RUMOR MILL: The Mistake Announcement

This is perhaps one of the most problematic edition of the pageant.

WARNING: this only a rumor mill, it may or may not be true. We cannot validate the truth to these gossips and it’s up to you the reader whether or not to believe if there are any truths to these at all.

One of the issues that has been quite problematic was the mistake in one of the special awards of the pageant. During the live telecast the winner was flashed across the screens. For those who were seated at the back of the stage, they saw on the teleprompter that the winner from a pageant powerhouse country. However when the live interview was shown, it was a different girl who was invited onstage! Those at the dark VIP seats at the back who saw the teleprompter clearly were shocked. They immediately thought that the host committed another booboo in the announcement of the actual winner. Well part of the blame is on the production crew who had the other girl dress up in her national costume. Said girl thought that she won the best in national costume award. This should have been clarified to the girl that she was there just to showcase her national costume and had not really won the award. Continue reading “RUMOR MILL: The Mistake Announcement”

Sashes&Scripts’ Picks for the Best National Costume

With just mere 10 days for this year’s Miss Universe pageant, we have a limited time to cover all of our usual MU coverage. One of the casualties is our selection of the most beautiful costumes in the pageant.

Technically, this post is written December 8th, but it was too close in proximity to the finals. So we decided to postpone publishing our list until after the pageant is done. Before we proceed, these picks are our personal picks based on visual impact and understanding of what these costume stand for. Here are our picks for the best national costumes in this year’s pageant:

5. Mariana Varela, ARGENTINA – The last time we saw the Iguazu Falls as inspiration for a national costume was back in 2014. It was spectacular then, it still is now. While Mariana’s costume doesn’t hold a candle to the 2014 worn by Valentina Ferrer, it still is as spectacular.
4. Madison Anderson, PUERTO RICO – if you want showgirl type of costumes, then this one is for you. The frog and the hibiscus flower costume is grandiose and shows the Caribbean flavor from the enchanted island.

3. Lee Yeon-joo, KOREA – what is truly amazing with this national costume is that is  great representation of actual traditional wear. It isn’t costume-y just to shock and awe, it is actually very deeply rooted to the country.
2. Shweta Sekhon, MALAYSIA – the entire get-up is a tribute to the Malay, Chinese and Peranakan culture. The costume tries to represent the diverse culture of Malaysia being a sort of melting pot of peoples.
1. Gazini Ganados, PHILIPPINES – this was a garb fit for a goddess.  Inspired by the Philippine Eagle, this ensemble is a haute couture masterpiece. It was modern, it was trés chic, it was haute couture at its finest. It didn’t hurt that the costume showcased the gorgeous face of its wearer and that no bird was harmed in making of the costume as everything was made from fabric!

UPDATED (12/09/2019, 6pm) – Who would have thought that our top pick actually won the national costume award? It may have been a delayed announcement of the win but still a major win nevertheless…

Do you agree with our choices? Let us know what you think of our choices in the comments below…

RUMOR MILL: Venue

To say that this pageant was a mess is an understatement…and apparently there are more cleaning up that needs to be done!

WARNING: this only a rumor mill, it may or may not be true. We cannot validate the truth to these gossips and it’s up to you the reader whether or not to believe if there are any truths to these at all.

Rumor has it that the pageant is supposed to replicate its 2009 edition. Finals and prelims is supposed to happen at a ballroom of a hotel. Problem is, it’s football season and everyone was busy with the sporting event. In a country that is majorly a fanatic of football, baseball and basketball the pageant just isn’t in the priorities to watch.  In a country that the large majority thinks pageants are passé, being held in the same city as the civil rights movement is born during football season… well that seems to be a recipe for a disaster. Some peeps who kept sending us messages and we’ve talked to were describing that nobody seems to notice that the supposedly biggest deal to pageant fans around the world is happening in their city. Even cab drivers said that they have no idea. Is that because they rarely left the hotel for any outdoor activities? Or perhaps the week just passed by and nobody really noticed them?
Continue reading “RUMOR MILL: Venue”

The Longest Placement Streaks at Miss Universe

DID YOU KNOW: that only 5 countries has accomplished a 10-year or more placement streak in Miss Universe! Guess who’s the sole Southeast Asian country to do so?


India and the Philippines are the only countries in Asia that has scored an uninterrupted 10 consecutive placement streak in the Miss Universe pageant. India did so in the 1990’s and the Philippines in this decade. So far no other Asian country is able to replicate their feat.  And in today’s post we are going to discuss the rare long placement streak in the Miss Universe pageant.

