Is the Miss Universe Parent Company for Sale? And What Does it Mean?

One of the business developments that Sashes&Scripts has been monitoring in silence has been the news that Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., owner of the WME talent agency and the Miss Universe pageant, would go public. Now it seems that owning a piece of Endeavor would have to wait.

Earlier this month, news broke out that the Endeavor group was set for an initial public offering with a valuation of US$8 billion. However this didn’t push through last September 26th following a “weak stock market demand” as published in a report by CNBC. In a report by LA Times, the company issued a statement that Endeavor “will continue to evaluate the timing for the proposed offering as market conditions develop.” The global entertainment company headed by co-chairs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell expected to raise $600 million, with an offer of 19,354,839 shares at an estimated price of $30 to $32 per share. But in September 26th, it lowered the targeted price range of its shares to $26 to $27 each.
In a separate report by the LA Times, it said that “Endeavor would be the first talent agency to go public and, as such, has been the subject of much speculation, in large part because of the heavy debt load the company is carrying and the volatile nature of many of its businesses. Its long-term debt totaled $4.6 billion with liabilities of $7.2 billion and cash on hand of $830.9 million, the company reported last month.”
For those not familiar, in 2017 the WME|IMG group rebranded  itself to become Endeavor.

Now let’s break the business jargon to make it palatable to everyone. Going on a initial public offering (or an IPO) means that a company is selling shares of its stocks. This would mean additional investments for the business. In this case it would be an additional $600 million investment in the mother company of the Miss Universe pageant, Endeavor Group Holdings Inc.
From a business standpoint, lowering the price of your shares in an IPO is already incurring a financial loss. The higher demand there is for your company, the higher the price per stock will be. If the demand is low, it is better to postpone the IPO specially if the predicted price per share is lower than your threshold. This way you don’t sell your shares too low. But how does that affect the Miss Universe pageant when it is just one of the numerous properties owned by the company?
Now remember our rumor mill about an extension for Catriona Gray’s reign? Well, we touched upon the topic of the next MU winner being able to bring in revenue for the pageant. Now that is perhaps because the parent company, Endeavor has a huge amount of debt. This is probably the reason that our insiders have said to us that the Miss Universe organization have to be financially independent. And that perhaps is why the next Miss Universe winner has to be able to sell the MU brand and be commercially viable for endorsements. The MUO nowadays is looking to be more of a talent management company after a winner has been selected.

Ngayewn let’s hanash pa more kewng ano ang ibig shah-bee-hen nites. Nanganga-ee-lung-an ng andaluscia ang Maw There Comp a Knee kaya malam-ang nha sha la bus ng Tate mangya yaw ree ang pageant. Witch means na mash mala key ang Chance Crawford na sa Pagpag Land ang pageant diss year. Duh rea-sun four dat ees eef sha Tate ang Meshoo, hem you owe ang ga gash ta, seens gush two nee lung ku me tah sa la bus ng Tate dapat ang Meshoo.
Kaia Gerber mala cash ang kutob ng mga Ladies Who Lunch ng Nueyva Yowrk na si Miss Cuneta Astrodome ess duh annointed wan. Poo-weed-e deen si Binibining Pagpagland eef lumaban shah ng pata yawn. Pare hung marke table cee lung twoh. Dot is why oh why commercially beauty full with a heart ang dapat manna low. Kaia Gerber dean si Dalagang Bookid ng Albay ees cannot a Ford ng eBang Laith tee knows count three na bayaw run four her booking fish. Kazeenee nga Mahalia Burkmar na maimbita hun si Dalagang Booking ng Albay bee lung reigning Meshoo.

The Rise of Asia as a Miss Universe Pageant Powerhouse

Back in the 70’s and 80’s, Europeans and blondes dominated the pageant circuit. In the 1990’s and 2000’s, we all saw the rise and then dominance of Latin American girls in pageants. This decade, are we now witnessing the rise of Asia as a pageant powerhouse?
The Miss Universe pageant has been reinventing itself ever since it was sold by its previous winner, Donald Trump. In their move to make pageants more modern and relevant, they have revamped how they select their winners. Whether it be the additional Q&A, free speech, or the continental groupings of selecting the semifinalists, or the all-female judging panel, the MUOrg has been responding to social movements to stay relevant. Those changes started in 2015, when 4 Asian women made it into the semis of the pageant held in Las Vegas. Since then we saw how Asian countries started to make its presence felt in the competition…

But is this reason enough to proclaim that Asian countries is on the rise? Here are some observations that we think contributes to it…
1. Asia is being an Economic Superpower -it’s not just about having the biggest economies of China and India but also the rising economies of most Asian countries as well. The continent is set to have greater economic growth in the coming years compared to its Latin American counterparts.  Argentina has been facing currency crisis, there is hyperinflation in Venezuela, political issues mar Brazil… Asia on the other hand has been showing record high tourism boom as well as a rise in manufacturing. Singapore (thanks to the movie Crazy Rich Asians) is seeing growth in the tourism sector same as Thailand, Japan and other parts of the ASEAN region. The Philippine economy has been marked by its resilience despite major economic downturns of the past. China is now becoming the world-wide leader of artificial intelligence surpassing the US. Korean best import seems to be the K-Pop phenomenon still having a foothold in different parts of the world. But what does that mean in pageantry?
People and businesses gravitate towards what is considered new and fresh, to where the money is. With that being said, whoever is the economic superpower, they usually dictate what are the standards of beauty is. With the economic shift towards Asia, pageants like the Miss Universe competition will shift their focus to be more inclusive of different aspects of beauty including those of Asia. With this inclusive definition of beauty, it now opens opportunities for Asian countries to make its presence in the semis of the MU pageant and ultimately translate sooner or later to winning crowns. This is best illustrated by the Philippines who has consistently made semis in the MU pageant since 2010. It took 5 years of unbroken placements before it won its first crown in more than 40 years. Since 2010, there had been more and more Asian women making it into the semis of the Miss Unvierse pageant. Something that has been unheard of since the 90’s when there was usually one token Asian in the semifinalists’ circle.

