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Pageant News Bureau 
News archive: October - December 2007

Natalie Sulianto, representing Germany, was crowned Model of the World 2007 in Antalya, Turkey, on Dec. 15, 2007. She was 19, almost 20, at the time of the pageant.

Regina Farhutidinova, representing Kyrgyzstan, was crowned Miss Bikini World 2007 on Dec. 15, 2007, in Antalya, Turkey.

Roxana Curelea of Romania was crowned Queen of the World 2007 on Dec. 15, 2007, in Austria. The first runner-up was Mariya Cherkunova of Ukraine, and the second runner-up was Melanie James of Australia. The third runner-up was Ivona Bajde of Croatia, and the fourth runner-uup was Adrijana Lucic of Serbia.

Alizee Poulicek, 20, of Huy was crowned Miss Belgium 2008 on Dec. 15, 2007. She will represent Belgium in Miss Universe 2008 and Miss World 2008. The first runner-up was Fabienne Kabeya, and the second runner-up was Jade van de Walle. Others in the top five were Anais Konde-Lengo and Charlotte van de Vijver.

Pageant officials announced on Dec. 16, 2007, that Bethany Nesheim was giving up her crown as Miss North Dakota USA due to a conflict in fulfilling her commitments. Ms. Nesheim had won the crown on Nov. 24, 2007, in Fargo, N.D., but state pageant director Stacey Lentz told PNB that Ms. Nesheim’s residency in another state had required a re-evaluation of her status under pageant rules. Stephanie Tollefson, who was first runner-up to Ms. Nesheim in the state pageant, will assume the title of Miss North Dakota USA and will compete at Miss USA.

Ksenia Sukhinova, 20, was crowned Miss Russia 2007 on Dec. 14, 2007, in Moscow. She will represent the vast nation at Miss Universe 2008 and Miss World 2008.

Lesliana Pereira, 20, was crowned Miss Angola 2008 on Dec. 14, 2007, in Luanda. She represented Zaire Province. She will go on to represent Angola at Miss Universe 2008 and Miss World 2008. The first runner-up was Brigite dos Santos, and the second runner-up was Patricia Agostinho.

Tansey Coetzee, 23, of Johannesburg was crowned Miss South Africa on Dec. 8, 2007. She will compete in Miss Universe 2008 and Miss World 2008. The first runner-up was Avumile Qongqo, and the second runner-up was Manisha Pillay.

Valerie Begue, 22, competing as Miss Réunion, was crowned Miss France 2008 on Dec. 8, 2007, in Dunkerque. She will represent France in Miss Universe 2008 and Miss World 2008. The first runner-up was Miss Nouvelle Calédonie, Vahinerii Requillart, and the second runner-up was Laura Tanguy, Miss Pays de Loire. The third runner-up was Miss Bourgogne, Vicky Michaud, and the fourth runner-up was Miss Côte d'Azur, Azemina Hot.

Zhang Zilin of China was crowned Miss World 2007 on Dec. 1, 2007, in Sanya, China. Ms. Zilin is the first Miss World to be from mainland China. The first runner-up was Micaela Patricia Reis of Angola, and the second runner-up was Carolina Morán Gordillo of Mexico. Other finalists were Annie Oliv of Sweden and Valerie Maharaj of Trinidad and Tobago.

Alfina Nasyrova has been crowned Miss Kazakhstan and will represent the resource-rich nation at Miss Universe 2008.

Tsering Chungtak, 22, an ethnic Tibetan woman who was representing Chinese-ruled Tibet in the Miss Tourism contest in Malaysia, said on Dec. 5, 2007, that she quit the pageant after being told by organizers to add the word "China" to her "Miss Tibet" sash. Ms. Chungtak, who is a student in India, returned there after the dispute. She was originally crowned Miss Tibet in Dharmsala, India, the headquarters of the exiled Dalai Lama, the traditional Buddhist ruler of Tibet who fled in 1959 during a revolt against Chinese rule. She criticized Chinese behavior in Tibet, an issue that is controversial in the West. Recently, the Chinese government expressed its displeasure with public U.S. honors for the Dalai Lama by closing Chinese ports to some U.S. naval vessels. The Miss Tourism pageant will be held Dec. 8, 2007.

