On Saturday, 24-year-old Shi Lim was crowned Miss Universe Singapore 2013 at the Shangri-La Hotel. She collected a $48,000 ruby and diamond ring and a trophy for the honor, which was determined by a panel of nine judges, including local actor Alaric Tay and Miss Universe 2000 winner, Eunice Olsen. From among 16 finalists, respective first and second runners up were Cheryl Desiree Chan and Cordelia Low. Photos of the competition and finalists can be seen here and here.
As Miss Universe Singapore, Lim will make the trip to Russia where she will represent her country at the international stage of the competition in Moscow on November 9. A resident of the United States for the past seven years, Lim said that she sees the pageant as an ideal stage to share Singapore with the rest of the world.
“There are obvious misconceptions about our home (Singapore),” she said. “By joining Miss Universe Singapore 2013, I hope to be given the opportunity to accurately represent Singapore in the international stage and to also be a woman who is not only physically beautiful, but also strong, dignified, purposeful and most importantly, would be able to inspire and empower others.”
She added, “You just have to be comfortable in your own skin, and the rest will flow naturally.”
The finalists were assessed on criteria that, when combined, is a kind of grace quotient, including stage presence, elegance, poise, speech and walk. The judges posed questions to the finalists on Singapore’s social and political issues of the day.
One question in particularly, posed to second runner-up Low, hit close to home for some of the finalists. Judges asked for Low’s thoughts on the controversy surrounding the pageant having only Chinese finalists. “It’s just politically incorrect,” she replied.
Other questions, posed to Shi and Chan were focused on the importance of education and the government’s plans to increase Singapore’s population in a bid to grow the economy, respectively.
When Lim was asked whether she would allow her son to dedicate himself to becoming a rich athlete, she replied, "I will let my son pursue the sport but not in place of education…he needs to find a balance between both."
Editor's Note: The text has been changed from the original to reflect the distinction between Miss Universe and Miss World. The original version of the article suggested that there is a policy in place which stipulates that the winner of the pageant must be a native Singaporean. However, such a policy only exists in the Miss World pageant, which is not connected with Miss Universe in any way.