SHE was deemed the fittest in the field, but Morpeth beauty Indeya Passfield missed out on claiming the crown at the Miss World Australia national final on Sunday night.
It bills itself as a ‘‘beauty pageant with a purpose’’ and claims to be more charitable and distinguished than its long-term rival Miss Universe Australia.
But Miss World Australia showed only traces of glitz and glamour during a more than five-hour national final at Pokolbin’s Cypress Lakes Resort.
The 45 young entrants - most of them either models, singers, dancers, musicians or students - graced the stage in evening dresses before the competition was culled to 15 and they returned in swimwear.
The contestants were competing for the overall title and a place at the Miss World event in London later this year as well as seven other secondary categories. Miss Passfield automatically qualified for the final 10 after being named the ‘‘top sportswoman’’ and winning the fitness award, which tested the stamina, determination and agility of the contestants.
But unfortuantely for Miss Passfield her dreams were dashed when the final positions were revealed.
During the first question and answer section, Miss Passfield was asked: ‘‘who has had the most influence in your life and why?
‘‘I believe a person who has had the most influence in my life is my wonderful mother. She is going to cry now,’’ Miss Passfield said. ‘‘I believe that basing myself I’ve learned so many qualities from a woman that has stood by me, through thick and thin, no matter what I do, no matter where I go, she is the first one there and the first one to follow me and I think that is something a Miss World Australia should embody, she should be supportive, loyal and there for her people.’’
Model Didier Cohen hosted the evening and bushfire survivor Turia Pitt was on hand as one of the guest judges.
The contestants had to do their own hair and make-up and were judged on their presentation, interview skills, talents, fitness, modelling ability, personality and commitment to raising money for charity.
Brisbane contestant Stephanie Campbell, who recovered from a near-fatal skydiving accident in March this year to compete, sensationally pulled out on the eve of the pageant.
She took to Facebook during the national final to wish the other girls luck.
‘‘I decided to remove myself from Miss World Australia yesterday lunchtime,’’ she wrote.
‘‘Good luck to the girls who still think the title has value and are competing for it at the crowning event tonight.
‘‘May the odds be ever in their favour.’’
It was unclear on Sunday night what prompted her withdrawal from the coveted pageant.
Online fans vented their frustration on social media after the live stream for the event failed to work for the majority of the first hour and the show took long breaks between each section.
In the ultimate insult to pageant viewers, the all-important act had to be viewed in silence as the sound cut out.
By 11.15pm the judges had only culled the 45 contestants down to 8.
‘‘This is the most poorly organised awards night I have ever seen! Absolutely no respect for the poor audience,’’ Maddie C wrote on the production company's YouTube channel.