Miss South Africa 2020 Winners

Congratulations to the new winners of the 2020 Miss South Africa pageant! Shudufhadzo Musida of Ha-Masia, Limpopo emerged victorious from a pool of 9 finalists during the finale of the pageant.

First runner-up was medical doctor Thato Mosehle (25) from Klerksdorp in the North West who received R250,000 in cash. Second runner-up Natasha Joubert (23), a B Com graduate and entrepreneur from Pretoria, Gauteng, collected R100,000. The winner and runner-ups of Miss South Africa 2020 will represent South Africa at Miss Universe 2020, Miss World 2021, and Miss Supranational 2021.

Modern and trendy but also very cultural. These uniform outfits still showcases the individuality of the Miss SA 2020 finalists.

The 24 year-old winner has proclaimed winner and was crowned at the luxurious five-star Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town. Shudufhadzo earned her bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Pretoria. She is currently completing her Honors degree in International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.She is advocate for mental health awareness and educational and economic empowerment of women and children.

Continue reading “Miss South Africa 2020 Winners”

Rabiya Mateo | Miss Universe Philippines 2020

Meet your new Miss Universe Philippines 2020, Rabiya mateo from Iloilo! The 5’7″dusky skinned beauty was crowned last October 23rd at the Cordillera Convention Hall in Baguio City. The finals aired both on TV and online on Sunday, October 25.

The 23-year-old has beaten over 40 other candidates for the coveted inaugural title. A licensed physical therapist, Rabiya graduated with Latin Honors (cum laude) from the Iloilo Doctor’s College back in 2018. She works as a lecturer at review centers in different provinces for both local and international PT exams. Rabiya is also part of a charity that helps educate children who live near a dumpsite in Iloilo City. Continue reading “Rabiya Mateo | Miss Universe Philippines 2020”

Alaiza Malinao: The Miss Universe Philippines We Didn’t Know We Deserve

Alaiza Malinao’s shocking non-inclusion in the 2020 Miss Universe Philippines top 5 was one of the most unbelievable things that have happened in local pageantry in recent years.

When the leaked photos of the Miss Universe Philippines top 5 started to circulate on social media, we have been inundated with questions regarding where was Alaiza in the top 5? Fans got worried about her not placing top 5 to which a number of fans got disheartened

Let’s review what she has done in her MUPh journey…

Continue reading “Alaiza Malinao: The Miss Universe Philippines We Didn’t Know We Deserve”

Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Quick Review

Congratulations to the new winners of the 2020 Miss Universe Philippines pageant! Rabiya Mateo is named the inaugural winner of the first MUPh pageant.

The 5’7″ tall Ilongga was named the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 beating out other top 5 finalists Michele Gumabao, Bella Ysmael, Billie Hakenson and Pauline Amelinckx. Held at the Cordillera Convention Center last October 23rd, a new set of winners were named after undergoing a long arduous process of selection.

 

 

From an original 50 candidates around 47 ladies representing different provinces, cities and municipalities all over the Philippines vied for the title.

Here are our thoughts on several aspects of the pageant…

Continue reading “Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Quick Review”

Thoughts on the Supposed Leaks of the Miss Universe Philippines Results

Filipino pageant fans had threw themselves into a frenzy over the rumored leaks of the top 5 results of the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 pageant.

The finals of the said pageant was held last night at the Cordillera Convention Hall with a limited number of audience. The entire pageant finals is taped to be broadcasted over GMA7 on Sunday, October 25th.

However there are some supposed leaked results saying that the top 5 comprised of Bohol’s Pauline Amelinckx, Cavite’s Billie Hakenson, Iloilo’s Rabiya Mateo, Parañaque’s Bella Ysmael and Quezon City’s Michele Gumabao. Other supposed leaks include Bohol and Davao’s Alaiza Malinao ended up as the last two ladies standing for the title.

Continue reading “Thoughts on the Supposed Leaks of the Miss Universe Philippines Results”

Miss Universe Philippines 2020: Battle of the Veterans

After numerous delays, the Miss Universe Philippines will finally culminate on October 25, 2020 with a taped telecast via GMA channel 7.

Initially, we thought that a “Binibining Pilipinas All-Stars” scenario will likely to happen in the inaugural batch of the Miss Universe Philippines. Everyone yearned for commanding racehorses in the batch of candidates joining the pageant. Sadly, that was not the case. Instead we saw a number of girls with great potential that still needed to be polished and refined to be of international caliber. Add to that was the pandemic which further separated the pageant veterans from the newbies.

