls would showcase their singing, dancing and performing arts skills to an audience of Wenzhou residents and a wider audience on Chinese television. Ms. Morley said: “We are delighted to come to Wenzhou for Miss World 2005. We hope that the presence of 120 Miss World contestants will raise the profile of the region and present to the world a bold new image of Wenzhou as a home of tourism and culture, as well as some wonderful shopping.” In following days, Maju trained on the Great Wall of China and in mountains near Beijing. On Sunday, July 17th, Maju traveled to Tibet. On Wednesday the 20th, the expected ascent to the Qi-Zi mountain of 6,026 meters of altitude began, for which three camps were arranged and the ascent was expected to last between 3 and 4 days. On Sunday, July 24th, Maju managed to reach the top of the mountain wearing her crown and where she placed the Miss World flag. With this achievement she was able to collect money to alleviate the needs of the children of Tibet. This activity was organized by the Miss World Organization and Sohu. The China Mountaineers Association and the Tibetan Cultural and Economic Exchange Center supported the climb. On Monday the 25th they returned to Beijing and from there to Lima.
In August, Maju was working on the preparation of the ‘Heart of Gold Campaign’. Miss World and the Variety International Children’s Charity sent one million gold heart pins to Peru. Each badge would be sold to the Peruvian public and the proceeds would be donated to the ‘Por los Niños del Perú’ foundation, which is a children’s charity that helps disabled and disadvantaged children in Peru. During the second week of August, a press conference of the Golden Heart Campaign was held to announce the plans and expectations of the campaign. She then visited Trujillo for 3 days where she attended a breakfast with the children who would benefit from the campaign. ‘For the Children of Peru’ has children’s homes throughout Peru and the work they do for the children is invaluable. Many of the Children had been there since they were babies. She then returned to Lima where she visited another of the houses of the ‘For the Children of Peru’ foundation. The last week of August she dedicated herself to preparing the Heart of Gold Welcome Dinner, coordinating the menu, the guest list and the presentation. On August 31st, the day began with a press conference in the Plaza de Majón with a container full of Hearts of Gold. During the dinner, the history of the foundation “For the Children of Peru” was presented on a big screen, an explanation of the campaign with all the fundraising projects. That same night she traveled to London.
On September 1st, Maju arrived in the English city of Manchester, where she was received by Miss England and the next day she went to Liverpool where she toured the city including a visit to the Cavena Pub that the Beatles made famous. At night, she was a judge in the election of Miss England. The next day she flew to Lyon, France for a lingerie and swimwear fair to model the Miss World swimwear range. She then traveled to Ireland with a brief two-day stopover in London. She arrived in Ireland very early on September 7th for an interview on the most popular morning TV show. On the 8th of September she went to a press conference and photo shoot and on the 9th she was invited to the Heartbeat Trust charity dinner to raise funds for adults and children born with heart problems. She returned to Peru on September 11th to continue working on the Corazón de Oro campaign. Eight of the greatest Peruvian singers agreed to perform a song called “Corazón de Oro” together, including Julio Androde, Gianmarco, Julie Freundt, Cecilia Bracamonte, Pedro Svarez Ventiz, Elsa María Elejalde and Raúl Romero.
Maju spent the first week of October doing interviews to promote the campaign.”Heart of gold”. The second week she attended a photocall with all the Queens of Peru wearing golden hearts. The third week of October she collected the donated gifts for the auction. The charity dinner was held on October 26th at one of the largest restaurants in Peru called Costa Venote, which was brilliantly decorated. A group of children from the ‘For the Children of Peru’ foundation opened the dinner with a fantastic dance from the three regions of Peru, representing the mountains, the jungle and the coast. Next, the eight best singers of Peru sang the official song “Corazón de Oro” to close the dinner. Maju came on stage and gave a long speech thanking the audience and Ms. Julia Morley for all of her hard work. Unfortunately, Mrs. Morley could not be present at the gala. The campaign was a great success and everyone enjoyed the dinner. Maju traveled to China in November and handed over her Miss World crown in Sanya on December 10th.
