Miss World 2005

By Julio Rodríguez Matute. PAYPAL.ME/RODRIGUEZMATUTE2

THE MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS OF 2005.-

                The Kyoto Protocol, a global agreement for the reduction of gases to combat the greenhouse effect, enters into force. The Syrian army leaves Lebanon, ending 29 years of military occupation and Israel withdraws from the Palestinian territory of Gaza. Hurricane Katrina leaves New Orleans (Louisiana) under water and devastates Biloxi (Mississippi) leaving more than 1,200 dead. Hurricane Wilma hits the Mexican island of Cozumel, the Yucatan Peninsula, Florida, and Cuba. A cyclone hits the Uruguayan coast and tropical storm Delta hits the Canary Islands. An earthquake of magnitude 8.6 affects North Sumatra (Indonesia); another 7 magnitude earthquake destroys the city of Lamas (Peru) and other very strong ones shake Fukuoka (Japan), Iquique (Chile), Kerman (Iran) and Kashmir (Pakistan), the latter leaving more than 87 thousand dead. The Shadi-Kor tragedy also occurs in Pakistan, in which a dam collapses and destroys a town, leaving hundreds dead and missing, while in Mexico the Popocatépetl volcano erupts. Al Qaeda claims responsibility for the triple terrorist attack in the Egyptian tourist city of Sharm el Sheikh. The death toll was at least 88 – eight of them foreigners. A multiple terrorist attack occurs in London, in three subway cars and in a city bus, causing 56 deaths and 700 injuries. Other terrorist attacks also occur in Baghdad (Iraq), Amman (Jordan) and Bali (Indonesia). The IRA (Irish Republican Army) announces the cessation of the armed struggle while civil war breaks out in Chad.

                The president of Ecuador, Lucio Gutiérrez is dismissed for desertion of office while Angela Merkel is elected the first female chancellor of Germany. George W. Bush assumes for the second time as president of the United States, in Bolivia the socialist Evo Morales is elected president and, in Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became the first woman president in Africa. In Mexico, parliamentary immunity is withdrawn from the mayor of Mexico City, Andrés López Obrador, in one of the most controversial political-legal episodes in the history of that country. In Chile, the Antuco tragedy occurred, in which 45 soldiers died in a snow storm. A West Caribbean plane crashes, en route Panama-Martinique, in the Sierra de Perijá (Venezuela), it was the plane crash with the most victims of the year (160). Another flight, one from Tans Peru, crashes in the jungle near Pucallpa, killing 40 of its 98 occupants. The fire at the Windsor Tower in Madrid occurs, the same-sex marriage law is passed in Spain, and Prince Charles of Wales marries his second wife, Camila Parker Bowles. Caricatures of Muhammad published in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten cause a scandal in the Islamic world. In the US, the now popular YouTube website is founded, the dwarf planet Eris, the farthest in the solar system, is discovered, and Sony launches the Playstation Portable. The first face transplant is performed in France and the Airbus A380 jet, the largest plane in the world, inaugurates its first flight. In Hong Kong the Disneyland park opens, in the capital of Chile the Transantiago begins to operate and, in sports, Gari Kasparov announces his retirement from chess.

                On April 2, Pope John Paul II dies at the age of 84, and the largest funeral in history is held. The conclave elects Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as pope, who adopts the name of Benedict XVI, becoming the 265th pope. Also passed away this year, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, former Colombian president Julio César Turbay Ayala, King Fahd of Arabia Arabia, Northern Irish soccer player George Best (famous for his relationship with Miss World 1973, Marjorie Wallace and Miss World 1977, Mary Stavin), Venezuelan swimmer Rafael Vidal, US TV presenter Johnny Carson, actresses Sandra Dee and Anne Bancroft , actor Pat Morita (Karate Kid), Venezuelan artist Jesús Soto and baseball player Chico Carrasquel. In 2005, the princes Emmanuel of Belgium, Christian of Denmark, Sverre Magnus of Norway and princesses Alexia of the Netherlands and Leonor of Asturias (Spain) were born.

                Canadian Natalie Glebova becomes Miss Universe in Bangkok, Thailand; Filipino Lara Quigaman wins Miss International in Japan and Venezuelan Alexandra Braun is crowned Miss Earth in the Philippines. Greece wins the Eurovision Song Contest held in kyiv, Ukraine, with singer Helena Paparizou and her song “My Number One” while the film “Million Dollar Baby” wins the Oscar for Best Film. In the cinema, the following movies are released: “Brokeback Mountain”, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith”, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, “War of the Worlds”, “King Kong”, “Madagascar”, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Batman Begins”, “Hitch”, “Miss Congeniality II: Armed and Fabulous”, “The Legend of Zorro”, “Sahara”, “Fantastic Four”, “Hostage”, “Memoirs of a Geisha”, “A Lot Like Love”, “Crusade”, “Oliver Twist”, “Munich”, “Land of the Dead”, “Night Flight”, “Warlord”, “The Dukes of Danger” and “Mulan II”. In the US, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Big Brother 6” and “Prison Break” premiere on TV. The following songs are hits in the radio: “You Raise Me Up” by WestLife, “You Are Beautiful” by James Blunt, “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter, “Fix You” by ColdPlay, “Get Right” by Jennifer Lopez, “Hung Up” by Madonna, “Incomplete” by Backstreet Boys, “La Camisa Negra” by Juanes, “La Tortura” by Shakira and Alejandro Sanz and “Like Toy Soldiers” by Eminem. On the other hand, Michael Jackson is acquitted of all charges against him, including the accusation of sexual abuse of a minor.

PRIOR TO MISS WORLD.-

                The 55th edition of Miss World would be held on December 10th in Sanya, a famous resort on the island of Hainan, in southern China, the venue for the third consecutive year of the pageant, local sources reported on Tuesday, January 18th. According to the contracts signed the day before by the local mayor, Zhang Qi, and Julia Morley, president of the Miss World organization, the city council would disburse one million US dollars for the event. Zhang said he hoped the city, which this year would host 120 contestants from all over the world, would achieve greater global recognition by hosting more international events. Mr. Wang, director of the Sanya Tourism Bureau, announced that Miss World had an incredible effect on tourism in Sanya. The latest figures showed that, year on year, international tourism had grown by more than 60% in Sanya, bringing millions of dollars in additional revenue to the city. “We are delighted with this incredible response as a result of holding the 53rd and 54th Miss World events. We all look forward to continued success with the 55th Miss World on December 10th, 2005”, added Wang.

                However, while Miss World decided to complete her three-year contract with Sanya by 2005, the pageant was planning to move out of that city for the 2006 pageant and was receiving offers from many different places: Dallas, Texas (United States); Dalian, a tourist city in northern China, and Australia’s Gold Coast, where organizers were still trying to hold it after a failed bid in 2004. On Friday, January 28th, it was reported that Cardiff, the capital of Wales, was also seeking the venue through Vibe, the agency that promoted the Miss Wales competition. After contacting the Miss World Organization, Miss Wales organizer Paula Abbandonato revealed that Miss World President Julia Morley would welcome the Welsh bid. Paul Sergeant, manager of Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, also backed the offer. On Saturday, June 11th, the Chinese press published that this year there would be 10 Fast-Tracks winners, who would obtain their direct pass to the Miss World semifinal: (Beach Beauty, Miss Sport & Fitness, Top Fashion Model, Best Talent, Miss Personality, Queen of Charity “Heart of Gold”, Hospital Beauty, Miss Climber, Miss CFN (Chinese Food Network) and Miss Sohu), but this plan did not come to fruition.

 MAJU WANTED TO SUE HER PLASTIC SURGEON.-

                “I am sad and angry. I have many mixed feelings,” confessed the reigning Miss World, who did not understand why the plastic surgeon César Morillas had begun to reveal “details” of all the operations that, according to him, he had done before she was crowned the most beautiful woman in the world. Peruvian María Julia Mantilla, Miss World 2004, stated on Wednesday, June 22nd, that she underwent plastic surgery on her nose and bust, but that they were only “retouches” and not “a total reconstruction”, as reported in a report published by the Spanish newspaper “El Mundo”. Maju was considering taking the plastic surgeon to court for showing the press alleged adulterated photos and saying that he had placed her buttocks and made her ears smaller. The surgeon had stated in said article that, in addition, he had modified her cheekbones to make her eyes stand out, had operated on her nose, placed silicone on her breasts and had increased the thickness of her lips.

                “The doctor is presenting adulterated photos and they are easy to see, I never had surgery on my ears, I have no marks, any doctor can come and see my ears”, Mantilla told RPP radio indignantly. “He has said that he has reconstructed me, that he has put buttocks on me and fixed my ears and that is false, I am not the creation of a surgeon; he only made my bust and nose and that is why I am evaluating a lawsuit,” Maju added. “The organizer of Miss World, Julia Morley, has my photos when I won ‘Miss Trujillo’, ‘Miss Peru’ and before my operation. That’s why I have no problem, she is happy with me; she also supports me in everything, she knows everything about me” she said. “I want to tell that doctor (César Morillas) that the Miss World organization is already aware of everything and together with ‘Queens of Peru’ we will take the necessary legal measures”, she said on Radio Ke Buena’s ‘Hora 6’ program.

                According to Mantilla, that surgeon was getting free publicity thanks to her image. “I am disgusted by what that man has come out to say because he wants to take advantage and hang on my title. It makes me sad because here in Peru they did not pay attention to him, that’s why he went abroad. He is an opportunist and that bothers me”, she asserted. Mantilla also commented that Morillas had come forward to say that he performed an operation on her lips when that was false. “I don’t know why he invents that (…). A doctor never shows photos of his patients”, she added in an interview with Mónica Chang and Dennis Vargas Marín. At a press conference, María Julia Mantilla showed her indignation about this matter and asked that no more scandal be made on the subject. “Faced with the comments made about me by Dr. César Morillas, I just want to comment that the Miss World organization and ‘Queens of Peru’ were and are aware of the personal decisions that I made at some point regarding my physical appearance”, she concluded. For his part, César Morillas, a renowned plastic surgeon in Peru who was one of the most sought after by artists in the country, told journalists that he had never claimed to be the “creator” of Miss World, with whom he signed a promotion. “Yes, I signed a contract with the doctor before being Miss Peru and it was one with another, I advertised his clinic and he did the operations for me, but it is already fulfilled, it expired in April and he continues to advertise with me”, said Miss World.

NATIONAL COMPETITIONS.-

                This year representatives from Martinique, Mongolia and Togo would make their debut in the contest. In addition, Indonesia, whose last participation had been in 1983, and Liberia, who last competed in 1999, were going to return. A total of 125 nations had the Morley franchise, but this year there were no national contests for Miss World in the Cayman Islands, Fiji and Lithuania, and there was also no designation. In Belize, a casting was held to select its delegate to Miss Universe, but the possibility of going to China was not mentioned, although Belize appeared on the official page of Miss World in the list of participating countries. And, at the last minute, Miss Chile Mundo was canceled, according to its director Millaray Palma. The costs of organizing the pageant and sending a delegate were becoming too high, she said, and no television station was interested in picking up the costs of the event in that country, usually apathetic to beauty pageants. On the other hand, Millaray had been the subject of increasing criticism in recent years for possible conflicts of interest with the winners of her contest. On the other hand, Armenia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Northern Marianas and Tunisia desisted from continuing with the franchise of the English contest. Below are the national competitions heading to Miss World 2005:

* MISS TOGO (Aug.28, 2004).- It was held on Saturday, August 28th, 2004 in Lomé with 20 participants. The winner was Edwige-Grâce Madzé Badakou, 22 years old and 1.74 m tall, who had been the first runner-up in this same event the previous year. She would go to Miss ECOWAS and Miss World 2005.

* NUESTRA BELLEZA MEXICO (Sept.10, 2004).- Laura Elizondo, from Tamaulipas, was chosen “Nuestra Belleza México 2004” in an event held at the Tangamanga Theater in San Luis Potosí, heading to Miss Universe 2005. The representative of Mexico for Miss World 2005 was Dafne Molina Lona from the Federal District and the alternate for both winners was Ana Paola de la Parra, from Nuevo León. Fourth place went to Jalisco, Gabriela Vázquez and fifth place went to Melissa Cantu from Coahuila. The remaining semifinalists were the representatives of Guerrero, Priscila Avellaneda; Chihuahua, Elsa Salgado; Veracruz, Melina Rivera; Durango, Vanessa Robles; and Elizabeth Cortez from Michoacan. This year, 5 special recognitions were instituted: Our Model (Federal District), Our Talent (San Luis Potosí), Our Internet Beauty (Sinaloa), Our Beauty in Shape (Chihuahua) and Academic Recognition (Nuevo León). The winners of those special prizes automatically moved on to the group of semifinalists. 25 candidates from 21 states and the Federal District participated. Campeche, Jalisco and Sonora had double representation.

* MISS GHANA (Sept.25, 2004).- Inna Mariam Patty, 21, a representative of the Ashanti region and a student at the University of Ghana, won the “New Face Miss Ghana” contest at the International Conference Center in Accra, among 16 candidates. The finalists were Ingrid Alabi, Miss Upper West; and Yvonne Hayfron, Miss Central Region. Patty also won the Miss Photogenic and Miss Eloquence awards, while Yvonne Hayfron took the titles for Best Skin and Best Attitude. Yvonne Okyere was Miss Friendship and Ruth Borteley Annang was Miss Talent.

* MISS & MR. LATVIA (Oct.28, 2004).- The Imperial Marhaba Hotel in Tunis was the venue for the election of Miss and Mister Latvia 2004, among 6 finalists in each category. Agnese Krustiņa from Jelgavas was crowned “Miss Latvia 2004” while “Mr. Latvia 2004” was Renārs Mangužs from Kuldigas. The finalists were Gatis Trankalis, Raivis Kampenuss, Vitalijs Košmans, Sandis Gromovs and Zigmars Zutis (men) and Dana Jansone, Donata Šaule, Ieva Šternberga, Katrine Ozolina and Lauma Mikele (women).

* MISS ANTIGUA & BARBUDA (Nov.4, 2004).- On Thursday, November 4th, the election of “Miss Antigua & Barbuda 2004-2005” was held at the Gridley Hotel in St. George’s, an event that was attended by 15 candidates. The winner was Kia Dayton, a model and student of Social Communication at Clark University in Atlanta (Georgia, USA), 20 years old and 1.72 m tall, who would represent Antigua in Miss World 2005. Dayton also won the Best Figure, Best Smile and Miss Sponsor titles. The finalists were Nikki Zeno, 24, crowned “Antigua’s Queen of Oceans” (for Miss International 2005); 17-year-old Pilin Charter (to Miss Caribbean and Miss West Indies); Shermain Jeremy (also Miss Environment, to Miss Earth 2005); and Leslie Moose. Samantha Steewards was Miss Friendship; Juany Gomez won the award for Best Gown; and Samreet Ghaleshni (Best Talent). The contest was organized by the Teams Model Management Agency.

* MISS FRANCE (Dec.4, 2004).- It was held at the International Congress Center of the city of Tours, with the participation of 47 candidates. This year’s winner would not only go to Miss Universe but also to Miss World 2005, and the lucky one was the representative of Normandy, a brunette whose roots were from the island of Guadeloupe, named Cindy Fabré, 19 years old. The finalists were Cynthia Tevere (Lorraine), Sabrina Champin (Maine), Amelie Kervran (Paris), and Raipoe Adams (Tahiti). The semifinalists were completed by the representatives of Réunion, Virginie Benoite; Flandre, France Willemyns; Bourgogne, Angelique Viero; Camargue-Cevennes, Cindy Martinez; Dauphine, Leslie Rouzier; French Guiana, Céline Claire-Eugénie; and Franche-Comté, Caroline Sery.

* MISS SOUTH AFRICA (Dec.11, 2004).- Claudia Henkel, an imposing blonde of 21 years of age and 1.83 m tall, a second year law student at the University of Pretoria, was crowned on Saturday, December 11th as “Miss South Africa 2005”, in a contest that included the participation of 12 beautiful finalists and which was held at the Super Bowl in Sun City. The finalists were Dhiveja Sundrum and Sharon Arigye-Mushabe. Rounding out the top 5 were Candice Ndzeku and Yolanda Ndwandwa. Claudia Henkel, who also won the contest’s “Prettiest Legs” award, would be South Africa’s representative at Miss Universe and Miss World 2005. But, as Miss South Africa 2006 was scheduled to take place on December 10th, 2005, on the same day that the Miss World final was held, Claudia Henkel was replaced in that event by the first runner-up, Dhiveja Sundrum, since, by contract, the winner had to crown her successor.

* MISS ANGOLA (Dec.18, 2004).- Zenilde Josias (22), from Benguela, was crowned “Miss Angola 2005” at the Cine Atlántico in Luanda, with 26 candidates. She also won the Miss Photogenic award and the right to represent her country at Miss Universe 2005. The finalists were Claudia Santana, 18, from Menwongue, Donde-Cubango (for Miss World 2005) and Anete Cambango, 20, from Namibe (to Miss International 2005). Other winners were Isabel Lourenco (Miss Friendship); Helma Márques (Miss Nexus), and Rosinela Xavier (Miss Movicel).

* MISS BELGIUM (Dec.19, 2004).- It took place at the Casino d’Ostende with 20 contestants. The winner was the great favorite, Miss Brussels, Tatiana Silva Braga Tavares, a 19-year-old student from the city of Uccle, heading to Miss World 2005. The finalists were Debby De Waele, 19-year-old from Lochristi, and Bárbara Steeman, 20 years old, from Lokeren. The remaining two finalists were Lynn Pelgroms and Sophie Derijckere. Semifinalists were Leila Alev, Priscilla Delattre, Isabelle Druetz, Kenza Vanderaerden and Elvira Latic. The new queen, whose origin is from the Cape Verde Islands, speaks perfect English, French, Dutch, Flemish and Portuguese. For the second time a black girl won the Miss Belgium crown, the first being Sandra Joine in 1992.

* MISS COSTA RICA (Jan.28).- Johana Fernández Madrigal (23), a journalism student from San José, won the contest held at the Children’s Museum, in downtown San José, among nine contestants, which gave her the right to represent Costa Rica at Miss Universe 2005. The title of Miss Costa Rica World went to the great favorite, Leonora Jiménez Monge, from Santa Ana. The finalists were Marcela Blanco from Santo Domingo Heredia and Cindy Aguilar from Desamparados.

* MISS GERMANY (Jan.29).- It was held at the Europa Park in Rust. The winner was Miss Nordrhein-Westfalen, Antonia Schmitz (19) from Soest. The finalists were Miss Hamburg, Anahi-Elena Schussmüller (21) and Miss Ostdeutschland, Katharina Tschöp (17). The preliminary events were held on the island of Gran Canaria (Spain).

* MISS MALAWI (Feb.26).- It was held at the Kamuzu Sports Institute in Lilongwe with 17 contestants, in an event that the outgoing queen, Florence Zeka, was prohibited from attending and was denied the opportunity to deliver the crown to the new queen. The organizers said that Zeka was banned from entering because she went to court to get an injunction to stop the show, because she was owed part of the prize, but the injunction was not granted. The chosen one was Rachel Landson, who had been Miss Personality in the previous year’s contest. The finalists were Rhoda Nyirenda and Zackie Badat.

* MISS ECUADOR (March.10).- Ximena Zamora, 20, from Quito, was chosen “Miss Ecuador 2005” at an evening organized by Gamavisión and held at the National Theater of the House of Culture of Guayaquil in the night of Thursday, March 10th, with 14 participants. Marielisa Márques, who also obtained the title of Miss Trident, was 1st. runner-up (for Miss World), while Bianca Salame (who was attached to the titles of Miss Photogenic and Best Face Yanbal) was ranked 2nd runner-up in the contest (to Miss International). Magdalena Stahl was the third and María Gracia Manzano, the fourth. The contest was held in the midst of controversy, since three days earlier it had been announced that Gamavisión had lost the Miss Universe franchise, and that the winner would not attend that event.

* MISS PARAGUAY UNIVERSE (March.11).- The Galas Hall of the Yacht and Golf Club of Asunción hosted the “Miss Paraguay Universe 2005” pageant. In a controversial pageant, the winner was Karina Buttner, 20, bound for Miss Universe 2005 and who had already competed in Miss World 2003. Controversy arose when the rest of the contestants left the stage, citing Gloria Limpias’ favoritism towards Karina. The finalists were 23-year-old Emilce Gómez (for Miss World 2005), Paloma Navarro (for Miss Asia-Pacific 2005) and Rossana Beltrán. Later, the rumor spread that Paraguay would choose its representative to Miss World on August 13th in a separate contest, but this did not happen.

* BINIBINING PILIPINAS (March.19).- On Saturday, March 19th, the election of “Binibining Pilipinas 2005” was held at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, with the participation of 23 candidates. Gionna Jiménez Cabrera (Miss Universe) was crowned at the event, who also won the awards for Miss Photogenic, Best in Swimsuit and Best in Gown; Carlene Ang Aguilar (to Miss World), also Miss Avon and Miss PAL; and Precious Lara San Luis Quigaman (for Miss International, a contest that she won months later). The finalists were Wendy Valdés (Binibining Pilipinas Turismo 2005) and Melanie Ediza. The remaining semi-finalists were Ricamarie Ann Taylor (also Texter and Readers Choice); Kristine Santiago, Joanne Padilla, Mari-Flor Pérez, Joanna Rafbel Serrano, and Marie May Rosalien Paloma. Miss Friendship was María Micaela Isabel Padilla and Miss Talent, Lois Montes.

* THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN NIGERIA (March 19).- It took place at the Eko Hotel in Lagos, with the participation of 27 candidates. The winner was Miss Kwara, Omowunmi Akinnifesi, 18 (to Miss World 2005). In second place, heading to Miss Universe, was Miss Niger, Roseline Mopelola Amusu; and third, Miss Rivers, Chinwe Ezeribe (to Miss Ecowas).

* MISS SPAIN (March.20).- The election of “Miss Spain 2005”, held in Marina d’Or, Oropesa del Mar, was brilliant, only disturbed by a technical failure when making the first selection of 26 candidates, but resolved masterfully with the presence of a notary who certified that everything was correct. The winner was Miss Girona, Verónica Hidalgo (to Miss Universe 2005) and the Ladies of Honor were Miss Lleida, Mireia Verdú Tremosa (to Miss World 2005) and Miss Las Palmas, Laura Ojeda Ramírez (to Miss Europe 2006). The list of finalists was completed by Miss Sevilla, Pilar Domínguez Morales; Miss Alicante, Laura Herrero Mallebrera; and Miss Malaga, Rocío Guerrero Bobadilla. Candidates from A Coruña (Marta Caruncho Dopico), Almería (María del Mar Sánchez Guirado), Barcelona (Natalia Lopez Gordillo), Castellón (Patricia Gálvez Pérez), Córdoba (María del Pilar Peña Grande) and Murcia (Tatiana Martinez Lopez) completed the Top 12. 52 candidates participated.

* MISS BULGARIA (March.26).- Rositsa Ivanova, 17, was crowned on Saturday, March 26th at the Sofia International Exhibition Center as “Miss Bulgaria 2005” (for Miss World) among 44 contestants. As the representative of Bulgaria to Miss Universe 2005 was Galina Gancheva, 18 years old, and as the representative of Bulgaria at Miss Europe 2006 was Ralitsa Bratovanova, 17 years old.

* MISS INDIA (March.27).- The “Pond’s Femina Miss India 2005” contest was held at the MMRDA ground Bandra in Mumbai, with the participation of 23 candidates. As usual, three queens were crowned in the contest: 23-year-old Amrita Thapar (for Miss Universe); 20-year-old Sindhura Gadde (to Miss World), who also took home the award for Best Skin; and Niharika Singh (to Miss Earth), also Miss Photogenic and Best Hair. The remaining finalists were Priya Nayak and Priyanka Jha. Semifinalists were Sonal Chauhan (Miss 8888), Shivani Sabikhi (Miss Perfect 10, Best Body and Miss Radio Mirchi), Aparna Sharma, Vaishali Desai and Jyoti Sardar.

* MISS AUSTRIA (Apr.2).- The winner was Isabella Stangl, 19, from Neumarkt am Wallersee, Salzburg. The finalists were 19-year-old Julia Plakolm from Oberösterreich; 20-year-old Doros Kemptner from Vienna; Natalie Kreuzmayr, 17, from Oberösterreich; and 18-year-old Daniela Vorhauser from Salzburg. The event was held at the Baden Casino and had 20 candidates.

* MISS ALGERIA (Apr.2).- Miss Algeria (Art & Mode version), was crowned on Saturday, April 2nd at the Ibn Khaldoun Hall in Algiers, among 30 finalists from all over the country. Nesrine Melbani, 20, a 2nd year Mechanical Engineering student from Algiers, was the winner. The first runner-up was Sarah Bengayou.

* MISS ISRAEL (Apr.6).- The “Miss Israel 2005” contest was held on the night of Wednesday, April 6th, at the Haifa International Convention Center, with the participation of 20 candidates. The winner, heading to Miss Universe 2005, was Yelena Ralph. Keren Shacham was selected for Miss World 2005; to Miss International 2005 was chosen Moran Gerbi; and to Miss Europe 2006, Rinat Dokerker. For her part, Jennifer Bop was chosen as Miss Audience.

* MISS CZECH REPUBLIC (Apr.9). The choice was made at the Grandhotel Pupp in Karlovy Vary, among 12 candidates. The winner was Lucie Kralova, 23, from the city of Teplice, on her way to Miss World 2005. Lucie also won the Miss Congeniality and Miss Talent awards. The finalists were Petra Machackova from Hudilic (for Miss International) and Agata Hanychova from Prague (for Miss Europe). The event was attended by Maju Mantilla, Miss World 2004.

* MISS SLOVAKIA (Apr.9).- It took place at the National Theater of Bratislava with 12 candidates. The winner was 21-year-old Ivica Sláviková from Bratislava. The finalists were Katarína Holáňová from Zilina (Miss Press) and Lucia Debnárová from Liptovský Hrádok. Lenka Vargová (Zlaté Moravce) was elected Miss Congeniality and Miss Internet, while Eva Mráziková (Trenčianske Stankovce) was Miss Wella.

* MISS BRAZIL (Apr.14).- Held in the Golden Room of the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, with the participation of 27 beautiful candidates. The winners were Miss Santa Catarina, Carina Schuchting Beduschi, 20, from Florianopolis (for Miss Universe 2005); Miss Paraná, Patricia Reginato, 19, from Medianeira (for Miss World 2005); and Miss Espiritu Santo, Ariane Colombo, 18, from Vitória (to Miss International 2005). The other two finalists were Miss Tocantins (Francielly Araujo) and Miss Minas Gerais (Tatiane Alves). The semifinalists were completed by the representatives of Bahia (Danyelle Abrantes, also elected Miss Congeniality); Rio Grande Do Sul (Eunice Pratti); Rio de Janeiro (Carolina Pires); Sao Paulo (Glenda Saccomani) and Amazonas (Danielle Costa).

* MISS TURKEY (Apr.16).- The final of the “Miss Turkey 2005” contest was held at the Lufti Kirdar Congress Center in Istanbul among 20 candidates. The winner, heading to Miss World 2005, was Hande Subasi, 21 years old. The Turkish representative to Miss Universe 2005 was Dilek Aksoy, also 21 years old; for Miss Europe was chosen Merve Ozkaran, 23; and for Miss International 2005, Sebnem Azade, 20. The semifinalists were Burcyn Yilmaz, Alaz Kopruvali, Ozlem Hasgul, Esra Akhysarli, Seda Altan and Basak Akin. The event was hosted by former Miss Turkey 2000, Yuksel Ak.

* VIRGIN ISLANDS CARNIVAL QUEEN (Apr.16).- The new Carnival Queen greeted her subjects on Saturday, April 16th from the stage at Lionel Roberts Stadium in St. Thomas. At the end of a four-hour competition, which brought together five competitors, K’misha-Victoria Counts, 17, smiled and waved as the crowd cheered her crowning. Counts also won the titles of Miss Intellect, Best in Gown and Best Talent. The finalists were Taiesha Lashley, also Miss Photogenic, and Shenika Freeman. For her part, Gail Maduro won the title of Miss Friendship.

* MISS PERU (Apr.16).- Without the glamor of yesteryear and in a somewhat lackluster ceremony in its organization, the two Peruvian beauty queens were crowned for Miss Universe and Miss World: The representatives of Cajamarca, Déborah Sulca (to Miss Universe), and from Tumbes, Fiorella Castellano (to Miss World). The other three finalists were Miss Cusco, Sara María Paredes (for Miss Earth); Miss Ucayali, Trayci Freund; and Miss La Libertad, Fiorella Flores. The contest, which featured 24 girls, began at ten o’clock at night on the specially conditioned stage in the Great Park of Exhibition in Lima. The semifinalists were Gabriela Márquez from Puno; Brenda Rodriguez from Lima; Diana Goytizolo from Amazonas; Vanessa Chanca, from Lambayeque; and Ivette Borrero from Piura. The reigning Miss World, the Peruvian María Julia Mantilla, could not crown her successor due to an untimely trip to Indonesia.

* MISS CURACAO (Apr.16).- Rychacviana “Vantje” Coffie, 24 years old, 1.80 m tall and from the town of Suffisant, who in 2002 was crowned “Miss Intercontinental”, won the crown of “Miss Curaçao 2005” among 6 contestants, which gave her the pass to Miss Universe and Miss World 2005. The finalists were Fyrena Martha (also Miss Elegance) and Kimberly Kessock. By the way, Kessock’s mother, Sharine Leenders, was Miss Holland 1977 and was dethroned before she could participate in Miss Universe. For her part, Mariluz Manuela, Miss Beach Beauty, also won the Miss Photogenic trophy.

* MISS EGYPT (Apr.19).- The Nile Theater in Cairo was the venue of the election of “Pantene Miss Egypt 2005” with 22 participants, which were later reduced to 13 semifinalists thanks to the messages sent by the viewing public. The winner, heading to Miss Universe and Miss World, and who also won the Miss Photogenic sash, was Meriam George, an 18-year-old Administration student. The finalists were Elham Wagdi (22, also winner of the Best Figure award); Alia Shawky (18); Fatima Khalil (also Best Hair) and Raghda Labib (19).

* STAR HELLAS (Apr.19).- The Fever Hall in Athens was the venue for the contest, which had 21 candidates. The winner of “Star Hellas 2005” (for Miss Universe) was 19-year-old Evangelia Aravani, while 19-year-old Aikaterina Stikoudi was elected as “Miss Hellas 2005” (for Miss World). The finalists were Potoula Perimeni and Nikoletta Ralli. For her part, Katerina Evangelinou was Miss Young and her finalists turned out to be Chryssa Drakaki and Anastasia Kaltourmidou.

* MISS UKRAINE (Apr.24).- Yulia Pinchuk, from Novo-Volynsk, was the winner of the Ukrainian national pageant for Miss World, held on Sunday, April 24th at the “Ukraine” National Palace in Kyiv, among 26 contestants. The finalists were Yulia Chernyshova, from Kyiv; Maria Zhukova, from Mariupol; Marta Tsibarovskaya, from Odessa; and Valentina Balaban, from Ivano-Frankivsk. Miss Audience was Elena Berendyaeva and Miss Photogenic, Tatyana Prokhorenko.

* MISS GUATEMALA (May 2).- Aída Estrada was elected “Miss Guatemala Universe 2005”, while María Inés Gálvez was crowned “Miss World Guatemala 2005” at the Hotel Grand Tikal Futura in the capital city. Cynthia Marín (for Miss International) was the finalist. Six participants took part in the contest.

* UNGFRU ISLAND (May 20).- Unnur Birna Vilhjamsdottir won the Icelandic beauty crown for Miss World on Friday, May 20th, in the event held at the Broadway Theater in Reykjavík. The finalists were Ingunn Sigurpálsdóttir and Margret Elisa Hardardottir. For her part, Kristín Lind Andrésdóttir was Miss Popularity. As a curious note, Unnir Birna is the daughter of Unnur Steinsson, who was Miss Iceland in 1983 and a finalist for Miss World that year. 24 girls participated in the contest.

* MISS NAMIBIA (Jun.4).- The election of “Miss Namibia 2005” took place on Saturday, June 4th at the Windhoek Country Club, with 10 contestants. The winner, heading to Miss World 2005 and Miss Universe 2006, was 22-year-old Leefa Shiikwa, who was also elected Miss Photogenic. The finalists were Maria Hiwilepo (also Miss Popularity) and Hendrina Udjombala. The remaining finalists were Joline Jacobs and Surita Klukowski. For her part, Carmen Geschke was elected Miss Personality.

* MISS ANDORRA (Jun.12).- Lourdes Fernández was chosen as “Miss Andorra 2005” at a gala held in Andorra La Vella and presented by Eduardo Castejón, Mister Alicante 2004. The curious thing about this election is that the winner is a native of Alcorcón and was Miss Madrid and 5th Maid of Honor of Miss Spain 2003, although she lived at that time in Andorra, a country to which she moved to recover from her bulimia nervosa. Runner-ups were Melanie Mussolas and Judith Lopez.

* MISS NORTHERN IRELAND (Jun.27).- Lucy Evangelista, 19, a sales assistant, won the “Miss Northern Ireland 2005” pageant that took place on Monday, June 27th at the Europa Hotel in Belfast. The first runner-up was Melanie Boreham, and tied for third were Claire Moore and Naoimh O’Keefe. 21 candidates participated.

* MISS KOREA (Jun.30).- Ju-hee Kim, 23, was crowned “Miss Korea 2005” for Miss Universe 2006, at the Grand Hilton Seoul Hotel Convention Center. Kim also took home the award for most photogenic. The finalists were Eun-young Oh from Seoul and Kyung-eun Lee from North Chungchong Province, heading for Miss World and Miss International 2005, respectively. the 3rd runner-up was Hye-mi Yoo (for Miss Earth 2005), and fourth runner-up was Eun-Ji Kim (for Miss Asia Pacific 2006). The remaining finalists were Hye-ree Yoo and Jeong-Hyun Kim. The 49th edition of Miss Korea featured 53 contestants. Mi-young Kim, from Los Angeles, received the Miss Friendship Award; Si-hyun Park from South Chungchong Province, the Manner Prize; and Suk-young Kim from Kyonggi Province, the most popular among netizens.

* MISS IRELAND (Jul.1).- Aoife Cogan, 24, was crowned at the City West Hotel in Dublin among 20 contestants, to represent Ireland in Miss World 2005. The finalists were Meave Carey and Samina Zia.

* MISS COTE D´IVOIRE (Jul.2).- A 19-year-old, 1.76 m Bilingual Secretary student, Séry Djéhi Dorcas, was crowned at the Palace of Culture as the beauty queen of the Ivory Coast for 2005. The finalists were Elodie Claire Béké and Bénédicte Adjo Gbla.

* MISS GIBRALTAR (Jul.2).- The contest was held in St. Michael’s Cave, with 7 candidates, and was organized by the Gibraltar Tourism Authority. The winner was Melanie Chipolina, 24, niece of Miss Gibraltar 1966 and cousin of Miss Gibraltar 1992, who also won the Gibraltar Chronicle award for best interview. The princesses were Shayanne Almeida and Kirian López.

* MISS WORLD COLOMBIA (Jul.3).- After a month of preparation and mostly charity events, the 29 candidates for Miss World Colombia met on Sunday, July 3rd in Corferias de Bogotá to find out who would be the winner. Erika Marcela Querubín, representative of the department of Antioquia, was already emerging as the possible winner and had obtained the award for the most beautiful body for Dermocel. On the other hand, the vice-queen was Miss Vichada, Yury Natalia Arango and the first princess, Miss Meta, Diana Condia Durán. The semifinalists were the representatives of Cauca, Bolívar, Caldas, Putumayo, Chocó, Santander, and Bogotá.

