The Grand Finale of Pantaloons’ Femina Miss India was held on 8th April, 2007 at MMRDA Grounds, Bandra in Mumbai. The event can be described as an abundance of drama, entertainment and glamour. The night was hosted by the not-so-funny Sajid Khan, who despite failing to entertain year after year, is given the honors to host the prestigious event which decides the destiny of many hopefuls. Alongside him was the Queen of television, Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin’s Mona Singh, who did a fabulous job of hosting the night.
The judges panel was intelligently selected, representing successful people from all walks of life. They included fashion designer Rohit Bal, model Ujwala Raut, eminent film-makers Madhur Bhandarkar and Subhash Ghai, former Miss World Priyanka Chopra, noted film actor Sanjay Dutt and CEO of Ranbaxy Malvinder Singh, Director General – FDCI, Mrs. Rathi Vinay Jha. This diverse range of judges gave the contest an unbiased decision, although the judges did claim that there was a clash in opinion when choosing the Top 5 and that the decision was very difficult.
The girls were given breaks between rounds to change their clothes, hair and make-up, during which sizzling acts set the stage on fire! Koena Mitra and Tusshar Kapoor entertained with their latest hits, but the highlight of the evening was the gorgeous Lara Dutta, who presented a dazzling tribute to former Miss India’s.
In the final round, the five finalists had to answer to the question – “If you had to convince a rural woman to participate in the Miss India contest, how would you do it?” The question proved difficult and was only convincingly answered by a few, possibly making it easier for the judges. Only one answer stood out from the lot, and that girl went on to win the coveted title.
After much deliberation and brainstorming over the final three, Sarah Jane Dias was crowned Miss India, Puja Gupta was 1st runner up and Pooja Chitgopekar was crowned 2nd runner up. This year the pageant took an unexpected twist; the winner will be representing India at Miss World rather than Miss Universe, which will be attended to by the runner up.
The event was sponsored by Pantaloons, who were the title sponsors. The associate sponsors were — Tanishq, Liberty, Radio Mirchi and Sun ‘n’ Sand. The event was cosponsored by Richfeel Health and Beauty, Vogue Eyewear, Jealous 21 and Etam. SET was the television partner. Zoom was the reality TV partner while the English news channel partner was Times Now.
Sarah Jane Dias – Winning the Miss India crown was a dream of her’s since she was five. She was Miss India Oman (1997) and a Channel [V] VJ and is a generally known face in the glamour industry. Other than that she is keen to build a career in the field of music and food. Traveling around the world is also part of her future plans. She describes herself as confident, forgiving and addictive. Her strengths include her voice and her ability to talk to anyone, while food and her forgiving attitude as her weaknesses. Sarah Jane’s hobbies include dancing, singing, traveling and writing.
Puja Gupta – Puja is an aspiring writer and has always dreamt of representing the women of India. She is an independent and friendly person who loves life. Through the contest, Puja hopes to travel, meet interesting people, learn about different cultures and write about it all. She dreams of seeing a world as a happy place free from wars. Yoga, writing, horseback riding and drawing are some of her hobbies. She considers herself self-determined, confident and patient.
Pooja Chitgopekar – Pooja is a doctor, a model, a television anchor and a beauty queen. She is currently pursing MBBS from University of Auckland, this and has won the Miss India New Zealand (2002) contest, Miss India Worldwide (2003) (1st runner up) and Miss Auckland (2002) (1st runner up). She hopes Femina Miss India will give her the platform to express her thoughts and opinions and give her the experience that will enable her to grow as a person. Her hobbies include jazz ballet, piano, yoga, swimming, reading, traveling and playing tennis and she describes herself as optimistic, ambitious, honest, hardworking and bubbly.