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Fil-Am producer, 5 others to select Top 15 bets in Miss Universe

Filipino-American producer Cecilio Asuncion leads the preliminary judges who will select the 15 semifinalists for the 2017 Miss Universe beauty pageant which will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada on Nov. 26 (Nov. 27 Manila time).

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Aside from Asuncion, the other preliminary competition judges are Morgan Deane, marketing director for TAO Group in New York; Isabel Lindblom, model scout for IMG international modelling agency; Bill Pereira, Chief Executive Officer, President and Co-Chairman of IDT Telecom since 2011; Megan Olivi, host of “Ultimate Insider” on Fox Sports; and Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam.

They will sit as judges in the preliminary competition on Nov. 19. But the results of the preliminary round will be announced during the finals.

In a bio released by the Miss Universe Organization, Asuncion is an out and proud gay Fil-Am producer, based in Los Angeles, California.

His journey in the entertainment industry began when he directed and produced the documentary, “What’s The T?”, which followed the lives of five Transgender women from New York and San Francisco. He is also the Founder and Director of the world’s first all-Transgender model agency, Slay Model Management.

Asuncion has received prestigious awards for exceptional achievement, LGBT advocacy, outstanding leadership and dedication to improving the quality of life for the LGBT community, such as: 2017 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Reality Series for STRUT and the 2013 Outstanding Filipino American Award for LGBT Advocacy.

He has also spoken at several universities and public events regarding the importance of Transgender equality and how to serve as an ally for the community. His speaking engagements have included – NYU, Stanford, PACE University, SFSU and University of Colorado – Boulder. In addition to ongoing film work and management of Slay Model Management, he is currently working on a book under the Carol Mann Agency.

So far, 93 contestants will compete in the 2017 Miss Universe contest.

Rachel Peters is this year’s Philippine delegate to the prestigious competition.