Marianne Cruz, representing Salcedo, was crowned Miss Dominican Republic Universe on Dec. 3, 2007. The first runner-up was Mariel Isabel Sabogan Cruz, representing La Romana, and the second runner-up was Yadira Geara Cury, representing the Distrito Nacional. Ms. Cruz will represent the Dominican Republic in Miss Universe 2008. She was first runner-up in the Dominican Republic pageant last year and is the reigning Miss Continente Americano 2007.

Iris Watkins, a 16-year-old junior at Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury, was crowned Miss Connecticut Teen America 2008 on Dec. 2, 2007. She also won the Evening Gown, Interview, Photogenic and Community Service Awards. She will compete at the national Miss Teen America Pageant being held in Nashville in July 2008. The first
runner-up was Miss Danbury Teen, Marissa Rogers, recipient of the Spokesmodel Award. The second runner-up was Miss Stamford Teen, Kaitlyn Tarpey, recipient of the Casual Wear Modeling Award. The third runner-up was Que Pelletier, Miss Bristol Teen, recipient of the Fitness Award. The fourth runner-up was Miss Hamden Teen, Brielle Grestini. Stephanie Alletzhauser, Miss Stratford Teen, was the Talent Award winner. Amanda Morgan, 11, of Farmington was crowned Miss Connecticut Jr. Teen America 2008. She also won the Photogenic, Fitness, Casual Wear Modeling and Talent Awards in the Jr. Teen Division. She is a sixth-grade student at West Woods Upper Elementary School. She will compete for the title of Miss Jr. Teen America in the fall of 2008 in Connecticut. Alisha Lopez-McGuigan, Miss Derby Jr. Teen, was the recipient of the Evening Gown Award. Miss Congeniality went to Elise Pittman, Miss Ansonia Teen.

The crowning of Christina Silva, 24, as Miss California USA was due to a computational error, the pageant now says. Pageant officials say the woman who should have been crowned at the pageant in Los Angeles on Nov. 25, 2007, was Raquel Beezley, 21. Ms. Beezley was named the winner and will represent the state at the Miss USA Pageant in April 2008. Ms. Silva was informed that she was not Miss California USA but was allowed to keep the crown and other material accessories she was awarded and had her $1,500 entry fee returned. The pageant says the accounting error was detected the day after the pageant and corrective action was taken. Ms. Silva has expressed suspicion of what happened. Computational errors are not unknown but are rare.

Mary Horch of Corvallis was crowned Miss Oregon USA on Nov 25, 2007, in Portland. The first runner-up was Taryn Renee Daniels of Gresham, and the second runner-up was Carissa Brown of Gold Beach. The third runner-up was Jaci Cederberg of Medford. The fourth runner-up was Anna Larsson of Lake Oswego.

Brittany Schwab of Milwaukie was crowned Miss Oregon Teen USA. The first runner-up was Gabrielle Neilan of Gresham, and the second runner-up was Jade Taylor of Eagle Point. The third runner-up was Courtney Russell of Powell Butte, and fourth runner-up was Marissa Jones of Beaverton

Chelsey Rodgers has been crowned Miss DC USA 2008. The first runner-up was Jacqueline Drakeford, and the second runner-up was Kate Michael, a former Miss DC America. The third runner-up was Dionne McDaniel, and the fourth runner-up was Vaneesa Waters. Ivanna Grace was crowned Miss DC Teen USA. The first runner-up was Joy Jones, and the second runner-up was Krystle Whitley. The third runner-up was LaShay Wilkerson, and the fourth runner-up was Nefertiti Smith.

