Miss Universe Organization, spearheaded by its President Paula M. Shugart and NBC Universal head Donald J. Trump, announce this year's list of celebrities and experts who will decide on who should be crowned as Miss Universe 2011.
Amongst the 7 prestigious and well-respected names to sit in the judges panel is Philippines' award-winning international theater actress Lea Salonga.
Lea will be joined by Helio Castroneves, three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500; Connie Chung, US broadcast legend; Isabeli Fontana, Brazilian supermodel; Vivica Fox, actress and television producer; Adrienne Maloof of Bravo's hit series The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills; and Amelia Vega, Miss Universe 2003.
Lea, who started her international career when she played Kim in the hit stage musical Miss Saigon in 1989, now becomes the 5th Pinoy to sit as judge in the 60 years history of the most celebrated beauty pageant there is.
Other well-respected Pinoy personalities to sit as Miss Universe judge were former Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. Romulo in 1974; International Filipino designer and Founder of The Natori Company Josie Cruz-Natori in 1989; Singer Kuh Ledesma in 1991; and Chinese-Filipino businessman Dr. Emilio T. Yap in 1994.
The 60th Miss Universe pageant will be hosted by Andy Cohen of Bravo's Watch What Happens: Live and Natalie Morales of NBC's The Today Show.
Jeannie Mai of Style Network's How Do I Look and Miss USA 2004 Shandi Finnessy. will be the anchor hosts.
Expected to performs in the pageant night are Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Bebel Gilberto and Brazilian native pop singer Claudia Leitte.
Here is the official Press Statement from Miss Universe Organization:
HELIO CASTRONEVES, CONNIE CHUNG, ISABELI FONTANA, VIVICA FOX, ADRIENNE MALOOF, LEA SALONGA AND AMELIA VEGA TO JUDGE THE 2011 MISS UNIVERSE� PAGEANT� ON SEPTEMBER 12 LIVE FROM S�O PAULO, BRAZIL AT 9 PM ET ON NBC
BRAZILIAN MUSICAL ARTISTS BEBEL GILBERTO AND CLAUDIA LEITTE
SET TO PERFORM WHILE STYLE NETWORK�S JEANNIE MAI AND MISS USA 2004 SHANDI FINNESSEY SERVE AS FASHION COMMENTATORS
S�o Paulo, Brazil - September 7, 2011�NBC, Donald J. Trump and Paula M. Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization, announce today the celebrities and experts who will judge at the 60th Annual �Miss Universe� Pageant,� which will be broadcast live from Credicard Hall in S�o Paulo, Brazil on Monday, September 12 at 9 p.m. ET. A live Spanish simulcast will air on Telemundo Network.
The list of judges includes:
Helio Castroneves, Three-time Winner of the Indianapolis 500
Connie Chung, U.S. Broadcast Legend
Isabeli Fontana, Brazilian Supermodel
Vivica Fox, Actress & Television Producer
Adrienne Maloof, From Bravo�s hit series �The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills�
Lea Salonga, Tony Award Winner and Actress
Amelia Vega, Miss Universe 2003
Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Bebel Gilberto, daughter of Brazilian legend Joao Gilberto, will perform her electronic bossa nova single �Close Your Eyes� during the evening gown portion of the competition. Meanwhile, Brazilian native pop singer Claudia Leitte will turn the heat up when she performs her new single �Locomotion� during the swimsuit competition.
As previously announced, Andy Cohen, host of Bravo�s �Watch What Happens: Live,� and Natalie Morales, news anchor of NBC�s �Today� will host the �2011 Miss Universe� Pageant.� Joining them will be host of Style Network�s �How Do I Look� Jeannie Mai and Shandi Finnessy, Miss USA 2004, who will provide skybox fashion commentary throughout the LIVE telecast.
For the first time ever, fans in represented countries have been able to vote for their favorite contestant for an automatic spot into the semifinals at the 2011 Miss Universe� Competition. Fans can vote online at www.missuniverse.com or www.NBC.com. Online voting is taking place now through September 11 (9 p.m. ET).
The 2011 MISS UNIVERSE� Pageant kicks off a series of worldwide events hosted by Brazil. In addition to this global beauty event, Brazil is host to the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. With the city of S�o Paulo at center stage, the pageant will take place at Credicard Hall, a prominent music theater for the city.
The two-hour television event, comprised of contestants representing approximately 90 countries around the world, will compete in three categories: swimsuit, evening gown and interview. In past years, worldwide distribution of the competition has topped nearly 190 countries and territories.
Miss Universe 2011 will be held at the Credicard Hall in Sao Paulo, Brazil on September 12. And will be telecast live in the Philippines via ABS-CBN.