Tuesday, August 18, 2009

miss world 1975

Wilnelia Merced became in 1975 the first and to date only winner of the Miss World title from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Merced faced a difficult year: the last Miss World before her had caused controversy by having a child out of wedlock. It was important for the winner to restore the contest's reputation. She travelled widely during her reigning year and was invited to pre-civil war El Salvador by that country's government. She fell in love with England, which she would later make her home. After passing on her crown, in 1976, she was signed by Ford Models in New York. In 1978 a giant poster of Wilnelia was displayed in Times Square, and she was introduced, in London at the 1980 Miss World competition gala to British television entertainer Bruce Forsyth. Merced and Forsyth married in 1983. While still a public figure at home in Puerto Rico she retired as a model after her wedding. They had a son in 1986, and she became in the 1990s, the owner of Miss World Puerto Rico. She also has a foundation to help Puerto Rico's under-privileged children, for which she organizes charity balls. Merced lives with her husband and their son, Jonathan Joseph, in London. In 2002, during one of her visits to Puerto Rico, her London home was broken into by thieves, who injured one of her maids.

The runners-up were: 
1st Runner-up: Marina Langner (Germany)
2nd Runner-up: Vicki Harris (United Kingdom)
3rd Runner-up: Maricela Maxie Clark (Cuba)
4th Runner-up Ladija Verkovska (Yugoslavia)

5th runner-up:Joelle Apollon (Haiti)
6th runner-up:María Conchita Alonso (Venezuela)
The delegates who made the top fifteen were: Anne Davidson (Australia), Leena Kaarina Vainio (Finland), Anjana Sood (India), Ramona Karam (Lebanon), Mariella Tse-Sik-Sun (Mauritius), Sophia St Omer (Saint Lucia), Rhoda Rademeyer (South Africa), Carmen Abal (Uruguay)

Special Awards
Personality: Maggie Siew Teen Sim (Singapore)
Photogenic: Vinah Thembi Mamba (Swaziland)

Withdrawals and Nations not competing
Spain promptly withdrew from the competition, after an announcement that General Francisco Franco, the ruler of Spain, had died on the morning of the pageant date. Pageant organizers concerned that she had been too upset by Franco’s death to appear in the finals.

Italy (Anna Vitale) was replaced by Vanna Bortolini, her first runner-up of the Miss Italy beauty pageant, because she decided to return home to take care of her ill mother.
South Africa (Rhoda Rademeyer) was the second runner-up of Miss South Africa beauty pageant. The official titleholder of this pageant, Vera Johns, was disqualified by the Miss World organizers when it was discovered that she came from Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Her Rhodesian nationality apparently did not violate the pageant's rules. The first runner-up, Crystal Coopers, went to London, but her father would not allow her to compete there because it was discovered that Vera Johns was not going to be officially stripped of her title.

Other Notes
France (Sophie Sonia Perin) was the third Miss World contestant to win the Miss International title in 1976, after the winning streaks of Karen Brucene Smith (Miss World 1971 contestant representing the United States of America), who won the title in 1974, and Tuula Anneli Björkling (Miss World 1972 contestant representing Finland), who won the title in 1973.
Swaziland was now the organizer of the Miss Swaziland pageant.
Bahamas competed in Miss Universe 1982, and then awarded as Miss Photogenic.
Germany was handpicked by a pageant photographer, rather than the winner of that nation's pageant.


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