Sahar Biniaz (26) from Vancouver, B C has been crowned the 2012 Miss Universe Canada during the finale of the annual pageant held in Toronto on 19 May, 2012.
Born in India and raised in Iran, Sahar later became a Canadian citizen living in Vancouver. She graduated with honours from Stella Adler Academy in Los Angeles in performing arts. Currently she is working as an actress in film and television.
Sahar will now represent Canada at the 2012 Miss Universe competition to be held in mid-December.
Transgendered contestant, Jenna Talackova, on the other hand, loses the competition but became the first transgendered title holder as she was awarded the Miss Congeniality title.
The 23-year-old blond from Vancouver was one of the final 12 contestants, but failed to make the final five at the pageant, held in Toronto.
CBC News reported that Talackova’s lawyer Gloria Allred mentioned during Saturday’s pageant that Talackova should not feel too disappointed. “She’s still a winner as far as I’m concerned,” Allred said during an intermission. “She won an ‘herstoric’ civil rights victory and that I think is frankly more important than anything, any victory she would win, even representing Miss Canada.”
Talackova was earlier disqualified from the annual pageant as she was not a “naturally-born female”. Talackova, who underwent gender reassignment surgery when she was 19, was then reinstated to the Canadian competition last by businessman Donald Trump, who owns the Miss Universe organisation.
Vying with 62 other contenders from other parts of the country, she participated in all the pageant rounds including the swimwear and evening gown contest.
Among the 12 semi-finalists selected during the event, Adwoa Yamoah from Calgary was the 1st runner-up while Majd Soudi from Ottawa was the 2nd runner-up.
Apart from this, the Miss Photogenic award was given to Ela Mino, Revlon Professional Best Hair was given to Sahar Biniaz while the Miss Congeniality award was a 4-way tie given to Jenna Talackova, Kylee Apers, Maria Julia Nahri and Maria Cecilia Nicolas.
Catch a glimpse of the crowning of Sahar Biniaz during the 2012 Miss Universe Canada beauty pageant: