On 26 September last year the 23-year-old Zoey Ivory van der Koelen from Almere was crowned Miss Netherlands 2016, which was the beginning of an exceptional and adventurous year. The absolute highlight this past weekend was when she fulfilled her greatest dream: winning the final of the RTL4 TV programme ‘Dance Dance Dance’, together with her dance partner Marnix Lenselink! On last Monday evening 9 October, Zoey Ivory passed her coveted Miss Netherlands crown to Nicky Opheij, who was crowned Miss Netherlands 2017 during the spectacular finale at Studio 21 in Hilversum.
Miss Netherlands is an organisation that stimulates young women to realise their dreams and to help them in the quest for their dreams, strengths and talents. Everyone has a talent and dreams, but also insecurities. By participating in Miss Netherlands, these young women’s insecurities are replaced by pride, a positive self-image and self-belief.
Beauty, Brains & Business!
Miss Netherlands goes beyond just glitter and glamour or even world peace; the organisation finds the most beautiful girl of the Netherlands who blends Beauty, Brains and Business, and who is also ’the girl next door’. A young woman who represents a reachable and achievable role model for other young women. At Miss Netherlands a strong and intelligent personality is combined with a nice and well-groomed appearance. The Misses constitute a balanced mix of sincerity, beauty, elegance, class, professional communication skills, and self‑confidence.
Zoey Ivory: in many ways, a passionate role model for young women!
There can be no doubt that Zoey Ivory is a strong and assertive role model for many young women! Her 1‑year reign as Miss Netherlands started on 26 September last year, with the Miss Universe election in the Philippines being her first big challenge. At the Miss Universe competition, she went viral with a video in which she was prominently featured, while spontaneously dancing to Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies’. To her this was one of the most remarkable moments of all: to be proclaimed a “celebrity” in the Philippines and to go viral all over the world, just for being herself. The next challenge she faced was the RTL4 TV programme ‘Dance Dance Dance’. This programme was a long cherished wish and big dream that came true, and during which she had – and especially wanted – to do her utmost best. She wanted to win and she did win the final last weekend, together with her dance partner Marnix Lenselink!
Zoey Ivory: “It was a process that had mentally and physically broken me more than once; I discovered a lot about myself and my less pleasant dance past. But during the show, I always remained motivated to not quit, and I especially had a lot of fun. I think that besides our strength and determination it was mainly thanks to my partner and our joy in performing that we were crowned as the winners of ‘Dance Dance Dance’. My objective as Miss Netherlands was to show the Netherlands (and also the rest of the world) that a Miss can be a tough, spontaneous and intelligent woman with a big heart!”
Miss Netherlands 2017 final with Kim Kötter and Koos van Plateringen as presenters
With Studio 21 as the setting and more than 800 guests, the Miss Netherlands final on last Monday evening 9 October became a striking event! Studio 21 is well noted for its spectacular shows. The Miss Netherlands 2017 award ceremony hosted by Kim Kötter was full of varied entertainment. For years Kim has been the face of the Miss Netherlands organisation. In 2009 she acquired the organisation rights for Miss Universe Netherlands and Germany, which she has organised with a lot of spirit and passion. Her co-host was Koos van Plateringen. This Shownieuws host participated in Expeditie Robinson (a Dutch Survivor reality competition TV show), together with Miss Netherlands 2015 Jessie Jazz Vuijk, and was a candidate in ‘Dance Dance Dance’, just like Zoey Ivory.
A critical jury of well-known experts in the worlds of Beauty, Brains and Business
The jury for the Miss Netherlands 2017 final was composed of well-known experts in the worlds of Beauty, Brains and Business: jury president Monica van Ee, the CEO of hannah SIRC (known to editorial staffs and consumers as the Dutch brand for skin improvement), theatre producer and TV host Albert Verlinde, photographer and photography expert William Rutten, Editor-in-Chief of Talkies Magazine Kristina Bozilovic, owner of the well-known barbershop empire Rob Peetoom, Miss Netherlands 2015 Jessie Jazz Vuijk, and designer and LINDA.TV host Janice. This critical jury not only evaluated the finalists on their looks, but also on qualities such as elegance, class, self-esteem, good communication skills, and a strong and intelligent personality.
Performances by Edwin Jonker and The Cast of Studio 21
Between the different presentation rounds of the Misses, every guest was brought into the world of showbiz by The Cast of Studio 21. They were surprised by special performances from various acts from Studio 21’s shows. Musical star and all-round entertainer Edwin Jonker, known from Beauty and the Beast, Dreamgirls and Rent, gave an amazing performance during the grand finale with the finalists.
Nicky Opheij crowned as Miss Netherlands 2017
By the end of the evening, it was time for Zoey Ivory to hand over her coveted Miss Netherlands crown to the new Miss Netherlands. The 22-year-old Nicky Opheij from the Dutch town Handel in the Brabant region was crowned as Miss Netherlands 2017 by Zoey. Nicky is a graduate nutrition coach, model, and former architectural drafter and has 26 swimming diplomas under her belt. She loves to do sports, including running, swimming, scuba diving and shines in skipping.
Nicky Opheij: “I could not believe it when I heard my name through the speakers. I’m so incredibly happy and proud of this title! This comes at a very good time in my life. I was really trying to find myself. From being an architectural drafter, I recently graduated as a food coach. After my title ‘Holland’s Next Top Model’ and working as a model, I took a particular interest in nutrition. I was looking for ways to work with weight control in a healthy way. I think I can certainly be an inspiration for others in this field. While working as a model, I became increasingly jittery because I could not really be myself. I wanted to have my own opinion and not just act as a proverbial clothes hanger. I was a little lost in that regard. I’m really glad that I persevered and took part in Miss Netherlands though. It was quite a process to be judged on who you really are. I dare to say that I once again love myself and my current female body. I am healthy and feel privileged that I can now get opportunities to develop further. We are now working with the Miss Netherlands organisation to see where my developments and ambitions lie and see what prospects may emerge. Jessie Jazz and Zoey Ivory are two excellent examples and role models for me. I cannot wait to get started. The Miss Universe Election is in Las Vegas within a month. So now I really have to work hard, but I’m certainly very much looking forward to it!”
A great new ambassador for the Netherlands, both in appearance and character!
Jury chairwoman Monica van Ee has this to say about the new Miss Netherlands 2017: “We as the Miss Netherlands Organisation were looking for a girl with a unique personality, who is social, bright, happy and compassionate. Someone who can be an inspiration for young girls. Not in a patronising way, but in a natural, happy way and who is a delight to work with. We have been working with Nicky and the other 10 finalists for 4 months. What an undeniably delightful group! Nicky is a real joy, very funny and witty. She already has a wealth of experience from out of which she can take the advantages and disadvantages and turn them into in her favour for the title. We are very proud of her personal growth and think we have found a great ambassador for the Netherlands. Nicky can be a role model for young girls, including in terms of healthy nutrition and learning to love yourself, both in appearance and character”
Kim Kötter: “We always notice that after such an intense period of various training sessions, photo shoots, events and introductions to other sport disciplines, the finalists get to know themselves better and are better aware of their ambitions and talents. We tremendously enjoyed our time with each finalist. What a great group of beautiful ladies. We are very proud of this year’s finalists and of course of the new Miss Netherlands 2017!