JAMIE Herrell gave the Philippines its first major international title in 2014 by besting 83 beauty delegates from all over the world to win the Miss Earth 2014 pageant. The former Sinulog Festival Queen was stunned and shocked to hear her name announced as the winner. Thunderous jubilation from the crowd enveloped the UP Theater as outgoing Miss Earth Alyz Henrich put on her head the Miss Earth crown last Saturday night.
Fil-Am Herrell, a 19-year-old student at the International Academy of Film and Television at the University of San Jose-Recoletos, won the judges over with her answer to the question, “If you win the Miss Earth title, what you will do to slow down the effects of global warming?” by saying, “Global warming has been (a) long overdue issue, and if I am crowned tonight, I will use my title to inspire others to help the environment, starting with the kids because the kids are the people of tomorrow, and if we (sic) teach them, they will also help their communities.”
Miss USA Andrea Neu, a model and dead ringer for actress Cameron Diaz, was named Miss Earth Air while Miss Venezuela Maira Alexandra Rodriguez, a fashion designer, and Miss Russia Anastacia Trusova, who organized the Ji Shi project to promote preservation of Russian language and literature, were crowned Miss Earth Water and Miss Earth Fire, respectively.
Miss Brazil Letícia Silva, Miss Mongolia Tugsuu Idersaikhan, Miss Slovak Repubic Daria Frabici and Miss Spain Zaira Bas rounded out the Top 8. Miss Colombia Alejandra Villafañe Osorio, Miiss Egypt Nancy Magdy, Miss Scotland Romy McCahil, Miss Tahiti Hereata Ellard, Miss Thailand Sasi Sintawee, Miss Korea Sumin Shin, Miss Mexico Yareli Carillo and Miss Zambia Cartier Zagorski, the only African beauty, made the Top 16 cut who paraded in sheer confidence in black-sequined, eye-popping two-piece swimwear.
Herrell became the second Filipina to win as Miss Earth after fellow Cebuana Karla Henry won in 2008 and who gave the dance studio owner strong support. Herrell gave up a promising Hollywood acting career. She passed an audition, but chose to be a beauty queen. She trained under well-known beauty queen-maker Rodgil Flores.
The Miss Earth finals opened to an exciting upbeat-disco beat as the contestants introduced themselves one by one all wearing magenta gowns created by local designer Ricky Abad. Most of those in the top 16 were among the favored candidates, but stunning representatives from Switzerland, Netherlands, Paraguay, Austria and Dominican Republic failed to make it.
Former Senator Panfilo Lacson was the chairman of the board of judges with the members that included Olivier Ochanine, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra conductor; Allixon Harvard, international model; Dennis Perez, Unilever media director; Matthieu Penot, EU Ambassador to the Philippines; Sebastian Caudron, Joseph King, Jake Macapagal and Lorraine Schuck, Carousel Productions VP.
World singing sensation Charice brought the house down with an astonishing number midway during the show, which was beamed to international viewers via the Star World channel. Model Joey Mead King and actor-model Justin Bratton hosted the nearly two-hour long show, which was telecast via ABS-CBN on Sunday morning. The Miss Earth pageant is the only Manila-based international pageant aimed at gathering women to speak for Mother Earth and help address environmental causes.
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