If youâre somewhere where Miss Universe 2008 is not being broadcast live, head over to Michael Joshâs blog to get his live-blogging updates. Thank you, Michael, for this service for netizens. The updates are fairly regular.
Â Â Lucire wishes to thank the Fairfax Press for its support of Samantha Powell, Miss New Zealand, this yearâStuff has a new article online today.
PS.: The top 15 are: Miss Venezuela, Miss Kosovo, Miss Mexico, Miss Vietnam, Miss South Africa, Miss Australia, Miss Japan, Miss Dominican Republic, Miss Italy, Miss Columbia, Miss Russia, Miss Hungary, Miss Czech Republic, Miss Spain and Miss USA. Good luck to these young ladies.
Tennis player Maria Sharapova has been busyâfrom endorsing Sony Ericsson a few weeks ago to Land Rover on Friday, celebrating its 60th anniversary.
Â Â The tennis player went to Malibu, Calif. for the Indian-owned car brandâs celebrations,Â joining actress Camilla Belle, soccer players Michael Bradley and Clint Mathis, and actors Travis van Winkle and Luke Ford.
Â Â In 1948, Rover Cars, looking to keep its factories occupied with a stopgap model after World War II, decided to remake the Willys Jeep using aluminium.
Â Â But the model proved so successful than when the new postwar Rovers arrived in 1949, the Land Rover continued in production.
Â Â Â BritishÂ Leyland, which Land Rover was part of,Â released the Range Rover in 1970, marrying the off-road ability of the Land Rover with the luxury and power of Rover passenger cars.
Â Â Eventually, Rover and Land Rover became part of BMW, which later sold Land Rover to Ford. This year Ford sold it to Tata Motors of India.
Â Â The celebration is a sign that itâs business as usual for the famous British brandâand that Tata management is aware of its new unitâs heritage.
Dorian Leigh, who graced numerous McCallâs, Harperâs Bazaar and Vogue covers and Revlon advertisements in the 1940s and 1950s, has died aged 91 in Falls Church, Va., according to her family.
Â Â Leigh was married ?ve times and her lifeÂ during her modelling years was well documented by the gossip magazines of the day.
Â Â Â She was bornÂ Dorian Parker on April 23, 1917 in San Antonio, Texas. According to her daughter, Young Eve Paciello, as reported in the International HeraldâTribune,Â Parkerâs middle name was Leigh.
Â Â Â Parker attended Randolph Macon College, majoring in English. She had a stint helping to design aircraft wings for the Eastern Aircraft Corp. before joining Republic Pictures as a copywriter.
Â Â At 27, she went to theÂ Harry Conover Agency, where Conover told her to go to editor Diana Vreeland at Harperâs Bazaar.Â She wound up onÂ the June 1946 cover.
Â Â BecauseÂ her father did not approve of her career, she was asked to drop her surname, according to the HeraldâTribune.
Â Â She stood at 5 ft 5 in, and had an hourglass ?gure.
Â Â Her most famous Revlon campaign photographs were shot by Richard Avedon.
Â Â In her post-modelling years, she opened an agency in Paris and was involved with restaurants and catering. She attended the Cordon Bleu cooking school. She also authored numerous books aboutÂ food. Her son, T. L. Hawkins, says that his mother collaborated with Martha Stewart on recipes.
Â Â Hawkins also said Leigh was an active Democrat in the 1990s.
Â Â SheÂ was the eldest sister of Suzy Parker, herself a model.Â
Â Â Leigh is survived by three children, three grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.
July 7 marks the anniversary of the passing of our friend Colin Morley, who was killed in the 7-7 terrorist bombings in London three years ago. Since then weâve tried to keep Colinâs memory alive by giving an award named for him at the Medinge Group, for the best branded non-proﬁt organization. My wishes go out to Ros and their children: Colin remains a great inﬂuence with his kindness, generosity and expertise.
Preliminaries for Miss Universe began Sunday, where the contesÂtants model in their bikinis; and the interÂviews on Monday are three minutes long, with three judges.
Â Â This surprises me, because we interÂviewed the contesÂtants in New Zealand over a miniÂmum of 10 minutes with ?ve judgesâand I dare say, though I never timed the sessions, that we might well have hit 15 minutes in some cases.
Â Â I do know that the meet-and-greet and interÂviews took us well into 11 p.m. this year and midnight last year.
Â Â Itâs certainly harder for judges to know the candidÂates based on a cursory interview, butÂ I imagine with a larger group of girls, time is more limited.
Â Â Â Samantha Powell, Miss New ZeaÂland 2008, will have less time to wow the judges in a three-minute pitch, which in some respects goes against the more relaxed way New ZealandÂers, in general, conduct even busiÂness meetings. Itâs not about the pitch, but getting to know someone.
Â Â Nevertheless, every contestant is on an equal footing.
Â Â What we tried toÂ doÂ was ?nd someone who couldÂ remain con?dent regardless of the situation, and I think Samâwho can think well on her feetâwas the right choice.Â
Â Â Reading her email back home, details of which I wonât reveal for privacy, Sam isnât fazed and she will do well for Aotearoa.
Â Â Iâm sure readers in New Zealand join me in wishing her well as the competition kicks into high gearâwith the major presentation show on Wednesday. Good luck, Sam!
As reported earlier, Kylie Minogue has been to Buckingham Palace to collect her OBE, which was presented by HRH Prince Charles.
Â Â Minogue arrived in a chauffeured limousine and had chatted and joked with the Prince during the investiture. She wore a cream dress withÂ gold high heels.
Â Â Attending in support of the Australian-born singer were her parents and her sister Dannii, who had rushed from the filming ofÂ The X Factor.
Â Â Minogue said, âIt was surprisingly emotional. I expected to be a little nervous, obviously very excited, but it was very emotional seeing all these people from different walks of life joining together for this event.â
Â Â Her OBE was awarded for services to entertainment by HM Queen Elizabeth II as part of her New Yearâs Honours.