Vietnam gets ready to welcome Miss Universe pageant

Led by Rachel Frimer, vice chairwoman of the MUO’s production board, the delegation arrived in Vietnam on April 29 to check venue facilities and local accommodations as well as introduce the stage design to be utilized for the final round.

At the close of the trip, Frimer declared that Nha Trang is on target to fulfill all the requirements meeting international standards to put on the prestigious event.

Nguyen Quoc Toan, the deputy head of Vietnamese Hosting Committee (VHC) and director general of Unicorp., expressed confidence in completing all necessary infrastructures on time.

The centerpiece of the show – the Crown Convention Center – is expected to be completed by May 31.

Toan also revealed there would be two power systems for the contests, one of which is an electricity generator imported from the US.

“We also rented a sound and lighting system from the US which costs some US$3 million,” he said.

In the pageant’s history, Panama and Vietnam are the only two countries that built new convention centers to meet MUO’s hosting conditions.

James Dunne, the construction chief who spearheaded Panama’s preparations, has aided local colleagues in designing and building the pageant’s venue.

“In Panama, we only had to focus on face-lifting an already-built theater, which took us three months,” Dunne said.

“Your center is of a larger scale, and thus pressure is greater.”

More than 500 workers have been working day and night at the construction site to complete the project on time.

“I am very impressed by Vietnamese workers who are both skilled and hard-working,” Dunne praised.

“Those who are currently working on the dome are far more competent than I had previously expected before coming here.”

Hollywood help

A miniature model of the pageant’s stage built by renowned Hollywood stage designer Joe Stewart absolutely dazzled the Vietnamese Hosting Committee.

Stewart’s revolving stage incorporated the beautiful landscapes of the country, featuring magnificent tropical forests, the World Heritage Ha Long Bay, and quaint ancient streets of the historic Hoi An town.

The event will be capped by the performance of a giant bronze drum, to be played at the crowning ceremony of Miss Universe 2008.

Discussing with VHC via telephone, NBC’s Chief Director Phil Gurin, who is the scriptwriter for the pageant’s grand finale, said Vietnam’s cultural features will be infused in the stage design and prominently displayed during the program’s contents.

Gurin added that he wanted famous Vietnamese artists to participate in the event’s performances.

VHC’s Head and Deputy Chairman of Khanh Hoa People’s Committee Le Xuan Than said the pageant’s presentations will introduce the images of Vietnamese culture to more than one billion audience members worldwide.


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