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Russia Proud of Miss Universe Showcase

Despite an early elimination of its own beauty queen, Russian organizers were thrilled to play host to a bevy of beauties.

Published: November 13, 2013 (Issue # 1786)



  • Having narrowed the field from 86 to ten, the Miss Universe 2013 finalists strike a pose on stage in Moscow.
    Photo: Pavel Golovkin / AP

  • Red fails to help ignite any love from the judges for Miss Russia.
    Photo: Pavel Golovkin / AP

  • Sergei Zverev and Anastasia Volochkova freeze for the camera.
    Photo: Natalie Svirko / For SPT

  • With a huge glossy smile, Miss Venezuela celebrates her sparkly new crown.
    Photo: Natalie Svirko / For SPT

Miss Venezuela, Maria Gabriela Isler, swept aside 85 contestants togive her country its seventh Miss Universe crown during thecompetition final inMoscows Crocus City Hall onNov. 9.

Although Russias beauty queen failed tomake it intothe top 16, theevent left Russian organizers andcelebrities beaming with patriotism that their country managed tohost anevent ofthis scale, andsome already asking forthe next pageant dose.

I cant describe all thethings that Im feeling atthis moment. Im shaking andI dont believe it, 25-year-old Isler said moments after being crowned Miss Universe 2013. Maybe tomorrow Ill wake up andsay, oh my gosh, its me, but right now Im still shocked.

Isler successfully navigated theswimsuit, evening gown andinterview portions ofthe pageant towin thetop spot. Spains Patricia Rodriguez was thefirst runner up, followed byConstanza Baez fromEcuador, Ariella Arida fromthe Philippines andBrazils Jakelyne Oliveira.

For me its like winning because its thefirst time that my country got so close tothe crown, said Miss Ecuador after theshow. Now I only want tosee my people andgo tomy country because Im so proud andI hope that theyre proud too.

This years judging panel included Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, gold medal figure skater Tara Lipinski, Nizhny Novgorod-born model Anne V, chef Nobu Matsuhisa, television host Carol Alt, watch designer Italo Fontana, haircare businessman Farouk Shami andRussian pop star Filipp Kirkorov.

Kirkorov left his two young children athome with their grandfather andput ona little something that came ina box fromMilan specifically, aleather jacket with golden studs, sequin shirt, ripped pants andgold-tipped sneakers tomake his debut as aninternational show judge.

Oxana Fedorova, Russias contestant, who won theMiss Universe pageant in2002 but later gave up her crown, andlast years winner Olivia Culpo set thebenchmark bywhich Kirkorov said he would pick this years winner. Kirkorovs mother also played arole insetting themodern standard ofbeauty.

My mom was abrunette andIll be looking formy moms features inthe next winner, Kirkorov said. He then went onto voice his support forMiss Russia, Ukraine andBulgaria before catching himself. Ive said too much. I cant say all this because Im amember ofthe jury.

Thecontestants got up early andrehearsed formost ofthe days leading up tothe final, like Guyanas Katherina Roshana Khan who said she had been up since 5 a.m. Bythe time theshow kicked off at10 p.m, all walking parades, as well as dances set tothe music ofPanic! Atthe Disco andCrocus Group vice-president Emin Agalarov, were perfectly tuned andchoreographed.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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