Better Selection Committee for Miss Universe

We were never a fan of the all-female judging panel. We’ve always felt that the MU winner has to appeal to a broader range of people and audiences. Also there is a need for the pageant to diversify their judging panel. In the past it is common to see 12 people sitting on the panel (at times 7 of them Americans and the rest are foreign dignitaries). Nowadays we only see 4-5 American judges choosing what is essentially a Miss Universe winner that swings towards the American bias.

The MU organization desperately needs to hire competent judges of varying backgrounds, ethnicities, gender and sexual orientation, etc… to balance the selection committee and come about with a truly diverse set of semi-finalists. How can the pageant preach diversity when their selection committee isn’t diverse as well?

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Getting to Know Miss Universe Peru 2020, Janick Maceta

Model, beauty queen, audio engineer and music producer those are just a number of notches on 26 year-old Janick Maceta’s belt. She is one of the Miss Universe frontrunners that pageant fans have been looking out for in the 69th edition of the pageant. These are everything that you should know about this 5’9 1/2″ stunner from Peru.

Born Janick Maceta del Castillo she is crowned Miss Peru 2020 on November 29, 2020. This was the third time Maceta competed in Miss Peru. She finished among the Top 10 when she competed for the first time in Miss Peru 2016. On her return to the pageant in 2019, she was runner-up to Kelin Rivera of Arequipa, who finished in the Top 10 at Miss Universe 2019.

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Bullynesia and the Law of Karma

There is a group of pageant trolls and haters that have terrorized Filipina beauty queens and Philippine pageant pages on social media. These group of social media accounts, pages and pageant fans have been labelled as Bullynesia for their brash attitudes and devious behaviour.

Social media accounts like Lambe Pageants, Nyairatubumi, Bunda.Latinas, etc… and their rabid followers have long been posting edited and altered images and videos of beauty queens from the Philippines. These posts are meant to demean Philippine candidates in international competitions. Much of these haters were labelled collectively as Bullynesia, have long trolled pageant pages to promote their queens at the expense of Filipina representatives.

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Why Does Pageant Pages Love Khanh Van Nguyen

We’re loving Miss Universe Vietnam, Khanh Van Nguyen for her authenticity. Looking at her social feed, you get the full glimpse of how she will become a good ambassadress for the Miss Universe organization.

Khanh Van’s glamshots are always to die for…

Much like Nicaragua’s Ana Marcelo, Khanh Van has a well-balanced mix of her work as Miss Universe Vietnam on her feed. She is very active with her multiple charity works such as #OneBodyVillage whose work on rescue and rehabilitation of sexually abused children is very crucial work. This is on top of her work with #BestBuddies and #SmileTrain. The Vietnamese rep has also lent hands for typhoon relief as well as Covid-19 donation drives last year.

This year - 2020, we have encountered several challenges and difficulties. However, every cloud has a silver lining. I still had a meaningful year with my journey of being an ambassador of #OneBodyVillage, the oldest sister of the children in my beloved family #OBV. Over the last year, I had participated in many campaigns to rescue sexually abused children, attended several conferences to raise the public's awareness of protecting children and women from sexual abuse, and shared my love for children-in-need out there.
Until now, the world is still fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic. This time is extremely tough. But more than ever, I can feel the urge for both Vietnam and the world to be hand in hand fighting over this severe pademic. As a Vietnamese citizen, I am very proud of my country for best responding to the Covid-19 pandemic regarding health and economic impacts. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the doctors, nurses, volunteers, ect who are trying their best everyday to fight over this deadly virus. I have high hopes that the world will soon get over this pandemic, as long as we fight together. TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER. 
Furthermore, last year, Vietnam has experienced continuously severe natural disasters, such as storms and floods in the Central region, droughts and salt doughts in the South West, which upset me very much. Dealing with that, Vietnamese people are very resilient. By our charity trips to the countrysides to share the love, I have grown up with my mind and my soul day by day.
Once again, I would like to deeply thank all of you. Thank you for always supporting and loving me. Thank you for accompanying me on my journey. Wishing you all a happy new year full of blessings, love, joys, warmth and laughter.
Her advocacy work for One Body Village, in support of the efforts to rescue and rehabilitate sexually abused children and women…

Khanh Van is also very business savvy in promoting local designers, makeup artists and hairstylists on her glamshot photos by crediting the team behind her looks. This is also why sponsor photos don’t look like “sponsor shots” because she and her team are able to make use of HD photos in product promotions. Of course sponsors would love having their products promoted regularly on her feed with an audience of over 226,000.