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Last year, the Southeast Asian countries dominated the top 10 of the Miss Universe pageant with the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. This year's reps from these countries are also gearing up for a successful repeat of their predecessors' achievements. But what are their chances against other countries within the continental grouping? IMHO, these ladies won't be getting much competition from within SE-Asia but from other parts of Asia and Africa. Nepal did splendid last year making top 10. If India sends Menakshi or Vartika, then they have a fighting chance of making it to top 5. Indonesia could only manage to make first cut but not further. Malaysia's Shweta Sekhon has to bring out that personality to stand out. South Africa, Kenya, Angola and other African countries have been stepping up their MU game. And I am starting to see that the MU will have 1-2 African ladies in their roster of semifinalists year in and year out. In summary, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam looks to be locked in for a spot in the continental grouping of MU. But that doesn't mean that things may not change. Just because they are so far the strongest in SE-Asia and even possibly the whole of Asia, doesn't mean that they should take it lightly. They should be securing that lead. Artwork by Godzini . . . . . #SashesandScripts #PageantBlogger #UltimatePageantBlog #PageantBlog #PageantBlogger #pageant #pageantry #MissUniverse #ConfidentlyBeautiful #MissUniverso #MissUniverseThailand #MUT2019 #Fahsai #PaweensudaDrouin #MissUniversePhilippines #GaziniGanados #MUP219 #GAZINI #MissUniverseVietnam #HoangThuy #PuteriIndonesia #MissUniverseMalaysia

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2. Asians are becoming more “Visible” to a Worldwide Audience – owing to the success of TV shows like “Fresh Off the Boat” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” who featured Chinese and Filipino families in its episodes, more and more people are seeing representations of Asians in mainstream media. It also helps to see Indians making it big in Hollywood with the likes of Kal Penn, Dev Patel, Mindy Kaling, Priyanka Chopra, Freida Pinto, Naomi Scott, etc… Let’s not forget the mega blockbuster “Crazy Rich Asians” that has put Asia as rich and powerful, far from the usual impoverished image the most of the Western world look us on…
This only illustrates how Asians are becoming more visible. And that comes with recognition on the Asian definition of beauty. This holds special power because Asian countries can start reinforcing what is beautiful by our own definition of beauty. That creates diversity in the selection of the semifinalists in MU simply because Asia as a continent has a wide range of races and ethnicities. Hence we have been seeing more and more Asian countries hitting the marks into the semis specially in the 2010’s. India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines has made it into the Miss Unvierse semis with their diverse set of ladies sent into the competition. The Philippines even making the most recent longest placement streak in the pageant with 9 consecutive placements and 2 MU wins. It will be just a matter of time before Thailand and other Asian countries will follow suit and win the Miss Universe title.
So it is safe to say that this decade will be the start of the rise of Asia in Miss Universe and eventually in other Alpha pageants.

An Extended Reign for Catriona Gray?

Warning: this is a rumor mill post and thus should not be treated seriously. It is also written with a heavy gay lingo that may make your heads spin so buckle up! And learn your gay lingo!

The pageant gods must be happy with reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray as our moles from Nueva York are so happy to chichi with us gossips direct from the headquarters of the biggest pageant in the world, the universe rather… Due to the bankability as an endorser of Catriona, insider frogettes are whispering that ‘her reign may be extended beyond‘ her original contract.

Continue reading “An Extended Reign for Catriona Gray?”

Maeva Coucke: Miss Universe France 2019

She was anticipated to compete in Miss Universe in 2018 but was sent to Miss World instead. Now, with Maeva Coucke’s recent confirmation as Miss Universe France 2019, will she finally set fire to the Miss Universe stage?
Back in 2018, the green-eyed Miss France 2018, Maeva was originally thought to be competing in Miss Universe that year. However, she was sent to Miss World instead where she placed among the top 12 semifinalists and was named winner of the Topmodel fast-track. She was then recently appointed as Miss Universe France and will finally be gracing the MU stage.
Maeva was a law student who dreams to be a corporate lawyer before participating in Miss France. The 5’9 1/2″ redhead was Sashes&Scripts’ top favorite for the Miss World crown last year.  At the time Maeva thought she had more chances for Miss World than Miss Universe and that’s why she chose to participate in the contest held in Sanya, China. It was also rumored that that she was “requested for” by the London-based pageant to join MW instead of MU. With her participation in MU this year, she perhaps will be the most highly talked about redhead to compete in Miss Universe since Alyssa Campanella of the USA in 2011.

