Friday, March 12, 2010

Lee Dae-hee to host Mr World in Korea

The Mr. World Contest starts tonight in Incheon with more than 70 men vying to become the ``world's most desirable man.''

The contest runs through March 27, with various tasks awaiting the contestants from around the world.

Organized by the Hankook Ilbo-The Korea Times Media Group and the Miss World Organization, the 16-day event will indeed keep the contestants busy.

On Saturday, the group will take a tour around the host city, Incheon, and get ready for their two-week journey during the weekend scheduled with photo shoots. During the tour, they will get to experience a traditional Korean wedding and take a short ferry ride.

The following Tuesday and Wednesday, the men will attend a sports challenge that includes a survival challenge and an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) race.

The men will pay a visit to Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, one of the most traditional cities in Korea, and learn more about the country. The next day will be spent learning taekwondo at Bulguk Temple, followed by a visit to famous port city Ulsan and a quick tour of the Hyundai Motor factory.

On Saturday, March 20, the Mr. World contestants will volunteer for Habitat for Humanity International and also visit Haeseong Orphanage to deliver one year's worth of diapers.

Seoul will be the next stop for the men, where they will participate in the Turtle Marathon on Sunday, which is held once a month and organized by The Korea Times' sister company, the Hankook Ilbo. The marathon will start at 8 a.m. and the contestants will walk along the seven kilometer route around Mt. Nam. The marathon will start at the outdoor plaza of the National Theater of Korea.

After the marathon, the contestants will get to show off their culinary side at the cooking competition held at the Korea House near Mt. Nam. The men will get to learn and compete in making Korean traditional dishes.

The contestants will continue their tour around Seoul by making stops at Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace, Insa-dong and also the Dongdaemun area, which is famous for being a fashion district for Seoulites.

One of the most anticipated events of the show will be fashion designer Andre Kim's charity fashion show, with the contestants strutting the runway donning Kim's signature designs. The fashion show is a charity event that will support the International Vaccine Institute and will be held in Incheon.

On March 24, the group will visit the truce village of Panmunjeom at the Demilitarized Zone, which divides the Korean Peninsula.

The finale will be held on March 27, with the winner announced amid various shows and performances by the contestants and guest singers, including British singer Alesha Dixon, Korean girl band Girls' Generation and boy group 2PM.

Actress Lee Da-hae made headlines when news broke that she was appointed as the hostess of the event, surprising fans with her English skills.

``She is tall and has both Asian and also Western charms. Her fluent English and Chinese also helped her to become the hostess,'' an event organizer said.

Lee will host the event alongside actor Julien Kang.

Along with Lee and Kang, other important figures will join the event, including reigning Mr. World Juan Garcia Postigo from Spain, the first Mr. World Tom Muyens from Belgium, Miss World for 2009 Kaiane Aldorino from Gibraltar, Miss World for 2008 Ksenia Sukhinova from Russia and Miss World for 2007 Zhang Zilin from China.

According to organizers, this year's event is expected to be the biggest in the contest's history, with more than 70 contestants from 80 countries competing. The winner will win 64,000 pounds, approximately 100 million won. The contestants will be judged through various programs, including a talent show, cooking contest, the fashion show and sports programs. The grand prize winner of the Mr. World Korea contest, Ryu Ji-kwang, will represent Korea and show off his talents.

The competition will be broadcasted to some 1 billion viewers in 140 countries, through the U.K.'s SKY1 TV, China's CCTV, the United States' Bravo and E, Russia's CTC and Brazil's CMT, among others. Local viewers can watch it through cable network MBC ESPN, SENTV and Arirang TV.


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