Miss T&T finishes in top five of Miss World 2007

LONDON, England, December 3, 2007 – Miss Trinidad & Tobago made the final cut in the Miss World competition Saturday but was no match for Miss China.

Zhang Zilin, a 23-year-old secretary from Shijiazhuang in the Hebei province in China walked away with the title of Miss World 2007 in her home nation Saturday night.

Valene Maharaj of Trinidad & Tobago made the top five finalists, which included first runner up, Miss Angola Micaela Reis, second runner-up, Miss Mexico Carolina Moran Gordillo and Annie Oliv of Sweden.

Caribbean beauties also made the semi-finals with Miss Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, Jamaica and Dominican Republic all making the top 16. But it was T&T who moved on to the finals.

Maharaj, a 21-year-old student, grew up in a small village named St Margaret’s in Trinidad. She has an associate’s degree in business administration and her ambition is to work within the fashion industry. Maharaj has already been accepted to do a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Fashion and Marketing at the American Intercontinental University and is in the running for a scholarship. She enjoys; listening to local music; Latin, Indian and Belly dancing; travel; reading and swimming and her favorite food is the ‘traditional Sunday lunch’ which usually consists of a chow mien, baked chicken and a macaroni pie with granny’s pepper sauce! Her motto comes from her country’s national anthem: “Live with boundless faith in your destiny”.

The TV spectacular was hosted by top Chinese TV presenter Angela Chow, presenting Miss World for the fifth year in succession, alongside co-host Fernando Allende, who is one of Latin America’s biggest stars and was making his Miss World debut.

It also featured a stunning performance by international pop star Duncan James, formerly with the boy band Blue, singing ‘All I care about is love’ from the hit musical Chicago, and spectacular dancing and acrobatics from some of China’s most talented dance troupes.

One of the highlights came when Mandla Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, introduced his grandfather’s televised message for World Aids Day.

This was followed by a magical moment, when the children from the Mandelas’ home town in South Africa joined with children from a local Hainan school and all 106 contestants to sing the World Aids Day song.

Miss World’s global viewing figures topping two billion across 174 countries. (Hardbeatnews.com)