It took India 21 years to finally win the most coveted Miss Universe crown when in 2021, the 21 year old Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu of Chandigarh, Punjab won the title after defeating 79 other extremely gorgeous women from all over the world. 21 years is surely a very long wait but not longer than Leilani’s oath of silence. For 22 years, the former Miss World contestant kept mum about her experience at Miss World 2000 and what she and her batchmates had to face during the competition.
Two weeks ago, on 27th October, The former Miss Barbados - Leilani McConne posted a video analysing the recent Miss USA controversy about the 2022 competition being rigged in favour of Miss Texas - R'Bonney Gabriel. She was reacting to the videos posted by the other contestants of the competition when she started drawing out similarities between the allegations made by MUSA’22 contestants and her own year at Miss World, leaving the entire pageant community furious.
Leilani is facing a lot of backlash for her statements from the fans of Miss World and the global icon - Priyanka Chopra. But fret not dear citizens of the Pageant World, because your pageant police have been on this case for a while now and here are the discoveries that we have made so far during the course of our investigations.
- Allegation : Miss India was the only contestant allowed to wear a one-piece swimsuit along with a sarong.
During the 14 minute long video, Leilani mentions how during the Miss World Priyanka Chopra requested the judges to allow her to wear a dress and use a sarong because she was using a toning cream on her legs and her skin was still ‘blotchy’ and she did not want to present herself in front of the judges like that. Leilani says that Priyanka was the only contestant allowed to do so by the judges. We assumed that the word “dress” actually refers to wearing a one piece swimsuit here since no 'dresses' were seen through the swimsuit competition that year. However, on diving deep into the old photos and videos of the Miss World 2000 competition, we made a shocking discovery. The girls were flown to Maldives, just to shoot the swimsuit competition and then flown back to London for the rest of the competition. During the actual competition, PeeCee was in fact wearing a two piece blue bikini with a sarong wrapped around her hips. Girls that were ‘allowed’ to wear a one piece bikini were the contenders from Argentina, Brazil,Angola,Aruba, Russia, France, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Belarus, The Philippines, Hongkong, Finland, England, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Cyprus, Colombia, Lithuania and Venezuela. Talking about sarongs now, we see in the Miss World 2000 Swimsuit videos that Miss Belgium, Moldova,Nepal,Chinese Taipei, Korea, Ireland,Wales,Malaysia, Malta, Israel,Sweden, Japan,Trinidad and Tobago,Scotland, Zimbabwe, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, Chile, Ecuador, South Africa, Peru, Lebanon, Madagascar, Honduras, USA, Panama and Spain wearing sarongs during their swimsuit round at the Maldives. So, bestie, we might have to deem this allegation as cap.
- Conclusion : False Accusation.
What’s also interesting is the fact that Miss T&T was allowed to wear both a one piece swimsuit along with a sarong, Miss New Zealand had worn two different swimsuits in the introduction video and Miss Estonia wore a net dress over her bikini during the swimsuit shoot.
- Allegation : ZEE TV as a sponsor favoured Priyanka.
MConney’s first speculation in the video shared is that the Miss World 2000 pageant was sponsored by an Indian cable station - Zee TV which favoured her over all other girls, hence the victory. She also claims that their sashes had the logo of Zee TV above their country name, which is true as we can see in the photos but the idea of the pageant being rigged simply because the sponsors were Indian, seems a little off. For those that are unknown to the fact that Miss World had had Indian sponsors even in the past, here’s a little summary - In 1996, the Miss World pageant was held in India and organised by Amitabh Bachchan’s entertainment company - ABCL. The sponsor for that year of the contest was Godrej - and every girl had Godrej’s logo on her sash, above her country’s name. In fact, the winner of that year, Irene Skliva of Greece also had Godrej’s logo on her Miss World Sash! Miss India was placed in the top 5. The theory that Miss World 2000 sponsors would rig the pageant in India’s favour might have a lot of supporters, but it is still just a hypothetical allegation without any actual proof. Objection, your honour! Calls for speculation.
