The last time I attended a Miss Universe Malaysia finale was back in 2013 (which you can read here – https://timchew.net/2012/12/13/miss-universe-malaysia-2013-gala-night/) when MHB’s Chammaine Tan was one of the finalists. Carey Ng won that year and she’s current the pageant director for Miss Universe Malaysia. This year, the finale was held on Friday, 17 April 2015 at Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur.
The 17 finalists in this year’s pageant were (in alphabetical order): Amanda Khong 邝 佩敏(26), April Tang 郑素櫻(25), Ashley Ahn 安时伊(23), Gloria Tneh (24), Jasveer Sandhu (27), Jenny Wong 黃珍妮 (24), Kelly Jagan (26), Kohinoor Kaittiani (23), Meera Maniar (25), Nisha Kumar (25), Pauline Tan 陈俐 杏 (24), Pauline Thong 汤爱玲(22), Shaelina Martin (23), Shalini Mathialagan 莎丽妮(21), Sugeeta Chandran (26), Vaishnevi Thanaseharan (24) and Vanessa Tevi 温妮莎(24).
After months of training and preparation, the final round of the competition to wear the coveted Miss Universe crown saw six finalists out of 17 girls who survived the final elimination rounds in the reality TV show. The six finalists were Gloria Tneh, Jasveer Sandhu, Kelly Jagan, Pauline Tan, Sugeeta Chandran and Vanessa Tevi.
Joining the six finalists were three previously eliminated finalists, Jenny Wong, Ashley Ahn and Meera Maniar who were voted back into the final round based on a combination of votes following their performance during the preliminaries, public votes via The Miss Universe Malaysia mobile apps, and votes from the resident judges and panel of gala night judges.
The finalists were then whittled down to six based on the judges’ decision for the night, with the spots going to: Jenny Wong (24), Meera Maniar (25), Sugeeta Chandran (26), Kelly Jagan (26), Pauline Tan (24) and Vanessa Tevi (24).
The stakes were high as the winner of Miss Universe Malaysia 2015 takes home a cash prize of RM50,000 from the Miss Universe Malaysia Organization and sponsored prizes which consist of RM30,000 worth of vouchers from Valiram Group, RM100,000 worth of products and services from Ko Skin Specialist, dental services (as determined after complete clinical examination and investigation) from mydentist for a year, RM3,600 worth of hair services from Shawn Cutler, RM3,000 worth of products and complimentary make-up classes from Shu Uemura, RM3,000 worth of products from L’Oreal Professional, RM5,000 worth of products from Reebok, a whole year of personal training session inclusive of monthly nutrition and meal guidance with Daily Muscle, RM6,700 worth of luggages from American Tourister, and a 18K white gold ring consisting of 37 pieces totaling to 1.82 carats of white and rare champagne fancy colored diamonds retailing at RM27,000 from Ceres Jewels.
Various subsidiary titles were awarded to the following finalists:
Miss Naza Maserati Elegance – Gloria Tneh 郑如惠
Female Miss Photogenic – Sugeeta Chandran
Miss mydentist.my Winning Smile – Pauline Tan 陈俐杏
Miss Body Beautiful – Meera Maniar
As a surprise addition, April Tang 郑素櫻 was also named Most Talented for her talent in DJ spinning.
The task of selecting a deserving queen was given to a panel of eight judges hand-picked for their expertise and years of experience in the entertainment, fashion and beauty industry. They are: Founder and President of Melium Group Dato’ Farah Khan, Group Managing Editor of Blu Inc Media Aster Lim, actress Debbie Goh, President of MODA Gillian Hung, supermodel Kavita Sidhu, founder of Shawn Cutler chain of hair salons Shawn Loong, fashion designer Sukanya Poljak, and Miss Universe Indonesia 2013 Whulandary Herman.
After the finalists’ performance on stage and answering the judges’ question, Vanessa Tevi was crowned the winner of the Miss Universe Malaysia 2015 pageant.. She clearly impressed the judges during the interview session and won them over with her personable nature. The remaining finalists are 1st runner-up Pauline Tan; 2nd runner-up Kelly Jagan and 3rd runner-up Sugeeta Chandran.
Born in Kuala Lumpur, the 170cm tall Vanessa grew up in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. Of Chinese and Indian parentage, she is fluent in English, Bahasa Melayu and Mandarin. A graduate of tourism management from the UK, Vanessa is an ex-synchronized swimmer in school, and avid lover of sports and outdoor activities such as hiking and skydiving.
Commenting on her win, she said “We started as very ordinary girls and were transformed to beauty queens through the series of grooming, training and mentoring. I am very thankful for this opportunity. I will wear this crown and do my best in making our nation proud.”
She added, “Personally, I believe that I am still in need a lot of training in many aspects, but I hope to have the support of everyone as I grow and learn in this process.” Vanessa will be representing the country in her capacity as Miss Universe Malaysia 2015 on the international platform. Sabrina Beneett, reigning Miss Universe Malaysia pageant queen for 2014 was present to crown the new queen.
Some 700 people from the local business, media, fashion and entertainment industry attended the finale including supermodel Amber Chia, violinist Dennis Lau, Miss Universe Malaysia 2011 Deborah Henry, Miss Universe 2010 Nadine Ann Thomas, Miss China 2014 Karen Hu, Miss Singapore 2013 Shi Lim, Miss Thailand 2013 Chalita Y, fashion designer Bon Zainal and more. We were kept entertained by performances from singer and rap duo Kirstie and Cassie Maximus, Korean pop performers True Kiss and Ule, and local songstress Ning Baizura.
This annual pageant is presented by iPayEasy, and jointly sponsored by Naza Italia, Maserati Malaysia, Valiram Group, Marini’s Group, KO Skin Specialist, Acer, Odor-X, mydentist.my, Shawn Cutler, L’Oreal Professional, Shu Uemura, Reebok Malaysia, Daily Muscle, La Juiceria, The Chateau Spa & Organic Wellness Resort, American Tourister, BDO, Qliq Damansara Hotel, Hugos by Modestos at Qliq Damansara Hotel, Jacob’s Creek and Ceres Jewels. The Miss Universe Malaysia 2015 was also supported by official media partners The Star, 8TV, Female and Nuyou.
For more info, head over to https://www.facebook.com/MissUniverseMalaysia or www.missuniversemalaysia.com.my
Photo credits: Miss Malaysia Universe Organisation (Adrian Lau and Kelvin Sing), Andy Kho (www.andykho.com) and author’s own