Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes on the cover of Genevieve Magazine.
Leila Luliana Da Costa Vieira Lopes – or Leila Lopes for short – is going down Miss Universe history as the titleholder with the longest reign ever. Fifteen months to be exact, or one year and three months if you will. Not that she is overstaying her welcome at Trump Towers in Manhattan, but because of the dragging delay of MUO (Miss Universe Organization) in finalizing a venue for Miss Universe 2012. But now that Dominican Republic has been zeroed in as host country, the only undetermined specific is whether Santo Domingo or Punta Cana will be at the helm of organizing the whole pageant.
Leila has no choice but to take her sweet time enjoying a long reign as Miss Universe.
In the meantime, Leila is already itching to return to her normal life in Angola and the UK. You see, unlike some of her immediate predecessors who lavished in the glitz and glamour of the high life in Manhattan, this lady managed to avoid most of the material trappings that come with the job. She happily fulfilled the travelling requirements – attending various national finals to crown the winner, visited charity causes and the like plus making guest appearances in social events.
Leila may not qualify as Donald Trump’s favorite Miss Universe winner (Dayana Mendoza ia rumored to have bragging rights at the moment) but she can always take pride in being able to hold on to the Diamond Nexus Lab crown the longest, unless another edition gets scheduled longer than her record.
Miss Universe Australia 2012 Renae Ayris
Renae photographs so well!
I can’t help but be constantly enthused by the beauty of Miss Universe Australia 2012 Renae Ayris. Normally, I would prefer brunettes over blondes. But in her case, I’d give my two thumbs up anytime. Her physically arresting features alone are enough to draw my interest even more. It bears watching how she will be presented come December for Miss Universe 2012. Some pageant followers insist that she is being packaged in a Latina-esque fashion. But I beg to differ. The Aussie organizers have found a successful formula on how to prepare their MU representatives abroad. I doubt if they will shift gears at this point when practically all of their queens have either won or placed in the past number of years.
Renae may not fit the mold of a classic goddess. But she has a certain brand of uniqueness that will validate her chances of becoming a favorite for MU2012. Literally and figuratively, she is one A-lister. ;-)
Miss Universe New Zealand 2012 Avianca Bohm – conditional, that is.
Drumming up attention for controversial Miss Universe New Zealand 2012 Avianca Bohm is effortless. You see, the 22 year-old fashion model joined the national pageant despite the fact that she is not a citizen of the country – a South African in fact. There were rumors that one of the organizers allegedly allowed her to take part, thinking that she could never win the title. But she did. And now that the crown is on her head, she decided not to abdicate and instead, resorted to legal proceedings to help her keep the title. So here’s the thing. She will be greenlighted to participate in Miss Universe 2012 if she gets to be issued a New Zealand passport by August. Failure to do so will mean that the next in line, Talia Bennett, will take her place.
Sounds like a simple settlement, right? Well, unless a new development in this scenario transpires in the next month or so. If something like this happened in Binibining Pilipinas……oh, wait….it already did. Venus Raj was threatened with dethronement just last 2010. In the end, the all-important passport saved the day. ;-)
Miss Universe Czech Republic 2012 Tereza Chlebovská
Those eyes are mesmerizing!
It’s public knowledge that Miss Universe owner Donald Trump has a continuing fondness for Czech beauties (and Central European ladies for that matter). Perhaps it’s a case of still holding a candle for ex-wife Ivana Marie Zelníčková while sharing the bed with current better half Melania Knauss (who is Slovenian)?
Enter Česká Miss Tereza Chlebovská who will wear the sash of Czech Republic in Miss Universe 2012. A student of the University of Ostrava in the Moravian-Silesian Region, she actually hails from Krnov. All of 21 years old, she stands 5’8″ and was elected for the crown partly by SMS votes from the audience who watched the finals last March.
Will Tereza outperform her predecessor Jitka Nováčková who unfortunately did not make it to the Top 16 of Miss Universe 2011? Will Donald Trump make up for that miss by insuring that Czech Republic returns to the semifinal line-up at the very least? :-)
Miss Universe Ecuador 2012 Carolina Aguirre
2011 was a banner year for Ecuador in grand slam pageants after topping both Miss International and Miss Earth via Fernanda Cornejo and Olga Alava, respectively. But while those two victories are well-regarded, the December-scheduled Miss Universe 2012 should be a real acid test on whether the country is truly an emerging powerhouse in beauty pageants and not just plain lucky with the near simultaneous crownings last November-December.
Carolina Aguirre could be the woman to erase all of Ecuador’s past Miss Universe woes. The 5’10” 20 year-old fashion model is not all beauty and glamour on the outside. She is also a student of Journalism at the Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo (UEES) in Guayaquil. Her mother may be Argentinian, but the mix only adds more zest to her already standout features. During the national pageant, she scooped a lion’s share of the special awards including Best Face, Best Figure and Most Popular. Can she continue the winning mode all the way to the MU venue late this year?
I won’t mind if Carolina figures out well in Donald Trump’s list of preferred delegates. The roster of wannabes is getting ultra-strong by the month, though. Same as what I wish the other ladies…Good luck, girl! ;-)
Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2012 Bodine Koehler Pena
If you check the Urban Dictionary, the word ‘Bodine’ would come up with the following definitions:
On the contrary, Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2012 Bodine Koehler Pena is anything but bogus. First off, she is just about right in every aspect of her non-misleading appearance. And if the name may sound foreboding to some, the rest of the pageant world is one in saying that she might just be one individual destined for a good outcome.
This 19 year-old with an enviable height of 1.83m (6 ft 0in) is en route to giving her beloved Puerto Rico another reason to celebrate by December should she win Miss Universe 2012. And why the optimism? She has practically all the qualities Donald Trump is looking for in a queen – beauty, freshness, youth and vivacity. ‘Carisma‘ is what the Spanish-speaking nations call it.
courtesy of BiggieBootyLady
And it doesn’t stop at just giving her superlatives. This Dutch-Dominican Puerto Rican is a proven master of the catwalk, having been one of the island’s well-known fashion models for a number of years now. Education-wise, she studied at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico so her looks and talents combine to create music for the ears and the eyes.
Am I getting too carried away? Okay, I’ll stop. After all, Venezuela’s Irene Esser is also a personal favorite, aside from sentimentally siding with our own Janine Tugonon when the going gets tough. But one thing is for sure. Bodine will be up there come finals night. ;-)
Venezuelan Goddess! Miss Universe-Venezuela 2012 Irene Esser
Truth be told, I can’t get Irene Esser out of my head! I’m turning green with envy at how well-prepared this Venezuelan Goddess is for Miss Universe 2012. And the competition is still a good five months away! Just look at the five images above – so breathtakingly unreal (and I mean that in a nice way)! There’s no denying the thoroughbred quality that she possesses. And her wardrobe is, quite simply, to die for.
Any competitor would feel threatened with Irene’s presence alone. So where does that leave the rest? Luck and divine intervention, perhaps? I think not. If she doesn’t hold a permanent shine in Donald Trump’s favor, there is always that leeway for another lady or group of ladies to perform well and snatch an anticipated victory for Osmel Sousa’s ward. Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes can attest to that.
Let’s just put it this way. Irene Esser raises the bar so high that all other delegates going to this year’s venue should be challenged hard enough to approximate what she is capable of delivering in the pageant. Agree? ;-)
(All images courtesy of mvlanuevaera.com)
Miss Universe Thailand 2012 Farida Waller (L) and Miss Universe Malaysia 2012 Kimberly Leggett – both lovely but looking too foreign relative to the authentic Thai and Malaysian faces we are all used to seeing in past Miss Universe competitions.
Online forums – particularly the ones where Thai and Malaysian pageant enthusiasts heavily converge – keep on comparing their respective beauty queens to no end. Short of saying that the two could be sisters, there’s always this debate on who is the better-looking titleholder: Farida Waller or Kimberly Leggett. Both mixed-race beauties are seen to lead the surge of Asian beauties in Miss Universe 2012. Of course, I am 100% behind our very own Janine Tugonon all the way. But if it is just about selecting who looks better, I would easily pick Farida over Kimberly. The latter has the height (5’10”) advantage, but the former has more appealing facial features. Not that we’d stop at skin-deep comparisons, but both will not lag behind in English fluency as well. If at any, Farida can additionally speak Thai and German.
Personality-wise, Kimberly slightly edges out Farida in terms of bubbliness and candor. Her biggest advantage, though, is the fact that her training for Miss Universe has been running for almost a year now. And it will clearly show once she presents herself wherever this year’s edition will be held. After the 2011 disappointment of Deborah Priya Henry in Sao Paulo, the organizers are working hard to insure that their bet this year will achieve at least a semifinal slot.
How about you, dear readers? Team Farida or Team Kimberly? :-D
Renae Ayris is Miss Universe Australia 2012
Just as I predicted, my top seed to win Miss Universe Australia 2012 was crowned the fairest in the land down under. 21 year-old Renae Ayris – representing Perth – narrowly defeated 1st Runner-Up Mary Vitinaros of Melbourne (also in my Top 5) to become her country’s representative to Miss Universe this coming December. The 5’9″ dancer and photography enthusiast will now have her hands full preparing for the big one after succeeding last year’s winner Scherri-Lee Biggs (also from WA) who finished among the Top 10 in Sao Paulo. Other girls in the Top 5 are 2nd Runner-Up Amy Fromm, 3rd Runner-Up Lucy Tottiett and 4th Runner-Up Julia Perrott Clarke. Below is a video of the finals courtesy of Peter Sereno / Dear Pageant Girl.
All I can say for now is “Congratulations, Renae!” :-D
While the rest of the world is obsessed with sending a Miss Universe delegate who stands a minimum of 5’8″ in height, here comes big ‘ole USA with a titleholder who measures a little more than a shade above 5’5″ (or roughly 1.66m if you will). This is really nothing new or unusual with the country that started the pageant. In the last two decades alone, there are at least three previous Miss USA winners who have almost the same vertical stats (read: 5’6″-below), namely 2006’s Tara Conner (5’5″), 1999’s Kimberly Pressler (5’6″) and 1991’s Kelli McCarty (5’6″).
You can look at it in a few different ways. One, Miss USA is not bothered at all with a shorter winner because she will inevitably be given special attention in Miss Universe – sash factor in the works. Two, Miss USA is more concerned with the X-factor of a state rep more than anything else. Going into the Top 5 and while everyone else is looking at the much taller ladies from Nevada, Ohio and Maryland, Olivia is charming all the judges with her iridescent glow and politically correct way of thinking. Three, Miss USA is Donald Trump’s Miss USA. Regardless of who wins Miss Universe, she will have a wonderful year ahead – living the good life in a posh Trump-owned condominium in Manhattan and sharing some of the bounty in the process. This means that there is no need to panic with a near-petite bet. The more important thing is to choose someone who can best represent all 50 states (plus D.C.) in a color-blind, ethnicity-blind…and height-blind manner.
So there – the sash factor, the X-factor and the Trump factor. Side with what runs closest to what you think or share other theories you may have. :-)