Alexandra Ivkovic, a Miss Universe Australia finalist suggested that she had felt like a prop during the judging process. She referred to the personal relation that the contestants and the judges shared and fuelled a controversy that the competition might have been rigged.
Ivkovic, the 19-year-old Sydney-based finalist, is presently studying a double degree, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Law at the Macquarie University. She enjoys boxing in her spare time. According to Ivkovic, it is a conflict of interest that the contestants shared a personal relation with the judges, Daily Telegraph reported.
The Australian director of the pageant, Deborah Miller, earlier denied the allegation that the competition had been biased. "We have official auditors, Grant Thornton accountants, so it's impossible to have it rigged." Miller said that she had photos of other Miss Universe contestants on her account. "That's how I promote the contest. You need to be graceful when you leave a competition like Miss Universe," she said.
Choreographer Jason Coleman too felt that it would not be possible to rig the contest. It was the second time Coleman was on the judging panel. "It's the second time I've judged the competition and have no knowledge of anything like that; in fact my experience has been totally contradictory to that," he said, "They change the panel every year, plus all of our names go into a bowl and then they pull the names out. I also asked Deb (Miller) in the meeting who she had a preference for ... and she said 'I can't say Jason, that's the reason you're all here'."
Ivkovic, on the other hand, is not the first one to make such allegations. Her fellow runner-up Kristy Coulcher suggested in her social media posts that the national beauty pageant could have been "rigged." Ivkovic said that she was not happy about the way the judging process had been performed. "I do not believe that there should be a separate judging panel to the one that is used on the night of the final," she said, "The prejudging is a major factor in the result of the competition. In regard to claims that the final was audited, there was no independent company to monitor the voting system, even during rehearsals."
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