Hopes high for Zivanna Letisha Siregar at Miss Universe 2009.
20 year old Zivanna Letisha Siregar, is the reigning Puteri Indonesia (Miss Indonesia, or more floridly, Princess of Indonesia) 2008 and the country's representative in the all-important Miss Universe competition for 2009, currently going on in very drawn out fashion at the Atlantis Paradise Island, Nassau, the Bahamas.
The popular, online voting has seen Zizi putting in a solid performance, currently at 3rd in the rankings, just behind Miss Thailand, Chutima Duronjed, and Miss Brazil, Larissa Costa.
The final, by judges' vote, is held on August 23rd and hopes are high among the legions of people who care for such things that Zizi will go at least some way to erase the shame of previous desultory and sometimes downright embarrassing performances by past Putri Indonesia winners Nadine Chandrawinata, 2005, Agni Pratistha, 2006, and Putri Raemawasti, 2007.
The country has been starved of even modest Miss Universe success since 2004 Puteri Indonesia Artika Sari Devi made the final 15 in 2005.
The Bikini Issue
Zivanna, who is no dummy, being an economics student at University of Indonesia, is possibly unusually as these things go a Muslim and this makes her decision to wear a bikini, or not, of even more importance in the eyes of some.
For an outdoor photo session in Nassau on 7th August (pictured) Zizi did sport a two piece outfit while a Yayasan Puteri Indonesia (YPI) representative, Mega Angkasa, claimed that this was because Zizi was offered no other choice of garment and that it is the policy of the YPI that Indonesian Miss Universe contestants only wear one piece swimsuits.
What could she do? She had no choice.
However Mega Angkasa said the YPI was in contact with Miss Universe officials to ensure that Zivanna would be allowed to wear a one piece costume for the final event, on stage.