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Lauriane is the fairest in the land

The most beautiful girl in Switzerland

(RTS)

The annual Miss Switzerland contest has for the first time in 11 years been won by a woman in the French-speaking part of the country.

Lauriane Gilliéron won hands down after television viewers were allowed for the first time in the competition's history to have the final say on who was the prettiest woman in Switzerland.

Gilliéron, a 21-year-old law student from canton Vaud, evidently won the hearts of viewers with her blonde looks and 85-60-91 figure.

She garnered 44.8 per cent of their votes.

The main prizes for the new Miss Switzerland are a car worth SFr29,000 ($23,000) and endorsement contracts totalling SFr250,000 over the next year.

She will also represent Switzerland at the Miss World contest in China in November and the Miss Universe pageant in 2006.

The daughter of the mayor of Prilly, a small town of around 11,000 inhabitants, Lauriane is a long-time vegetarian and former national Latin-dance champion.

She is currently linked to ice-hockey player Michael Ngoy, who plays for FC Gottéron.

Gilliéron took the title after beating off competition from 15 other contestants.

Second place went to Melanie Meier, a nurse from canton Zurich.

Mythical status

Miss Switzerland title-holders have a near mythical status in this country of seven million inhabitants.

Many ex-Misses have embarked on successful careers as television presenters, actresses and models.

The outgoing Miss Switzerland, Fiona Hefti, had a busy year in office and reportedly earned SFr400,000 during her tenure.

She gets to keep SFr250,000.

Hefti is said to be currently considering whether to continue her teacher-training course, which she interrupted after winning the title last year, or to go into journalism.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

Lauriane Gilliéron takes home a car worth SFr29,000 and SFr250,000 in modelling contracts.

The 21-year-old law student lives in Prilly where her father is mayor.

She is the first Swiss French beauty in 11 years to have won the Miss Switzerland title.

For the first time ever, television viewers had the final say on who would win the crown.

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