Jenna Talackov officially began her bid for the Miss Universe crown last night in Canada. The transgender beauty contestant, who was nearly banned from competition, joined the other 62 Canadian beauties for the preliminary swimsuit and evening gown competitions.
Due to the controversy surrounding Talackov she is easily the best known contestant in the competition. The National Post reports that some of the other girls have complained that Talackov is stealing the spotlight.
Donavon Powell, who was at the contest last night to cheer on his 24-year-old girlfriend Vaughan Marr, said:
“It’s a little bit one-sided and there’s a lot of focus on maybe Jenna and maybe the issues surrounding it… I think it’s good there’s attention brought to it but I think it might be outweighing and overshadowing the rest of the competition in general.”
Organizers of the event agreed that there was a lot more attention being paid to this year’s contest. The NP reports that there were twice as many reporters at the Miss Universe Canada contest this year compared to 2011.
Justin Ryan, one of the 15 judges, said that the controversy surrounding Talackov wouldn’t persuade the results of the contest. Ryan said:
“We won’t be pushed into making her the winner just because we want to be involved in history in the making… We’ll only decide if Jenna’s a suitable winner if Jenna shows us that she’s worthy of holding that crown. She’s gorgeous, but she’s got to be a whole lot more than gorgeous to be our winner.”
The Toronto Sun reports that the personal interview round will be held tonight and the winner will be crowned on Saturday.
Do you think Jenna Talackov will be crowned Miss Universe Canada?