Miss BumBum 2016: Erika Canela
BRAZIL - One by one, the bikini-clad contestants strut the catwalk. Writhing, gyrating, wriggling and shaking, they do whatever it takes to convince the judges’ eye. With garish outfits, bikinis, spangles and sequins, almost nothing is off limits as the models battle it out to be named Brazil’s most shapely bottom. Welcome to the weird world of Miss BumBum Brazil, one of the strangest, yet most fiercely-contended, beauty pageants in the world. Billed as ‘the election that really matters’, over 17 million people voted in the competition. This year’s glittering winner is Erika Canela, 20, who walked away with an £18,000 modelling contract and the opportunity to make millions of pounds in product endorsements. She told MailOnline: “I can’t believe it. I never imagined it would be me. I’d decided to give up modelling and go and study medicine. But now this has changed everything. I’m ecstatic.’ ‘But I’m not taking this role lightly. I promise I’ll represent Brazilian beauty to the best of my ability, with all the hard work and dedication that the title deserves. This is the first of many conquests.’ The 15 finalists who didn’t win the prize looked on, trying to force smiles. Losing contestant Priscilla Rocha said: “She deserved to win, if that kind of fake body is what you need to win Miss Bumbum. Now, if they were looking for a body and a bottom that is 100 per cent natural, they should have picked me.” And MC Sexy, who came second, added through gritted teeth: “I’m happy for her, honestly. If the judges thought she was the best, who am I to tell them what they should be looking for. But of course, the girl who should have won is me.” For the last 12 months, 27 women - representing each of Brazil’s states - and later whittled down to 16 by a public poll, have battled it out for a chance to be officially named the owner of the sexiest bottom in a country with 200 million people. Many have gone to extreme lengths to convince their countrymen and women to vote for them, with one woman staging a pitch invasion in her bikini at a packed football match. Having a bigger and firmer bottom than the rest often also means working every day on their backsides in the gym, thousands spent on treatments and anti-cellulite creams, and grueling bottom-enhancing diets.