Miss Universe Vietnam 2020, Khanh Van Nguyen…

She also has an international mindset in her feed as she balances her English posts for her international audiences and Vietnamese posts so as not to alienate her local support. That’s says something about her having an international outlook with her feet firmly planted on her local roots.

Social Media’s Power in Pageantry

It has been a long drawn out debate how social media is not a barometer of one’s success in pageants. But let us reflect back on this topic now, in the context of the global pandemic, where being connected digitally is the norm rather than the exception.

In the past 3-4 years, we all have relegated Social Media as a non-essential factor in one’s pageant journey. However, here at Sashes&Scripts, we no longer subscribe to that ideology. And we believe this to have changed around 2 years ago.

Before anything else, let us first clear one thing: social media following is NOT the same as a Strong social media. They are not and will never be the same thing. Social Media Following is speaks of quantity, that’s number of followers and number of updates. Having a Strong Social Media is about quality. It’s about a strong visual language, engaging captions and conversations, discussions in the comment section, and most importantly image building. Social media strength is not about frequency of posting, but rather putting out quality content that your audience will respond positively to.

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Philippine Pageant Newsmakers of 2020

2020 was a hard year for pageantry. So it is no shocker that a number of the news-makers on this list are on the negative aspect of pageantry.

Here’s the list of 7 news-making headlines that shocked and shaped the pageant industry this past year…

7. A Question of Decency in Pageants – how far can candidates go bare before they are called out for too much exposure? That was one of the hottest topics that was taken out of context by a number of pageant pages on Instagram. During the height of the Miss Universe Philippines pageant, a number of candidates posed in too provocatively styled shoots and swimsuit photographs which prompted a huge debate between pageant admins. And with strong arguments from opposing views, some pageant admins and personalities fought for each of their sides. Unfortunately none of the candidates who posed provocatively even made top 5.

What can be considered crossing the boundaries of decency in pageantry?

6. Fake Scandal Video and Images Propagated by Catriona’s Detractors – this year we saw both Indonesian trolls and Filipino pageant haters spread malicious images and spliced videos of Catriona Gray online. It was such a huge headline that Catriona decided to go to the National Bureau of Investigations to file a case against those that propagated these fake and doctored images and videos.

5. Changes in Miss Universe National Directors – in a movement that started in 2019, the year saw more changes in leadership for several more MU franchises. Colombia, Spain, Guatemala followed the change in franchise ownership and/or leadership from 2019’s Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Thailand and the Philippines. And with the rumored new ND for the USA with former Miss USA Crystle Stewart, 2020 truly saw the “in with the new and out with the old” in franchise ownership.

4. Miss Earth’s Successful Virtual Pageant – when it was announced that the Miss Earth pageant will continue its 20th edition with a virtual pageant, a number of fans raised concerns. ME was the only Alpha pageant to stage their competition this year… Miss Universe is to hold their 69th edition in the first trimester next year while both Miss International and Miss World cancelled their pageants and will return in 2021.

3. Miss Universe Philippines Leakages – newbie pageant with newbie personnel running the organization; that was evident with the numerous leakages and slip ups that marked the first year of the organization. They started off with huge promise that would later be marred with information leaks that could only come from within their own organization. From the schedules, design of the new crown, stage design and concept, down to the actual winners of the competition, were all leaked days and/or hours before the culmination of the pageant activities. Even as they are sequestered and quarantined in a location far from the capital, numerous insider info continued to leak from within the org. Which even included the video of the crowning of the new MU-Philippines hours before the finals was finished.

2. Miss Universe Organization Financial Trouble – the signs were there but nobody saw how the pageant’s parent company, Endeavor, made headlines for its huge financial issues. With massive debts, personnel furloughs and lay-offs, to live events cancellations, the MUOrg was deeply affected by the financial woes of its parent company.

