Wednesday, August 13, 2008

America's Next Top Model pulls from Ukraine

Tyra Banks hugely popular show, America's Next Top Model, announces it's picks for Cycle 11. Among the beautiful young women this turn is Elina, 19 years old, from Berdichieve, Ukraine.

Elina is the third contestant from the former soviet union, preceded by cycle 10 slavic blonde beauty Anya Rozova, from Leningrad / St. Petersburg, Russia and the very popular Natasha Galkina from Rostov, Russia in cycle 8.

Natasha Galkina, ANTM Russian born finalist

Both Natasha and Anya made it to the final 2 of their cycles, but neither were able to make the final cut to win the ANTM competition. Maybe this time around ukranian born nineteen year old Elina will take the crown to become America's Next Top Model. With beautiful Russian women seemingly dominating the majority of their competition in previous seasons, it is hard to deny the beauty women from the former soviet union posess and their ability to capitvate our imaginations.

I am looking forward to finding out more about this jewel from Ukraine, Elina, and I hope she goes far and becomes the first woman from her nation to take the title of america's next top model.

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Ukrainian actress Olga Kurylenko to star as next Bond girl in “Quantum of Solace”

Native Ukrainian beauty Olga Kurylenko has secured the role of the newest bond girl in the upcoming film “Quantum of Solace”, the 22nd installment in the very successful James Bond 007 spy movie series.

“Quantum of Solace” stars Daniel Craig, returning to fill the James Bond role and picks up exactly where "Casino Royale" left off. In Quantum, Mr. White is interrogated by M and Bond to reveal the organization which he and Le Chiffe were involed in is much larger than anyone could have imagined.

Tracing a hatian bank account of an MI6 double agent leads Bond to the sexy and dangerous Camille, the role played by Kurylenko. Camille is a woman with her own agenda and score to settle. It is through Camille that Bond learns more about the mysterious organisation that is "Quantum" and is led to possible organization leader Dominic Greene (played by Mathieu Amalric- of "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and "Munich").

“Quantum of Solace” sees the return of dame Judi Dench reprising the role of MI^ leader M, as well as acclaimed actor Jeffry Wright returning as Felix Leiter of the american based CIA. It also sees the additions of new bond girls Olga Kurylenko as Camille and Gemma Arterton as the sexy Agent Fields.

In "Quantum" Daniel Craig's Bond must resit the urge to make his latest mission one of personal vengence as he gets closer and closer to finding the person responsible for the betrayal of his former love, Vesper Lind.

Billed as being the sexiest and toughest bond girl to date, Olga Kostyantynivna Kurylenko was born on November 14th, 1979 in the seaside town of Berdyansk, Ukraine.

Olga had a rough childhood growing up in Ukraine. A child of a broken home, her mother divorced her father when she was only 2 years old. Olga was raised in a cramped Soviet communal flat / sleeping block, with four small rooms shared by six adults from her extended family and several children.

Kurylenko's luck changed with a chance encounter on a train in the underground metro system fo Moscow on a trip with her family. At the age of thirteen Olga was discovered by a female modling scout. Too young for major campaigns Olga went back to her home in Ukraine but stayed in touch with the woman and at age 17 she was sent to Mosco where she attended modeling school. In a matter of months Kurylenko was on her way to Paris and picking up major modeling jobs, gracing the covers of both such Elle and Vogue magazines, as well as becoming the face of Lejaby Lingerie.

Olga married her best friend, French fashion photographer Cedric Van Mol at the age of 20. The couple was divorced just 4 years later. As her mother described it, "They had been friends before but it was a marriage without love."

She married again to mobile phone accessory entrepreneur Damian Gabrielle but couple split in late 2007. In an interview she says of the relationship, "I am single now, thank God (laughs). I am really enjoying my freedom. I don’t like relationships where people are jealous and want to possess you. I will never belong to anyone and I would rather be alone than with a bad partner, so I am very happy."

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Olesya Rulin, Exotic Russian Beauty and All American Teen Movie Actress

When most people view Olesya Rulin they think of all american teen Kelsi Neilsen, a character from the popular High School Musical series, but actress Olesya Rulin who playes Neilsen is actually from Russia (born in the former USSR).

Olesya Rulin was born on March 17, 1986 in the capital city of Moscow, Russia (Former Soviet Union). She spent her early childhood in the small empovershed 12 house village of Likhoslavl, located 3 hrs north of the capital. When she was 8 years old her family emigrated to the United States where they joined her father who had gone over ahead of his family 2 years prior. Originally the family settled in Texas but later moved to Utah.

Olesya Rulin started her showbiz carrer when at the age of 12 her mother entered her into a modeling contest. Olesya won and picked up representation by four different modeling agencies.

In 2001 she began appearing in television productions for the Disney channel and had small roles in 3 different tevelision series for the company as well as landing parts (and one starring role) in two direct to DVD movies before her big break in 2006 came with High School Musical.