Here’s a trivia about Maeva,  she is actually a brunette who has been dyeing her hair red. She graduated with a BTS in International Business and is an advocate for breast cancer awareness and research since 2012 after mother was diagnosed with the illness several years back. The former Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais shares the same title as Miss universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere  who also won Miss France with the same regional sash.
Pageant fans are in agreement that she would be one of the ladies to watch out for in Miss Universe. She adds to the pool of stronger Miss Universe candidates this year.

The Miss Universe Opening Numbers

Throughout the years, the Miss Universe opening has evolved to reflect the changing times. Even with the changes over the years, it has been one of the favorite segments of the Miss Universe telecast by countless fans.

1. National Costume Parade – a tradition that dates back to the 1960’s, the national costume segment has always been a fan favorite throughout the decades. It was akin to traveling the globe in just minutes by witnessing the different cultures of the countries participating in the competition in one nifty segment. This segment was once alphabetically arranged before they were grouped within different regions. Each edition would also have their own opening song to which the candidates would lipsync to. It was sad to see it go in 2000 although a separate national costume show would later be instated.

2. Opening Dance Number -most millennial pageant fans grew up to this portion of the Miss Universe pageant. The likes of Scott Grossman (1987 to 2007), Michael Schwandt (2008 to 2012) and Stephani Kammer (2013 to present) were instrumental to the choreography of the pageant which includes the opening dance.

3. Country Introductions – the country introductions originally followed the opening dance in Miss Universe, but ever since its abolishment in 2011, the country introductions took its place. In 2013, the country introductions would be accompanied by a pre-taped segment of the national costume show. Briefly in 2014-2015, a pre-taped version of the country introductions with the ladies in their national costumes would emerge.

4. Video Montage Opening – this is a fairly new development in the pageant. In 2017 the ladies were divided into continental groupings where they are introduced one by one with a video montage as the semifinalists are introduced. The video montage was used in earlier editions as accompaniment to when the semifinalists are announced. But it was in 2017 that it became part of the extended long opening act of the pageant.

Which one of the four opening segments is your favorite? Which one of the earlier 3 opening segments do you wish to make a comeback? Let us know on the comments below…

Is Imitation the Highest Form of Flattery?

We all have heard the age old adage: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery… But there’s a line when it’s just a downright POOR SECOND-RATE, COPYCAT OF THE ORIGINAL!

Originality does seem to be a rare currency these days. The recent released photoshoots by famed photographer of Puteri Indonesia 2019, Frederika Cull seemed to be just a copycat shots from Fadil’s own catalogue of shots. Every shot is seemed to have been a photocopy of someone’s shot! The recently released images of Frederika mirrors those of reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray’s earlier pictures. These side by side images show the very blatant similarity of the hair, makeup and even almost the same poses that is just ridiculous beyond words.

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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery… But there's a line when it's just downright a POOR COPYCAT OF THE ORIGINAL! These side by side copying of the hair, makeup and even almost the same poses is just ridiculous, bordering to pathetic. Has Fadil really ran out of ideas for a shoot? Has Frederika or her team sabotaging her by making her look desperate to look like a COPYCAT? Or this is just an uninspired generic farce to stay relevant on social media? Somebody in her team gotta be fired for not doing their own research. When a certain BBP wore a costume similar to that of an Indonesian queen, we gotta say it was a terrible error on the part of the designer and even the girl herself should have done her research. This case is no different than that. In fact this is exactly like that. An uninspired generic remake of a perfectly done original. I'm not saying that Catriona or any queen has the patent for that kind of shot but when you are copying something without adding something personal to it, it becomes nothing less than just a knock-off of the original. It's like buying a Zara look-a-like coz you cannot get the original Dior. A shadow of the real thing. The Miss Universe motto is Confidently Beautiful, not "Confidently Copying What is Beautiful". Fred and her team has to realize that to be successful as a queen, she has to walk her own path, not lurk behind the shadows of a successful Miss Universe winner. Here's a thought: why would the Miss Universe organization crown a Catriona Gray copycat when they already have the real Catriona Gray? It's just like settling for a lab grown diamond when you already have a real diamond. It doesn't make sense, ain't it? . . . . . . . #SashesAndScripts #UltimatePageantBlog #thoughtsandopinions #copycat #CatrionaGray #FrederikaCull #MissUniverse #PuteriIndonesia #FadilBerisha

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If it is done once, then it is perhaps a coincidence but seeing that it is repeated with another shoot of another MU winner, then you will see this might be deliberate. Let’s look at Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach’s shoot back in 2015-2016. Same short bobbed hair/ hair on one eye, fiery red lips, outfit with strong shoulders, same hands on the waist/hips pose, heck even the same photographer!
Has Fadil really ran out of ideas for a shoot? Has Frederika or her team sabotaging her by making her look desperate to look like a COPYCAT? Or this is just an uninspired generic farce to stay relevant on social media?  These are questions that comes to mind. While we are open to give them the benefit of the doubt, we gotta admit that the similarities are just too close to call it a coincidence.
If Fadil was hired to do this shoot with explicit instructions on how Frederika wanted to be styled, then that’s on her. The stylist and creatives in charge of this shoot gotta be fired. Some heads will roll for not doing their own research. It’s just painting Frederika as a sad second rate, trying-hard, wannabe copycat… If it was Fadil who chose to recreate this look, then Frederika was handed short for what she paid for. We have high respects for Fadil’s work with the Miss Universe pageant but this isn’t his best work. With all due respect to him, this doesn’t compare to the work that he usually does with the Miss Universe candidates.

