The Miss Dominican Republic pageant is due to be held on 18 December at the Palacio de los Deportes, with a capacity of 8,000 spectators. Twenty-one contestants from the Dominican Republic and one from the Dominican community in the US are taking part. The pageant has been getting more support from sponsors and is being taken more seriously now after so many Dominican Cinderellas, who many times had to travel to contests at their own expense, have been increasingly highly placed in international beauty contests. Today, there is no shortage of famous local designers willing to dress the participants. The experience gained by those who have made it or almost made it is helping the new representatives perform better in these international competitions.
Ever since Ruth Ocumarez made it to the finals of the 2002 Miss Universe pageant, the eyes of the jurors seem to be on Dominican women. The following year, Amelia Vega was crowned Miss Universe 2003. This was after 20 years had gone by since Dominican Mariasela Alvarez won the Miss World contest in 1982.
Subsequently, Dominican participants have done well in international beauty contests, both those representing the Dominican Republic as well as those representing other countries. For instance Miss USA Susie Castillo in the 2003 contest, was the daughter of a Dominican father. Miss Italy in the 2004 Miss Universe pageant was Maria Teresa Francville, the Dominican-born daughter of a Dominican mother and Italian father. She took part in two consecutive years. That year she competed against Luisana Cicilia, whose mother is Dominican, and who was representing Aruba in the pageant.
In the 2004 Miss World contest, the DR’s Claudia Julissa Cruz Rodriguez came in as first runner up. Miss DR Renata de Jesus Sone Savery was the first runner up in the 2005 Miss Universe contest. Yadira Geara Cury was also first runner up in the Miss International pageant held in September 2005 in Tokyo, Japan. This year, in the Miss Earth contest held in October 2005 in the Philippines, Amell Santana de Jesus, representing the DR, was the first runner up and was crowned Miss Air 2005.
The http://www.ip.com.do allows online readers to have a say in the selection of Miss Dominican Republic 2005.