DHAKA: Russia began hosting Miss Universe for the first time in the pageant’s 61-year history, with contestants from 86 countries shimmying along a catwalk in a concert hall in Moscow.
Politics came near to overshadowing the glitz as one United States host refused to come in protest at an anti-gay law, while the contest’s owner, Donald Trump, declared US leaker Edward Snowden, who is living in hiding in Russia, persona non grata.
Tuesday’s preliminary round saw participants strut across a stage with a backdrop of onion domes, first in black and red bikinis, and then in sparkling and slinky evening dresses, The Straits Times publishes this report on Wednesday.
The women did not speak except to give their name and country.
The biggest cheers went to the Russian contestant as well as those from Mexico and the Philippines, who were greeted by flag-waving fans.
BDST: 1306 HRS, NOV 06, 2013