Read more about our thoughts on the MUP franchise transfer in this articleContinue reading “Miss Universe Philippines 2020: Battle of the Veterans”

Sashes&Scripts Favorites for Miss South Africa 2020

The Miss South Africa pageant will take place on the 24th of October in Capetown, South Africa. Reigning queen Sasha-Lee Laurel Olivier, who took over the crown from Zozibini Tunzi after her win as Miss Universe, will be crowning her successor in the pageant finals.

 

After a grueling process that narrowed down the applicants to 10 finalists, we are featuring the three ladies that we feel are the ones who will most likely run away with the title. Since there are three international pageants for the top 3 up for grabs we’re picking the girls that we feel would be the best South African rep for each of the international pageants they will be competing in. Continue reading “Sashes&Scripts Favorites for Miss South Africa 2020”

Should Pageant Rules be Revised to Allow Nudity?

The disqualification of two Miss France 2021 regional winners has re-awakened the debate on nudity in pageants.

While some pageant fans are okay with nudity, is it really time to change rules about it? Or is there still room for something as ‘outdated‘ as decency? Until which point can we allow nudity in pageantry? Topless, full frontal, backside only?

While we think that this topic has become redundant with a previous post on pageantry and ‘exposing too much flesh’, let’s reconsider this topic one last time…

Continue reading “Should Pageant Rules be Revised to Allow Nudity?”

Miss South Africa Pageant 2020 on October 24

The 2020 Miss South Africa competition will be the 62nd edition of the annual pageant. The finals of the pageant will be held on 24 October 2020 in Cape Town, at Sun International’s Table Bay hotel at the V&A Waterfront.  It will have a 2-hour live broadcast being simulcast on M-Net and Mzansi Magic and will be streamed live to an international audience.

This year, a top 3 will be selected and each of the winners will be sent to international pageants: Miss Supranational, Miss Universe and Miss World.

MISS SOUTH AFRICA 2020 CANDIDATES

Over several months applicants were narrowed down to a top 35 last June 11, before being cut to a top 15 in June 24 and finally in August 5th the reveal of the 10 national finalists that will compete on the finale. The following  are the names of the 10 finalists:

Name Age Height Hometown
Aphelele Mbiyo 24 5’8″ Port Elizabeth
Busisiwe Mmotla 27 Soweto
Chantelle Pretorius 24 5′ 9″ Pretoria
Jordan van der Vyver 24 5′ 10½” Durbanville
Karishma Ramdev 25 5′ 6″ Chatsworth
Lebogang Mahlangu 24  5′ 7″ Soshanguve
Melissa Nayimuli 24 Butterworth
Natasha Joubert 22 Centurion
Shudufhadzo Musida 23 Ha-Masia
Thato Mosehle 25 Stilfontein

Note that unlike other national pageants, the Miss South Africa does not publish the heights of the girls on their press releases. The heights indicated above were taken from various sources and model set-cards of the girls. We are still trying to complete this information as of press time.

Here are the published bios of the top 10 finalists so you can get to know them a little better…
Aphelele Mbiyo – Born in Mthatha and raised in Port Elizabeth, she currently lives in Lonehill, Johannesburg. Mbiyo holds a BA in Integrated Marketing Communications. She describes herself as a calm, positive and ambitious person who loves to host dinners parties.

Busisiwe Mmotla – A Sowetan, who has been previously crowned Miss Soweto in 2017.  She is a Senior & FET Phase teacher who graduated from the University of Johannesburg with a Bachelor of Education degree. Mmotla is currently studying towards a Diploma in Personal Training at Trifocus Fitness Academy to become a wellness coach.

Chantelle Pretorius – From from Tshwane, Gauteng, she is a full-time model and spends six to nine months a year working in Europe. She holds a diploma in nutrition that she obtained at The Blackford Centre in the United Kingdom and currently working towards finishing her B.Com Business Management degree through Unisa.

Jordan van der Vyver – From Greenpoint in Cape Town, she is an international model who usually spends half the year working in the United States. She is inspired by her mother, who is currently finishing her honours in psychology.

Karishma Ramdev – Originally from Chatsworth in KwaZulu-Natal, she lives in Johannesburg where she works as a medical doctor at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital. She says she is blessed to have her family as her support structure during this time as working in the frontline has been stressful.

Lebogang Mahlangu – This beauty is from Soshanguve, Gauteng. She is a food scientist working in research and development for a large multi-national company. She is also a social entrepreneur and owns a community bakery in Soshanguve. Mahlangu enjoys adventure such as exploring new hiking routes, running and exercising.

Melissa Nayimuli – From Butterworth in the Eastern Cape, she is settled in Sunninghill, Joburg, where she works as an account manager for a marketing agency. She has a BA in Motion Picture Medium from AFDA and majored in television writing.

Natasha Joubert – This stunner from Centurion, Gauteng, is a Public Relations Officer. She has a B.Com Marketing Management Graduate from Boston City Campus.

