Miss OrlĂ©anais, Flora Coquerel, has been crowned Miss France 2014, during the live telecast Saturday night and into the small hours of Sunday morning on French network TF1.
The 19-year-old, nearly six foot tall, works in international trade, and in her spare time, practises dancing and plays badminton. Her hobbies include film, fashion and travel, according to her biography.
Miss Tahiti, Mehiata Riaria, was runner-up, with Miss Provence, LaĂ«tizia Penmellen, Miss CĂŽte d’Azur, Aurianne Sinacola, and Miss Guadeloupe, ChloĂ© Deher, in the remaining places.
The show took place at the ZĂ©nith in Dijon, in the Bourgogne region in France. Prior to the show, French media noted that, unlike the previous year, none of the 33 contestants had emerged as an early favourite.
The final twelve were Miss Languedoc, Miss Guadeloupe, Miss OrlĂ©anais, Miss Roussillon, Miss Tahiti, Miss Alsace, Miss Bourgogne, Miss CĂŽte d’Azur, Miss Franche-ComtĂ©, Miss Auvergne, Miss RĂ©union, and Miss Provence. They were then pared down to the top five: Miss Tahiti, Miss OrlĂ©anais, Miss CĂŽte d’Azur, Miss Provence and Miss Guadeloupe.
The live telecast featured the contestants in various tableaux with a Disney-esque and fairy-tale theme. Sets themed on Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella (to the soundtrack of La Boum, the early Sophie Marceau film), Anastasia, The Little Mermaid (for the swimwear, by AurĂ©lie Alezeraa) and Little Red Riding Hood took place. There was a nod to current music: the 1001 Nights tableau was performed to BeyoncĂ©’s ‘All the Single Ladies’.
A brief tribute to Nelson Mandela was given by the mayor of Dijon, FranĂ§ois Rebsamen.
Despite not having a “battle of the pageants” this year after a settlement with former Miss France director GeneviĂšve de Fontenay, the French public remained very interested in the outcome, especially as Miss France 2013, Marine Lorphelin, placed runner-up at Miss World.
Jean-Pierre Foucault hosted the lengthy telecast, watched by around 40 per cent of the television audience on the TF1 network.
The jury consisted of QuĂ©becois singer Garou (in the chair), Sylvie Vartan, Elodie FrĂ©gĂ©, Vincent Niclo, Titoff, TV presenter Jean-Pierre Pernaut and his partner, Nathalie Marquay (Miss France 1987). The French public also had a say on who would succeed Marine Lorphelin through SMS voting, which extended to audiences in Tahiti and New Caledonia.
Above Miss OrlĂ©anais, Flora Coquerel, after her crowning as Miss France 2014.
Above The contestants emerge for the first set during the telecast.
Above Miss France 2013 Marine Lorphelin and MC Jean-Pierre Foucault.