Miss Universe Vietnam organizer to investigate title winner's laughing gas allegations

By Hoang Dung   October 5, 2023 | 04:14 am PT
Nguyen Thi Thuy Nga, head organizer of the 2023 Miss Universe Vietnam contest, said the pageant would verify whether title winner Bui Quynh Hoa had used nitrous oxide balloons.
Miss Universe Vietnam 2023 Bui Quynh Hoa. Photo from Hoas Facebook

Miss Universe Vietnam 2023 Bui Quynh Hoa. Photo from Hoa's Facebook

A video of a group of friends, allegedly including this year’s Miss Universe Vietnam title winner Bui Quynh Hoa, joking around and inhaling nitrous oxide from balloons surfaced on social media on Wednesday.

Many commenters said they were annoyed with the acts of the woman in the video, and would be disappointed if she was the beauty queen.

Responding to the issue, Nga told the press: "We are verifying the allegations with Hoa."

She added that the pageant would impose punishments if the allegations were true.

"The 2023 Miss Universe Vietnam contest’s main theme is appreciation of feminism and humanity, so we will not tolerate wrongdoings, if any," she said.

VnExpress reporters have tried to contact Hoa, but have not yet received a reply.

Nitrous oxide, also called the "laughing gas," induces the feeling of euphoria in the inhaler due to its impact on the neurological system. Abuse of the gas may lead to neurological disorders such as depression, sensory processing disorder, sleep issues, and other disabilities including paralysis.

The Ministry of Health in 2019 banned nitrous oxide for recreational purposes, though many entertainment venues still offer the gas in balloons.

In Vietnam, the gas is only allowed to be manufactured for industrial purposes. Ingestion by humans is prohibited unless prescribed by doctors.

This is not the first controversy that Hoa has been involved in after being crowned during the contest’s final night on September 29.

Many viewers raised doubts of how she became the winner of the contest as during the final night her answers were immediate, smooth, and shared similarities with Google results.

Hoa publicly denied accusations of cheating during the contest’s press conference on October 1.

The Miss Universe contest, of which Miss Universe Vietnam is a franchise partner, announced on its Facebook account October 3 that it was contacting the 2023 Miss Universe Vietnam contest organizers to verify suspicions raised by viewers, in order to guarantee the contest’s fairness.

Hoa, 25, is a model and businesswoman. She won the title of the 2022 Supermodel International contest and had competed in various beauty pageants before being crowned the 2023 Miss Universe Vietnam.

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