As the country origin of the Miss Universe pageant, expect that the Miss USA will always place in the semifinals of the pageant. They actually only missed the semis around 5-6 times ever. Through the pageant’s history they have 3 long running placement streaks, a feat that they don’t seem to be able to replicate in other major international pageants. Pageant powerhouse Venezuela is at second with 21 placements earned in the 80’s unto the early 2000’s. In those years they were able to win the title twice and stacked up more runner up placements in the same time frame.

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Reposting this collage as a reminder of the Philippines' longest placement streak in Miss Universe and the diversity of the differerent faces of Pinay beauty. This decade has produced two Miss Universe winners, 4 runners up, a top 6 placement and a couple of top 10 semi-finalists so far. The country ranks fourth overall with the most number of Miss Universe wins and ranks 2nd with the most number of titles in the four most prestigious international beauty competitions with a total of 15 titles! This year Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados will face the heavy back-to-back challenge. Should she manage to win, she will push the Philippines up the 3rd spot with the most MU wins! . . . . . . #SashesandScripts #PageantBlogger #UltimatePageantBlog #PageantBlog #PageantBlogger #pageant #pageantry #VenusRaj #ShamceySupsup #JanineTugonon #AriellaArida #MJLastimosa #PiaWurtzbach #MaxineMedina #RachelPeters #CatrionaGray #GaziniGanados #BbPilipinas #BinibiningPilipinas #MissUniversePhilippines #BeyondBeauty #MissUniverse #MissUniverso #missusa #mexicanauniversal #puteriindonesia #missvenezuela #senoritacolombia #misssouthafrica

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These are the countries with the longest placement streak in the pageant so far.
#1 – USA with 22 placements 1977 – 1998, 18 placements from 1958 – 1975, and currently with 9 placements from 2011-2019
#2 – Venezuela with 21 placements 1983 – 2003
#3 – India with 11 placements from 1992 – 2002
#4 (tied) – Philippines with 10 placements from 2010-2019
– Germany with 10 placements 1952 – 1961
#5 – Brazil with 9 placements from 2011-2019, 7 placements (1954 – 1960) and 7 placements (1967 – 1973)
#6 – Finland with 8 placements (1962 – 1969)
#7 –  Sweden with 7 placements (1964 – 1970)
#8 – Colombia with 6 placements (1973-1978)

 

RUMOR MILL: Tickets, VIPs and More!

So this time we are gonna dish out some behind the scenes shockers of a recently held pageant and what happened on the ticket sales…

Gird your loins because this isn’t going to be a nice read.

WARNING: this only a rumor mill, it may or may not be true. We cannot validate the truth to these gossips and it’s up to you the reader whether or not to believe if there are any truths to these at all.

Tickets was a huge problem this year. And the reason for that is because of the relatively tiny venue. Usually said big pageant would book a huge venue to stage their finals to maximize ticket sales. This time around though the seating capacity is only an estimated 2,500 seats versus previous editions with 5-6k seating. So to recuperate the expenses incurred, a couple of things was set into place: VIP packages and more expensive tickets.

With national directorship comes with privileges. And one of those privileges is the pre-selling of tickets. One new ND however, abused that privilege by giving out the codes to her fellows. That is why you can hear the venue seemingly filled with people from that country, whenever their chick is on stage. This was good for them but bad for other NDs who had the finesse of being considerate to others who also wanted to watch. Such pedestrian tactic from said ND is known to the head of the pageant and was said to admitting that the pre-selling code was a mistake/ lapse of judgement on their part. Because this meant that there were a few remaining tickets left for the actual selling. So blame this new ND for you running out of tickets to buy. A clue? Well, the ND comes from a country that punched a pageant fan from Asia and broke their flag.

That isn’t the only issue with the tickets though. Here’s a not-so-very-important-treatment complaint from a number of those that purchased the “expensive $700-1300” tickets. First was the holding area of the VIP ticket holders, they were promises a “priority entry line” to which they found themselves in the same waiting area with the rest of the general audience. Then there was the “front row” or “row 7 seat” that was problematic. Originally in the booking of the VIP tix it said that the guests will be seated at Row 6 then was bumped to Row 7 several days later. But they found themselves exiled in the back of the stage where it was dim in their are, all they see were the backs of the candidates or the tree props, and basically missed the entire show. A parent of a candidate who placed in the top 5/3  of said pageant was also in the dark being seated at the “VIP” area.
Some say that in the host country, this can be a case for false advertising so a number of them complained to the org reps. And now some are demanding or are being refunded a $200 off their ticket purchase. If you will only see the backs of the candidates for a VIP tickets then it might have been more cost-friendly to watch at home. Rumor has it that a rep even said that the venue provided a large screen for the VIP to watch the proceedings at the back, which is not equal to watching at home for free in your pj’s versus spending $1.6k on the ticket (not to mention the hotel and airfare) on the finals.