Shudufhadzo Musida – She is from Ha-Masia in Limpopo and has a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Pretoria. She is currently doing a BA Honours in International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand.

Thato Mosehle – Last, but certainly not least, is Mosehle, who comes from Klerksdorp in the North West. She is a medical doctor and is currently completing her internship to become an anesthesiologist. She started entering pageants after a knee injury, which halted her plans to be a Protea netball player.

Judging on the bios alone, one can tell that the Miss SA 2020 candidates are a bunch of diverse, well-accomplished and gorgeous women of different shapes, color and backgrounds. This is what makes the Miss SA pageant one of the best national competitions as they always have room for diversity in their roster of candidates. We cannot wait until a national queen is selected this year.

MISS SOUTH AFRICA PRIZES
The winner will receive R1 million in cash from the Miss South Africa Organisation, as well as the use of a fully furnished and serviced apartment at luxurious Central Square with fabulous interior décor by Enza Home and a Mercedes Benz C200 Cabriolet for the year of her reign. The 1st runner-up takes home R250 000, the 2nd runner-up gets R100 000, and all 10 finalists will receive R25 000.
Prizes & Sponsor packes include:
* American Swiss: Official crown sponsor
* Bacher & Co: Fragrance sponsorship for year of reign
* Brand South Africa: Play Your Part Ambassador
* Cahi Dental: Dental and oral hygiene care
* Central Square : Use of a luxurious two-bedroom apartment in the heart of Sandton
* Enza Home: Interior designers and furnishers of the Miss South Africa apartment
* Firepower Group: Empowering Miss South Africa with self-development workshops
* Havaianas South Africa: Casual summer shoes for year of reign
* Lajawi Hair: Official styling sponsor for year of reign
* Mercedes Benz: The use of a C200 Cabriolet for her year of reign
* Motherkind: Official wellness & fitness product sponsor
* Neda Beauty & Healing: Care of Miss South Africa’s brows
* Optimum Medical Aesthetics: Skin treatments and IV drips
* Pilates on 7th: Pilates fitness partner for year of reign
* Sparkle Cosmetics/Gelish/Morgan Taylor: Nail care for year of reign
* Steve Madden: Official shoe sponsor
* Strands of Love: Miss South Africa’s hair extensions sponsor
* Switch Playground SA: Official fitness partner; includes Switch classes and personal training sessions.
* Top Drawer Collection: Luxury sleepwear
* Veaudry: Official haircare sponsor
* Woolworths: To sponsor Miss South Africa with WBeauty and Woolworths home products throughout the year of reign
* ZOËT: Clothing sponsor
Who is your favorite for the Miss South Africa pageant? Let us know on the comments below…

What Can We Expect with the Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Finals?

The 2020 Miss Universe Philippines pageant is set to be telecast on October 25th via GMA channel 7 but we have yet to hear major updates on the format, programming, performers and guests.  With the Miss Universe Philippines organization being too secretive about how the pageant will be presented on its finals, we gathered possible scenarios based on what the finale could be.

What we do know for now is that the pageant will happen at the Baguio Country Club, where the candidates will tape most of the pageant finals. The pageant finals will then be aired on October 25 with no commercial breaks via the Ring Light series on Empire.Ph website. That is the extent of what we know for now unless further updates is posted by the pageant.

NOTE: much of what is presented here are speculations and are based on pageant insider rumors, so it is best to keep an open mind about it and to not treat it as a confirmation of what is to come. Some may not turn out to be correct or accurate  while others could possibly happen. It is best to treat these as mere speculations at this point.

With the leaked candidate schedule and other insider rumors, we speculate the following possibilities…

LIMITED BEHIND THE SCENES PEOPLE

Unlike in previous pageants where the backstage is a flurry of activity, this time around we cannot expect the same number of people on the venue to be present. Rumors on social media circulated that the candidates are expected to do their own hair and make-up for the finals… as restrictions are in place for the number of people allowed in the backstage.
This means that the candidates need to be able to do their own hair and makeup for the finals competition. It would be quite unfortunate for the contestants who wouldn’t know how to style themselves as they might not be able to put ‘their best foot forward’, so to speak.

TAPED PRELIMINARIES

Judging from the taping schedules of the candidates, we can say that the preliminaries and finals will most likely be taped episodes similar to a reality show or the recently held Miss Venezuela pageant. The candidates can be taped doing their presentation for the premilinaries on the 21st of October and then the airing of the prelims would happen on October 23rd. This would allow the editors and videographers to review and edit the tapes before they are posted on the Ring Light website for public viewing.

