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Date Posted: 07:46:29 07/08/06 Sat
Author: Alvin R
Subject: Insider's News at Miss Universe LA

Here is another round of stories that I have covered for you guys. I kinda know that today will be a wild one, and I am not mistaken, it was overwhelmingly fun !

As I have done yesterday, I would like to thank first the people who have been a great help in making my coverage possible. It is not easy for me to talk to organizers, ask for inside scoops at the same time take pictures. My heartfelt thanks to Andy, Hector, Janet, Husam for the help when I needed it most.

Also, I would like to give props to Esther, the head of PR for Ms. Universe Org., she is a sweetheart. I tell you looks can be deceiving. Everytime I would see her, i try to shy away from her because of her aura, but when I had the chance to talk to her, she is totally the opposite. She knows and very much appreciate our presence there and interacting with the public. It came to a point when she personally hand over some candidates to me for press coverage. That was totally awesome !

Let me start my report by telling you how excited I was today. Because from the press release prior my arrival at the hotel, Ms. Universe 2005, Natalie Glebova, arrived at the Wilshire Grand Hotel at around lunch time. Lucky for me, because I was able to get off work early so I was at the hotel at around 430 pm, 2 hours earlier than the previous days. The lobby is packed literally with people wanting to see the delegates. Probably because its Friday and everyone wanted to see a glimpse of the candidates prior heading off for the weekend. Mind that Wilshire Hotel has business offices on the other side that why people in building at least, pretty much know that Ms. Universe candidates are there. I am not quite sure about the surrounding buildings though. This is one big difference of having the pageant hosted by a community like Bangkok as compared to a very fast pace lifestyle of Los Angeles.

This is the first time that I saw a lot of press people at the lobby. There were Korean press as well as Latin ones. But the biggest contingency was the Thai press, which I believe they had just started their coverage. Singha beer of Thailand is proudly sponsoring the pageant again this year.

More candidates are expected to arrive late this afternoon and towards the evening. The most anticipated of them all is Ms. Puerto Rico. While waiting for her offcial transportation to arrive, I am exchanging thoughts with fellow pageant fans and official volunteers. It is very amusing to know that the usual comparison of statistics is starting to be visible among the candidates. Which is very understandable because they all come in different shapes and sizes. One thing is clear though, they are all SEXY. Some inside scoops are as follows :

a) Tadashi, the designer for the official opening dress for the candidates, stopped by to check how his designs looked on the candidates.

b) The official photos are being chosen by the candidates themselves. Meaning after their photoshoot, they will be presented with the pictures so that they can comfortably pick what they believe is thier perfect profile shots.

c) Catwalk skills are very evident with the Latin candidates.

d) Miss Mexico is actually being considered the welcoming candidate, because she makes sure as the new candidates arrive, they will feel at ease with the rest of them. I personally saw that very warm accomodation from Priscila.

While chatting, all of a sudden the Ukrainian-Canadian queen, came out of nowhere in her sweatpants. As everybody rushed towards her, she humbly ask us if its ok for her to change first before she engage in photo session with the fans. It seems like she had just finish a workout. She is GORGEOUS in every sense of the word ! Her eyes are captivating, skin so flawless and her charm is just undeniably arresting.

After she left, my work is about to start. 2 candidates arrived. They are Ms. Ethiopia (in her red halter top) and Ms. Nigeria (in her white ensemble). They are warmly received by William of Critical Beauty website and Esther of the PR department. This is the very particular instance when Esther hand over the ladies to me to take picture by the media wall. Ms. Ethiopia nicely introduce herself because she has no sash on. While Ms. Nigeria is about to get hers. They are both friendly and were asked to meet the telemundo people.

As they leave the media center to check in, the wildest 30 minutes of our stay at the hotel ever is about to start. Ms. Puerto Rico had just arrived. She had literally caught everybody's attention and with her pleasant aura she wowed everybody in the lobby. I would say she came really prepared ! Her gestures simply say, " I'm here to win !". She arrived with her trainor who is equally gorgeous. We thought at first that he was her boyfriend. Fortunately for her, the crowd became bigger when a complete airline staff is checking in. Everybody is getting there phone cameras ready and it seems like a concert scenario with her as the star !

I have no words to describe her personality. She is accepting everybody for photo opportunity and she had to do what seems to me a commercial gap video for telemundo. The lobby became an instant press conference for her. Since telemundo is wrapping up their initial interviews, another huge favorite from the Latin group arrived. Causing another wild reaction to the crowd. Guess who? Its none other than, Ms. Mexico ! She is a total knock out ! Very classy and captivating. I have heard a lot about her, from having the most number of luggages to being the most talked about candidate. Her early arrival at the hotel worked to her advantage. Because everybody has been looking out for her, so when she finally showed up , she just captivated the crowd. At this time, Ms. Puerto Rico checked in and managed to sneak out of the crowd to her assigned room. Everybody were like, where did she go? How was she managed to sneak out? Totally no one saw her left. She was well trained, she knows how to grab attention as she arrives and she knew how to make an exit that still makes the crowd wanting more of her.