BIOGRAPHY OF MAJU MANTILLA.-
María Julia Mantilla García was born in Trujillo, Peru, on July 10th, 1984. She is the daughter of Olmedo Mantilla and Elvia García and has a sister named Elia. All four of her father’s sisters were Miss Libertad, and one of them, María Julia Mantilla (Maju was named after her), became Miss Peru and was a semifinalist at Miss Universe in 1969. Her aunt Lydia was a local queen and was in second place in Miss Peru. Finally, Martha and María del Pilar were Miss Libertad. María Julia completed her studies at the Colegio Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro in Trujillo in the year 2000. She was a student of Education at the National University of Trujillo. She had planned to study Tourism but finally decided on Marketing and Advertising. Mantilla became the Peruvian Triathlon and Pentathlon champion. Her greatest dream was to go to the Olympic Games representing the country in her specialty. Not surprisingly, the young woman was the national athletics champion in 1999, one of the almost 60 medals she had accumulated in her life as an outstanding athlete. However, a knee injudges to her cut short a likely professional career in the sport. She was also champion of Marinera (national dance). Her favorite phrase is: “My family is my strength.” Her activity as a model and a brief foray into television replaced sports in Maju’s life after she was elected Queen of Cachimbos at the National University of Trujillo in 2002, in 2003 she was chosen as Miss University and on April 19, 2004 she crowned as Miss Peru World.
Confident of herself, Maju left for China on Saturday, November 6th. The evening dress was by Isa Torres, a designer from Trujillo, and the organization had to send it to Maju in Sanya by DHL. At first, Maju didn’t sound like much but the last week of her contest her favoritism went to heaven. In view of this, the people from Reinas del Perú went to Panamericana TV to buy the transmission rights and they told them: “they always say that the Peruvian women will win and they don’t win” and they decided not to acquire the transmission rights. But, on December 4th, 2004, Maju gave “mouth plug” and won the second Miss World crown for Peru in Sanya, China. During her reign, Mantilla was ambassador of tourism in Peru and carried out a series of tasks focused on fundraising for charitable organizations. For this and as part of her reign, she traveled to Indonesia, Russia, Peru, the United States, the Czech Republic, China, Tibet, Ireland, the United Kingdom, among other countries.
Her vocation for promoting programs and campaigns for the benefit of low-income populations was recognized. After delivering the world crown, Maju began to participate as presenter or judges of the Miss Peru pageant. She signed as an official model for Ésika, also participating in the “Women’s Models” sketch. In July 2011, she recorded as a guest actress in the soap-opera “Ana Cristina”. In 2015, she participated in the Peruvian soap-opera “Ven Baila Quinceañera” as Mónica Pastor del Campo. Between 2012 and 2013, Mantilla hosted the family program “Dos sapos, una Reina” on América Televisión, accompanied by Joselito Carrera and Roger del Águila. Mantilla hosted the program “Al aire” with Sofía Franco on the same television house between 2013 and 2016.
On January 19th, 2012, Maju married businessman Gustavo Salcedo Ramírez-Gastón in the Municipality of San Borja (Lima) and on February 4th of that same year, they contracted a religious marriage in the Cathedral of Trujillo, celebrating the wedding party in the Casa Hacienda Saldaña. She met her husband in 2004 when she was doing a photo shoot for an interview and despite the fact that he invited her to date, she did not accept because at that time she had a relationship with Giuliano Barraza. A year later they met again but this time she was already single but she constantly traveled to London for commitments she had, even so both agreed to have some dates and romance arose. In 2009 Gustavo proposed to her. In July 2012, Mantilla made her pregnancy public on the television show she was hosting at the time. Maju gave birth on January 19th, 2013 to a boy named Gustavo Salcedo Mantilla and on February 23rd, 2016 her daughter Luna María Salcedo Mantilla was born. She currently hosts the program “En boca de todos”, along with Tula Rodríguez and Gino Pesaressi, which is broadcast on América TV. Maju beat COVID for the second time in January 2022.
