Spiked makeup and evening gowns doused with pepper spray couldn’t keep Ingrid Marie Rivera from becoming Miss Puerto Rico 2008 on Saturday, which makes her the island’s newest contestant for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant.
According to Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día, authorities are trying to catch whoever is guilty of the pranks against the beauty queen, 24, winner of Miss World Puerto Rico and Miss World Caribbean in 2005.
Rivera, representative of Dorado, Puerto Rico, said the most difficult night of the competition was when she broke out in hives and swelled up after someone coated her gown with pepper spray. She kept her composure on stage, but once out of the spotlight, she had to apply ice to her face and body.
Rivera’s rivals speculated that the competition was fixed in her favor, complaining that she was too experienced and even saying that she bought the crown. “They can’t penalize me for being ambitious and wanting to represent Puerto Rico again,” she responded to the accusations.
Rivera dedicated the victory to all of her supporters.