MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti) – Russian beauty queen Elmira Abdrazakova was left Saturday out of the list of finalists at the Miss Universe beauty pageant held in Russia for the first time, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the event.
The show, which started at 10:00 pm Moscow time (18:00 GMT) at the Crocus City Hall and is being broadcast around the world to an estimated audience of some two billion people, began with judges whittling down the 86 contestants to a final 16.
The finalists include national beauty queens from Costa Rica, Ukraine, China, Ecuador, Britain, Indonesia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain, the United States, Nicaragua, Switzerland, India, Brazil and the Philippines.
The jury, led by rock singer Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, will name the winner after swimsuit and evening wears competitions as well as a personal interview round.
Miss Philippines, 24-year-old chemistry graduate Ariella Arida, and Miss Spain, 23-year-old actress and model Patricia Rodriguez are among favorites to win the crown of the contest, which dates back 61 years.
The current Miss Universe is Olivia Culpo from USA. She was crowned on December 19, 2012 in Las Vegas.
Miss Universe pageant, acquired by US property magnate Donald Trump in 1996, is part of the Big Four international beauty pageants.
Russia’s Oksana Fedorova won Miss Universe title in 2002.