DISQUALIFICATION OF CORONA VIRUS POSITIVE CANDIDATES

We believe that the MUPh org will be cautious when it comes to the safety and well-being of the candidates. So it won’t be far-off to think that a possible automatic disqualification may happen if any candidate tests positive of the virus to protect other candidates from being infected. This is perhaps why there are a couple of swab tests on the leaked schedule. If the first swab test was done prior to their trip to La Trinidad, Benguet, the second swab test around October 15 is perhaps for their stay in Baguio City. Such precautions is necessary and possibly required by the local government to minimize the risk of another wave of Covid-19 infections.

FINALS ALA MISS VENEZUELA 2020

Majority of the program will be pre-taped and possibly only a select few segments will be aired live. That’s one of our major speculations on what might happen for the finals.
If the finals taping is shot in the dates of October 23 or 24, then they can edit the segments until before the announcement of the winners. Similar to what has been done at Miss Venezuela 2020, the Miss Universe Philippines can have a majority of ‘taped’segments. The only difference perhaps would be that group candidate blocking and chopped segments are more manageable with the entire candidate and production team quarantines together.

This could mean for example that the candidates’ national costume can be used for the pageant opening with the individual candidates dancing to the opening song (like the Mabuhay opening song of the Miss Universe 1994 pageant, where candidates are seen without headpieces on versus the taped segment with them in full regalia). Then have the top 20 compete for an opening speech then cut down to a top 10 who will battle it out in the swimsuit and evening gown. In between segments, other pre-taped activities or contestant videos can be shown. After which they will be narrowed down to the final 5 who will go for the question and answer portion. The crowning of winners will be recorded and the finals to be aired on a later date.
It is yet unclear who will crown the new winner. Reigning Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados is not under the new organization’s management and may not have permission to attend. On the other hand 2012 1st runner up in Miss Universe, Janine Tugonon, will be attending the pageant and could be tapped to crown the winner or even sit as a judge. National Director Shamcey Supsup-Lee could also lend a hand in crowning the new winner.
Wouldn’t that be nifty? Everything is all set in place despite the challenges of the pandemic!

IN CONCLUSION

If this is the set up for the upcoming finals, then we give our kudos to the organization for finding ways around the pandemic. It may not be a perfect scenario but it’ll make do.
Live events are still a risk as super-spreader events hence it is understandable to see restrictions happen. Besides if the Miss Venezuela pageant was able to pull it off, at least the MUPh has a template to base their production and programming on. All they need to do is to improve and build on what the Miss Venezuela 2020 and Miss Philippines Earth pageant has done in terms of their virtual and pre-taped pageants.

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#Repost @themissuniverseph • • • • • • Announcement: The Miss Universe Organization expresses its heartfelt gratitude to the Araneta Group and Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. for their more than 50 years of stewardship of the Miss Universe brand and franchise in the Philippines. Both organizations have made an indelible mark in the international pageant scene for celebrating the intelligence, beauty and grace of hundreds of Filipina queens, and for garnering several international titles through the years. Undeniably, the most prestigious of these titles continues to be the coveted Miss Universe Philippines. The foundation and fundamentals of Philippine Pageantry are known worldwide to be solid and shall endure all because of the hard work and commitment of the Araneta Group and BPCI. Today is a momentous occasion as the country and the Miss Universe Organization focus their collective gaze towards the future of pageantry. It is but fitting that the path to the future be led with vigor and a vision aligned with the transformative purpose of Miss Universe. The Miss Universe Organization is thrilled to announce its partnership with the Miss Universe Philippines Organization – a fresh team that will lead the country towards its continued quest to share the beauty and grace of the Filipina to the rest of the world. The new organization will be headed by Shamcey Supsup as the National Director. She will be joined by Albert Andrada as the Design Council Head, Jonas Gaffud as the Creative Director, Lia Ramos as Head of Women Empowerment Committee and Charity, Atty. Nad Bronce as Head of Legal Affairs, and Mario Garcia as Business Development/ Marketing Head. Rooted in the same strong foundations that have earned the country title after title in the past half century, the Miss Universe Philippines Organization is poised to bring the Miss Universe franchise to greater heights. More importantly, it is the continued support of the pageant fans and community that inspires the Miss Universe Organization to take this crucial step forward. With the Filipina at the center of it all, a bright and beautiful future lies ahead. Mabuhay!

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Amanda, Punika and Veena: The Debate

The Miss Universe Thailand 2020 pageant has come and gone, yet still there is still some debate among fans on who truly deserved the title.

Some fans are still not convinced with Amanda Obdam’s victory as the new Miss Universe Thailand. Let’s try to put it into rest this debate with this discussion on the top three winners of the pageant.

