Miss USA 2012 is Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island
Olivia Culpo, 20, 5’5.5″
A 20 year-old near-petite beauty from Cranston, Rhode Island is the new Miss USA, the very first from her home state. The 5’5.5″ Olivia Culpo outclassed 50 other candidates to win the right to represent the country in Miss Universe 2012 this coming December. Comprising her runners-up are Maryland’s Nana Meriwether (1st), Ohio’s Audrey Bolte (2nd), Nevada’s Jade Keisall (3rd) and Georgia’s Jasmyn Wilkins (4th).
Olivia Culpo in pictures
Congratulations, Olivia! 😀
Farida Waller is Miss Universe Thailand 2012
Farida Waller, a 22 year-old Thai-Austrian beauty, was crowned Miss Universe Thailand 2012, and will now represent the Land of Smiles in Miss Universe 2012. The Liberal Arts-English major, whose dream is to become a Foreign Diplomat someday, stands 5’8″ and measures 32-23-36. She made waves during the finals when she nailed the Q&A ahead of the other ladies in the Top 15. Placing 1st Runner-Up (and also named Miss Earth Thailand 2012) is Warrataya Wongchayaporn.
Warrataya Wongchayaporn, Miss Earth Thailand 2012
Congratulations, Farida and Warrataya! 🙂
Newly-crowned Miss Universe Canada 2012 Sahar Biniaz
Sahar Biniaz after being crowned Miss Universe Canada 2012
Just when everyone in the pageant world (even outside) thought that Canada would produce the first-ever transgender Miss Universe candidate, here comes a real woman stealing the spotlight away from controversial Jenna Talackova. Sahar Biniaz, 26, was crowned Miss Universe Canada 2012 and will now represent the North American country in Miss Universe 2012 come December. She was followed by 1st Runner-Up Admoa Yamoah and 2nd Runner-Up Madj Soudi. Katie Starke and Kesiah Papasin rounded up the Top 5.
Now that Jenna did not even figure in the Top 3 (let alone the Top 5) of the national competition, where will the loss leave her biting the dust so to speak? I would have wanted her getting a decent placement (better than Top 12 and a Best in Swimsuit award) as consolation at the very least. But it seems that the Canadians are not yet ready to set a trend like this. Will Thailand be the one to finally lay claim to the record next year? Let’s wait and see. 😉
Miss Venezuela Irene Esser has been waiting in the wings for more than a half a year now, and is about to have her patience tested even more since Miss Universe 2012 is coming in late with a December date pegged for the finals. Regardless, do you think she is a definite bet to become Venezuela’s 7th MU titleholder? Will she equal her namesake’s achievement (Irene Saez)? Will she make up for the failure of her predecessor – Vanessa Goncalves – to advance beyond the Top 16? Is it fair to say that she is setting an ultra-high benchmark for this year’s edition? Or are we hyping yet another candidate who will not shine well in Donald Trump’s eyes?
Janine Mari Tugonon as Ms. Ideal Thomasian Pharmacy 2009
(L-R) Janine Mari Tugonon as Ms. Ideal Thomasian Personality 2010 candidate; Janine Mari Tugonon as Ms. Ideal Thomasian Personality 2010; and Janine Mari Tugonon as Bb. Pilipinas 2011 1st Runner-Up.
Janine Mari Tugonon has come a long way. From her days as a fresh-faced and innocent-looking student at the University of Sto. Tomas who won Ms. Ideal Thomasian Pharmacy 2009, she went on to conquer the whole campus by topping the Ms. Ideal Thomasian Personality 2010 competition. These achievements helped spur her desire to go higher with her objective. The following year, she screened for and was chosen as Official Candidate of Bb. Pilipinas 2011 where she almost nailed a crown by placing 1st Runner-Up. Armed with the confidence and the training/backing of Jonas Gaffud’s Aces & Queens, she re-joined Bb. Pilipinas and was rewarded with the biggest prize – 2012 Miss Universe Philippines.
Janine Mari Tugonon (L) as Bb. Pilipinas 2012 Official Candidate and Janine Mari Tugonon as 2012 Miss Universe Philippines.
2012 Miss Universe Philippines Janine Mari Tugonon from different angles.
From hereon, the journey to Miss Universe 2012 (be it in Miami, Johannesburg or Las Vegas) will be thornier. Aside from the presence of thoroughbreds from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Colombia, she will need to face up to the pressure of duplicating – if not eclipsing – the Top 5 placements of predecessors Shamcey Supsup and Venus Raj. Can she live up to the expectations of her countrymen? I will reserve my judgment after her training for MU wraps up on the day of her send-off. Or should we rely on superstition saying that she will complete the ‘T’ part of the Q(uiambao), R(aj), and S(upsup) quartet? Nah. Luck plays a part but not to such obvious extent.
Focus on your training, Janine. And the rest of the Philippines will stand behind you 101% in Miss Universe 2012. 😉