Melbourne: Organisers of the Miss Universe New Zealand have been left red-faced after they accidentally crowned a South African-born beauty queen who is not eligible for the title.
According to the New Zealand Herald, pageant director Val Lott said that she told judges not to let 22-year-old Avianca Bohm win the competition, after allowing her to enter as it would boost her confidence.
Bohm, a blonde bombshell who represented the Auckland suburb of Howick, could hardly contain her excitement about meeting pageant owner Donald Trump after being crowned on Saturday night, but will not be able to travel to the Miss Universe pageant in December unless her citizenship is fast-tracked.
“It’s not embarrassing for the competition. It’s embarrassing for the (chief) judge, who should have taken on board what I said to him,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Lott as saying.
“(Bohm) and I both had a clear understanding that she could not win. I said, you can enter it because it will still be confidence-boosting and great for your area to represent Howick,” the pageant director said.
In another bungle for the competition, judge Jack Yan admitted third runner-up Monique Cooley is an Australian citizen and was also ineligible for the title, Stuff.co.nz reported.
Bohm moved to New Zealand from South Africa at the age of 16, speaking only Afrikaans, but now considers herself a Kiwi and said she would like to make her future in New Zealand.
“I’m so, so, so excited to meet Donald Trump, and to meet all the other girls from all the other countries,” she said.
However Bohm must now wait to find out from pageant organizers whether she is able to officially win the title.
An online casting call stated entrants must hold New Zealand residency and citizenship. They were also required to pay a sponsorship fee of 2271 dollars.