That wasn’t all that was a mess on the said pageant… there might be more to come in the coming days…

Miss Universe 2019 Review Pt.2

This is the second installment of the Miss Universe pageant review. And we will be tackling a number of topics in this post. There are several points in this blogpost that isn’t gonna sit well with pageant fans so we encourage them to be patient and open-minded…

THE  STAGE & PRODUCTION
This year’s production was just adequate, not at par as last year’s production but not terrible either. We just feel that they could have done more had they been able to find a bigger venue. The H stage was okay and the mirrors on the side of the stage made it look bigger. Stage-wise it was perfect. I particularly loved the trees on the back of the stage for the evening gown, that was what I loved most about the stage.

Continue reading “Miss Universe 2019 Review Pt.2”

RUMOR MILL: An Extended Reign for Catriona Gray? Pt.2

If you have read our initial post on this matter last September, then you will find it this update quite interesting!

Reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray is so commercially viable that she is rumored to have been offered an extension of her contract with the Miss Universe organization! And in a #chichiandchaah session, we learned that the extension offered was for another three years. The MUOrg must have been very impressed with the amount of endorsements that the Filipina beauty queen has brought into the organization to offer that. This would be something similar to the offer they made with Pia Wurtzbach when she won back in 2015.


But will it be worth it? IMHO, not really. This blogger feel that as Miss Universe, Catriona was under-utilized in the duration of her reign. There wasn’t much high profile events that the MUOrg have been able to give to her. There isn’t much travels compared to other formers, there aren’t much high-profile glamorous events we all expected from Endevour’s caliber, there wasn’t a lot of occasions that we saw her with the crown either. Catriona may have brought in more money into the organization as compared to other previous queens during their reign. The only thing that the MUORG can do is to give her a hefty bonus in full after her reign and contract has ended. I think that would just be the fair thing to do.
Question is will she like to have that contract extended? Our insiders tell us that she is not keen in extending any further.


And I feel that not to extend is the right decision for her. She will be much more happy and successful if she has hands-on control of her career here in the Philippines. Think of how much more endorsements she will be able to book without the ‘representation cut’ by the MUOrg. She can make a name even without Endeavor/ MUOrg’s hand in her future. And rumor has it that a number of agencies are just waiting to pounce once her contract has ended and the endless offers would be pouring in! Rumors from people working inside ad agencies say that they are waiting for Catriona’s contract with MUO to expire and they are ready to book her for endorsements. Her fee under MUO is said to be exorbitant that some brands may not think that it is wise to have her while still under MUO. It is rumored that a big chunk of her contract fee goes to what they call a “representation fee” by the MUOrg. So we really know that Catriona was able to bring in big buck revenue for the Miss Universe organization during her reign.


While some may argue that it would be wasteful to turn down such opportunity, but I would say it doesn’t look to be worth it. It may have served Pia because she was and actress and a celebrity endorser, which is aligned with what she want to do for her career. I don’t think it would suit Catriona’s plans for her future though. Catriona is a smart woman and she is going to do greater things now that she is no longer held back by her contract with the Miss Universe org.
What do you think though? Is it wasteful to turn down this opportunity? Or there are better things in-store for her?

Bb. Pilipinas Congratulates Gazini Ganados!

The BPCI extends their warm and heartfelt congratulations to Binibining Pilipinas Universe Gazini Ganados for making top 20 at the Miss Universe pageant and for winning the Best in National Costume in her Cary Santiago Philippine Eagle costume!

Here is the entire press release by the Binibining Pilipinas organization:

Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. congratulates Gazini Ganados for
raising the flag of the Philippines in the Miss Universe stage and for
showcasing the beauty of our culture through winning the National
Costume award.

The BPCI would like to thank Gazini for showing the world-class talent
and beauty of the Filipino people as well as for her call to action to fight for the rights of women and the elderly.

The charity firmly believes in Gazini’s message and will continue to
proudly support her in her journey and advocacy.

Congratulations Gazini!

Miss Universe 2019 Review Pt.1

The universe is celebrating the new Miss Universe!

And here in Sashes&Scripts we are now going to run you through with our thoughts on the recently concluded pageant!

PRE-PAGEANT ACTIVITIES
The 10-day pageant was so short that we aren’t able to enjoy and savor each moment of the competition as much as previous pageant editions held in the Philippines and in Thailand. But it wasn’t without pockets of activities that focused on charity work like the Toys for Tots, Smile Train and hospital visits. Thankfully we have Fadil Berisha coming back to shoot the girls for their glamshot photos to be used for the MU program book sold later during the pageant. We doubt that we will ever see the light of day for those glamshots without paying for them but we might see them surface eventually on social media. Other pageant activities aren’t as popular but pageant fans kept on tabs on who among the ladies are always requested for shoots with the pageant’s sponsors.