I’m not saying that Catriona, Pia or any queen has the patent for that kind of shot but when you are copying something without adding something personal to it, it becomes nothing less than just a knock-off of the original. And everyone in the world knows how everyone feels about knock-offs. It’s like buying a Zara look-a-like coz you cannot get the original Dior. A shadow of the real thing.
The Miss Universe motto is Confidently Beautiful, not “Confidently Copying What is Beautiful”. Fred and her team has to realize that to be successful as a queen, she has to walk her own path, not lurk behind the shadows of a successful Miss Universe winner.
Here’s a thought: why would the Miss Universe organization crown a Catriona Gray copycat when they already have the real Catriona Gray? It’s just like settling for a lab grown diamond when you already have a real diamond. It doesn’t make sense, ain’t it?

How Pia and Catriona Changed Standards of a Miss Universe Winner

In the two times that the Philippines has won the Miss Universe pageant this decade, the two Filipina queens who have won has changed and redefined what it means to be a Miss Universe.
This is how Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray have set aside and defined a whole new different MU reigns…

PIA WURTZBACH, MISS UNIVERSE 2015 – winning in a very controversial announcement gaffe marked the start of her reign to be one that is to be remembered for years to come. But that hasn’t stopped her from making a mark for her reign…
1. Approachability and Charm – whenever you think of Pia, you cannot deny how charming she is and how you are draw to her in person. That is one of the reasons why wherever she traveled as MU, she manages to charm her way into the hearts of the locals. Doesn’t matter if it was in Latin America or Middle East, Pia has a way of winning people…
This trait seems to have been a trait that is common with her and her successors like Iris Mittenaere, Demi Leigh Nel-Peters and even Catriona. All of these IMG queens appear to be down-to-earth and very approachable. One that you would love not just to admire but to follow and engage with. Pia brought the Miss Universe closer to people being “real” and within grasp. She made it okay for regular people to see themselves in a queen that is both approachable and warm.

2. Public Speaking – while most Miss Universe winners can speak, not all of them can manage to carry a conversation as a professional spokesperson of the organization. She showed to everyone why being Miss Universe is a job and it is a job that she is born to do. Pia’s ability to navigate possible pitfalls in a tough conversations meant that she is almost always given tough interview questions to answer. A trait that she similarly shares with another former winner, Olivia Culpo. The only difference is that because of her innate charm and approachability, Pia has always been admired to win over people in her interviews.

This is perhaps her best contribution to the Miss Universe title. Since then, the MU-Pia prototype has always been someone who is charming, well-spoken and professional. Pia redefined who is a Miss Universe as a person.

CATRIONA GRAY, MISS UNIVERSE 2018 – to win just within years after a Filipina won the crown meant that Catriona is in a position to put her own stamp into the title that is unique to her own. While Pia redefined who is a Miss Universe, Catriona redefined what a Miss Universe does with the title. And redefine she did…

1. Advocacy and Public Appearances – this is perhaps the biggest contribution that Catriona will be known for. She didn’t define her reign with glossy magazine covers or high-voltage photoshoots, to which we have no doubt she could. Instead she defined her biggest contribution into the MU title with her charity work and public appearances. It is a rarity that you see her not getting involved in a charity event whether it be for HIV-AIDS, children’s wellfare and education, music, or women’s issues and women empowerment movements. What she did and is doing for the title is to make pageant relevant to an audience that feels and thinks that pageants are an archaic institution.
The way she took the reins of her reign illustrates that this is no stereotypical Barbie doll who does what its owner tells her to do. No, Catriona made her reign a definitive one by discussing with the MUOrg officials on the things she wants to accomplish by the end of reign. And with that path, she continues to walk.

2. Endorsements – this one is simply obvious. Catriona has made high profile endorsements that overshadowed those of other previous Miss Universe winners. And all of these are while she is still the reigning queen! For most MU winners, it is the opportunities after their reigns end is where they get serious moolah. Whether it will be endorsements or a career in the entertainment industry, they would usually have to wait until their reigns are over to milk those opportunities.
That isn’t the case with Catriona, as multi-national companies based in the Philippines would seriously shell out for her talent fee as an IMG|WME talent under the Miss Universe org to endorse products ranging from fastfood, beauty, banks and tech gadgets. This means that the org representing her, gets a hefty amount of payload from these endorsements. This is why she will be a tough act to follow because not all women from around the globe could hold a candle to what she has accomplished and pioneered as a winner.
Whenever a Filipina is crowned Miss Universe, expect that she will do something relevant with the title. And expect that she will be followed by queens similar to their mold…

Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2000: Nina Ricci Alagao

One of this blogger’s favorite Binibining Pilipinas Universe winners was Nina Riccia Alagao. After the spectacular showing of Miriam Quiambao the year prior at Miss Universe, everyone felt that the 5’9″ University of the Philippines Fine Arts student would follow in the footsteps of Margie Moran and Gloria Diaz.

