Miss Universe NZ feels heat as pageant picks up pace

By Sonya Bateson

Miss Universe New Zealand Holly Cassidy has spent the past two weeks in a flurry of preparation for tomorrow night's Miss Universe pageant.

The former Tauranga Girls' College student arrived in Russia on October 22 and since then has filmed a variety of segments for the show, undertaken publicity work and been through numerous photo shoots, fittings, styling sessions and rehearsals. In between she has managed brief sightseeing trips to Red Square and the Bolshoi Theatre.

Ms Cassidy said television crews were following her and the other contestants wherever they went.

"They film everywhere we go. They actually cut a lot of it together last night into a snippet for the preliminary show.

"I have been chosen along with a few other contestants for specific filming they wanted to do and one part was at the hotel with all of us dancing and the other part for after the costume show at the Vegas mall here - which is just spectacular."

Ms Cassidy said Russia was cold, although the contestants spent most of their time indoors.

"The food is definitely different here. They have been feeding us a lot though which we need with how busy we are.

"It's a lot of meat and veges and boy do they like dessert here.

"Breakfast, lunch and dinner we always have sweets and cakes on the menu so you have to resist the temptation as we get closer to Saturday. It's always buffet style so you can pick what you like."

Ms Cassidy said she had formed friendships with other contestants, including her roommate Miss Israel and Misses Sri Lanka, Guyana and Korea.

"The other contestants are all really beautiful girls with lovely personalities.

"I was blown away by how these girls treat each other, everyone has respect for each other.

"Of course we are all here to win a title and I think the competitiveness really started after Tuesday night as it gets serious now.

For the rehearsals, Ms Cassidy has been layering up in warm clothing, before beginning photo shoots and filming sessions.

The most important things she packed was her jewellery collection by Aqua Jewels in Auckland and her cocktail dresses, gowns, national costume and competition gown all made by Golden Gowns in Albany.

Ms Cassidy said she was feeling confident about her performance so far.

"I have no regrets and I have had loads of messages of support already.

"I am so proud to be representing our country at this level, it really is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

"New Zealand needs to get behind girls that do this - it's not just for fun. This is a job interview, being Miss Universe is a one-year guaranteed job."

Voting closes tomorrow at noon. You can vote 100 times a day at www.missuniverse.com and www.telemundo.com.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n1 at 30 Aug 2014 05:24:19 Processing Time: 503ms