Model Nguyen Do Bac Linh got an official invite for this year's Miss Bikini International contest, but she has been beached, so to speak.
The Department of Performing Arts (DPA) has denied Linh permission to participate in the contest on the grounds that she has won no national contest, and thus cannot represent the country in international contests.
Sharing Linh's fate is model Nguyen Thi Kim Dung, invited for the Miss Tourism Intercontinental competition.
Yet another colleague, Chau Doan Thanh Truc has been denied permission to participate in the Miss Beauty of the World contest, but she has decided to go anyway.
Pham Dinh Thang, head of DPA's Performance and Stage Management division, said since the three models had won no national title, they were not entitled to represent Vietnam at international pageants, according to 6th and 12th clauses in the regulation dealing with beauty contests.
Truc and Linh are the gold and bronze medalists at the Ngoi sao nguoi mau (Model star) contest organized by PL Model Company and Ho Chi Minh City's Youth Cultural House, while Dung was placed third at the 2009 Vietnam Supermodel contest. However, these were modeling contests and their winners are considered unqualified for international beauty contests.
Linh and Dung have said they are disappointed at the disapproval but will respect it and enter another national contest this year. Linh, in fact, said she was no less unlucky than Huynh Thanh Tuyen, who also missed Miss Bikini International last year in China due to the influenza A (H1N1) outbreak.
It is reported that Truc is currently in China for the 2010 Miss Beauty pageant. Thanh Long, managing director of PL Model Company, said Truc's decision to participate was her own, made without the department's or his company's consent. Although she works for his company, the responsibility for participating is her own since the company has informed her that she has been denied permission, Long said.
Thang of DPA said that his department and HCMC's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will apply administrative punishments whenever laws are broken.
After Bolivia withdrew from hosting the Miss Universe pageant this year, Croatia and Australia are hopeful of getting the opportunity.
However, if either Croatia or Australia is chosen, the pageant will be held in August, at the same time that the Miss Vietnam and Miss Vietnam World contests are being organized in Quang Ninh and Khanh Hoa respectively. Which means there will be no Vietnamese representative at the Miss Universe contest, for the winners of the two domestic pageants will participate in the Miss World and Miss Earth pageants this year.
The Miss Earth contest will also be hosted by Khanh Hoa Province's Nha Trang Town this November. The Miss Vietnam Universe contest cannot be organized this year as rules do not allow two national beauty contests each year. The Miss Vietnam World contest is not deemed a national contest because it allows for the participation of overseas Vietnamese.
Now second runner-up of Miss Vietnam Universe 2008 Duong Truong Thien Ly is the best choice for Miss Universe. But Thien Ly has made no announcement whether or not she would take the chance.