All eyes have been on 22-year-old Miss Colombia, Catalina Robayo, because she allegedly made the rounds at official appearances over the last week donning itty bitty skirts sans undies, FOX411’s Pop Tarts column has been told exclusively.
“Colombia had to be spoken to and told she needed to wear underpants as what she was doing was totally inappropriate,” a close source told us. “People have been pretty upset by it; there have been photos and media appearances where she has completely had her crotch out.”
Pop Tarts was shown one of the photos that seems to show her sans undies. Paula Shugart, President of the Miss Universe Organization (MUO), said she was floored when she heard the news from her team.
“There were several girls in short dresses which is was a little concerning, but when I saw the (commando) picture on the front page of one of the local papers and was very, very surprised,” Shugart continued. “Our supervisors talked to all of the contestants about dressing appropriately, and one of our PR people spoke to her (Robayo) and apparently she said she was wearing underwear. But regardless, it created quite a stir here for a few days.”
But that’s not the only the controversy that has struck the competition. Pageant officials had to return all of the official swimsuit bikini bottoms, provided by sponsor Catalina Brasil Swimwear, as they were deemed far too revealing to air on network television come the live crowning telecast on September 12.
“It looks like we have rectified by the issue, and the costumes were beautiful, but they sent us the first round of competition suits and being by a Brazilian designer they were definitely a lot smaller than we’re used to or most of the contestants are used to,” Shugart explained. “We delayed our shoot so we could add material to the bottom; otherwise we were going to have serious problems on television. (The designers) were a little surprised, they knew we were a little more conservative but… they took them back and they turned out really well.”
Scandal aside, the official photographs of the contestants straddle the line between sexy and sleazy, photographer Fadil Berisha said.
“Over the last few years we’ve been allowed to really turn this into fashion, so it’s not so prissy and not so clothed, it has become fun and much better,” Berisha told Pop Tarts. “We had a little controversy last year with Miss USA, but the shots were still beautiful.”
(This column was the first to spotlight the racy 2010 photo shoot, which came under fire as the contestants sported lacy lingerie, fishnets, smudged black eyeliner, knee-high boots, ample cleavage and plenty of bare skin, all while positioned in seductive poses on a large bed.)
Berisha insisted that the shoots take into consideration each of the contestants with respect to their culture and personal beliefs, saying nobody is forced to step outside their comfort zone for the official shoot.
“Some girls choose to wear one-piece bathing suits, or the girls simply tell me they don’t want to show too much, and this year some of the girls cover their stomachs for the shoot,” Berisha said. “But each year (the talent pool) has been getting better and better, we are getting more fashion looking models. Here we are with Miss Universe, the most beautiful woman in the world, so we need a girl who looks like a fashion model. If she’s smart, that’s great, but at the end of the day people want to see a really pretty face.”
The Miss Universe crowning will broadcast live on NBC September 12 at 9:00 p.m. ET from Credicard Hall in São Paulo, Brazil.