Natalie Glebova, (born November 11, 1981) is a Russian-born Canadian beauty queen who won the Miss Universe 2005 title.
Glebova was born in Tuapse, Russia. She is a classical pianist and also has won various regional gymnastic championships. Prior to competing at Miss Universe, Glebova worked as a model and received her Bachelor of Commerce in Information Technology Management and Marketing at Ryerson University in Toronto. She has also worked as a motivational speaker for grade school and high school students.
Glebova currently resides in Thailand and is married to Paradorn Srichaphan. The couple, who met during the 2006 Thailand Open, became engaged in April 2007 and were married on November 29, 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand. Her husband’s family gave her the Thai name Piangfah and a nickname Fah. Sadly, Glebova and Paradorn announced their separation this week after three years of marriage.
In 2004, Glebova attempted to win the Miss Universe Canada pageant where she ended up as 3rd runner-up. The eventual winner, Venessa Fisher, failed to place in the Miss Universe 2004 finals. Glebova competed again in January 2005, and won the Miss Universe Canada title.
Glebova went on to compete in the Miss Universe 2005 pageant held in Bangkok, Thailand in June 2005, where she became the fourth Canadian in ten years to make the initial cut of semi-finalists. She competed in the evening gown and swimsuit competitions, advancing to the top five where she competed in the final interview round. The final interview round was a tough selection; the strongest delegates who managed the Top 5 were Cynthia Olavarria of Puerto Rico, Laura Elizondo of Mexico, Renata Sone of Dominican Republic, and Monica Spear of Venezuela, who were all considered to be pageant powerhouses. At the conclusion of the pageant, Glebova survived the Latin onslaught and was crowned Miss Universe 2005 by outgoing titleholder Jennifer Hawkins of Australia.
Glebova’s win was Canada’s second: Karen Dianne Baldwin of London, Ontario had won in 1982. Glebova and Baldwin graduated from the same high school, London Central Secondary School.
As Miss Universe, Glebova represented the Miss Universe Organization. Her “sister” 2005 titleholders were Allie LaForce (Miss Teen USA, of Ohio) and Chelsea Cooley (Miss USA, of North Carolina).
As part of her year-long reign as Miss Universe, she resided in a Trump Place apartment in New York City and assumed the role of HIV/AIDS awareness advocate. She attended the G8 Summit in New York City on August 11, 2005, which reflected on ending poverty in underdeveloped regions and ending gang activity and drug cartels in Colombia. In November, Glebova attended a special Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in Delhi and was on a week long tour of several Indian cities on an AIDS Awareness Program. In December, she attended the national pageants of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic before going back to Thailand to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the 2004 Tsunami tragedy.
During Glebova’s official “homecoming” to her hometown of Toronto, the Miss Universe was formally offered an apology by the city’s mayor David Miller after she was barred from attending a “Tastes of Thailand” festival while wearing her sash and tiara nor being introduced as a beauty titleholder. A 1990 bylaw, which prevents sexual stereotyping of either men or women in public events, was strictly enforced and largely criticized by Miller and Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart. Shugart called the episode an “insult” to not only Glebova, but to the Thai government who named her an “honorary tourism ambassador”. According to Shugart, this was the first time in Miss Universe’s history that a titleholder was uninvited from a public event.
As well as promoting charitable causes, Glebova had the opportunity to attend many entertainment events and VIP parties in New York, and throughout the United States. She participated in numerous photo shoots with photographer Fadil Berisha.
During her reign Glebova travelled to Africa in July to attend an AIDS Educational Tour with the Global Health Council, Malaysia in late September, the Bahamas and St. Martin. In late March 2006, Natalie visited Russia for the first time since leaving the country in her pre-teens. She participated in an HIV-AIDS Awareness campaign in Moscow and attended a Russian fashion show as a special guest. She also made numerous trips to Thailand, where she commemorated the anniversary of the Tsunami and Canada, her home nation.
She also attended the national pageants of Ukraine in mid October, Puerto Rico in November, Dominican Republic in December, Czech Republic in February, Thailand and Nicaragua in March, Brazil in April. She also crowned Alice Panikian as her Miss Universe Canada successor the night of March 21, 2006. Alice finished 6th in Miss Universe.
Glebova was supposed to travel to Indonesia to crown Miss Indonesia Universe 2006 in late July, but because of Canada’s travel ban to the Southeast Asian country, Glebova was officially replaced with Puerto Rico’s Cynthia Olavarria, the First Runner-Up of Miss Universe 2005. Since the Miss Indonesia pageant’s revival in 2000, this was the first time in which Miss Universe was unable to attend the coronation.
On July 23, 2006, Natalie crowned Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza of Puerto Rico as her successor.
In May 2006 it was announced that Glebova, along with golfer Vijay Singh and pro tennis player Paradorn Srichaphan, would become a brand ambassador for Thailand-based beer brewers Singha Corp. owners of Boon Rawd Brewery. Glebova completed her 1-year contract with Singha in July 2007.
In December, 2006, Glebova starred in an expensive two-minute television advertisement for The Beverly Hills which attempts to recreate an air of French romanticism for a housing development project of Henderson Land Development in Hong Kong and is one of the most prestigious and expensive housing developments in Asia. Natalie received “The Best Actress” award for this commercial during “The 13th Annual Most Popular TV Commercial Awards” ceremony in Hong Kong on May 5th 2007.
In February 2007, Natalie published her first book Healthy Happy Beautiful and it turned out to be a major best seller.
In February 2007 Glebova became a brand ambassador for Better Vision (the eyewear company in Thailand).
In May 2007 Natalie Glebova was appointed as Brand Beauty Ambassador for ICC International, the producer of BSC cosmetics.
In 2008, Glebova joined The Amazing Race Asia 3 and she partnered with Pailin Rungratanasunthorn. They represented Thailand and came in 8th place.
In November 2008 Natalie Glebova started a new charity organization called Party 4 Charity.
Glebova also serves as an ambassador for Soi Cats and Dogs, a non-profit organization aiding homeless street animals in Thailand.