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PART 4: OTHER SCANDALS & CONTROVERSIES

Bert Parks Bert Parks, Miss America Host from 1955 to 1979

In 1979 organizers of the pageant dismissed Bert Parks as host of Miss America Pageant. He read about his firing in the newspapers. In 1990 Parks made a nostalgic return to the pageant for its 70th anniversary, as a guest. He did not sing to the winner that year -- host Gary Collins did -- but Parks did serenade twenty-five former Miss Americas assembled on stage with the signature song, "There She Is." Although he received a standing ovation, the program was marred by gaffes and he was not asked to return.

Alma Concepcion Alma Concepcion, Miss Philippines International 1994

Alma Concepcion was detained by Guam authorities in 1998 after airport inspectors allegedly found amphetamines in her purse. She was charged with importing a controlled substance, possessing a controlled substance on an aircraft and possessing a controlled substance in Guam, all felony convictions. She was released after making a plea deal for her to make public service announcements about the dangers of drugs to be shown in both Guam and the Philippines.

Élodie Gossuin Élodie Gossuin, Miss France Universe 2001

Rumor circulated by a French language website claimed that 20-year-old Élodie Gossuin was actually a transvestite days after winning the Miss France 2001 contest. The rumor went on for months until a few days before the Miss Universe contest when the editor of the website that published the original article, stated publicly that the story was completely a fabrication. Gossuin went on to become one of the top 10 semi-finalists at the Miss Universe pageant that year. She also represented France at the Miss Europe contest that same year in Beirut, Lebanon where she became the 6th Miss France to win the title.

Amy Polumbo Amy Polumbo, Miss New Jersey America 2007

Amy Nicole Polumbo, Miss New Jersey America 2007 became a subject of some controversy when some compromising photos from her private Facebook account were mailed to the pageant organizers. The producers of the pageant didn't consider the pics to be racy, and she kept her crown. She won a Non-finalist Talent Award at the 2008 Miss America Pageant.

Christina Silva Christina Silva, Miss California USA 2007

On November 25, 2007 Christina Silva was crowned Miss California. Three days later, the title was taken away from her after the judges said the votes had been miscounted. She sued the organizers citing racial discrimination as the reason she was stripped of her title. Ultimately, she had her own change of heart and dropped the suit. The new Miss California, Raquel Beezley who represented Barstow and a quarter Filipino, was awarded the crown.

Ashley Harder Ashley Harder, Miss New Jersey USA 2007

Three months after winning the Miss New Jersey USA crown, Ashley Harder had to resign after finding out that she was expecting a child in late summer that year. Her first runner-up, Erin Abrahamson, a former Miss New Jersey Teen assumed the title & competed in the Miss USA 2007 pageant.

Lauren Upton Lauren Upton, Miss South Carolina Teen 2007

Lauren Upton was Miss South Carolina Teen USA for 2007. She gained international notoriety for her convoluted response to a question posed to her during the Miss Teen USA pageant of that year when she went on to place fourth. According to YouTube, video clips of her response on the website have had over 40 million views.

Ingrid Marie Rivera Ingrid Marie Rivera, Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2008

Ingrid Marie Rivera claimed that someone had sabotaged her clothes and makeup with pepper spray, causing harsh reactions to her face & body, two days after being crowned Miss Puerto Rico Universe 2008. The island's Forensic Science Institute determined after thorough investigations that someone had indeed doused Rivera's garments with pepper spray. She did not make it to the semi-finals at Miss Universe that year. Ingrid also represented Puerto Rico in 2005 at Miss World where she placed third.

Lindsey Evans Lindsey Evans, Miss Louisiana Teen USA 2008

Lindsey Evans had only 10 days left on her reign when she was relieved of her title by the Miss USA Organization. She tried to dissed a bill of $46.07 after dining in a restaurant with her friends. Then she found out that she had left her purse behind and decided to go back and get it. The police arrested her for theft when she showed up on the scene and put herself in another trouble when the police found marijuana in her purse.

Valérie Bégue Valérie Bégue, Miss France Universe 2008

Two weeks after Valérie Bégue was crowned Miss France 2008, sensual photos that were taken when she was only 16 in her hometown of Réunion, an island located in the Indian Ocean, were released by a French tabloid. Because of the controversy, the Miss France commitee allowed her to keep the title, but sent her first runner-up Vahinerii Requillart to the Miss Universe pageant that year.

Carrie Prejean Carrie Prejean, Miss California USA 2009

Carrie Prejean was first runner-up to Miss USA 2009 Kristen Dalton of North Carolina. She alleged in several interviews that her answer to pageant judge Perez Hilton's question regarding gay marriage cost her the Miss USA crown. Then she violated her contract by appearing in a controversial ad and posing for semi-nude photos which later leaked online. In the end, Mr. Donald Trump made the decision that Carrie should keep the Miss California crown resulting in the resignation of one of the Miss California directors. She was eventually dethroned on June 10, 2009, with the producers of the Miss California USA pageant citing continued breach of contract issues as the reason.

Laura Zuñiga Laura Zuñiga, Miss Mexico International 2009

Two months after being crowned Miss Mexico International, Laura Zuñiga was arrested in Zapopan, Jalisco, along with her boyfriend and six others- for racketeering, drug trafficking, weapons violations, and money laundering. She was stripped of her title as Miss Mexico International 2009 because of the incident even though after the court hearing, the judge did not find evidence that tied her to the criminal activities.

Venus Raj Venus Raj, Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2010

LATEST ON VENUS RAJ (5/13/10)::::: LATEST ON VENUS RAJ (4/19/10)::::: LATEST ON VENUS RAJ (4/12/10)::::: LATEST ON VENUS RAJ (4/10/10):::::
Links to sites that tackle this controversy:
Petition-for-Venus-Raj-to-remain-as-BbPilipinas-Universe-2010
Bring-Back-The-Crown-To-Maria-Venus-Raj-For-BbPilipinas-Universe
Reinstatement of Maria Venus Raj as the Philippine Representative to Miss Universe 2010
Fountain of Beauty Messageboard
The Ultimate Philippine Pageant Messageboard of the New Millenium!


Acknowledgments:
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
You Tube

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