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The fairest of them all is…

2009-12-13 08:57

23-year-old Kaiane Aldorino is the new Miss World from Gibraltar. She shared a bit of her limelight with her runner-up Miss Mexico, Perla Beltran Acosta and second runner-up, our very own Miss South Africa, Tatum Keshwar.

I asked the newly crowned Miss World who she had told first about her win.  She replied, “My friend, and I want to tell my little sister.”  Although Miss Gibraltar escaped my radar, I found her genuine, accessible and naturally stunning.  She has great confidence for someone so young, and is very relaxed and comfortable in the media spotlight. She is also incredibly photogenic, and showed her class in front of a bank of photographers wearing a risqué white lace dress.

Her profile describes her as an ordinary girl, similar to one to my favorites, Miss Russia.  She’s a clerk who loves netball and going to gym.  Kaiane has also represented Gibraltar at the World Dance Championships in Germany.

On the talent side of things, there were remarkable performances by Miss Sierra Leone doing a fantastic mask dance and the striking Miss Canada, who sent goosebumps across the globe as she sang (her parents were sitting three seats away from us waving Canadian flags like crazy).

Some of the other standout contestants for me were Miss Albania, Miss Puerto Rico, Miss Scotland and Miss Venezuela. None of these made the semi-finals.  Only two Africans made the top 16, and there were no blondes in the top seven, which comprised Miss Colombia, Miss France, Miss Panama and Miss Canada along with the eventual winners.

Miss World 2008, Russian Ksenia Sukhinova glittered in a show-stopping silver dress. And she's learned to speak English! What an amazing feat in just a year. 

While some celebrities on hand sparkled, Kurt Darren looked a little sulky while a few children milled about incongruously in t-shirts between a cosmopolitan group of well heeled guests. The male presenter of the show was a nerdy Steve Douglas, someone about as sexy as a pothole.

The event was by no means a sold out affair, though.  In fact, my companion and I were able to advance from Row N to the third row since many seats right in front had gone unsold.  The Johannesburg Tourism Council, the company who sponsored the 2009 Miss World, is rumored to be bankrupt.  The Mail & Guardian reports that a loan of R13 million was granted to the JTC by the city of Johannesburg in November. They're probably hoping to recover their losses in June next year.

And that was Miss World 2009. Next year's 60th anniversary pageant will be held in Vietnam. 

Miss Gibraltar steals the crown from the other 111.

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