Miss Universe authorities confirmed on Nov. 27, 2007, that the 2008 Miss Universe Pageant will be held in Vietnam. It will be the first time the U.S.-based pageant has been held in the Southeast Asian nation. The United States was heavily involved in a war in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, at one time committing more than 500,000 troops in an unsuccessful effort to keep the southern part of Vietnam an independent nation. But U.S. troops departed in 1973 and the South Vietnamese government was defeated in 1975. Relations between the United States and Vietnam are now friendly.

Bethany Nesheim, 25, was crowned Miss North Dakota USA on Nov. 24, 2007, in Fargo. She will represent the state at the Miss USA Pageant. The first runner-up was Stephanie Tollefson, and the second runner-up was April Brorson, who was also the People's Choice winner. The third runner-up was Meghan Freeman, and the fourth runner-up was Rachel Ann Stearns, who was the Photogenic winner. Hayley Wilson was Miss Congeniality. Gretchen Dawley, 18, was crowned Miss North Dakota Teen USA. She was also the Spirit award winner. The first runner-up was Mandy Merkel, and the second runner-up was Samantha Beck, who was Teen Miss Congeniality. The third runner-up was Ashley Hurley, and the fourth runner-up was Tasha Michelsen. Anna Schleisman was the Photogenic winner. The People's Choice winner was Stephanie Haremza.

Mrs. Germany and Mister Germany 2007/2008 were chosen in a joint event on Nov. 24, in the city of Linstow. Isabelle Seifert, 26, was chosen Mrs. Germany. The first runner-up was Dana Kienapfel, and the second runner-up was Camelia Laszlo. Werner Krieger, 20, was chosen Mr. Germany. The first runner-up was Tarik Dogan, and the second runner-up was Christoph Harreis.

Ingrid Marie Rivera, who competed as Miss Dorado, was crowned Miss Puerto Rico Universe on Nov. 23, 2007. But the pageant became shrouded in controversy three days later when pageant officials aired allegations that someone sabotaged Ms. Rivera's efforts by applying the irritant known as pepper spray to her clothes and makeup, causing her to break out in hives. According to Puerto Rican news reports, Ms. Rivera -- who was Miss Puerto Rico World 2005 and was second runner-up in Miss World 2005 -- was unpopular with other contestants because they considered her too experienced and a favorite of pageant organizers. A bomb threat targeted the last night of the event. The alleged sabotage caused an outcry worldwide, but authorities expressed skepticism that such a thing could have happened as described. The first runner-up to Ms. Rivera was Claudia Cruz, and the second runner-up was Kristina Ruisanchez. The third runner-up was Maribel Montalvo, and the fourth runner-up was Amanda Diaz. The fifth runner-up was Ivellise del Valle.

In the 2008 Florida State American Queen Pageant on Nov. 25, 2007, in Palm Coast Fla., the following titleholders were crowned: Miss Teen Florida American Queen 2008 -- Megan Beamer; Miss Florida American Queen 2008 -- Tiffany Raia; Ms. Florida American Queen 2008 -- Debbie Skyzpkoviak; Mrs. Florida American Queen 2008 -- Jennifer Bennett. They will represent Florida at the sixth annual National American Queen Pageant in Daytona Beach in August 2008.

The new 2007 Marmas Productions titleholders are Miss Pre-Teen of the Nation -- Maryland’s Alexandra Lariciuc; Miss Teen of the Nation -- Christyn Richardson of California; Ms. American Woman -- California’s Omolara Odofin; Ms. Lady of America -- Susan Jackson of Wisconsin; Ms. Classic American Woman -- Florida’s Barbara Frye. The winner of the Ms. Congeniality Award was Kelly Dawson of Texas. California’s Christyn Richardson was presented with the Photogenic Award. The pageant took place in Las Vegas.

