May 18, 2012
Miss Universe Canada kicks off
By QMI Agency
TORONTO - The spotlight was on transgender contestant Jenna Talackova as the Miss Universe Canada pageant kicked off in Toronto Thursday night.
The 62 contestants took to the stage for the preliminary round in swimsuits and evening gowns.
Talackova was originally disqualified from the contest because she was not a "naturally born female."
The 23-year-old from Vancouver, who underwent gender reassignment surgery when she was 19, was then reinstated by businessman Donald Trump, who owns the Miss Universe organization.
The personal interview round goes Friday and the winner will be crowned Saturday.
Special Awards handed out during the Presentation Show:
Best Runway Model: Adwoa Yamoah
Best Body: Chelsea Bird
Audience Favorite: Casar Jacobson
SOS Children’s Villages Humanitarian Award: Marta Jablonska
People’s Choice Award: Mandi Gale (Winner, gets automatically into Top 20)
1st Runner-up: Vania Georgieva
2nd Runner-up: Kesiah Papasin