In today’s post, let’s go through her Miss Universe 2000 web interview…
1. What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than representing your country in this pageant)? 
I have been living independently from my parents for several years now. God has been very kind to continue to bless me with many things, including upkeep of my apartment and financial support for my brother, whom I send to college. Although I grew out of poverty, I am proud to say that did not get in the way of proper breeding, top-quality education and pushing through with my art.
2. What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
My interests are primarily in the arts, particularly in the visual arts. My love for it dates as far back as age five. I remember my father teaching me perspective highlights and casting of shadows in drawing at that age. I haven’t lost my touch. As a matter of fact, my skill just keeps on improving.
3. What is your career ambition? What are you doing or plan on doing to accomplish that goal?
I want to become a famous artist in the field of Visual Arts, where my training has deep roots. I believe I have what it takes to become one. I hope to put on an art exhibit in New York, which is one of the Art centers of the world, and winning the 2000 Miss Universe Pageant would make way for that goal and open doors to greater opportunities.
4. In today’s society, women play prominent roles in business, politics, education, sports, entertainment, and the arts. What are the contributions that pageants make to today’s women?
I used to look at beauty pageants as merely superficial and decided that I was not going be a part of any, but eventually my perception changed in such a way that it made me realize that pageants help instill discipline, will, courage, strength, grace, and articulation in a woman. These are characteristics that are very crucial to the complicated roles that women play in today’s society. Having been a beauty queen myself, I have become a better person, and I look forward to setting a good example to every aspiring woman.
5. If you become MISS UNIVERSE and have a chance to represent the women of the world, what is the primary goal that you want to accomplish?
I would like to address all the women in the world through art. I am well aware that being Miss Universe entails a lot of privileges, such as expression of oneself and empowerment of women. If I become this year’s Miss Universe, I will put on an art exhibit that would applaud women and their strength. That way, I will be able to communicate my message that women have what it takes to be respected and to contribute greatly to society.

6. What question would you like to answer that you have never been asked? What is the answer?
I like to be asked about my views on racism. The Philippines is still a developing country. Many Filipinos work in different parts of the world, including some places where they are discriminated against. What people do for a living should not be considered a basis for who they really are. I don’t speak of Filipinos, per se, but for every citizen who is discriminated against. I believe that every person, great or small, should be treated equally as human beings.
7. Please add anything about yourself that you would like us to know that we haven’t asked.
If there is such a thing as clairvoyance or clairaudience, I don’t know what to call mine. Since I was a kid, I have always had weird encounters with words and phrases that were preconceived thoughts that then happened. For example, I was writing to a friend of mine and as I wrote, “…just always remember that…,” the same phrase played on the radio as an excerpt from a song. On another occasion, I was talking to a friend about “2% … and 98%” when all of a sudden an ad came on about a child who was “2% patient and 98% actor.” What kind of coincidence was that?

Diversity in European National Winners for MU2019

If last year saw the trend of Pocahontas haired national winners for Miss Universe, this year it’s all about embracing your curls! But this trend is not just about hair, it is more about diversity and embracing women of color like we never did before in pageantry.

This trend has been more pronounced in Europe with 4 strong women of color being crowned national winners. Meet 4 women who have broken the glass ceiling this year…

Miss Universe Iceland, Birta Abiba Þórhallsdóttir – 19 year old Birta Abiba grew up being bullied for her being bi-racial. Even when she was competing in Miss Iceland, she was still getting messages that she won’t win because of her skin color, that she isn’t “Icelandic enough” to represent her country. But lo and behold, she proved naysayers wrong and has gained the highest title in her country’s national pageant. Birta loves to spend her free time reading and writing. And despite her young age she has already written a full length novel. One of her life goals is to become a successfully published author.

Miss Universe Ireland, Fionnghuala O’Reilly – beauty and brains, that is Fionnghuala in just two words and she is also more than that. This 25 year old bi-racial data analyst for NASA hopes to use her position to promote diversity and equality. This engineer splits her time in Dublin, Ireland and the US due to her job. The 25-year-old studied systems engineering at the George Washington University before taking up her post at NASA last year. Should the continental grouping be instated again this year in the MU competition, this Dublin native would be a shoo in for the continental grouping for Europe.

Miss Universe Germany, Miriam Rautert – this 23 year old graduate of journalism and corporate communications is a German-Trinidadian by ethnicity. The 5’5 1/2″ brunette has been modelling since age 7 with her exotic looks. Miriam doesn’t fit the usual stereotypical pageant winner with her ‘diminutive’ height. In an interview with local press she said that pageant winners nowadays are tougher with winner being able to answer questions about social issues and politics.  The last time Germany placed in Miss Universe was in 2002 with the bi-racial Natascha Börger who was German-Venezuelan.

