Miss Universe 2017 to be held in the Philippines

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Resonate (by Cohan Chew):

Next year will mark the annual competition’s 65th year in the running and will be the third time that the pageant will be hosted in the Philippines.

Wanda Teo, the Tourism Secretary of the Philippines announced that the Miss Universe 2017 pageant will be held in the country on 30 January 2017.

“We have a president who comes from Mindanao, and our Miss Universe is from Mindanao, so I think this is the best time for us to do the Miss Universe here in the Philippines… I would like to inform everybody that the Miss Universe beauty pageant will be on January 30, 2017 here in the Philippines.”

Teo also assured that the Filipino governmentis not going to spend a single centavo” on the international pageant. “It will be the private sector that will shoulder the expenses,” the Tourism Secretary said, citing a budget of $11 million.

Reigning Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach, was the third Filipino woman to win the award since the pageant’s inception in 1952. Previous Filipino winners were Margie Moran in 1973 and Gloria Diaz in 1969. The Philippines has hosted the competition twice before, in 1974 and 1994.

Representing the Philippines will be Maxine Medina,a 25-year-old interior designer who has been modelling since 2008, in next year’s pageant. She will attempt to succeed Wurtzbach, the first Filipino woman to win the title in over four decades.

Half-Japanese/half African-American beauty chosen to represent Japan at Miss Universe 2015

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RocketNews 24:

Whoever said that Niigata Prefecture is home the most beautiful women in Japan may need to think again. For the second year in the row, the Japanese representative for the Miss Universe competition hails from Nagasaki, with last year’s crown holder being Keiko Tsuji. As cool as that is, the real story of the year is that the 2015 representative, Ariana Miyamoto, is half Japanese.

It’s no surprise that Western features are considered beautiful in Japan. Heck, some women are actively seeking a foreign partner in order to produce absolutely adorable “haafu” (half-Japanese) babies. Sometimes, due to their alluring features, haafu are not always treated the same, or even as Japanese, as their native peers. Miss Nagasaki faced her fair share of race-related challenges too and although some people are against her acting as a representative for Japan due to her mixed heritage, she is also receiving a lot of support.

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The final of the 18th Miss Universe Japan contest was held in Tokyo on March 8. As you’d expect, Miss Nagasaki faced some tough competition of equally beautiful and graceful young ladies, but it’d be a stretch to say that she didn’t stick out. However, it really was only her looks that set her apart, being born and raised in Japan, she is not only a Japanese citizen, but she identifies with Japanese culture and considers herself Japanese.

Twenty-year-old Ariana was born to a Japanese mother and an African-American father in Sasebo, Nagasaki, the location of a major American naval base. After junior high graduation in Sasebo, she spent her high school years studying in the US. Upon returning to Japan as a young adult she set her sights on becoming a model.

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Working part-time as a bartender, Ariana hesitantly entered the pageant scene, feeling that with her “foreigner look,” she would never make it far. How wrong she was!

But she’s not just a 173cm (5’6″) bombshell; Ariana is described as a saishoku kenbi, “a woman blessed with both intelligence and beauty.” Growing up in Japan, she is no stranger to Japanese culture and even has a 5th degree mastery of Japanese calligraphy. She lists her hobbies as cooking and “touring,” having obtained her motorcycle license, a rare thing for a young woman in Japan.

▼ “Watashi ha watashi” (lit. “I am myself.”)

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In an interview she revealed that the most influential person in her life is American pop-star Mariah Carey.

“She went through a lot of difficulties before becoming a popular singing sensation… She faced some racial hurdles, similar to myself, but she overcame them and became a top star, so she’s been a big influence on me.”

It’s wonderful that she has such a strong woman she can look up to, as well as a lot of very supportive friends, fellow contestants and fans. But unfortunately, not all Japanese people are excited about a half-Japanese girl representing their country. Being a very homogenous society, some people still have a time considering haafu as truly Japanese.

Although this should be a joyous occasion for the young beauty, Ariana is facing challenges that no other Japanese Miss Universe contestant to date has had to face, with those opposing Ariana voicing their dissent online with statements such as “She has too much black blood in her to be Japanese.”

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As sad as it is, luckily, Ariana also has a very supportive fan base who are making an even bigger impact on social media with praise and congratulations.

“Don’t lose to discrimination and with a strong heart do your best to go win the Miss Universe prize.”
“Having a different ethnicity in you doesn’t make you ANY LESS JAPANESE!”