1. Covid19 Pandemic – no other news is bigger than the corona virus pandemic that gripped the entire world in 2020. Due to its nature, live events are cancelled and it basically eradicated the pageant schedules this year.

Year End Special Report – 5 Beauty Queens that Defined 2020

Who among the beauty queens and pageant girls do we see as the ones who made a mark in pageantry this past year? Read on below…

2020 was a year of pageant postponements and cancellations but for the handful few that were able to push through, they were able to offer us a few competitors that made the past year bearable.

DISCLAIMER: this list is a subjective list of the women that your blogger felt to have showed some extraordinary achievements, performance and show of character during the year.

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2020 Year End Special Report – Our Best Blog-posts

2020 gave us an opportunity to pivot and improve on the type of topics that we wanted to talk and discuss about. While we cannot cover and talk about everything related to pageantry, we made a vow that the topics we select to discuss and talk about would be ones that are intelligent and provoking as well as relevant and of value to our readers.

This is why for this list, we listed down our blog articles and new pages that caused a huge number of clicks/ reads and engagement from our followers on social media.

Binibining Pilipinas 2020 Talent Show Standouts – if 50% of the judging criteria is beauty of face, then these ladies would be a shoo-in for the Binibining Pilipinas titles.

A Gorgeous Batch for Binibining Pilipinas 2020 – pageant page admins have whispered this in hushed conversations. In private a number of our pageant colleagues unabashedly admitted that the Binibining Pilipinas pageant got the lion’s share in terms of the most gorgeous faces in this year’s roster of candidates.

Continue reading “2020 Year End Special Report – Our Best Blog-posts”

2020 Year End Special Report – A Year That Was

2020 will be remembered as a year that shifted the entire way we live. It has shifted how pageantry could still be relevant in a society that has altered its course permanently. This is the year that was.

Same can be said of how this year has changed in the pageant industry. The industry as a whole had to re-evaluate and reassess a number of things this year. From how they select their winners, how to prep them for international competitions, to how pageants are held, how to improve revenue streams, etc… pageantry as a whole had an entire year to reconfigure what it means to hold pageants in a tumultuous year.

Through triumphs and trials, these are some of Sashes&Scripts’ actions and counter-actions to a year of difficulty…

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Why the Miss Universe Continental Grouping is a Failure

Back in 2017, the Miss Universe pageant introduced an innovation by implementing the continental grouping of candidates. 4 years after, we now can say that it has become a total failure.

It was in November 24th of 2017 when we first wrote about the new Miss Universe format of having the candidates grouped per continent. Even then, we weren’t a fan of it as we thought that there are better ways of diversifying the semifinalists.

Miss Universe Continental Grouping

The Miss Universe continental format is implemented by dividing the countries into 3 groups: the Americas, the Europeans, and Asia-Pacific & Africa. A fourth set of semifinalists is then taken from each group which is called the Wildcards. Even in the grouping itself of around 28-35 countries, there would be an limit of 5 semifinalists that can enter per group. Then the rest of the countries would then be ranked according to their performance and would comprise of the wildcards. After the semis are called, the top 16/ top 20 are then made to compete on their own without the safety net of the continental grouping.

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Miss USA and Miss Teen USA: Under New Management?

Everyone is looking forward to the official announcement that the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA will now be under a new management.

This rumor has been buzzing around Miss USA insiders for weeks now and we just can’t help but think that the separation of the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA is another revenue-earning move from the Miss Universe organization.

Rumor has it that the reigning Miss USA Asya Branch and Miss Teen USA Ki’ilani Arruda will be the last queens that the Miss Universe organization will have to handle as starting 2021, Crystle and her organization will crown their own winner sometime fourth quarter of 2021 (most probably around October or November).

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Rumor Mill: 69th Miss Universe to Copy Elements from Miss Earth 2020?

Is the 69th Miss Universe pageant gonna copy several elements from the virtual pageant of the Miss Earth 2020?

There are a number of rumors floating around that the Miss Universe will adapt or adopt some of the things that we have seen Miss Earth do in their 2020th edition. While these rumors are yet to be verified, it does shed light on how the virtual Miss Earth pageant has opened a new way of doing pageants during these times.