When we released our top favorites for the 2020 Miss Universe Thailand pageant, we only mentioned 4 favorites to win instead of our usual ranked prediction list. That was because we felt that there was no way to truly narrow them to just one or two, between Amanda Obdam, Praveenar Singh, Punika Kulsoontornrut and Emmy Kim Sawyer (whose journey shockingly ended in the top 10) we’re spoilt for choice. These ladies were strong and never really let up in the competition. Everyone was in agreement that these were the main frontrunners for the title.

So let’s review their finals night performances and break them down into these categories:
1. Performance
2. Beauty of Face
3. Figure & Body Proportions
4. Intelligence & Communication Skills
5. Commercial and International Appeal

PERFORMANCE (Pasarela & Presentation)

Based on performance alone nobody had a cleaner presentation than that of Punika’s during finals night. From the red carpet to the swimsuit to the evening gown, Punika served it with all the finesse and drama we wanted in a pageant competition. Hands down Punika owned this category. She had control, refined movements and stage presence. Punika was perfection onstage.
Hot on her heel though is Amanda whose presence on-stage is undeniable. During her time on the stage you can see feel her having fun while serving great face all the time. Veena on the other hand has too much energy that it is spilling through which showed lack of control. There are still areas there that can be improved.

BEAUTY OF FACE

Amanda by far has the face that would make anybody gasp and sigh. Her beauty isn’t overpowering but one that welcomes and draws you to come closer. That seems to be the sort that is being preferred in the Miss Universe pageant these days. A beauty that is very relatable.
Coming in second would be Veena although she hasn’t mastered yet how to make use of different facial expressions like squints, smirks, full smile, etc… to convey a wider range of expression. Then we have Punika whose sharp facial structures is akin to a model. High cheekbones and chiseled jawlines galore.

FIGURE AND BODY PROPORTIONS

This area is a close call between Amanda and Punika. Both ladies have great bodies: long slender necks, sloping shoulders, graceful torsos and lithe limbs. However with Punika’s 5’9″ height, we might give her the slighter advantage in this category over Amanda’s 5’7″. That extra inch or two on the legs really makes a difference. Veena’s body proportions is closer to that of Amanda’s with a slightly heavier bottom.
With figures as close to perfection as theirs, presentation is key…that is why it seems that Punika would have the better proportions, simply because she knew how to present her best angles to truly showcase her body at its best.

INTELLIGENCE AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Here in this area we cannot seem to have a consesus, so we give them a triple tie in this category, and we’ll explain why. Looking over at the translation of the top 3 answers by the Crown Times Instagram page, you can make better sense of what was said in the final rounds of the competition. It was clear that it was Punika who clearly answered the question clearly. The two others have skirted the question and worked around it. Punika clearly stated an actual physical object to her answer. The sequence of her thoughts were cohesively presented. Veena’s answer was a little all over the place. She talked about smiles, about humility, being a Thai, religion and monarchy but didn’t seem to present it cohesively and narrow it down to a focused answer.

Mastery of language doesn’t always equate to substance in answers and that has been the critique that fans place on Amanda. However the one thing she did right that made her answer work was she personalized it and talked about the critique of her being a ‘halfie’. This allowed the judges, and in extension the audience, to contextualize her answer. This was what made her answer work. That is why her ‘all of me’/ ‘my Thai-ness’ response to the question made better sense. She answered the question indirectly through her experience.

COMMERCIAL AND INTERNATIONAL APPEAL

Hands down Amanda is leagues away from the competition in this aspect. Being a Thai-Canadian person didn’t take away from her chances of winning. In fact it made her be more cosmopolitan and modern. Which makes her appeal to a wider international audience. Amanda’s beauty is very commercial, which is an advantage to the organization itself as it will rake in revenue of sorts. Let’s be honest, pageants are a business industry nowadays so it’s time to start thinking of it in that terms. A winner’s ability to bring in revenue is as important as her ability to perform onstage.
Not saying that Punika or Veena don’t have international appeal. They do but perhaps not in the same scale as that of Amanda’s. We would say though that next to Amanda, we feel that Veena comes in at a distant second.

CONCLUSION

Over-all it seems that Amanda takes the lead in all categories combined. So it thus makes sense that she was the one to actually win the title this year. The heartbreaking aspect of this write-up is that Punika would also have been a great rep considering the finesse and refinement in her over-all presentation. We may have to be content to see that her final pageant forray is one for the pageant books. At least Veena has a chance to return and should take some time recover and re-assess her gameplan for the next time. The areas we mentioned should be the areas that she should be planning and training harder for.

Amanda’s win didn’t come as a surprise to yours truly. We knew the areas that each of them had an Achilles’ heel on. So we already had a sense that these three ladies would eventually be fighting tooth and nail for the title. What we couldn’t account for was the judges tastes and what the organization was looking for. Clearly, we were right all along to put our bets on these girls.

