Mumbai, May 01: The winners of the country’s biggest beauty pageant were announced before a select gathering in Mumbai on Friday. The coveted title of Pantaloons Femina Miss India (PFMI) World 2010 went to Andheri girl Manasvi Mamgai.
This year the title of PFMI Universe has made way for PFMI International 2010 and the lucky winner was Neha Hinge from Pune. Bangalore girl Nicole Faria was crowned PFMI Earth 2010.
Moving indoors from the summer heat, the open-air pageant shifted to the airconditioned environs of the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA).
The pageant formalised its tie-up with the Hindi film industry, often the final destination of aspiring beauty queens. Film-makers Madhur Bhandarkar and Vipul Amrutlal Shah shortlisted six finalists, of whom two lucky girls will be crowned Pantaloons Femina Miss India 2010 Bollywood Diva. Each will feature in a film by these directors. However, the wait for these winners will take just a while longer - the announcement will be made on May 16.
Of the 18 finalists, most were from the metro cities - six from Mumbai and five from New Delhi-but the odd participant from Jammu, Dewas and Raipur did leave a mark as well.
Soon after hosts Rohit Roy, who looked particularly dashing in a maroon sherwani, and Mandira Bedi, who shimmered in an orange sari, welcomed the guests, the 18 beautiful girls clad in golden two-piece ensembles performed to a medley of hits. Then it was the turn of contestant director and fashion director Marc Robinson to take a bow as the girls walked the ramp wearing the Timeless Collection by Anita Dongre and accessorised by jewellery from Collection G with Gitanjali and World Gold Council and shoes by Tresmode.
For the final round, the ladies were dressed in the Cocktail Silver Collection by Ritu Kumar.
Making mental notes in the front row was a high-profile bench of judges including tennis star Sania Mirza Malik, who was making her first public appearance after her cross-border marriage with Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar. Sharing the dais with her were Olympian boxing medallist Vijender Singh, actors Shilpa Shetty-who looked ravishing in a backless LBD-and Kunal Kapoor, director Anurag Basu, fashion designer Ritu Beri and author Chetan Bhagat.
True to tradition the successors were crowned by the previous years’ winners. Doing the honours was PFMI World 2009 Pooja Chopra, PFMI Earth 2009 Shriya Kishore and 2002 winner, actor Neha Dhupia. Ekta Choudhary, PFMI Universe 2009, was also present. PFMI 2008 World and Miss World 2008 first runner-up Parvathy Omanakuttan felicitated Dr Sonal Shah of the Richfeel Group for its 10-year association with the Miss India pageant.
Fiat India president and CEO Rajeev Kapoor awarded the Fiat Linea as the grand prize to each of the three winners. The threesome will fly to the picturesque Fiji Islands courtesy Air Pacific, Fiji’s international carrier. The audience cheered as actor Anupam Kher who had trained the finalists in acting through his academy, An Actor Prepares, announced that Pearl Verma had won the scholarship for a three-month diploma course in acting.
Since being shortlisted for the final, the 18 contestants have undergone a rigorous 40-day in-house training session at Hotel Novotel, Juhu Beach. As always, the best professionals have been grooming and mentoring them. Marc Robinson is fashion director and contestant director, Mickey Mehta, India’s leading holistic health and fitness guru is mentor, Sabira Merchant is diction expert, Alecia Raut their ramp walk trainer, Prasad Bidappa the contestant advisor, Rukhsana Eisa the grooming and etiquette expert and Dr Purnima Mhatre the wellness expert. Dr Sandesh Mayekar contributed as smile designer, Seema Hingorani as clinical psychologist and of course, Richfeel trichologists Dr Sonal Shah and Dr Apurva Shah who have been official hair care experts to the contest for the last ten years. Jitu Savlani is the fashion photographer, Vipul Bhagat did the hair and make-up for the unveiling and grand finale while Sabanand Paira oversaw the training sessions.
The opening acts and the Bollywood segments were choreographed by Shiamak Davar. The event was managed by 360 Degrees Experience and the show scripted and directed by Sol Entertainment.
Thanks are due to the partners and sponsors of the Miss India pageant. Pantaloons is title partner, Streax is hair colouring and styling partner as well as associate sponsor, Voice of India is associate sponsor, Collection G with Gitanjali and World Gold Council is the crown and jewellery partner and associate sponsor. Bhandarkar Entertainment and Blockbuster Movie Entertainers are our talent partners, Kingfisher Airlines is the official airline partner, Lavasa destination partner, Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach is the hospitality partner and Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM is the radio partner. Gorgeous Skincare Clinic is the wellness partner, Richfeel the hair care partner, Himalayan is natural mineral water partner, Zoom the reality series partner, Sony Entertainment Television the telecast partner. Fiat India is the grand prize sponsor while Air Pacific, Fiji’s international airline, is airline partner.
ApnaCircle.Com is the pageant’s online partner; An Actor Prepares the talent mentor. Shiamak Davar also mentored the girls as the guru of modern dance. Bright is the outdoor partner, Alexandre De Paris is the hair accessories partner, Saint is nutrition partner, Whyte & Mackay the beverage partner and HP is lifestyle partner. The event is produced by 360 Degrees, Tresmode is footwear partner and the gifts are sponsored by Sula Wines, Malaga by Malini Agarwalla, Corelle, Hallmark, Jean Claude Biguine, Titan, Ria’s and Remanika. The English news partner is Times Now, talent partner Shoot Talent Management, ground transportation partner Harshaan Travels and stage and wardrobe management by On Cue.