- Conclusion : Unverified Opinion.
image source bollywoodshaadis.com
- Allegation : Priyanka was not nice, very unlikeable.
Although, this one allegation can be dismissed as unimportant, considering how it can be one’s personal opinion based on their interaction with another person, what we would like to point out is the fact that even while accusing Priyanka Chopra of being ‘unlikeable’, Leilani does not further explain why she was unlikeable. No comments were made about her being rude or disrespectful or acting unkindly with any staff of contestants. She went on to say that everybody else at the competition was tall and pretty and Miss India wasn’t either. Priyanka stands 1.65 metres tall, which is above the average height of Indian girls. Miss World had crowned shorter girls in the past, with Miss World 1963 being the shortest with a height of 1.60m. Also bringing to everyone’s attention, Miss Barbados accuses Priyanka of being Narcissistic, again, an allegation made without further explaining why she believes so. This whole discussion looks like a way to diss Priyanka and degrade her image without actually presenting proofs.
Conclusion : Unverified Opinion
- Allegation : Priyanka was allowed to skip activities.
MConney states that Miss India Priyanka Chopra did not show up for rehearsals or activities. “She didn't have to go to meals, like the morning meals, she didn't have to go to. It was brought to her in her bed.” This is that one allegation that can hold some truth in it because almost no photos and videos are available from that time’s rehearsals or meals because of the lack of social media back then. However, in our humble opinion, a beauty contestant that misses the rehearsals, would not know the exact show routine and would thus mess up at least once, during the finale routine. However, our opinion cannot help us decide whether or not this allegation is true, therefore we choose to not give a judgement in this case.
Conclusion : Information Not Enough To Form A Judgement.
While we do not have proof to prove that Miss Chopra was in fact a part of the rehearsals, we do have a picture that claims that the only girl that missed the filming for the group shot was in fact, Miss Trinidad and Tobago. Have a look!
- Allegation : Priyanka had press calls, all by herself.
It has been a tradition in beauty pageants that the girl from the host or the sponsor’s country gets to be a part of more activities during the pageant. In the case of Miss Universe, Miss USA - the girl that represents the United States of America gets to share the same apartment as the reigning Miss Universe, even before her actual competition, because both Miss Universe and Miss USA have the same parent organisation! The rules are also different for these girls, like again speaking of the Miss USA case, last year Miss USA - Elle Smith was crowned just a few days before the Miss Universe competition commenced, while all other countries were asked to declare their representatives way before. Sponsorship has certain rules and one cannot use that as a way to prove rigging of the contest.
Conclusion : Baseless Accusation
- Allegation : Designer Jason Wu designed all of the gowns for the opening number and everybody else’s gown was ‘ a mini bride version of her gown’
Leilani states in her video that the gowns worn by all the girls during the opening number of the finale were all designed by Jason Wu, and everybody else’s gown had fitting issues while Priyanka’s gown was immaculate.We watched the entire opening number to see the difference but it turns out, there wasn't one. Most girls had a well fitted gown and nobody was given extra spotlight either.
Conclusion : False Accusation
- Allegation : Back To Back proves it’s rigged
Honey! As much as we would like to take the glory of being the first country to ever win a back to back at Miss World, sadly, we can't. In fact, the very year Miss World commenced, it was already halfway through its first back to back victory as Sweden won the first two consecutive editions of Miss World with Kiki Håkansson crowning her successor May-Louise Flodin. The second time Miss World witnessed a back to back was in the years 1964 and 1965 when Ann Sidney and Lesley Doreen Langley of the United Kingdom were the winners. India is in fact the third country to be added to the list of back to backs and so, this theory can also be deemed as untrue. We smell a strong scent of a lack of research and credibility here.
Conclusion : False Claims.
After re analysing the whole video and considering all the possible incidents, the pageant police has come to a final conclusion. We have to call major BS on this one because clearly, the facts stated in her video were not well researched and had excess of personal bias and jealousy towards the winner, from someone that didn't even manage to make the first cut. Time for a break folks, until next time!