PAID VOTING
When this was first announced, I thought that this might be a good thing for those that wanted to make semis but couldn’t because of the caps per continent. But when I saw that a huge aspect of it is the “paid votes”, it made me question if the MUO’s finances are on the green. Because a lot of signs are showing that the money is running out, a shocking thing to think about since the reigning queen Catriona Gray was able to bring in huge endorsement deals from multi-national companies based in the Philippines.
The sad part in the paid voting is that people who do not have the money to burn cannot afford to pay even if they are deserving. The reason I am not in favor of the paid voting is that it sends a message that only those that are popular and rich can make it into the semis. Personally, I would like to see other girls make it into semis based on their merits. Or keep the voting free and available to everyone without the money-factor involved.


PAY-PER-VIEW PRELIMINARIES

This was a unpopular move that the Miss Universe organization put in place this year. Pageant fans were quick to point out their disapproval on the matter. I personally wasn’t for it because I thought they will probably put up the prelims video after a day or two. Which they did 5 hours later, and we think that was a “dick move” on their part for those that paid to watch the live streaming. This only made it appear that they seem desperate for that pageant buck to be spent on them. The livestream keeps on stop broadcasting in some areas and there were even issues on the microphones used by the hosts.
I’d say that the venue was an upgrade compared to the 2017 prelims held at the Mezzanine of Planet Hollywood. The Ballroom A of the Marriott Marquis hotel looked much dressed up and better lit than the 2017 edition. I still think that there is much improvement needed on the lighting of the stage as the official photos taken of the candidates during the prelims weren’t the usual best from MU. I wasn’t a fan of the new soundtrack of this year’s edition. I still prefer any of the older MU themes used like the Groove remix or the Scott Greene DJ Remix for the prelims. These songs evokes the emotions associated in the MU pageant and with a very limited 10-day pageant the least they could have done was to evoke the same emotions with these fan favorite songs.

NEW CROWN – “Power of Unity” Crown  
The crown looks exquisite, expensive and radiant, but it lacked the MU “personality” unlike the Phoenix feather Mikimoto crown or the old iconic Sarah Coventry crown. Design-wise I really love how glamorous this new  crown is. I think it is exquisitely made but it looks more like a “Mouawad crown” rather than a Miss Universe crown. That is something that I really have a hard time appreciating the new crown.
Also the comparisons it has with the Miss Universe Philippines crown was hard to ignore because of the shape and the leaf motifs used in both crowns. Yes are different crowns but they look like they came from a similar mold.

Here’s a link for the second installment of our Miss Universe 2019 Review!

Also let us know on the comments below what you think of the topics we discussed in today’s article…

Vartika Singh: India’s Best

Can Miss Universe India, Vartika Singh bring back India in the Miss Universe finals?

One of the girls that Sashes&Scripts personally like is this lovely Indian lass, Vartika Singh. This former Miss Grand International 2nd runner up is now competing in Miss Universe and is one of the best faces in the competition.

Vartika Singh is no stranger to pageants. She previously joined Miss Diva 2014 where she was among the top 7, and then later participated in Femina Miss India 2015 where she won the title of Miss Grand India. Earlier in September she was crowned by appointment to compete in Miss Universe. Present in the ceremonies was outgoing Miss Universe India Nehal Chudasama who passed her title to Vartika.

“I am lucky to get another chance to represent my country on such a big platform. I believe that besides hard work, lady luck should be with you and yes, I believe she is with me. I thank the “The Times of India Group” for having that faith in me, I will try my level best to bring back the ultimate crown in this world. It’s more than dream come true for me and I hope everybody supports me in this journey.” - Vartika Singh, Miss Universe India 2019

Vartika hails from India’s Uttar Pradesh state and has been working for projects on nutrition as well as women’s and children’s health initiatives as part of her state’s World Bank’s Health Care Project. In 2018, Vartika founded a non-profit organization called ‘Pure Humans . She also had worked alongside Smile Train and other govermental agencies in her state on Tuberculosis awareness.

With that kind of resume, Vartika should easily coast along the semis. And if she does make it among the top20 this year, she needs to re-evaluate her evening gown choice as the red number she wore in the prelims didn’t do her justice. She also has an amazing face that she should really try to show off in the competition. India has been missing in the MU semis since 2016 and it is time for them to make a strong comeback…