As for Amanda, there is a need to train hard to speak concisely and avoid being too wordy. There is no need for her to over explain her answer, because brevity is the soul of wit. She needs to be trained how to edit her thoughts so that what comes out as a response are ones that makes impact. If she masters this, she could be on her way to the third Miss Universe crown from Thailand.

Miss Universe Thailand 2020 Winners!

A new Miss Universe Thailand winner has been crowned and it’s none other than Amanda Chalisa Obdam from Phuket!

It was a glitzy event that gave pageant fans a break from the current realities of the pandemic, a taste of what used to be our normal. The Miss Universe Thailand pageant was everything pageant fans love about pageantry. It was a night of surprises and expected outcomes.

The Top 20
Bangkok – Arisara Purechatang
Bangkok – Nuttha Thongkaew
Bangkok – Pornpreeya Jumnongbut
Bangkok – Radamanee Kanjanarat
Chiang Mai – Wanvisa Maya Goldman
Chumphon – Jareerat Petchsom
Khon Kaen – Wichuda Kamyos
Nakhon Pathom – Natthapat Pongpraphan
Saraburi – Sirilux Songsri
Sukhothai – Thidapon Ketthong
The 12 ladies I’ve mentioned in my MUT favorites all made top 20. We honestly thought that it will be a top 15 this year but nevertheless we are quite ecstatic about that. We think that the opening statement/ speech was a great way to start the competition as it harks back to the Miss Universe opening statements that started in 2018.

Top 10
Bangkok – Chanakarn Suksatit
Bangkok – Patitta Suntivijj
Chiang Mai – Emmy Kym Sawyer
Phetchaburi – Thaweeporn Phinchamrat
Phuket – Benjarat Akkarawanichsil Aebi
It was clear that the top 10 would be a fight among the best overall performers. This is quite evident with the strong and polished performances of the top 10 girls. That was no surprise. Strong performances on the swimsuits came from Punika, Alexandra, Emmy, Praewwanich, Thidaporn and Amanda. The evening gown segment was owned by Punika alone, IMHO, and deserved to make top 5 after those two superb performance on SS and EG.
The shock came was when we saw Emmy Kim Sawyer failing to make top 5, despite a clean performance on the swimsuit and evening gown segments. Our thought about this was that she was perhaps outperformed by the five pageant veterans who made it into the winning circle. We undoubtedly believe that had she made top 5, she would have easily killed it on the two q&a segments.

The Winners
4th Runner up – Alexandra Haenggi
3rd Runner up – Praewwanich Ruangthong
2nd Runner up – Punika Kulsoontornrut
1st Runner up – Praveenar Singh
Miss Universe Thailand – Amanda Obdam

Three of our four bets made top 3 this year. In an earlier IG Story in the day, we mentioned that we wanted Emmy or Amanda to win while we thought Punika and Veena could win it all. Eventually, the heart won as it was Amanda who came in with the surprise win. During the last two question and answer segments, we thought that it was Punika and Veena who showed command of the language and confidence. For a moment there we thought that it will be between them for the title. But in the final q&a, Amanda sort of rallied a repetitive but strong response.

As to why Punika and Veena only ended up as runners up? We can only speculate. We believe that it was the ‘commercial factor’ that placed Amanda above the rest. All three ladies performed well in the evening gown and swimsuit segments, but we think that Amanda’s more international appeal and commercial beauty is what truly puts her above the two. It also helps that Amanda speaks perfect English, never mind the fact that she still needs more training on how to drive her point better, but that she can use that to draw a more international audience could have been a factor. If the MU parent company, Endeavor (formerly IMG|WME), is in deed financial trouble, then it makes sense to select a girl who has the commercial appeal and thus bring in the revenue.

In conclusion, we think Amanda’s win is a strategic play on the part of the Miss Universe Thailand organization. Amanda, in my opinion, is the better over-all choice in terms of strength in all areas: communication skills, facial beauty, body, charming personality, presentation/ pasarela and stage presence.
In the end of the day, we are quite happy with the results. The ones we had our eyes on to win eventually romped off with the title and the top runner up positions.

Sashes&Scripts Favorites for Miss Universe Thailand 2020

The Miss Universe Thailand 2020 finals will take place on October 10 at True Icon Hall, Icon Siam with the crowning of reigning queen Paweensuda Drouin’s successor. The winner of the competition will receive one million baht in cash prize, plus a car and a condominium.

With a highly competitive batch, we honestly feel that it will be anybody’s ballgame. The past few days we have seen the sudden rise of (but well deservingly so) of the following ladies: Benjarat, Thidaporn, Sirilux and Thaweeporn. To see them make past the first cut would not be a surprise.

