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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Madison: The people’s queen

Madison Anderson with participant Pepe Gámez

By Iris Edén Santiago

Special to The Star

At the verge of turning 28 years old, Madison Anderson is living the best season of her life.

Four years after almost being crowned Miss Universe (she represented Puerto Rico in 2019), the first runner-up of the global beauty pageant is finally reaping the fruits of her hard work and sacrifices.

Even though she never got the coveted beauty crown, she now feels rewarded with the love and admiration of Puerto Ricans on the island and those living on the mainland. It is because of their votes that she won Telemundo’s “La Casa de los Famosos,” the reality television show, a Spanish-language adaptation of “Celebrity Big Brother.” The popular show kept her living with two dozen strangers for 98 days locked up in a house in Mexico with no communication with the outside world. During that time, with participants being filmed around the clock, she became known for several phrases in broken Spanish, especially for asking beauty expert Osmel Souza (another competitor in the reality show), “Tu recuerdas de mí” (Do you remember me?). She is still working on her Spanish.

The win got her a $200K cash prize and reportedly multiple job offers from clients and sponsors in Puerto Rico, the United States and even Latin America. But, more than anything, it got her the approval and “blessing of her people,” as she calls it. The model, influencer, actress and singer has said publicly that this is her time to shine, and she is carefully analyzing every offer coming her way before deciding the next move in her career, which will definitely be in show business.

At 5 feet 10 inches tall, the svelte Anderson is every fashion designer’s dream muse. She has modeled locally and internationally, and is a fan of Chanel and Jimmy Choo. She admires global model and icon Naomi Campbell and is very vocal about local fashion designers: “There is so much talent here, (in Puerto Rico).” Anderson loves fashion.

“The most important part of fashion is not what you’re wearing but how you wear it, your essence, your grace,” said Madison. “I’m a very girly girl, very feminine. I believe my style is a little bit of everything. But overall? Classic, timeless classic looks -- I love classic looks that I can wear in today’s fashion or 10 years (from now).”

Born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1995 to an American father, Adam Anderson, and Belina Berríos, a Puerto Rican and former beauty queen. When Madison was a small baby the family moved to Orlando, where she finished high school.

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