Ms Böhm, after failing to gain a fast-tracked New Zealand citizenship, has been instructed to “step down” from her title which will now be passed onto 1st Runner up Talia Bennett.
Ms Bennett is 23, 5 ft 8 inches. She completed her Bachelor of Property and is a qualified commercial property valuer.
“To be asked by the Miss Universe New Zealand organiser’s to represent New Zealand at Miss Universe 2012 is a wonderful honor. It has been sad and unfortunate how events have unfolded and I am truly humbled in accepting my selection. I am looking forward with excitement to the once in a lifetime opportunity I have been given to represent my country on the world stage. I’m mindful of the very high standards set by past representatives and respectfully accept the challenge and responsibility I now have to my family, friends, supporters and the public to justify this significant honor.”
Bennett is over the moon and stands by beauty pageant director Val Lott who she says herself and the other contestants have “grown to love”.
Talia Bennett’s new title as Miss Universe New Zealand, follows months of disaster stories surrounding Avianca Böhm’s bid to fast-track her New Zealand citizenship.
When asked by media, Val Lott said it would be “confidence-boosting” for both Böhm and her local area of New Zealand [to enter the pageant] but she was told that she could not win. The judges were aware of Ms Böhm’s non-citizenship contrary to head judge Jack Yan’s version of events but still proceeded with their choice of winner.
“It’s not embarrassing for the competition. It’s embarrassing for the [head] judge, who should have taken on board what I said to him, It says that in their entry form. [Ms Böhm] and I both had a clear understanding that she couldn’t win.”
Ms Böhm had entered and won regional pageant Miss Howick, which gave her automatic entry into the Miss Universe New Zealand pageant and was recently interviewed by a South African paper appearing to insult pageant organisers and Auckland rugby.
Talia Bennett will compete in the Miss Universe beauty pageant (venue to be confirmed) which will be held in December.
Source: http://zeishapr.com/2012/07/31/talia-be ... land-2012/