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Alicia Machado Biography

Alicia was born Yoseph Alicia Machado Fajardo on December 6, 1976, in Maracay, Venezuela, to a Cuban father and a Spanish mother. Her mixed heritage gave her an exotic look that has helped her attain beauty-pageant stardom. 1996 was a whirlwind year for Alicia, beginning when she won the title of Miss Yaracuy, from which she moved on to become Miss Venezuela.

As Miss Venezuela, Alicia had the right to compete against 79 other women, including the United States’ Ali Landry, in the Miss Universe pageant held at the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts on the Las Vegas Strip. On May 17, 1996, Alicia beat out all the other contestants and was crowned Miss Universe.

Though Alicia’s reign was initially marked with excitement, it was soon tossed about in a storm of controversy. As her reign progressed, Alicia began gaining weight, which did not go unnoticed by Donald Trump and his Miss Universe Organization leaders. It has been alleged that officials thought Alicia’s weight gain was too much and were considering replacing her with the runner-up. However, that plan never came to fruition, as Alicia lost some of the weight and was able to keep her crown.

Since ending her tenure as Miss Universe, Alicia has moved on to the television industry. In 2004, she began appearing in television commercials, gaining recognition mostly for her work on a commercial for a diet pill. In that same year, she also released a self-titled debut CD, singing in a style best described as “Spanish pop/rock” -- we don't think Shakira has anything to worry about though.

In 2006, she appeared on a Mexican reality show called Cantando por un sueño (Singing For A Dream), a show that has been compared to ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. Unfortunately, however, Alicia’s reality-show career has also led to scandal and grief, as her fiance, New York Yankees right fielder Bobby Abreu, broke off their engagement after she was filmed having sex with another man on the Mexican reality TV show La Granja.

In February 2006, Alicia made history as she appeared on the cover of the Mexican edition of Playboy; her spread marked the first time a Miss Universe had ever posed nude for the magazine. Ever aware of her controversial reign, she dedicated the photo spread to Donald Trump.


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