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Russia Readies For First Miss Universe

A bevy of beauties will compete for attention alongside the like of musicians as diverse as Scary Spice, Aerosmiths frontman and Emo group Panic! at the Disco.

Published: October 25, 2013 (Issue # 1783)



  • Emin Agalarov posing with Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo in a photo he posted on his Facebook page on Thursday.
    Photo: VIP-Emin Agalarov / Facebook

Russias first-ever Miss Universe beauty pageant will be packed with musicians: a former Spice Girl, Aerosmiths frontman, the U.S. rock band Panic! At The Disco and, it turns out, the singer-songwriter son of the billionaire who owns the Moscow venue hosting the event.

The news that Emin Agalarov, the 33-year-old son of real estate magnate Aras Agalarov, will share the stage with Mel B, Steven Tyler, and the double platinum-selling rockers from Las Vegas emerged this week when organizers presented details about the Nov. 9 competition at Moscows Crocus City Hall.

Emin Agalarov, who goes by the stage name Emin and is a familiar face in Russia and Azerbaijan, might be best known in the West for his recent music video Amor, which features the reigning Miss Universe, U.S. citizen Olivia Culpo, and has received more than 4.6 million YouTube views since late May.

International recording artist Emin will also take the stage during the pageant, pageant organizers said in a statement released in New York on Thursday. Emin spent much of this year traveling the globe promoting his hit single Amor, which has already been released in Russia, Great Britain, his native Azerbaijan and is set for wide release this year.

Organizers and Crocus officials offered no further public comment about the decision to include Emin.

Emin, who moved with his family to Moscow at the age of 3, appeared jubilant about the prospect of appearing before a worldwide audience at the Miss Universe pageant.

A household name in Russia and star of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest (which boasted a live viewing audience of 150 million), Emin will bring his music at years end to an astounding worldwide TV audience of over a billion viewers, said a statement on his official website.

Miss Universe organizers said that the competition would be broadcast to an estimated 1 billion viewers in 190 countries.

As for the pageant program, organizers said it would be co-hosted by Mel B, whose full name is Melanie Brown, and U.S. television journalist Thomas Roberts. The duo will replace the host from the past two years, Andy Cohen, who bowed out this summer to protest Russias new law banning homosexual propaganda to minors.

The law is that anyone under suspicion of homosexuality can be arrested, Cohen said in announcing his withdrawal on U.S. television in August. He added that he didnt feel right as a gay man stepping foot into Russia.

Mel B previously hosted the Miss Universe contest in Vietnam in 2008.

Among the other celebrity participants, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler will lead this years jury in judging the 90 contestants in three categories: swimsuit, evening gown and interview.

The prospects of success for Russias contestant remain unclear. Elmira Abdrazakova, a 19-year-old native of Mezhdurechensk in Siberias coal-producing Kemerovo region, is an award-winning pianist who once rescued a bear cub caught in a soccer goal net at summer camp, according to her biography on the Miss Universe website.

Elmiras beauty secret, it said, is her hair mask made from mustard powder, burdock root oil extract, egg yolk and sugar.

Russia has won the Miss Universe title once before, when Oksana Fedorova was crowned in 2002. Fedorova stepped down after four months amid rumors that she was pregnant. She denied the speculation and said she quit to pursue her studies at a St. Petersburg police academy. To this day, the pageant refuses to recognize her as a former Miss Universe.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 22


Russian Premier League-leaders Zenit St. Petersburg return from the international break to take on Kuban Krasnodar at Petrovsky Stadium this evening at 7 p.m. Tickets for the game can still be purchased on the clubs website, at the Petrovsky Stadium box office or in any of the clubs merchandise stores.



Sunday, Nov. 23


Get in the holiday spirit at todays Winter Bazzar at the Astoria Hotel. Featuring gifts from around the world such as French eclairs, Dutch cheeses and Indian jewelry, the annual event organized by the International Womens Club will feature 18 international stands and raise money for charity through the sales of a diversity of products that further illustrate the citys international connections.



Monday, Nov. 24


Dr. Axel Schulte, Department Head at Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics in Dortmund, Germany, is the featured speaker at the SPIBA Industrial Committee lecture on The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Digitalization of the Supply Chain. The event begins at 4 p.m. at the Graduate School of Management at 3 Volkohvsky Pereulok and registration is required by Nov. 21 either by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.



Tuesday, Nov. 25


Tag along with AmCham during their Industrial St. Petersburg Tour program today. This incarnation of the ongoing series will visit Philip Morris Izhora and include an Environmental Health and Safety Committee meeting.


Find out how to expand your business east during the Business With China forum beginning today and concluding tomorrow at the Lenexpo convention center. The largest Russian forum dedicated to business with the Asian giant, topics that will be discussed include logistics, customs clearance, trade financing and many more.



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