A world of glamour

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(L-R) Second runner-up Dang Thuy Trang, Miss Vietnam 2010 Dang Thi Ngoc Han and first runner-up Vu Thi Hoang My

After days of high heels, glamorous dresses and dashing smiles, Hanoian model Dang Thi Ngoc Han's victory wrapped up the Miss Vietnam 2010 contest held in Quang Ninh Province's Tuan Chau Resort on August 14.

Standing 1.73 meters tall with well-proportioned measurements, Han was regarded from the beginning as one of the favorites to win the title. But many people were still surprised when she was crowned the new Miss Vietnam, beating stiff competition from audiences' favorites, Huynh Bich Phuong, Ton Nu Na Uy and Le Nha Uyen.

The majority of netizens on VnExpress.net have said Han's appearance is not worthy of a beauty queen. Some people expressed their disappointment at the judges' decision.

"I respect the judges' decision, but it's true that Ngoc Han is not naturally beautiful. She just looks good because of all the make-up. Compared to Ha Kieu Anh's nobility, Mai Phuong Thuy's youthfulness and Thuy Dung's elegance, Han does not possess anything," said netizen Ngo Thi Hong Van.

Others, however, say that Han is more than qualified to become the incumbent beauty queen.

"I've followed Han's progress from the start of the pageant. I think she deserves the crown. Bich Phuong is beautiful with a face reminiscent of Miss World 2007, Zi Lin Zhang, but she is not tall. Her two awards of Miss Photogenic (sponsored by Eurowindow) and Favorite Contestant in the top 20 are enough. Besides, Han is self-confident, one of the most important qualities for a beauty representative to have," said Bao Giang, a local events executive.

According to most people, this year's contestants were smart with a high educational level, as evidenced by the Q&A round. Audiences were very appreciative of Han when she announced, "a beauty queen must have both inner and outer beauty. Her mission is to join together with the community and devote herself to social and national development."

However, some opposed to her victory still suspect that her performance in the Q&A session was because she knew the questions in advance. Rumors still circulate that she won because of her relationship with noted designer, Minh Hanh, head of the contest's jury.

Even amid all the negativity and criticism, however, the 21-yearold-queen is still smiling.

"In five years modeling in Hanoi, I haven't been involved in a single scandal. A clean hand needs no washing. If your profile is questionable, I bet you don't dare to attend a national beauty contest like this, where organizers might delve into your past. It's easy to find any skeletons in the closet," said Han.

Speaking at the coronation's post-press conference, Han said that everyone knew she had appeared as a professional model in Hanh's fashion shows. But that was not the reason for her winning.

"If Hanh liked me, but the other judges didn't, I could not have won. I believe the judges made the right choice and I think I am the luckiest among 37 charming and smart girls"

Before winning the title of Miss Vietnam 2010, that came with a cash prize of VND500 million, Han was awarded the Miss Icon by Hoa Hoc Tro (Student's flower) newspaper in 2005, and Miss Photogenic at the Vietnamese Model Awards in 2006.

According to designer Minh Hanh, it is interesting to see that the beauty queen this year is a girl from the capital.

"Han's win will be part of the celebrations for the 1,000th birthday of Thang Long-Hanoi," said Hanh.

Han told the press that she believes her victory was mostly down to her self-confidence which she inherited from her beloved father, a director of a mechanical company in Hanoi.

"My dad is the source of my pride. Before the contest, he just told me to think of myself as a representative of Vietnamese beauty and to express myself wholeheartedly," said Han.

Another Miss-to-b


Miss Ao Dai, Pham Thi Thuy Linh, was eliminated from the upcoming final of Miss Vietnam World contest on August 21 for having a nose job

Meanwhile, at Vinpearl Land in Nha Trang, the Miss Vietnam World contest is ongoing and will culminate on August 21. Forty-two beauties have been staying at Vinpearl Land for nearly two weeks.

The contest has not run smoothly. Miss Ao Dai, Pham Thi Thuy Linh, was disqualified because she violated pageant regulations.

It came to light that Linh had had a nose job, a fact she admitted. Cosmetic surgery is banned. Linh is not allowed to attend the upcoming final and her title will be handed to one of the four runners-up, Ha Thi Hoang Anh.

The final night will include the contestants' performances on stage and a performance by world-renowned operatic pop vocal group, Il Divo.

Judges will select the top 15 for the grand final. Miss Vietnam World will receive a cash prize of VND500 million (US$26,300), while the first runner-up will be awarded VND300 million ($15,800) and the second runner-up will win VND200 million ($10,526).

The organizing committee will also award prizes for Miss Sport, Miss Talent, Miss Friendly, Miss Traditional Robe, Miss Fashion, Miss Beach, Miss Favorite (nominated online), Miss Photographic and Miss Elegant. Each of the winners will be presented with VND30 million ($1,580) in prize money.

Up to now, Nguyen Thanh Huyen has won the award for Miss Talent, Pham Thuy Vy Victoria is Miss Sport, Ninh Hoang Ngan is Miss Fashion and Nguyen Ngoc Kieu Khanh is Miss Beach. These girls will all take their places in the top 15.

After the Miss Vietnam World contest, Vinpearl Land will host Miss Earth 2010 in November.

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