Then as the crowd settles, Ms. Russia arrived she was somewhat overshadowed by the fact that Puerto Rico and Mexico just had their turn to pleased the crowd. She looked wonderful though. Soonafter I took her picture, another candidate arrived. When we asked her for her country's name, they hurriedly turned their backs as if something bad happened. So we let her do her thing first. When she came back, she apologized because she forgot her sash in her luggage. She is Ms. France. She has her own press people covering her arrival. She looked different though because as far as I can remember she has short hair in her preliminary internet picture. That is the reason why I did not recognize her.

Finally a chance to sit down and talked about what happened. My fellow pinoy supporters are hoping to see more candidates. Because our fear is that since tomorrow will begin their outside shoots and functions, we might not be able to get hold of the candidates not until the Universal Studios filming which is like 4 days from now. As we started talking to some of the bystanders, who are just checking in, my all time favorite candidate is sashaying down the stairs. Alice Panikian, Ms. Canada, finally is here to mesmerize me. She is standing tall and incredibly beautiful. Her short stay at the lobby caused another wild reaction from the crowd who wer ejust starting to settle down. It was a funny moment for all of us when we realize that we haven't stop talking and taking pictures from the time Puerto Rico arrived. She was with her chaperone and 2 other candidates. Ms. Antigua and Ms. Czech Republic. I am hoping to see more of her in days to come.

Then a trully incredible experience is about to happen. When we moved by the front part of the reception area, where we met Ms. Poland's trainors, Julio and Luisa, someone who promised us of a photo session came by. She is dressed in a beautiful black gown which is just perfect for her beautiful body, Natalie gladly had her pictures with us. I am not quite sure if she just has her shoot or she is on her way to an interview or a formal dinner invitation. I was elated when I had my picture taken with her wearing the Mikimoto crown. It is just a feeling of satisfaction that no amount of hours of waiting for me to be able to cover the events will ever repay! As i have said earlier, she is just fabulous and a queen deserving of our admiration. She blew us akiss and headed off to her function. Leaving us jumping and all smiles that we had our picture taken. You should see my pic with her and you will tell me why am I feeling this excitement!

As i put myself back to my sanity, I asked my fellow pinoys to have a drink. Dont worry we cannot have cocktails because we are driving. Plus not eating dinner and lack of sleep would put me to sleep right there at the lobby if you offer me a drink. So we decided to lounge and get some food. On our way out, we saw Ms. Korea talking to a Korean concierge so we ask for her picture as well.

As if the excitement and thrill is not enough, on our way to the fastfood across the street, a lady approached us and asked if we are pinoys ! When we proudly say yes, she humbly introduced herself as guess who................... I know at this point everybody has been asking for her picture. Now here it goes. Oops...i was introducing the lady right......it was Lia's mom ! With her 2 brothers and her sister. They were here to bring some stuffs for Lia like a laptop ( so as soon as I post this, she can now see your reactions), her mom, Tita Sally amiably introduced her sons and her daughter. Good looks run in their blood as you can see on the picture that I will be posting. So I told her mom that we have been covering the arrivals of the candidates. She is asking as to how Lia's publicity is going. It seems to me that they were not aware of my coverage. So I gave her the site address so she would see how pinoys all over the world responded to see the initial pictures. We exchange numbers so we could be seeing each other for the other events and we could make our contingency wild in supporting Lia especially on the presentation show. This is the time when we both realized that Jonas should be here. We miss you here Jonas. Then Lia finally came down, but her chaperone emphasized that it will just be a short family visit so as they gave her the stuffs that she requested, we were able to get some pictures because I know you have been waiting for them.

The organizer told us that there are only 2 more lady coming tonight. I saw them as Ms. Namibia and Ms. Norway (she is unbelievably nice and accomodating after enduring 30 hours of flight from Oslo to Los Angeles.)

Then as we end our night, I know you are asking as to whats in store next for the candidates. Tomorrow, Ms. Chile who was just crowned a few days ago will be arriving. The whole day they will wrap up with the photoshoot and prepare themselves for the Tadashi dinner event in the evening. Since the shoot is almost done, we can finally see the results of those photoshoots by the end of this week or early next week.

That's all for now. Enjoy all the pictures and keep spreading goodwill. Take note, there is no room for bashing ! May the force be with you all. (I'll sure be needing them for the next week)

Tomorrow, our very own tito Boyet Blas will be joining me here in Los Angeles. We will be continuing to give you guys up to the minute report of what's going here at the city of angels with the most gorgeous women in the world !

xoxo Alvin Paris

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