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The controversial Miss Universe Canada pageant took place Saturday night, featuring Jenna Talackova...the transgender woman who forced Donald Trump to let her in the annual competition.
Well, the the 6-foot-1 blonde fell short of the crown -- but was among the final 12 contestants. Talackova spoke to Paula Newton about what she calls "an amazing experience."
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OC: "...Paula Newton, CNN Toronto."
Jenna Talackova, the 23-year-old woman who forced Donald Trump and his Miss Universe Canada pageant to end its ban on transgender contestants, fell short of the national title Saturday night at the pageant in Toronto.
The crown went to Sahar Biniaz, an Indian-born, Iranian-raised actress from Vancouver. Biniaz, 26, will represent Canada at the Miss Universe pageant in December, according to the Miss Universe Canada website.
Talackova refused to speak to the media after the competition, but Biniaz said Talackova had congratulated her on her win backstage. Biniaz added that she admired Talackova for having the courage to compete in the pageant.
In a CNN interview hours before showtime, the 6-foot-1 Talackova seemed a bit weary, as the spotlight was still squarely on her gender transformation.
"Like I always say, my family didn't understand, so why would I expect anybody else to understand? And then they got to know me and they loved me," Talackova said.
She didn't walk away from the pageant empty-handed. In addition to finishing among the top 12 semi-finalists, Talackova tied with three other contestants for the title of Miss Congeniality.
Talackova was born a boy with the name Walter, but she said she felt more like a girl by the age 4. By 14, Talackova convinced her family that she should start taking steps to physically become a woman, she said. She began hormone therapy as a teenager and had gender reassignment surgery four years ago, when she was 19.
It was then she pursued her dream of competing in a pageant. But her gender history meant she was disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada competition for not being a "natural born woman."
Talackova then hired women's rights lawyer Gloria Allred, and the pageant's co-owner, Donald Trump, was left with no choice but to change the rules and let Talackova compete.
"I'm not interested in having arguments with Donald Trump. I'm here to focus on Jenna and what she has won," Allred told CNN after Thursday's preliminary competition. "And it's been extremely important, and it really is a civil rights victory. And she has earned the right to claim that victory,"
Talackova said her entry in the competition is about equality, even if some believe pageants are demeaning.
"The power that you get for having the crown - you can inspire so many people," she said. "So if I have to walk in a bikini for that, I will."
TORONTO CANADA TRANSGENDER CONTESTANT MISS UNIVERSE