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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

Thursday, Oct. 30


Dental-Expo St. Petersburg 2014 concludes today at Lenexpo. Welcoming specialists from throughout the federation, the forum is an opportunity for dentists to share tricks of the trade and peruse the most recent innovations in technology and equipment, with over 100 companies hocking their wares at the event.



Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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