Miss Universe Malta, Teresa Ruglio – this 23 year old immigrant moved to Malta in 2016 from Venezuela in the midst of economic and political turmoil. She didn’t know a word of English when she arrived in Malta and learned the language from scratch. Her election as Miss Universe Malta didn’t come without it’s own fair share of naysayers who believe that Malta should be represented by a locally born Maltese woman. With immigration being a hot topic in the world nowadays, Teresa’s backstory might be one that will propel her to do great in Miss Universe.
It is no secret that diversity during the Trump era of Miss Universe was at an all-time low. Nowadays, it is becoming the norm rather than the exception. With Europe being represented not only by Caucasian blondes and brunettes but also those of mixed heritage, we are seeing how Europe is represented by different  people of color showing how the continent has become a melting pot of people. We’ll wait and see if these four women would bring their countries forward come Miss Universe 2019…

Miss Universe Tips for Gazini Ganados

Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados is already undergoing her training for the Miss Universe pageant. We can’t help but think of ideas on how she could improve her chances of winning in the competition. These are several tips that we feel she should consider in her training…

  1. A Strong Introduction – with the one-on-one interviews being a timed portion, it is important for Gazini to create a spiel of what are the areas that she should want the judges to know about her. The most common interview question is “tell me about yourself”. This question can be answered in as little as two to three minutes with a spiel that packs a punch.
    It would go something like this: Hi everyone, I am Gazini Ganados, 23 years old from the Philippines. I am a Filipina-Palestinian raised by a strong independent single mother and two loving grandparents. An interesting fact with my mom is that I asked for her blessing before joining Binibining Pilipinas and she said yes under the condition that I finish my college degree. After graduating with a degree in Tourism from University of San Jose – Recoletos, it was then that I joined the Binibining Pilipinas pageant. It was fulfillment of a promise for all the sacrifice that my mom gave for me to have a good life. I haven’t met my father since birth and should I be given a chance to meet him, I would want him to know that I only have gratitude and love for him. As I grew up with my grandparents, they became the inspirations for my advocacy. (Explain what your advocacy is and what you have done for that advocacy. Include as well, the organizations you have worked with, politicians and public officials you have met and discussed your elderly advocacy, as well as future plans.) Should I become the next Miss Universe, I would want to… (explain what are your ideas of the things you want to accomplish as the winner. Add as well what internal qualities you posses that you will be bringing into the table as winner). These are what I plan to do should I be given the tremendous responsibility of being Miss Universe 2019.
  2. A Signature Pose – Miriam had one, same with Venus, Shamcey, Pia and Catriona. Miriam had the switching of foot forwards coupled with the extended shoulder with both hands on hip. Catriona has her slow turn with hand cupping on the butt. A signature pose should be the strongest point of showcasing her best physical assets while minimizing her flaws. After all, a strong pasarela can get ruined by a weak pose.
    My take on this is that Gazini uses her Binibini trademark of flipping her hair with her hand. She should be owning that pose as it is something noticeable during BBP that she can bring to MU. She should also add a new movement to add to her pasarela choreography.
  3. A Couple of Signature Hairstyles – this will come in handy in the event that she has to have two different looks within a day during the MU competition. There are times when candidates have a  two events/ public appearances for the day and a third event in the evening. Being able to create two different hairstyles would make her look fresh throughout the day. Let’s face it, some hair cannot carry the tight curls made in the morning until the evening. So she would need to master doing her hair for quick change for the international competition.
    I would suggest for her to master doing simple hairstyles like the 1) side parted straight hair low back ponytail which she can adjust the parting to the center (similar to that of Janicel in MI) and she can even convert it into a low bun for the evenings; 2) tight and high ponytail which she can change up into a high bun for evening activities and 3) straight hair with curled tips similar to that of Monica Spear which she could add more curls for evening looks.
  4. A Two-Piece Swimsuit for Miss Universe – the great thing about Gazini wearing a one-piece swimsuit in Binibining Pilipinas is that nobody can really see how gorgeous her body is. Wearing a two piece swimsuit in Miss Universe will actually wow everyone on how gorgeous her bone structure and body proportions. She will not have to worry about the two piece making her looks shorter (as generally 2-piece swimsuits do that with a lower cut on the legs) because Gazini has a short torso with long limbs/ legs. Maximize the advantages of having a great body proportions with her 5’8″ frame.

So far these the ones that this blogger have in mind for Gazini. We are sure that with preparations from her KF, KF Cebu and MUPh mentors she will be in her best form for the Miss Universe pageant ahead.

2019 International Pageant Calendar

A pageant year is usually split into two distinct pageant seasons. With the arrival of the “Ber months” the international pageant season is coming!

Here are the dates you have to remember…
* Miss Asia Pacific International 2019 – October 9 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater of Resorts World Manila, Pasay City
* Miss Globe 2019 – October 20 in Ulcinj, Montenegro
* Miss Grand International 2019 – October 25 in Caracas, Venezuela
* Miss Earth 2019 – October 26 at the Jesse M. Robredo Coliseum, Naga City, Camarines Sur (Philippines)

* Miss Tourism International 2019 – November 8 at the Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, Selangor, Malaysia
* Reina Hispanoamericana 2019 – November 9 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia (source here on this link)
* Miss International 2019 – November 12 at the Tokyo Dome City Hall in Tokyo, Japan

* Miss Supranational 2019 – December 6 in Silesia, Poland
* Miss World – December 14 at the ExCeL London in the United Kingdom

* Miss Intercontinental 2019 – December 21, 2019 in New Delhi, India
* Miss Universe 2019 – (unconfirmed) January 26, 2020 in the Philippines
* Miss Eco International 2020 – tentatively on March 2020 in Egypt


