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"THE AMERICAN GIRL" - The Amy Holbrook Nightmare Experience in Miss Tourism Queen International 2008

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"THE AMERICAN GIRL" - The Amy Holbrook Nightmare Experience in Miss Tourism Queen International 2008 Empty "THE AMERICAN GIRL" - The Amy Holbrook Nightmare Experience in Miss Tourism Queen International 2008

Post  bonner Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:38 am

"THE AMERICAN GIRL" - The Amy Holbrook Nightmare Experience in Miss Tourism Queen International 2008 Amy_Holbrook
• THE AMERICAN GIRL : Amy Holbrook, above, the American representative to the Miss Tourism Queen International pageant taking place in China, decided to withdraw from the competition last Tuesday (April 1st) after the organizers discovered that she had been writing unfavorable comments about the pageant in her blog. Amy cites that the candidates were being subjected to 3 to 4 hours of sleep, to poor nutrition, to freezing temperatures without proper attire, to minimal security, and to poor medical care. She also wrote that one of the organizers, Jerome Too was rude to her and told her that vegetarian girls like herself would not be allowed to compete next year. The organizers even attempted to persuade her to take down her blog and also gave her the option to maintain her blog - but on the condition that she retract her statements. Holbrook decided to keep her blog as it is, citing freedom of expression.

Global Beauties, which covers the pageant, published a comment written by its correspondent Thiago Castro in which Castro denounces Amy and calls her statements "baseless." Castro also posted an "official statement" from MTQI organizers that was supposedly sent to all the national directors:

"We would like to inform you that Miss America's allegations and claims are not true and baseless. We'd like to say that this event is organized by the Henan Government and Henan TV station and their expectations are high for the contest as well as the contestants. They have spent millions in US$ in terms of round-trip fare for the candidates to come to their respective countries, international journalists as well their local journalists which include hotel stays and food and beverages. The China organizers have done their best to make all welcome both contestants and the 120 journalists from the international and national press that are currently with us. This event is high publicized. We provide sufficient and top grade meals for all contestants. We have big buffets spreads which consist of good food and in her case, plenty of vegetables, salads, fruits and soya based food. We do not feed bugs, dogs, cats and "Fear Factor" meals to our guests, journalists and contestants. There are sufficient security provide by both police and army. Last year alone, they activated 10,000 security personnel for the pageant. However sometimes there are occasional overzealous locals who tend to pull the contestants to snap photos with but usually this contestant who are being "harassed" will be ushered away by the chaperones. We have a trained doctor, paramedics and the ambulance are with us at all times during activities that the candidates are involved in. Should they be sick, they are immediately attended to. Other issues about phones cards of which this can be purchased at hotel concierge or gift stores. This will include feminine products as well. If the hotel do not have any available, they can approach the chaperones who will get the hotel to purchase for them on their behalf. Many of you have worked with us over the years and you know we are very strict and look after your girls well so we do not allow such things to happen. I have journalist here with us who can vouch that what was written in the blog mostly was a pack of lies. I will attach their comments in my next email for your judgment. Attached is also the Founder of Miss Tourism Queen International, Mr. Charlie See' wife who has given us her thoughts".
"THE AMERICAN GIRL" - The Amy Holbrook Nightmare Experience in Miss Tourism Queen International 2008 Img_2166_2
Photo of the "sufficient and top grade meals for all contestants". The big buffets spreads which consist of good food and in her case, plenty of vegetables, salads, fruits and soya based food".
Photos Courtesy of Miss MTQI USA

MTQI WORLD CLASS HOSPITAL... THE MTQI STANDARD

"THE AMERICAN GIRL" - The Amy Holbrook Nightmare Experience in Miss Tourism Queen International 2008 Img_2219
"THE AMERICAN GIRL" - The Amy Holbrook Nightmare Experience in Miss Tourism Queen International 2008 Img_2220




What I'd like to know is who exactly wrote the so-called "official statement" from MTQI. Notice how the statement starts with the collective "We" and ends with a singular "I." Why weren't the names of the MTQI organizers Jerome Too and Alex Liu mentioned in the statement? And more importantly, why is the statement not even posted in the official MTQI website? The statement ends with a reference to an attachment - a letter supposedly written by Ann See, the widow of MTQI founder Charlie See. What exactly did Mrs. See say and why is her letter not posted on Global Beauties or MTQI websites?