Ariana appreciates the support that helped her get to this point and promised, “The world competition is going to be tough, but I’ll believe in myself and continue doing me best!” 

She has a long road ahead of her before the Miss Universe pageant in January of next year. She will be trained in walking, talking, make up, style and even physical training. We would love for her to win the world competition, because who better to represent the world (and universe) than a woman with a racially diverse background? Good luck Ariana, you have our vote!

▼ Here’s an interview with Ariana (Japanese).

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Meet Miss New Jersey: Emily Shah, daughter of Bollywood producer Prashant Shah

 

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A new Miss New Jersey has been crowned: 18-year-old Emily Shah.

Indian-American Shah was the youngest among more than 130 contestants in the New Jersey pageant held over the weekend. She will now go on to compete for the Miss USA and Miss Universe titles.

Shah has a background in entertainment in both India and America. She has acted in Hollywood films, like The Great New Wonderful with Naseeruddin Shah and Bollywood films such as Out of Control” alongside Riteish Deshmukh, “Ta Ra Rum Pum,” and “Jaaneman,” among others.

The daughter of LA-based Bollywood producer Prashant Shah, Emily plans to work in action films and is currently working as an assistant of the stunt team for the Hollywood movie Run All Night starring Liam Neeson and Ed Harris.

Photo/Video credit: Pageant Update
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Meet Miss New Jersey: Emily Shah, daughter of Bollywood producer Prashant Shah
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Miss Korea dazzles, but misses final round at Miss Universe

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Miss Korea Kim Yu-mi fell short of the final round of the Miss Universe competition on Saturday in Moscow, Russia.

Kim had been named the the most popular contestant in an unofficial online vote by a Spanish newspaper earlier this week, sparking speculation that Kim would be one of the finalists, according to the Chosun Ilbo.

The evening began with all 86 contestants taking the stage in red and black cocktail dresses, then changing into red and black bikinis. Kim failed to make cut for the Top 16.

The title of most beautiful woman in the universe went to Venezuela’s Gabriela Isler, the seventh Miss Universe win for that country. In the past 20 years, Latinas have taken the crown more than half of the time.

While the 23-year-old Kim is able to rock a bikini or dress any day of the week, she can certainly pack a resume. According to her Miss Universe profile, Kim plays the piano, violin and gayageum, a traditional Korean string instrument, and she is skilled in ballet and taekwondo.

Kim aspires to be a professor at a university, and she attributes much of her success to her father, who taught her to follow her dreams and the importance of love and family.

Check out this link:

Miss Korea dazzles, but misses final round at Miss Universe

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Indian-American Emily Shah crowned Miss New Jersey

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Eighteen-year-old Indian American Emily Shah has won Miss New Jersey USA 2014 title, following in the footsteps of Nina Davuluri, who was crowned Miss America recently. Emily would now compete for Miss America and Miss Universe titles. Davuluri had won the coveted beauty pageant in September. Emily was the youngest among more than 130 contestants for the New Jersey pageant held over the weekend. On the heels of Nina Davuluri’s historic victory at the annual Miss America pageant last month, an Indian American has now been crowned as the 2013 Miss New Jersey USA.

Shah is the daughter of Prashant Shah, a Los Angeles-based film producer who has been involved with several high-profiles Bollywood productions over the past 14 years. Films that Prashant Shah has been involved with include Ra.One (2011), My Name is Khan (2010), Kurbaan (2009), and Dostana (2008).

Emily has also dabbled in Bollywood herself, making brief appearances in films such as Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007) and Jaan-e-Mann (2006). She was also in the 2005 Hollywood film The Great New Wonderful, and is working as a stunt assistant on the film Run All Night, a new action film starring Academy Award-nominees Liam Neeson and Ed Harris, which is currently being filmed.

She resides in Edison, New Jersey, and beat out over 130 other contenders to win the Miss New Jersey title.  Winning the crown will give her multiple prize packages, talent representation, scholarship money, as well as various articles of clothing, cosmetics, and jewelry.

But perhaps most exciting of all is the fact that now that she is Miss New Jersey USA, Emily Shah will be representing her state at next year’s Miss USA pageant, the winner of which goes on to represent the country at the Miss Universe pageant (Miss America and Miss USA are two different but easily confusable pageants). Winning Miss USA would also make Shah the first representative from New Jersey to win, as well.

Previous Miss Universe winners include Bollywood stars Lara Dutta (2000) and Sushmita Sen (1994).

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Indian-American Emily Shah crowned Miss New Jersey