FROM THE OTHER CANDIDATES.-
The candidates from Albania, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Lebanon, Mauritius, Namibia and Switzerland later participated in Miss Universe 2005 in Thailand, of which the Swiss entered the 10 semifinalists, while Miss Trinidad-Tobago did the same in Miss Universe 2006 in Los Angeles also reaching the Top 10 and Miss Zambia at Miss Universe 2007 in Mexico City. For their part, the girls from the Bahamas, Hong Kong and Wales participated in Miss International 2005. By the way, the Welsh woman was named “Miss United Kingdom” on March 15th, 2005 for having been the best British positioned in Miss World 2004 and as such she was in Miss International. In Miss Earth 2005, Miss Poland (2nd runner-up), Miss Paraguay (Top 8) and Miss Ecuador (Top 16) competed. The Polish also managed to be 3rd. runner-up in Miss Europe 2006, while Miss Gibraltar competed unsuccessfully in the 2005 edition. The Puerto Rican obtained sixth place in the Miss Tourism Queen International 2008 and the Panamanian participated in Miss American Continent in 2006. On the other hand, Miss Costa Rica and Miss Honduras competed in the International Coffee Reign 2005, the Chilean was in that same event but in 2007 and won the World Reign of the Sea 2007; The American participated in Miss Louisiana USA 2006 where she managed to be the first runner-up and the Russian won the ladies’ contest “Mrs Globe 2018” on behalf of Lithuania. For her part, the Belarusian won the Top Model International 2005, the Mauritian was in Miss Intercontinental 2005 and Lady Universe 2014 and the Zimbabwean was 2nd. runner-up in Miss Tourism World 2005. The Serbian girl participated in Miss Tourism Queen Intl. 2005, Miss Peace 2005 and Miss Universe Canada 2010.
Dominican Claudia Cruz became an actress and TV presenter. She was about to participate in Miss Dominican Republic Universe 2006 but decided to withdraw. She currently lives in New York and she converted to islam, so she wears hijab. On her youtube channel she inspires women near and far with her story of finding her faith. American Nancy Randall is married to Alwyn Duane and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is a model for the Wilhelmina agency. Filipina Karla Bautista married Merrick Anthony Siao in May 2011 and has three children: Kallasandra (2012), Marcheska (2016) and Matteo (2019). She worked as a flight attendant for the Emirates airline in 2008 for three years, residing in Dubai. She managed to fulfill her dream of graduating as a Lawyer on May 3rd, 2019. She currently works at her husband’s Spa in Cebu. Polish Katarzyna Borowicz started working on Polish TV in May 2007 where she was the host of her own show called “Babskim okiem”. In 2012, she married Turk Rasim Ayerden, whom she divorced in 2016. She worked for ten years as a reporter for the World Fashion Channel in Milan and since 2017 she lives in Abu Dhabi, where she works as a hair accessories entrepreneur. She is currently married to Italian businessman Giacomo Ziani, whom she married in the Seychelles on December 20th, 2017. In 2020 she became the mother of a girl named Stella.
Shermain Jeremy of Antigua & Barbuda lived between New York and Antigua and for many years dedicated herself to singing. She was the host of her own program called “Shermain Show” in Antigua until December 2020. She is in a relationship with Brent George and is the mother of two daughters. She lives in St. John’s. Czech actress and pharmacist Jana Doleželová married football manager David Trunda in 2014, from whom she separated in 2020. She has a daughter named Veronika, born in 2017. She lives in Ricany. The Mexican Yessica Ramírez married the bullfighter Alejandro Talavante on July 5th, 2013, from whom she separated in October 2018. She lives in Olivenza, Spain and has three children, Alejandro (2009), Álvaro (2014) and Aitana (2016). In July 2020 there were airs of reconciliation, but the couple preferred to keep their possible relationship private. Trinidadian Kenisha Thom worked for the Water and Sewerage Authority in her native Tobago; she married in April 2007 with Corey Selvon with whom she had her first daughter, Saamanta. She divorced at the end of 2012 and in August 2013 she married William Iton with whom she had three more children, twin boys Karl and Kristian, and daughter Ali. In 2010 she ran for the political party PNM (People’s National Movement) and that same year she was injured in an assault in Tobago with a knife. In 2014 she moved to Kingston, Jamaica. Vietnamese Huyen Thị Nguyen married Trung Ngoc Tong on May 27th, 2007. She gave birth in December 2007 to her daughter Linh Khanh Tong. She graduated as a journalist in London in 2009. From 2009 to 2011 she worked for the VTV4 channel where she was a presenter. The Welsh Amy Guy was a TV