Another controversy surrounds the Miss Universe pageant: Avianca Bohm, who was named Miss New Zealand, could be stripped of her title for not having been born in the country, despite being allowed to compete by organizers for personal confidence-boosting, according to a statement from the pageant director.
According to the Herald Sun, organizers for Miss Universe in New Zealand were aware that 22-year-old Bohm was not in fact born in the country but rather South Africa, which makes her ineligible to compete.
However, pageant director Val Lott allowed Bohm to compete in order to give her a confidence boost, though she instructed judges to not vote for her to win the crown.
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, Lott said, as reported by the Herald Sun. (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.
Bohm was crowned Miss New Zealand on Saturday, having met Donald Trump as the representative of the Auckland suburb of Howick. She was born in South Africa and moved when she was 16-years-old to New Zealand, which she now considers her home.
But Bohm wasn't the only applicant ineligible to compete. According to Stuff.Co.Nz, third runner-up Monique Cooley is an Australian citizen rather than a citizen of New Zealand. The competition rules stated that competitors must hold residency and citizenship in New Zealand as well as paying a sponsorship fee of $2,271.
According to the Herald Sun, Avianca Bohm will find out shortly if she is allowed to compete pending a decision from pageant organizers.
The latest controversy comes in a myriad of scandals for the Miss Universe competition, and other pageants as well. First, transgender contestant Jenna Talackova was disqualified in Canada from the Miss Universe competition after judges found that she was born male. The incident, which garnered global attention, prompted judges to reverse the ruling to allow her to compete in the pageant. Shortly after, Miss Dominican Republic Carlina Duran was disqualified from the Miss Universe contest when judges learned that she was married.
Then, Fijian beauty queen Torika Watters was disqualified from the Miss World pageant in May for being underage. At 16-years-old, Watters who was chosen to represent Fiji in the Miss World pageant did not meet the minimum age requirement of 17 and was replaced by first runner-up, 24-year-old Koini Vakaloloma.
View the slideshow to see photos of Miss New Zealand Avianca Bohm.