In this list, we named 12 ladies who we believe would be in the running for the title. The next set of four candidates are those we believe to be among those to watch out for as they are among the frontrunners and darkhorses in the competition. Note, that these ladies are listed in random order. Among the ladies in the competition this year, the following are the ones that we believe to have a good shot at the title:
* Alexandra Haenggi (Age: 21 Years, Height: 172 cm) – she is undoubtedly one of our ladies in the underdog list but make no mistake, she’s a contender. The former Miss Chiang Mai actually reminds us of former Binibining Pilipinas winner Eva Patalinjug in terms of facial beauty.

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ALEXANDRA HAENGGI AS MISS UNIVERSE THAILAND 2020? This Swiss-Thai beauty is one of the fresh faces in the competition this year. She is 21-years-old and has stands 172 cm tall and is a student of Electrical Engineering from Chiang Mai University. One of the reasons why she is pursuing Electrical Engineering is because she wants to develop equipment for renewable energy that could help future generations to live in better environmental conditions. Alexandra spends her free time from studying and part-time modelling to help fight forest fires and volunteered along with the Chiang Mai Breath Council to visit affected forests to help restore damaged areas. She also volunteers with the Baan Te Amfan Chiang Mai homeless group to bring cheer to displaced people. She is also an avid traveler and keeps followers updated with her travels on her social media. She likes to stay connected with her roots and is excited to showcase her love for her country on an international stage. More pageant trivia, news, rumors and updates on the "Latest Post" button in the link in bio! Don’t forget to follow us @sashesandscriptsofficial and be a part of our community! . . . . . . . . . . #SashesandScripts #PageantBlogger #UltimatePageantBlog #PageantBlog #PageantBlogger #MUT #MUT2020 #missuniverse #missuniversethailand #missuniversethailand2020 #confidentlybeautiful #alexandrahaenggi #misschiangmai

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* Praewwanit/ Praewwanich Ruangthong (Age: 27 Years, Height: 172 cm) – personally, we feel that she is the true face of the competition. Her dusky skin and her very racially-ambiguous face is one that should grace an international competition.

* Bewnuttha Thongkaew (Age: 27 Years, Height: 168 cm) – another dusky skinned beauty that I feel the Thai fans often overlook. In a competition that seems to prefer fair skinned girls, Nuttha offers a fresh and different take on beauty.

* Wanvisa Maya Goldman (Age: 26 Years, Height: 170 cm) –  this lady is one of those that we feel is severely underrated. IMHO, she is a far superior speaker than most of the front-runners in the competition. What she brings in the competition is a maturity not commonly found among pageant girls nowadays. That is her strength that she brings into the title.

TOP PICKS FOR MUT2020
If we are to narrow our selection to just five ladies for the title, then we would absolutely want these ladies in the top.
* Amanda Obdam (Age: 27 Years, Height: 170 cm) – if one is to look for the perfect balance of communication skills, stage presence, facial beauty and physical assets, Amanda would be it. No doubt she will be a great Thai rep to MU if she wins.

* Praveenar Singh (Age: 24 Years, Height: 178 cm)– she’s the fan-favorite and everybody seems to love her. And there is no reason not to. She is absolutely beautiful and possesses a very universal face. She speaks with confidence and commands a huge following. Put them together and you have a candidate whose MU campaign will be quite strong. She would be unstoppable in Miss Universe if she channels the same level of energy in the nationals to the global stage.

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WHY NOT AN INDIAN-DESCENT MISS UNIVERSE THAILAND FOR 2020? Praveenar Singh is graduate of Liberal Arts from Thammasat University. From Chiang Mai, Veena is a Thai citizen of Indian descent and is fluent in speaking three languages: English, Russian, and Thai. She believes that beauty pageants aren’t just about beauty anymore as they provide a platform to women to showcase their talent, talk about their advocacies and become confident. She keeps herself fit by practicing Muay Thai and weight lifting. She has been an advocate for girls who struggle with self-doubt. With a platform that Miss Universe Thailand provides, she is willing to reach out to millions of girls who are struggling with bullying. She wants to change the mindset of the people by advocating people about the affects of bullying. We believe that her being of Indian descent would add a specal layer in her participation in Miss Universe if she wins. She would be a great spokesperson regarding diversity and inclusion. Current social issues that might be relevant to speak of during MU… More pageant trivia, news, rumors and updates on the "Latest Post" button in the link in bio! Don’t forget to follow us @sashesandscriptsofficial and be a part of our community! . . . . . . . . . . #SashesandScripts #PageantBlogger #UltimatePageantBlog #PageantBlog #PageantBlogger #MUT #MUT2020 #missuniverse #missuniversethailand #missuniversethailand2020 #missthailand #confidentlybeautiful #veena #praveenarsingh

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* Punika Kulsoontornrut (Age: 27 Years, Height: 175 cm) – aging like fine wine, Polly is definitely a crown contender, no doubt about it. There is a certain finesse in her presentation that could be appreciated in Miss Universe. We are yet to see if luck be on her side this time like in her past stint at Miss Earth and Miss International where she made 2nd runner up in both international Alpha pageants. If it happens that age is a huge factor in selecting the winner, she would be the biggest threat to claim the crown.

