• Steve Harvey, Sushmita Sen arrive in Manila for Miss U

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    PLUS: Complete lineup of judges, performers announced
    The countdown to judgment day has begun as the grand coronation of the 65th Miss Universe pageant takes place on Monday. While the candidates put their best foot forward on Thursday night’s preliminaries, The Manila Times continues to round up further developments on the big day’s production.

    In an email sent to The Manila Times, the Miss Universe Organization announced the following as the official judges of the 65th Miss Universe coronation on January 30:

    Dayanara Torres (who arrived in Manila on Tuesday), former United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) ambassador and Miss Universe 1993 from Puerto Rico, author, model, and actress;

    Boyz 2 Men will perform at the grand coronation

    Sushmita Sen (arrived in Manila Thursday afternoon), Bollywood actress, philanthropist and champion of women’s rights in India, founder of I AM Foundation, and the first-ever Miss Universe from India, crowned in Manila in 1994; Leila Lopes, Miss Universe 2011, the first from Angola, former United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Desertification, and currently working with various charitable organizations in Africa; Mickey Boardman, editorial director of popular fashion and pop-culture magazine, Paper; Cynthia Bailey, TV star, former model, and founder of The Bailey Agency School of Fashion, a modeling and fashion school dedicated to helping young women achieve their dreams; Francine LeFrak, Emmy and Tony award-winning producer, social entrepreneur, women’s empowerment activist and founder of Same Sky, a jewelry initiative that provides training and employment to HIV positive women survivors of the Rwandan Genocide.

    1994 Miss Universe Sushmita Sen

    Meanwhile, the Preliminary Competition judges tasked to choose the semi-finalists in the competition [yet to be held Thursday night as of press time]are Torres, Bailey and LeFrak, as well as former journalist, publicist and international marketing director Rob Goldstone; People’s Choice Awards President and Executive Producer Fred Nelson; and Japanese actress, dancer, model and Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori. Reigning beauty queen Pia Wurtzbach and Filipino actor Derek Ramsay were chosen as hosts of the prelims.

    Four-time Grammy Award-winning R&B group Boyz 2 Men will be joining American rapper Flo Rida as performers for the awards night. The legendary musical act, known for their smooth harmonies, holds the distinction of being the best-selling R&B group of all time, with 64 million albums sold.

    As off press time, Miss Universe host Steve Harvey is yet to arrive in Manila. The controversial host made the much-talked about blunder when he announced Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez as the 2015 Miss Universe, when in fact it was Wurtzbach who won the crown. Harvey will lead the team of hosts, comprised of backstage correspondent Ashley Graham, who arrived in Manila on Monday; Bretman Rock who will host the red carpet arrivals; and Miss Universe 2010 4th Runner-Up Venus Raj who will serve as digital correspondent.

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