Avianca Bohm, who won the Miss New Zealand crown this past Saturday, was born in South Africa, a fact the pageant organizers were aware of. According to the New Zealand Herald, pageant director Val Lott permitted Bohm to compete because it would be "confidence-boosting" for both Bohm and her local area of New Zealand. But the condition was that she didn't win.
"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 told the New Zealand Herald. "It says that in their entry form. [Ms Bohm] and I both had a clear understanding that she couldn't win."
Which strikes us as strange because, well, how can someone be qualified to compete if she's not qualified to win? Not to mention that deciding in advance who won't win rigs the competition, albeit in the opposite direction than usual.
Bohm is trying to fast-track her citizenship application in hopes that she can represent New Zealand in December's Miss Universe 2012 competition. In the meantime, she is awaiting a response from pageant organizers, who are deciding on the status of her title.
The controversy comes on the heels of the Miss USA brouhaha, in which contestant Sheena Monnin accused Sunday's Miss USA 2012 pageant of being rigged. (Donald Trump, head of the Miss Universe Organization that runs Miss USA, responded by calling her a sore loser and drawing up a lawsuit.) That came on the heels of Miss Dominican Republic 2012 admitting she was married (which goes against pageant rules), prompting the organization to strip her of her title.
And that, of course, came on the heels of Jenna Talackova's disqualification (and subsequent reinstatement) from the Miss Canada 2012 pageant, which ultimately caused Miss Universe to change its policy on transgender contestants.
In other news, we're considering creating the hashtag #missuniverseproblems.
For happier pageant moments, check out photos from Sunday's Miss USA pageant, where an uncontroversial, scandal-free girl named Olivia Culpo won the crown.