Monday, March 4, 2013 | 4:36 p.m.
It was four days of fabulous females with fashion parades, bikini runway walks and hot, short club wear for parties for the 100 Tropic Beauty Model Search contestants from 20 countries at MGM Grand.
The third annual world finals wrapped in the resort’s entrance lobby with 2012 winner Ligia Hernandez, 27, of Venezuela passing her tiara to blonde-haired Linda Zimany, 26, from Budapest, Hungary.
Linda studies law at KRE University in Budapest. She began modeling at age 14 and won her first pageant in 2001 as Miss Cyberspace Hungary. Linda shot a nude 12-page pictorial for the Hungarian edition of Playboy Magazine in May 2010. It landed her TV hosting and European modeling assignments that brought her to L.A.
Her 2013 Tropic Beauty model contract is worth $80,000. Linda is 6’, 123 pounds and measures 34D-24-35. Another Playboy cover in Hungary wound up on the cover in 11 other worldwide editions, including South Africa and Britain. Working on Hungarian TV for three years as a show host, she also appeared in that country’s edition of “I’m a Celebrity -- Get Me Out of Here.”
Linda was the European winner of Miss Bikini World and placed first runner-up in the Queen of the World pageant a year ago. Our contributing photographers were kept busy covering the beauties, who really dazzled in national costumes.
Debbie O’Toole from Manchester, England, who wore a sparkly Union Jack flag dress, wowed so much so that she wound up marrying an executive from Pevonia, the beauty products company that helped sponsor the pageant. They met at the first-night welcome cocktail party in Centrifuge Lounge at MGM Grand last Wednesday, and she ran off the stage directly from her rival’s crowning to make it to the MGM Grand chapel.
I was one of the judges at the contest at Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club and am happy to say I put Linda in my Top Three. Two Las Vegas beauties, Jennifer DeCillis and Brittany Parks, who won preliminary contests at 1 OAK in The Mirage and the Hard Rock Hotel, respectively, made the Top 30.
There were parties at Tabu in MGM Grand and also at Andrea’s and Surrender in Steve Wynn’s Encore, where master of ceremonies Joey Fatone of ’N Sync fame held court. Andrea’s executive chef Joseph Elevado hosted the stunning, sash-clad models in their sexiest pageant wear.
While here, the glamour girls helped host a $1 million blackjack tournament for MGM Grand and shot poolside photos for their 2014 calendar. Thanks to Tom Donoghue, David Tingey and Marshall Bradford of Donoghue Photography for their great photo galleries and coverage.
Linda told me she was still gasping for breath after winning: “I can’t believe this happened. I came here never expecting to win. I hoped but didn’t think it was possible. Now I hope this will lead to American modeling work and maybe more in Hollywood. That’s what we always dream of.
“But I have loved Las Vegas the short time I am here, and I could easily live here. It’s so much fun.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 rooms and suites.
MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and world-class entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.
The resort offers signature restaurants by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish House, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes Five Star restaurant, Joël Robuchon.
As part of its ongoing “Grand Renovation,” MGM Grand has remodeled all rooms and suites in its main tower and is adding several new experiences to its lineup including Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub, a new upscale dining/nightlife concept (coming in April 2013).
MGM Grand also features a state-of-the-art, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Spa, Cristophe Salon, "CSI: The Experience" and an inviting pool complex featuring the tantalizing daylife of Wet Republic.
Upscale accommodations include The Mansion, an exclusive hotel within the hotel; the luxurious two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Signature at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel located adjacent to the main resort.