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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. 2


The celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov continues with todays free exhibition in the citys Lermontov Library at 19 Liteiny Prospekt. Titled Under the Rustling Wings, the temporary exhibition will feature the costumes and scenery used in the 1917 production of Lermontovs play The Masquerade, which he wrote in 1835 when he was only 21 years old.



Friday, Oct. 3


Learn more about how to manage and evaluate employee performance during SPIBAs Human Resources Committee meeting this morning on Employee Assessment: Global and Local Trends. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the discussion will touch on such topics as the partnership between HR and business, reliable assessment strategies and more, with Tatiana Andrianova, the head of the SHL Russia and CIS branch in St. Petersburg, as the featured guest. Confirm your participation by Oct. 2 by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.


AmChams Procurement Committee Meeting is at 9 a.m. this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.



Saturday, Oct. 4


Wine and cheese lovers will get their chance to revel during Scandinavia Country Club and Spas Wine Market Weekend. Going on today and tomorrow, wining diners can listen to live music, take part in culinary classes and, of course, sample a variety of fine wines from around the world. The cost of admission is 400 rubles ($10.30) for adults and 200 rubles ($5.15) for children.



Sunday, Oct. 5


Look for the latest fall fashions at the Autumn Market today in Freedom Anticafe at 7 Kazanskaya Ulitsa. The minimarket plans to offer clothes more flattering than the puffy jackets that are a staple of the citys cold-weather fashion, while offering the same amount of protection from the biting winds blowing off of the Baltic.



Monday, Oct. 6


SKA St. Petersburg, the citys KHL affiliate, welcomes Slovakian club HC Slovan in a match-up tonight at the Ice Palace near the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased on the clubs website or in person at either the arenas box office or the clubs merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Oct. 7


Learn more about Russias energy industry at the St. Petersburg Energy Forum that begins today and runs through Oct. 10. Attracting industry experts and political and business representatives, the forum plans to welcome more than 350 plus companies and their representatives to discuss the future of Russias largest economic sector.



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