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Miss New Zealand and Lack of Citizenship: Girl Entered Pageant for 'Confidence' and Won

Miss New Zealand and Lack of Citizenship: Girl Entered Pageant for 'Confidence' and Won

A non-New Zealand resident was allowed to enter the Miss Universe contest on the condition that she was not selected. Pageant judges, however, were left with a mess when she was awarded the crown.

Pageant director Val Lott said she allowed 22-year-old Avianca Bohm entry into the pageant, although she did not qualify as a Miss Universe contestant, in order to "boost her confidence" according to Fox News.

Bohm represented the Auckland suburb of Howick for the competition, but Bohm was born in South Africa and did not move to New Zealand until she was 16. Pageant rules required all entrants to be residents and citizens of New Zealand- something Bohm is not.

While some say the incident is embarrassing, Lott has dismissed the ridicule and insisted that it is not her fault, but the judges who allowed Bohm to win even after Lott advised them that she should not be selected.

"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. "[Bohm] and I both had a clear understanding that she could not win. I said, you can enter it because it will still be confidence-boosting and great for your area to represent Howick."

The question that loomed was how judges would be able to keep a contestant from winning without rigging the competition. To make things even more complicated, the third runner-up in the competition was also discovered to be ineligible because she is an Australian citizen.

Because Bohm is not a citizen, the pageant may now have to strip the new beauty queen of her title. The news could be heart breaking to the young winner, who had previously vocalized how excited she was about the future of the contest.

"I'm so, so, so excited to meet Donald Trump, and to meet all the other girls from all the other countries," Bohm told The Herald.


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