Filipina Beauty Queens Who are also Academic Achievers with Latin Honors

The Philippines never fell short of academic achievers in its roster of beauty queens. From lawyers, engineers, teachers, artists, to medical students and practitioners, we haven’t run out of women who are not just beautiful and academically inclined but are also very articulate. While this list isn’t all-out-comprehensive, it does take us through a journey of how those who have worn the “Miss Philippines” sash are more than just their good looks…

Elizabeth de Padua (Binibining Pilipinas Universe 1976)
– Pre-Med, summa cum laude (University of the Philippines) and later topped the medical board exams
Theresa Licaros (Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2007)
– Broadcast Communication, summa cum laude (University of the Philippines)
– Law (University of the Philippines) with Salutatorian honors
Karen Ibasco (Miss Philippines Earth 2017)
– Applied Physics, major in Instrumentation, cum laude (University of Santo Tomas)
– Masters in Applied Physics, major in Medical Physics, cum laude (University of Santo Tomas)
Jeanne Therese Hilario (Binibining Pilipinas Maja 1989 & Miss Maja International 2nd runner up)
– Chemical Engineering, magna cum laude (Universtity of Santo Tomas) and also a board topnotcher

Zorayda Ruth Andam (Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2001)
– Economics, magna cum laude (University of the Philippines)
– Law (University of the Philippines) with Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence upon graduation
Shamcey Supsup (Miss Universe 2011 3rdrunner-up)
– Architecture, magna cum laude (University of the Philippines – Diliman) and board topnotcher for architecture
Venus Raj (Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up)
– Communication Arts, cum laude (Bicol University)
– Master’s degree in Community Development (University of the Philippines – Diliman)

Janine Tugonon (Miss Universe 2012 first runner-up)
– Pharmacy, cum laude (University of Santo Tomas)
Lia Andrea Ramos (Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2006)
– Political Science, cum laude (University of the Philippines)
Ariella Arida (Miss Universe 2013 3rd runner up)
– Chemistry, cum laude (University of the Philippines)
Catherine Untalan (Miss Earth – Water 2006)
– Psychology, cum laude (University of the Philippines)
In the Philippines we give a premium to education, more so for those that have finished with honors. This is perhaps our fascination with beauty queens who can not just look beautiful and speak eloquently but are also academic achievers.
Surely there are more names that we could add to this list. And we just couldn’t squeeze them in one blogpost. Can you care to share some of them names and honors?

The Filipino Miss Universe Finals Judges

Back in 2016, I have written about the six select few Filipino judges who have served as judges in Miss Universe. It is noteworthy to mention those that sat as judges on the Miss Universe judging table were accomplished and very well respected artists, diplomats and sports icons. They were selected because of their illustrious careers and their contributions to arts, business, politics, sports, fashion and entertainment.

Today, I wanted to revisit that post and update it with the addition of three latest Filipinas to sit as a finals judge…
* Miss Universe 1974 – Carlos P. Romulo in Manila, Philippines; President of the United Nations General Assembly and also a Pulitzer Prize winner for Correspondence
* Miss Universe 1989Josie Cruz Natori in Cancun, Mexico; Filipino world-class lingerie fashion designer
* Miss Universe 1991  – Kuh Ledesma in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; singer & entertainer, Filipino music icon
* Miss Universe 1994Emilio T. Yap in Manila, Philippines; Manila Bulletin Chairperson and a bonafide rags to riches entrepreneur
* Miss Universe 2011Lea Salonga in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Tony & Laurence Olivier award winner, singer- actress, and the singing voice of Disney princesses Mulan and Princess Jazmine
* Miss Universe 2014Manny Pacquiao in Doral, Florida, USA; world boxing champion and the only boxer to hold  eight division world championship in the history of boxing
* Miss Universe 2017Pia Wurtzbach in Las Vegas; former Miss Universe winner
* Miss Universe 2018Monique Lhuillier in Bangkok, Thailand; renowned international fashion designer based in New York
Richelle Singson-Michael in Bangkok, Thailand; entrepreneur and businesswoman heading the Louis Chavit Singson Group of companies

It is also noticeable that prior to 2018 no Filipina has won the Miss Universe title whenever a Filipino sat as a judge. This pattern was broken with the victory of Catriona Gray last December 2018.
With rumors floating that the Philippines will host the Miss Universe pageant this 2019/2020, will we be seeing another Filipino judge to sit among the panel of the pageant’s finals?

Is Miss World Philippines Still Exciting?

The search for Miss World Philippines is underway and despite having a better batch this year, there isn’t much to it to get this blogger excited. To say that the fans of the pageant is dwindling in numbers is an understatement. And that is simply because it is so difficult to sell the Miss World brand to Filipino pageant fans.