* STAR CYPRUS (Jul.7).- Nicosia’s Strovolos Theater saw the crowning of the new beauty queens of this Mediterranean island, chosen from among 10 finalists. “Star Cyprus 2005” was Elena Jerodjakonoy, 23, from Paralimni (to Miss Universe 2006) and “Miss Cyprus 2005”, Nicole Temené, 19, from Larnaca (to Miss World 2005). As Miss Carlsberg was Anna Ceologoy (to Miss Europe 2006) and Miss Mediteranean was Grace Dimitrios (to Miss International 2005). The finalists were Anna Irakleoys and Doxia Moutsouri. For unknown reasons, Miss Cyprus, Nicole Temené did not attend Miss World and was replaced by the second runner-up, Doxia Moutsouri.

* MISS ARUBA (Jul.9).- Melissa Laclé, an 18-year-old Business Administration student, won the “Miss Aruba 2005” beauty pageant on her way to Miss Universe 2006, at the event held in the Grand Ballroom of the Wyndham resort Aruba and hosted by the Venezuelan MC  Daniel Sarcos. The finalists were Zahira Van der Linden, Gita Van Bochove, Gabriela Martijn and Sarah Juddan. Special prizes were awarded to Desiree Fingal (Miss Amity) and Gabriela Martijn (Miss Setarnet 2005 – awarded to the contestant with the most internet votes). Melissa Laclé also won the Miss Elegance award. Subsequently, Sarah Juddan was selected to represent the “Happy Island” at Miss World 2005 and Gita Van Bochove at Miss International 2005.

* MISS & MR ALBANIA (Jul.10).- Suada Sherifi, 18, and Ervin Pepaj, 19, were the winners of the “Miss and Mister Albania 2005” contest held on Sunday, July 10th, at the Tirana Congress Palace. Justine Pasek (Miss Universe 2002) served as a judge.

* DOMINICAN MISS WORLD (Jul.10).- Elisa Abreu, a 21-year-old architecture student from Jarabacoa, was the winner of the reality show “Looking for Miss Dominican World 2005” held at Color Vision’s Studio B in Santo Domingo within the Jatna Tavares program. The contest had 12 participants. The first runner-up was Yudith Morales and the second runner-up was Mayra Guerrero. The television audience had the opportunity to vote for their favorites and be part of the evaluation process. Elisa obtained 43.34% of the total votes.

* MISS GUADELOUPE INTERNATIONAL (Jul.15).- Méryta Melina, 19, won the third edition of the “Miss Guadeloupe International” pageant, which gave her the right to represent her island in Miss World. The event was held at the Plantation Grand Café in Capesterre Bleau.

* MISS WORLD CANADA (Jul.16).- The spectacular Ramona Amiri, a 24-year-old biologist from Vancouver, won the “Miss World Canada 2005” pageant that took place on July 16th at the Holiday Inn on King hotel in Toronto, with 30 contestants. The finalists were Christina Walls from Salt Springs Islands; Fanny Samaniego of Southern Ontario; Jenna Lee Creelman from Brampton, and Jennifer Schott from the Niagara Peninsula. Rounding out the Top 10: Anna Maria Ezechiels (Toronto Harbourfront), Dalia René (Willowdale), Erna Colakovic (Calgary), Galyna Skrypnyk (Etobicoke) and Jerez Rampersaud (Toronto).

* MISS WALES (Jul.22).- In a glittering ceremony held at Cardiff’s Coal Exchange, Claire Evans from Aberystwyth was crowned “Miss Wales 2005” en route to Miss World in China. Claire, 22, was one of 30 candidates in the competition. The finalists were Laura Livesey, 23, from Old Colwyn and Lisa Lloyd Hughes, 17, from Llanelli.

* MISS LIBERIA (Jul.23).- Snorti Muna Forh, 23, a representative from Montserrado County, was crowned “Miss Liberia 2005” at the Monrovia City Hall Unity Conference Center. Munah Pelham was the first runner-up.

* MISS MALTESE ISLANDS (Jul.23).- Ferdine Fava, an 18-year-old from Saint Julian, was crowned “Miss Maltese Islands 2005” (Miss World Malta) in a pageant held at the Selmun Mercure Palace Hotel in Melehia and organized by Modelle International under the direction of Sue Rossi and Claudia Calleja. In the same event Katri Mari Pavia was crowned “Miss Maltese Beauty 2005”. The finalists were Claire Mifsud and Kristina Xeureb. For his part, Waylin Grech won the title of “Mr. Maltese Elegant 2005”.

* PUTERI INDONESIA (Jul.29).- It was held at the Jakarta Convention Center on Friday, July 29th with 38 participants. The winner of the “Puteri Indonesia 2005” was the DKI Jakarta 4 candidate, Nadine Chandrawinata (for Miss Universe 2006). The finalists were DI Yogyakarta, Lindi Cistia Prabha (also elected Puteri Indonesia Lingkungan and Indonesian representative to Miss World 2005); DKI Jakarta 6, Valerina Novita Daniel; Lampung, Marcia Margaretha; and DKI Jakarta 5, Rahma Alia. The winner of the contest was crowned by the first runner-up of Miss Universe 2005, the Puerto Rican Cynthia Olavarría, replacing the Canadian Natalie Glebova, who could not be present at the event.

* MISS BOLIVIA (Aug.4).- The final of the “Miss Bolivia 2005” contest was held on Thursday, August 4th at the Fexpo Convention Hall in Santa Cruz with 19 candidates. The winners were Miss Litoral, Desirée Durán (Miss Bolivia Universe and also Miss Photogenic and Miss Friendship); Miss Litoral, Viviana Méndez (Miss Bolivia Mundo and also Best Ponds Face) and Miss Santa Cruz, Grethel Stheli (Miss Bolivia Internacional). The finalists were Carolina López (Miss Santa Cruz), Dalia Lema (Miss Tarija) and Sandra Alcázar (Miss La Paz).

* MISS ZAMBIA (Aug.6).- In an event that was delayed several times, Precious Mumbi, a 23-year-old media studies graduate, was crowned “Miss Zambia 2005”. The pageant was held on Saturday, August 6th, at the Taj Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka. Kazya Musuka, 24, a law student, was the First Princess, and 24-year-old production assistant Katanekwa Matundwelo was the Second Princess and received the People’s Choice award. Despite all the goings-on (including the bikini elimination) in the build-up to the contest final, the night somehow proved that the postponements were worth it.

* MISS SWAZILAND (Aug.6).- Zinhle Magongo was crowned “Miss Swaziland 2005” in a highly anticipated event held at the Mavuso Trade and Exhibition Center. Amy Witbooi and Nozipho Mzileni were the finalists. The pageant was canceled the previous year due to financial problems.

* MISS WORLD HUNGARY (Aug.6).- Semmi-Kis Tünde from Budapest won the crown of “Miss World Hungary 2005”, in the contest held at the Mediterranean Boat Stage of the Hungarospa Spa in the city of Hajdúszoboszló with 20 candidates. The finalists were Adrienn Bende and Eva Kozma.

* MISS WORLD NICARAGUA (Aug.7).- Nine candidates competed for the title on Sunday, August 7 at the Hotel Real Intercontinental Metrocentro in Managua. The winner was Valeria García, 21, while the finalists were Jéssica Pérez and Silvia Flores.       

* MISS HONG KONG (Aug.20).- Chui Chui “Tracy” Ip won the “Miss Hong Kong 2005” pageant on Saturday, August 20th at the Coliseum in that city. She also won the Miss Charity award based on photos taken during a 2-week trip to help tsunami victims in the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Phuket (Thailand). This year it was decided that the winner would go to both Miss World and Miss Chinese International. The finalists were Sharon Luk, Carrie Lam, Cindy Lee and Erica Yuen.

* SUOMEN NEITO (Aug.21).- The contest “Suomen Neito 2005” (Beauty Finland) was held at the Grand Casinolta in Helsinki. The winner was the 23-year-old model from Vantaa, Saana Anttila, on her way to Miss World. The finalists were Katri Sainio, 22, from Forssa and Rosa-Maria Malvalehto, 24, from Rovaniemi. The winner was chosen by the votes of the public and 8 of the 12 finalists reached the finals.

* MISS TANZANIA (Sept.2).- Miss Kinondoni, Nancy Abraham Sumari, was proclaimed Miss Tanzania for Miss World 2005 at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar es Salaam, an event that featured 26 contestants. The finalists were Natalia Yatera and Jeniffer John.

* MISS POLAND (Sept.2).- Held at the National Theater in Warsaw, where Malwina Ratajczak (also Miss Television) won, heading for Miss World. The finalists were Magda Zalewska and Agata Paskudzka. For her part, Agnieszka Pachucka was elected Miss Photo. 31 participants competed, including the Polish-Venezuelan Francys Barraza Sudnicka who managed to reach the Top 10 and who was later sent to Miss Universe 2006.

* MISS ENGLAND (Sept.3).- Hammasa Kohistani, 18, was crowned “Miss England 2005” on Saturday, September 3rd at the Olympia Theater in Liverpool. Kohistani is a Muslim of Afghan parents, born in Uzbekistan, but came to England at the age of 9. Islamic conservatives unsuccessfully called for her and 3 other Muslim contestants to withdraw from the pageant. The finalists were Jolie Myatt and Nicole De Carle, also Miss Personality. 40 beauties competed.

* MISS SCOTLAND (Sept.6).- On Tuesday, September 6th, Aisling Friel, a 23-year-old stewardess, took the crown of “Miss Scotland 2005” at the Glasgow Conference Center, en route to Miss World. Sarah Cassidy was one of the finalists.

* MISS MALAYSIA WORLD (Sept.8).- Emmeline Ng, a 22-year-old university student of Banking and Finance, received the crown of “Miss Malaysia World 2005” in the great hall of the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. The finalists were Natassia Tan, Rachel Looi and Allison Tay. 18 candidates participated.

* MISS WORLD TAIWAN (Sept.9).- Twenty-six girls competed on Friday, September 9th in Kaohsiung to represent Taiwan in Miss World and Miss Earth 2005. The winners were Su-Jung Hsu (to Miss World) and Carolyn Lin Yi- Fan (to Miss Earth).

* MISS MONGOLIA (Sept.10).- The Central Cultural Palace of Ulan Bator dressed up to receive the 150 contestants of “Miss Mongolia 2005”. The winner, heading to Miss World, was Khongorzul Ganbat, while the finalists were Nandinchimeg G. and Uranzal T.

* MISS THAILAND WORLD (Sept.10).- Angie-Aschara McCline, 20, won the “Miss Thailand World 2005” pageant at Bangkok’s Bec-Tero Hall and also won the Miss Photogenic and Miss Friendship awards. The finalists were Sirinda Jensen and Gift-Kanokkarn Inthim. 39 candidates participated. Sadly, 10 days later, on September 20, Angie announced that she was relinquishing the crown, claiming it was too much of a burden for her. The truth is that she was accused of having posed for racy photos and the organization asked her to resign. Sirinda Jensen, who was the first runner-up in the pageant, assumed the title.

* MISS NEPAL (Sept.10).- It was held at the Birendra International Convention Center, where 19-year-old Sugarika KC was crowned, heading for Miss World. The finalists were Shavona Shrsetha, 19 (for Miss Earth) and Ayusha Pokherel, 22 (for Miss Asia-Pacific). 19 beauties competed.

* MISS JAMAICA WORLD (Sept.11).- Terri-Karelle Griffith, 23, not only won the Miss Friendship, “Most Aware” and Best Talent awards, but also took the crown of “Miss Jamaica World 2005” in the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston. The finalists were Peta-Gaye Walker, Nalini Banhan, Ravn Rasheeda and Sharice Fernander. 15 candidates participated.

* MISS WORLD SWEDEN (Sept.15).- Liza Berggren won the title of “Miss World Sweden 2005” among 18 contestants at the Café Opera in Stockholm, on Thursday, September 15th.

* MISS VENEZUELA (Sept.15).- The Caracas Poliedro saw the crowning of the new queens of Venezuelan beauty. Miss Sucre, Jictzad Viña achieved the long-awaited crown of “Miss Venezuela 2005” on her way to Miss Universe, prevailing over her other 27 companions. Susan Carrizo, Miss Costa Oriental, was crowned “Miss Venezuela Mundo 2005” and Miss Barinas, Daniela Di Giácomo, was chosen “Miss Venezuela Internacional 2005” (she later became Miss International 2006). The finalists were Miss Nueva Esparta, Alexandra Braun (later she won Miss Earth 2005 in the Philippines) and Miss Capital District, Davianny Rivero. The semifinalists were Miss Aragua, Marianne Puglia; Miss Canaima, Rosamaría Matteo; Miss Carabobo, Liliana Campa; Miss Falcon, Andrea Pardo and Miss Yaracuy, Adriana Echenagucia.

* MISS SLOVENIA (Sept.17).- Sanja Grohar, 21, from Kranja, won the title of “Miss Slovenia 2005” at the Cankarjev Hall in Ljubljana among six super finalists, obtaining the right to represent her country in Miss World. The finalists were Aneta Salihovic, 19, from Ljubljana and Katja Cuderman, 22, from Preddvor. Miss Photogenic was Maja Kovac, Miss Congeniality Tatjana Cat and Miss ONA, Manca Zver.

* MISS SWITZERLAND (Sept.17).- Held in Locarno with 16 candidates. The winner was Lauriane Gilliéron, 21, on her way to Miss World 2005 and Miss Universe 2006. The finalists were Melanie Meier and Fabienne Kropf. Completing the Top 6: Zoe Torinesi, Manuela Lettieri and Nina Ladina Kurz.

* MISS GUYANA WORLD (Sept.17).- Jasmine Herzog, 18, won the title at the Le Meridien Pegasus hotel in Georgetown, among 9 contestants. The finalists were Ulex Atwell, Dacia Blackmore, Mikieda Franklin and Meleesa Payne.

* MISS MONDO ITALIA (Sept.18).- The final of “Miss Mondo Italia” was held in Santa Maria di Leuca with 50 competitors. The winner was Sofía Bruscoli, 17 years old.

* MISS WORLD AUSTRALIA (Sept.19).- Dennae Brunow, 20, from Albury, won the “Miss World Australia” crown in the grand ballroom of the Wentworth Sofitel hotel in Sydney, among 20 participants. The first runner-up was Sabrina Houssami.

* MISS CHINA (Sept.20).- Ting-Ting Zhao, 20, was the winner of “Miss China 2005” on Tuesday, September 20th in Huairou, Beijing. The beauty was crowned by the President of Miss World, Julia Morley. The finalists were Xin Xin Chu from Jiangsu, and Huan Mao from Xinjiang (also Miss Elegance).

* MISS PANAMA WORLD (Sept.23).- The event was held at the Vasco Núñez Convention Center of the Hotel El Panamá. This year the contest made two finals, first to elect the representative to Miss World on Friday, September 23rd, and the second on the 25th, where the Panamanian delegate to Miss Universe would be chosen. The winner of Miss World was 21-year-old Anna Vaprio, who beat her other fourteen contestants, who continued to Miss Panama Universe two days later.

* MISS WORLD JAPAN (Sept.29).- The first edition of the “Miss World Japan” contest (remember that the franchise changed hands in 2004) was held in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo. The winner was 22-year-old Erina Shinohara from Shizuoka. The finalists were Yoko Ueda, 23, from Hyogo and M. Aa, 19. The winner was decided through online voting for a month.

* MISS SRI LANKA WORLD (Sept.30).- It took place at the Hilton Colombo Hotel and was won by Nadeeka Samanmali Perera.

* MISS WORLD KENYA (Sept.30).- The pageant was renamed and organized this year by Ashley Kenya Limited, which brought a positive spin to the pageant. It was held at the Kenyatta Conference Center in Nairobi and had 18 participants. The winner was Cecilia Murugi Mwangi.

* MISS GEORGIA (Sept.30).- The winner was Salome Khelashvili heading to Miss World 2005. In second place, for Miss Universe 2006, was Ekaterine Buadze.

* MISS WORLD ROMANIA (Sept.30).- 20-year-old Raluca Voina, from Campulung Moldovenesc, won the pageant that brought together 30 competitors in Bucharest. The finalists were Monica Cotar from Bucharest (for Miss Tourism International in Malaysia), and Diana Popescu from Craiova. Alexandra Bolozan was Miss Popularity, while Georgiana Tudor was Miss Photogenic and Anda Mocanu was “Miss Veet”.

* MISS BEAUTY ARGENTINA (Oct.1).- The contest was held at the Sheraton Pilar Hotel Convention Center. The winner was Emilia Iannetta, 19 years old. The finalists were Carla Petaccia from Buenos Aires and Gisselle Fuentes Lajud from Tucumán.

* US MISS WORLD (Oct.1).- Held in the Continental Room of the San Francisco Hilton hotel with 32 candidates. The winner was Lisette Diaz, 25, from California, who also competed in this same contest the previous year, placing fourth. The finalists were Kirsten Berset from Florida (for the second year in a row she ranked second), Ellen Chapman from California, Michelle Slaybaugh, also from California, and Austen Brown from South Carolina.

* MISS SINGAPORE WORLD (Oct.2).- It was won by Shenise Wong, a 23-year-old account executive, at the M Hotel in Singapore. Wong also took the award for Best Body of the contest. The finalists were Lilian Lee, 19, and Annabelle Liang, 20.

* MISS WORLD SAINT LUCIA (Oct.2).- It was held in Rodney Bay, Gros Islet, with 8 contestants and the title went to Joy Matty. As Miss Saint Lucia Antilles International was Sannyu Mason and as 2nd runner-up, Nicole de Gale. Yasmin Walcott, Miss Saint Lucia 1994, served as pageant director.

* MISS HONDURAS NATIONAL BEAUTY (Oct.3).- For the first time the contest was held at the Hotel Quinta Real Convention Center in La Ceiba. The crown went to the brunette Miss Guanaja, Lisa Sáenz Viera, who was supposed to represent Honduras in Miss International and Miss World 2005. The finalists were Miss La Ceiba, Natalia Casco; Miss Roatan, Carli Johns; Miss Comayagua, Cindy Martínez and Miss Cortés Department, Dayana Giacoman.

* MISS SERBIA & MONTENEGRO (Oct.4).- Dina Dzankovic was chosen “Miss Serbia and Montenegro 2005” (the last one with that title, before the separation of both countries) in Belgrade heading to Miss World. The finalists were Nada Milinic (to Miss Universe), Nikolina Djogo (to Miss Europe), Nevena Paripovic (to Miss International) and Mila Knezevic (to Miss Earth). For her part, Teodora Marcic was Miss Internet.

* MISS WORLD OF PUERTO RICO (Oct. 6).- The Luis A. Ferré Fine Arts Center in San Juan was the venue for this pageant held on Thursday, October 6th (after being postponed because it was originally scheduled to take place on July 30th) and where Miss Dorado, Ingrid Rivera, won two days before her 22nd birthday. The finalists were Miss Arecibo, Thebyam Carrión; Miss Guaynabo, Vivian Nunez; Miss Carolina, Zarilys Made; and Miss Coamo, Monika Liz Candelaria (also Miss Photogenic). Rivera had already competed in this contest in 2002, finishing third. The winner of the “Wilnelia Merced Foundation” award went to Miss Vega Alta (Victoria Arguedas) while Miss Humacao, Layza M. Merced, was Miss Friendship. The Top 12 was completed by the representatives of Jayuya (Cyndimar Serrano), San Juan (Carolin Martínez), Villalba (Wailani Santiago), Canóvanas (Nicole Rodríguez), Loíza (Wailani Córdova), Ponce (Gisela Ruiz Hernández) and Las Marías (Liz Dariana Colon). 31 beauties participated.

* MISS UGANDA (Oct.8).- It was held with 15 candidates in Bat Valley, Kampala. The title went to Praise Juliet Asiimwe Akankwatsa, 22, from Kabale, while the finalists were Esther Mukasa, 21, and Beatrice Kabajungu, 23, both from Makerere.

* MISS WORLD ETHIOPIA (Oct.8).- It was at the Sheraton hotel in Addis Ababa and was won by Seble Mekonnen.

* MISS BARBADOS WORLD (Oct.8).- Marielle Chetam Onyeche won the crown among six competitors at the Sherbourne Centre. The finalists were Princess Fabu Muba Best and Sunnika Shailaja McCarthy.

* MISS BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA (Oct.9).- Sanja Tunjić, 18, from Lukavac, won the tenth edition of the pageant, held at Zetra Hall in Sarajevo. Sanja also took two more titles: Miss Televoto and Miss Oriflame. The finalists were Valentina Jurković from Čapljina and Samra Menzilović from Sarajevo. Miss Charm was Ljiljana Milosavljević from Zenica, Best Talent was Jelena Berić from Banja Luka, and Miss Photogenic was Slobodanka Tošić from Han Pijesak.

* BEAUTY OF RUSSIA (Krassi Rosii) (Oct.11).- It was held at the “Russia” Concert Hall in Moscow with 38 participants. It was won by Yuliya Ivanova (Novosibirsk), 22, on her way to Miss World 2005. The finalists were Tatyana Khramova (Nizhny Novgorod – Tatarstan), 17, Irina Travkina (Arkhangelsk), 19, Natalya Churaeva (Samara Region), 18, and Elena Frolova (Murmansk), 24.

* MISS CROATIA (Oct.16).- Maja Cvjetkovic, 18, from Sibenik, won the pageant held at Studio 10 of Croatian Radio and Television in Zagreb. The finalists were Ivana Kujundžić from Rijeka and Ksenija Pekez from Brod. 18 candidates competed.

* MISS MACEDONIA WORLD (Oct.19).- After many scandals, delays, withdrawal of contestants, the absence of the outgoing queen and in a very modest atmosphere, the “Miss Macedonia World 2005” contest was held at the Restaurant “Day and Night” of Skopje with 8 participants. The winner was 20-year-old Milena Stanivukovic, heading to Miss World. The finalists were Marija Goceva, Elena Shahinova, Rosa Danailova and Sanja Jankulovska. For her part, Aleksandra Titichkova won Miss Beach, Marija Cvetkovska was Miss Photogenic and Monika Dodevska won the Miss Charm title.

* MISS KAZAKHSTAN (Oct.26).- The 9th edition of the pageant was held in Almaty with the participation of 32 beauties from 17 cities. Dina Nuraliyeva from Almaty took the crown, while the finalists were Svetlana Gubdulhakova (Aktau), Aigerim Tulemisova (Kostanay) and Madina Shungultaeva (Karaganda).

* MISS ZIMBABWE TOURISM (Nov.3).- The pageant changed hands and was renamed. It was won by Lorraine Maphala. The election was postponed several times and due to the lateness of its completion, the young woman could not compete in Miss World 2005, leaving her participation postponed for 2006.

* MISS WORLD ESTONIA (MISSID) (Nov.10).- In the final of the Reality Show “Missid” contest produced by Kanal 2 with 10 girls, the winner was crowned as “Miss World Estonia”. The lucky one was Laura Kõrgemäe, 19, from Tatu, and her finalists were Kadri Tammoja and Angelica Lebedev.

APPOINTED:                                                                           

* DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (Oct.31, 2004).- The winner of the 2004 pageant, Nelly Dembo Osongo, could not participate in Miss World 2004 due to lack of time to obtain her visa (see article MISS WORLD 2004), so her participation in Miss World was postponed for 2005.

* BELARUS.- As the Miss Belarus contest was held every two years, the first runner-up of the 2004 edition, Ol’ga Gerasimovich, was appointed for Miss World, but, due to budgetary issues, she was only sent to Miss Europe 2005.

* GERMANY.- The winner of the “Miss Germany 2005” contest, Antonia Schmitz, was not sent to any international contest. Nor her two finalists. However, the organization selected for Miss World one of the semifinalists of the contest, Miss Schleswig-Holstein, 23-year-old Daniela Risch. Antonia, the original queen, went on national television to clarify the facts: “I chose to stay at home because I wanted to focus on my life after crowning the new Miss Germany”.

* BOTSWANA (Jul.25).- Tshegofatso Robi, 19, the 1st. runner-up of “Miss Botswana 2004” was appointed as the representative of her country to Miss World 2005 after the final of the 2005 contest was postponed until the end of the year. She had to apply for government sponsorship to travel to Miss World, but that put her at odds with the national director, who felt she was being disrespectful.

* NORWAY (Jul.28).- The “Froken Norge” pageant was postponed to January 2006, therefore, the organizers chosen Helene Traasavik, “Miss Universe Norway 2004-2005” for Miss World.

* MISS WORLD PORTUGAL (Sept.24).- This year there was no contest but a casting was held at the Campanile Hotel in Setubal, where Angela Maria Fonseca Spinola was appointed as the representative of Portugal to Miss World and Miss Earth 2005.

* MISS WORLD DENMARK (Sept.25).- Trine Lundgaard Neilsen was chosen and appointed in a casting held behind closed doors in Haakansson, Aarhus.

* LATVIA.- As the titleholder of Miss Latvia, Agnese Krustina, did not want to go to Miss World and preferred to get married and have children, and in addition, the 2005 contest was postponed until the end of the year, Valerija Sevcuka was appointed for Miss World. She was a finalist in “Miss Riga 2004”.

* MAURITIUS.- The 1st. runner-up of “Miss Mauritius 2004”, Meenakshi Shivani Putty, was nominated for Miss World, because the 2005 national pageant was held late, on October 15th, and the new queen would not have enough preparation time.

* NEW ZEALAND (Oct.1).- The New Zealand director appointed Kay Margaret Anderson as her representative to Miss World 2005.

* TRINIDAD & TOBAGO.- Jenna-Marie Andre, who came in third place in Miss Trinidad-Tobago 2004, was named “Miss Trinidad-Tobago World 2005” by designer Peter Elías, in charge of the franchise.

* URUGUAY (Oct.1).- Daniela Tambasco was appointed in a casting held at Da Vinci, Montevideo.

* EL SALVADOR (Oct.1).- Alejandra Carcamo was appointed in a closed-door casting to represent El Salvador in Miss World, since the national contest was not held this year.

* BAHAMAS (Oct.11).- The previous director of Miss World Bahamas, Oswald Ellis, had lost the rights to send a representative of the islands to the Morley pageant. But, the Miss World franchise in the Bahamas was acquired at the last minute by former beauty queen Michelle Malcolm, director of the newly created “Miss Bahamas Organization”. Due to the rush, no contest was held, but a casting was done, which was attended by seven girls and where Ordain Moss was appointed. Her formal announcement was made on October 11th at the British Colonial Hilton hotel in Nassau.

* NETHERLANDS.- This year there was no contest, so the first runner-up of “Miss Universe Netherlands 2005”, Monique Plat, was appointed for Miss World.

* LEBANON.- The Lebanese beauty pageant was postponed until December 2005, so its directors appointed the 1st. runner-up of the 2004 edition, Lamitta Frangieh, as a delegate to Miss World 2005.

* VIETNAM (Nov.1).- The Elite Vietnam company selected 20-year-old Huong Giang Vu, who already had experience in some local and international pageants, as the country’s representative in Miss World and that decision was approved by the Minister of Culture and Information from that country.

* OTHERS: The representatives of MARTINIQUE (Moana-Sarann Robinel) and MOLDOVA (Irina Dolovova) were appointed because this year there were no contests for Miss World in their countries. As mentioned above, Martinique was making its debut this year at Miss World and Robinel was handpicked. For her part, the Moldovan, who had already competed in Miss Moldova 2002 where she came in third place, was chosen because she had the financial means to cover her participation in Miss World in China.

Miss Moldova

FIRST WITHDRAWALS.-

                In early September, the list of 120 participants was reduced to 115, as Morley was informed by their respective national directors that the Misses from ALGERIA (Nesrine Melbani), HONDURAS (Lissa Sáenz Viera), COTE D’IVOIRE (Sery Djehi Dorcas ) and TOGO (Edwige-Grâce Madzé Badakou) would not attend due to budget issues. Miss AUSTRIA (Isabella Stangl) would not participate either, as her director, Emil Bauer, had been very angry about what had happened with the Austrian representative, Silvia Hackl, the previous year (see MISS WORLD 2004 article). Consequently, he decided not to send Miss Austria to the Morley family pageant this year.

                On October 1st, the list of participating countries was published on the official website of Miss World (missworld.tv). There appeared 111 nations and territories as participants in Miss World 2005. These 111 countries and territories were the following: Albania, American Virgin Islands, Andorra, Angola, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Congo-Democratic Republic, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, Estonia and Ethiopia.

                Also on the list were Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Hong Kong-China, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Macau-China, Macedonia FYRO, Malaysia, Malta, Martinique, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Saint Lucia, Scotland, Serbia & Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tahiti, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Turks & Caicos, Uganda, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wales and Zambia. They did not appear on the list yet because they were to be confirmed: Belarus, Curaçao, Egypt and Zimbabwe. The Bahamas did not appear either because the Caribbean country had lost the franchise at that time, and Malawi, a nation that had not yet paid the participation fee.

CANDIDATES 2005

WITHDRAWAL:

FINLAND
Saana Johanna Anttila

NO SHOWS:

REPLACED:

DETAILS OF THE TOURIST TOUR OF MISS WORLD WERE REVEALED.-   

                On Friday, September 23rd, details were given of the tour of the 115 candidates for Miss World 2005 through different Chinese cities. The tour would begin in Wenzhou, the cosmopolitan shopping and commerce capital of eastern China with a bustling population of more than one million. This thriving international seaport would give girls a lot of excitement and give them the opportunity to shop for wonderful leather goods and the famous regional pottery. Contestants would be invited to tour the streets of this 4,000-year-old city, before hosting a charity auction and dinner at one of the city’s many top international venues. They would also travel high in the green mountains surrounding Wenzhou port to witness the stunning natural waterfalls and incredible rock formations of southern Zhejiang province, and sail on a beautiful lake.

                A highlight of the visit to Wenzhou, indeed of the entire trip to China, would be the World Wedding. This unique marriage ceremony would feature Chinese couples, each accompanied by a Miss World contestant as a very special maid of honor. The occasion would be held in a spectacular setting with local flowers and lanterns, and would also be attended by hundreds of couples from all over China who wished to renew their vows on the most auspicious day of marriage in the Chinese calendar. The Miss World Talent Show, to be held the following night, would give the contestants the opportunity to introduce the people of Wenzhou to a taste of their own culture with a display of songs and dances, traditional and modern. The winner of this first of three “Fast Track” events would receive an automatic spot in the Miss World 2005 final on December 10.

                In another part of the tour, the contestants would visit Beijing and Shanghai, cruise the Yangtze River and the South China Sea. Julia Morley, President of the Miss World Organization, said: “Miss World has a justified reputation for creating sensational events that attract unprecedented television audiences. This year we have 115 wonderful girls who will work hard for four weeks to attract enough votes from the public to win the ultimate crown and return home as Miss World 2005. The Chinese people have always welcomed us with open arms and made us feel at home. We are all very excited that everything points to this being our best year yet.”

CHANGES IN THE 2005 EDITION.-

                In a press release published on October 3rd, it was reported that, with an innovative new voting system, Miss World 2005 was set to make television history as the public would elect six new Miss World continental queens. Six ‘Vote For Me’ television specials would feature contestants from each of the six continental zones and invite the global television audience to vote to determine the queens of Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, from the Americas and the Caribbean, and ultimately to the winner of Miss World 2005. Each contestant would be assigned a number for global voting via SMS or IVR in their particular country. These numbers would be displayed prominently on television charts and in the media. Viewers could vote for two contestants from their continent who would advance to the Miss World continental final, although there was no limit to the number of votes they could cast.

               After each program, scores would be awarded according to a voting point structure. An effective formula would guarantee that the votes of all countries were equal, regardless of the size of the population, the voting medium or the total number of votes. Viewers would have the opportunity to vote for their favorite girls from the first Miss World Asia-Pacific “Vote For Me” special on November 21 until 12 hours before the start of the two-hour final televised live from Sanya on December 10. Three “Fast Track” events would give the girls an additional opportunity to make it to the top 15 semi-finalists. These contests were open to all participants and those girls with special qualities would be recognized. The events would be: Beach Beauty, Talent and Beauty with a Purpose. At the Miss World final, the winners of the three “Fast Track” events would join the 12 continental finalists, two from each zone, ensuring that the final lineup was truly representative of the world. Then, it was up to the panel of judges to make their final deliberations and name the six continental winners, and for the President of the Miss World Organization, Julia Morley, to announce the winner of Miss World 2005.

THIS WOULD BE THE VOTING.-

                Votes from a country would be tallied and contestants would be ranked based on the number of votes received in that country. Contestants’ scores would be aggregated for each country within their continental zone, with votes from outside their continent being accumulated as a single voting country. They would then be assigned points in line with their ranking: 12 for the contestant with the most votes, ten for the second-ranked contestant, and so on up to tenth place, which received two points. In addition, one point was awarded to all contestants ranked below tenth place. The three winners of the “Fast Track” will join the Continental Final that corresponds to them. If a “Fast Track” winner also finished first or second in their continental voting, the third-placed contestant from that continent would proceed to the continental final.

THE GIRLS ARRIVE.-

                The expected arrival date of the 115 contestants in Sanya was from Wednesday, November 9 to Friday, November 11. The participants would remain in China for a whole month, being the longest edition in history up to that moment. Those whose flights coincided on schedule, were picked up at the airport and taken in small buses to the official hotel. A welcome committee was responsible for making the girls feel ‘at home’, pampering them with attention. For the third consecutive year, the Sheraton Sanya hotel would be home to beauties from all over the planet. Some of these girls had trips of up to three days, with many connections; others had small flights of about two or three hours in duration. The Venezuelan Susan Carrizo traveled with 6 suitcases (with four evening gowns and 49 pairs of shoes), but her luggage did not arrive with her. She had to wait four days for her bags to appear. The press was eager to meet the beauties, and from the early hours of the morning, photographers, journalists and television crews toured the hotel, hoping to have the opportunity to interview this year’s candidates. A striking blonde, Miss Costa Rica (Leonora Jiménez), had dazzled the photographers. Another stunning beauty was Miss Russia (Yuliya Ivanova) who could have won the “Prettiest Eyes” award in the pageant, if there was one. On the other hand, Miss Jamaica impressed the press with her eloquence, intelligence and elegance. After registering, settling in, and getting acquainted, the contestants had the night off to relax and prepare for Saturday’s main event: the Hainan Happy Festival, where they would parade before thousands of locals. This would be the first public appearance of the contestants.

Nepal, Ghana, Slovakia, Croatia, Northern Ireland and Botswana

 BIRTHDAY OF MISS NETHERLANDS.-

                The Miss World contestants enjoyed a lobster and oriental salad lunch on Saturday, November 12 as Claudio Nardini, Manager of the Sheraton Sanya Resort, introduced the girls to his executive team. Miss World 2004, Maju, spoke to the contestants about her year of reign and welcomed them to the pageant. “This is an amazing experience, to be a part of Miss World 2005,” said Miss England, Hammasa Kohistani. “I’ve been dreaming about this for so long and now we’re all here in China. Everyone is so nice and we’re already having a great time. I want to tell my friends in England all about my stay here”, Kohistani said. Maju then joined Dutch Monique Plat for a celebratory fruit punch to mark the Dutch contestant’s 24th birthday. “This has been the most amazing day,” said Monique. “It would have been nice to spend my birthday with family and old friends, but I definitely haven’t felt alone. I’ve already met so many wonderful girls, new friends, and it’s been wonderful to celebrate my birthday with them at the beginning of a life-changing period”. All of us are very excited about the contest and we look forward to seeing many amazing things in China”.