gladiator, she married film director Alexander Jovy in August 2010. The couple split years later, and in August 2018, Amy married Richard Blake-Thomas in Bali, Indonesia. She is the mother of three girls, Coco (2011), Quincy (2019), and Emily (2021). She currently lives in London. In 2009 she started playing polo and became the female face of the Polistas clothing brand. She continued to play sports (modern pentathlon, marathon and horse riding). In 2013 she turned to property development. Nigerian Anita Uwagbale continued her studies in the US and married businessman Tom Iseghohi on November 8, 2008 and to whom she remained married until 2018. In May 2011 she opened a baby store in Lagos. She has two boys (Drake and Troy) and one girl (Moilen). Russian Tatyana Sidorchuk married Lithuanian basketball player Kšyštof Lavrinovič on June 16th, 2006 and has 4 children with him: Daniel (2007), Dominik (2009), Emily (2013) and Kristian (2021). She lives in Vilnius, Lithuania, with her family. Australian Sarah Davies married Ben McGeachie and has a daughter, Eva Grace (2011) born in Singapore. They live in Brisbane.
Venezuelan Andrea Milroy concluded a black year for the Venezuelan beauty, because, for the first time since 1982, Venezuela did not classify in any of the three great world contests. Andrea married Juan Daniel González on March 12th, 2011, has two daughters: Alessia (2015) and Clementina (2017). She’s a businesswoman in the field of jewelry and lives in Caracas. Albanian Agnesa Vuthaj became a TV presenter, producer and occasional actress. She is also a fashion designer and has her own brand of handmade bags and accessories in Italy that bear her name, which she patented in 2014. She has directed the “Miss Kosovo” pageant since 2006, she has been the director of Miss Earth Kosovo since 2008 and Miss Earth Albania since 2013. She was a finalist for “Dancing with the Stars Albania” in 2011 and in 2009 she was a judge at Miss Earth. Agnesa was also president of the “Rotary Club” of Pristina 2015/16, Honorary Citizen of Xishuangbanna in China and Tourism Goodwill Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand. Although she resides in Prishtina, she has her own store located in New York City. Luisana Cicilia, from Aruba, is the mother of Mía, born in 2013. Brianna Clarke from the Bahamas is married to Basil Pyfrom and has a daughter, Isabella (2011). She is a health professional and lives in Washington, DC. Kennifer Marius from Barbados is a businesswoman and works as the Director of a spa on the island. She has two daughters: Kemora (2012) and Ava (2017). She married on October 29th, 2016, with Ross Callender, from whom she separated shortly after. For her part, after modeling in Istanbul, Milan, Miami and New York, Belarusian Olga Antropova settled in New York where she continued her art studies and specialized in Italian cuisine. She then returned to her country where she set up her own restaurant.
After completing her reign, the Belgian Ellen Petrishe starred in the second season of the Flemish series “Spoorloos Verdwenen” as a friend of Kevin De Jong. She was accused of having posed in lingerie for the monthly magazine P-Magazine with a priest between her legs in a chapel in Lovenjoel (Bierbeek). At the end of 2006, she performed in the show “De show van het jaar”. In June 2007, she started working as a presenter for the Belgacom TV channel. She continues to be a sought after model. Bolivian Nuvia Montenegro married businessman Abdallah Dager in August 2018, with whom she has two children, Charbel (2016) and Elías Nathir (2020). Bosnian Njegica Balorda became a presenter and actress, as well as a successful businesswoman. She married businessman Nevena Moro in November 2014. She is the mother of three children:Naum (2016), Simon (2018) and Kalina (2021). Juby Peacock from Botswana is an artist, activist and motivational communicator. She worked for many years at the US Embassy in Gaborone. The Brazilian Iara Coelho married in 2006 with the wealthy businessman Carlos Jereissati, owner of the chain of malls Iguatemi, 30 years older than her and went to live in Sao Paulo. She has a daughter, Maria Clara (2011). Bulgarian Gergana Guncheva is a prominent sports news presenter and journalist in her country. She has been married to Peter Bakardzhiev since July 1st, 2013 and has two children, Samuel (2014) and Maxim (2017). Canadian Tijana Arnautovic, in addition to becoming an actress, choreographer and dancer, worked as a business development manager for Ominiglobe Business Solutions and, in 2015, was welcomed to a new position at the German international company TITUS, where she works as an account executive. She has been married to Nikola Petkovic since June 25th, 2016 and they have three children: Dimitri (2018), Lazar (2019) and Anastasia (2021).