Jamie Hill has been crowned Miss South Carolina USA. The advertising graduate of the University of South Carolina is a casting recruiter/model/actress. She also was named Miss Photogenic at the competition that opened with a moving tribute to the “Charleston 9” -- the firefighters who lost their lives in June 2007 working to rescue employees in a furniture store that went up in flames. Ms. Hill’s first runner-up was Jenna Payne, an A-D-Pi freshman at Clemson University. Bobbi Bishop of Greenville won the preliminary swimsuit competition. Capturing the Miss South Carolina Teen USA title and crown on the same red-carpet evening was Brittany Pjetraj of Chapin, a freshman at the University of South Carolina who wants to be a dermatologist. She also took preliminary swimsuit honors. Her first runner-up was Courtney Turner of North Augusta. Kaleigh Hill of Myrtle Beach was Miss Photogenic in the Teen division. The redoubtable pageant emcee Dana Rosengard graciously provided PNB with this information.

Taliana Vargas, 19, competing as Miss Magdalena, was crowned Miss Colombia on Nov. 12, 2007. She will compete at Miss Universe. Virreina, or second place, went to Maria Cristina Diaz Granados, who competed as Miss Bogota. She will compete at Miss International. In third place was Cristina Camargo, Miss Atlantico, and in fourth place was Catalina Giraldo, Miss Valle. Emma Carolina Cruz, Miss Cundinamarca, finished in fifth place.

Michelle Berthelot has been crowned Miss Louisiana USA 2008. The 2006 graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, from Hammond, captured the crown Nov. 10, 2007, in an Academy Award-themed spectacular production in Lafayette. The 5’6” brunette beauty is a personal trainer and fitness model. Corrin Grillot of Covington was the first runner-up -- again. Lauren Crane of Shreveport won the preliminary swimsuit award. Miss Photogenic was Calee Guidry of Cecilia. On the same red-carpet stage on the same evening, Lindsey Evans of Blanchard won the Miss Louisiana Teen USA 2008 crown. The 5’8” blonde beauty from Blanchard had been first runner-up last year and took the big step forward this time around, capturing Miss Photogenic honors along the way. First runner-up this year was Page Pennock of Shreveport, who also took the top swimsuit award. Dr. Donald Campbell was the creative genius behind the stunning set and staging. Dr. Dana Rosengard served as master of ceremonies on the Louisiana USA stage for the 13th year and graciously provided PNB with this report.

Legendary pageant founder Charlie See died in his sleep on Nov. 2, 2007, in Hollywood. He was 100 by traditional Chinese reckoning, 97 by Western calculations. Born in Penang in what is now Malaysia in 1910, he moved to the United States at a young age but maintained close ties worldwide. He founded such international beauty pageants as Miss Tourism International, Miss Globe International, Miss Tourism Queen international, Miss Bikini International, Models of Models, Miss All Nations, Miss Disco Queen and many others. His last public appearance in the pageant world was in July 2007 in China, when he attended Miss Tourism Queen International. He reminisced with the media about his many decades in the pageant business. Messages of condolence can be sent to Mrs. Ann See and family at charliesee@ermworld.org.

Following are the winners of the 2008 Clayton County Freedom Pageant: 2008 Ms. Clay County Freedom - Barbara Whelan; 2008 Miss Clay County Freedom - Stephanie Bradley; Recording Artist - Monet Monico; 2008 Mrs. Clay County Freedom - Amanda Polk; 2008 Miss Teen Clay County Freedom - Kayla Perry; 2008 Lil Miss Clay County Freedom - Darien Storey; 2008 Miss Clay County Jr. Teen Freedom - Taylor Ticer; 2008 Miss Clay County Princess Freedom - Teryn Murphy; 2008 Miss Clay County Tot Freedom - Cherish Alexander.

Amanda Kozak, representing Warner Robins, was crowned Miss Georgia USA on Nov. 10, 2007, in Cartersville. She also won the People's Choice award. Previously a competitor at Miss America, she now will represent the Peach State at Miss USA. The first runner-up was Kristen White of Stone Mountain, and the second runner-up was Lauren Stockton of West Cobb County. The third runner-up was Cassady Lance of Savannah, and the fourth runner-up was Emily Weprich of Gwinnett County. Shannon Geraghty, 15, was crowned Miss Georgia Teen USA.

Miss Thailand, Vasana Wongbuntree, has won the 16th Miss Young International. The runners-up were Miss Brazil, Andressa Ramirez Penteado, and Li Yeh Chin of Taiwan.