PARADE IN SANYA.-

                “This is overwhelming, I’ve never seen so many excited people”, Miss New Zealand, Kay Anderson, said as she walked in the parade around Miss World’s host city, Sanya. For anyone who witnessed the spectacle where nearly half a million people turned out to welcome the Miss World contestants, Miss New Zealand’s judgment was easy to see. Crowds filled the streets to cheer on the contestants as they cruised through the city in open-top jeeps and highly decorated floats. They were joined on the route by dance groups, Chinese theater troops, musicians and schoolchildren. The parade also included Asian movie stars visiting the city for the 14th Golden Rooster Chinese Film Festival, an event also attended by Miss World contestants that same night.

Welcome parade

                The parade kicked off at 4 p.m., led by Miss World president Julia Morley and local dignitaries, including Mayor Zhang. As the parade progressed through the streets of Sanya, firecrackers filled the air and people of all ages ran to hand out flowers and gifts to the contestants. “The incredible welcome we have received from so many people has made this a day we will never forget,” said Miss Australia, Dennae Brunow. “This is pretty amazing. I won my national pageant seven weeks ago and now I’m here with so many wonderful girls in China. The kids were great, giving us gifts and even asking for autographs. I’m a girl from Albury and this has been the most amazing experience of my life”. “This welcome is important because it makes us feel at home in China, especially since this is my first trip abroad. I spoke with my mother last night and she is very proud that I am here. She and my dad are learning to send text messages now so they can vote for me!” concluded the Australian beauty.

MISS WORLD AT THE 14TH EDITION OF THE GOLDEN ROOSTER CHINESE FILM AWARDS.-

                A dazzling procession of Miss World contestants wowed the crowd at the annual Chinese Film Awards held on Saturday night, November 12, at the Beauty Crown Theater. The centenary year of Chinese cinema saw celebrities like Jackie Chan walk the red carpet alongside this year’s Miss World contestants. There was enthusiastic applause from the crowd and constant glimpses of the paparazzi who had been waiting in anticipation to see the girls arrive. They looked fabulous in their colorful evening attire, stopping to meet the crowd and sign the giant autograph board in the middle of the red carpet. Inside, the girls filled, row after row, the theater adding glamor and excitement to the atmosphere. The show, broadcast live on CCTV 6, was filled with inspiring local performances climaxing with a truly international view as the contestants filled the stage, smiling and waving to the loving crowd. They sang and clapped in a fantastic ending to a magnificent night.

Guadeloupe, Trinidad, Jamaica, Aruba, Saint Lucia, Bahamas, Barbados and American Virgin Islands

                Miss Mexico Dafne Molina added: “That was great, walking the red carpet and going on stage made us feel like Hollywood stars, what a great way to spend our first night together”. The girls left the theater, aptly named Beauty Crown, with a spectacular exit: a fireworks display that lit the way to their coaches and briefly distracted hordes of fans looking for one last photo.

FIRST PHOTOGRAPHIC SESSION.-

                Chinese and international photographers and television crews caught the Miss World fever on Sunday, November 13, at the first of many press conferences with the contestants on the beach at the Sheraton Sanya Resort. Girls from each of the six continental groups paraded for the press in an exclusive look from the new Miss World beachwear line. The new designs featured a sleek and contemporary tiger head print with sapphire blue, gold and fuchsia variants, and were specially created by former Miss World Wilnelia Merced-Forsyth. “I love this new swimwear range”, said Miss Poland Malwina Ratajczak. “The colors and fit really understand a woman’s body. It’s a privilege to introduce this collection before it hits the shelves. I feel very comfortable wearing it”. The exquisite range included swimsuits, bikinis and sarongs, as well as other accessories for the sun and the beach. The Miss World Organization also announced that the second of the three “Fast Track” events, the Beach Beauty Final, would take place at the Sheraton Sanya Resort on Saturday, November 26. This spectacular event would showcase all the contestants in swimsuits at the resort and the winner of this event would receive a ‘golden pass’ to the grand finale. As the contest sped along, the international press followed the contestants to film and photograph their every move for distribution in newspapers and magazines around the world. That week the filming of the “Vote For Me” specials would take place.

WELCOME PARTY.-

                Dinner, dancing and an impressive fireworks show were on the menu at the official Miss World 2005 Welcome Party, held on Sunday, November 13 and organized by the Sanya government. Dignitaries from that city joined the contestants and special guests for a dazzling celebration on the grounds of Yalong Bay’s Mangrove Tree Resort. The contestants were led through a line of flower bearers before heading to a special exhibit where each girl signed her name. They then enjoyed a reception on the lawn as other guests entered and sat in the setting sun. To begin, each girl took the stage to the enthusiastic applause of the guests and then sat down among the delighted diners. Miss World Organization President, Julia Morley, then delivered a speech acknowledging the support of the Sanya government and thanking the media for their contribution to the success of Miss World during her stay in China and officially welcoming the contestants to a unique experience in life. The most applauded delegates of the night were Miss People’s Republic of China (Ting Ting Zhuo) and Miss Philippines (Carlene Aguilar) who dazzled the photographers wearing a very peculiar outfit.

                The girls then enjoyed a buffet banquet followed by an impressive display of torch dancers. Afterwards, they were invited to join the Li people on stage for a bamboo dance, an intricate hopscotch that involved stepping through a sea of crisscrossing bamboo trunks, an art that requires amazing reflection. The reigning Miss World, Maju Mantilla, received a bouquet of flowers from the Mangrove Tree staff before inviting all the contestants on stage to close the evening with a performance of the Sanya theme song, a song too familiar to the contestants! The night was completed with an amazing fireworks display over the sea, which made the girls return to the Sheraton Sanya Resort feeling truly welcome in Sanya.

                By that time, 103 contestants had already arrived in Sanya, including the candidates from the Bahamas and Malawi who did not appear on the initial list, the last to arrive being the representative from Estonia. Miss ANGOLA (Cláudia Mariza Manuel Santana), who, by the way, had problems with her visa, and Miss MACAU (Cheong Wai Nei) were yet to arrive. As mentioned above, Belize did not nominate any candidate and Chile canceled its national contest at the last minute. On the other hand, of the expected 115 girls, the group was reduced to 105, as some contestants would not attend Sanya in the end. Miss ANTIGUA & BARBUDA (Kia Dayton), Miss ANDORRA (Lourdes Fernández), Miss KAZAKHSTAN (Dina Nuraliyeva), Miss PARAGUAY (Emilce Rossana Gómez Cabral), Miss TAHITI (Rhea Bessette), Miss TURKS & CAICOS (Kelly Astwood), Miss ZIMBABWE (Lorraine Tsoanele Maphala ), Miss EGYPT (Meriam George), Miss CURACAO (Rychacviana Coffie) and Miss BELARUS (Ol’ga Gerasimovich). Most of them were unable to travel due to participation costs, while the girls from Kazakhstan and Zimbabwe were chosen late, so they did not have time to process their visas. For her part, Gloria Suárez de Limpias, director of Bolivia and Paraguay, preferred to send the Paraguayan girl to her “South American Queen” contest at the last minute and not to Miss World. Miss Andorra became pregnant and thus could not go to Miss World, and none of the finalists wanted to go to China.

                On the other hand, on Monday, November 14, online voting was opened on the official page of the contest. Online voting cost US$1.00 per vote, payable by credit card. Additionally, this year’s Miss World contestants had been assigned numbers (see table below). The public could vote by phone or SMS (where available) when the television specials “Vote for Me” and “U-Decide” were broadcast (where available).

TABLE OF NUMBERS ASSIGNED FOR VOTING.-

MW101: AustraliaMW102: ChinaMW103: Chinese TaipeiMW104: Hong Kong
MW105: IndiaMW106: IndonesiaMW107: JapanMW108: Korea
MW109: Macau **MW110: MalaysiaMW111: MongoliaMW112: Nepal
MW113: New ZealandMW114: PhilippinesMW115: SingaporeMW116: Sri Lanka
MW117: ThailandMW118: VietnamMW201: BelgiumMW202: Czech Republic
MW203: DenmarkMW204: EnglandMW205: EstoniaMW206: Finland
MW207: GermanyMW208: IcelandMW209: IrelandMW210: Latvia
MW211: NetherlandsMW212: Northern IrelandMW213: NorwayMW214: Poland
MW215: RussiaMW216: ScotlandMW217: SwedenMW218: Switzerland
MW219: UkraineMW220: WalesMW301: AlbaniaMW302: Bosnia-Herzegovina
MW303: BulgariaMW304: CroatiaMW305: CyprusMW306: France
MW307: GeorgiaMW308: GibraltarMW309: GreeceMW310: Hungary
MW311: IsraelMW312: ItalyMW313: LebanonMW314: Macedonia FYRO
MW315: MaltaMW316: MoldovaMW317: PortugalMW318: Romania
MW319: Serbia-MontenegroMW320: SlovakiaMW321: SloveniaMW322: Spain
MW323: TurkeyMW401: American Virgin Islands.MW402: ArubaMW403: Bahamas
MW404: BarbadosMW405: Dominican RepublicMW406: GuadeloupeMW407: Jamaica
MW408: MartiniqueMW409: Puerto RicoMW410: Saint LuciaMW411: Trinidad-Tobago
MW501: ArgentinaMW502: BoliviaMW503: BrazilMW504: Canada
MW505: ColombiaMW506: Costa RicaMW507: EcuadorMW508: El Salvador
MW509: GuatemalaMW510: GuyanaMW511: MexicoMW512: Nicaragua
MW513: PanamaMW514: PeruMW515: USAMW516: Uruguay
MW517: VenezuelaMW601: Angola **MW602: BotswanaMW603: Dem. Rep. of the Congo
MW604: EthiopiaMW605: GhanaMW606: KenyaMW607: Liberia
MW608: MalawiMW609: MauritiusMW610: NamibiaMW611: Nigeria
MW612: South AfricaMW613: SwazilandMW614:TanzaniaMW615: Uganda
MW616: Zambia  ** They did not arrive

TALENT AUDITIONS.-

                Adrenaline mixed with emotion when the Miss World contestants sang and danced with all their souls at the Talent Show auditions on Monday night, November 14. As each girl did her best to show off her ability to entertain, the other contestants supported each other with applause and praise. This year’s contestants displayed an especially high level of talent, with a wide range of skills. Performances ranged from traditional dancers, including Miss Thailand and Miss Slovakia, to extraordinary singers, including Miss Wales and Miss Cyprus, as well as thought-provoking poetry from Miss Netherlands and Miss Saint Lucia. The audience was also entertained by a variety of belly dancers from around the world, including representatives from England, Canada, Serbia-Montenegro and Lebanon, who impressed with their variations in dance style.

Vietnam

               Asian countries made their continent proud with colorful displays of traditional costumes and dances, including Miss Nepal and Miss Vietnam, who also made a short speech praising all the girls for their skills and courage. “They are all very talented and we have given them our best tonight”, said Miss Vietnam, Huong Giang Vu, who entertained with a dance in a white and green peacock dress. “Events like this develop your spirit and personality, as well as broaden the experiences of all the contestants. There are some amazing performers here. The final must be wonderful”, added Miss Vietnam. Elsewhere in the evening, Miss Korea put on an amazing display of taekwondo set to rock music and finished with a kick that split a wooden board, while Miss Costa Rica wowed the judges with her karate skills. The Talent Show was considered an important element in the Miss World calendar, as it was the first of three “Fast Track” events this year, which gave the winner a guaranteed place in the grand final on December 10.

ROOMMATES.-

                The following is the list of the roommates in Miss World 2005:

Jamaica – Saint LuciaCzech Republic – EstoniaAustralia – New Zealand
Brazil – PortugalTrinidad & Tobago – IndiaAmerican Virgin Islands – Aruba
Colombia-Costa RicaSlovakia – BulgariaUganda-Zambia
Russia – Ukraine *Dominican Republic – Puerto RicoHungary – Slovenia
Singapore – ChinaRomania – Serbia & MontenegroMexico – Nicaragua
Iceland – DenmarkMalawi – LiberiaGeorgia – Moldova
Canada – USANetherlands – Northern IrelandArgentina-Bolivia
Belgium – WalesEcuador-El SalvadorGuadeloupe – Martinique
Nigeria-TanzaniaUruguay-VenezuelaAlbania – Bosnia & Herzegovina
Kenya – Congo Dem. Rep.Macedonia – CroatiaNepal -Sri Lanka
Israel – ItalyPanama – PeruJapan – Vietnam
England – SwitzerlandMalaysia – Chinese TaipeiThailand – Philippines
Poland – LatviaBahamas – BarbadosGreece – Cyprus
Spain – GibraltarGermany – IrelandTurkey – Lebanon
Scotland – NorwayHong Kong – KoreaMalta – France
Botswana – Angola **South Africa – NamibiaGuatemala – Guyana
Sweden – FinlandGhana – EthiopiaMauritius – Swaziland
Indonesia – Mongolia** Did not arrive

                * Miss Russia and Miss Ukraine spent time arguing and fighting in their room, because the Russian smoked a lot, therefore, the organization decided to place them in separate rooms later.

MISS NEPAL’S BIRTHDAY.-

                There were hugs and kisses everywhere, while the Miss World contestants sang Happy Birthday in English and Spanish to Miss Nepal, Sugarika KC, who turned 20 on Tuesday, November 15. “Wow, lucky me! I am very happy to be here on my birthday. I miss my family, friends and a great party, but I have a new family and new friends with unforgettable moments.” “Thank you all so much for showing me love and care. You all made my day so special, there are no words that can express my happiness. I don’t know if a day like this will appear again in my life. I want to write this special moment in my diary and in my heart forever”, said Sugarika. She received a delicious cake and the girls lined up to wish her a happy birthday.

COSMETICS AND FILMING CEREMONY.-

                One girl from each continental region was randomly chosen for this event. They were the representatives of China (Ting Ting Zhuo) for Asia Pacific; Iceland (Unnur Birna) for Northern Europe; France (Cindy Fabre) for Southern Europe; Jamaica (Terri-Karelle Griffith) for the Caribbean; Costa Rica (Leonora Jiménez) for the Americas; and South Africa (Dhiveja Sundrum) for Africa. They joined Miss World 2004, Maria Julia, to witness an official signing ceremony in the great hall of the Sheraton Sanya Resort on Wednesday, November 16. On this occasion, the president of the Miss World Organization, Julia Morley, met with Zhao Yong Liang, president of the Meilun Medical Products Group, to sign an agreement to recognize Pulanna cosmetics as the exclusive supplier of skin care products. of the skin in China for the final of Miss World 2005. The Pulanna range of cosmetics is manufactured in Tianjin and is based on a refined recipe of Chinese herbs and extracts. Meilun is one of the largest independent companies in China.

                On the other hand, the pageant was in full swing for the Miss World 2005 contestants in Sanya. Girls from over 100 countries had been filming the six continental Miss World “Vote For Me” shows that would be broadcast around the world. This year’s interactive contest was anticipated to be the largest text vote in history, so each contestant was doing their best to attract votes from their home country and beyond. Chinese and international media attended a press conference on Wednesday when all the contestants paraded in the official Miss World 2005 swimsuits as they basked in the Sanya sunshine. They then went back to work doing interviews and filming by the pool, on the lawn, and on the beach. Miss Hungary, Tunde Semmi-Kis, said: “Filming has been so much fun. It really is my place to be in front of the camera. We will be flying to the mainland this weekend, which sounds very exciting. I am really looking forward to seeing more from China”.

                In the following weeks, before the finale on December 10, the contestants would travel to Wenzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai, as well as hold many more events in Sanya. Miss Greece, Aikaterini Stikoudi, was also having a great time in China. “You learn a lot from the girls about their countries, which is a wonderful opportunity for me to experience so many cultures”, she said. “I enjoy being in another country that is so different from home. Everything here is so colorful and the people are genuinely kind and sweet. Doesn’t really look like work!”

MISS FINLAND WITHDRAWS.-

                But there was one contestant who apparently wasn’t having a great time in Sanya. Miss FINLAND (Saana Johanna Anttila) withdrew from the pageant less than a week after her arrival at the pageant. In the evening hours of Wednesday, November 16, her profile and photos were removed from the official Miss World website. Saana canceled her participation in Miss World after suffering from a stomach ulcer. On top of that, she had Campylobacter bacteria. After discussing the matter with Julia Morley, it was decided that it was best to send Miss Finland home. Saana later told the Finnish press that she had been particularly impressed by the fact that she had had to find her own clothes and sponsors for the trip to China. She had no support from the Suomen Neito organization. According to the Ilta Sanomat newspaper, Anttila even had to pay for excess baggage. On the other hand, despite having been expected until the last minute, Miss ANGOLA (Cláudia Mariza Manuel Santana) and Miss MACAU (Cheong Wai Nei) could not arrive in Sanya for Miss World, so the number of competitors was finally reduced to 102.

DATA OF THE COMPETITORS.-

               Next, the most important information of each contestant to Miss World 2005:

 CountryNameAgeHeight cmHometownDetails
01ALBANIASuada Bilbil Sherifi17184VloraSuada was born and brought up in Vlora, a coastal city surrounded by high mountains, it is considered a commercial bridge between East and West.  Currently in the General  High School she would like to go on to study International Relations, her ambition is to be a diplomat.    Suada is a professional basketball player, her proudest moment was when the team she was playing in were proclaimed National Champions.  Hobbies include:  Reading, acting, travelling and listening to both classical and romantic music.  Sporting interests including basketball, swimming & Tennis.  Motto would be “Don’t ask what the country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.
02AMERICAN VIRGIN ISLANDSKmisha- Victoria Counts18173Charlotte Amalie, St.ThomasKmisha was born in Washington D.C. and moved to St Thomas, US Virgin Islands at the age of one.  The American Virgin Islands consist of three main islands, with a bustling tourist industry, kind friendly people and is considered a melting pot of many cultures.  Currently studying at Berklee College of Music her future ambition is to become a recording artist, songwriter and Executive in the Music Industry with her own record label.  She has already sung alone on stage in front of hundreds of people, performed with a group and was camp counsellor/dance instructor at the V.I. Institute of Performing Arts.  Hobbies and interests are:  Public Speaking, Acting, Tennis, Basketball, Soccer, playing the piano, singing and dance: Ballet, Tap and Jazz; looking after her dog called Fluffy.  Her favourite food is Beef Lasagne with lots of cheese.
03ARGENTINAEmilia Inés Iannetta19179PilarEmilia was born and lived for 11 years in San Isidro after which the family moved to Pilar, a very quiet and green city.  Argentina is a large country with an enormous variety of different landscapes and weathers. In Patagonia in the south you can find glaciers, forests, mountains and lakes; in the west; rainforest & waterfalls, North; amazing views; in addition delicious food and caring people.  Having achieved her bachelor’s degree in Humanities and Social Sciences her ambition is to get a degree in political science and help change the outdated established laws and programmes.  Emilia has also worked as a teacher and in the modelling field.  Interests are:  cooking, aerobics, listening to national rock: Cuban and Spanish music.  She also enjoys dancing the traditional Argentinean dance, The Tango.  Motto would be “Never stop Dreaming”.
04ARUBASarah Carolina Juddan18180OranjestadSarah’s family decided to establish themselves in the Netherlands in the 80’s but moved back to Aruba whilst she was in her early teens. Aruba is an island surrounded by snow-white beaches and turquoise water, her favourite sports are of course water sports such as: snuba, snorkelling and scuba.  She is taking her degree at the University of EPI – Hospitality Unit, and is working in the hospitality industry to gain more experience.  Her ambition is to have her own successful restaurant and cocktail bar.  She has also worked in the modelling and photographic field.  Sarah enjoys going to the cinema, reading, listening to the music of the Caribbean and Latin rhythms and working out in the gym.   Her motto is “Go and get it”, she strongly believes that if you want something in life you should strive and do your utmost best to achieve this something.  It is with hard work, determination, and self esteem that we accomplish our goals and achieve our dreams.
05AUSTRALIADennae Brunow20178AlburyDennae was born in Albury, Wodonga, situated on the boarders of New South Wales and Victoria. Albury is by the Murray River and within the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, within 100kms of the diverse terrain ranges from snow-capped mountains and cool rivers to flat, featureless land used for pastures & crops.  Dennae has successfully completed her high school education, a legal secretary workshop and has a certificate in business studies, she is currently fully employed as Miss Australia.  Dennae loves to dance and won an award as the “Best New Dance Talent”, favourite style is now funk & Hip Hop, she has also been editing and developing her own short films for the past four years.  Other interests include:  socialising, listening to R & B  and pop music, going to the Gym.  Her favourite food is anything sweet but she also enjoys fruit.  Personal motto would be “What you believe you become”.
06BAHAMASOrdain Moss18173NassauOrdain grew up in Nassau, Bahamas.  The Bahamas consist of over 700 islands, rocks & keys and is well known for its perfect combination of sun, sand and sea, you will also find big hearts, open arms and warm smiles.  Having completed her High School education Ordain is currently working as a Store Manager.  Her ambition is to obtain a degree in dance, performing arts and business administration then to establish a performing arts studio in the Bahamas.  Her proudest moment was when she became the Lead Dancer in a major performance.  Her hobbies and sporting interests are: writing poetry and lyrics to songs, soccer, baseball, singing and dancing.  Her favourite music is R & B and favourite food is Lasagne, Her motto is “Everything happens for a reason, and to each his own season”.
07BARBADOSMarielle Chetham Onyeche21173BridgetownMarielle was born in Texas, USA and grew up in Barbados, a beautiful small country in the Caribbean.  She is a student with an associate degree in Natural Sciences, her ambition is to be a Medical Researcher and Lecturer at the University.  One of the most interesting jobs she has had to date is to work as a Counsellor for the National Cultural Foundation & Arts Camp.  The proudest moment was conquering her fear of going on stage and then to win the Junior Monarch Calypso Competition in 2001.  Marielle’s interests are: Reading, writing short stories & songs, playing bass guitar, singing, modern dance, and she enjoys playing pool and netball.  Favourite food: Macaroni Pie and fried flying fish.  Her personal motto is “Impossible is nothing, Nothing is impossible”.
08BELGIUMTatiana Silva Braga Tavares20170UccleTatiana grew up in Brussels the capital of Belgium and Headquarters of the E.E.C.  In secondary school she opted for Modern Languages.  She is now in her first year studying Public Relations, it is her ambition to work in this field.  During her studies Tatiana has also worked in many temporary posts, i.e. assistant in a Mount Blanc shop, kitchen work in a hospital to a sales assistant in a Butcher’s shop, this has all given her a rewarding experience and knowledge of  the responsibilities in  life.  Hobbies are: Reading, dancing, travel, volley ball and tennis, in music she has a preference for R & B. African music, Latino and Arabic.  Her favourite motto is from Robert Frost   “Two roads diverge in a wood and I took the other one less travelled by,  and thus has made all the difference”.
09BOLIVIAViviana Méndez Rivero19176Santa CruzViviana was born and brought up in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, a country of diverse cultures and archaeological places.  Viviana graduated High School with honours and is now in her first semester of Civil Engineering at the Privada De Santa Cruz University, her ambition is to build bridges in Bolivia.  In her spare time she has worked in many part time posts, from a small snack bar, a home centre for Christmas and as a model.  Hobbies are:  Reading, collecting toy cars, car racing, volleyball, basketball, karting, listening to music and dance, such as the culture dances of south America.  Her motto would be “Live every day as if it were the last one.  Nothing is impossible”.
10BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINASanja Tunjic19177TuzlaSanja was born in Tuzla, lived in Germany during the war in her country, she is now back in her home town  famous for its “Kula”, Grandacac, Panonsko Lake, Modrac lake, and its historic park.  Sanja has finished her high school education and is in her first year as a student of the German Language, her ambition is to work as either a translator or Professor, combining this with the Fashion Industry.  Some of the most interesting work she has done is giving German and English lessons to the children.  Hobbies and sporting interests are:  Reading, literature, volleyball, swimming, bowling and dancing. She also enjoys photography.  Favourite food is ‘Fast food’. Personal motto would be “If you love your life and enjoy it, you are happy, then you can make others feel the same.  Just be positive”.
11BOTSWANATshegofatso Abigail Tumisang Robi20170GaboroneTshegofatso was born in Johannesburg but raised in Tlokweng and Gaborone in Botswana.  Botswana is a country where the population of cows is three times as many as the number of people.  It is a country that has many beautiful aspects and very friendly warm hearted people.   Having finished her general education she is currently modelling but would like to study Hotel Management and to be an International Recording Artiste, her proudest moment was when she had to sing a Celine Dion song ‘My Heart Will Go On’  in the school play,  she received a standing ovation.   Tshegofatso enjoys socialising, watching TV, playing tennis, dancing, singing and she enjoys, Indian, Chinese and African cuisine.  Her motto is “Not to dwell on the difficult situations that come in life but to make sure that you get over them, to just do it”.
12BRAZILPatricia Reginato19177MedianeiraPatricia was born and grew up in Medianeira, which is in the south of Brazil.  Medianeira attracts many tourists as it is very close to the Iguassu Waterfalls and has the biggest Power Plant in the world, the Itaipu Power plant.  Having just finished high school Patricia is currently representing Brazil.   Her future ambition is to continue her studies in Architecture at University.  Patricia enjoys cooking, reading, going to the movies, working out in the gym and ballroom dancing.  Favourite food is spaghetti. Her motto is “Faith, organization and to persist are the main important things for being a successful person”.
13BULGARIARosita Marinova Ivanova18174SofiaRositsa was born and grew up in Ruse, then moved to Sofia a year ago.  Sofia is a city attractive in its architecture and beautiful parks, with a majestic panorama of the Vitosha Mountain.   She is currently in the 11th grade at the William Shakespeare English Language School, her ambition is to commence her studies in Law next year.Hobbies & sporting interest are:  books, cinema, the opera, and although not a sportswoman she enjoys swimming, basketball, jogging, exercising & keeping fit.  Rositsa likes Bulgarian Folk and Latin American dancing, and has played the piano since six years of age, her preferences are Ludwig Van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  Personal Motto would be “Always look ahead and aim high with a smile”.
14CANADARamona Rina Amiri25172VancouverRamona was born and grew up in Montreal, the second largest city in Canada and the largest French-speaking country in the Americas, she moved to Vancouver in 1997 to attend University.  Canada is a land of true diversity; it is multicultural, has breathtaking scenery from the Rocky Mountains  to the Prairies, to the ocean scenery of the Maritimes & Atlantic Ocean to the far north touching on the Arctic Ocean. Graduating university with an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology, she is currently working as a Medical Research Assistant and enjoying being Miss Canada, her ambition is to continue working with her children’s fund while completing medical school to become a Doctor.  Hobbies are: Belly Dancing and modern dance, cooking, reading, piano, and riding her motorcycle! Sporting interests are: Ice hockey, volleyball, badminton, swimming, roller blading and hiking.  Ramona is half-Assyrian from her father’s side of the family and is proud to speak the language. Her personal motto is “Work like you don’t need money, Love like you’ve never been hurt, and Dance like no one’s watching”.
15CHINA, PEOPLE´S REPUBLICTing-Ting Zhao19178BeijingTing Ting  was born in ShanXi province and moved to Beijing to study acting at the Beijing Film University.  This is the only Film University in China and Ting Ting was selected from many thousands of applicants.  She is now in her second year, it is her ambition to go into acting and eventually direct a film.  Hobbies and sporting interests are: Playing the Piano, skating and dancing, especially Hip Hop and Chinese dance.
16CHINESE TAIPEISu-Jung Hsu25177KaohsiungSu-Jung was born and grew up in Kaohsiung, on the island of Taiwan.  She attended the Tainan Woman’s College of Art & Technology majoring in Visual Communication Design, having graduated she is currently working as an art designer and model.  Her ambition is to be a Super Model.  Su-Jung enjoys: art, music, singing, web design, travelling, swimming and table tennis.  Her favourite food is tropical fruits and her personal motto would be: “Chance favours the prepared one”.
17COLOMBIAErika Marcela Querubín Lopera22178MedellinErika was born and brought up with her two brothers in Medellin, Colombia.  She is currently in her 9th semester studying communication and journalism, her ambition is to be an international journalist.  Hobbies are:  painting in porcelain, going to the movies, volleyball, music, enjoying the typical dances of her country, especially from the Indian culture.  Erika also has a special talent for writing scripts for the theatre and has worked for the public relations of her university, making information bulletins for the students.  She loves healthy food and pasta.  Her motto would be “To give others not what she has but the things that they need”.
18CONGO, DEM.REP.OFNelly Dembo Osongo22175KinshasaNelly was born in Kisangani, and grew up in Kinshasa, DCR Congo, this is the second largest country in Africa, it has the largest forest and more than 400 different tribes and dialects.  Having  achieved her high school certificate in bio-chemistry &  I.T.,  she is currently a first year student of the National College of  Arts, her ambition is to attend the medical faculty, become a surgeon and  President of DRC.  Hobbies are: Singing, dancing, reading and her sporting interests are: Basketball, swimming, tennis and dancing both the African and Latin dances.  Favourite food:  Fish and Plantins. Nelly’s personal motto is “Never Give Up”.
19COSTA RICALeonora Jiménez Monge22181Santa  AnaLeonora was born and brought up in Santa Ana a town in Costa Rica, although a small country it is rich in natural beauty, tradition, culture and is renowned for the warmth of its people.  On completing elementary high school, she was in the national top 20 in her college entrance exam, her dream is to become a nutritionist.  Besides studying, she has been modelling since 15, and has worked as a Park Ranger in the Maquel Antonio National Park.  Hobbies include: Reading, aerobics, dancing Salsa, merengue, pop and jazz, she also enjoys extreme sports and was the national karate champion in 1995.  Leonora loves animals, she has seven dogs, a squirrel, a monkey, some doves and a toucan.  Her personal motto would be “Six times I fell down, seven times I got up”.
20CROATIAMaja Cvjetkovic19175SibenikMaja was born and grew up in Sibenik, a small pretty town on the coast of Croatia. It is a typical Mediterranean town partly consisting of the old with narrow stone roads and terraced houses contrasting with the new and modern buildings.  Having completed her high school education she is currently studying Business Studies at the University of Zagreb, her ambition to become a good businesswoman and mother.  Maja enjoys listening to Croatian Music; socialising; modern dance; and most sports including tennis and volleyball.  Her favourite food is fish, and her personal motto is   “Live brave and honest “.
21CYPRUSOrthodoxia “Doxia” Moutsouri20174DheryniaDoxia was born in Paralimni and grew up in Dherynia, she recommends her homeland, Cyprus, as a country with an historical tradition, great cuisine and has ten months of summer.  She is currently studying Business Administration as she would like to go into Public Relations and Advertising, she would also like to succeed as a model and make her own fashion shows.  Hobbies include:  writing poems, singing, dancing: pop, Latin and Greek dances and basketball.  Her proudest moment was singing solo in her school concert, her motto would be “Live every moment in a special and unique way, like it is the last moment of your life”.
22CZECH REPUBLICLucie Králova23174TepliceLucie was born in a small town called Teplice in the north of the Czech Republic.  Her country is known as the heart of Europe, the most popular place is Prague, the Capital City, it has great architectural monuments and good cuisine.  In the final years of school Lucie specialised in Social Care and is currently an assistant in a Law Office.  Ambition is to be happy, healthy and have a good family life but her dream is to either have her own dance school or work in the social sphere again.  Lucie considers herself to be a person who always thinks optimistically, she enjoys Ballet, Modern and Jazz dance, jogging, skiing, music (especially Seal and U2),   travelling and has a  pet dog called Jessie.  Her personal motto would be “Where one event ends another starts”.
23DENMARKTrine Lundgaard Neilsen18178BillundTrine was born and raised in Billund, a small quiet town in Denmark, a country with wonderful beaches, lakes, forests and a modern capital called Copenhagen.  Currently a high school student, it is her ambition to go on to study tourism at University, eventually starting her own travel agency.  Music has always been a big part of her life, since she was very little she has expressed herself through music and both modern and show dance.  Her sporting interests are:  Swimming, roller skating and running.  Some years ago Trine helped teach at primary school and found it a very rewarding experience.  Her favourite food is typically Danish, boiled potatoes, fried meat balls and homemade brown sauce.  Her motto is “Nothing ventured, Nothing Gained”.
24DOMINICAN REPUBLICElisa Abreu De Los Santos21170JarabacoaElisa was born and grew up in Jarabacoa, it is situated in the middle of the country, in the mountains surrounded by green forests and rivers – they have a saying “God is everywhere but sleeps in Jarabacoa”.   Elisa is a third year student studying architecture, her ambition is to study and work hard and to be recognised as a famous architect.  Her interests are: Acting and loves taking part in theatrical performances, volleyball and dancing the merengue, salsa and Bachata, she also looks after her two Chiguagua dogs named Lola & Vitanina.  Favourite foods are:  Mango, fried cheese and seafood.  Personal motto would be “To live each day as the last one”.
25ECUADORMarielisa Márques Gutiérrez24175GuayaquilMarielisa was born and raised in Guayaquil, a warm city located at the coast, it has beautiful beaches.  Guayaquil is Ecuador’s main port, it also has beautiful natural reserves and infrastructure that shows the art, history and culture.  Holding a bachelor’s degree in business studies she would like to continue studying for her master’s degree in social communication, as her ambition is to work in television. Hobbies include: handicrafts, painting, reading, working out, aerobics, swimming and basketball.  Special talents: singing and playing both guitar and piano.  Marielisa’s mother is an artist and she has studied with her since very young, she now teaches handicrafts and painting to children and young girls.  Her motto is ‘I can do it all, if not, I can learn”.  Favourite food is sea food.
26EL SALVADORMirian Alejandra Ramos Cárcamo19177San SalvadorAlejandra was born and grew up in San Salvador, capital city of El Salvador,  a little country that  has a big and pure heart.  Alejandra is a third year student at University taking Public Relations & Communication; her ambition is to be a TV Producer and Presenter.  She has already been gaining experience by working in TV commercials, hosting and modelling.  Her sporting interests are: tennis, baseball, jogging, exercise, and Horse Riding.  She also enjoys: travel, meditation, singing, and dancing to Hip Hop, electronic and relaxing music.  Alejandra has an Australian Parrot and a dog. Her favourite food comes from the cuisines of China & Thailand.
27ENGLANDHammasa Kohistani18170UxbridgeHammasa was born in Uzbekistan and moved to England with her family and lives in the suburbs of London, one of the busiest cities in the world, famous for its landmarks including: Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and the London Eye.  Hammasa is currently studying for her A-levels in Politics, government, sociology, Media and English literature, she also works in the modelling field.  It is her ambition to continue her education at university and excel in Advertising Design,  Her hobbies and sporting interests are: reading, listening to R & B, dance – both modern and the Persian Belly dance, tennis, running and gymnastics.  She also enjoys travelling as she has family in over 15 countries.  Personal motto would be “Be nice to people on your way up so they are nice to you on your way down”.
28ESTONIALaura Korgemae19178TartuLaura grew up in Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia.  This is a very small country with only 1.4 million inhabitants, two thirds of the land is covered with beautiful forests.  It also has many small islands and lakes.  Laura is still a student and has also modelled for 5 years.  Her proudest moment was when she was chosen for Vasco Rossi video movie, it is her ambition to become an actress.  Hobbies and sporting interests are:  Reading, dancing, acting, running, swimming, skateboarding and she loves all types of music; everything depends on her mood.  Laura’s personal motto is “The belief within yourself gives the power to achieve your goals”.
29ETHIOPIASéble Mekonnen19178SayechewSeble was born and grew up in a village named Sayechew, in Ethiopia.  Ethiopia has a very old culture with many historical places and has around 200 dialects.  Having completed her education Seble is now working as a full time model, her ambition is to become a successful businesswoman.  Her interests are: reading, watching movies, dancing – especially the traditional dance called ‘Skesta’ and listening to music.  Sporting interests are:  basketball and swimming.  Her personal motto would be: “Live for your country”.
30FINLANDSaana Johanna Anttila23180VantaaSaana was born and grew up in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, but is currently living in Vantaa. She is a High School graduate, and is currently working in security at Helsinki airport, it is her ambition to become a police officer.  Her hobbies include: football, roller-skating, volleyball, basketball, tennis, swimming, singing, show dance and acting, Saana’s motto is “Do your best in everything you do”.  She likes all food but her favourite is Lasagne or meatballs.
31FRANCECindy Fabre20179Cosne-Cours-sur-LoireCindy was born and raised in Cosne Cours sur Loire in Normandy, it is a region of France with rich historical sites and wonderful cooking.  Part of her family live in Guadeloupe in the French Caribbean isles where she often visits.  Cindy is currently studying the Techniques of Marketing, it is her ambition to achieve her Master’s Degree and go into the Marketing Field.  Hobbies are: Music, Fitness, dance: classic modern and Jazz.  Cindy loves to dance and has studied for many years, a few months ago she competed on TV in a dance competition between celebrities and came second.  She also has a special talent in walking a tightrope 50 metres high!  Her special motto would be “A smile costs nothing but it brings a lot”.
32GEORGIASalomé Khelashvili20176TbilisiSalome grew up in Tbilisi, the capital of her very beautiful country.  She is a student at the Tbilisi State University studying Journalism, and has been working in radio as a journalist.  Her ambition is to become a radio journalist and continue with her modelling career.  Her interests are:  Music, especially classical, swimming, skiing, tennis and she dances the Georgian National Dance.  Favourite food is salads and her personal motto is “Truth and Faithfulness move the World”.
33GERMANYDaniela Risch23170KielDaniela was born in Wismar and grew up in Kiel and Koln, a beautiful city on the Rhine.  She has completed her university studies and is now a Fashion Manager, it is her ambition to create her own fashion label.  The most interesting activity she has done is to be a co-driver at the German Ferrari Challenge at Nuremberg.  Daniela considers herself to be an all rounder but especially likes: designing, shopping, jogging and disco dance.  Her personal motto would be “Love me or leave me”.
34GHANAInna Mariam Patty23180AccraInna was born in Lagos, Nigeria and grew up in Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast, it has tropical weather, a rich heritage and an interesting kaleidoscope of cultural attractions.   She is currently studying for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Administration, after which she will take a year off to honour an invitation to do an attachment in a law firm in Ghana, then enrol in Law School as it is her ambition to be a corporate lawyer.  Inna is also her country’s ‘Tourism Ambassador’, she championed the introduction of paragliding and hang gliding in Ghana and Africa at large, she is also interested in the fashion industry and would be more than happy to land a modelling contract.  Other interests include: Listening to R & B and Soul, Orating, and looking after her pet dog called Snoopy and her adopted crocodile, Frank.  Her motto is “Whoever much is given, from him much will be expected”.
35GIBRALTARMelanie Chipolina23175GibraltarMelanie has always had a passion for sport from primary all the way to university, especially gymnastics, netball and basketball, she has participated up to national level in gymnastics and hopes to represent Gibraltar in a future Island Games.  She has just achieved her BSc (Hons) in Sports Development and Coaching Sciences.  It is her dream to open her own fitness centre in Gibraltar.  Interesting fact – 2 other members of her family have also been crowned Miss Gibraltar in 1966 and 1992.  Besides gymnastics Melanie also enjoys: netball, football, cinema, fashion & design, dancing (contemporary, modern, ballet), travelling and food.  Her motto is “We only have one life, so live it to the full, No regrets”.
36GREECEAikaterini Stikoudi20176ThessalonikaAikaterini was born in Thessalonika, the second largest city in Greece, it is famous for its white town centre and its delicious foods.  Aikaterini has an English School Diploma, and is a student in University Medical School, Hobbies:  include dancing, singing, aerobics, acting, listening to pop music, and Greek dance.  She also enjoys swimming and is a children’s swimming instructor.  Dreams are to be a great actress and also to have a SLK silver Mercedes.
37GUADELOUPEMérita Melina23176AbymesGuadeloupe is a country made up of two islands and five dependences, Meryta grew up in Les Abymes Town, City of Pointe-a-Pointe, and lives with her mother and older brother.  She is a law student and her ambition is to be a Judge, during the term breaks Meryta has worked as a model, waitress and as an extra.  Hobbies include: Dress making, attending social events, Swimming, Thai boxing, Ningitsu, classic, modern, rock and the Beguine dance.  Her proudest moment was when she was awarded the title of ‘First-aid Worker’.
38GUATEMALAMaría Inés Gálvez Close24179Guatemala CityMaria and her twin sister were born in Guatemala City, she also has another sister and two brothers.  At the age of 12 Maria and her twin were sent on an exchange programme abroad, it was a difficult experience but it helped her to grow and develop many interests; in people, places and cultures around the world.  Last year she achieved her Business Management Degree from a school in Boston, Massachusetts.  Her ambition is to continue her studies in Public & International Relations, become a successful businesswoman and go into politics.  Her hobbies are: cooking, reading, travelling and painting.  She likes to work out and be an active person, enjoying swimming, cycling, kick boxing and most kinds of dance including the Merengue.  Her favourite saying is “The one who wants, can” and “life is beautiful, knowing how”.
39 GUYANAJasmine Samoy Herzog18178AnnandaleJasmine grew up in Annandale, situated on the East Coast of a beautiful country of which three quarters is still virgin land filled with rare and exotic species of flora and fauna, it also has a rich heritage.  Having graduated High School with distinction, she has now completed two years at the University of Guyana in Biology, during her free time Jasmine has worked as a Farm Assistant, which is helping to realise her ambition to be a Veterinarian.  Having always had a fascination with animals, at home she looks after her 5 dogs, a cat and a parrot!  she feels that she grew up as a bit of a ‘tom boy’. Hobbies are: debating, reading, dancing: Hip Hop, Salsa, Merengue, swimming, socialising, soccer, shot put, discus, and at school was always involved in athletics.  Her personal motto would be “Life is full of adventures, explore all of them, live life to the fullest”.
40HONG KONG, CHINA“Tracy “Chui-Chui Ip24173VictoriaChui Chui was born and grew up in Hong Kong, (except for a few years of study in England).  Hong Kong is a vibrant city with lots of attractions, it is known as one of the world’s largest financial centres.  Her proudest moment has been graduating from University with a B.A. degree in Fashion & Textile Design.  During her degree she also had the opportunity to be a part time catwalk model which gave her the opportunity to perform on stage and to relate her work to what she had learnt.  Chui Chui has also been a veterinarian helper at an animal clinic.   Her ambition is to become a world-renowned fashion designer.  Hobbies & sporting interests are: Cooking, travel, swimming, badminton and Jazz dance.  Her personal motto is “Live to love and love to live”.
41HUNGARYTunde Semmi-Kis20182BudapestTunde was born and brought up in the capital Budapest, it is the centre for economy, transport and culture.  Tunde’s proudest moment was when she received her high school diploma, she is currently a student and is going to study Management and Information Technology, her ambition is to own her own business.  Hobbies are: drawing, modern dance, swimming, athletics and motorcycling (for which she has a special talent and has done some stunt work as a street fighter on a motor cycle.  Favourite music is R&B and she loves lasagne and Chinese food.  Personal motto would be “Work as you lived forever, but live as if you die tomorrow”.
42ICELANDUnnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir21173SeltjarnarnesUnnur was born in the Capital Reykjavik but grew up in a small town called Seltjarnarnes.  In Iceland you can see a tremendous icecap, several glaciers, spouting geysers, steaming solfataras, volcanoes (hopefully dormant), raging rivers and magnificent waterfalls, a multitude of birds and cavorting whales.    Iceland can boast of many offbeat sports and attracts many visitors as Summers are surprisingly warm and winters not as cold as you might expect.  For the past year Unnur has been studying anthropology at the University and next fall she will commence her studies in Law as she plans to graduate as a lawyer as well as an anthropologist.  She is chairman of the college social club and teaches dance, she also enjoys acting, singing, all types of dancing, snow-boarding, hiking, camping, horsemanship and has a special talent for choreography and playing the piano.  During her summer holidays this year Unnur was working as a police officer at the airport.  Her favourite motto is “You are what you do” or “You are what you make”.
43INDIASindhura Gadde21175MumbaiSindhura was born in Vijaywada, grew up with her grandparents in Andhra Pradesh, then joined her parents who were working abroad, thus having many exciting overseas trips, she finished her schooling in New Zealand where she began her career in the media and fashion industry. Sindhura is currently in Mumbai where she is in her final year towards a double degree in Pharmacology & Physiology, a comprehensive First Aid Course and a diploma in advanced modelling. Her ambition is two fold, to enter into Pharmaceutical Research and explore the media and fashion industry around the globe. She has also taken an introduction course in Chinese, Japanese & Arabic. Hobbies are: Singing, dancing (Jazz, Latin, Ballroom & Indian Classical), reading, movies, cooking. Sporting interests are: snow boarding, beach volleyball, sky diving, scuba diving, netball, basketball & badminton. Her personal motto is “Work hard, play harder! Don’t just exist, live!”.
44INDONESIALindi Cistia Prabha21172JogjakartaLindi was born and grew up in Jogjakarta, a small town in central Java.  It is one of the world heritage sites where a Borobudur temple is located, it  is also one of the supreme cultural centres of Java, being famous for its traditional music called gamelans, traditional dances and puppet shows. Lindi is a psychology student at the Faculty of Psychology Gadjah Mada University, upon completion of her degree she would like to find a scholarship to do her PHD abroad.  She is also a volunteer in a handicap rehabilitation centre, a part time volunteer in the deaf community, and models in her spare time to help finance her studies.  Hobbies are: Singing, reading, fitness, aerobics, swimming, badminton, modern dance, Javanese & Balinese traditional dance.  Personal motto is:  “A Winner sees the problem as a challenge: A loser as a burden.  Smile for the world and the world will smile for you”.
45IRELANDAoife Mary Cogan24180CastleknockAoife lives in Castleknock, a suburb of Dublin the capital of Ireland.  She left school with an honours certificate and is a qualified photographer.  During her school years she developed a talent for art, speech and drama and has represented her school in basketball, hockey, tennis and athletics.   Hobbies include:  listening to music (U2 are her favourites) and travelling – she has spent 18 months visiting: France, Spain, Italy, Syria, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Indonesia.  Aoife is currently working in the fashion industry as a model, but her ambition is to work in television and photography.   Her proudest moment to date has been  having her painting exhibited in the National Gallery of Ireland, favourite food is Chinese and Thai, and her motto would be “Whatever I gain in my life, that I would be able to give something back”.
46ISRAELKeren Shacham19171Kiryat MotzkinKeren was born in Haifa and now lives in Kiryat Motzkin in the North of Israel with her parents and two brothers.    From a young age she has always been acting in plays, singing and dancing, she has appeared with a local dance group all over Israel, and performed in Italy, Germany and in the USA.  Having completed her schooling and obtaining matriculation certificate, she is currently preparing for her military service.  Her ambition is to study drama and cinema with the aim to be a great actress.  She is a member of ‘Variety Israel’, and besides all forms of dance she enjoys kick boxing and running.  Keren’s favourite food is chocolate soufflé and watermelon with Feta cheese.   Her motto is “Always aim for the best and be optimistic”.
47ITALYSofía Bruscoli17177Misano AdriaticoSofia comes from the region of Emilia Romagna in the north of Italy, a place well known for its gastronomy, its car and motorbike industry, tourism, boating and is a region that takes its ancient root in the development of agriculture.   Sofia has been Roller Skating since the age of 5, by the age of 15 she had won the ‘Couple’s Italian and European championship’ for skate dancing, she also enjoys ballet and modern dance and has exhibited in many shows.  Other hobbies include: reading, working out in the gym and travelling.  Sofia is currently attending the Liceo Scientifico and working as a professional model for International haute couture.
48JAMAICATerri-Karelle Griffith23175St AndrewTerri-Karelle was born and grew up in St Andrew, Kingston, Jamaica.  An island that Christopher Columbus once said “It was the fairest isle that eyes ever saw”.  She is a University Student and has just received a scholarship to study veterinary medicine in Cuba, her ambition is to pursue a career as a Veterinary Surgeon.   At the age of 8 she wrote a letter to the Governor General telling him of her quest to save animals.  In her spare time she works for the Animal Shelter, and as an Entertainment Co-ordinator at a famous holiday resort.  Hobbies are: Reading, listening to music, socialising, swimming, tennis, and she enjoys modern and creative dance (she was the youngest to be inducted in a Jamaican Dance Company “Tony Wilson Dance Company Theatre”.  Her motto is: “Never be content with someone else’s definition of YOU, instead define yourself by your own beliefs, truths and understanding”.
49JAPANErina Shinohara22165TokyoErina was born and grew up in Fuji City, Shizkoka Prefecture until the age of 18, she now lives in Tokyo.  Fuji is known as a major producer of green tea and mandarins, also for Mount Fuji which is the highest and most beautiful mountain in Japan.  Erina is currently studying marketing at Aoyama Gakuin University of Tokyo, her ambition is to become Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Japan, she would also like to create her own brand of clothing for the international market.  Erina loves classical music and has been playing the violin for 20 years, she is a concert master and performs in the University Orchestra, she likes singing too – all genres (R & B, Hip Hop etc).  Hobbies & Sporting interests are: Athletics, tennis, swimming and looking after her two dogs (Beagles) and her blue-veta fish.   Her personal motto is “Never give up!”
50KENYACecilia Murugi Mwangi21171NairobiCecilia was born and brought up in Nairobi, Kenya, which is well known by tourists for its Safaris, and crops of coffee and tea.  She is a student at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Technology, and has also trained at the Japanese and French Cultural Interchange Center and acts as an interpreter.  Her ambition is to become a professional networking consultant.  Hobbies are: Cooking, travelling, reading, dancing, especially the cultural dances from the different ethnic groups, and Kenyan cultural music.  Sporting interests are: swimming, netball, volleyball and the 800m-sprint race.  Favourite food is mashed bananas and mutton stew served with spinach and Cecilia’s personal motto is “Live, love and cherish life for a better future”.
51KOREAEun-Young Oh20172SeoulEun-Young was born and raised in Seoul, the capital of Korea.  This is a country of traditional and modern culture.  It is also known for hosting the Olympic Games in 1988.  Eun-Young has always been interested in art; her dream is to be a fashion designer.  She started to learn fine art in middle school, and went on to major in design at University.  So far she has twice submitted logo designs, both are being used, one was for a TV production company, and feels very proud when she sees the logo on TV.  Enjoying travel and extreme sports, she backpacked by bike across Southern Korea; this has given her the opportunity to see her country and gain a lot of confidence.  She also loves listening and playing the Korean traditional fiddle and eating ‘Doenjang soup’.  Eun-Young is looking forward with passion and dreams to the challenges of life.
52LATVIAValerija Sevcuka20176RigaValerija was born and grew up in Riga, the heart and capital of Latvia, it is one of the biggest ports of Hansa Union, lying between Europe and Russia.  Having obtained certificates from the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry in the English language, practical computing, European Union and Management, Valerija is now in her 3rd year studying European Business at the Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration.  Ambition is to study hard and become a top manager in a big and flourishing company.  Hobbies and sporting interests are: Learning languages, travelling, professional tennis, aerobics, volleyball, skiing, bowling, swimming, diving, billiards and dance, including classical, Latino and belly dancing. Personal motto would be “Do everything possible to always be ‘simply number one”
53LEBANONLamitta Frangieh24173BeirutLamita was born in Zgharta and raised in Beirut.  It is a beautiful city in the North of Lebanon where the weather is glorious and ideal for tourism.  Having completed her education, she took a course in Psychology of Young Children.  Currently she is modelling, working as a fashion editor on the Beauty of Fashion section for a magazine and preparing for a TV Show.  It is her ambition to be a successful businesswoman, wife and mother.  Hobbies and interests are:  Tennis, skiing, swimming, travelling, and her favourite music is: Pink Floyd, Techno & Jazz. Favourite food: Seafood, Sushi, Italian, and of course Lebanese cuisine.  Personal motto is “Reality is a name we give to our disappointments”.
54LIBERIASnorti Muna Forh23180Montserrado CountySnoti was born in Montserrado County, Monrovia, but spent a part of her childhood in Ghana, South Korea, Belgium and Luxemburg.  Liberia is a small country along the west coast of Africa, surrounded by the Ivory Coast on the east, Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the North and the Atlantic Ocean on the south.  Snoti is currently a student and has also worked as a News Anchor co-ordinating the International Children’s day of broadcasting, her career ambitions are: Corporate Law, Fashion Design and Voice & Speech Training.  Hobbies & Sporting Interests are:  Singing, dancing (both traditional and Western), cooking, basketball and kickball.   Personal motto would be “Live your life in a manner that is decent and trend worthy, so that when you are no more others can continue from where you stopped”.
55MACEDONIA F.Y.R.O.Milena Stanivukovic21180SkopjeMilena was born and lives in the capital city, Skopje, It is a city of culture, traditions, picturesque landscapes, historical monuments and crystal lakes. Currently a third year student at the University in Skopje she is studying law, her ambition is to be a very successful lawyer.  Milena has been a professional basketball player for six years and enjoys; swimming; modelling, and both modern and belly dancing.  She likes the classics, especially Beethoven, but is also fond of commercial music.  Her favourite food is a local speciality ‘Beans in the oven’ she also likes Italian cuisine.  Her motto is “Enjoy every moment of life”.
56MALAWIRachel Landson Phiri20172LilongweRachel comes from a family of 9, 6 girls and 3 boys; she grew up in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi.  Malawi has the third largest lake in Africa and its main export products are Tobacco and Tea.  Having achieved her diploma in Mass Communication and Journalism, the most interesting report she has done so far was in interviewing the Minister of Tourism, it is her ambition to continue with a media career after she has completed her duties as Miss Malawi.  Hobbies are:  Reading, cooking, travelling, singing and dancing, she also enjoys: Netball, football and throwing the Javelin.  Favourite food is Fish and rice cooked in an appetising sauce.   Rachel’s motto is “Beauty with Love”.
57MALAYSIAEmmeline Ng Wei Shu23179Kuala LumpurEmmeline was born in Singapore and brought up in Malaysia and Australia.  Malaysia is a beautiful country celebrating a diversity of cultures, race and religion, and home to luscious rainforests and pristine beaches, it also boasts of delicious food.  She has completed her education gaining a Victorian Certificate of Education and a diploma in Banking and Finance.  She is currently living in Kuala Lumpur and is working as a model, her future ambition is to have her own business in the entertainment industry and to host a TV Show in either fashion or travel. Hobbies and sporting interests are: Reading, watching movies, working out at the gym, basketball, netball, swimming, golf, dining out with friends and chilling out to Latin and Lounge music.  Personal motto would be “Never lose sight of what you desire, stay focused and never let negativity stop you from achieving your dream”.
58MALTAFerdine Irma Fava19170St.JulianFerdine was born and raised in St Julian’s Village in Malta.  Malta is a small island in the Mediterranean well known for: Its immense history & different cultures, The Maltese Cross, the Knights of St John to name but a few.  Ferdine has completed her Higher School Education and is currently a hair stylist; her ambition is to work as an Air Hostess as soon as she reaches the age of 21.  Her hobbies are: Freehand drawing and sketching, dancing, travelling, modelling, football and modern dance.  Favourite food is Chinese cuisine and she has a beautiful Persian cat named Satin.  Personal motto would be “Nothing is impossible, if you want something badly enough do what it takes to get it”.
59MARTINIQUEMoana-Sarann Robinel24174Fort de FranceMoana-Sarann was born and grew up in Fort de France, the capital of Martinique.  A paradise island with wonderful white sandy beaches and many rivers and waterfalls. It is rich in history with an exceptional melting-pot of Indian, Chinese, Caribbean – all contributing to the island’s culture.  Having completed her education gaining Diploma’s in Art and Literature, she is currently Artistic Director for a West Indies Fashion Magazine and a TV Host.  She has also been an Artistic Director for 1 year on a Music Video production in Paris. Her ambition is to produce and host an international TV Show.  Growing up in a very artistic family has made her sensitive to art, dance, theatre, cinema, music literature and fashion; she is also a very keen traveller.  Other interests are: body attack, golf, home decorating and design.  Favourite food is; tropical fruit and Sea Food; especially lobster!  Her motto is simple it’s “Smile to the life”.
60MAURITIUSMeenakshi Shivani Putty24172Port LouisMeenakshi was born in Moka and grew up in the capital, Port Louis.  Mauritius is sometimes referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ and famous for its hospitality, the main trade is in sugar cane, textiles, tourism and is now emerging in the IT sector.  Having gained her Higher Diploma Level in IT she is working as a Customer Service Executive, her ambition is to have her own company and develop the I.T. sector for Mauritius and Africa.  Her proudest moment was the day she graduated and lived up to all the expectations that her parents had placed in her.  Hobbies and Sporting interests are:  Public speaking, nature walks, badminton, volleyball, horse riding, listening to fusion music, dancing and Indian dance.  The two concepts that have guided her life are: “Do things right” and “Do the right things”.
61MEXICODafne Molina Lona23180Mexico CityDafne was born and raised in Mexico City.  It is a City with an amazing cultural and historical background, it also has a reputation for its diverse cuisine.  Having just completed her diploma in Interior Design at University Dafne is currently enjoying her year as Miss Mexico and catwalk modelling.   At the age of 9 she trained with her father to climb the Popcatepetl  (a volcano close to Mexico City), although due to the weather on the day of the climb they did not reach the summit, it taught her about knots and ropes,  the silent language of nature, the weather, and to appreciate the time spent with her father.  Hobbies include: acting, reading poetry, modern, jazz and traditional Mexican dances, Horseback riding and nature walks.  Her motto is “With strength and enthusiasm I will make things happen”.
62MOLDOVAIrina Dolovova21173ChisináuIrina was born in Noishtrellitz in Germany but grew up in Moldova, a beautiful small country with lots of fields, forests and gardens with lots of roses. Irina is a student at the Moldovan State University and President of the Transnistrian Student Association.  It is her ambition to continue with her social studies.  Hobbies and sporting interests are:  Mountains, gymnastics, yoga, singing, listening to Jazz, Modern, Opera and she enjoys ballroom and modern dance. She also has a pet parrot.  Personal motto is “All the goods goes to the end, for to start again”
63MONGOLIAKhongorzul Ganbat17177UlaanbaatarKhongorzul was born in Darkhan and moved to the capital, Ulaanbaatar, when she was 8 years old.  Mongolia is the homeland of the great ‘Genghis Khan’, the Gobi desert and the far-reaching steppe.  It is a country of four amazing seasons, snow white in the winter, followed by the warm welcoming spring, flowering green summer and golden reach fall.  Khongorzul is a high school student in the 11th grade, her ambition to become a doctor and specialise in the ear, nose and throat.  Her hobbies and sporting interests are:  Classic literature, fishing, netting, crosswords, volleyball, tennis, soccer, the waltz and the Mongolian Folk dance, and since childhood she has played football as her father is a member of the Football Federation and she has always gone to matches with him.   Her motto is “Hard is worth more than gold”.
64NAMIBIALeefa Shiikwa23176TsumebLeefa was born in a small village called Onepandaulo in the northern part of Namibia and grew up in a small town called Tsumeb.  Namibia is situated in South Western Africa, it has an Ocean, lots of resorts, a desert with beautiful dunes and a welwitchia mirabilis plant that can live for more than 100 years.  Leefa is currently studying for her Bachelor of Technology at the Polytechnic of Namibia, it is her ambition to be a very successful businesswoman and entrepreneur.  Hobbies and sporting interests are: debating interesting and diverse subject matters, working out in the Gym, netball, volleyball and any kind of African dance especially the traditional “Odelela” and the Kizomba dances.   Her personal motto would be “Never look down to any person, because you will never know what you might learn from them”.
65NEPALSugarika K.C.20171LalitpurSugarika was born in Lalitpur, an area close to Kathmandu the capital of Nepal.  Lalitpur is renowned for its cultural heritage and is hometown to its historical Kings. Sugarika is a student of Environmental Science, interested in media; her ambition is to achieve a career in the media by utilizing her knowledge of the environment.  She won 1st prize in a Nationwide speech competition and was considered the best anchor of Nepal 2004, she has worked both in radio and television hosting programmes. Interests & hobbies are:  Listening to music, literature, public speaking, social works, badminton, basketball and both modern and Nepalese dance.  Her personal motto is “If opportunities do not knock on your door then try to build another door by yourself”
66NETHERLANDSMonique Plat24173VolendamMonique was born and grew up in Volendam, a village famous because of the fish, the dykes and small houses.  It is one of the last places in the Netherlands where they still wear the traditional costume and use the old dialect.  Monique completed her education with a course in International Management in Amsterdam and is currently working as a fashion buyer and model.  Her ambition is to be an International Buyer and start her own fashion company.  Interests are: Travelling, body pump, working out in the gym, drawing, swimming and dancing the Salsa.  Favourite food is Thai and her proudest moment was when she made a parachute jump out of an airplane at 4000 meters.  Her personal motto would be “Don’t worry, be happy.  Try to get as much as possible out of your life”.
67NEW ZEALANDKay Margaret Anderson20172HowickKay was born in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, in a suburb called Howick.  New Zealand is an environmentally friendly country, with beaches, mountains, national parks and is known as the adventure capital of the world.  Graduating from University with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, majoring in Marketing and Management, Kay is currently an Account Exec in the Advertising and Modelling Industry and is working with a designer on their first collection.  Her ambition is to build a brand in women’s clothing.  Interests are: Fashion design and painting; sporting interests include: netball, touch rugby, running, cycling, triathlons, and sky diving (only 10 jumps away from getting her licence).  Personal motto is “Can’t is not an option”.
68NICARAGUAValeria Carolina García Dávila21176ManaguaValeria was born and grew up in the neighbourhood of Managua in Nicaragua, it is a country in the Heart of Central America, with two oceans, spectacular volcanoes, huge lakes, lagoons, rivers, archaeological treasures and delicious food.  Valeria is in her 4th year at University studying Systems Engineering, her ambition is to obtain a position in a computer company, gain experience in order to form her own business, and have a beautiful family.  Hobbies are: Volleyball, Investigating the Internet, Dance especially with the Latin Rhythm, Modelling, and she enjoys visiting with family and friends. Her personal motto is “To maintain success with much dedication and discipline”.
69NIGERIAOmowunmi Akinnifesi19173LagosOmowunmi was born in Lagos but grew up in Sierra Leone, she is now living back in Lagos, Nigeria, a country blessed with great cultures and a wonderful tourist centre.  At High School she won first prize in a Fine Art Competition, she is now a student and her future ambition is to be a National Geographer.  She enjoys drawing, dancing and volleyball;  has a pet dog called Fussy; her favourite music is hip hop and rock, and favourite food is spaghetti and meat balls.  Omowunmi’s motto is “Forward ever, backward never”.
70NORTHERN IRELANDLucy Avril Evangelista19172PortglenoneLucy was born in Ballymena and grew up in Portglenone with her two sisters.  She completed her schooling with: 9 GCSE’s; a photography GCSE & BTEC;  IA Beauty Specialist.  Currently she is working as a sales assistant and model, her ambition is to continue with her studies in photography, make-up and camouflage make-up to disguise scarring, bruising etc., eventually qualifying  as make-up artist and going on to own her own business and travel the world.   One of the most interesting things Lucy has done has been to go over to Kenya for a month as a volunteer, she worked with the tribes, an orphanage, and helped build a play park.  Lucy enjoys: Keeping fit, cooking, tennis and speech & drama, she also loves all types of music from pop, country, R & B to classical,  Her motto is “ Look for the best out of every situation and love Life”.
71NORWAYHelene Traasavik19174HellvikHelene grew up in a small parish called Hellvik in Egersund City, Norway, it  is a beautiful country with landscapes ranging from high mountains with breathtaking  fiords & icebergs to white beaches depending on the season you can enjoy surfing and the beach or snowboarding and skiing.  Helene’s mother  is Thai, therefore she is used to travelling frequently between Norway and Thailand to visit her grandparents.  Having completed her education Helene is now working as a model, her ambition is to study design.  Hobbies and sporting interests are:  Jazz & Ballet dance, listening to music – especially house music; surfing; skiing; pilates; and making people laugh.  Favourite motto is “ Never stop dreaming, cause with eyes in the stars and feet on the ground you can achieve anything.  Nothing is impossible, only challenging!”.
72PANAMAAnna Isabella Vaprio Medalla21181Panama CityAnna was born and raised in Panama City, it location unites Central America to South America, within an hour you can swim and snorkel in either the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean.  The heart of the city is a natural forest park crossed by mountain ranges with large rainforests.  Anna’s immediate plans are to graduate with a university Degree in International Relations and Business Administration and then to work for a year at UNICEF concentrating in the Youth Development Department for Third World Countries, after which she would like to get a Master’s Degree in General Management.  Hobbies & sporting interests are:  meditation, going to the movies and the beach, swimming, basketball, volleyball, dancing: Merengue, Panamanian reggae and salsa, she also looks after her Australian Parakeet.    Favourite motto is: “If you fall a thousand times, a thousand and one times stand up”.
73PERUMaría Fiorella de Jesús Castellano García18183LimaFiorella was born and grew up in Lima, the capital of Peru.  It is a very cosmopolitan city with lots of contrast between colonial architecture and modern constructions.  Having studied TV Production in Cologne University in Germany and teaching part time at a kindergarten there, she is currently back in Lima working as a model and fulfiling her duties as Miss Peru.  It is her ambition to go back to University and continue her studies and one day be a famous film producer.  Hobbies and sporting interests are:  Volleyball (she was in the national team), theatre, music – she plays the ‘Cajonu’ a typical Peruvian instrument, dancing the Salsa and the merengue. Personal motto would be “Life is a boomerang, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
74PHILIPPINESCarlene Ang Aguilar23175Quezon CityCarlene was born in Mandaluyong located in the heart of Metromanila and raised in Quezon City, the most populated city in the country.  The Philippines is an archipelago made up of 7,100 islands, hence the country has been known as The Pearl of the Orient.  Carlene has a BA in Art Studies, last year she was contracted by a TV Station in Hong Kong to do some commercials, while there she was asked to play the role of a pig fairy in one of their series and had to have prosthetics taped to her face to really look like a little pig, it was all a great experience.  Her ambition is to be a successful woman in every aspect of her life.  Her hobbies are:  watching movies, singing, dancing, playing badminton, volleyball, swimming and relaxing by listening to new age music. Her favourite food is chocolates.
75POLANDMalwina Ratajczak19176KrapkowiceMalwina was born in Krapkowice, a small town in the south of Poland, it is close to Opole which is famous for its local music festival.  Having completed her high school degree in Opole she is currently a student, her ambition is to build and manage a peaceful home for the elderly.  Her hobbies are: riding fast motor bikes, fishing, most sports, modern dance and listening to pop music, especially Pink Floyd.  Favourite food is; Russian dumplings and pancakes with spinach & mushroom sauce.  Favourite motto is: “Tomorrow will be a better day”.
76PORTUGALÁngela María Fonseca Espínola20174SetubalAngela grew up in Cape Verde, a quiet, simple and beautiful place.  Angela is currently a student and lives with her family in Setubal, Portugal.  It is her ambition to train as a model and actress, she wants to become famous and make a difference.  Hobbies and interests are:  Shopping, aerobics, going to the gym and dance, especially with African & Latin American Rhythms.   Her personal motto would be “Impossible!  It’s only a little bit more difficult”.
77PUERTO RICOIngrid Marie Rivera Santos22175El YunqueIngrid was born on the ‘Enchanted Island’ of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, in a place named El Yunque.  It is known as the National Rain forest of the Caribbean; Puerto Rico is also rich in culture and history: a mixture of Africans, Spaniards and Taino Indians.  Ingrid currently studying Marketing & Finance at The University of Puerto Rico, and a part time model. It is her ambition to create her own family business and hopefully become a recognised actress.  Hobbies are:  watching movies, acting, reading, socialising, listening to music and writing poetry.  Sporting Interests include: Horse riding, Pilates, volleyball, karate, and dancing especially the: salsa, merengue, bachata, Tahitian & Hawaiian, and belly dance.
78ROMANIARaluca Voina20173Campulung MoldovenescRaluca was born in Campulung in the eastern part of Romania.  Romania is famous for its legend of Dracula, a Romanian King who used to impale his enemies, the Black Sea, The Carpathian Mountains and The Danube Delta which has given it the beautiful and various landscapes.  Raluca is currently studying foreign languages at Spiru Haret University in Bucharest and works part time as a model.  Her ambition is to become a supermodel and work in television.  Hobbies are: dancing, especially Latino, listening to Latino and Arabic music, experimenting with new recipes in cooking, and travelling.  Sporting interests are: basketball, horse riding  and swimming.  Personal motto is “be happy with what you have, but keep dreaming about great things”.
79RUSSIAYuliya Viktorovna Ivanova22175NovosibirskYulia was born and grew up in Novosibirsk, Siberia, despite the cold weather it is very beautiful there.  She is a third year student at the Novosibirsk State Pedogogic University, organiser of the student beauty contests and teaches style in a model school.  Her ambition is to study hard in further education at the psychological faculty & TV Presenter Course, then make a career as a television presenter. Interests are: drawing, cooking, telling funny stories, keeping fit, going to the gym, skating, skiing, modern dance, listening to all music, depending on the mood. Her personal motto would be “Always go forward”
80SCOTLANDAisling Nuala Friel23171GlasgowAisling was born and raised in Glasgow, a City renowned for its warm and friendly people.  Having completed her education, Aisling is now working as cabin crew for a major airline which has enabled her to travel to many countries worldwide.  She is very interested in alternative therapies, her ambition is to go back to college to learn more about this and eventually open her own Beauty Salon.  Sporting interests are: Swimming, walking, working out in the gym, she enjoys listening to all types of music and Celtic dancing (has competed at world championship level). Her favourite food is Italian and her motto would be “Live each day to the full and always treat others the way you would like to be treated”.
81SERBIA & MONTENEGRODina Dzankovic19174Novi PazarDina was born and grew up in Novi Pazar, Serbia & Montenegro, this is a small country with a lot of history, traditions and culture.  Currently a first year student at the University of Management, after Miss World she will be going on to take up her studies in France, where she has won a four year scholarship in Interior Design Studies.  Her ambition is to be a Top Interior Designer.  Hobbies are: Painting, modern and oriental dance, listening to: R & B, Pop & Ethnic, and volleyball.  Favourite food is Italian.  Personal Motto is “To be different is beautiful”.
82SINGAPOREShenise Wong Yan Yi23173SingaporeShenise was born and raised in Singapore, a clean and green city with fantastic local food.  Having achieved a Bachelor Degree in Mass Communication in Melbourne University, she went on to be a Flight Stewardess for Singapore Airlines and has visited every country on their route, she is now an Account Executive.  Hobbies and sporting interests are:  Cooking Italian cuisine, playing Golf and Tennis, dancing – Hip Hop & Salsa.  Her proudest moment was completing the Singapore Marathon and her favourite food is ‘Chilli Crab’.  Personal motto would be “To Always Improve Herself”.
83SLOVAKIAIvica Elooia Slávikova21172BratislavaIvica was born and grew up in Bratislava, an historical town with more than 2000 years of rich history, although it still ranks among the youngest cities in Europe, it is situated on both banks of the River Danube.  Ivica is now studying at the University of Economics in Bratislava and would like to work in the Marketing Field.  In her spare time she also models which enables her to travel, see new countries and meet new people.  Her sporting interests are: Tennis, ice-skating, skiing, swimming and her hobbies are:  car driving, theatre, singing, dancing, listening to all kinds of music from classical to jazz, soul, pop or R & B, and playing the piano.  Her favourite food is from the Italian Kitchen, for example pasta or pizza.
84SLOVENIASanja Grohar21167KranjSanja was born in Kranj, also called the city of France Presern after Slovenia’s greatest poet.  Slovenia gained its independence in 1991.  Currently studying Management in Kranj, Sanja’s ambition is to be a successful Manager and a Singer.  Sanja has been dancing for 10 years, singing for 3 years and loves show business.   Other interests are: drawing, roller skating, listening to MTV music, especially R & B, and Hip Hop. Last month she got a 3 month old Shih-tzu puppy and has named him Nicky.  Favourite food is Chinese but she just loves chocolate.  Personal motto is “Who’s hoping is insisting, who’s insisting is winning”.
85SOUTH AFRICADhiveja Sundrum23170Cape TownDhiveja was born in Pietermaritzburg, but grew up in Durban and Cape Town.  South Africa is a country rich in history, with incredible weather, magnificent beaches, natural resources and is known for its beautiful Rainbow nation of people.  Dhiveja is a medical student who is hoping to qualify at the end of the year.  She will then start her internship and community service, her ambition is to specialise in Obstetrics & Gynaecology.  Hobbies & Sporting interests are:  Travelling, reading, music, dance (Salsa, Latin &  basic ballroom), hiking, Kata Boxing (a training exercise in Karate) and loves cooking.  Personal motto would be “Always be true to yourself, no matter how hard it may be.  Even though life’s experiences may sometime be scary, never let an opportunity pass you by.”
86SPAINMireia Verdú Tremosa22178BarcelonaMireia was born and grew up in Barcelona, she is in her final year studying economics. Her ambition is to work in Public Relations.  Mireia has also worked as a model since she was 13 years of age in both fashion shows and in catalogues in many countries worldwide.  Her hobbies are: to study, read, swim, keep fit and she enjoys Pop, rock, jazz and traditional Spanish dancing.  Her favourite food is pasta, rice and traditional Spanish food.    Her personal motto would be “Be happy and help all the people that you can”.
87SRI LANKANadeeka Samanmali Perera22177ColomboNadeeka was born and grew up in Colombo, Sri Lanka, a beautiful island known as ‘The pearl of the Indian Ocean’, it has golden beaches, green hills and blue skies, it is multi lingual, multi religious and multi cultural.  Having successfully completed a professional course in modelling, she is presently following a course in beauty culture.  With exposure gained from her courses she hopes to gain the knowledge and insight to set up her own boutique selling her own line of designs, Nadeeka enjoys social dancing, volleyball, sewing, designing and making costume jewellery, watching TV programmes on travel and tourism.  Her aim in life is to encourage all young women to believe in themselves and overcome all obstacles which prevent them from fulfilling their dreams.
88ST. LUCIAJoy Matty19180CanariesJoy was born in the capital city of St Lucia, Castries, but grew up in the small fishing village of Canaries, situated on the west coast of the island.  It is an island of spectacular scenery, golden sandy beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters.  Having completed her education Joy is currently employed as a laboratory technician and teacher at a secondary school, it is her ambition to continue her studies in Chemistry and Biochemistry as a basis to move on to a career in Forensic Science.  Joy enjoys looking after her eight pet fish and her cat named Whisky; listening to Jazz as it uplifts her soul and she like the unusual rhythms and spontaneity of this type of music.  She also has a passion for Art and a special talent for drawing and painting. Favourite food is a local dish of breadfruit and salt fish prepared with a sauce made from coconut milk and local seasoning peppers.  Her motto is “Satisfy your inner child”.
89SWAZILANDZinhle Marcia Magongo20172QobongaZinhle was born Mhlume, and grew up in Qobonga.  Swaziland is a small landlocked country with a great culture it is situated in Southern Africa, it gained independence in 1968 and is led by King Mswati III.   Zinhle completed her general education and is currently taking a technician’s course in Certified Accounting, it is her ambition to have her own accountancy business.  Zinhle’s interests are: Baking, reading, volleyball, listening to African Jazz Music, the Swazi traditional cultural dance, and  working as a fund raiser.  Her motto is “Life is too short, avoid regrets and live it to perfection”.
90SWEDENLiza Berggren19174MolndalLiza was born and raised in a little town called Molndal in Sweden, a beautiful country with open landscapes and many lakes, and four very defined seasons. Liza has worked as a professional model, her ambition is to be able to study design and economics.    Hobbies are: travel, design, socialising, training, handball, basketball and horse riding.  When she was younger she danced on a professional level but stopped at the age of 13. She enjoys all kinds of food and all kinds of music.  Her motto would be “Treat people the way you want to be treated and live each day as it should be your last day in life”
91SWITZERLANDLauriane Gilliéron21170PrillyLauriane was born is Lausanne and grew up in Prilly, a little town of 10,000 inhabitants, and wonderful scenery.  Lauriane is currently a Law Student, it is her ambition to complete her degree, attend an acting school, thereby enabling her to become both an actress and have a career in Law.  Interests:  She enjoys all sorts of dance and was second in the Swiss Latin Dance Championships in 2002 and 2003.  Hobbies; cinema, reading, travelling, swimming, aerobics, listening to R & B and Hip Hop music. Favourite food is pasta.  Her personal motto would be “Be Natural”.
92TANZANIANancy Abraham Sumari19172ArushaNancy was born and grew up in Arusha, which is situated at the northern circuit of Tanzania, it is the home to several National Parks and Game reserves such as: Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire Game Reserve, it also lies a few kilometres from the highest mountain in Africa “Mount Kilimanjaro”.  Nancy is currently waiting for her exam results, it is her ambition to go to College, pursue a Bachelor of Law Degree (LLB.) and later specialise in Corporate Administrative Law.  Hobbies and sporting interests are:  singing, dancing, listening to music ( favourites being Jazz, R & B, Hip Hop) badminton, beach volleyball, football, swimming and looking after her German shepherd dog named Africa.  Favourite food is spaghetti bolognaise and proudest moment was when she was selected as a spokeswoman for the Youth Committee.  Nancy also has been blessed with the gift of being able to mimic.  Personal motto is “Aim for the star, so if you land on the clouds, it is just as good a cushion”.
93THAILANDSirinda “Sindie” Jensen22170BangkokSindie was born in Denmark a small country with only 5 million people, a nice place to grow up in as everybody takes care of everyone else, she also considers Thailand a wonderful place to live, and her mother is Thai.  Having completed one year at Business college and gaining a HHX in economy & accounting, she is currently working in a hotel, but her ambition is to: continue her studies; become a vet or to teach small children or to run a dance studio.  Hobbies are:  looking after animals, she has two dogs; socialising with friends; going to the movies; listening  to R & B. Sporting interests are: swimming, tennis, Volleyball and dancing both standard and Latin dance, and has been ballroom dancing for 10 years.  She enjoys every kind of Thai food.  Personal motto would be “Believe in yourself, do your best and you will never be disappointed”.
94TRINIDAD & TOBAGOJenna-Marie Andre22179San FernandoJenna-Marie was born and grew up in the city of San Fernando, which is in the south of the island of Trinidad.  Her hometown is referred to as the industrial capital of Trinidad & Tobago, since most of the natural resources, refineries and production plants are located in and around her city.  However it still has the charm of a small town with a strong sense of community.  Jenna-Marie has a Diploma in broadcasting and an associate degree in Management & Communications, she has also taken courses in application, skin care, dance and drama, it is her ambition is to become an entertainment journalist.  Currently she is working as an administrator and model.  Hobbies and interests are: Reading; outdoors activities, solicialising; swimming; running, cricket; volleyball, performing the calypso dance and playing the steel pan. Her favourite food is: Dumplings, salt fish with steamed plantain, and her personal motto is “Life is not a dress rehearsal”.
95TURKEYHande Subasi21179AnkaraHande was born and grew up in Ankara, which is the Capital of Turkey.  Turkey is at the heart of the world and surrounded by the Black, Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. It’s historical City of Istanbul with its cultural heritage of Romans and Ottomans is considered to be the gateway between Europe and Asia.  Hande is a graduate of Ankara Tevfik Fikret College and her ambition is to be a successful model and actress.  Her sporting interests are:  Swimming, volleyball, long jump, running and she enjoys: Music, cinema, designing jewellery, singing, belly dancing and the Salsa.  Her favourite food is Italian.
96UGANDAPraise Juliet Asiimwe Akankwatsa22170KabalePraise grew up in Kabale in Western Uganda.  It is a hilly, cool area and is referred to as ‘the Switzerland of Uganda’, it also has dense, peaceful forests inhabited by the Bakiga people who are friendly and generous.  Praise is a third year university student studying Mass Communication, her ambition is to be a Human activist & Public Relations Officer.  She enjoys:  swimming, tennis, cultural and modern dance, listening to R & B, reading, travelling, public speaking and looking after her pet dog and rabbit.  Praise has also presented on radio as a DJ, been a Youth Councillor at the Church, and a model.  Proudest moment was achieving a place in University and her personal motto is “Live a day at a time”.
97UKRAINEYuliya Volodymyrivna Pinchuk18179NovovolynskYuliya was born and grew up in a small town called Novovolynsk in Ukraine, a country with an ancient and troubled history which has now been restored to a peaceful democracy.  Yuliya is a student at the Kyiv National Economic University, her ambition is to be a famous lawyer.  Hobbies include looking after her pet Kitty, reading poetry, figure skating, tennis, disco dance and listening to calm, romantic and Russian music. Her proudest moment was when she won the ‘ jurisprudence olympiad’ at her university.  When she can she works as a volunteer with the orphaned children.  Her motto is “Never rest until good be better and better the best”.
98UNITED STATESLisette Díaz22170San DiegoLisette was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico while her father was in medial school but grew up in San Diego, California, home to the world famous San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, it is also one of the busiest international borders in the world US/Mexico and one of the most diverse in the nation.  Lisette is a student at the University of California San Diego and part-time Administrative Assistant for the Youth Department Bonita Valley Community Church, her ambition is to become a High School Literature Teacher and eventually start her own school.  Hobbies and sporting interest are:  Reading, watching old movies, all sports and exercise and she loves to listen to music, sing, dance (both modern and Polynesian), act and write short stories and poetry.  Favourite food is ‘French Fries’.  She has had many jobs as a teenager, the most difficult and unusual was being a construction worker helping to build an orphanage in Tijuna, Mexico.  Personal motto is “To whom much is given, much is required”.
99URUGUAYDaniela Tambasco Marfetan20173MontevideoDaniela was born and grew up in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. It is a country of natural beauty, mountains, amazing beaches and warm hearted people. Having completed her high school education Daniela is currently working as an Executive Secretary, it is her ambition to become a renowned trade business woman. Hobbies and sporting interests are:  Singing, listening to Techno Music, drawing, swimming, going to the gym and keeping fit, plus looking after her two dogs, two cats and two parrots.  Favourite food: Grilled chicken with mushroom sauce.  Her personal motto would be “Be Yourself”.
100VENEZUELABerliz Susan Carrizo Escandela21177BachaqueroBerliz was born in Lagunilla in the State of Zulia and raised with her brother and sister in a town called Bachaquero, it is a small town in Venezuela known for its oil industry.  Currently a student at the Universidad Delk Zulia (Luz) Odontologie; her ambition is to qualify as an orthodontist.  She is also a part time model.  One of the most interesting jobs she has had to date was working as assistant organising integration activities for children with special needs.    Berliz enjoys going to the movies, dancing to tropical rhythms, listening to romantic ballads and bolero music, swimming, Belsrol and looking after her two dogs and a parrot.  Favourite food is Italian especially Pasta. Favourite motto is “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”.  She believes that with determination and a strong will, we can make our dreams a reality.
101VIETNAMHuong Giang Vu20167HanoiHuong was born and grew up in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.  She has completed her general education, awarded a certificate in Public Relations; and Huong is currently studying to become a successful businesswoman. Her interests are: Listening to music both classic and pop, reading, and dancing the traditional dances of Vietnam.  She also enjoys swimming.  Her favourite food is ‘Pho’, a spring roll.  Her favourite motto is “Lets smile to solve every problems in life”.
102WALESClaire Louise Evans22167AberystwythClaire was born and brought up in Aberystwyth, a picturesque university seaside town on the very west coast of Mid Wales, it is the home to the National Library of Wales and His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, attended university there.  Claire has 11 GCSE’s and a Diploma in Sports Therapy, it is her dream to represent Wales in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi in the woman’s marathon event, her ambition is  to promote sport and its benefits and coach the younger generation as soon as she has gained her coaching qualifications. She has already won many International championship titles.  Her hobbies are:  Reading, shopping, travelling, listening to disco music, running, swimming, athletics, and cross country and road running. One of the most unusual things Claire has done was when she was in Australia  she had to drive her boss all over Sydney  (the company laid wooden floors) in a wagon for which he had lost the keys so she had to start it up by touching two wires together.  Her personal motto would be “If you want to realise your dreams and ambitions, work hard as success is never just handed to you also its all the more satisfying when you know you have prepared well to reap that reward”.
103ZAMBIAPrecious Kabungo Mumbi23180LusakaPrecious was born in Lusaka, and lived there until 1982 when at the age of 14 she moved to Namibia, she is now living back in Lusaka.  Zambia is home to one of the seven wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls, it is a country rich in natural resources, wildlife and its cultural heritage.   Graduating from university with a degree in Media Studies & Sociology, Precious’ ambition is to continue with her studies and become one of the few women professors in Zambia.  Hobbies are:  singing, dancing, cycling, reading and listening to; dancehall music, R & B and Reggae.  Sporting interests include high jump; long jump; tennis; and netball.  Favourite food is: Nshima, a traditional chicken dish.  Her motto would be to emphases the fact that “Education is the key to success and self empowerment, paving the way for a successful and bright future”.