Stacy-Ann Kelly from the Cayman Islands works in the islands Directorate of Public Prosecutions. The Chilean Verónica Roberts participated in the Reality “La Granja VIP” where she ranked fourth. She subsequently participated in various TV shows. She has been married to the psychologist Fernando Esteban Farías Díaz since February 7, 2015, with whom she was “pololeando” (courtship) since 2009. Unfortunately, in 2018, during pregnancy, her daughter Luna died. Since the end of 2019 they are in the process of being adopted. Colombian Paola Andrea Mariño is a businesswoman in the field of geology and the mother of two children. She lives in Chía, Cundinamarca. The “tica” Shirley Calvo is Executive Director of the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR) and Head of Office of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica.Roberto Thompson (who was Mayor of Alajuela and currently Deputy of the Legislative Assembly, with 2 children from a previous marriage: Roberto and Mariana). They live in Alajuela. Croatian Ivana Žnidaric married Marco Bolkovic and has two girls: Una (2012) and Mura (2013). They live in Pula. Curaçaoan Sue-Ann Hudson is the owner of Untangled Curacao, which provides guidance for homework orientation, aimed especially at children with concentration, motivation and behavior problems; and Connect Curacao, which helps with the issue of communication between people. She is married to Ruud Thuis and has three children: Gabriella and Gael Netto (from a previous marriage) and Lily-Joy Thuis (2022). Also, she Sue-Ann has a very popular cooking show on the island called “Sue At Home”. Cypriot Constantina Evripidou is a radio producer and television presenter. She also runs her own modeling agency and owns a cosmetics brand. She got married on September 11th, 2014 with soccer player Nektarios Alexandrou, from whom she separated in July 2021. She has two children: Ariadne (2015) and Nikolas (2020).
The Ecuadorian Cristina Reyes, poet (she published several books of poetry), lawyer and Ecuadorian politician, was a national assembly member for the Christian Social Party and is currently a member of the Andean Parliament and Vice President of the Education Commission. She was the host of programs on TC Television, RTS, Telerama and Ecuavisa and a reporter for the program “Ventana a la Calle”. She appeared on Sun Channel’s Beauty Queens show in 2010. In 2020, she was proposed as the official candidate of the Christian Social Party for the presidency of the Republic with a view to the 2021 elections, however she eventually declined her candidacy to prioritize strategic alliances with other parties in a political coalition. She married on February 19th, 2022, her boyfriend Patrick Mittaz. The Egyptian Heba Ahmad El-Sisy became a film, theater and television actress, and also a TV presenter. She is a recognized public figure in Egypt. Salvadoran Andrea Müschenborn graduated in Philosophy and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas, after which she went to live in Germany for a while. She married on November 28th, 2015 with Zachary Dodd in Comasagua. She owns the Sully Mansion hotel and works as a Quality and Regulatory Affairs Consultant at Maracol Solutions. She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana and has a son named Peter, born in 2018. In February 2006, Englishwoman Danielle Lloyd won the title of Miss Great Britain, but was dethroned on November 2nd after posing nude for Playboy Magazine at the December issue of that year. She had the title reinstated for her in 2010. In January 2007, she appeared on the fifth series of Celebrity Big Brother. She won the celebrity edition of The Weakest Link in 2008 and Total Wipeout in 2010. The awards she won on various reality TV shows were donated to charity by her. Lloyd has also graced the covers of men’s magazines Maxim, Loaded, Nuts and Zoo Weekly several times, as well as appearing in FHM and Ice. She is currently a renowned English TV personality. Lloyd married Jamie O’Hara on May 26th, 2012 and had three children with him, Archie (2010), Harry (2011), and George (2013). She filed for divorce from O’Hara in 2014 due to domestic violence and later married electrician Michael O’Neill on April 6th, 2019 in Dubai. They have a son, Ronnie (2018), and a daughter, Autumn Rose (born November 2021).