* Emmy Kim Sawyer (Age: 19 Years, Height: 173 cm) – being young doesn’t seem to be a roadblock to this young lady. She is arguably one of the two top speakers in her batch. When asked if she was sent to MU, would she bring home the title and her unequivocal response was “Definitely. Full stop“. That kind of confidence is quite rare among her age. It will be a great story if she should win as she would represent a younger voice into the MU conversation.

Personally, I am placing my confidence on Veena, Amanda, Punika and Emmy as they would be great for the Miss Universe pageant. I have always been a sucker for good communicators and unconventional beauties, so these two being personal faves are no surprise. Punika is a seasoned pro and that is undeniable in her performance specially in the last stages of the competition. So to see her win wouldn’t be a long shot too. Veena being a fan favorite is hard to ignore as well. Your blogger truly believes that the battle will be fought hard between these four ladies.

I do not discount the possibility, however, that anyone in our list could be the next Thai rep to Miss Universe… Indeed, the Miss Universe Thailand Org is spoilt for choice.

Iris Mittenaere: A Most Successful Post-Pageant Career

We have previously mentioned that among all the Miss Universe IMG queens, only two ladies stand out for their post-pageant careers: the first we have written about is Catriona Gray of the Philippines and the other one is Iris Mittenaere of France.

For our blogpost today, let’s take a look at what Iris Mittenaere have achieved after her reign as Miss Universe 2016!

Iris passed her crown to her successor Demi Leigh Nel-Paters of South Africa on the 26th of November 2017. The 5’7″ French beauty became first European titleholder to complete her year as Miss Universe since Mona Grudt of Norway who won Miss Universe 1990.

TELEVISION CAREER
Her career in television began around early 2018 when she became a co-host of the French version of the Japanese show, Ninja Warrior on the French channel TF1. The show is titled Ninja Warrior — Le Parcours des Heros. Iris is currently signed with the French TV station in an exclusive contract. Then she joined the ninth season of Danse Avec Les Stars, the French version of Dancing with the Stars, where she and her partner ended as 2nd place in the season’s finale. Her time in the French DWTS catapulted her popularity with the French audience that her exposure would later be instrumental for several other public appearances and endorsements. From February of 2019, she was tapped to be the host of the Lottery Drawings and EuroMillions on TF1.

AUTHOR OF HER BIOGRAPHICAL BOOK
Iris has penned and released her first autobiography titled in Toujours y Croire : Miss Univers, Une Jeune Femme (pas) comme les Autres (in English – Always believe in yourself: Miss Universe, a young woman (un)like any other). The book was released in November 2018 with the book reflecting  back on her career, from her childhood in Norde Pas de Calais to her winning the title of Miss Universe in Manila on January 30, 2017. In an intimate storytelling through the book, Iris shares her unique experience as a miss, with personal anecdotes, lifestyle tips, beauty tutorials, a few secrets and many other surprises.

"Becoming Miss France opened the doors to a stunning world for me, where no day is like the next. Becoming Miss Universe took this dream to a whole new level, propelling me into a whirlwind of travel, encounters and exceptional discoveries, a thousand places in my native North. This extraordinary journey allowed me to evolve, to get to know myself and, above all, to assert myself sufficiently to take the final step and become the woman I aspired to be." - Iris Mittenaere

LIFE AS A CELEBRITY
After her life as Miss Universe, Iris went on to establish a celebrity career for herself in France. In 2019, she was named by Forbes magazine as one of  France’s top 5 digital influencers. She was also was on the judging panel of Top Model Belgium in 2019 and the brand ambassador for Morgan de toi,  a French clothing brand, owned by the company Morgan SA.
Iris is also one of the few Miss Universe winner to walk the haute couture runways in a couple of Jean Paul Gaultier’ haute couture shows. The French beauty had two looks during JPG’s last couture show in January 22, 2020 after the French couturier announced closing his atelier.
A radio career is not far from the books as she has been said to have some offers to do a radio show for Chérie FM.

So far, Iris seems to be on the right trajectory. Her career is taking her further despite some bumps with her exclusive contract with TF1. But as far as her post-pageant career has gone so far, she has been doing quite well.