After being held "hostage" in China for a couple of days, Amy was finally able to fly out of China and returned safely in Los Angeles last Saturday. Another contestant, Miss South Africa Alyssa Revelo, also withdrew from the pageant "due to medical reasons," according to Global Beauties, although one would suspect that she had also gotten ill due to food poisoning. Reliable sources informed me that nearly twenty candidates also wanted to leave, but that their passports were being held by the organizers. It would be interesting to see new stories come out once the pageant is over on April 10th, that is if all the girls (except the winner and runners-up) get to leave safely!


WHAT AMY HOLBROOK THINKS OF MTQI:
http://www.amylynneholbrook.com/wordpress/
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Post  Tidus Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:51 pm

so what happened later?nothing......noone talked......which really makes one suspicious....

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Post  Taxi Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:07 pm

ON MISS TOURISM QUEEN INTERNATIONAL 2008

How did you become the U.S. representative to this pageant and how did you prepare for it

I got a call from my director and he asked me to represent the U.S. in the pageant. This is my fourth international pageant (three have been under his direction) and every other experience was incredible. I attribute much of my traveling from his faith in me.


Did you have any idea what you were getting into when you joined this pageant?

Obviously not. Since my return, I have had numerous people send me emails from around the world stating their personal experience with Miss TQI and thanking me for exposing the truth.


What do you say to your critics who claim that the only reason you stirred controversy is to attract attention to yourself?

I am a catalyst for change, not a fame whore. Not everyone living in Los Angeles wants to be famous.

I'd like to share some facts with you. I have been to China before and I made the choice to go back after I had such a pleasant experience at Miss International held partially in China. I left my full-time college course schedule IN THE MIDDLE OF MID-TERMS to go to China because I saw my participation in Miss TQI as a once in a lifetime opportunity. I am still not caught up on all of my assignments.

I also postponed my new job working full-time as the manager of a salon and I have a ton of work to do now. I spent four months preparing for the pageant, practicing my walk with a coach, finding time to go to the gym, finding the means to buy my pageant wardrobe on a very limited student budget and then driving all over California to pick up these items, and then putting my life on hold to go to Miss TQI.

It just made no sense for me to go home since I feel I came prepared to do my best at the pageant. How sad it is for people to say that I just wanted some media coverage. If I really wanted media coverage, I would have just carried around my "Free Tibet" sign. That could have done it!


Describe a typical day in Miss Tourism Queen International 2008.

NON-COMPETITION DAYS

Wake up call 6:30 AM (we would get up at 5:30 or 6 to have an hour to prepare for the day)
Breakfast - 7AM
Leave the hotel at 7:30 AM and drive to first event
First event 9AM to 11AM
Possible second event - 11 AM to 12 PM
Lunch (a/k/a publicity tour) - 12 to 1 PM
Third event - 1 PM to 3 PM
Drive back to the hotel to prepare for dinner - 3 PM to 4:30 PM
Arrive at hotel to prepare for dinner event - 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Dinner Event - 6 PM to 9 PM
Drive back to hotel - 9 PM to 10 PM
Pack luggage and take it downstairs (we changed hotels 4 times) - 10 PM to 11 PM
Personal time to email, call, and prep for the next day - 11 PM to 2 AM

COMPETITION DAYS

Wake up call 6:30 AM (we would get up at 5:30 or 6 to have an hour to prepare for the day, packing and prepping for competition)
Breakfast - 7 AM
Leave the hotel at 7:30 AM and drive to first event
First event - 9 AM to 11 AM
Possible second event - 11 AM to 12 PM
Lunch (aka publicity tour) - 12 PM to 1 PM
Rehearsals - 1 PM to 6 PM
Prep for competition - 6 PM to 7 PM
Competition - 7 PM to 10 PM
Drive back to hotel - 10 PM to 10:30 PM
Pack luggage and take it downstairs (we changed hotels 4 times) - 10:30 PM to 11 PM
Personal time to email, call, and prep for the next day - 11 PM to 2 AM

Throw in the elements with sleep/food/cold situation and it was quite the experience!


