Paulina (left) and her boss, Donald Trump
It’s the best beauty queen job of all, and Paulina Vega is living the good life to the fullest.
Aside from a well-appointed Trump apartment in Manhattan, she gets to make celebrity appearances in the US as well as travel to different countries (like Djakarta where she helped crown the national winner) in style and with VIP treatment to boot.
Watch the video below which followed Paulina during her first week as Miss Universe, and tell me if it’s indded one of the most enviable jobs every year.
This Colombian is one lucky girl. ;-)
courtesy of Miss Universe
This is the classic Miss Universe crown used for decades in the pageant. The one above was presented in honor of former Miss Universe President Harold Glasser who passed away last 2011.
There is always an affected sentimental soul inside of me whenever I look at the old Miss Universe crown that has been used for decades before the evolution of the new ones changed hands from Mikimoto to Diamond Nexus Lab to the present maker, DIC Holding.
Aside from being the same crown worn by the Philippines’ two winners – Gloria Diaz and Margarita Moran – it also brings back memories of the past that have significantly molded my growing-up years as a pageant fan and chronicler. I can still remember trying my darndest best to look for one that closely resembled its shape and design, only to end up playing around with a cheaper alternative worn by my two sisters during their respective Santacruzan duties in the province.
This is the new, shiny and sleek Miss Universe crown to be placed on the head of whoever will win in the Miami finals
Now that we have a shiny new head adornment for the 63rd Miss Universe, it clearly beckons us all to move forward more aggressively and in a trajectory that looks into an ultra-modern pageant odyssey only our favorite worldwide beauty search can offer.
The first wearer of the DIC Holding crown will definitely feel the sense of woman empowerment that it brings. And it is my sincere hope that the 63rd will do her best to expand her reign even wider than what the 62nd so richfully served in hers. :-)
The Judges in the Preliminaries with Paula Shugart (foreground) and Jeannie Mai (2nd from right)
Hours from now, the Preliminary Competition of the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant in Doral Miami will commence with the eighty-eight (88) official delegates vying for the Top Fifteen (15) spots that will make the first cut on Sunday night’s (Monday morning in Manila
) finals at the FIU Arena.
I decided to share with you the candidates who I feel will deliver the goods to the judges in the swimsuit and evening gown rounds. It is possible that all or most of them will meet everyone’s expectations, and surprise performers will suddenly zoom up just as a few might also underwhelm.
Above are the fifteen (15) ladies I expect to excel in the Preliminaries for the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant. I included five (5) additional ladies as alternates just to make it a Top 20.
Left to right: Spain, Philippines and Colombia, the most anticipated ladies to deliver in the Prelims
Don’t forget to catch the Live Streaming on missuniverse.com. It will start today at around 8:00AM, Manila time. ;-)
Donald Trump and Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler explaining the mechanics
Here’s the chance to get your one important #FinalQuestion asked during the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant on January 25.
Visit the Miss Universe Facebook Page starting today and wait for the new pinned post at the top where you can write down the question as a reply. If it gets to be selected, then you get the credits announced worldwide.
P.S. Just a tip. Don’t give a long question that could eat up so much time on air. Go for something that is both witty and concise. ;-)
Miss Philippines Ariella Arida (rightmost) hearing her final question during Miss Universe 2013 in Moscow
The group photo that's causing an uproar. Doron Matalon of Israel and Saly Greige of Lebanon (1st and 2nd from left) during happy moments at the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant
Miss Israel Doron Matalon (left) and Miss Lebanon Saly Greige in their separate Miss Universe evening gown shots pasted in one frame
Ooh, I can already imagine one businessman out there smiling from ear to ear with the free international publicity the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant is getting after two of its contestants from warring nations – Miss Israel Doron Matalon and Miss Lebanon Saly Greige – were caught in a selfie (or group shot) smiling together side by side, perhaps in one of their unguarded moments.
Truth be told, Miss Lebanon has been consciously avoiding any kind of photo with Miss Israel since Day 1. This despite the alleged efforts of the latter to have one with her. Somehow, the group photo above slipped past both of them. And now this controversy.
I’m not sure how the marketing team of Donald Trump will further milk this issue for all its worth. Perhaps, a strategically-constructed and placed question for the final Q&A come finals night? And if so, who could be the lucky Top 5 finalist to pick it up (or the judge to ask her)?
Wait a minute. Aren’t beauty pageants supposed to espouse peace and goodwill among nations? But that’s the tiny bit of naivete thinking out loud inside my head, though.
Now this re-tweet is genuinely from Donald Trump himself
Unlike that other supposed retweet – specifying eight favored country names – from an alleged account of Donald Trump (not the real thing because it does not contain the verified check symbol beside the name
), the one above is genuinely from the American business mogul himself.
And with the owner of Miss Universe actually retweeting the statement sharing hopes that another Latina wins the crown, it paves the way for more questions about his preference/s. It could also be a way of playing up his business savvy by giving his followers something to talk and hype about.
Regardless, my feeling is that Mr. Trump is basically making people feel that he is well in the know about the ongoings of the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant. One camp will say that he favors the Russians. A second one will counter that his picks among the Central Europeans will prevail. The next will insist that his businesses in Asia will be favored and which will equal a leaning towards someone from our region to take it all the way. And then there is, of course, the powerful Telemundo group that will make him feel that a Spanish-speaking bet is the best choice to win because of viewership ratings and the like.
If I were in his shoes, I would retweet the statements from all sides just to further heat up the excitement. After all, Miss Universe is and will always be a business venture for him. ;-)
Miss Slovak Republic Silvia Prochadzkova during her photoshoot for the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant
Checking out her shots on the camera
According to some sources, Miss Slovak Silvia Prochadzkova could be fast becoming a Trump favorite in the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant in Doral Miami. And this early, she is deemed a shoo-in for one of the slots allocated for the Donald.
It’s not hard to see why. This tall 22 year-old student of the City University of Seattle in Bratislava has all the preferred physical qualities working in her favor. And if she indeed lands a placement in the first cut on January 25, the likelihood of entering the next level is fairly high, imo. At this point, though, I still don’t see her matching the rank of fellow Slovakian Silvia Lakatosova last 1994 in Manila. And Mr. Trump wasn’t a factor back then yet. ;-)
Definitely fitting the mold of Donald Trump’s choice for Miss Universe, this Silvia Prochadzkova