Andrea Duke has been crowned Miss North Carolina USA 2008. The Saluda native bested a field of 64 delegates in a classy red carpet, Academy Awards-themed production. Brittney Crews of Raleigh, a former Miss North Carolina Teen USA, was the first runner-up. Lorna Poe won the preliminary swimsuit award. Julia Dalton has been crowned Miss North Carolina Teen USA 2008. The Wilmington native is the younger sister of two beauties who were each first runner-up in the pageant in recent years. The latest first runner-up in the field of 74 contestants was Danielle Greer, also of Wilmington, who also captured preliminary swimsuit honors. Dr. Donald Campbell of Atlanta was presented a pageantry Oscar on stage from Miss USA 2005 Chelsea Cooley, another North Carolina beauty, for 10 years of extraordinary choreography, stage design and production for the North Carolina pageant program. Reporting this news for PNB was emcee extraordinaire Dana Rosengard.

Aleksandra Plemic, 22, of Germany won the Miss World University Pageant in Seoul, South Korea, on Oct. 31, 2007. The first runner-up was Rita Bernotate of Lithuania, and the second runner-up was Chikwudubem Ogbuagu of Nigeria.

Fanney Lára Guomundsdóttir, 20, of Iceland won the Miss Baltic Sea & Scandinavia on Oct. 31, 2007. The first runner-up was Anna Tarnowska, 21, of Poland. The second runner-up was Joanna Andersson, 19, of Sweden. Noora Hautakangas of Finland was chosen Miss Press.

Stefan Köb, 21, of Vorarlberg was chosen as Mister Austria 2007, on Oct. 27, 2007. He will now represent Austria in Mister World 2007. The first runner-up was Matthias Grassl of Burgenland, and the second runner-up was Peter Affenzeller of Oberösterreich. The remaining finalists were Maurice Amtmann and Dominik Enzenhofer.

Massiel Taveras of the Dominican Republic was crowned Reina Hispanoamericana 2007 on Oct. 26, 2007, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. She competed at Miss Universe 2007. In second place was Jane Borges of Brazil, who was in Miss World 2006. In third place was Maria Jose Maldonado of Paraguay, who was in Miss Universe 2007. The fourth place winner was Maria Jesus Ruiz, who was in Miss Universe 2004.

Sem Klein, 26, has been chosen Manhunt Curaçao, and will compete in March 2008 at Manhunt International 2008 in South Korea.

Pageant fitness trainer Justin Popovics of Built 2 Win recently won his division at the Fitness New York Regional Finals in Brooklyn, N.Y. "Builtboy" walked away as the 2007 Male Sports Model Champion, which involved events in Swimwear, Athletic Apparel and Clubwear/Evening Attire. He now moves on to participate in "Fitness Hollywood" national competition in California later this fall. He is the official fitness trainer for several states for Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, including Connecticut, Florida, Arizona, New Hampshire and his home state of New York.

Nancy Aflouny, 23, competing as Miss Lebanon, was crowned Miss Intercontinental on Oct. 13, 2007, in Mahe, Seychelles. She is a TV host in her country. The two runners-up were Miss Korea, Han Na Yoo, and Miss Margarita Island, Emily Fernandez.

Amanda Ammann, 20, won the Miss Switzerland 2007 pageant on Oct. 13, 2007. She is from St.Gallen in the German-speaking part of Switzerland and is a student of international affairs in Geneva (in the French-speaking region). She will represent Switzerland in Miss World 2007 and Miss Universe 2008. The first runner-up was Sabrina Knechtli, and the second runner-up was Claudia Wambululu. Others in the top 6 were Valerie Ott, Pascale Gächter and Miriam Rickli.

The 2008 Miss America Live will be at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas in January 2008, airing on TLC on Jan. 26.