PREVIOUS PARTICIPATION IN BEAUTY COMPETITIONS.-

                The Norwegian and the French competed in Miss Universe 2005 in Thailand. Miss Norway made it to the Top 15. Miss France was 2nd runner-up in Miss Europe 2005, where the Belgian also competed. The Costa Rican had won Miss Asia Pacific 2005 but was forced to resign in order to participate in Miss World. The Filipina was a semifinalist in Miss Earth 2001 and 2nd runner-up in Miss Chinese International 2004. Miss Estonia was 2nd runner-up of Miss Tourism Queen International 2005 where the Peruvian also participated, who was also 1st runner-up in Miss Peru 2004 and 4th runner-up in South American Queen 2005, an event where the Bolivian also competed. The Puerto Rican won Miss Global Queen 2003, was also Miss Puerto Rico Hawaiian Tropic 2002 and was in Miss World of Puerto Rico 2002 as Miss Barranquitas. Miss Nicaragua was in the World Banana Queen 2004 and Miss Portugal in Miss Earth 2005 while Miss Singapore competed in Miss Asia Pacific 1999 and Miss International 2002. For her part, the Spanish won the Miss Princess of the World 2004 and the Latvian was in the Best Model of the World 2005 and was a finalist in Miss Riga 2004. The Chinese participated in Miss China 2003 and 2004 and came second in the New Silk Road Model 2003. The Moldovan competed in Miss Moldova 2002 where she was 2nd runner-up. She also participated in Miss Tourism of the Globe 2003 where she placed 4th and at Miss Russian Radio 2005 where she was 1st runner-up. The Russian was 2nd. runner-up in that event after winning Miss Russian Radio Novosibirk 2004, she was 1st runner-up in Miss Siberia 2004, was in the Top 10 of Russian Beauty 2004 and in the Top 15 of Miss Tourism World 2005. In addition, she participated in the Reality “You Are Supermodel 2005” being eliminated on the 5th episode.

                Miss Vietnam was Queen of Vietnam Jewelry 2004, she also participated in World Miss University 2003 and Miss International Tourism 2004 where she was “Miss Talent” and “Miss Friendship”. The Mexican was in the Elite Model Look México 2002 and was a finalist in the Hispanic Designers Model Search International 2000, while the Italian won the Elite Model Look Italy and represented her country in the Elite Model Look Internacional 2004. The Canadian was Top 10 of the Miss Universe Canada 2005 and the Thai was Miss Teen Denmark 2001 and competed in the World Miss University 2000. The Dutch was 1st runner-up in Miss Netherlands Universe 2005, Miss Botswana was 1st runner-up in Miss Botswana 2004, the Finnish participated in Miss Suomi 2003 (for Miss Universe), the Trinidadian was third in Miss Trinidad-Tobago 2004, and the American was 3rd. runner-up in Miss US World 2004 and 1st. runner-up in Miss California USA 2006 (in September 2005).

FILMING WITH ANGELA CHOW.-

                Filming for the first of six Miss World TV shows “Vote For Me” had finished. The contestants from the Asia Pacific continental group had been working hard to complete their television special, which would be broadcast around the world. The contestants would appear on a continental television show, giving her the opportunity to appeal to the votes of fans around the world. Despite reports of inclement weather coming from the sea, the sun shone on Sanya throughout the week, allowing filming to continue as scheduled. The contestants were shooting swimsuit images by the pool and in the gardens, as well as short profile interviews where they could get votes from fans at home and around the world.

                The Asia Pacific “Vote For Me” show was scheduled to screen early the following week and featured representatives from Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. Many of them were also interviewed for a Travel Channel television program that was broadcast every night in China. Miss Korea, Eun-young Oh, said, “I am having a wonderful time in China. I love Korea and I am very lucky to live there, but I really like China. It is very beautiful and Chinese people have such beautiful smiles. All the The girls get along very well. My roommate is from Hong Kong and she is a wonderful person with a good heart. I feel like I have found a new sister”. Miss Malaysia, Emmeline Ng, said: “I am very proud of my country and I think it has a lot of potential and talent. I entered this pageant to help expose that talent to the world. I am here to do my best and be myself. My parents have been very supportive and that has made my journey here much easier. I am determined to be a very good ambassador for my country”. Miss Vietnam, Huong Giang Vu, added: “Being in a beauty pageant helps you develop your personality and perspective. You meet many wonderful people from different cultures and that is very valuable for young women today. We will all leave with many life experiences and new friends”.

                Thursday, November 17th was an exciting day for the girls from Asia Pacific, Northern and Southern Europe as they had filmed their ‘Vote for Me’ shows with Angela Chow. Angela was one of China’s most recognizable and glamorous TV hosts, a lady who understood the world of Miss World as a co-host of the pageant in 2003 and 2004. Under the beautiful Sanya sunshine, the girls were interviewed in a relaxed manner with fruit cocktails by the pool. Angela was asking questions like: have you brought any lucky charms with you, what is life like at home, and tell me about your dress for last night? Miss Ukraine, Yuliya Pinchuk, couldn’t wait to tell Angela about her dress for the final: “I am very lucky as it is designed and made by the number one designer in my country who also makes dresses for presidents’ wives”. Each contestant was filmed in small groups chatting and having fun. There was a great atmosphere around the pool as the team went through each section. Each girl got a chance to show their true personality to the viewers. On the other hand, this year the contestants had been asked to bring national costumes, as there would be a competition with them, but this event had to be suspended because several delegates arrived in Sanya without this clothing…

TRIP TO WENZHOU.-

                Located on the southern bank of the Ou River (Ou Jiang), 30 km (19 miles) from the East China Sea and approximately 250 km (160 miles) south of Hangzhou, the proud inhabitants of prosperous Wenzhou, a city with a population of more than 1,000,000 inhabitants, welcomed the 102 candidates for Miss World 2005 on Friday, November 18, in the first stop of a tour of the big cities of China. A special plane was chartered to take the contestants from Sanya on Hainan Island to Wenzhou, a bustling trade and shopping capital on China’s east coast. During their four-day stay in Wenzhou, the girls would meet local dignitaries and businessmen, tour the surrounding countryside and mountains of Wenzhou, and take part in the World Wedding, a unique marriage ceremony in which each contestant would act as godmother of a newly married couple and would offer a special commemorative gift and congratulations on behalf of their home country. There was excitement as the wheels of the plane landed on the runway at Wenzhou airport and the girls were excited to arrive after a 2 1/2 hour flight. Local and international press lined up alongside rows and rows of excited airport employees and police officers to greet the girls as they exited the plane onto the red carpet.

                Miss Kenya, Cecilia Murugi Mwangi, again in her traditional headdress, made a dramatic impact as she stepped out into the crowd. Shouts were heard and he received a particularly loud ovation for his distinctive and unusual outfit. “I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to see more of China, Sanya has been wonderful, but it’s great to start the tour. It’s so much fun to travel with so many of us, it’s a chance to talk to someone new”. From the airport, the Misses were transported by convoy and received at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Wenzhou. Thousands of locals lined the route, eager to catch a glimpse of the visiting beauty queens. Upon arrival at Century Square, each contestant received a bouquet of flowers and posed for media photos.

                Mayor of Wenzhou Municipal Government Liu Qi delivered a welcome speech and expressed his pleasure at the visit of so many beautiful women from all over the world to his city. Miss World Organization President, Julia Morley, thanked the Mayor for such a warm welcome and described how much she admired the stunning surroundings of the greater Wenzhou region, especially the mountains and lakes. She also talked about the wonderful shopping, good prices and great leather goods available to buy in Wenzhou’s shopping district, something the girls couldn’t wait to see! To close the ceremony, a massive launch of balloons excited the crowd and marked the beginning of the official arrival of the Miss World 2005 contestants in the city in a convoy of open-top vehicles, waving to the excited crowd along the way.

WENZHOU WELCOME DINNER AND AUCTION.-

                Needy children in China and abroad would benefit from the huge sums raised at an auction of items donated by Miss World contestants on the night of Friday, November 18. The auction was the highlight of an official welcome party organized by the Wenzhou Municipal Government at Xueshan Hall. The Misses from Latvia, United States, Swaziland, Israel, Sri Lanka and the Dominican Republic, one from each continental group, were randomly chosen to submit items for auction in aid of children in need. The auction items raised more than 55,000 RMB, with the money to be distributed by the Miss World Organization and Wenzhou authorities. Miss Sri Lanka donated a beautiful filigree elephant typical of her culture; Miss USA presented a handmade wooden jewelry box; Miss Dominican Republic arrived with a gold replica of a centerpiece; Miss Latvia presented an elaborate vase; Miss Swaziland had two beautiful glass and metal cups; and Miss Israel brought a ceramic dove. “The dove symbolizes peace and tranquility and I am sure we will all agree that we need a little more peace in our world,” said Keren Shacham of Israel. All items fetched bids of over RMB5,000, while the night’s highest bid of RMB20,000 was for the pair of cups donated by Miss Swaziland. Opening the bid for her article, Miss Swaziland Zinhle Magongo described the cups whose bases were made of metal to show a man and woman in traditional dress. She said: “I have brought these cups to raise money for needy and vulnerable children because I believe that together we can solve many of the problems of these poor children.”

                Miss World Organization President, Julia Morley, joined the dinner with high-ranking dignitaries from Wenzhou, including Mayor Liu Qi, who delivered a welcoming address to Ms. Morley and the contestants. The Misses sat down with local businessmen and influential people from the Wenzhou region, and enjoyed a hearty dinner of crab, pork, and various fish dishes, as well as delicious desserts. The evening also featured some party games involving the Miss World contestants, the funniest of which was a game involving nine contestants alongside Miss World 2004, Maria Julia, passing a silk flower between them as they played drum music. Whoever held the flower when the music had stopped was asked to take the microphone and introduce something from their country to the diners. It was Miss Belgium first, followed by Miss China, who entertained the crowd with a Chinese tongue twister, without even a mistake! “I wish the flower had stopped on me,” said Maria Julia, Miss World 2004. “I wanted to sing a song from Peru. But I guess I can save that for another time!” The evening came to an end around 9:00 pm, when the girls returned to their rooms at the Wenzhou Xueshan Hotel.

WORLD WEDDING.-

                The Miss World contestants brought a touch of international glamor to what had to be one of the most sensational weddings in the world. Thirty-five Chinese couples were married on Saturday, November 19, in a multiple wedding ceremony billed as the Wenzhou World Wedding, with each bride and groom escorted by a Miss World contestant as their maid of honor for this unique occasion. The Wenzhou World Wedding was definitely the highlight of the girls’ visit to mainland China up to that point. To open the event, the contestants took to the stage decorated with local flowers and lanterns, nestled among trees by a lake in the beautiful Sunlit Meadow on Wenzhou’s idyllic Jiangxin Islet. As soon as their country was announced, each girl received a warm welcome in the cold winter air of eastern China. Each newlywed couple was escorted onto the stage by a female contestant and received a special commemorative gold medal minted and mounted on a red ribbon by the Miss World Organization to mark the occasion. Many yards of silk went into the fabulous dresses worn by the contestants especially for the wedding that day. Miss Puerto Rico looked stunning in a long green gown with a split skirt, while Miss Malawi opted for a more traditional outfit that owed much to her own national culture. For her part, Miss World 2004, María Julia Mantilla, showed the respect of all the contestants by wearing a special gold dress to recognize the commitment and success of the couples who attended to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary, some of them! in her eighties but still as vivacious as her younger counterparts!

                More than 15 couples renewed their vows after 50 years of married life, with one incredible couple celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Miss Mauritius, Meenakshi Putty, dressed in a pale blue silk sari dress, said: “It was wonderful to see so many happy couples and to be able to participate in their special day. I have never attended anything like this in my life. It was amazing to see someone renew your vows after 60 years, that’s a lifetime!” Also present at the wedding was Ms. Xu Yu-pei, the wife of the Mayor of the Wenzhou Municipal Government, who accompanied the president of the Miss World Organization, Julia Morley, during the ceremony. Later, the girls hiked through the green mountains surrounding the Wenzhou port to witness the impressive natural waterfalls and amazing rock formations of the southern province of Zhejiang.

WALK THROUGH THE YANDANG MOUNTAIN.-

                There were gasps on the afternoon of Saturday, November 19, as the buses carrying the Miss World beauties left Wenzhou’s urban center and made their way through rural villages to the starting point of the sightseeing tour in the fantastic yandang mountain. Crowds streamed from restaurants and shops to catch a glimpse of the buses as they passed through streets packed with supporters. After an hour-long drive, the girls were eager to stretch their legs and take in the breathtaking views of the volcanic mountains and impressive cliffs. Like every time the Miss World contestants traveled, the trip was well attended by local and international press. Miss Martinique, Moana-Sarann Robinel, wore a stunning all-red ensemble. “It’s always important to look stylish, even if you’re halfway up a mountain!” she said, voicing the views of many contestants. On their trek up the winding mountain trails, the girls regularly stopped to take pictures of the incredible scenery for their own memories.

                Miss Sweden Liza Berggren said: “I never get tired of walking outside. It’s great to see some of the beautiful countryside in China. I’m very grateful for this opportunity to go out and explore the country a bit.” Halfway up the mountain, the girls stopped for a group photo, to the excitement of the Chinese and world press. Yandang Mountain was one of the first scenic areas in China designated as a World Ecological Park. It is home to incredible waterfalls, deep pools and the most impressive cliffs. One rock formation is known as husband and wife, another was like a sleeping tiger, while two huge rock formations towered like giants. At the base of this towering mountain, the contestants signed a commemorative guest book to record their visit in history before heading back down the hill to board the waiting buses. Miss Philippines, Carlene Aguilar, said, “It’s really important to embrace nature and the environment. I love visiting National Parks as we have to keep what we have safe and secure.” Miss Ghana, Inna Patty, added: “It is amazing to be in harmony with nature. I would love to spend more time here as I would never get bored of such a picturesque place.” The girls returned to the hotel to rest, because the next day they would present their great show: The Talent Show. On Sunday, November 20, the contestants spent the day preparing for the evening’s talent competition, where the girls would have the opportunity to introduce the people of Wenzhou to a taste of their own culture with a showcase of songs and dances, traditional and modern.

TALENT COMPETITION.-

                The first five Miss World 2005 prizes were awarded on the night of Sunday, November 20, to the winners of the Talent category. An audience of almost 3,000 people packed the Rui’an stadium to witness the spectacle as the Miss World contestants sang, danced and touched the hearts of the people of Rui’an. The Miss World Talent Show is always a highlight of the pageant, and tonight’s show was no exception. Traditional dances, incredible voices and dazzling costumes filled the stage as 65 of the contestants performed for the appreciative audience.

                The American Virgin Islands singer Kmisha-Victoria Counts wowed with a soulful rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” and received a standing ovation from her fellow contestants to win the title of Best Singing Act. Second place in this category went to Miss Greece, Aikaterini Stikoudi, who sang the Eurovision hit “Number One”, and third place went to Miss Slovenia, Sanja Grohar with her song “In My Dreaming”. Miss Canada, Ramona Amiri, belly danced her way to first place in the traditional dance category, closely followed by Miss Scotland’s impressive Celtic dance, Aisling Friel, who took second place, and Miss China, Ting- Ting Zhao, in third place with her Tibetan dance. Miss Japan, Erina Shinohara, silenced the stadium with her impeccable violin recital to win the award for Best Musical Act. Pianist Rositsa Ivanova from Bulgaria took second place, while Miss Trinidad and Tobago, Jenna-Marie Andre, received a big round of applause for her steel drum rendition of “Wherever You Are” from the movie Titanic and took third place.

The 5 winners of the Talent: Japan, Canada, Czech Rep., Italy and American Virgin Islands

                In the Best Original Act category, Italy’s national skating champion Sofia Bruscoli wowed the crowd and took home the Best Original Performance medal with a stunning roller skating display set to Pavarotti’s “Nessun Dorma”. Second place went to Miss Korea, Eun-young Oh, with her taekwondo display, which ended with a kick that split a wooden board. Since they were so popular in Asia, the martial arts acts were to be expected, but a surprising display came from an unexpected source: Miss Costa Rica. Costa Rican Leonora Jimenez’s karate performance helped her take third place, tied with Miss Uganda, Praise Juliet Asiimwe Akankwatsa, who recited her own poem “African Child.” The Best Dance Performance category was hotly contested, but Miss Czech Republic Lucie Kralova took the award with her modern ballet of “When You Believe” from the hit play “The Prince of Egypt.” Second place went to Miss Jamaica, Terri-Karelle Griffith, for her dance to Shadowlands from “The Lion King”, and third place went to Miss Iceland, Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir, for her modern dance to songs by Prodigy and Nerd. The winner of the Talent “Fast-Track”, who would be chosen from the five winners that night, and who would also be awarded a place among the 15 semifinalists, would be announced at the grand final in Sanya on December 10.

                During the three-hour program, each girl made her nation proud as she tried her best to win her category and ultimately the first of three “Fast Track” en route to the semifinal of Miss World 2005. Throughout the night, the other contestants provided much-needed support with applause and praise from their seats at the side of the stage. This year’s girls showed a fairly high level of talent, with a wide range of skills. Representatives from Asian countries made their continent proud with colorful displays of traditional costumes and dances, such as Miss Nepal and Miss Vietnam. The latter silenced the audience with a beautiful dance performance imitating a peacock. Delegates from Lebanon and England drew applause for their belly dancing, while Miss Guadeloupe showed off a dance in her national costume, as did Miss Slovakia in a skirt, apron and boots. Miss Spain entertained with a flamenco dance, Miss Ecuador sang her own composition “Para Dar”, while Miss United States performed a Polynesian dance in coconut shells and grass skirt. Miss Ghana definitely stood out from the crowd with her war dance, complete with animal print outfit and horned headdress. Another hit was Miss Philippines, who sang ‘Mahalaga’, a song that consists of the phrase ‘I love you’ in many different languages. In the final moments of the show, the judge and Miss World 2004, María Julia Mantilla, surprised the crowd and the contestants with an impromptu performance of the Peruvian song “Criolla”, something she had wanted to do since she arrived in China. “I know I’m not a good singer, but I was very proud to sing a song from my country,” said Maju.

                But it was up to Miss American Virgin Islands to close out the show by re-performing her winning song, with all the other contestants clapping onstage behind her. The judges for that night’s performances were Mayor Xu of Wenzhou; Mr. Chen Bu-Lin, head of the Wenzhou tourism bureau; Mr. Zhou Yong-Liang, Chairman of Meilun Medical Group; the president of the Miss World Organization, Julia Morley; Miss World 2004, Maria Julia Mantilla; beauty and fashion consultant Gillian Lentin; and Emmy-winning writer Malcolm Williams. Julia Morley thanked the Wenzhou local government and Rui’An for their support during the 2005 Miss World candidates’ visit to Wenzhou, and praised them for the welcome the girls received during their four-day trip. “Many of you have daughters of a similar age or are students,” she said. “The best thing is that all these young ladies have been very nervous to perform. They are not professionals but they are performing for you in Rui’an with a good heart. They want to do their best for all of you. From all over the world we are performing for you as one big global family to recognize Rui’an as our home”. After the talent show, a reception dinner was held at the Rui’an Sunshine Holiday Hotel. The contestants enjoyed the opportunity to congratulate each other on their performances at a banquet dinner that included crab, shrimp and beef, before making the one-hour drive back to their hotel in the Wenzhou hills.

SHOPPING IN WENZHOU.- 

                Shoes and bags are said to be a girl’s best friend, and the Miss World contestants had their fair share of both on a shopping trip to wrap up their four-day visit to Wenzhou on Monday, November 21. The girls were in their element looking, shelf after shelf, at the leather goods at an outlet store in the city famous the world over for its leather clothing and shoes. Boots, flats and heels, sneakers and slippers: the contestants tried on all kinds of shoes, and also bought more than a few pairs! “This is fantastic”, Miss Jamaica, Terri-Karelle Griffith, said as she arrived at the store via a red carpet packed with florists and well-wishers. “Shoes are definitely my thing and we’re all happy to be here.” Miss Slovakia, Ivica Slávikova, said: “In my country, leather shoes are more expensive than in China. The shoes here are so beautiful that I had to buy a pair. They also gave us a good discount, which made it even better!”. While some girls went out loaded with shoe boxes, others opted for the wonderful and cheap leather bags. “Things are very well priced here, much cheaper than in Europe”, said Miss Netherlands, Monique Plat, choosing an olive green bag to match her outfit. After shopping for shoes and bags, the buses carrying the candidates headed to a local factory where lighters and accessories were produced for the world market. Once again, the girls were quick to part with their cash and shopped for Christmas gift deals for friends and family back home. Miss Gibraltar, Melanie Chipolina, said: “I have a lighter in the shape of a carriage that I will keep as a souvenir and a smaller one that I will keep as a gift, but I can’t say who it is for or it will spoil the surprise.” The Misses then returned to the hotel for dinner before heading to the airport for their flight back to sunny Sanya.

THE FIRST “VOTE FOR ME” SPECIAL IS BROADCAST.-

                Millions of viewers in Asia and via satellite around the world had the opportunity to watch the first of six Miss World “Vote For Me” television shows on the evening of Monday, November 21. Star TV premiered the show that would ultimately produce the Asia Pacific continental queen. The 30-minute show would be repeated throughout the week on Star TV and broadcast in many countries around the world before the results are announced on December 10.

