Otago's Miss Universe New Zealand finalists are returning to
the region, and to reality, after the contest final in
Auckland on Saturday.
The top three contestants at the Miss Universe New Zealand
pageant pose at Sky City Theatre, Auckland. From left,
second runner-up Deborah Lambie, Miss Universe New Zealand
2013 Holly Michelle Cassidy and first runner-up Kylee Tan.
Photo by Neil Gussey.
University of Otago students Deborah Lambie (22) and
Henali Patel (19), and Balclutha primary school teacher Kristie
Leonard (23), were among 20 finalists from throughout New
Miss Lambie, a fourth-year medical student, was named second
runner-up and Miss Leonard won the entrepreneurial challenge
after raising $10,700 for Variety - The Children's Charity.
Auckland finalist Holly Michelle Cassidy was crowned Miss
Universe New Zealand and will compete in the Miss Universe
contest in Moscow.
First runner-up was Kylee Tan, of Tauranga.
Miss Lambie said her third placing was a nice surprise, as
she had been happy just to be selected as a finalist.
''It's been so much fun. The show and the final night were
really exciting to be a part of.''
She returned to Dunedin last night and planned to resume her
university study straight away.
Miss Leonard also returned to Otago from Auckland last night
and looked forward to ''getting back to reality''.
''It was an awesome night and a wonderful experience but I'm
definitely glad it's all over. The past few weeks have been a
different world,'' she said.
The three Otago finalists travelled to Thailand as part of
the competition, which was entered by hundreds of hopefuls
from across New Zealand.