Moonika Tooming from Estonia is a businesswoman who lived in London for a while; she currently resides back in Tallinn. She was married to Marek Varblane, from whom she recently separated and has a son named Karl Rohtla (2003), so she competed in Miss World as a single mother… Ethiopian Sayat Demissie is an artist, actress, professional singer and composer. Aishwarya Sukhdeo from Fiji is a Doctor and works as a rheumatologist in Georgetown, Australia. She has a daughter born at the end of 2017. The French Laetitia Marciniak is a real estate entrepreneur, she is married to Vincent Cornille and has a daughter. They live in Gauchin-Legal. Salome Chikviladze from Georgia has been married to Nika Kudzeshvili since 2006 and has a daughter, Anastacia (2007). They live in Frankfurt, Germany. The Greek Maria Spiridaki was a television presenter and is currently engaged in local politics in Crete, where she lives. She got married in 2014 with Nasos Zacharopoulos in Florence, Italy and they have a boy (2016) and a girl (2018). Guyanese Suzette Shim is married to Bryan Prittipaul and has two daughters, Gabriella Sarah and Emmaline Ariella. They live in Georgetown. Queenie Chu from Hong Kong was until recently a well-known actress and television presenter. She decided to get away from the entretainment field, so she traveled to the US to specialize in clinical hypnotherapy and returned to Hong Kong to practice it. She married cardiologist Jason Chan in January 2021. She previously had a 7-year relationship with singer Eddie Pang. Hungarian Veronika Orban is married to trainer and photographer Gabor Tamasi and they have two children, Gáborka (2013) and Abigail (2017).
The icelandic Hugrún Harðardóttir is a stylist and owner of the Barbarella Coiffeur beauty salon in Reykjavík and is married to Logi Unnarson Jónsson. She is the mother of Vilhjálmur (2008) and Jón Þór (2018). Sayali Bhagat from India made a career as an actress and later became a businesswoman. She married Navneet Pratap Singh on December 10th, 2013. She has a daughter, Ivankaa (2020). Ireland’s Natasha Nic Gairbheirth, the first Miss Ireland in history to speak Irish fluently, briefly dabbled in television and gave birth in 2006 to a son, Pádraig, from her relationship with property developer Patrick Joseph McDermott, whom she married on September 7th, 2007. The couple resides in Burt, County Donegal. Israeli Rita Lukin, who immigrated from Kazakhstan to Israel with her mother in 1990, she is an administrator in the high-tech company “Playtica” and also works in event production, lives in Ashdod, she’s still single and a vegan and animal rights activist since 2011. She continues to model and during the COVID pandemic she dedicated herself to volunteering to help the elderly and children. Jamaican Tonoya Toyloy is the creator and owner, since 2011, of the pharmacy chain “LiveWell” in her country. She was previously married to Ajani Harris-Williams, whom she separated from a few years ago. She recently remarried Brenton Borrows and has a son (2021). Juliet Ochieng from Kenya is a renowned singer and food blogger in Nairobi, she also owns Jareke Media and a jewelry line called “Areke by Juliet”. She married Joel Darche on August 24, 2013 and has two daughters: Savannah Georgie (2011) and Summer Rose (2014).
