LIVING It’s the fifth year since Miss Universe New Zealand was helmed by a new team that brought it back to television, and the 2017 edition appears on Bravo, with the tension, drama and glamour that only the country’s top pageant can bring.
At the end of Saturday night, who will take the crown and become Miss Universe New Zealand 2017?
Photographed by ALAN RAGA
Sophie Chambers assisted Jack Yan, publisher of Lucire.
Over 200 women were selected to be the 40 semifinalists at Miss Universe New Zealand’s Stiletto Camp, held in May 2017. Soon after, that 40 became 20, and one of these final 20 will soon become Miss Universe New Zealand 2017, representing the country at the international pageant.
What’s important to the directors of Miss Universe New Zealand, veteran TV producer Nigel Godfrey of Eureka Productions and Lucire publisher Jack Yan, is the journey that the ladies go on. The 20 have already experienced an international retreat in Thailand, staying in luxury accommodation provided by Phuket’s five-star Thavorn Beach Village Resort & Spa where they indulged with impeccable hospitality, provided by Lert Thavornwongse and his team.
The winner will drive away in a Honda Jazz RS Sport Limited for the duration of her reign, taking with her a treasure trove of prizes. You can check out the sponsors in the programme here.
With such an impressive prize package, the Grand Final is equally a grand show, with special guests such as André Vegas with his thrilling magic show, Razé with her distinctive and unique underground hip-hop style, and her sister Lavina Williams with her world-famous vocals. Mark Leishman, a household name in New Zealand, and The Café’s Holly Pollock host the Grand Final. The ladies will model gowns by couturier Sidney Eculla as well as outfits from the students from Sewtec, a local fashion design academy.
The talented Jane Strickland has once again given the finalists a full work-out with her fresh and modern choreography. Frankie Stevens is also on the judging panel ( appropriate given his similar role in NZ Idol), alongside motivational speaker and social practitioner Areena Deshpande, the hilarious Teuila Blakely currently starring on Filthy Rich, director of Head2Heels and former Miss Universe New Zealand director Evana Patterson, AJPR boss and BRCA cancer gene awareness champion Anna Jobsz, and business entrepreneur and make-up guru Samala Robinson.
Thanks to the support of Miss Universe New Zealand’s sponsors, including platinum partners Honda New Zealand, Caithy Organics, Christian Paul, the Thavorn Beach Village Resort & Spa, the Grand Mercure Auckland, and Beau Joie, and the fund-raising efforts of each year’s finalists, Miss Universe New Zealand has cracked the $125,000 barrier with its donations to Variety, the Children’s Charity. •
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Selected team Instagram accounts Jack Yan | Summer Rayne Oakes | Sopheak Seng | Elyse Glickman | Lola Cristall | Jody Miller | Sarah Arnold-Hall | Jamie Dorman | Doug Rimington | Tanya Sooksombatisatian | Alex Barrow