THE CARIBBEAN GIRLS WERE FILMINGS.-

                The contestants returned to work on Tuesday, November 22, as they woke up on a beautiful sunny day in Sanya after returning from Wenzhou late at night. Filming began early for the upcoming “Vote For Me” show, with contestants from the Caribbean group being interviewed poolside. TV star and former Mr. Mexico, Gabriel Soto, favorite in Mr. World 1996, joined the Caribbean girls to record links for the program. In between takes, he took time to get to know the contestants while having a drink in the blazing heat. Miss Bahamas, Ordain Moss, said she had a great day. “Today was absolutely one of my favorites of the trip so far.” “Meeting Gabriel was an amazing experience, I will never forget it. The girls really enjoyed the opportunity to be themselves on camera, relaxing together and soaking up the sun.” “The Caribbean is full of character and I think you will really see it on this show”, said Miss Trinidad and Tobago, Jenna-Marie Andre. “We all did a little dance to a traditional Caribbean Soca song, which was just what we needed. This has been a fun filled day!” The Caribbean contestants created an atmosphere reminiscent of their home countries and all were sad when the filming ended. They felt at home in the warm sun with their fruity cocktails. Miss Barbados, Marielle Chetham Onyeche, exclaimed: “I met Gabriel… wow! Today was great; I hope every day is just as fun.” For his part, Gabriel said, “This is my first job in English but let’s face it, it doesn’t get any better than this! The girls are really beautiful and funny. We had a great time filming today. I just hope I’m not wrong as the girls deserve the best. Gabriel traveled to China for these Miss World specials before his work schedule kicked into gear with the start of filming for a major new Mexican telenovela. “I remember my time on Mr. World, which was nine years ago. It was one of the best moments of my life. Mr. World started me on a career in show business and I will always be grateful for that. I love what I do and all thanks to Mister World”.

FUN IN THE BEACH.-

                On Wednesday, November 23, the girls from southern Europe and the Caribbean were able to enjoy a bit of relaxation between filming. Taking a break from the busy schedule, the contestants ran to the beach volleyball court for a game before cooling off in the sea. Media and guests at the Sheraton Sanya Resort watched as the contestants jumped and laughed playfully during their volleyball match. “It’s really nice to have some free time to have fun on the beach”, said Miss Israel, Keren Shacham. “At home I spend a lot of time in the sea but now it’s winter there so I don’t go as much. This is wonderful.” Miss Jamaica, Terri-Karelle Griffith, said: “Some of these girls are really good players, unlike me! But I’m going into the game to have fun and do my best.” Miss World TV presenter and former Mr. Mexico, Gabriel Soto, finished his jog on the beach to watch the girls laugh together in the sea. “These are great girls,” he said. “They definitely know how to work hard and play hard too. That makes my job a lot easier, and we get to have a good time doing it.” While this was happening, Asian TV media were interviewing contestants from Northern Europe while girls from Asia Pacific, Africa and the Americas were busy rehearsing for the Miss World final on December 10. In the afternoon, the Caribbean girls continued filming by the pool.

VISIT TO THE SEA SHELL MUSEUM.-

                The Miss World 2005 contestants shopped for shell handbags, belts and a variety of marine gifts as they took a break from their busy filming schedule to visit the nearby Yalong Bay Seashell Museum on Thursday, November 24. The Seashell Museum was the first of its kind in China and houses examples of shells, sea urchins and corals from four oceans. The girls were enthralled by the wide range of shells on display, and couldn’t help themselves, or their purses, when they stepped foot into the adjoining shell shop. “This is a fantastic opportunity to shop for gifts for my family and friends back home”, said Miss Australia, Dennae Brunow, who was Christmas shopping with Miss Wales. “Everything is so cheap, too, so I don’t have to choose between two items, I can buy both!” “The shell models are so cute,” Miss Korea, Eun-young Oh, added. “I want to buy a chicken made out of shells. It’s so much fun.” Miss Hong Kong-China, “Tracy” Chui-Chui Ip, felt the same way, but her choice of gift was a shell rabbit.

                Yalong Bay was the home of Miss World 2005 and is recognized as one of the best natural bays in the world. Green mountains, clear water and mile-long white-sand beaches draw thousands of tourists to China’s only tropical resort each year. The average temperature of 25.5°C also sold the venue very well, making it a very pleasant base for the Miss World contestants. The Yalong Bay Shell Museum is located in the Yalong Bay Central Plaza in the center of the resort, and is home to many shops, bars and a wonderful public beach. A large 26.8m totem pole sculpture provides the focal point of the plaza and represents 24 climatic festivals of the lunar calendar. As the girls exited the museum, they posed for photos with dozens of Chinese tourists who rushed to record their memories of meeting the international beauties. “This is crazy,” Miss New Zealand, Kay Anderson, said. “Everywhere we go, people get so excited and rush to take pictures with us. I can’t imagine how they would behave around real celebrities.”

VISIT TO THE BUTTERFLY PARK.-

               That same Thursday, the Miss World beauty came face to face with another form of beauty in nature when the contestants visited the Yalong Bay Butterfly Park. The girls were impressed by the wide range of more than 2,000 small and large butterflies. “I love butterflies, so this is a wonderful trip for me,” said Miss Vietnam, Huong Giang Vu. But they were less in love with the insects on display! “Some of the insects are so large that they look quite scary. We have some like this in Vietnam, but the ones on display here are very large.” The Butterfly Park is a spectacular natural garden with a museum and an impressive open-air cage where butterflies large and small, in a rainbow of colours, flit from flower to flower above the heads of visitors. This was a particular success for many girls, who appreciated the rare opportunity to be so close to nature. “I love this place,” said Miss Russia, Yuliya Ivanova. “It’s so beautiful and refreshing. It’s nice to take a break from filming and see the area around our hotel.” Later, she bought a new shoulder bag made from colored segments of coconut shells. Other contestants stocked up on souvenirs to take home to family and friends. “This is a very good place for gifts,” said Miss Sri Lanka, Nadeeka Perera, laden with gifts for her friends. As they walked through the tranquil gardens, the girls stopped to enjoy cool coconut drinks, before cracking open the shells to savor the delicious, juicy flesh inside. Some final photos were then taken for the Chinese press who followed the girls wherever they went, before boarding the bus back to their hotel.

PARTY AT THE SHERATON.-

                On Friday, November 25, the filming of the “Vote For Me” program continued with the girls from the South and North of Europe. In the evening, Latin rhythms kept the party lively as the Miss World girls enjoyed an evening of singing, dancing and dining at the Sheraton Sanya Resort. The candidates joined Sheraton Sanya Resort management and friends for a meal of Hainan lobster, black cod and beef. But it was the chocolate mousse that they liked the most! Miss World 2004, Maju Mantilla, was the first to take the opportunity to hit the dance floor, as the hotel’s musical band played a familiar Latin tune. “When the contestants came, maybe they thought they would be lonely, because I thought the same thing when I was a contestant last year”, she said. “But you can find a real family in a special place, and we all agree that this special place is Sheraton Sanya, our home in China.”

                Between courses, a representative from each continent introduced her fellow group members and thanked the Sheraton Sanya Resort staff for their wonderful hospitality and welcome. “We love being here at the Sheraton Sanya Resort,” said Miss India, Sindhura Gadde. “The reception here is just excellent.” “I haven’t had this much fun in a long time,” said Miss Slovenia, Sanja Grohar. “We’ve been filming all week, so this party is perfectly timed. The music is crazy and the dancing even more so.” After dinner, Miss USA and Miss Canada led the contestants out onto the dance floor to cap off the evening by leading the girls in an impromptu dance of merengue, samba and conga. Miss USA had a special reason to celebrate as she was celebrating the American holiday of Thanksgiving. “This is a great party,” said Lisette Diaz from the United States. “It’s nice that we were able to let our hair down tonight. Everyone is working so hard and we all need a chance to dance and have fun. And it being Thanksgiving really rocks. I don’t want to come home!”

THE TICKETS.-

                The Beauty Crown Theater has a capacity of about 3,500 people. Families and friends of the delegates could obtain their tickets through them, while those wishing to attend the pageant could inquire at the Sheraton Sanya Resort. For those who wished to attend the 55th Miss World Final on December 10, there were seven (7) different ticket categories:

– VIP: $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000 (US dollars). These tickets gave access not only to the show, but also to events such as the Coronation Ball, among others.

– General admission: $600, $400, $200 and $100 (US dollars).

STAGE.-

                The press had the opportunity to see a model of the stage of this year’s pageant that was under construction in the Beauty Crown theater. This was the third consecutive year that the Miss World pageant was held in the same place. But this year, the stage was bigger than ever, and to allow it, some seats had to be removed. Five screens were placed on the stage so that the audience in the theater could watch the videos that would be shown during the live broadcast: introductions by the contestants, performances and more. The stage, which was being built by a Beijing-based company, was expected to be completed by November 30. Then, the 102 Miss World contestants would begin a full week of rehearsals so that the show on December 10 would be a success.

GALA DINNER AT THE SHERATON.-

                On Saturday, November 26, the filming of “Vote For Me” continued with the candidates from Africa and the Americas with Gabriel Soto as presenter. The Beach Beauty event, which was originally scheduled for that day, was canceled and postponed for the next few days. At night, there was no escaping: the girls loved having the opportunity to dress up in their best clothes and enjoy a great party. Saturday’s dinner at the Sheraton Sanya Resort provided the Miss World contestants with the ideal opportunity to do both, as they turned the ballroom into the world’s most glamorous dance floor. On display were long silk gowns, stunning off-the-shoulder ball gowns and enough sequins to dazzle anyone. Each incredible outfit was worn with supreme grace and style by the Miss World contestants, who went above and beyond to make this night one to remember. Miss World, María Julia Mantilla, set the standard for the night and definitely wore a fuchsia-colored Peruvian creation, with a silver bag to add dynamism. Miss Cyprus wore a floral dress in shades of green, blue and yellow with cascading layers that added movement. A flower in her hair completed the look.

                Miss Hong Kong-China dazzled in a short gold dress with spaghetti straps, reflecting the light as she moved on the dance floor. Miss Korea turned heads in a red velvet dress with a full skirt. Miss Switzerland looked elegant in a beautiful blue and platinum silk dress with lace details. She accessorized with silver dangle earrings and a black clutch bag. Miss Turkey wore a striking low-cut dress in burnt ocher with gold and silver tones and a low waist to highlight her model figure. From Africa, Miss Malawi arrived at the party wearing a matching cream and brown halter top and skirt, which she accessorized with gold ethnic jewellery. Miss Tanzania chose a black and gold dress, while Miss Nigeria opted for a fitted red beaded dress with a side slit. Both ladies completed the effect with diamond earrings. Miss Mauritius turned heads in a lilac-pink bodycon dress with silver crystal embellishments, joined by Miss Croatia in a bronze and orange floral sleeveless lightweight dress with a plunging neckline. Miss Portugal also showed her charm in a black dress with soft gray and blue flowers and a black silk shawl falling off the shoulder, while Miss Sri Lanka looked serene in a black skirt, pink sequined wrap top and matching bag. For her part, Miss Jamaica looked dazzling in a floor-length orange dress, a color also chosen by Miss India. Representing the Americas, Miss Costa Rica sparkled in a beaded orange dress that showed off her height and poise and perfectly complemented her long blonde hair. Miss Brazil joined her in a silvery blue backless dress and ivory pumps. The evening concluded with an hour of dancing to the Latin rhythm of the hotel’s musical band.

MISS GHANA’S BIRTHDAY.-

                Miss Ghana was delighted when on Saturday, November 26, all the Miss World contestants came together and sang happy birthday to her in three languages as was the Miss World tradition: first in English, then in Spanish, and then in the Chinese language. A special birthday cake was presented and there were shouts of joy and excited applause as Miss Ghana blew out the candles and made a wish. The girls really showed that there was genuine and real kinship between the nations. Over the last two weeks, they had all bonded very well and had formed lasting friendships. Miss Ghana, Inna Mariam Patty, said: “I thought today might have been a bit sad, but when the girls woke me up with an iced donut with candles, I knew it was going to be good. Celebrating my birthday in Sanya was like home with my new friends. It was heartwarming to share such a special day with my new family. They all wished me well wishes. It was so memorable to receive those birthday wishes not only from my family in Ghana but also from all over the world… Thank you! “. Miss Nigeria, Omowunmi Akinnifesi, said: “It is wonderful to have a birthday at Miss World and to be in China. Miss Ghana is a very sweet girl and I am so happy that she had a great day. My birthday is coming up on December 4! And I can’t wait to have all my new friends around me!” After enjoying dinner with the girls, Miss Ghana brought her birthday cake upstairs to share with her fellow contestants.

SHOPPING IN SANYA.-

                On Sunday, November 27, a Sanya department store opened its doors especially for the Miss World contestants, allowing them to shop for two hours. Filming was over, so the girls enjoyed a well-deserved break touring the four-story store. Clothes, shoes, bags and makeup topped the shopping list for most girls, with many taking the opportunity to shop for Christmas souvenirs and gifts for friends and family back home. “It was great to go to the mall,” said Miss Ecuador, Marielisa Márques, who bought three bags, as well as snacks. “I think we all bought more than we needed, but that’s what shopping is all about. I could have stayed another two hours and still bought more.” Miss Colombia bought two blouses but, unfortunately, it was not possible to buy shoes in her size, something that had been a problem for many girls in China. Miss Canada went straight to the jewelry section and wasted no time buying two bracelets, before heading to the makeup department to stock up on makeup and hair products. “It was wonderful after all the filming to be able to shop like this, in a store open especially for us, even though I only visited two of the four floors!” Canadian Ramona Amiri said.

                Miss Macedonia, Milena Stanivukovic, was definitely planning to do more shopping as she got a set of suitcases to be able to carry all her new purchases: a new suitcase, a backpack, a purse, a wallet and a toiletry bag! She said: “I love my bags. I usually shop alone so this was a whole new experience for me. It was fantastic.” Miss England echoed the sentiments of many when she spoke of how well the store staff treated the girls. “Everyone has been very patient with us,” she said. “They have treated us very well and the staff have been very friendly,” concluded England’s Hammasa Kohistani. “It was fun and exciting to go shopping with so many girls,” said Miss Singapore, Shenise Wong, who filled her basket with accessories and hair products. “I want to go back and do it all over again!”

BIRTHDAY OF MISS SERBIA & MONTENEGRO.-

                Beach shenanigans, shopping and after-dinner party – all in one day for a Miss World contestant. After an exciting day of shopping, the Miss World contestants returned to the Sheraton Sanya Resort for dinner and celebration. Miss Serbia and Montenegro turned nineteen that Sunday and to celebrate, the Miss World Organization arranged for a performance by a band of Paraguayan singers. Miss Serbia and Montenegro received a beautiful white birthday cake and candles, which were blown out in one breath. Then, they all linked arms with the birthday girl and danced with the musical band. The girls came together to sing well-known Chinese songs and then three special renditions of “Happy Birthday” in English, Spanish and Chinese. “I have never had such a memorable birthday,” said Serbian Dina Dzankovic. “I can’t express what an incredible feeling it is to share this day with so many beautiful and wonderful girls. I’ve had a great experience here and I already have so many new friends.” “I thought that nobody here knew that it was my birthday and that I was going to miss my family and friends. But the Miss World team and the girls made this a very special day. I feel like I am in a big happy family. Thank you very much. I will treasure this memory forever.” The band continued to play the girls’ favorite South American rhythms long after dinner, to the delight of all the Misses who danced and danced…

PRESS CONFERENCE.-

Maju Mantilla, Miss World, wowed Shanghai on Monday, November 28 when she arrived in China’s fashion capital to announce a visit by this year’s contestants for a major auction and benefit dinner. Crowds brought traffic to a standstill and more than fifty of China’s top media representatives turned out to meet Miss World 2004 at the press conference. The Miss World charity auction was to be held on Friday, December 2 at the Equatorial Hotel in Shanghai and would become a major star-studded celebrity event on the Shanghai society calendar. The auction was to be part of the “Beauty with a Purpose” program, which had directly contributed to raising more than $400 million. The main recipient of the cash from this auction of treasures and souvenirs brought from each country by the contestants would be the Shanghai Charitable Foundation. Items up for auction included jewelry and art from Africa and the Americas, pottery and crafts from southern and northern Europe, as well as ethnic crafts and artifacts from Asia Pacific and the Caribbean. Shanghai definitely took Maria Julia into its heart when they learned about the tremendous work she had done during her reign. Not only was she a national athlete and supermodel in her native Peru, but she had also raised over $12 million for charity during the year. After her visit to Shanghai, Maria Julia graced the front page of nearly every major Chinese newspaper as the media rushed to report that this year’s contestants would be flying to Shanghai on Friday. The vice president of the Shanghai Benevolent Foundation told the packed press conference that Maria Julia would always be a symbol of hope for people in need around the world. Meanwhile, in Sanya, the contestants spent the entire day rehearsing for the grand finale.

ENJOYING THE SUN AND THE SEA.-

                With all of the filming for the “Vote For Me” shows complete , there was time for the girls to relax between rehearsals. Tuesday, November 29 was the day that the special program “U Decide” was broadcast to the world with the compendium of the six continental programs of “Vote For Me” and it was also the turn for the Caribbean and African candidates to relax in Sheraton Sanya Resort facilities. They just loved the chance to get out in the pool and let their hair down on the beach. Miss Guadeloupe, Méryta Melina, said: “I am having fun with my group and my friends. At home the beaches are very similar, although we also have black sand beaches as Guadeloupe is a volcanic island. I love this beach because it reminds me of my favorite corner of the house, known as the Lost Beach because of how quiet it is”. Miss Barbados, Marielle Chetham Onyeche, added: “It’s great to come to the beach. I think it’s the best place to get some exercise. Sanya is very similar to the beaches back home, but the sea here is much saltier and colder. My favorite beach activity at home is getting on the glass-bottom boats and looking at the local crafts from the vendors walking back and forth.” Relaxing by the pool and splashing around with her friends from Kenya and Nigeria, Miss South Africa Dhiveja Sundrum said: “The pools at this hotel are fantastic. We love to play and have fun in the water”. Miss Dominican Republic, Elisa Abreu, said: “I feel at home on the beach and swimming. It’s so much fun to be here. The sand in my country is much finer but I still love salt, sand and the sea”.

                Miss Jamaica, Terri-Karelle Griffith, said: “Being on the beach reminds me of home, but I miss the rows of beach huts selling the world’s best fried fish, Bammies, a type of cassava cake, and where they play reggae music. In fact, my mouth is watering right now just thinking about it!” Miss Martinique, Moana-Sarann Robinel, added: “We are adding the Caribbean vibe to this beach in China; wherever we go in the world we will have fun. We call it the Sweet Life in my country!” All the girls were hoping there would be an opportunity to get together for a beach party as it was their favorite place to socialize, so they were looking forward to the Miss World beach party on December 6!

FOUR SPORTS EVENTS WERE WAITING FOR THE CANDIDATES.-

                Sporting prowess would be pushed to the limit on Thursday, December 1st when the Miss World contestants competed in the first-ever Miss World Continental Sporting Event. The teams of each continental group would face challenges in four sports disciplines: Endurance, long jump, swimming relays and running relays. The results would be counted according to a points system and the winning team would receive commemorative medals. The endurance event would be the first event of the day. This would consist of different exercises (crunches, squats, burpees, and jumping jacks) to be completed within a specific time frame. Each exercise had to be completed correctly according to a set technique that would be demonstrated before the event. The long jump was again a team event, with each participating girl having one jump. The competitor who jumped the furthest on that team would represent her continental group and would have another three jumps. The longest jump would count towards the team’s final score. The next step would be the swimming relay in which each member of the team would swim a length of the pool in relay.

                The rules in this event were clear and any competitor using the ropes or the sides of the pool to help her swim would result in her team being disqualified. The winning team would be the one with four girls who completed the four pools the fastest. Finally, the relay race would feature each contestant participating in the Miss World Continental Sporting Event running one lap and changing her teammate. Once all four team participants completed the laps, the clock would stop and the fastest team would win the event. The idea of the Miss World Continental Sports Event was for one team to score as many points as possible in all four events. These scores made up the final total and the team with the most points at the end of the competition would win. It should be noted that this year, the sports competition would not be part of the “Fast-Tracks” of Miss World.

BEACH BEAUTY DATE ANNOUNCED.-

                The popular Beach Beauty event was scheduled to finally take place on Tuesday, December 6 and it would be even more spectacular than usual, as it would consist of a great catwalk show with the contestants parading the new and spectacular line of swimsuits from Miss World in front of an audience of VIP guests and dignitaries on the shores of the South China Sea. The chic tiger-print bikinis and one-piece swimsuits would accentuate the beauty of the girls and were exclusively designed by former Puerto Rican Miss World Wilnelia Merced. This event annually attracted visitors from all over China to witness more than 100 of the world’s most beautiful women modeling swimsuits for the judges. This year, for the first time, it would include the dazzling Miss World beach party, ensuring that this would be the most glamorous event of Miss World 2005 apart from the final gala. The evening’s entertainment would come this time from the contestants themselves, reenacting many of their performances from the recent talent show in Wenzhou. The party in the warm sands would include a fantastic buffet dinner and a special auction of four Golden Passes: exclusive VIP seats at the Miss World 2005 final on December 10. The announcement was made at a press conference on Wednesday, November 30, while the candidates were rehearsing for the final night.

SPORTS COMPETITION.-

                At 8 a.m. on Thursday, December 1st, the Miss World sports competition began. As mentioned above, unlike previous years, the winner would not be part of the “Fast-Tracks” of the contest, but it would be a fun and friendly event between the competitors. The spectacular Intercontinental Sporting Event was a hard-fought event with a very electric atmosphere. Each event was so enthusiastically supported by the girls that it was a real show. Teams from each continent competed in four sports disciplines: Strength, Long Jump, Swimming and Relay. The Strength event was the first event of the day. Each contestant had 45 seconds to complete as many exercises as possible. The long jump was next with each teammate taking a jump. The contestant who jumped the furthest on that team represented her continental group and had three other jumps.

                The next step was swimming with each member of the team swimming the length of the pool. It was completely surrounded by girls cheering on their peers and an eager press. Finally, the relay race featured each contestant running their hearts out to set the fastest time. The floor was full of banners and girls jumping and cheering; the atmosphere was electric. Four girls from each continent were chosen to represent their continents in the sporting events. The teams were: For Asia Pacific: Miss China (Ting Ting Zhuo), Miss Japan (Erina Shinohara), Miss Malaysia (Emmeline Ng) and Miss New Zealand (Kay Anderson). For Northern Europe: Miss Denmark (Trine Lundgaard), Miss Iceland (Unnur Birna), Miss Netherlands (Monique Plat) and Miss Wales (Claire Evans). For the South of Europe: Miss Gibraltar (Melanie Chipolina), Miss Greece (Aikaterini Stikoudi), Miss Hungary (Tunde Semmi-Kis) and Miss Turkey (Hande Subasi). For the Caribbean: Miss Aruba (Sarah Juddan), Miss Barbados (Marielle Onyeche), Miss Guadalupe (Méryta Melina), Miss Jamaica (Terri-Karelle Griffith) and Miss Martinique (Moana Sarann Robinel). For the Americas: Miss Costa Rica (Leonora Jiménez), Miss Guatemala (María Inés Gálvez), Miss Guyana (Jasmine Herzog) and Miss Peru (Fiorella Castellano). And for Africa: Miss Ethiopia (Seble Mekonnen), Miss Mauritius (Meenakshi Putty), Miss Tanzania (Nancy Sumari) and Miss Zambia (Precious Mumbi). Each run and jump was matched and the final results were as follows: 1st place: Asia with 29 points; The 2nd place: The Caribbean with 28 points; and 3rd place: Southern Europe with 22 points.

                Miss Saint Lucia, Joy Matty, and Miss Dominican Republic, Elisa Abreu, said: “We are very proud of our team for their excellent performance. Although we have the smallest group of only eleven girls, we showed spirit, confidence and innovation to come in second We put up a fight and definitely gave Asia a taste of the Caribbean flavor.” For her part, Miss Indonesia, Lindi Cistia Prabha said: “It was a really special day that brought everyone together in great spirit, obviously I am satisfied with the victory of our team, but above all I am happy to spend time with my friends having fun.” Contestants who did not participate in the competition had the opportunity to create special banners and costumes for the occasion, creating a spirit of competition and loyalty. The support from each team was imaginative, colorful and unique. The Asia Pacific team arrived dressed in red with streaks of red war paint down each cheek; the Caribbean girls were dressed in colorful sarongs and sang loudly; the group from northern Europe arrived dressed in white headbands, while the group from southern Europe painted their body with the name of their team.

                Miss Malaysia, Emmeline Ng, said: “I found today to be a really refreshing day because I love sports. It’s a great way to have fun and engage in teamwork. I really didn’t expect to win, we just did our best and had a great time.” Miss Ireland, Aoife Cogan, said: “The rivalry between us was so much fun, the result didn’t really matter to us, we just had fun.” Miss Chinese Taipei, Su-Jung Hsu, said: ‘I was so excited about today’s event that I couldn’t sleep last night. I am very proud of the girls from Asia, both the Cheer-Leaders and the team performed very well. It was so exciting!” The girls were called to the podium for the final presentation and photo shoot. The four contestants from Asia Pacific received a gold medal from Maju Mantilla, Miss World 2004. Miss New Zealand, Kay Margaret Anderson, said: “It’s not exactly the Miss World crown, but I’m glad to come back to New Zealand with something. Thank you all for organizing such a fun event.”           

HOTEL FOR THE PRESS THAT COVERED THE EVENT.-

                Miss Australia, Dennae Brunow, joined Miss World 2004 Maria Julia Mantilla to celebrate a partnership that made Sanya’s Rendezvous Baohong hotel the official home of Chinese media during this year’s Miss World pageant. Chinese photographers and journalists were already arriving at the new five-star hotel in the city center, with many more to arrive before the 2005 Miss World final. A media center would be set up in the hotel for use by the national media. While the Mangrove Tree Resort was the international media hotel for Miss World 2005. On Thursday, December 1st, a commemorative contract was signed and then sealed with a glass of champagne. Maju expressed, “I will keep in my heart all the good memories that China has given me as Miss World. I was crowned here in Sanya and soon I will crown the new Miss World here. That makes it a very special place for me.” The Rendezvous Baohong was part of an Australian hotel management company with ten hotels, which would increase to 12 by the time of the Miss World final. For her part, Miss Australia was delighted to be present at the inaugural event in the sumptuous ballroom and thanked the hotel on behalf of all the contestants. “In the short time we’ve been in Sanya, we’ve found it to be a very beautiful place and their hospitality has been amazing,” said Dennae Brunow from Australia. “Your support for Miss World and all the contestants is absolutely phenomenal and I am honored to be here in Sanya and at this wonderful hotel.” She also thanked the Chinese media for their great support during the contest. The official SICE marketing agents announced the details of ticket sales for the final of Miss World 2005 and the attending media reported on Friday’s trip to Shanghai, when the contestants attend a spectacular auction of items brought from their countries.

PHOTOGRAPHIC SESSION OF THE TALENT WINNERS.-

                The Miss World film crew had the opportunity to get creative with the footage and photo shoots of the talent show winners, held on Thursday, December 1st. Miss Japan was filmed playing her violin against the spectacular backdrop of the rising sun. The sound of her violin over the lapping waves was a powerful and emotional moment. Miss Canada was filmed performing her mesmerizing belly dance at the exotic Sheraton spa. Moody lighting and archetypal stonework complemented an excellent performance. Miss Czech Republic performed on the classical stage in the dance studio. Her impeccable flowing movements and white dress could be seen from every angle. Miss Italy and Miss American Virgin Islands were also recorded on various stages of the Sheraton Sanya hotel.

“PERMISSIOOON, I LEAVE FOR A WHILE AND COMING BACK”.-

                Miss France, Cindy Fabre, asked the President of the Miss World Organization, Julia Morley, for permission and traveled back to her country on Friday, December 2, in order to crown her successor, “Miss France 2006”, who would be elected on Saturday, December 3. For the first time in the history of Miss World, a contestant returned to her country before the final and returned to the competition two days later. And it is that, indeed, Cindy took a flight back to Sanya, China, on Sunday, December 4, arriving in the aforementioned city on Monday, the 5th.

VISIT TO NANSHAN TEMPLE.-

                While the candidates from Northern Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas traveled to Shanghai on Friday, December 2, the contestants from Southern Europe, the Caribbean and Africa stayed in Sanya and enjoyed a visit to the Nanshan Buddhist Cultural Park, also visited by the participants of the 2004 edition. Inaugurated in 1998, Nanshan is a gigantic ecological park centered on Buddhist culture. Upon arrival at the park, the contestants were ushered to the newest attraction, the tallest Kwan Yin Goddess statue in the world. It was built on a small island off the beach and seemed to be floating in the sea. The contestants were then given a guided tour of the Nanshan Temple and given a brief history of the traditions and cultures. The highlight of the entire trip was a special Kung Fu performance by the Nanshan monks. As the monks jumped, the girls cheered and were amazed at the monks’ strength and agility. The morning was completed with a private picnic in the Temple gardens that everyone enjoyed.

AUCTION AND CHARITY DINNER IN SHANGHAI.-

                A globe of peace led the bidding at the Miss World charity auction in Shanghai on Friday, December 2, bringing the total raised to more than half a million RMB (£40,000). The auction was held at the Equatorial Hotel in Shanghai, in the presence of some of the city’s most important dignitaries and businessmen. Representatives from the Americas, Asia Pacific and Northern Europe entered the room to enthusiastic rounds of applause. They each brought an important and personal item from their home country to be auctioned off for charity and personally took the stage to present their gift to an audience of potential buyers. The first big deals to add to the grand total included Miss Australia’s Aboriginal Print (RMB15,000), Miss Guatemala’s Inlaid Box (RMB10,000), Miss Germany’s Pearl Necklace (RMB8,000), Miss Guyana (15,000 RMB), Miss Venezuela’s coral jewelry and a collectible shirt signed by the 2005 Grand Slam-winning Welsh rugby union team worn by Miss Wales (5,000 RMB).

                Miss Canada, Ramona Amiri, raised 10,000 RMB with her dreamcatcher and a special purchase, an open back dress, saying: “Tonight in Shanghai was a very special night for me. Since we arrived we have received nothing but warmth, hospitality and love. The spirit of tonight has won us all over tonight. I went on stage to auction off a gift from my country, but I also wanted to give something of myself, something as a thank you for the wonderful support of the people of China. That’s why I decided to auction my dress too”. In a burst of last-minute bidding, a gem-studded globe brought in by Miss Hong Kong-China garnered the night’s highest sum of RMB 35,000. The treasure was purchased by director Lu of the Rendezvous Hotel Group, hosts of the Miss World party in Shanghai and managers of the official Chinese media hotel in Sanya. “The Miss World contestants are just too beautiful and tonight has been a fantastic night in every way”, Lu said. “Miss Hong Kong is a very special lady and I couldn’t let go of her article tonight. This balloon will take pride of place in our hotel, that’s for sure”.

                Miss Hong Kong, “Tracy” Chui-Chui Ip said, “I am very proud that this peace balloon has raised such a large sum of money. I think this money will help a lot of people, so I am very grateful to who donated it so generously. When I first thought of the gift, I only hoped that the meaning behind it would touch many people and make them understand that in order to have such a beautiful world, everyone must lend a hand. Now that you have raised a such a large sum of money, I think the message will live on and grow. Living under the same world means we are one big family. We should always love each other.” Other items in the evening raised equally good sums. Miss Wales, Claire Evans, said: “We managed to raise a lot of money, which was the main goal tonight, so we’re really happy. I’m glad we can give something back to the Chinese as they’ve done a lot for us during our time here. It’s great to know that my gift will do good to others.” After dinner, Enrique Belaunde V., Consul General of Peru, spoke with his compatriot Maju Mantilla, Miss World 2004, who shone with her jeweled crown. She then joined the president of the Miss World Organization, Julia Morley, and city dignitaries at the head table to witness the auction during dinner.

Canada

VISIT TO THE TROPICAL ORCHID EXPO.-

                Contestants from Africa, the Caribbean and southern Europe visited the Tropical Orchid Expo in Sanya on Saturday, December 3, to admire the natural beauty of flowers from around the world. Welcomed by a huge crowd of Sanya locals, the Miss World contestants were shown some of the most beautiful and colorful flowers. The vibrancy of the delicate orchids clearly dazzled the girls as they walked through the many flower arrangements in the showroom. “Flowers are very beautiful, interesting and magical,” commented Miss Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sanja Tunjic. Others couldn’t agree more. “It’s wonderful to see all these beautiful flowers,” commented Miss Malawi, Rachel Landson. And according to Miss Botswana, Tshegofatso Abigail Tumisang Robi: “The colors and the variety of the different flowers here are just amazing.” Miss Saint Lucia, Joy Matty, was taken aback to see so many different species, commenting that “the varied sizes and vibrant colors made them seem almost unreal”. Miss Bahamas, Ordain Moss, added: “Orchids are beyond anything I had imagined, such an incredible variety of flowers.” Miss Tanzania, Nancy Abraham Sumari, was equally mesmerized by the vibrancy, commenting: “My country is so lush and green, and we have the most beautiful wildlife. But the flowers here completely wowed me, what a rich color!”.

                Miss Croatia, Maja Cvjetkovic, mentioned that she will always cherish her day at the orchid show in Sanya. “This has been a really exciting day for me and I hope to return at some point to see such beauty again.” For representatives from South Africa and the Dominican Republic, the richness of the flowers evoked equally euphoric feelings. Miss South Africa, Dhiveja Sundrum, said: “It gives you the feeling that you are on holiday but at the same time you feel very close to home as Cape Town also has beautiful botanical gardens.” Miss Dominican Republic, Elisa Abreu, added: “All those beautiful flowers reminded me of my home, where there are beautiful flowers all year long. My hometown Jarabacoa is called ‘city of eternal spring’. Very similar to Sanya!” . But it was Miss Lebanon, Lamitta Frangieh, who, of all the girls, was most excited about her visit. “It was like a dream to walk among the flowers. Their smell is so relaxing, I was mesmerized. Even though there were a lot of people here, I felt like the place was mine.”

Botswana

YELLOW RIVER CRUISE.-

                The Miss World contestants who traveled to Shanghai were lucky enough to take a two-hour trip down the Yellow River on Saturday, December 3, as part of their visit to the aforementioned city. The girls braved the bracing weather to get the best views from the open top deck of the three-deck canal cruise ship also known as ‘Huang Pu’. Sipping tea from china cups, the contestants were enthralled by Shanghai’s famous skyline and sites such as the People’s Hero Monument, the Bund by the river (Wai Tan), the recognizable Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the spectacular skyline of the Pu Dong shopping district. Miss Iceland, Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir, said: “The boat trip was wonderful, although it was a bit chilly. Coming from Iceland, I guess I should be used to that at this time of year, but we just got back from the Sanya sun. The view was fantastic and we saw some amazing architecture while having hot tea on the terrace – probably the best way to see Shanghai in winter!”

                Shanghai, the bustling metropolis of the Orient, was very welcoming to the girls, who wished they had more time to explore the city that morning after attending a charity dinner that raised over RMB 550,000. Miss Wales, Claire Evans, said: “It was fantastic to see a city so unlike anything I had ever seen before. Its skyline is so imaginative and varied with classic colonial buildings alongside crazy looking skyscrapers like the Pearl Tower. It’s something I never dreamed of.” What would I get to see?” As was the case wherever Miss World contestants went, Chinese and international press were also on board the cruise ship to record the girls’ journey and capture them admiring the incredible sight. After the tour, the contestants went directly to the airport to catch their flight back to their pageant home, Sanya, on Hainan Island, where they arrived in the evening after a three-hour flight. The visits that had initially been scheduled for the Chinese cities of Chengdu and Beijing, where a fundraising event was to be held on the occasion of International AIDS Day, were canceled due to lack of time. Sunday, December 4, was a rehearsal day for the Miss World 2005 contestants at the Beauty Crown Theater.

