On Sunday night, Maya Reaidy beat out 30 hopeful contestants in a televised ceremony held at Beirut’s Forum de Beyrouth to take home the Miss Lebanon 2018 crown. She joins a line-up of former beauty queens including Nadine Njeim, Clémence Ashkar, and Saly Greige who’ve claimed the title. The newly-minted Miss Lebanon, who studies pharmacy at the Lebanese American University, bears a striking resemblance to her most famous predecessor, Georgina Rizk (who won the Miss Universe title in 1971), an observation that didn’t go unnoticed by viewers on social media. “Let history repeat itself,” wrote one user on Instagram, alongside two side-by-side portraits of Reaidy and Rizk. The 22-year-old winner is set to compete in Miss Universe in Bangkok on December 16.
Read on for the main talking points of last night’s Miss Lebanon 2018 ceremony.
#1. Mira Toufaily, a 26-year-old interior design student was crowned first runner-up. Toufaily won over people’s hearts with tales of her heartwarming childhood. She was raised by non-profit organization SOS Children’s Villages until she was 14. Other runners-up included Yara Abou Monsef, Vanessa Yazbeck, and Tatiana Saroufim respectively.
#2. The all-star jury comprised of television presenter George Kurdahi, Lebanese singer and Vogue Arabia cover star Nancy Ajram, former Miss Lebanon Nadine Njeim, actor Adel Karam, designer Nicolas Jebran, renowned makeup artist Bassam Fattouh, and Lebanese model Annabella Hilal.
#3. Aside from being one of the panelists, Jebran was also responsible for creating a number of the Miss Lebanon contestant’s dresses, including the blue, feathered gown Reaidy wore during the ceremony, which was broadcast entirely on MTV Lebanon.
#4. This year’s competition was organized by Miss America 2010, Rima Fakih, and saw Moroccan-American rapper French Montana, Lebanese singer Maya Diab, and Lebanese-Canadian popstar Massari perform their remake of Amr Diab‘s 1996 hit song Nour El Ein.
#5. Jewelry designer Doumit Zoughaib was tasked with designing the winner’s crown. The result was a sparkling tiara infused with over 1,500 diamonds inspired by the cedar tree of Lebanon.