Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Ayyy Dios Mio! Newly crowned "Miss International 2014" Valerie Hernandez Matias representing "Puerto Rico"--Miss International 2014 Finals, Tokyo Japan

Tuesday night, a new "Miss International" was crowned. She was 21-year old Valerie Hernandez Matias "Miss Puerto Rico". The 1.80 M (5' 11") tall beauty hails from Carolina, a municipality in the northeast of Puerto Rico.

Her win was a complete surprise to most beauty pageant followers and in fact, most of the major Beauty Pageant Blogs of note--did not have her in any top list; she wasn't even in the "Long Shot to Win" list.

Wave Queen: "Miss International 2014" Valerie Hernandez "Miss Puerto Rico" waves at the audience after winning the crown--Miss International 2014 Finals, Tokyo Japan

Costume Queen: Valerie Hernandez "Miss Puerto Rico" and eventual "Miss International 2014"--Miss International 2014 Finals, Tokyo Japan

But she won--so take that, pageant blogs. The beauty--of mixed descent--is being described by many news outlets as being the third black woman to win the "Miss International" title, after Jeymmy Vargas of Colombia in 2004 and Elizabeth Mosquera of Venezuela in 2010.

Bathing Suit Beauty: Valerie Hernandez "Miss Puerto Rico" and eventual "Miss International 2014"--Miss International 2014 Finals, Tokyo Japan

Valerie Hernandez "Miss International 2014" 

First Runner-Up Luck: Puerto Rico’s Valerie Hernandez placed 2nd on her national "Miss Puerto Rico International 2014" contest. When the actual winner, Patricia Quiñones (above left) gave up the crown for “personal reasons”, Valerie took over and traveled to Japan. I bet Patricia is not really having a good day today. But, oh well...

Sash and Tiara: Valerie Hernandez "Miss Puerto Rico" gets her sash and crown (and cape) from her predecessor Bea Santiago "Miss International 2013" of the Philippines (right)--Miss International 2014 Finals, Tokyo Japan

Pageant Racism Dish: Accused of being racist by most everyone "in the know"--pageant-wise, "Miss International" gave 1st and 2nd place ("Miss Colombia" Zuleika Suarez) spots to black women, both Latins. The Japanese-based and organized 'Miss International" beauty pageant is famous for liking porcelain skinned, blond beauties.

Top Five Beauties: (L to R) 3rd Runner-Up "Miss United Kingdom" Victoria Tooby, 1st Runner-Up "Miss Colombia" Zuleika Suarez, "Miss International" Valerie Hernandez, 2nd Runner-up "Miss Thailand" Punika Kulsoontornroot, and 4th Runner-up "Miss Finland" Milla Romppanen--Miss International 2014 Finals

The 54th edition of "Miss International" was held at the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawan Hotel in Tokyo Japan with 73 entrants from all over the world participating. Of note: Miss Denmark withdrew and went home last week due to "health reasons" (Maybe she ate some really bad sushi? Who knows)...
Hotel Ballroom Production: Production was certainly not up to par with the other "Grand Slam" pageant such as "Miss Universe" and "Miss World". I watched the pageant on USTREAM live from my home in L.A. (I began watching at 11 PM PST and was up, barely, until 2 AM) and the pageant was slow and long. After all 73 women paraded in national costumes, swimsuits and gowns, the semi-finalists were announced and subsequently, went on to give their speeches in (sometimes broken) English. The stage was very poor; as I watched it on my computer, the show seemed to A) last FOREVER; and B) I felt as if I was watching a very local national pageant at the local Hilton. Nothing against Hilton Hotels, trust me. This is more of a diss on the pageant and whoever produced and well, what their budget was. If an international beauty pageant like this can't get its point across in two hours, there's a problem.  
The Pageant: Those that did make the Top Ten, but not the Top Five, are as follows: Argentina's Josefina José Herrero, Brazil's Deise Benício, Indonesia's Elfin Pertiwi Rappa, Mexico's Vianey Vázquez and Panama's Aileen Bernal. 1st Runner-up Miss Colombia--who was a BIG favorite to win the pageant (and my personal favorite, watching at 1 AM from my laptop!) won both the "Miss Friendship" and the "Miss Best Dresser" special awards (What does the "Best Dresser Award" mean?)...

"Miss Indonesia" Elfin Pertwi Rappa won Best National Costume--Miss International 2014 Finals, Tokyo Japan 

"Miss France" Aurianne Sinacola was awarded Miss Perfect Body--Miss International 2014 Finals, Tokyo Japan

"Miss India" Jhataleka Malhotra won the "Miss Internet" award--Miss International 2014 Finals, Tokyo Japan

The Top Five Gowns: Gold and white were favorite color themes with the Top Five of this year's "Miss International"beauty pageant , in terms of their evening gowns. They were--for the most part--very nice; no "Uh Oh's!" thank goodness. Let's take a look... 
"Miss Puerto Rico' Valerie Hernandez and eventual "Miss International 2014": wore a gold and ivory gown that accentuated her shape very well and looked quite glamorous. The gold sequin accents were the "stars" of this gown and the sheer neckline yoke was pretty. Her up-do hair and modern not-too-mucheey makeup also worked well with the entire look.

First Runner-up "Miss Colombia" Zuleika Suarez: Zuleika wore a gold lame gown that fit her very nicely and looked stunning against her cocoa skin color. It was simple, elegant and Red Carpet chic.

2nd Runner-up "Miss Thailand" Punika Koolsoontornrot: Puika's gown was absolutely gorgeous. The white and silver gown with crystal sequin detail was cut to perfection. I especially loved the shoulder detail. But (yes, there's a but!), I just thought it was WAAAY too plunging and all I could focus was her very well done plastic surgery breast augmentations; it was like "Hi, how do you like my Sistahs??..they're paid for!".

3rd Runner-up "Miss United Kingdom" Victoria Tooby: I loved Victoria's white evening gown. It was sleek, chic and Red Carpet fab. I especially liked the top gold sequined yoke section and the fact that she chose to slick back her hair in a more elegant chignon style.

4th Runner-up "Miss Finland" Milla Romppanen: Milla also wore a white gown and ended up in the Top Five. Her iridescent organza gown was not as modern and chic as "Miss United Kingdom's" , but it was perfect for her. The styling (her hair and makeup and lack of jewelry, except the earrings) were also on-point. Very pretty.

Ivory and Golden Girls: The Top Five Finalists of "Miss International 2014"--(L to R): 3nd Runner-up Miss United Kingdom Victoria Tooby; 1st Runner-up "Miss Colombia" Zuleika Suarez; "Miss International 2014" Valerie Hernandez; 2nd Runner-up "Miss Thailand" Punika Kulsoontornrut; 4th Runner-up "Miss Finland" Milla Romppanen--Miss International 2014 Finals, Tokyo Japan

Besos: Felicitaciones and Congratulations to "Miss International 2014" Valerie Hernandez of Puerto Rico!


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