And as a catalyst for change, have there been any changes?

Within 24 hours since my blog went global, there had been some major changes. The girls were given continental meals with plenty of veggie options. Also, the girls had a boxed dinner before the Miss Charm show and I was told that they were offered vegetarian meals. They had the opportunity to sleep for one extra hour and were given one afternoon off. The girls were finally taken to a supermarket to do some personal shopping. I am so glad that these changes started to take effect. I no longer had the luxury of enjoying them but the rest of the contestants enjoyed them. For me, this was a positive compromise.


How did the contestants feel about you withdrawing from the pageant?

Some of the girls would sneak in my room because the pageant isolated me from the rest of the girls. In fact, when we arrived to the last hotel, I was put in a room with Miss South Africa (who was also going home) as to not infect the other contestants. Our room was positioned right next to Jerome Too.

I actually wrote notes on scrap paper to 10 girls that I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to which we delivered by one of the girls who snuck in my room to see how I was doing. Others would write me emails from their room to mine to say hello and ask how I was doing. It was not in their best interest for the organizer to see them communicating with me for competition purposes. I got a few emails from my friends as the pageant that said, “Congratulations….you escaped!”


Since you came back home from China, have you received any updates about the pageant? Have you kept in touch with the contestants?

I am still in contact with about 10 girls. I am actually going to have lunch with Miss Liberia today! We have discussed very little about the competition since the girls have left the pageant. I want to maintain our friendship on the grounds that we enjoyed each other’s company. If I never hear another word about Miss TQI, that would be ok with me!


After your unfortunate experience in MTQI, has it changed your opinion about pageants in general? Would you still encourage young women to enter pageants?

I am still a strong supporter of pageants, although I have not made any decision to vie for another title. Pageants have positively affected everything in my life, from the multiple friendships I have now to the places I have visited all over the world, to the ability to have confidence in my personal choices.

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Post  Taxi Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:08 pm

Hoda Kaiser speaks about her MTQI experience - From Critical Beauty

MISS EGYPT'S TURN : Another former contestant of Miss Tourism Queen International 2008 is speaking out against the injustices she had experienced at the pageant in China. Egypt's Hoda Kaiser, 23, below, wrote an e-mail to Amy Lynne Holbrook who forwarded it to me. Hoda gave me permission to publish her e-mail, and here it is:

"Hi Amy. Great to hear from you. I am back in my country and have adapted to normal food and my regular life. It’s a wonderful feeling to know what you eat and drink and people understand me and last but not least to be back with my family and of course my fiancée.

Sure, with great pleasure I am telling you my point of view of the story. I had the great opportunity to visit a five-star hospital in China, when I fell from the steps in the mountains. I injured my lower back and I was racked with pain. They brought to a hospital where I had an enthusiastic reception from a dead body on the floor in the entrance of the hospital (no joke). After the x-ray the doctor gave me a spray (of course the list of ingredients and the administration of the spray was all written in Chinese). But the highlight was the letter which I was supposed to give to my doctor in Egypt to summarize the accident and the injury; all in Chinese. By the way, the same spray was given to all girls who suffered from whatever, even a flu. Well, that’s the story about the hospital which I do not recommend for a visit.


The other thing which revealed how inhospitable in particular the organizer of the pageant was the preferential treatment we experienced once the contest was over. No security any longer, a real disgusting bus, no company any longer, a barrack (however they still considered it a hotel), and they promised us at the final night, that we do not have to pay for our excess luggage, which in fact anyone of us had, on the flight from Zheng Zhou to Beijing. The next day when we arrived at the airport and went to check in our luggage, suddenly we were told that we have to pay for excess luggage. It took us three hours shouting and yelling to Christine to get what we were promised the other night. Bottom line, we were no longer treated as beauty queens once the whole event was over, rather we were treated like cows in a slaughter house. These things are just the tip of the ice-berg but they give a perfect impression of what really happened plus the Chinese expect from us that we are going to recommend China as a lovely and hospitable country for tourists (hahahaha….).


