Lea Salonga, perhaps the most admired Filipino globally along with Manny Pacquiao, will be one of the seven judges in the 60th Annual Miss Universe Pageant night in Brazil on September 12, according to the pageant organizers.
The other judges are three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helios Castroneves, American broadcast legend Connie Chung, Brazilian Supermodel Isabeli Fontana, actress/television producer Vivica Fox, Adrienne Maloof of the hit series The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and Miss Universe 2003 Amelia Vega.
Salonga in 1991 won a Tony Award for her lead performance in the Broadway musical Miss Saigon. She joined the ranks of the Disney Legends at ceremonies in Anaheim, California on August 19. She was honored for being the singing voice of the female lead characters in three Disney films, Aladdin, Mulan and Mulan II. Salonga was also cited for her achievements in theatre and music since age 7. In October 2010, Salonga was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
For the first time in the pageant’s history, candidates’ supporters 16 years of age or older “may vote online up to 10 times per e-mail address per day.” Online voting began last August 19 and will end on September 11 at www.nbc.com and www.missuniverse.com.
The winner of the online voting will gain an automatic spot into the semifinals of the pageant.
The Philippines’ candidate in the pageant is UP magna cum laude architecture graduate Shamcey Supsup.