Caris Tiivel. Picture: John Koh/The West Australian

For the past two years, Miss Universe Australia has been all about blonde beauties, with *Perth *'s *Renae Ayris *and *Scherri-Lee Biggs *reigning supreme.

But this year's competition is quickly shaping up to become the battle of the brunettes.

At the first two heats for this year's Miss Universe WA preliminary, which took place at The Breakwater at *Hillarys *at the weekend, seven beautiful local girls made it through to the coming State final.

Ayris, who hosted the event alongside Miss Universe WA talent co-ordinator *Sophia Barbagallo *in front of a packed crowd, said from all appearances the success of WA girls over the past two years had seen a tough competition emerge this year.

Without a doubt, the star of the first two heats was 19-year-old brunette stunner *Caris Tiivel *, who has been nicknamed "mini Miranda" by her competitors because of her uncanny likeness to a young *Miranda Kerr *.

The Chadwick's Perth model wowed the high-profile judging panel, which included leading local designers *Ruth Tarvydas *and Kooey's *Nikki Silverthorne *, who couldn't stop talking about her likeness to the Aussie supermodel.

"She's one of my role models so that's a really big compliment for me to be compared to her," Tiivel, who is dating rising Perth male model *Stirling Caiulo *, told _AAA _ of the Kerr comparison

Also scoring big points was another brunette, *Cassie Antunovich *.

Antunovich is hoping to go one better this year after making it through to the national final last year, where she lost to Ayris.

The five other girls who will join Tiivel and Antunovich in the 2013 WA final are surfer and face of West Surfwear *Tamlin Dobrich *, *Alannah Ettridge *, *Samantha Briant *, *Maddison Martino *and ballerina *Rhianna Isard *.

The next 2013 Miss Universe WA heats will take place at bamboo at Luxe Bar in *Mt Lawley *on February 17.

The West Australian

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