Lea Salonga named a Miss Universe judge

Lea Salonga, perhaps the most admired Filipino globally along with Manny Pacquiao, will be one of the seven judges in the Miss Universe 2011 pageant night in Sao Paulo, Brazil, according to the pageant organizers.

The pageant will be held on September 12 (morning of September 13 Manila time).

"São Paulo, here I come!!!!!" Salonga tweeted a few hours after the tycoon and main organizer Donald Trump and Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, announced the composition of the judges’ roster on Thursday.

The other judges are three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helios Castroneves, American broadcast legend Connie Chung, Brazilian Supermodel Isabeli Fontana, actress/television producer Vivica Fox, Adrienne Maloof of the hit series The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and Miss Universe 2003 Amelia Vega.

Salonga won a Tony Award in 1991 for her lead performance in the Broadway musical Miss Saigon. She joined the ranks of the Disney Legends at ceremonies in Anaheim, California on August 19. She was honored for being the singing voice of the female lead characters in three Disney films, Aladdin, Mulan and Mulan II. Salonga was also cited for her achievements in theatre and music since age 7.

In October 2010, Salonga was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

The 60th Annual Miss Universe® Pageant will be broadcast live from Credicard Hall in São Paulo and will have a live Spanish simulcast that will air on the Telemundo Network. The Miss Universe Organization is a Donald J. Trump and NBC Universal joint venture.

For the first time in the pageant’s history, candidates' supporters 16 years of age or older “may vote online up to 10 times per e-mail address per day." Online voting began last August 19 and will end on September 11 at www.nbc.com and www.missuniverse.com.

“After you click the 'vote' button, rank the contestants 1-10, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. Producer will then take the average of the total votes from the IP addresses originating from each country, and each country vote will count as 1," the pageant’s online voting rules state.

The pageant’s producer will tabulate the online votes and “take the average of the total votes from the IP addresses originating from each country. Each country vote will then count as 1 vote, and be averaged with all of the other country votes to give the contestant a final score."

The winner of the online voting will gain an automatic spot into the semifinals of the pageant.

The Philippines’ candidate in the pageant is University of the Philippines (UP) magna cum laude architecture graduate Shamcey Supsup.

Supsup, who comes from General Santos City in Mindanao, topped the architecture licensure examinations in 2010 and was given special recognition last June by the UP Alumni Association.

Last year, Miss Philippines Venus Raj was 4th Runner-up in the pageant. The Miss Universe crown went to Miss Mexico, Ximena Navarrete. - Earl Rosero/HS, GMA News


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