BIRTHDAY OF MISS NIGERIA.-

                A birthday is always a time to celebrate with friends. When your birthday falls during the Miss World pageant, you are lucky enough to be serenaded in multiple languages by over 100 of the world’s most beautiful women. On the night of Sunday, December 4, Miss Nigeria, Omowunmi Akinnifesi, was surrounded by her new friends who presented her with a cake with candles and sang Happy Birthday in English, Spanish, French and Chinese. The Nigerian said: “Having my birthday in Sanya during the Miss World pageant has been the most wonderful birthday ever. Having so many beautiful women from different countries makes me feel great. I am nineteen today and being a year older is exciting and I look forward to greater experiences ahead. Thank you Miss World for this.” Miss Tanzania, Nancy Abraham Sumari, who was sitting next to her, said: “Miss Nigeria’s birthday was a special day for both her and all of us, especially as we had the opportunity to celebrate it all together as a family. I’m very happy for her, she really deserves happiness and it’s exactly what she got thanks to Miss World.” This was the last birthday shared with this year’s Miss World contestants. The girls would be busy preparing for “Beauty with a Purpose,” Beach Beauty, and the pageant finals.

PRESS CONFERENCE WITH MISS CHINA.-

                When she finished drama school, Miss China, Ting-Ting Zhao, longed to get behind the camera and direct movies, she said at a press conference on Monday, Dec. 5. Chinese media gathered at the Mangrove Tree Resort to raise questions about how Miss China was enjoying the Miss World 2005 pageant, her thoughts on Sanya, and the welcome she had given to the other contestants who were visiting her home country. Unfortunately, she said, her parents couldn’t attend the final in Sanya on December 10 due to business commitments, but they would make sure to watch the show on TV with friends. She also told the media that she was proud to welcome the other contestants to China as a representative of her country. “It’s an honor for me to say welcome home, welcome to beautiful China,” he said. “All the girls love being here in Sanya and they enjoyed the opportunity to see Shanghai and Wenzhou. It makes me very proud.” After the press conference, Miss China posed for photos and received a gift from her hosts.

BEAUTY WITH A PURPOSE.-

                Many years have passed since Julia Morley coined the term “Beauty with a Purpose” in 1972 and since then, over £4 million has been raised for charities around the world. This shows how important “Beauty with a Purpose” is to the Miss World Organization. On Monday, December 5, the Sheraton Sanya Resort hosted the presentation of “Beauty with a Purpose” by the Miss World 2005 contestants. The candidates had the opportunity to present themselves before the panel of judges headed by the president of Miss World, Julia Morley. Videos, photos, letters of thanks and proof of their hard work and achievements have been shown in front of the world press since the girls were crowned as representatives in their country. After arduous judging, the five contestants deemed to have achieved the most for their chosen causes would be identified and the winner would earn a coveted spot in the 15 semifinalists at the Miss World final on December 10. Almost all of the contestants submitted a submission which proved that this year was no exception when it came to Miss World contestants and their commitment to raising money for charity. That Monday only a selection of the most impressive presentations were shown.

THE JUDGES ARRIVE IN SANYA.-

                On Monday, December 5, the most exceptional panel of judges in the history of the pageants, made up of nine former Miss Worlds, arrived in Sanya to give their expert judgment in the final of Miss World 2005 on Saturday, December 10. They were Denise Perrier from France (1953), Ann Sidney from the United Kingdom (1964), Lucía Petterle from Brazil (1971), Wilnelia Merced from Puerto Rico (1975), Mariasela Álvarez from the Dominican Republic (1982), Yulia Kourotchkina from Russia (1992), Diana Hayden from India (1997), Agbani Darego from Nigeria (2001), and Azra Akin from Turkey (2002). They would be in charge of interviewing all the contestants before the final to decide who would be Miss World 2005. All of them were received in Sanya by the reigning Miss World, the Peruvian Maju Mantilla. By the way, the Turkish Azra Akin, who later arrived in Sanya and not together with the group of ex-queens, said at a press conference before leaving her country for China that Miss World 2006 could be held in Turkey already. that the Turkish authorities had been in contact with the Miss World organization.

Agbani, Wilnelia, Yulia, Diana, Mariasela, Lucía, Ann, Denise and Maju

SWIMWEAR COMPETITION.-

                Preparations for the swimsuit final on Tuesday December 6 were in full swing as anticipation ran high in the halls of the Sheraton Sanya Resort. A combination of excitement and a desire to succeed was evident among the girls, who were well aware of the enormous importance of winning this glamorous event before the final of Miss World 2005. Miss Tanzania had high expectations and wondered how the judges would decide. Both Miss Bulgaria and Miss Slovenia agreed that this night was crucial to reaching the final on Saturday. Each girl had her own theory about what would make a difference. According to Miss Jamaica, Terri-Karelle Griffith: “Self-confidence is key and I think that, in addition to judging the beauty of each girl, they will realize that.” Miss Indonesia, Lindi Cistia Prabha, agreed: “Confidence is very important when posing in a bikini.” Miss Australia, Dennae Brunow, added: “It’s about a combination of promoting a healthy body and a healthy mind.” According to Miss Japan, Erina Shinohara: “Anyone with a good pose and a good smile will have a good chance, it’s all about posture.” This year’s event would be even more spectacular than usual. It would consist of a grand catwalk extravaganza with the contestants parading Miss World’s spectacular new swimsuit line in front of an audience of VIP guests and dignitaries on the shores of the South China Sea. The elegant beachwear was exclusively designed by former Miss World Wilnelia Merced. Hundreds of people filled the ballroom of the Sheraton Resort Sanya to watch the 102 girls take the stage in swimsuits to compete for one of the first two guaranteed places in the Miss World 2005 final. The event kicked off at 6:30 pm at the Sheraton Sanya Resort and concluded two hours later.

                The evening began with the contestants walking down the runway in front of a host of Chinese and international press. They came down the runway in threes looking sensational. Girl after girl paraded in a truly international night. Families, friends, guests and national directors of Miss World filled the tables and gave the girls the most incredible welcome. The judges included Julia Morley, president of the Miss World Organization; Maria Julia Mantilla, Miss World 2004; Ross Cowley, Vice President of Star World; Jamie Pyatt of The Sun newspaper; and Claudio Nardini, general manager of the Sheraton Sanya Resort. That night the first two finalists of this year’s Miss World 2005 would be announced: the winner of the Swimsuit Final and the Talent Show. As the guests ate the delicious food from the buffet, the judges deliberated and chose nineteen semifinalists. They were the delegates from HONG KONG, EL SALVADOR, COSTA RICA, WALES, TRINIDAD-TOBAGO, SOUTH AFRICA, SLOVENIA, RUSSIA, PHILIPPINES, NEW ZEALAND, MOLDOVA, MEXICO, LEBANON, KENYA, JAMAICA, ITALY, ICELAND, CANADA and BRAZIL.

                The contestants and judges took a break as the crowd was entertained by the finalists of the Miss World 2005 Talent Show. The performances that stood out were the impressive traditional peacock dance by Miss Vietnam, whose parents watched with pride, the modern dance from the Czech Republic and belly dance from England. The Beach Beauty semifinalists returned to the stage for the announcement of the five finalists who were: Miss MOLDOVA, Miss CANADA, Miss ICELAND, Miss MEXICO and Miss RUSSIA. It was time to raise money for charity and it started off high as four Gold VIP tickets to the Miss World final cost around $ 3,600 each. The Miss World Organization announced that the winner of the Talent Show would be announced during the evening, after the best acts in each category were presented. The Talent Show finalists were Miss Canada’s exotic belly dancing, Miss Czech Republic’s rhythmic ballet, Miss Italy’s skating prowess and Miss Japan’s impeccable violin playing. Miss AMERICAN VIRGIN ISLANDS (Kmisha-Victoria Counts) won the competition and secured her spot as the first semifinalist in the pageant final. She then took to the stage to perform her theme song for ‘I Will Always Love You’, which drew a standing ovation from the girls, some of whom wept upon hearing her brilliant voice. When the event ended, Kmisha-Victoria delivered a triumphant send-off that brought the contestants onstage once again to celebrate their rendition of ‘Fever’.

                Miss American Virgin Islands, Kmisha-Victoria Counts, said: “This was definitely one of the most amazing experiences of my life… What just happened?! The love that the girls showed me was incredible; I didn’t want it to end. It’s amazing to get a place in the top 15. It goes way beyond what I expected before entering this competition. I will never forget this experience, it fills me with inspiration and I have no doubt that there are good things for me and all the contestants in the future”. The five finalists returned to the stage eager and excited to hear the announcement of the Beach Beauty winner. There was silence in the crowd as everyone eagerly awaited to hear the result. The winner turned out to be Miss RUSSIA (Yuliya Ivanova), to great applause, with Miss MOLDOVA (Irina Dolovova) in second place and Miss MEXICO (Dafne Molina) in third.

                Miss Russia, Yuliya Ivanova, said: “Everything was so sudden. I didn’t expect to win as there are so many beautiful girls here. I was praying and felt inspired by all the girls. The atmosphere backstage was electric with excitement and enthusiasm. The girls were amazing on stage and they were happy and laughing backstage. The camaraderie filled everyone with confidence and led to a great show. It’s really important to win this place in the final and to think that I have the opportunity to compete among the 15 semi-finalists on Saturday is very exciting. I am in awe and very proud of my country.” At the end of this event, the Miss World 2005 Beach Party was held on the beach of the Sheraton Sanya Resort, which this year replaced the usual “Miss World Family Party”.

SWIMSUITS

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE ARTIST AND THE PRESENTERS OF THE FINAL.-

                On Wednesday, December 7, it was announced that international singing legend Alexander O’Neal was set to perform in front of an international audience of more than two billion people when he took the stage at the Miss World 2005 final. He would be joined by show hosts Tim Vincent and Angela Chow, to complete an international lineup of talent for the big television show. Welshman Tim Vincent was, at the time, the New York correspondent for “Access Hollywood.” Vincent began his television career as the youngest presenter on “Blue Peter”, a BBC children’s programme. He then went on to two seasons of BBC 1’s “The Clothes Show” and three seasons of “Short Change.” In 2000, he presented 36 hours of television coverage of the “Millennium New Year” program live from Wales to a worldwide audience. Between 2003 and 2004, Vincent presented Sky One’s smash hit ‘There’s Something About Miriam’, whilst also hosting Living TV’s debut programme, ‘I’m Famous and Scared’. Before joining “Access Hollywood,” he served as co-host of “Access Hollywood UK,” the UK version of the NBC show. For Taiwanese-Canadian presenter Angela Chow, this was her third consecutive time cheering on Miss World.

                That same day, Maju Mantilla, Miss World 2004, attended an informal function to thank the Chinese Press and the Sheraton Hotel for all their support. Claudio Nardini, General Manager, gave Maju a printed scroll signed by the entire hotel management. Maju said, “Thank you Claudio and thanks to the Sheraton family, my stay in China for the last two years has been very easy thanks to the wonderful staff and the friendly and welcoming Chinese people. I want to give a special thanks to the press that allowed China to and the world to see the development of Miss World and all the contestants. You do a good job! I have great memories of my visit to China, I will not say goodbye because I will be back soon.” The hotel organized a raffle for the press to receive prizes; Maju picked out four lucky winners from a bowl that included Travel Channel, Sohu and AFP. Then there was time for questions to Maju from the local and international press, who looked dazzling as always in her colorful outfit. On the other hand, the ex-Miss World judges went on a shopping tour through the center of Sanya that day and acquired the most luxurious silks and the most sumptuous pearls; later they began to interview the contestants, three continental groups per day, until Thursday, December 8. Those days were also dedicated to rehearsals for the grand finale.

MISS SERBIA-MONTENEGRO ANNOUNCED WEDDING.-

                During the interviews, Miss Serbia and Montenegro, Dina Dzankovic, confessed to Julia Morley and the rest of the judges that she did not want to be Miss World, because as soon as the contest was over, she would marry the love of her life, the basketball player and Turkish star Mirsad Turkcan, 29. “After Miss World I want to marry Mirsad and settle in Istanbul,” said the Serbian beauty. The Turkish representative, Hande Subasi, who was good friends with Miss Serbia, said that she wished the couple happiness and joked: “I’m sure that right now Dina is getting even more votes than me in my country!” In fact, Dina might have been receiving strong support in other countries as well. The first Miss Serbia & Montenegro of Bosnian ethnicity, was considered as the true representative of all the nations of the former Yugoslavia before the war, in times of peace.

THE FAVORITES.-

                That honor was shared by the delegates from the Philippines (Carlene Aguilar), Italy (Sofia Bruscoli), Iceland (Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir), Puerto Rico (Ingrid Rivera), Costa Rica (Leonora Jiménez), England (Hamassa Kohistani) and Canada (Ramona Amiri), chosen by the fans of the contest, as the most likely to win this year’s title. Miss Russia (Yuliya Ivanova) joined this group after winning the “Beach Beauty”. Others that sounded were Miss China, Miss Switzerland, Miss Turkey, Miss Spain, Miss Namibia, Miss Ethiopia, Miss Dominican Republic and Miss Mexico.

                On the other hand, for the election of Miss Cyber ​​​​Press World 2005, the editors of the Global Beauties website decided to pay tribute to the FIFA World Cup. More than 20 webmasters chose the 32 participants of MISS CYBER PRESS WORLD 2005. Subsequently, a draw was held to determine the 8 groups for the first round of competition. In the first round (32 finalists) of the competition, webmasters voted for their two favorites in each group (1st place votes received 2 points, 2nd place votes received 1 point). The two contestants with the most points advanced to the play-offs (top 16). The 16 became 8, and 8 became only 4, who disputed the semifinals. The winners advanced to the grand final, and by one vote difference, Miss Philippines Carlene Aguilar confirmed her favoritism and became the first Asian to be named “Miss Cyber ​​Press”. Miss Switzerland came in second with the silver medal and Miss Iceland, who beat Puerto Rico in the third place decision, won the bronze.

FINALSEMIFINAL
SWITZERLAND (2nd) 12 X 13 PHILIPPINES* (WINNER)PUERTO RICO 10 X 12 SWITZERLAND*
PUERTO RICO (4th) 10 X 15 ICELAND (3rd)PHILIPPINES* 13 X 9 ICELAND
ROUND OF 8 – QUARTERFINALSROUND OF 16 – PLAY-OFFSROUND OF 16 – PLAY-OFFS
PUERTO RICO* 13 X 10 SRI LANKAPUERTO RICO* 16 X 7 NAMIBIASRI LANKA* 12 X 11 ITALY
SWITZERLAND* 12 X 11 SPAINSWITZERLAND* 12 X 11 CANADASPAIN* 14 X 9 COSTA RICA
MARTINIQUE 8 X 15 PHILIPPINES*MARTINIQUE* 13 X 10 BULGARIAPHILIPPINES* 16 X 7 BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
ICELAND* 15 X 8 ENGLANDICELAND* 14 X 9 BRAZILENGLAND* 15 X 8 VENEZUELA

THE BETS.-

                This is how the preferences were in the different bookmakers:

CENTREBETLADBROKESINTERTOPS
1. Philippines (5:00)
2. Canada, Iceland, Italy (13:00)
5. Puerto Rico, Russia (15:00)
7. Costa Rica, England, Lebanon, Namibia, Spain, Switzerland (17:00)
13. Mexico, Norway ( 21.00)
14. Australia, Brazil (26.00)
1. Philippines (4/1)
2. Canada , Iceland, Russia (12/1)
5. Italy (14/1)
6. American Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, England, Switzerland (16/1)
10. Mexico, Namibia, Puerto Rico, Spain (1/20)
14. Dominican Rep., India, Norway, Trinidad & Tobago (1/25)
1. Philippines (4.5)
2. Italy (8)
3. Russia, Costa Rica (11)5. Canada (12)
6. Albania, Iceland, Norway, Spain (14)
10. England, Lebanon (15)
12. Dominican Republic, Mexico (16)
14. American Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico (18)
SKYBETBET365BLUESQUARE
1. Philippines (1/3.5)
2. Italy, Namibia (1/10)
4. Canada, England (1/12)
6. Spain (1/14)
7. Costa Rica, Puerto Rico (1/16)
9. Iceland (1/18)
10. Dominican Republic, India, Mexico, Norway (1/20)
14. Switzerland (1/22)
15. Australia, Bolivia, Lebanon, Peru (1/25)
1. Philippines (6.00)
2. Italy (13.00)
3. Canada, Costa Rica, Namibia, Puerto Rico (15.00)
7. England, Norway, Switzerland (17.00)
10. Brazil, Iceland, Dominican Republic, Russia, American Virgin Islands, South Africa (21.00)
1. Philippines (4/1)
2. Italy, Canada (12/1)
4. Namibia (14/1)5. England (1/16)
6. China PR, Costa Rica, Lebanon, Mexico, Norway, Puerto Rico, Switzerland (1/20)
13. Australia, Dominican Rep., Iceland, India, Japan, Spain (1/25)
BETFAIRPADDY POWERCARIBET
1. Philippines 7
2. Canada 16.5
3. Italy, Puerto Rico 17.5
5. Namibia 19.56. Slovenia 20
7. England 22
8. Costa Rica 239. Iceland 24
10. Guyana 2611. Lebanon 27
12. Switzerland 32
13. Mexico 34
14. China PR, Spain 38
1. Philippines (4-1)
2. Dominican Rep., Namibia (12-1)
4. Iceland (14-1)
5. Albania, Italy, Norway, England, Canada, Lebanon, Puerto Rico (16-1)
12. Costa Rica, China, Ireland, Spain (20-1)
1. Philippines (3/1)
2. Costa Rica (5/1) 3. Iceland, Switzerland (8/1)
5. Canada, Italy (10/1)
7. England, Russia (12/1)
9. Brazil (1/14)
10. Puerto Rico, Jamaica (1/16) 12. Japan (1/18)
13. Mexico, American Virgin Islands (1/20)
15. Moldova, Australia (1/20)

GAME BOOKERSSPORTING ODDSSPORTS BETS
1. Philippines (6:00)
2. Italy (11:00)
3. England (1:00 p.m.)
4. Norway, Namibia (3:00 p.m.)
6. Canada, Iceland, Puerto Rico (5:00 p.m.)
9. Costa Rica, Dominican Rep., Mexico, India ( 21.00)
13. Australia, Brazil, Lebanon, Spain, Venezuela (26.00)
1. Philippines 4/1
2. Namibia, Spain 10/1
4. Canada, England, Italy 11/1
7. American Virgin Islands, Iceland, Lebanon, Mexico, Russia, Switzerland 12/1
13. Norway 14/1
14. Australia, China Puerto Rico 1/16
1. Philippines 6.00
2. Italy 10.00
3. England 11.00
4. Switzerland, Norway 12.00
6. Spain 13.00
7. Iceland 14.00
8. Namibia, Puerto Rico 15.0010. Canada 5:00 p.m.
11. Costa Rica, Dominican Rep., India, Lebanon, Mexico 9:00 p.m.
SPORTS BOOKUNIBETPINNACLE
1. Italy, Philippines 12-1
3. Canada, England 15-1
5. Norway 18-1
6. Costa Rica, Puerto Rico 22-1
8. Iceland, Mexico, Namibia, Spain 25-1
12. Australia, Bolivia, Dominican Rep., India, Peru, Switzerland, China 30-1
1. Philippines 6.50
2. Italy 13
3. Canada 14
4. Norway 18
5. England, Iceland 20
7. Namibia 21
8. Costa Rica 23                      
9. Russia 26
10. Mexico, Puerto Rico 29
11. China PR 35:00    
12. Spain 36:00
13 Switzerland 38.00
14. Brazil, Lebanon 45.00
1. Philippines
2. Italy
3. Namibia                                            
4. Canada
5. Puerto Rico                                   
6. England
7. Venezuela                                   
8. Lebanon
9. Iceland
10. Spain
11. Mexico
12. United States
13. China PR    
14. Dominican Rep
15. Switzerland
BET GAMETRADE SPORTSDIALABET
1. Philippines 5
2. Norway 12.9
3. Mexico 16.3
4. Namibia 18.8
5. Albania, Canada, Dominican Rep. 21.4
8. England, Iceland 23.8
10. Lebanon 23.9
11. Italy, Puerto Rico 28.5
13. Bolivia, Spain 29.9
15 Peru, Costa Rica 34.1

1. Philippines
2. Namibia   
3. Norway
4. Albania
5. Italy
6. England
7. Lebanon
8. Puerto Rico   
9. Canada
10. Costa Rica  
11. Bolivia                                                    12. Iceland
13. China PR           
14. Dominican Rep
15. Mexico
1. Philippines (8:00)
2. Italy (11:00)
3. England (13:00)
4. Namibia, Norway (14:00)
6. Canada, Iceland, Puerto Rico (17:00)
9. Costa Rica, India (21:00)        
11. Australia, Brazil, China, Dominican Rep., Mexico, Spain, Venezuela (26.00)

PROGRAM BOOK

CURIOSITIES:

– Among the contestants of Miss World 2005, all the main languages of the world were spoken. More than half of them spoke three or more languages, with 16 girls speaking 4 languages and 8 a staggering five. However, Miss Ghana and Miss Latvia shared the first place by speaking 6 different languages.

– Many Miss World contestants supported charities so that her status as the most beautiful woman in her country would work for some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people on this planet. Miss Malawi, for example, supported UNICEF’s World Food Program, Miss Ukraine volunteered with orphaned children, and Miss Venezuela had been organizing integration activities for children with special needs.

– Miss World contestants not only represented the rich cultural heritage from around the world, some girls even had very personal connections to other countries. Miss Thailand grew up in Denmark, while Miss Norway’s mother is Thai and she frequently traveled between Norway and Thailand to visit her grandparents. Miss Belgium and Miss Portugal have roots from Cape Verde, Miss United States was born in Mexico, and Miss Peru studied television production in Cologne, Germany. Miss Botswana was born in Johannesburg, South Africa; Miss Zambia grew up in Namibia and Miss Bosnia and Herzegovina grew up in Germany during the war. Miss Canada is half Assyrian and Miss England was born in Uzbekistan to Afghan parents and has family in more than 15 countries.

– Miss Costa Rica was a model from the age of 15 and worked as a park ranger in the Manuel Antonio National Park, while Miss Liberia had worked as a news anchor coordinating the International Day of Broadcasting for Children.

– Miss Nepal won first prize in a national speech contest and in 2004 was named the best presenter in the country, working on both radio and television.

– Miss Northern Ireland once went to Kenya to volunteer living with a tribe, working in an orphanage and helping build a playground.

– Miss Hong Kong visited the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand to raise awareness of people’s suffering after the 2004 tsunami. Since she returned to Hong Kong, she has been working hard to promote tourism in these countries, providing them with an important source of income.

– If the contestants had been able to choose who to stay with on a desert island, Miss Zambia would choose Oprah Winfrey, Miss England James Bond, Miss Ghana Bill Cosby, Miss Kenya would go with Nobel Prize-winning teacher Wangari Maathai, Miss Namibia with Vin Diesel, Miss Scotland with Richard Branson, while other contestants chose someone much closer: Miss Bolivia and Australia would have chosen their sisters, Miss Spain her parents, while Miss Argentina would like to be with her father and Miss Botswana with her best friend.

– It was not an easy task to become an ambassador of the beauty of your own country, as Miss India could tell. Before taking the crown in her country she had to face no less than 9,700 contestants.

– When she was just a little girl, Miss Lebanon once yelled at Santa Claus to take her present away and leave her alone as she was afraid of him.

– During the Welcome Dinner, some guests and the press commented on the resemblance of certain Miss World delegates to stars from the entertainment world: Miss Canada (Ramona Amiri) looked like Eva Longoria (Gabrielle Solis on the worldwide hit television show ‘Desperate Housewives’). Miss Australia (Dennae Brunow) was reminiscent of a young Cathy Moriarty (best known for her role as ‘Vickie’ in Martin Scorsese’s ‘Raging Bull’). Miss Costa Rica (Leonora Jiménez) was compared to Briggite Bardot; Miss Panama (Anna Vaprio) with Marisa Tomei; Miss Brazil (Patricia Reginato) with Michelle Pfeiffer, and Miss Sri Lanka (Nadeeka Samanmali Perera) with Sofía Loren.

– Miss Panama (Anna Vaprio) was a world beauty: she has Italian, Panamanian and Chinese blood!

– Miss United States (Lisette Diaz) was the fourth Latin beauty to represent the United States in Miss World. The first was Chloe Cabrera in 1987, the 2nd was Diana Magaña in 1988 (semi-finalist) and the third was Nancy Randall in 2004 (2nd runner-up).

– Miss Albania (Suada Sherifi) was the tallest contestant in this year’s pageant. At 1.84m, she was a professional basketball player and had done modeling.

– Some contestants said that Miss Russia (Yuliya Ivanova) was rude and even ordinary. According to some of her fellows, she won “Beach Beauty” because the judges knew almost nothing about her…

INAUGURATION OF THE MISS WORLD CONSERVATION GARDEN.-

                Just one day before the final that would decide who would win the Miss World crown, the contestants got their hands dirty and planted their own olive tree on the ground in Sanya, as a symbol of the deep friendship that had developed in China. The girls brought gifts of stones and plants from their home countries that would stay there forever. Miss Brazil, Patricia Reginato, commented: “I am proud to plant a tree in this garden, since they are the lungs of the earth, they bring oxygen and shade.” Miss Uganda, Praise Juliet Akankwatsa, said: “Coming from a green country, I understand the importance of trees for both people and wildlife. Near the trees you find all kinds of birds and other small animals, which will be fun to watch.” when you visit the park. Miss Peru, Fiorella Castellano, added: “For me personally, this is the best event ever in Sanya, as I feel I have the opportunity to give something very special to the people here. Trees are very important to all of us”.

                During her speech to the crowd, Julia Morley, president of Miss World, said: “We have had the honor of helping the environment by planting these beautiful olive trees. When we leave Sanya we will leave all these things behind and when you, the contestants, return to your families and your friends, I hope you will come to see the progress of your trees. The sponsor of the event, Lanwa International, is a forward-thinking professional real estate company and its progressive and creative methods will add to the vibrancy of Sanya.” Other speeches were by Mr. Che Shou-hui and Ms. Liao, who thanked Ms. Morley and the Miss World contestants for supporting their event and Sanya. The girls then had the opportunity to make their handprints, signed in concrete tiles that will stand the test of time, at the foot of each tree The world press gathered for a group photo that would be the last chance the girls would formally meet outside of the final show on this magnificent China tour.

DRESS REHEARSAL.-

                On the night of that same day, Friday, December 9, the Dress Rehearsal was held at the Beauty Crown Theater, at which time 102 girls filled the stage to prepare for the final of the Miss World 2005 contest. The days of rehearsals paid off, as the contestants performed the dance routines with great ease in their beautiful dresses and full makeup in front of a specially invited audience. To thank the people of Sanya who made Miss World 2005 possible, serving men and women were invited to view this rehearsal, including people who worked for the police, military, hospitals, government and other support services. Several girls got a taste of what it feels like to be announced as the winner of their region or receive the most sought after award of all, Miss World 2005, as they were selected for rehearsal purposes to receive their awards. In this rehearsal, Miss Australia, Dennae Brunow, was crowned, and the finalists were the young women from England, Greece, Guadeloupe, Mexico and Malawi. Representatives from Italy, Lebanon, American Virgin Islands, Trinidad-Tobago, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Indonesia and China also entered the Top 15 of the Dress Rehearsal.

                Miss Barbados, Marielle Chetham Onyeche, commented: “The dress rehearsal is almost more stressful than the actual one as, for the first time, all the bits and pieces that we rehearsed now come together.” Miss Trinidad and Tobago Jenna-Marie Andre added: “Tonight was a wake-up call for me as we have had so much fun for the past few weeks, but the magnitude of this event is just mind-boggling. It made me realize how much I want to become Miss World”. Miss United States, Lisette Diaz expressed: “Last year we were very close with third place. I really want to make my country proud this year. I hope my name will be called tomorrow as seeing it from so close on stage makes it so dramatic.” “We’ve been rehearsing for days and seeing it all together is very emotional. I really want to be there to receive that crown!” Miss China, Ting-Ting Zhao, added: “When I saw the people from Sanya in the audience tonight, I was moved to tears. To be crowned Miss World 2005 in my own country would be wonderful and a great honor. It is great that we have I invited the people who made this night possible. They worked very hard and make me feel proud of the people of my country.” Miss Swaziland, Zinhle Marcia Magongo, said: “Obviously winning the crown would mean a lot to me and my country. Tonight was very moving and made me realize why we are all here, especially when Miss World 2004 talked about the work she had been doing throughout the year. This is a great opportunity to make a big change in the lives of so many people.” And Miss Netherlands, Monique Plat, said: “It’s a great show. I really liked traditional Chinese dancers at first. Their costumes are simply amazing and together they add a great Chinese flavor to the whole show. The ballet was also beautiful. The girls are extremely skilled and their bodies are so graceful that it really feels like you are looking at peacocks. I don’t know how they do that, but it was magical.”

THE JUDGES WERE NOT HAPPY WITH THE PUBLIC VOTE.-

                Aside from the beautiful women, a Miss World pageant wouldn’t be complete without a dash of controversy to spice things up, and nine former queens judging this year’s event provided just that. During lunch prior to the final on Saturday, December 10, on the tropical island of Hainan, in southern China, the nine former Miss Worlds expressed their opinions on the new system that allowed the world public to vote through text messages, telephone and email. “I don’t agree with email or telephone voting at all,” Brazilian Lucia Petterle, Miss World 1971, said flatly. “As a judge you need to see all the girls, see how they are. We’ve been through this, so we know what to look for. Do the callers know what they’re looking for? Do they see the same things we’re seeing? I don’t think so, the judges should judge.” The new system, an expansion of previous models that introduced public voting, allowed people to vote for a shortlist of 12 of the 15 semi-finalists. The other three semifinalists were nominated for “Fast-Tracks.”

                Public voting for the other 12 semifinalists began on November 14 and ended on Saturday morning, December 10, with fans voting as many times as they wanted based on materials online and from six television shows that had already aired. The public could choose two women from Northern and Southern Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean. In another innovation, Petterle, a specialist in child neurology in Rio de Janeiro, and his eight colleagues would judge the final, the first time in the contest’s 55-year history that the jury was made up entirely of former winners. Although previous Miss Worlds had the last word, Petterle and some of the others felt that perhaps the public did not have the insight to decide who were the most beautiful women in the world. “To judge you have to see the girl and we know what to look for”, said Miss World 1953 Denise Perrier Lanfranchi of France. “It’s really easy for us to pick a winner. We can identify her almost immediately. You can see who’s breaking out of the water, you can tell who’s smart by the way they move, even before they speak.”

Denise Perrier

                However, Miss World 1997, Diana Hayden of India, disagreed. “I think public voting is a very good idea, it will generate revenue for the contest and that in itself should be the bottom line,” Hayden said. “People should have a say in this.” Hayden, an international model, actress and former face of L’Oreal, said the winner had to be prepared for her life to change dramatically. “When you are chosen from among 100 other candidates, things change for you immediately”, said the Bollywood star and global fundraiser. Miss World 1975, Wilnelia Merced from Puerto Rico, offered advice on how to win. “You have to be yourself and natural,” said Merced, the wife of British television actor Bruce Forsyth. “You have to be careful what you wear, how you stand or smile, of course you have to look beautiful and show off your body. There are so many things to think about. You have to put all these things together.”

THE FINAL NIGHT OF MISS WORLD 2005 HAS ARRIVED.-

                Finally, the big night of Saturday, December 10, arrived, in which the 55th Miss World in history was going to be chosen. The event, produced for television by Paul Kirrage and directed by Russell Norman, began at 9 p.m. local time at the Beauty Crown Theater in Sanya, being broadcast live by some TV stations such as Venevision (Venezuela) and deferred by Sky Travel (UK), among many others. The show began with a group of Chinese violinists and numerous dancers and actors from the Beijing theater troupe, displaying typical Chinese attire, accompanied by fireworks at the close of the opening. David Jensen’s voiceover introduced the emcees of the evening, Tim Vincent and Angela Chow, to the stage. Both explained the procedure used to choose the semifinalists, where the public vote chose two semifinalists for each of the six continental regions into which the contestants were divided this year. Chow also took advantage of the occasion to introduce the President of the Organization, Julia Morley, before welcoming the 102 competitors to the stage who, with choreography by Donna Derby, danced the Opening of Miss World 2005, dressed in bikinis from the collection of Miss World swimsuits, designed by Wilnelia Merced, but covered at the bottom with a semi-transparent black beach wrap. The girls from northern Europe came on stage first, followed later by those from southern Europe and the Caribbean, who together did a very orderly choreography. Then the representatives of the Asia Pacific region, the Africans and, finally, the Americans appeared, to close the opening with all the contestants on stage.

                Next, Vincent and Chow presented a video summary of the arrival of the contestants and the first activities that the beauties had in Sanya. After the first commercial break, the hosts presented the coronation videos of the nine ex-Miss Worlds who this year would be judges of the Miss World 2005 grand finale together with Julia Morley. Vincent and Chow introduced the nine ex-queens on stage: Azra Akin from Turkey (2002), Agbani Darego from Nigeria (2001), Diana Hayden from India (1997), Yulia Kourotchkina from Russia (1992), Mariasela Álvarez from Dominican Republic (1982), Wilnelia Merced from Puerto Rico (1975), Lucía Petterle from Brazil (1971), Ann Sidney from the United Kingdom (1964) and Denise Perrier from France (1953), who arrived arm in arm with Tim Vincent. Tim gave Perrier a short interview and led the nine queens to their judging table.

JUDGES:

                Chow immediately invited to the stage the first group of participants in their evening gowns, the representatives of Asia Pacific, in this order of delegates: Australia, New Zealand, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, Hong Kong-China and Korea. The representatives of Japan, Vietnam, the People’s Republic of China, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand continued. And finally, the Misses from Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India who closed this continental group. Vincent proceeded to call out the two semifinalists from the Asia Pacific region and they were Miss PHILIPPINES (Carlene Ang Aguilar) and Miss INDIA (Sindhura Gadde) who were briefly interviewed and then their “Vote For Me” videos were featured.

                Next, Vincent introduced the Northern European group, who came on stage as follows: Miss Belgium, Miss Wales, Miss Denmark, Miss Iceland, Miss Sweden, Miss Latvia and Miss Poland. Followed by the girls from Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Estonia, England and Switzerland. And finally the representatives of Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway and Scotland. It fell to Chow to announce the two semifinalists from this region. They were Miss ICELAND (Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir) and Miss NORTHERN IRELAND (Lucy Avril Evangelista) whom Chow proceeded to interview and who said that what they liked most about Sanya was the wonderful welcome. Later, their “Vote For Me” videos were presented.

