They are awkward, fidgety, and amateurish but know how to walk the walk and talk the talk. The 23 contestants of the Pantaloons Femina Miss India 2010 - East are a better and brighter batch than last year, who looked ready to breast the competition ahead with big smiles and big attitude.
Marc Robinson, fashion and contestant director and June Maliah, actress, were present at ITC, The Sonar yesterday to introduce the girls to the media. “The girls this time are more groomed and smarter than what we saw last year. This year the contest will be bigger with more surprises,” they said.
Stilettos and cocktail dresses made a flourish as the excited girls mimicked the cat in style on the ramp. A model-participant revealed, “We had to do our own makeup today. Last night at 1.30 am we were asked to bring in our makeup kits.”
So how have the girls prepared themselves for the Miss India contest? “We care for our body, we go gymming. We have stopped eating chocolates and that is the toughest part,” they echoed.
“I have stopped having Chinese food and having only steamed food. No night outs for me too,” said another.
Former winners and actresses at present, Sushmita Sen, Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra are the favourites of the girls.
When asked how they are going to cope with all the pressure and the gossip, they said, “We have faith in ourselves. There is no use comparing yourselves because we are all different individuals. We are confident about ourselves.”
And why not? From business administration, food and nutrition, cost accounting, to political science, chemistry honours and applied psychology, the girls are up the mark academically as well.
Some of the regulars at the Kolkata modelling circuit contesting this year are Pallabi, Ananya and Tiffany. The latter said, “There is a lot to learn from here. Everyone has come with their own special package. Only the results will tell who the best is.”
Compared to the rest of the contestants, Ananya who looked nicely voluptuous said that she was going to slog it out to loose that extra flab if she got into the next round. “I was selected from the Kolkata Fashion Week. Being a model helps as it prepares you in totality. I will survive this contest by keeping my distance from everybody. I will occupy myself with a book and not indulge in back-biting,” she smiled.
The show missed one of the contestants, Ushoshi Sengupta, whose luck turned sour when her face broke out into pimples. She was not allowed to participate as the organising committee saw it as measles. “I am so sad. I was doing back-to-back shows and on Sunday was up till 2 am for a shoot. I was feeling feverish and all that makeup led to the bad case of pimples. I have got a doctor’s certificate also and hope that this will subside in a day or two. I really, really want to participate,” she said over the phone.
The 23 contestants will be further short listed who will go undergo a training programme at ITC, The Sonar for nine days with experts from Mumbai.
The grand finale will take place on February 19 at Nicco Park.