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Newbury teenager Rysa Saujani through to final of Miss England

16-year-old actor 'overwhelmed by support' after winning two awards in semi-final of competition

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper

dan.cooper@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886632

Newbury teenager through to final of Miss England

A NEWBURY teenager has made it to the finals of Miss England 2020.

Sixteen-year-old Rysa Saujani, a pupil at St Gabriel’s School, secured her place after winning both the public and social media vote in the semi-final of the competition last Friday.

The actor and model – who has appeared in a number of films, television shows and commercials – is now in with a shot of being crowned the next Miss England.

She will compete against 19 other women for the title, with the winner of Miss England going on to represent the country at the Miss World beauty pageant.

Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News today (Monday), she said: “I’m delighted to have not only one, but two awards.

“It's more pleasing to be a double award-winner as these two categories were fiercely contested.

“The public vote is really pleasing to win as this is an unbiased vote and I am very grateful for all the overwhelming support, care and well wishes from those that voted for me.

“I will continue to do my very best going into the Miss England 2020 finals.

“As for the Social Media Award, I couldn't be happier and have appreciated all the accolades from my loyal and growing followers in UK, India, USA and Middle East for their likes, love and encouragement.

“I am humbled by the experience so far. Thank you very much to everyone.”

Rysa is no stranger to being centre stage.

In 2018, she played a starring role in a series about controversial Bollywood star Sunny Leone.

She hit the headlines and gained plaudits around the world for her portrayal of the younger version of Leone, who is the ‘most Googled’ woman in India.

Leone’s former career as an adult film industry actress and her reluctance to conform to cultural norms has gained her millions of fans and followers, but has also sparked protests and created controversy.

Rysa also starred in the 2017 Bollywood film Dobaara: See Your Evil, an official adaptation of the 2013 American horror film Oculus.

As the wildcard entry, Rysa skipped the qualifying stage of the competition and went straight through to the semi-finals, where she went head-to-head with 33 other women from around the UK.

For the semi-final, contestants were invited to submit three videos to enter which consisted of an introduction, a catwalk and a talent video.

It was originally due to take place at Kelham Hall & Country Park in Nottinghamshire on June 8, but due to social distancing and lockdown restrictions, this was not possible.

It was therefore held virtually for the first time in the competition’s history on Friday, with just the judges and host meeting at the Video News Factory in Milton Keynes and contestants from across England joining via Zoom as the results were read out.

The final of Miss England 2020 was due to be held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on July 30 and 31 as a two-day event.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers have now postponed it until next year.

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