Three journeys are beginning for three young Edmonton women who are trying to become Miss Universe.
Orlandice Balanag, 21, Sameet Gill, 21, and Paula Bailey, 25, said they are getting nervous, but they’re excited as they continue to prepare for the Miss Universe Canada finals in Toronto May 16.
The three are hoping to be selected out of 64 competitors from across the country to take part in the international competition in the Bahamas later this year.
“I am very nervous,” said Balanag, an architecture student from NAIT who is trying out for the pageant for the first time. “But since I started this I feel like I have more confidence.”
Balanag said she would like to speak out on world issues and against bullying if she is chosen as Miss Universe Canada.
Bailey, a public-health nurse who moved from Fort McMurray seven years ago, said she thought twice about her first time trying out for a beauty pageant.
“But this is a chance for me to reach out to people for the work that I do,” said Bailey.
Gill, who is the vice-president of a non-profit group at the University of Alberta called Circle K International, has never modelled before, but said she has watched pageants since she was a little girl.
“Having watched pageants since I was five years old, I just want to know what pageantry is like now,” said Gill, who wants to fight hunger, disease and poverty if she’s picked as Miss Universe Canada.