Currently Rulin is set to star alongside with Jessica Simpson in the new movie "Major Movie Star". There are also rumors that she will be reprising her role as Kelsi Neilsen for High School Musical 3 this year.

Olesya retains her Russian heritage. Though she does not speak english with a noticable accent, Rulen can read, write and still speak fluently in Russian. She is also a trained ballet dancer, a great passion among people of Russia.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Kseniya Sobchak, Russia's Paris Hilton

Kseniya Anatolyevna Sobchak was born on born november 5, 1981 in St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad), Russia (then Soviet Union) and is the daughter of the former capital city's first democratically elected Mayor, Anatoly Sobchak. As a child she attended the Mariinsky Theatre ballet school and Hermitage Museum's art school. In 1998, Kseniya left Herzen University to pursue her socio-political education attending Saint Petersburg State University's Department of International Relations. In 2001 Sobchak left St. Petersburg and moved to Moscow where she enrolled in the International Relations program at Moscow State Institute of International Relations. In 2002 she followed her education up by enrolling into a masters program in the department of politics at the same State Institute of International Relations.

Ksenia is currently a host of several TV shows in Russia such as "Dom-2" (House-2), similar to Big Brother in Europe and the States and the most successful reality show on russian television, and "The Blonde in Chocolate", a E! Television style reality show based on Ksenia's life. She is also a close family friend of Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and has been called both Russia's "IT" girl as well as the face of modern Russia all the while drawing frequent comparissons to American socialite Paris Hilton.

Sobchak seems to make no effort to seperate herself from the comparissons to the american star, even going as far as to provide her voice in the Russian dubbed version of Hilton's film "National Lampoon's Pledge This!". While both Ksenia and Hilton portray the attitude of vacuous airheads in the public eye, Sobchak's background isn't quite as posh as her american counterpart.

'Yes, it is true that I love shopping and I care about my manicure,' Ksenia says, 'But then I also love books and theatre and talking about politics. For me, there's no contradiction here; they're just different sides of my character. Whatever people may think of me, I don't live like some princess in an ivory tower.

In 1991, when Ksenia was just ten years old, her father, Anatoly Sobchak, a lawyer and early advocate of free-market reform in the former Soviet Union, was elected as mayor of St Petersburg (former Leningrad). Anatoly appointed Vladimir Putin his deputy. For the five years preceeding his election Anatoly Sobchak was one of the most powerful men in his country.

In 1996 Anatoly was voted out of office and the following year criminal investigations began into allegations of bribery and abuse of power. During this stressful time Sobchak suffered a heart attack and was flown to France for medical treatment. He returned home in 1999. When his old ally Putin came to power he cleared all charges leveraged against Sobchak; and soon after having his name cleared Sobchak died.

Because of her father's rise and fall and the scandal that surrounded him Ksenia has developed a thick skin. Right now in Russian media it is nearly impossible to escape her image, on television or in print media magazines. Having all this attention and fame breeds lots of admiration as well as public resentment. When asked if this bothers her, Ksenia replies, "No. What I really dislike is when anyone is indifferent. As long as I'm getting a reaction, it's OK. When people are nasty I don't feel anything."

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Russian Tennis Angel Anna Kournikova

Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova was born on born June 7, 1981 in Moscow, Russia (then Soviet Union) to parents Alla and Sergei Kournikov. As a child she emigrated to America with her Mother. By age 13 Kournikova was already making headlines in international juniors tennis, winning several tournaments including the 1995 Italian Open.

Kournikova made her professional tennis debut at age 14 in the Fed Cup for Russia, as the youngest player ever to participate and win. At age 15, she reached the fourth round of the 1996 U.S. Open. Kournikova could have gone all the way but her meteoric rise to the top of the sport was stopped by then-top ranked women's tennis player, Steffi Graf.

Kournikova, maintaining her russian citizenship, was a member of the Russian delegation to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1997, at 16 years old, she climbed to the semi-finals of Wimbledon, where she lost to the eventual champion, Martina Hingis by a score of 6-3, 6-2. 1998 was to be her breakthrough year, where she broke into the WTA's top 20 rankings for the first time and scored impressive victories over then large names Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, and Steffi Graf. Kournikova's two Grand Slam doubles titles came in 1999 and 2002, both at the Australian Open in the Women's Doubles event with partner Martina Hingis, with whom she played frequently starting in 1999.

Kournikova lists herself as retired. Her professional tennis career has been hampered the past several years, and possibly ended, by serious back and spinal problems.

Anna was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2003 as well as voted "hottest female athlete" by viewers on on in 2002. In 2002 she also placed 1st on FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World in U.S. and UK magazine editions.

There have been rumors, though none confirmed, that she was engaged to professional hockey player Pavel Bure, that she married and divorced NHL hockey star Sergei Fedorov in 2001 (Kournikova's representatives have denied this), as well as a secret 2003 marriage to her current beau, pop star Enrique Iglesias. To this day Anna herself has consistently refused to directly confirm or deny rumors about the status of her personal relationships.

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