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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

Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBAs newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is Handmade in Germany, an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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