I have earlier written about countries that have managed to win major crowns in consecutive years. One particular country that have achieved that was Venezuela. One particular set of wins that stood out were those of Jacqueline Aguilera Marcano, Alicia Machado and Consuelo Adler who won Miss World 199, Miss Universe 1996 and Miss International 1997 respectively.
Jacqueline, Alicia and Consuelo were the second set of ladies coming from a single country to have won all of the 3 Alpha pageants back then? Of course, the Miss Earth wasn’t included as it started only in 2001. But these three ladies did something that only Astrid Carolina Herrera, Nina Sicilia and Barbara Palacios Teyde was able to achieve. And guess what, they also came from Venezuela!
But These three girls also have one thing in common… they all are recipients of the Miss Photogenic award. Jacqueline won the photogenic award during the Miss World pageant. Alicia was Miss Photogenic during the Miss Venezuela 1995 pageant. But it is Consuelo who is the most photogenic of them all as she won the award both in Miss Venezuela 1996 pageant as well as in Miss International 1997. In terms of height though, Alicia is the shortest of them at 5’8″. Both Consuelo and Jacqueline towers at 5’11” tall.
Considered to be the best Miss Venezuela that Osmel Sousa has ever produced, Martina Thorogood Hemseem is a beauty in a league of her own.
Martina was a student of International Relations and Latin American Studies at the Lake Forrest Collage in Illinois. She was bi-lingual being able to speak fluent English and Spanish. The 5’9 1/2″ brown eyed brunette became Miss Venezuela 1999.
There are a lot of other beauty queens that were compared to this beauty who represented Miranda in MV but none IMHO comes close to her… not even fellow Venezuelan and Miss World titlist, Jacqueline Aguilera Marcano or Carolina Izsak… Jacqueline’s beauty is awe-inspiring yet intimidating and while Carolina’s beauty seems to be cold and distant, Martina’s brand of beauty is both strong and magnetic.
If one was to describe Martina, the most common words people would describe her would be magnetic, enigmatic, perfection… To call her Osmel’s best creation would be an understatement. In fact it is rumored that Osmel doctored her age from 27 to 24, a debate that until now is still on the minds of beauty pageant aficionados. This might have a grain of truth as Osmel has made modifications in age and even nationality for some of his queens previously. Whether this rumor has an iota of truth or not, it just added to Martina’s enigmatic appeal and charisma.
Due to the consecutive non-placements in Ms World in 1997 and 1998, Osmel decided to have Martina represent Venezuela in both international pageants: Miss World and Miss Universe. It was evident then that Julia and Eric will not put a Venezuelan beauty queen in the semi-finals until Osmel sends his best girl to the said pageant. This was a gamble on his part that would later bring dire consequences to the beauty Czar. Martina ended up as 1st princess to Yukta Mookhey.
Pageant fans over the world were disheartened when MUO disallowed her to compete the following year. Her entry was denied by the Miss Universe Organization because she was the 1st Princess in Miss World and there was a chance that she could assume the title should the winner resign or lose her crown. I remember being shell-shocked when I heard the news. Miss Universe 2000 would have been her vindication from the robbery that was Miss World 1999.
After her reign, Martina opted to have a quiet family life and was blessed with it…
Back in 2005, when the internet didn’t move in the speed of light to do fact-checking, Miss International 2005 Precious Lara Quigaman’s speech became an internet sensation for it being a fabricated hoax. Today we take a look back on those two speeches.
The hoax speech: “I take no offense on being typecasted as a nanny. But I do take offense that the educated people of the world have somehow denegrated the true sense and meaning of what a nanny is. Let me tell you what she is. She is someone who gives more than she takes. She is someone you trust to look after the very people most precious to you – your child, the elderly, yourself. She is the one who has made a living out of caring and loving other people. So to those who have typecasted us as nannies, Thank you. It is a testament to the loving and caring culture of the Filipino people. And for that, I am forever proud and grateful of my roots and culture.”
The actual speech: “Here in Miss International our main mission is to promote peace and goodwill, right? And if given the wonderful opportunity to be Miss International I would organize fundraising events that would benefit less fortunate children from all over the world, focusing on free education and improving their quality of life. In this way we are teaching our youngsters that there is hope for them. And we not only develop friendship among countries but we are also making way to a brighter future, because I have always believed that our hope and our future lies in the children. Thank you very much.”
While both speeches are actually quite good, it was the latter that helped Lara win the Mikimoto crown that year. The 5’6″ stunner became the fourth Filipina to win the MI title.
These two women are often compared for being competitors in Miss India 1994, and this carried on later when they were both international pageant winners and actresses in their homeland. But looking back at their remarkable careers, this outside-looking-in perspective on the two women’s pageant careers may define their wins as destiny taking over.
Everybody knew that the Miss India 1994 almost had Aishwarya Rai as a winner until Sushmita Sen’s mother gave her a scolding that would change the course of history. In an interview that Sushmita gave Jessica Soho, she revealed that she almost backed out of the Miss India pageant upon learning that Aishwarya was joining. That would have been a huge mistake as life would have later intervened to have Aishwarya compete in the Miss World. And Sushmita would be written as the only woman who would beat the more popular Aish for the Miss India title.
A little over two decades after the two had become successful in their pageant careers, time has changed my perspective on the two ladies. I now see that Sushmita was destined for the Miss Universe just as Aishwarya was meant to be Miss World. Why is that? Aishwarya is the traditional, docile, classy and articulate lass that the MWOrg seems to prefer. Sushmita on the other hand is the brainy, self-assured, fashionable, strong-willed woman that the Miss Universe is looking for in an ambassadress. Aish would follow the long tradition of Indian women winning in Miss World, while Sushmita would be the trailblazer who would open-wide the door for India’s first Miss Universe winner.
Later on in life, they again both defined two different types of motherhood successes. Aish took the traditional route of having a family through marriage. Sushmita on the otherhand has always been a pioneer, and became a mother thru adoption, something unheard of for single women in her country.