Claire Smith and Evangeline Pascual as Official Miss World Titleholders

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In 1973, Marjorie Wallace of the United States of America was crowned Miss World. The first runner-up was Evangeline Pascual of the Philippines. On the 8th of March, 1974, Ms. Wallace was dethroned because of her penchant to date famous men, which included tennis star Jimmy Connors and singer Tom Jones. Ideally, the title should have been awarded to at the very least the first runner-up, Ms. Pascual. This however was not the case, and Ms. Wallace remains the official title-holder for 1973 to this day.

In 1992, Claire Smith of the United Kingdom competed at the Miss World pageant in Sun City, South Africa. She was declared first runner-up, while Russia's Yuliya Kurochkina was named the winner. The problem was that the jury voted in favor of Ms. Smith (a few jurors later admitted this, despite them swearing beforehand not to contest the final decision), but the Miss World Organization chose to give the crown to Ms. Kurochkina.

It is unfair and hypocritical for Ms. Wallace to retain the Miss World 1973 title. This is because at the 1974 finals, Helen Morgan of the United Kingdom won the crown only to be dethroned for covering up the fact that she was both married and a mother, contravening Miss World policy. Six years later, Germany's Gabrielle Blum won the crown, but was stripped of it within a matter of days for agreeing to marry her boyfriend. Their respective runners-up, Anneline Kriel of South Africa and Kimberley Santos of Guam, assumed their crowns and responsibilites, and as such are named official winners for their respective editions of the pageant. There have been some allegations that Evangeline Pascual was not awarded the title because of the fact that she is from the Philippines, and that ever since there has been a conspiracy within Miss World to thwart a Filipina from ever winning the title.

It smacks of irresponsibility to overturn the decision of the judges. Many contend that Ms. Kurochkina's coronation was politically motivated. At the time of the pageant, it was nearing the one-year anniversary of the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. According to a program called "Whicker's Miss World", the judges, including Joan Collins, did not agree with the decision to award Ms. Kurochkina the crown. Ms. Collins even stated that the majority of the jurors, when prompted, casted their votes in favor of Ms. Smith. In fact, a replay of the 1992 pageant shows that Ms. Smith outdid Ms. Kurochkina in virtually every aspect of the competition.

Despite what others think of the pageant itself, we, the undersigned, believe that the Miss World pageant is a wonderful celebration of womanhood in all its forms. But we also believe that an organization as prolific as the Miss World Organization should conduct its practices with the utmost integrity. Therefore, we ask that Ms. Julia Morley and the MWO retroactively give the 1973 title to Evangeline Pascual, and to be fair to Ms. Kurochkina, declare her and Ms. Smith co-Miss Worlds for 1992. While such a change in the rostrum is academic at best, it would go a long way for closure and would ensure that future editions of the world-renowned Miss World pageant will be conducted with the same grace and integrity that is expected of the women who compete for the crown.