LifeStyle

Miss Universe hopefuls confused after being enlisted into Miss World competition

All is not right in the universe. Miss Universe that is.

Confusion has been raging on social media for weeks with former Miss Universe Australia owner Deborah Miller opening registrations to the 2016 competition only for aspiring beauty queens to discover they will be participating in Miss World instead.

Miss Australia 2015 Monika Radulovic was named in the top 10 at last year's international final.
Miss Australia 2015 Monika Radulovic was named in the top 10 at last year's international final. Photo: Ethan Miller

The two pageants are vastly different, according to experts โ€“ like comparing apples to oranges, Nescafe to Nespresso.

"Let's be real, pageants are all about entertainment not inner beauty. No one gives a s--- about inner beauty. No one gives a s--- what your kidney looks like, that's why these events are so popular and it's getting harder to differentiate between the two. Miss World is all about charity and raising funds for Variety while Miss Universe started as a bikini competition," pageant expert Peter Sereno said.

Former Miss Universe Australia owner Deborah Miller with Miss Universe Australia Monika Radulovic.
Former Miss Universe Australia owner Deborah Miller with Miss Universe Australia Monika Radulovic. Photo: Instagram

Since earlier this year hopeful Miss Universe Australia contestants who have signed up for the pageant via what they thought was the official website have been receiving emails titled: "CONGRATULATIONS! You have been accepted in the Victorian Preliminary event!".

"Due to changes with the Miss Universe Organisation, currently we don't have any events locked in for Miss Universe Australia. The national director for Miss Universe Australia Deborah Miller has now taken over Miss World Australia," the emails, obtained by The Sun-Herald, explained.

As well as being signed up for a different event, entrants who fit the "Miss World Australia criteria" of "never been married, never given birth to a child and have not committed any crime" are required to bring a "choreography fee [of] $60 in an envelope".

Sereno, the man who runs the popular Dear Pageant Girl blog and who coached Jennifer Hawkins to the crown in 2004, said a registration fee to enter a pageant is not uncommon but payment is usually only requested from those who make it successfully through the heat stages.

"For Deborah this a business. She also runs a pageant academy which she charges the girls $300 for," Sereno said.

"Usually my absence says a lot and I've stayed away from the Miss Universe pageant for years," he said of Miller's tenure at the helm of the competition which was marred by rigging allegations in 2014.

Miller no longer has the rights to the Miss Universe Australia competition, with new international owner IMG appointing Perth businessman Troy Barbagallo as the new national director last week. However, according to the Miss Universe Australia website, applications for the 2016 event are still being taken and Miller continues to be handling "all booking and inquiries" for Miss Universe Australia 2015 Monika Radulovic.

Miller did not return calls or emails made by The Sun-Herald.

Barbagallo, who has been running the Western Australian arm of the competition for eight years, said he was aware IMG have been in touch with Miller regarding the changing of the guard.

"I'm honoured to have our platform recognised by Miss Universe Organisation and excited to offer it across Australia to all those interested in participating and to level the playing field," he said.

"The biggest change is that my platform is about every young Australian who participates will leave having an extraordinary experience. We will make it modern and offer health, wealth, educational and social opportunities to all of them. Our focus is not on one girl but more about encouraging all."

Napoleon glad to escape Waterloo

Make-up artist Napoleon Perdis knew it was time to leave the United States, his home for 11ย years, when his daughter requested a credit card for her 15th birthday.

"I was driving home to LA from Palm Springs with a friend and she was in the car when I asked her what she wanted and she said 'I want a credit card'. I knew then I had to leave," Perdis said of his 2015 US exodus, which saw the closure of his Beverly Hills store and the removal of his products from popular stores including Bergdorf Goodman and Target.

"Lianna's young friends all had them at their age and I was sick of these affluent people and their fake political correctness. I don't want my children growing up in a place where you have to be impeccably manicured to be loved. All everyone is chasing over there is youth and fame."

Following that conversation he and wife Soula-Marie decided to move with their four daughters to Athens as the local economy began to crumble.

"In Greece they go to school with people that know real troubles. They go to the bread shop or the fruit shop after school now rather than spending time in malls. We live a very normal life in Athens, there aren't the flash cars like I had in the States, just a Mini Cooper and Peugeot. It's a place for us to get back to our blood values, our religious values.

"The kids now know how to be giving and caring and kind and know how to spot GMO foods."

Lianna recently celebrated her 16th birthday with a lavish party, complete with hired dancers where the birthday girl wore Balmain and a pair of $3000 Dior boots. She is set to sign with a modelling agency in Milan in the coming months as well as appear on the cover of a major Australian magazine, according to her proud dad.

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Trying 2 look like a DJ ๐Ÿ‘… #sweet16

A photo posted by Lianna Perdis (@liannaperdis) on

However, you can take the man out of LA but not the LA out of the man, who has been home in Sydney for Myer's autumn-winter 2016 launch, where he arrived with his $13,000 Birkin bag.

"Listen I get Botox and injectables myself but I love coming home and seeing a natural face. I got sick and tired of seeing all of the same frozen faces over there," he said.

Donald Trump's message for Jennifer Hawkins

Jennifer Hawkins was too busy detoxing and preparing for the Myer autumn-winter last week to follow the New Hampshire primary in the United States closely but is glad her friend Donald Trump was victorious.

The former Miss Universe who spent the better part of 2004 with the former pageant owner turner presidential hopeful said she admired his family values and business tips.

"He's a wonderful family man. I don't think a lot of people know or see that but he just loves his kids," she said.

Hawkins, who is now an aspiring entrepreneur with a successful beauty brand, swimwear line and real estate portfolio, credits "The Don" with teaching her the importance of "jumping in".

While reluctant to talk about her relationship with Trump, she said his business advice has stuck with her throughout her career.

"He's very much about if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, just jump in and throw yourself into it and work really hard. He has a good work ethic."

Golf's First Lady turns to rock'n'roll

Jan Stephenson is the ultimate "slashie".

No, she's not a model who has decided to move into acting, the 64-year-old golfing legend, philanthropist and winemaker is now a rock music promoter who will be bringing her first tour to Australia.

The Legendary Voices of Rock show will star Journey's lead singer Steve Augeri and Kansas frontman Robby Steinhardt and kick off in Tweed Heads in April.

"I remember these guys when they were young 30-year-olds into sex and drugs and now we play golf together and they take part in my big charity events," Stephenson told The Sun-Herald.

This will be the first time to Australia for Augeri and Steinhardt where Stephenson will play tour manager as well as tour guide.

"I've told them as I've financed this event there will be no fancy tour rider, just a bus which my brother who's an ex-firefighter will be driving. We'll be eating meat pies, burgers with the lot and Vegemite, even if they don't want to."

Tickets to The Legendary Voices of Rock start at $55. For more information head to janstephensonevents.com

Party of the week: AURA Rose launch

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single person must be in want of rose wine on Valentine's Day. Thankfully AURA by Philips Frolic was launched just in time for today's celebrations spent with loved ones and/or bingeing on Netflix alone.

Tastemakers from Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Gourmet Traveller and influencers including Food Safari presenter Maeve O'Meara headed to the rooftop of The Old Clare Hotel in Chippendale to sip and sample the dry, pale pink drop made from the prized pinot meunier grape which are usually incorporated into our favourite domestic bubbly, Chandon sparkling.