                After the second commercial block of the program, Vincent introduced the guest artist of Miss World 2005, the American singer Alexander O’Neal, who performed his song “Criticize”. Chow then called the contestants from the next region, Southern Europe, to the stage. They were the Misses from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia FYRO, France, Malta, Gibraltar and Spain. Then the young women from Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Lebanon, Turkey, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Cyprus and Greece. And finally, in this region, the representatives of Israel, Italy, Georgia, Moldova, Hungary, Slovenia and Portugal. Chow announced that the two semifinalists from southern Europe were Miss ITALY (Sofia Bruscoli) and Miss SPAIN (Mireia Verdú Tremosa). As was done with the previous classified, both were interviewed and then their “Vote For Me” videos were presented. It should be noted that both girls, who did not have a good command of English, were able to respond in that language.

                Vincent then showed a second video of the contestants’ activities in China, this time in Wenzhou. After this, Vincent called the next continental group, the Caribbean girls, to the stage: Miss American Virgin Islands, Miss Aruba, Miss Dominican Republic, Miss Puerto Rico, Miss Trinidad-Tobago and Miss Bahamas. And, to close the group of Caribbean women, the representatives of Barbados, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Jamaica and Saint Lucia. The two classified from this region were Miss JAMAICA (Terri-Karelle Griffith) and Miss PUERTO RICO (Ingrid Marie Rivera Santos). After being interviewed by Vincent, their “Vote For Me” videos were also presented.

                After the third publicity segment, Chow, in her second ocher dress of the evening, brought the Beijing Theater Group back on stage with their performance called “Spirit of the Peacock” with an extraordinary ballet performance. After the wonderful show, Vincent invited the contestants from the Americas to the stage, first the representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Guyana. Then, the candidates from Panama, Peru, Brazil, Canada, the United States and Ecuador. And to finish this group, the young women from El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Uruguay and Venezuela. Vincent then proceeded to call the two lucky ones from the continent and they were Miss CANADA (Ramona Rina Amiri) and Miss MEXICO (Dafne Molina Lona). After the brief conversation with each of them, their “Vote For Me” videos were presented.

                It was the turn of the last group, the one from Africa, who were introduced by Angela Chow. They were Miss Botswana, Miss Ethiopia, Miss Ghana, Miss Mauritius, Miss Swaziland, Miss Nigeria and Miss Tanzania. And to close this continental group, the representatives of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. Chow called the two qualifiers from Africa and they were Miss SOUTH AFRICA (Dhiveja Sundrum) and Miss TANZANIA (Nancy Abraham Sumari). As was done with all the continental qualifiers, both lucky ones from the African continent were briefly interviewed and their “Vote For Me” introductory videos were shown.

                After the fourth commercial break, all the contestants were on stage, ready to get to know who was the winner of the Best Dress Design, an award that corresponded to the one worn by Miss TURKEY (Hande Subasi), a flowing black strapless dress with embroidered arabesques in rhinestones and a sexy opening on the left leg. The Turkish received her acrylic trophy from Angela Chow. The presenters then called the final three semifinalists the winners of the “Fast-Tracks.” To this end, videos of “Beach Beauty” (where Miss RUSSIA, Yuliya Ivanova was the winner) and the Talent Show won by Miss AMERICAN VIRGIN ISLANDS (Kmisha-Victoria Counts) were presented. Only one semifinalist was missing to be known, the winner of “Beauty with a Purpose”. But before that, a video was presented of the outgoing queen, María Julia Mantilla, talking about her work during her year of reign with the charities she did in the name of “Beauty with a Purpose”. Maju was honored on stage by SOHU President Dr. Charles Zhang. The video of the winning “Beauty with a Purpose” project was shown and the award went to Miss KOREA (Eun-young Oh) who received her award from Dr. Colin Niven of Dulwich College International . Of the 15 semifinalists, the only one who used an interpreter was Miss Russia. Before concluding this part, the introductory videos of the “Vote For Me” of the three winners of the “Fast-Tracks” were presented.

 SEMIFINALISTNAMEAGEHOMETOWN
01Miss PHILIPPINESCarlene Ang Aguilar23Quezon City
02Miss INDIASindhura Gadde21Mumbai
03Miss ICELANDUnnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir21Seltjarnarnes
04Miss NORTHERN IRELANDLucy Avril Evangelista19Portglenone
05Miss ITALYsophia bruscoli17Misano Adriatic
06Miss SPAINMireia Verdu Tremosa22Barcelona
07Miss JAMAICATerri Karelle Griffith23St Andrew
08Miss PUERTO RICOIngrid Marie Rivera Santos22El Yunque
09Miss CANADARamona Rina Amiri24Vancouver, British Columbia
10Miss MEXICODafne Molina Canvas23Mexico City
11Miss SOUTH AFRICADhiveja Sundrum23Cape Town
12Miss TANZANIANancy Abraham Sumari19Arusha
13Miss RUSSIAYuliya Viktorovna Ivanova22Novosibirsk, Siberia
14Miss AMERICAN VIRGIN ISLANDSKmisha-Victoria Counts18Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas
15Miss KOREAEun-young Oh20Seoul

TOP 15

                Now it was the judges’ turn to choose one winner from each continental region, reducing the pool of 15 semi-finalists to just six. After the fifth and final commercial block, the 15 girls were on stage according to their continental regions and Vincent proceeded to name the winners. Each group had to come forward to announce the results of the judges. In first place, Miss World from ASIA PACIFIC was named, an honor that corresponded to Miss KOREA (Eun-young Oh); then it was the turn to meet the Miss World of NORTHERN EUROPE. The winner was Miss ICELAND (Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir); then, it became known that the Miss World of SOUTHERN EUROPE was Miss ITALY (Sofia Bruscoli); then Miss World of the CARIBBEAN, a title that went to Miss PUERTO RICO (Ingrid Marie Rivera Santos); the next queen was Miss World of the AMERICAS, and the lucky one was Miss MEXICO (Dafne Molina Lona). To conclude, the name of the Miss World of AFRICA was announced, which went to Miss TANZANIA (Nancy Abraham Sumari). All the winners received their sashes from the outgoing queen, the Peruvian Maju Mantilla. These queens would later receive crystal trophies as prizes.

MISS WORLD AFRICAMiss TANZANIANancy Abraham Sumari
MISS WORLD AMERICASMiss MEXICODafne Molina Canvas
MISS WORLD ASIA PACIFICMiss KOREAEun-young Oh
MISS WORLD CARIBBEAN ISLANDSMiss PUERTO RICOIngrid Marie Rivera Santos
MISS WORLD NORTHERN EUROPEMiss ICELANDUnnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir
MISS WORLD SOUTHERN EUROPEMiss ITALYSophia Bruscoli

                Before knowing the final result, the video of the sports competition was presented, which this year was not considered “fast-track” and was won by the Asia Pacific team. After this, Angela Chow again presented the international guest artist, Alexander O’Neal, with his song “If You Were Here Tonight”. Next, Tim Vincent briefly interviewed Ann Sidney, Wilnelia Merced, Yulia Kourotchkina, Denise Perrier and Azra Akin, before a “final look” video of the six continental queens who had just been elected, as one of them would shortly become in the new Miss World 2005. The six continental queens were called individually to the stage, a brief farewell was made to Miss World 2004, the Peruvian María Julia Mantilla and Chow also called the President of Miss World, Julia Morley, to the stage to announce what everyone was waiting for, to find out who was Miss World 2005 and her two finalists.

               Julia Morley then announced the results in reverse order: SECOND RUNNER-UP, Miss PUERTO RICO (Ingrid Marie Rivera Santos); the FIRST RUNNER-UP, Miss MEXICO (Dafne Molina Lona). And MISS WORLD 2005 was… Miss ICELAND, Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir!!. The astonished queen of northern Europe, with green eyes and dark brown hair, dressed in a low-cut black dress, with a wide and flowing tulle skirt, with an embroidered bodice and small tulle sleeves, received a sash and crown from Maju Mantilla to proceed to give her triumphal walk with the official march of the contest. Unnur, whose mother was Miss Iceland and a Miss World finalist in 1983, became the third Miss World from that country, preceded by Hófi Karlsdóttir in 1985 and Linda Pétursdóttir in 1988. Unnur Birna was the third Miss World in a country of only 295 thousand inhabitants!!. A shower of confetti was the preamble to the closing of the broadcast of 2 hours and 13 minutes, while all the contestants congratulated the new queen. Later, they headed to the Sheraton Sanya Resort to enjoy the Coronation Ball. This year’s contest, in its 55th edition, was expected to have attracted some two billion viewers in some 207 countries and territories.

CORONATION BALL.-

               The brand new Miss World 2005, Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir, was the guest of honor at the head table of the Miss World Coronation Ball, in an evening to celebrate the welcome of six new title winners to the Miss World family. In the car on the way to the Miss World coronation ball, Unnur spoke on the phone with her father, grandmother and grandfather at home in Iceland, who were celebrating after seeing the pageant live on Icelandic television for the first time. “They’re so happy for me, I can’t tell you how that makes me feel right now”, said a tearful Unnur. The show’s hostess, Angela Chow, entertained the crowd at dinner by welcoming the five continental queens named in the Miss World final to the stage. Miss World families, national directors and staff involved in this year’s pageant enjoyed the first official appearance of the winners that night. The atmosphere was like no other, with an electrifying atmosphere. Miss Iceland, now Miss World, took the stage where she received a standing ovation. Guests watched as the winners received their glass globe trophies and who received loud applause from their fellow contestants.

                Miss Tanzania, now Miss World Africa, said: “It gives me immense joy and pride because Miss World believed in me. Now it gives me the opportunity to spread my love for Africa and leave marks in the hearts of my people, thank you.” Miss Italy, as Miss World from Southern Europe said: “I am very happy and excited to have been chosen to represent my continent. The competition was very high and to be chosen number one out of twenty-three is a real honor. I was hoping to do my best and this is a real surprise. I feel very happy.” Speaking as Miss World Americas, Miss Mexico added: “I felt wonderful to be a part of tonight’s show. I was a little nervous and very excited. Representing my continent in the semi-final was incredible. I never thought my dream of reaching this far would come true. It was a great experience.” An overwhelmed Miss Korea was reeling after being named Miss World Asia Pacific: “My mother always told me that happiness and fortune should be shared. I have a warm family and I owe them a lot. I was so shocked to see my face on the screen It was then that I realized that I had been chosen to represent my continent. It’s wonderful.” The new Miss World Caribbean, Miss Puerto Rico, added: “It’s a dream come true. I can’t deny that! It also means an opportunity to show everyone who believed in me that I didn’t betray the hopes they had in me and that includes my country.

                Charles Zhang, CEO of China’s second largest Internet portal Sohu and one of the main sponsors of Miss World 2005, presented all the contestants with red fox plush toys as souvenirs of their visit to China. For her part, the president of the Miss World Organization, Julia Morley, said: “Everyone knows how to enjoy the last night. We have a wonderful new Miss World and everyone has had a great time. This has certainly been a great pageant, one one of the best in fact. I look forward to next year.” The coronation party concluded in the early hours of Sunday morning, December 11, and the girls were preparing to pack their belongings to return to their home countries after a month of activities in Sanya and mainland China. For all of them it was, without a doubt, an unforgettable experience that they will treasure for the rest of their lives.

FRAGMENTS OF THE DIARY OF THE NEW MISS WORLD.-

                Here are some excerpts from the new Miss World’s own diary: HARD WORK… “I am very happy and I am having a great time in China. We have been working hard and for many hours every day, but everything is fine and worth it. It’s worth the effort. Security is tight.” THE FAVORITES… “Everyone says that Miss Philippines is a sure winner of the pageant, which would not make me unhappy. However, I prefer to see Miss Costa Rica winning. She is incredibly flashy, however, she is not a diva I like it a lot. The semi-finalists from Northern Europe will be Switzerland and England.” YOUR OWN CHANCES… “I have no chance of winning this. They have 10 boxes of designer dresses, hair extensions and most have been surgically enhanced. If there was a title for ‘Miss Natural Country Girl’ then maybe I would have an opportunity…”. TALENT MISTAKE… “I made a mistake in the talent competition: instead of dancing to a funky Prodigy song, I should have gone with Celine Dion, who is more suitable for Miss World. I finished third in my region and in the top 10 First overall.” MOM ARRIVED… “When my mom arrived in China, the moment I first saw her I cried in her arms for a whole 5 minutes… Then I felt refreshed with her love and support…” NATURAL IS GOOD… “I am so surprised to say that my little me made it to the top 5 in the Beach Beauty Contest, completely without silicone or any kind of surgical enhancement! Miss Russia was the winner with her perfect body and 180 cm tall. Tomorrow I have to get up at six, so it’s time to close my eyes.” GETTING READY FOR TONIGHT… “The day has come, tonight a new Miss World will be crowned and I’m part of it. It’s hard to believe that everything is happening. I hope I can make my country proud by presenting myself well. I don’t think I can win and I hope the Icelanders don’t expect my victory”. FINAL THOUGHTS BEFORE THE CONTEST… “The girls think that if Miss Philippines doesn’t win, Miss Russia will, after all, there is talk of Miss World being held in Russia next year. My personal favorite is Miss Mexico. I got close to her in the last few days and I think she is the best combination of beauty, intelligence and personality. I am happy with the visibility that my country and I have obtained in the international press in the last four weeks.”

CELEBRATION IN ICELAND.-

                Heidar Jonsson, manager and friend of Unnur Birna, said: “People in Iceland are very excited about Unnur’s win, and so am I! She left a message on my voicemail this morning, saying: “Hello, my dear Heidar! I’m Miss World calling from China! (followed by a long, loud laugh). I still can’t believe it, is it really happening or am I dreaming, then I’ll call you friend.” “His mom also felt like she was in paradise when she called me and told me that the first words Unnur whispered in her ear after receiving the Miss World sash and crown: “Mom, what have I done? I won!” The new Miss World told her mother that she was very pleased with the reaction of the other contestants after her victory. “They seemed genuinely happy with my win, this is all so amazing and nice.” “As for me, Heidar, I can assure you that Unnur will be an unforgettable Miss World. After spending 15 minutes with her, you even forget how beautiful she is, such is her kindness and friendly personality. I have also spoken with a very happy and proud Linda Pétursdóttir (Miss World 1988, from Iceland), who wants to personally greet and congratulate the new queen. That’s all for now, I just thought I’d share my happiness with all of you,” he concluded.

THE REIGN OF MISS WORLD 2005.-

                Icelandic Unnur Birna Vilhjalmsdóttir began her reign as Miss World 2005 with a press conference at the Sheraton Sanya Resort on the morning of Sunday, December 11. The 21-year-old Reykjavik student and daughter of Miss Iceland 1983 expressed her joy and amazement at winning the title and thanked her mother for her advice. “It was a big shock, but the feeling is incredible, I’m numb”, she said. “I didn’t hear my name at first. I only heard it echo through the theater. I only knew it was me because no one else moved.” Then everything came true. “It is wonderful to know that so many people voted for me in the text vote and put me in the top two in Northern Europe. I had the pleasure of winning the title of Miss World Northern Europe. So to win Miss World is amazing. I feel wonderful. It came as a huge shock, but the feeling is incredible. I’m numb.” “My mother gave me some advice on how to behave and it seems to have worked,” said Vilhjalmsdóttir. “She told me to be myself, not to be fake in any way and to relax. I’m so glad she was able to be here to see me win the title.”

                Unnur Birna was studying law and took advantage of her free moments in the contest to study. “I brought my law books with me and studied in the evenings after dinner,” she said. “My roommate, Miss Denmark, always laughed at me for it. Tonight she was one of the first to congratulate me. She was crying because she was so happy for me.” Vilhjalmsdóttir would serve as a goodwill ambassador and charity fundraiser for children’s causes for the next year and was likely to benefit from a series of modeling and acting contracts. “I am speechless,” said Unnur Steinsson, the mother of the new world queen. “There are simply no words to describe my feelings at the moment. Let me say that it was an amazing moment to see her being crowned Miss Northern Europe. Now I am totally beside myself with the joy of seeing her as Miss World.” Her brothers also traveled to Sanya to support Unnur Birna. “My two younger brothers were also at the party and they are all very excited” said the brand new Miss World very happy. Winning the coveted title was likely to change Unnur Birna’s life as she embarked on a rigorous year of charity appearances and advocacy for humanitarian causes. “In the next year I want to do everything I can to help,” she said. “I would love to do what I can for charity and for the children of the world.”

                While the crown hadn’t had time to settle on her head, Unnur had already set her sights on some key achievements during her reign as Miss World 2005. She said: “I want to spend a lot of time traveling to work with people where I can make a difference.” That’s what life should be about.” “No ex-Miss Iceland has done charity work and I aim to change that. My grandfather died of lung cancer, so I feel very strongly about supporting cancer victims.” Unnur was a true multifaceted and a perfect role model for young women all over the world. Of her time in China, Unnur had something to say: “Thank you China, thank you Sanya. The whole Miss World experience has been truly amazing, and I know the excitement and good work is just beginning. I would like to thank everyone for their support, especially those who voted for me. I will make you proud as Miss World 2005.”

                Unnur Birna, Miss World 2005, took time out and visited the Sanya Tiger Sanctuary before leaving China on Wednesday, December 14. Unnur was able to hold one of the young tiger cubs and one of the baby crocodiles that also lived in the park. On Thursday, December 15, she traveled to Hong Kong, where she made a stopover on her return flight. She took the opportunity to visit the world-famous peak with its stunning view of Hong Kong Island, before having lunch of oysters and sushi at one of the mountaintop restaurants. UB, as those close to her called her, accepted congratulations from supporters who recognized her for the mass media coverage her victory in China received, and then enjoyed a sightseeing tour of Hong Kong’s bustling central business district. “Hong Kong is perfect for shopping, I really must go back soon,” she said, after buying a handmade Chinese lantern. “The clothes here are wonderful. I wish I had more time.” After leaving Hong Kong, UB flew to London, where she spent three long days meeting the international media and catching up on some Christmas shopping on London’s Regent Street. UB was looking forward to a warm family Christmas and seeing her two dogs, her cat and her stable of Icelandic horses. At the beginning of January they would begin in earnest their travels and work as Miss World 2005.

                Iceland’s Prime Minister Halldor Asgrimsson joined 10,000 people who braved snow and icy gales to greet Miss World 2005, Unnur Birna Vilhjalmsdottir, as she brought the crown to Iceland on Sunday, December 18. Unnur Birna was greeted at the door of the plane by former colleagues from the airport security services, dressed in all their finery, and received a less formal greeting from her grandmother. Then, she was taken to an official welcome at Reykjavik’s main shopping mall. Opening the event, Prime Minister Halldor Asgrimsson quoted the poetry of Lord Byron when he declared of Unnur Birna: “She walks in beauty like the night.” He then praised her wonderful personality and breadth of intelligence, as well as her undeniable beauty, which combined to make her triumph in the Miss World final that year. UB was delighted with the reception of young and old who had waited more than an hour because their plane was delayed on landing. As she was cheered and congratulated, she said, “This is amazing, unbelievable. In Iceland, people don’t usually do this, so I’m really touched that people took the time to come and welcome me home.”

                “My mum, dad and grandparents are here, as are my two brothers. It’s really a wonderful way to get home. It’s a great honor to see the Prime Minister here too. I know everyone is very proud of me and that It makes me very happy. This is going to be a wonderful Christmas.” After the reception, UB returned to her family home for a surprise party with friends before her first night home in almost two months: “The party was wonderful. It was great to see everyone after being away for six weeks, And it was so good to sleep in my own bed again!” The next day, she was the guest of honor at a special gala dinner hosted by the organizers of the Miss Iceland pageant and attended by family and supporters. Many of those present recounted how they had watched the Miss World final live on television in the early evening of December 10, dressed in evening wear and with candles and fine wines to celebrate the occasion. UB received warm congratulations from her two predecessors, Hófi Karlsdóttir (1985) and Linda Pétursdóttir (1988), who welcomed the new Miss World to their exclusive club.

                Unnur Birna traveled to Poland in mid-January for the ceremony where it was announced that the country would host Miss World 2006. During her visit to a frozen Warsaw, Miss World 2005, Unnur Birna Vilhjalmsdottir, was amazed by the unique architecture and the genuine and warm hospitality of the Poles. She toured the city’s sites, including the Chopin Monument and the Old Town, and enjoyed local cuisine in traditional Polish restaurants. She also took the time to visit and spend time with sick children in the Oncology and Hematology Ward of the Warsaw Independent Pediatric Clinical Hospital. “I’m sure the girls will love exploring and experiencing the many places Poland has to offer,” she said. “With the snow this time of year, it reminds me of home in Iceland, but I’m definitely looking forward to going back when it’s warm and green.”

                At the end of January, Unnur Birna posed for the magazine “Hello!” in her country. Renowned British photographer Trevor Leighton, whose work has been exhibited in many international galleries including London’s National Portrait Gallery, was chosen to spend two days with Unnur Birna as they toured the volcanic island to photograph Miss World in some of the most impressive scenes in the magazine’s history. Glaciers, geysers and astonishing waterfalls were the backdrop to Unnur Birna’s natural beauty as she posed elegantly in couture by Icelandic designers, before returning to the hotel for dinner and more photos in evening gowns by the more well-known Giorgio Armani. The next day, Unnur Birna rode at a local stable where it houses many Icelandic horses. The fashion article was printed on an impressive five pages of the celebrity magazine, including international editions from around the world. Dorrit Mousseiff, wife of the President of Iceland, was the stylist for the session.

                On February 20, 2006, the Polish media flocked when Miss World 2005, Unnur Birna Vilhjalmsdottir, arrived in Warsaw, for the second time, as an ambassador for the world’s longest-running and most prestigious international beauty festival to recognize the achievements of young women. The president of the Miss World Organization, Julia Morley, led the delegation to Poland, while the preparations advanced. Their host for the three-day trip to Warsaw, just one of many planned that year, was Elzbieta Wierzbicka, president of the Miss Poland Organization, who greeted the group with flowers as they arrived at Warsaw airport. Unnur Birna spent her first day in the Polish capital getting interviewed on TV while working on a three-hour fashion shoot and interview for Poland’s top celebrity magazine, Viva. In the evening, Miss Poland 1992, Ewa Wachowicz, chaired an informative live television panel discussion in praise of Miss World 2006 to be held in Poland. Julia Morley and Unnur Birna took to the stage to speak about the upcoming event alongside representatives from government, business and industry. Miss World 1989, Aneta Kreglicka from Poland, was also on stage to give her own appreciation of the event. The next day, Unnur Birna faced questions from Poles in an hour-long live web chat with Onet.pl. They asked her about the timing of her coronation, her plans for the coming months, and her impressions of Poland. On February 26, Unnur Birna returned to Hainan Island, China, where she was very pleased to have the opportunity to visit a fantastic wildlife park before a press conference in Haikou, the capital of the island. It was full of incredible animals that she had never seen before and she even had the opportunity to do one of her dreams: meet monkeys! Unnur thought they were amazing and it was definitely “a very emotional experience to look into the eyes of a primate,” she said. “It gives me chills now when I think about that moment, it was so special.”

                On Wednesday, March 15, Miss World Unnur Birna Vilhjalmsdottir proved to be a wonderful woman when she joined Superman to headline the Variety-The Children’s Charity telethon in Iowa, USA. She made the trip from Iceland to the United States to join Clark Kent actor Brandon Routh in the movie “Superman Returns” on a visit to a local hospital to bring some light relief to patients. A figure of beauty and dignity in the Miss World crown and sash she wore over a cream two-piece suit with beige appliqué detailing, Unnur Birna sat at the bedside of eight-year-old leukemia patient Andrew Smith in his room at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines. Andrew was diagnosed with leukemia in September 2005 and had been treated in hospital ever since. After chatting animatedly with Unnur Birna and Routh, the Des Moines native Andrew received an autograph from each. His mother, Rhonda Smith, was just as excited about the visit, saying it should cheer Andrew up during the tough days and bring good news to his schoolmates. The telethon had become an annual event in Iowa to raise money for Variety-The Children’s Charity, which helps critically ill, at-risk, abused, disadvantaged and other special needs children. So far this year, the charity’s coffers had swelled by more than US$3.6m (£2m) thanks to the efforts of Unnur Birna and other celebrities. “This is what Miss World is about for me,” said Unnur Birna. “It is overwhelming to be able to use my position to raise the profile of important causes. I am honored to meet and support these children and youth who are going through life-changing situations with such strength of character and will. I am proud to have made a contribution to this event and meeting so many people with incredible courage”.

                On Saturday , April 22, Unnur Birna returned to Poland for the third time, this time for a week-long tour, where she visited locations that would be used for the Miss World 2006 contest. She also took the opportunity to carry out a national campaign to make roads safer in Poland. Unnur Birna surprised some bus drivers being screened at a Warsaw checkpoint when she showed up to present her own special Inspector Crocodile soft toys. “Road safety should be everyone’s concern, so it’s good to see such a wonderful campaign getting support in Poland,” said Unnur Birna, who made the most of the warm spring weather by wearing a blue silk embroidered dress transparent. Later on Monday, April 24, Unnur Birna walked through the beautiful streets of Poland’s capital, before enjoying a local dinner with friends at one of Warsaw’s excellent restaurants.

Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir

                On Tuesday, April 25, Unnur Birna visited a children’s hospital, held a press conference, conducted television interviews, toured Warsaw and met with the president of the capital city. She even found time to buy a new dress and feed the elephants at the zoo! The day began with a highlight of any trip for Miss World, when she visited the oldest working children’s hospital in Eastern Europe to meet children undergoing treatment and minor operations. She toured the wards of the Warsaw Children’s Hospital, spending time at the bedside of more than 30 children, meeting their parents and speaking with the medical staff. “I am so glad to have this opportunity to see the amazing work being done here and to meet the brave children who are treated at this hospital”, said Unnur Birna, presenting the hospital with a high-end television for its use. “The staff is incredibly dedicated to helping the kids, and it shows on their faces.” Before leaving, Unnur Birna posed for photos with medical staff and received a bouquet of white roses. Later that morning, Unnur Birna enjoyed a walk through Warsaw’s beautiful and historic Old Town, meeting local people and taking a picture with vendors. As a champion equestrian in her native Iceland, she was drawn to a horse and carriage and enjoyed a few moments in the carriage with her friend Miss Poland 2004 Katarzyna Borowicz. She then had a light lunch on a restaurant terrace on one of Warsaw’s main squares and watched life go by in the warm spring sun.

                In the afternoon, Miss World visited the Warsaw Zoo and even helped feed some of the animals. Animals are close to Unnur Birna’s heart and she was delighted to see rhinos, elephants, penguins and a family of young cheetahs on the tour, and fed fruit to the elephants, who seemed eager to see Miss World up close. The day concluded with a reception with the President of Warsaw, before Unnur Birna strolled the streets in the afternoon sun, greeting autograph hunters and fans, and sitting down to a meal of local Polish cuisine. On Wednesday, April 26, Unnur Birna visited the sparkling Mazurian Lakes in northern Poland as part of a research trip ahead of the Miss World 2006 pageant. Before stopping for lunch with the mayor of the Gizycko regional hotspot, Unnur Birna and the president of the Miss World Organization, Julia Morley, toured the lakes in one of the main wetland areas in Europe. After meeting with the press, the Miss World group also enjoyed a lunch of coffee and cakes in the City Hall, which included delicious local sweets specific to the region. Unnur Birna then toured the children’s wards at City Hospital in Gizycko, meeting young patients, their parents and dedicated staff. She chatted with everyone for over an hour before introducing them to a new TV. Later that afternoon, Unnur Birna paid an emotional visit to the Gizycko Social Therapy Day Room, a home that provides a sanctuary for children who need a quiet place to learn, do homework or meet friends. The children had been rehearsing for weeks to make sure they could deliver a perfect singing performance that day, and they did an excellent job! Their efforts were rewarded with time to ask Miss World 2005 questions and get autographs. They were also delighted to receive a television from Unnur Birna.

                The largest medieval castle in the world was the idyllic setting for Unnur Birna to rest that night on her journey to the places she would visit during the 2006 Miss World Festival in September. After traveling through small towns nestled in the hills of northern Poland, Miss World arrived at the impressive castle just as an atmospheric mist blanketed the riverside complex at sunset. Before retiring to her room, Miss World led the party for a dinner with the Mayor of Malbork and his city delegation. On Thursday, April 27, Unnur Birna visited the wards of the Regional and Municipal Children’s Hospital, responsible for treating young people in the region. She toured the wards, met with parents of newborn children and praised the work of the dedicated staff. She then traveled to a local kindergarten, where she was warmly welcomed, invited to eat bread and salt in a round loaf, a traditional and heartfelt welcome in Poland. Children dressed in traditional Polish costumes then performed a song and dance routine and presented her with drawings, paintings and handicrafts, much to the delight of Miss World. The Silesian city of Wroclaw was the last stop on the Miss World tour in Poland. After exploring the eastern and northern reaches of the country, it was a pleasure to experience the historic and charming city. The mayor of Wroclaw, Rafal Dutkiewicz, welcomed Miss World 2005, Unnur Birna, and Julia Morley, president of the Miss World Organization, to the offices of his large town hall on Friday, April 28, to explain part of the long and fascinating history of its important Polish city.

                After an entertaining press conference at the 13th-century town hall, Unnur Birna stopped traffic as she walked through Piwnica Swidnicka’s market square, crown and sash, and made the unusual move of selling long-stemmed pink and orange roses on behalf of from Janusz Korczak Provincial Children’s Hospital, which she was due to visit that afternoon. The media swarmed around Miss World and Miss Poland as they handed out flowers to stunned bystanders. When she visited the hospital, Unnur Birna specifically requested a tour of the wards so she could see for herself the great work being done by the dedicated medical staff. She spent more than 90 minutes with the children, taking photos and signing autographs, as well as chatting with parents and nurses. In the evening, the group enjoyed a banquet hosted by the Mayor at the city’s oldest restaurant below City Hall, before retiring to their hotel to contemplate the success of their visit with so many wonderful memories. At the beginning of June, Unnur Birna traveled to Wales, to be a judge for Miss & Mister Wales 2006. Then, on June 13, she visited Berlin (Germany), to attend the game between Brazil and Croatia in the World Cup and to test a Hyundai Tucson that had been specially converted to run on the fuel of the future, hydrogen. Miss World 2005 was invited to a sumptuous dinner in a Sky Box at the stadium, accompanied by a handful of international media and the European management of Hyundai Motor Group. Taking a seat in the stands after dinner, Unnur Birna happily returned to posing for photographs with fans who seemed more interested in photographing her than keeping their eyes on the ball. “This is an amazing experience, one that will stay with me forever,” said Unnur Birna. “I always dreamed of coming to the World Cup, but I never thought I would. The fans are incredible and the atmosphere in the stadium is electric.” On June 18, she visited Poland for the fourth time. On this occasion she was godmother at the birth of two baby zebras at the Warsaw Zoo, who were called Unnur and Ubi. Earlier that day, Julia Morley, and Miss World 2005, Unnur Birna Vilhjalmsdottir, joined officials from the Polish Government Ministry of Transport and former representatives of Miss Poland in a press release to kick off the next stage of the Highway Safety Campaign.

                Before ending her reign as Miss World 2005, Unnur Birna visited Sweden on July 9 on a two-day trip, visiting the Icelandic embassy in Stockholm and the Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, as well as attending the coronation of the new Miss World Sweden. At the end of the same month, Unnur Birna boarded an Air France flight in London bound for Brazil with a stopover in Paris. On Friday, July 28, she arrived in Sao Paulo, where she visited the Nucleus Women’s Health Hospital in the Morumbi neighborhood, and later traveled to Curitiba as a special guest at the Miss World Brazil final. At the end of August, Miss World 2005 traveled to Poland for the fifth and last time, to hand over her crown to her successor on September 30.

BIOGRAPHY OF UNNUR BIRNA VILHJALMSDÓTTIR.-

                Unnur Birna Vilhjálmsdóttir was born in Hringbraut hospital in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, on May 25, 1984, but grew up in a small town called Seltjarnarnes near the capital. Her mother, Unnur Steinsson, was Miss Iceland 1983 and is said to have competed in Miss World 1983 in London while being three months pregnant with Unnur Birna. Her father is Vilhjálmur Skúlason and she has three brothers, Steinar Torfi (1986), Vilhjálmur Skúli Vilhjálmsson (1992) and Helga Sóley Ásgeirsdóttir (2007). She was president of the university social club, was a professional dancer, and taught dance at the Birna Björnsdóttir dance school. She enjoyed acting, singing, dancing, snowboarding, hiking, camping, horseback riding, and had a special talent for choreography and playing the piano. Unnur Birna, or UB as her loved ones called her, interned as a policewoman at the local airport during her summer vacation while studying anthropology and pursuing a law degree. “It was a really interesting job and I was even able to arrest two people for driving under alcohol influence. It was very different from my life as Miss World as I had to wear a uniform and I had my hair up. I couldn’t even wear makeup!” Unnur said. Her mother divorced and remarried, and she lived with her mother and stepfather, Ásgeir Jón Ásgeirsson. Unnur Birna had a three-year romantic relationship with soccer player Ólafur Ingi Skúlason. She entered the world of beauty pageants to honor the memory of her grandmother, Jórunn Karlsdóttir, who passed away in late 2004.

                She first competed in and won the Miss Reykjavík pageant held on Friday, April 15, 2005, then she won Miss Iceland on Friday, May 20, and finally Miss World in Sanya, China, on Saturday, December 10 of that same year. Her reign has been the second shortest in the history of Miss World, with 294 days, only surpassed by that of the Venezuelan Ivian Sarcos, winner in 2011, who reigned for 286 days. After handing over her crown on September 30, 2006 in Poland, Unnur Birna returned to her law studies at Reykjavik University. She worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Shanghai, China and the Defense Agency. She also worked for Glitnir Bank, and then for Íslandsbanki from 2008 to 2009. She participated in the films “The Higher Force” (2008) and “Johánnes” (2009). In 2010 she hosted the “Miss Reykjavik” pageant and in 2011, Unnur appeared in an advertisement promoting “The Blue Lagoon”, a geothermal spa and tourist attraction in Iceland. In 2012, after graduating as a lawyer, she started working as a district court advocate at the Icelandic law firm. On July 26, 2014, Unnur married her longtime partner, Pétur Rúnar Heimisson, the same age as her. They have four children, two girls and two boys: Lilja Karitas (2007, stepdaughter), Erla Rún (2011), Pétur Björn (2014), and Kári Björn (2020).

FROM THE OTHER CONTESTANTS.-

                The representatives of Albania, Belgium and Switzerland later participated in Miss Universe 2006, where the Swiss managed to be 2nd runner-up. The Puerto Rican competed in Miss Universe 2008 without success, just like Miss Singapore. Miss Guadeloupe went to Miss International 2006 and Miss Hong Kong to Miss Chinese International 2006. The Polish woman won Miss Baltic Sea 2006 and Miss Sri Lanka the International Best Female Model 2007. The Venezuelan was Top 25 in Miss Italia Nel Mondo 2008, while that the Nicaraguan participated in the International Coffee Queen 2006 and the Danish in Miss Earth 2008. The Canadian was 1st runner-up in Miss Universe Canada 2007. Meanwhile, Miss Albania and Miss Hungary competed in Miss Europe 2006; the French was “Miss Europe Cities 2006”, the Portuguese was 2nd runner-up of Miss Fashion TV 2006, the Bolivian was Queen of the Cruceño Carnival 2006 and the Northern Irish was designated Miss United Kingdom 2005 for having obtained the best position of the British participants in Miss World, but could not compete in Miss International due to illness. For her part, the Welsh was in 6th place in Miss Great Britain 2007 and in 2009 she was elected Miss Hawaiian Tropic United Kingdom. The girl from Togo, who did not make it to Miss World, won the Miss World Cup 2006.

THIS IS HOW THEY ARE AT PRESENT