RIO DE JANEIRO— A Brazilian beauty pageant took a bizarre turn when the first runner-up snatched the crown off the winner of the Miss Amazonas contest, refusing to accept her loss.
Sheislane (shays-lah-nee) Hayalla is justifying her reaction by claiming her rival, Carol Toledo, bought the title. Pageant organizers could not be reached for comment.
“I wanted to express my disapproval of the actions shown in preparation of Miss Amazonas 2015. I don’t regret having protested,” she wrote in a message posted on her Facebook page Saturday night. “I wanted something clean and honest.”
At the crowning ceremony late Friday, Hayalla initially hugged her opponent as the winner’s name was announced. Seconds later, as a woman adjusted the crown onto Toledo’s hair, Hayalla stepped forward to snatch the tiara violently from her head and throw it onto the stage before storming away while the crowd applauded. She did not respond to a request for comment.
Images from the crowning moment quickly spread on social media sites. Internet users created memes showing Hayalla taking the crown from Queen Elizabeth II, and Kanye West taking the microphone from Taylor Swift during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards with the caption, “Let go! This belongs to Sheislane.”
The winner of Miss Amazonas represents the jungle state in the national Miss Brazil contest. It was unclear whether Hayalla would keep her status as Miss Amazonas first runner-up.
“I apologize if anyone didn’t like my attitude, but I really did what my heart told me to,” Hayalla said in a video after the contest.
Hayalla represented Brazil in last year’s Miss Globe International pageant, held in Baku, Azerbaijan, where she also was named first runner-up.