Candace Diah has won the Junior Miss Caribbean Contest in Nassau, Bahamas, on Oct. 7, 2007, and will represent the Bahamas at the Cinderella Pageant in the United States in late 2007. She also won the Miss Amity and Most Outstanding contestant award, as well as Miss Personality, and tied with Ashley Johnson for the Spokesmodel Award. Tykara Chriswell was the first runner-up, and Victoria Cargill was the second runner-up. Angelica Chiswell was the third runner-up, and Mae Petithomme was the fourth runner-up. Ms. Chriswell won the Talent contest, while Jessica Knott won the Evening Gown contest.

The 2007 Mrs. All American Pageant was held on Oct. 5, 2007. While there has been a Mrs. All American since 1999, All American Pageants, Inc. used the 2007 pageant to launch the Mrs. All American Pageant. During the 2007 Mrs. All American Pageants, two new Mrs. titles were introduced: Mrs. All American Woman, for married women 40 and over; and All American Classic Mrs., for married women 25 and over and over a size 14. The 2008 Mrs. All American Results are as follows: Mrs. Division (Married 21 & Over): 2008 Mrs. All American -- Dina Orr (Florida), First runner-up -- Pam Foster (Palmetto State – S.C.); Second runner-up -- Kimberly White-Geremia (Connecticut). Mrs. Woman Division (Married, 40 & Over): 2008 Mrs. All American -- Maria Beall (Virginia) (She also won the highest dressy sportswear for the Mrs. category and is a former PNB cover girl.); First runner-up -- Michelle Krumberger (Colorado); Second runner-up -- Karin Jenkins (Florida). Classic Mrs. Division (Married, 25 & Over; Over a size 14): 2008 Mrs. All American -- Erika Watkins Echavarria (Florida); First runner-up -- Brandy Brockmoller (Wyoming). 2008 Mrs. All American Ambassador – Pam Bolter (Florida). Mrs. Supermodel with Style – Janice Oulton (Arkansas). After the Mrs. All American Pageant, the annual All American Talent Competition was held. The talent results are: 2008 All American Ms. Talent --Kimberly White-Geremia (Connecticut); first runner-up -- Tara Jenkins (Illinois): Second runner-up -- Taylor Powell (Michigan).

Hailey Laine Brown was crowned Miss Tennessee USA on Oct. 6, 2007, in Clarksville. She will represent the state at Miss USA. Rachel Smith, who won Miss Tennessee USA last year and went on to win Miss USA, was on hand for the event. The first runner-up was Lindsey Halliburton, and the second runner-up was Catherine Werne. The third runner-up was Shaela Sisco, and the fourth runner-up was Tucker Nichol Perry. Miss Congeniality was Shauna Holman, and Meredith Rice was the Photogenic winner. The People's Choice winner was Michelle Daniel. Natalie Phillips, 16, was crowned Miss Tennessee Teen USA. The first runner-up was Shelby Thompson, and the second runner-up was Leah Beth Bolton. The third runner-up was Chloe Potts, and the fourth runner-up was Deborah Alexa Hudgins. Candace Foster was the Photogenic winner, Sierra Leigh Sims was Miss Congeniality and Kacy Mikala Taylor won the People's Choice award.

Janice Behrendt, Miss Germany World, will keep her crown and compete at Miss World 2007. Semi-nude photos of her while she was in the "cast" of the German "Big Brother" program raised questions about her status when they appeared on the Internet, but the issue is now apparently resolved.

Connecticut-born model and actress Ariana Barouk is Miss Cuba for Miss Earth in the 2007 Miss Earth Pageant.

Elisa Najera, 21, of Guanajuato was crowned Nuestra Belleza Mexico 2007 (Miss Mexico Universe) on Oct. 5, 2007. Ana Gabriela Espinoza, 19, of Nuevo Leon was crowned Nuestra Belleza Mexico Mundo (Miss Mexico World).

Stefanie Gossweiler, 19, of Bachs has won the Miss Earth Switzerland pageant in Lausanne. She will compete at Miss Earth 2007.

Janice Behrendt has been crowned Miss Germany World. The first runner-up was Janina Cüpper, and the second runner-up was Elisa Wahl.

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