DISCLAIMER: these are only rumors and no confirmation can be made. Be reminded that these should be taken with a grain of salt and should not be considered confirmed until an official announcement is made public.

Continue reading “Rumor Mill: 69th Miss Universe to Copy Elements from Miss Earth 2020?”

Once Upon a Blind Item: The Girl Bitten by the Snake

In a beautiful land far far away, there lived a maiden with hair as straight as bamboo, with eyes as shiny as the finest carved ebony, with skin kissed by the golden sun and a heart as pure as the first fall of snow. She was named “Flowing Water”, a name that meant both life giving and selfless.

Flowing Water was named the most beautiful in her beautiful island, and as such she was to become the island’s Tribute in the selection of the Queen of the 90 Kingdoms. As a Tribute she is to be guided by two Elders, the First Elder was once a Queen herself and she blessed Flowing Water with protection. The Second Elder would help Flowing Water be clothed in the finest of garb in the land and prepare her in the rigorous transformation for the selection of the Queen of the 90 Kingdoms.

But there was a third figure that would later inject himself in Flowing Water’s life. A conniving masked snake called Maledictus that was lurking behind every step of Flowing Water’s selection as a Tribute. Once he was able to penetrate the 90 Kingdoms’ courtiers he was able to seep his venom into the palace.

Flowing Water was a trusting child and did not think of malice or ill-intent from Maledictus. In a planned encounter with one of the highest courtiers of the 90 Kingdoms, Maledictus introduced Flowing Water to the High Shepherd of the kingdom. In that encounter, Maledictus shamed Flowing Water by saying to the High Shepherd that she was impure and that she was no vestal virgin. That Flowing Water had a scroll that would prove her impurity. Shocked with Maledictus’ revelation, Flowing Water could only mumble that the case is being investigated in the high courts of her island.

That encounter would only be one of the nails that Maledictus would hammer to Flowing Water’s coffin. He would pile on her chores and errands that were planned to diminish her beauty. No rest and no sleep, Maledictus believed that her beauty would fade.

Despite all these, Flowing Water would still shine through in the selection for the new Queen of the 90 Kingdoms. Despite all that she gone through, she did well as a Tribute making the initial selection for the Queenship. She never left empty handed though as she was blessed as the silver winged goddess of birds.

The End…

69th Miss Universe Edition: Lesser Number of Candidates

It is speculated that the 69th Miss Universe pageant would have the least number of candidates. With countries still grappling the Corona virus pandemic, it is likely that around 70 countries would participate in this edition of the pageant.

So far only 61 candidates have been officially named as their countries’ reps to the pageant with only a handful countries left to select a rep. Nepal, Great Britain and Belize are still to announce their candidates while Germany and Sweden have made public that they will not be able to participate in this edition, and would return for the 2021 edition (tentatively to be held in December next year). It was rumored that national directors and organizers were given until the end of the year to submit their respective candidates to the Miss Universe Organization.

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Thoughts on Miss Universe Rumors Being Sold

We’ve heard the rumors before: Trump is gonna buy the Miss Universe pageant back, the Kardashians will be the new owners, Ryan Seacrest purchased the pageant from Endeavor, etc…

Now it’s making the rounds all over again on social media following the comments from one of the key people from CHI, revealing that the pageant was already sold.

We saw this coming from a mile away since we learned about the financial woes of the Miss Universe pageant’s parent company, Endeavor (formerly IMG|WME) early this year. We even gave a timeline of how their financials fell apart in an article. Who are we kidding? Endeavor currently has an astonishing $4.6 billion in long-term debts and overall liabilities totaling $7.2 billion. A company with that much debt is bound to sell their assets sooner or later…

At this point do we even care? The pageant has been rumored to be passed like a toy from one donation bin to another… Personally, we just wanted a consistently good show from year to year like it used to in the 80’s-90’s. New ownership or not.

If the Miss Universe pageant has truly been sold, then brace yourselves pageant fans. NEW doesn’t automatically translate to BETTER. The new owners might exercise more controls than previous owners have. It could mean changes in leadership and organizational structure as well. So there are many unknown factors to consider in this development. All of which pageant fans like us are powerless spectators of what is to unfold before us…

What do you think about this new “development”? Do you even care who the new owners are? Let us know on the comments below…