Two Belgian Beauties from 1994 and 2017
Unless you are a late millennial baby, chances are that the name Christelle Roelandts will definitely ring a bell. Who would forget Miss Belgium from Miss Universe 1994 who charmed all Filipinos with a beauty more endearing than Phoebe Cates? She became an instant favorite right from the get-go. And she was picked by most everyone as a contender for the title. But somehow, her star started to wane when it mattered most. If only the entire Filipino nation had a weighty vote to throw in, then Christelle would have been a shoo-in to the Top 10 and eclipsed the like of surprise qualifier Sweden. It’s as if her physical beauty was easily outpowered by the competitiveness of the Latinas and Sushmita Sen combined when the going got tough. It doesn’t help any that she had a relatively shy demeanor that effectively prevented her from hugging the spotlight everytime she had the chance to do so.
Fast forward to 2017 for the country’s 3rd hosting of Miss Universe. And we have another Miss Belgium who is starting to get noticed by most everyone I know in the media coverage group. Here is Stephanie Geldhof who – with or without makeup – looks so seriously beautiful. Her features are well-defined, but soft enough to project a quality of captivating appeal. She may not be as loud as the more aggressive contestants, but she is definitely not the type who cower under intimidation once the chance to shine comes. And I am starting to really like her.
That is where the main difference lies actually. Whereas Christelle Roelandts was like a flash-in-the-pan who effortlessly invited crowds everywhere during the pre-pageant activities, Stephanie is like a silent killer who is skillfully sizing up her opponents first before going for the jugular. If she keeps up the game plan, then Miss Belgium 2017 will definitely outperform Miss Belgium 1994. Maybe not by a mile just yet for now, but hopefully going that stretch in the coming two weeks.
Stephanie during the Cultural Terno Show wearing a Russ Cuevas
Telenovela Actress and 1994 Miss Universe 1st Runner-Up Carolina Gomez Correa of Colombia
Let’s cruise down memory lane today. The year was 1994 and it was the second time that the Philippines was awarded hosting chores for Miss Universe. There were so many beautiful candidates then. Miss USA Lu Parker was such a sweetheart, just as Silvia Lakatosova of Slovak Rep had a childlike quality hiding beneath her glam facade. Belgium’s Christelle Roelandts was the solid fave of Filipinos, while the country’s bet Charlene Gonzalez made sure that she projected a most gracious sister image to all the girls. Anyways, I pulled some strings to get a well-located room at the Manila Hotel (The Official Residence of MU1994) so that I can ‘stalk’ the ladies for three solid days that they were constantly rehearsing for finals night. I got all the photo ops I wanted, but sought one particular lady who caught my attention from the day the delegates landed on Philippine soil – Miss Colombia, Carolina Gomez Correa. This Latina was one of my top 2 favorites to win the crown (the other one being Venezuelan Goddess Minorka Mercado). And she was dead close to becoming her country’s 2nd Miss Universe when she landed 1st Runner-Up honors to eventual winner Sushmita Sen of India. Unfazed by the same, she went to become a top model and actress (she starred in a number of hit telenovelas
) in Bogota. She also starred with Fil-Am actor Rob Schneider in the movie ‘The Chosen One’. As for her lovelife, she was twice married to and separated from long-time boyfriend Nicolas Hoyos to whom she bore a son named Tomas.
Below is the latest photo of Carolina Gomez with her son…
Carolina Gomez posing with her handsome son, Tomas. (Photo credit: Jose Gomez and Miss Colombia Official)
How about you, dear readers? Any stand-out memories of Miss Universe 1994? 🙂