Miss Universe The Next “Hero?”

I admit; I was thrilled when Miss Japan was crowned Miss Universe last month. (Yeah, me and half the population of Hawaii.) Twenty-year-old Riyo Mori is attractive, multi-lingual, and, hey, you can’t help but cheer for the underdog (the only other time Japan has won the pageant was in 1959, when Akiko Kojima became the first Miss Universe from Asia).

If you enjoyed watching Mori strut her stuff on stage as much as I did, I have good news. You may be seeing a lot more of the beauty queen on American TV. The new Miss Universe says she is hoping to land another job–a spot on the NBC hit series “Heroes.”

“As soon as I won Miss Universe I had this big chance,” Mori told news reporters Monday. “I’ve never acted before. I went to the casting audition and read a script in English and Japanese, and they said it was really good. So I hope I can be in the show.”

Okay, so she’s never acted before… that doesn’t seem to have affected Paris Hilton’s career. Moreover, Mori says the role she is up for—-a love interest for one of the main characters on the show—-wouldn’t be too big a stretch since she is now used to having multiple cameras aimed at her 24/7.

Though, how she would be able to shoot a series and tour the world as Miss Universe and hold down her position as a spokeswoman for AIDS issues remains to be seen. If Mori doesn’t get the “Heroes” gig she says she will concentrate on her dancing skills (she has been a dancer since she was 4-years-old and studied classical ballet in Canada) and look for other ways to “serve people.” She says her ultimate dream is to open a dance school so that she can teach young Japanese girls how the art of dance can build character.

Of course, if she does land the “Heroes” role and becomes as popular as the other actors on the show, her dance school plans may be put on the back burner for a while.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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