Why aren’t we all collectively excited for this pageant like we do for the Binibining Pilipinas? Why doesn’t this pageant have a dedicated and loyal following like the Miss Earth Philippines pageant has? Here are the reasons why we think it is difficult to generate excitement for Miss World Philippines…
1. A Very Predictable Winner – since Megan Young and Catriona Gray’s time at the MWP pageant, the selection of the main winner has been very predictable. Just look at the one with the most hype and viola, you got your Miss World Philippines titleholder. There hasn’t been any surprise wins and that makes the pageant lackluster. Pageant fans wants the excitement of the unknown, to be in the throes of nail-biting suspense and that has not been the case for this pageant for so long.
So this year expect that Michelle Dee would take home the main crown. Rumors have it that the 5’10” stunner is the flagbearer of her camp and is getting specialized training ahead of other girls from the same camp. Much so that some pageant admins believe that it is prepping up to put her at the spotlight. Another title is perhaps reserved for GMA actress Kelley Day despite being the better fit for the Miss World pageant, IMHO. The 5’7″ Kelley seems to me fits the mold of the MW brand better with her softer and more feminine features. The two aforementioned ladies have the advantage of being in the supposedly ‘favoured’ camp. Ilene de Vera, another personal fave who have been glowing lately, would only have to settle for one of the lesser titles simply because nobody from the rival Kagandahang Flores camp won the MWP title since it transferred hands from the BPCI. That is despite the fact that the 5’9″ Cebuana seems to be a better option to Michelle for MWP. It’s not that Michelle does not deserve to win MWP, she does but her beauty is perhaps better suited for a more modern pageant like the Miss Universe pageant. Why waste her in MW when she is better off somewhere else?

2. A Questionable International Judging Criteria – it is a widely known hidden secret that the Miss World final result is controlled by its owner… and that no matter how many fasttrack challenges you win, someone who virtually came from the back-end of the leaderboard could still manage to snatch a victory. There is no tabulation firm present because the winner is supposedly voted by writing the names of the judges picks in a piece of paper. And majority of the judges are usually past MW winners under the owner’s control. This makes it futile to even root for your candidates because during the duration of the competition, the judges alongside the owners have already had their biases towards certain candidates to win. Add to it is the fact that the fasttrack rules changes every year to seemingly favour some candidates over the others.
With that being said, many pageant fans feels that it is futile to get attached to a Miss World Philippines winner only to see her failing in the international arena. Just look at Katarina Rodrigues’ disqualification in two fasttracks, Catriona’s top 5 finish despite outperforming everyone in terms of fasttracks and who would forget Valerie Weigmann’s non-placement in the Topmodel fasttrack… All these compounded heartbreaks have made pageant fans cold towards the pageant. Without fans, how can MWP generate excitement?

3. A Declining Charisma of the Organization – Cory Quirino was a very charismatic national director when she handled the franchise and that is exactly what Sir Arnold Vegafria, his staff and winners have to be able to replicate towards fans and the media to win back pageant following that has eroded in the past several years. Any efforts to bring fans closer to the org and to the queens is a welcome step. They should be taking a page from what the Miss Earth Philippines is doing as they have a massive Filipino following. Having that much loyal fans only means that they are doing something right. The MWP org has to find that formula that works for them to gain loyal following not just fans passing thru until the next national pageant is held.
The lack of excitement for the Miss World Philippines is far from an easy problem to solve. But the first step towards solving that is to crown winners that will bring in loyal pageant fans. How to do that? Well that is for the MWP org to find out for themselves…

Blind Item Galore #09082019

Let’s have tea!

WARNING: these are only rumors, cannot verify details of how true or accurate they are. They may not be even true at all…

  1. Sew si Mameetha pala ang daheelan bucket may paramapage si Aling Nikki sa Nueva York. Wahl- dash ng andaloo si Mameetha seens she can buy you, your friends and this club! Bonggalicious sa andalicious si Mameetha ha. Cyah din kazeenee ang payload ng pashoota ni Aling Nikki sa Nueva York.

Sew, as in sew sew ng kalabew, gustoh mapagusapan ang junakis nya for a ticket to a better future savvy nga ni pambansang mars. While si Kooting eh inimbitahan, see Aling Nikki eh payload for entrance feece. Gustew nya mabaleeng ang usapan from her retirement in teh muzik heendots-three. Charewt!

  1. Ayon sa mga makakating deela sa Nuevah Yorke eh malamang na dalawang Pinay ang inaasahang lalakad or at least dadalo sa parampage ni Aling Cherie Gil. Malamang si Diosa Papaya at si Kuting na yewn noh! Fererro rocher wiz pa itey confirmed according to our debel penetration ajent sa Nueva Yorke. Makakati lungz talaga deelah ng mga bahk-lush kazeenee nga nandewn na nman ang presencia ni Papaya… Farang yutithum gustew ni La Contravida Cherrie Gil na pagusa-fan ang shew nya like lasshir buy havey twoh MU winnahs from the Mabuhay islands of Pagpag Land!

Oo nga naman, nagiipon nga ng major major media mileage na farang airline miles lungz si Tita Contravida Cherie Gil…

  1. His-Fee-King of Kooting, shiesemiese sha talifafa na Bong-Gay-Shoes daw ang talent fee nya farah sya latest endorsement. Mala Brooke Mahaelani Lee daw ang peg dahil “I will eat everything TWICE” ang lucky ng payroll accounting. YESTERDAY mga mumshie, magkada-dooling dooling daw ang pegaloo ng payload kay Kooting fara sa golden bench hendorshment. Kazeenee magkadooling daw from the TF ni Papaya ang worth ng hendorshment fee ni Kooting as een doble ang paningin sa pabibilang ng andaloosha. Of kors may peeliks da CUT ang org dito fererro rocher da-heel bankable ang star ni Kooting, happiness ang mga u-thaw sa Kenya.

Again we cannot vouch for the truthfulness of these rumors. It’s up to you to do diligence in verifying these gossips.

Hanggang dun na lng ang pa-tsaa…#Charot!