The Italian Valeria Altobelli is a TV presenter, actress, model, singer and has been presenting music, sports, politics and fashion shows. Among the various events are the Motorboat Awards, presented by Valeria in 4 languages in Monte Carlo, Miss Domina Coral Bay in Sharm-el-Sheik, Internazionali BNL in Rome, Miss Kosovo and many others. Valeria landed at Mediaset, Canale 5, together with Rete 4, in 2013, where until 2016 she was the face of the well-known broadcast Foro, together with the journalist Bárbara Palombelli. Besides that, she founded, together with the Misses of Israel, Albania, Uganda and Denmark, the NGO “Mission”, an international non-profit organization founded to empower women and children in need, for which they organize large evenings to raise funds. In June 2017, she raised money for the reconstruction of a nursery school in Abruzzo, thanks to a solidarity parade in which 40 of her friends, representatives of as many nations of the world, participated for free. In 2017 she was part of the cast of “Tale and Quali Show”, broadcast in prime time by Rai1. After reaching the final stage of the program and ranking first among women and fourth overall in the super champions tournament, she won the last episode with the imitation of Loredana Bertè in Sei beautiful. In 2018 she participated in Scanzonissima, on Rai 2, as a singer. In 2019 she opens, singing, the Los Angeles Italy Film Festival in Hollywood, at the prestigious Chinese Theater. In her private life, Valeria has been married since September 13th, 2013 to the Olympic champion with four silver medals, Simone Venier, and she is the mother of Gioele (2011). In 2020, Valeria and her group “Mission” released the musical theme “I am Standing With You” that served as the background for the film “Breakthrough” and earned her an Oscar nomination. In 2021 she participates in the BIG INTERNATIONAL category at the Kenga Magjike festival, in Tirana, Albania, qualifying among the finalists and performing on the final evening.
Korean Han Kyoung-jin is a broadcaster, television presenter and meteorologist. Latvian Agnese Eiduka is a renowned fashion designer in Riga. The Lebanese Nadine Nassib Njeim made a career as an actress in her country. She was the first Arab actress to be nominated for the Seoul International Film Festival for Best Actress for her performance in Samra. She married Hady Asmar in June 2012, but announced her divorce on September 14th, 2019. She is the mother of Heaven (2013) and Jovany (2014). Lithuanian Agne Maliaukaite is a trainer, vegan, businesswoman, mother of a girl and is specializing in personalized training for coping with depression based on physical activation techniques and dynamic meditation. Sara Leshi from Macedonia married US diplomat Thomas Willis in 2009, who was a candidate for the Republican senate primary in West Virginia in 2018 and lives with his two children from his previous marriage and one of her own (Thomas – 2017). Gloria Ting Mei Ru from Malaysia worked as an actress and later settled in Los Angeles, where she became a recognized pilot with the United States Federal Aviation Administration. Magalie Antoo from Mauricio has been married to Thierry Nozaique since October 21st, 2016 and they have a son: Theo (2009). Antonella Vella from Malta is the owner of the beauty salon “Beauty Team” in Mosta. She has been married to Lenni Sammut since May 26th, 2019. They have a son, Ethan Joe (2020).
THIS IS HOW THEY LOOK AT THE PRESENT
Marina Chivaciuc from Moldova is a specialist in psychology and foreign languages. She is married to the Moldovan politician Teodor Turta and they have five children: Roman, Milana, Felix, Miron and Gherman. Adéle Basson from Namibia married businessman Ernst Hertzog in 2007 and they live in Stellenbosch, South Africa. They have three children: Lara (2008), Edwin (2010) and Andreas (2012) but she has since disappeared from public life. Nepalese Payal Shakya worked at Optus and was also an ambassador for the Cancer Relief Society. On November 21st, 2011, Ella Payal married Uglyz Band lead singer Sarun Tamrakar in Sydney, Australia, where she resides to this day. She has a son named Sahas (2015). Dutch Miranda Slabber has been a TV presenter since 2006. In 2007 she won the reality show “Beijing Express: South America.” She lives in Hilversum with the trumpeter Rik Mol. They have two children, Nova (2013) and Silvan (2015). New Zealander Amber Peebles began her career on Radio at The Edge and on television at TV3. In 2006 she was the presenter of MTV NZ and is the current host of Sky TV’s ‘All Access’ programme. She is also a stylist and was fashion editor at Remix Magazine. She is a New Zealand ambassador for Westfield Group, American Express, and Moet. She has been married to TV presenter Brooke Howard-Smith since February 6th, 2009. Nicaraguan Anielka Sánchez is the owner of Koki’s Craft Creations and has a daughter named Mía Luciana (2017). Kirsty Stewart from Northern Ireland runs a family butcher shop in