LEA SALONGA JUDGE IN MISS UNIVERSE PAGEANT IN SAO PAULO
MANILA, SEPTEMBER 10, 2011 (STANDARD) by Giovanni Paolo J. Yazon - SINGER and stage actress Lea Salonga will sit as one of the judges in the Miss Universe pageant in Sao Paulo on Sept. 13 (Tuesday, Manila time), show organizers said Thursday.
In a statement issued in New York, NBC Entertainment, the Miss Universe Organization, and businessman Donald Trump named the seven judges who will determine who among 89 contestants will become Miss Universe 2011 and succeed Ximena Navarrete Rosete of Mexico.
Joining Salonga are Helios Castroneves, a Brazilian auto racing driver and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner; Connie Chung, the first Asian-American anchor on US television; Isabeli Fontana, a Brazilian supermodel; Vivica Fox, American actress and TV producer; philanthropist and TV personality Adrienne Maloof, from Bravo’s hit series The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills; and Miss Universe 2003 Amelia Vega from the Dominican Republic.
Andy Cohen, presenter of Bravo’s Watch What Happens: Live, and Natalie Morales, news anchor of NBC’s Today, will host the 60th edition of the competition, which will be held at the Credicard Hall in Săo Paulo.
Salonga, 40, is best known for originating the lead role of Kim in the musical Miss Saigon, for which she won the Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Theater World awards. She was the first Asian to portray the roles of Eponine and Fantine in the Broadway musical Les Miserables.
She provided the singing voice of two Disney princesses, Jasmine in Aladdin (1992) and Fa Mulan in Mulan (1998) and Mulan II (2004). She was one of the 12 people who received a Disney Legend award recently in recognition of her contribution to Walt Disney.
Salonga is the fifth Filipino to become a judge in this most publicized competition.
Then Foreign Affairs Secretary Carlos P. Romulo was the first Filipino to be a Miss Universe judge when the pageant was held in Manila in 1974.
The Philippine contestant in this year’s pageant is Shamcey Gurrea Supsup, a 25-year-old magna cum laude graduate of the University of the Philippines and the topnotcher in the June 2010 Architecture Licensure Examination.
For the first time in the 60-year history of the Miss Universe pageant, the show will incorporate a global online fan-voting scheme that will automatically advance the contestant with the highest number of votes to the semi-finals.
Filipinos around the world can vote for Supsup by logging on to http://www.missuniverse.com and click on the contestants page.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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