By the way I plan to visit the states in the summer. If you have time we could meet somewhere and you show me a little bit of California. I am sure you are way better guide than any Chinese.


It was also a pleasure for me to meet you, regardless of all adverse circumstances, and of course all the other girls too, and maybe one or two friendship will result. Talk to you later! Hoda."

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Post  Taxi Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:09 pm

OTHER CANDIDATES are speaking about MTQI

• MISS BOLIVIA SPEAKS UP : In an interview with a local press, Bolivia's representative to Miss Tourism Queen International 2008, Katherine David, revealed some anecdotes when asked what the worst part of her stay in China was. David said that the change in schedule had affected all the candidates to the point that it caused them hormonal imbalance. David, who will represent Bolivia in Miss Universe 2008 in Vietnam, stated that she had water retention which caused her body to be bloated. She also fell hard while getting off the bus because her chaperone had pulled her quite violently, thus tearing off her pants. (Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 4/16/2008)

• SAIDIA SPEAKS UP : A former contestant of Miss Tourism Queen International 2007, El Salvador's Saidia Palma,, left, (a former Miss Mesoamerica International), wrote an e-mail to her friend Miguel Castro-Rivera, a CB reader, in which she recounts her misadventures in China last year. This is in reference to the claims reported by Amy Lynne Holbrook in her blog. Miguel forwarded Saidia's e-mail to me (originally in Spanish and dated April 8, 2008) and that Miguel has translated into English:

"Hello, Miguel. I am speechless about what is going on in China and to tell you the truth, it is not strange to me, since what the girls are going through now, we lived it last year. That has been the worst pageant that I have gone to. If it was up to me, I would tell the delegates not to participate in it and to the directors NOT TO SEND ANYBODY!

Seriously, reading what Amy has written just reminded me what we experienced in China. I was counting the weeks, the days, the hours, and even the minutes just to leave with Miss Colombia. Each day that went by was a day closer to go home, and as tragic as this may sound, it is the truth. We did not have enough sleep. Many times we were under the rain almost naked with the uniforms they had provided, and we could not wear the coats because they told us that we could not take them out with us from the bus.

Regarding food, they had a huge buffet, Chinese style, but many girls did not like their offered food. Many girls were not used to this kind of food. I tried a little bit of everything, but as you know everyone’s digestive system is different, and there are some stomachs more sensitive than others and are accustomed to certain kinds of food. The buffet should have been an international cuisine to accommodate all the girls from different parts of the world. How do they expect people to tolerate and eat food that we are not accustomed to, and for a full month?

In that trip I spent a lot of money in cookies to kill my hunger when I was starving (hahaha). We were complaining about the food, the poor attention, the hotels (I believe we stayed in ONE-STAR hotel, where it was written on the door of the room that they recommended to lock the door and windows because the hotel would not be responsible if any thing should happen. What was that all about? And where was security? In reality we felt like as if we were in a circus tour, where every other day we would travel to a different place and we never knew where we were. Sometimes we were sleeping on the buses, there were some nights I could not sleep at all, and many times because we would arrive at midnight and they gave us one hour to put together our suitcases again because the next day we were going some place else. The wake-up call was at 4:00 AM. Cn you imagine going to bed as early as 2:00 AM to wake up at 4:00 AM?

This pageant was something else, and if I tried to tell you everything I would never finish, but be assured that I had 90% similar experience to what the girls are experiencing now. The only good thing about this pageant is that because of the bad experience we got closer among each other and became close friends with some of the girls and that made up for the moment, but not for everything else. I would NEVER go back to that pageant, not even if were I crazy! I am so happy that Amy is back home and released herself from all that stress. Give her my greetings and a big hug for you!"

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Post  Tidus Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:22 pm

Great to see this had a conclusion in terms of others talking!!!!!!! i was afraid noone had the strength to talk about what happened in that pageant.Taxi u ve been doing a great job seriously!!!! Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation Wink

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Post  bonner Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:21 am

oh thank you taxi for that info..your really a great pageant fanatic this time Laughing
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Post  QueenChelsea Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:33 pm

Something similar happened to me at a national pageant I competed in this summer.
Why is there not a world pageant organization to make sure people follow rules?
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