Miss Orléanais, 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, Laëtizia Penmellen, Miss Côte d’Azur, Aurianne Sinacola, and Miss Guadeloupe, Chloé Deher, in the remaining places.
The show took place at the Zénith 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 Orléanais, Miss Roussillon, Miss Tahiti, Miss Alsace, Miss Bourgogne, Miss Côte d’Azur, Miss Franche-Comté, Miss Auvergne, Miss Réunion, and Miss Provence. They were then pared down to the top five: Miss Tahiti, Miss Orléanais, Miss Côte 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 Aurélie Alezeraa) and Little Red Riding Hood took place. There was a nod to current music: the 1001 Nights tableau was performed to Beyoncé’s ‘All the Single Ladies’.
A brief tribute to Nelson Mandela was given by the mayor of Dijon, François Rebsamen.
Despite not having a “battle of the pageants” this year after a settlement with former Miss France director Geneviève 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 Québecois singer Garou (in the chair), Sylvie Vartan, Elodie Frégé, 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.