Deborah Priya Henry – “The Unsung Heroine” [Article]

Deborah Priya Henry
Deborah Priya Henry during Evening Gown competition of prelims

Miss Universe 2011 was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  People expected Asian domination in Top 5.  Asian beauties Miss China Zilin Luo, Miss Philippines Shamsey Supsup & Miss Malaysia Deborah Priya Henry were front-runners for the crown.

Deborah Priya Henry had already participated in Miss World 2007.  There she was a Top 16 finalist and also placed in Beach Beauty & Sport fast-track events.  Miss World 2007 had already produced some strong Miss Universe beauties like Yendi Phillips of Jamaica & Ada De La Cruz of Dominican Republic.  Ada & Yendi had finished as 1st runner-ups in 2009 & 2010 respectively.  Expectations were that Deborah Priya Henry will complete the hatrick of 1st runner-up placement!

Deborah was in “Top 5 predictions lists” of most pageant fans and websites. But when the semi-finalists of Miss Universe 2011 were announced, Malaysia wasn’t there!  It was shocking!

Reasons why Deborah Priya Henry couldn’t place in Miss Universe
Deborah Priya Henry
Deborah Priya Henry during swimsuit competition of prelims

So why didn’t she place?  Fans present multiple reasons for this.

  1. One popular reason is that Deborah Priya Henry was not very good in catwalk.  I watched the video of her presentation and I don’t really agree.  Okay, she was not the best walker, but she wasn’t particularly weak either.
  2. Second popular reason is that Deborah Priya Henry had a weak sash and the last time Malaysia placed was in 1970.  Again, this reason is not much digestible either, because 2011 was the year when Miss Angola Leila Lopes won.  We all know how weak the sash of Miss Angola is!
  3. Third argument by people is that she had attitude issues and her family had created some troubles during the pageant.  Many people claim she had fights with her mother in hotel lobby.  Her father fought with Miss Universe Organization officials at times.  Since I don’t know the validity of these points, I won’t endorse them!
  4. Fourth reason is that she didn’t look as pretty as she did during her Miss World stint.  I can agree to this a bit.  She was much younger when she participated in Miss World.

To me, the most logical reason for her exclusion simply is that there were better girls.  Also, in terms of personality she was a bit too matured.  Fans found her boring.   She fits Miss World mould more than Miss Universe. In any case, she did manage to create stir during her stint.  I’ve heard she stayed popular in her country, even after her pageant stints!

Previous episodes of “The Unsung Heroine”:
(1) Isidora Borovcanin
(2) Simran Kaur Mundi
(3) Karina Ramos
(4) Paulina Krupinska

Credits: Miss Universe

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