Better Selection Committee for Miss Universe

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

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

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Getting to Know Miss Universe Peru 2020, Janick Maceta

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

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

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Why Does Pageant Pages Love Khanh Van Nguyen

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

Khanh Van’s glamshots are always to die for…

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

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

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

Miss Universe Vietnam 2020, Khanh Van Nguyen…

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

Social Media’s Power in Pageantry

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

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

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

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Philippine Pageant Newsmakers of 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2020 Year End Special Report – A Year That Was

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

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

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

Continue reading “2020 Year End Special Report – A Year That Was”

Why the Miss Universe Continental Grouping is a Failure

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

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

Miss Universe Continental Grouping

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

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

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

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

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

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

69th Miss Universe Edition: Lesser Number of Candidates

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

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

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Thoughts on Miss Universe Rumors Being Sold

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miss International Country Ranking

The Japan-based Miss International pageant has crowned 58 women from all over the world since its establishment in 1960. And Sashes&Scripts is listing the names and years of the Miss International winners based on their country ranking!

There has only been 2 times that the pageant was postponed/ cancelled in the years 1966 and 2020. And despite that, 31 countries have won the Miss International title at least once.

1. Venezuela – 8 wins, 7 runner up finishes
* 2018, Mariem Velazco
* 2015, Edymar Martínez
* 2010, Elizabeth Mosquera
* 2006, Daniela Di Giacomo
* 2003, Goizeder Azúa
* 2000, Vivian Urdaneta
* 1997, Consuelo Adler
* 1985, Nina Sicilia Hernandez

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1. Venezuela – 8 wins, 7 runner up finishes
* 2018, Mariem Velazco
* 2015, Edymar Martínez
* 2010, Elizabeth Mosquera
* 2006, Daniela Di Giacomo
* 2003, Goizeder Azúa
* 2000, Vivian Urdaneta
* 1997, Consuelo Adler
* 1985, Nina Sicilia Hernandez

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Early Frontrunners and Underdogs of the 69th Miss Universe Pageant

The season to be excited about the Miss Universe pageant has begun! Based on what we have been seeing online there are at least 15 ladies to be on the look out in the coming  69th edition of the Miss Universe pageant.

Despite the lack of reliable information on the dates of the MU pageant, we cannot help but sense the feeling that an official announcement may be made by the end of December. But that shouldn’t be of our concern for the moment because the Miss Universe fever seems to have started. And we have listed the ladies that every pageant fan should watch out for!

Blogger’s note: the names are listed in random order and shouldn’t be mistaken for a ranked list.  

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2015, 2017 AND 2021: Two Miss Universe Pageants in a Year

There will be no Sweden in the 69th Miss Universe pageant to be held in March of 2021. Previously Germany, and Saint Lucia also announced their withdrawal from the 69th edition of Miss Universe.

On a now deleted reply on their Instagram account, the Miss Universe Sweden let it slip that there will be 2 Miss Universe editions to be held next year. Are we even surprised?

Miss Universe 2014/2015 and 2016/2017 also had 2 Miss Universe editions in the same year…
Continue reading “2015, 2017 AND 2021: Two Miss Universe Pageants in a Year”

Miss Universe 2020 Rumors

There have been numerous rumors floating around regarding the 2020 edition of the Miss Universe pageant. Most of which are from various online sources. One thing is for sure, the pageant won’t be happening in 2020 and will be most likely to be called as the 69th Miss Universe edition in its publicity materials.

Here are several rumors that are most likely to happen:

1. Venue will be in the US – there are rumors that the pageant will happen in either Las Vegas or in Miami, it was let slip by Fred Mouawad that pageant will happen in the US so the likelihood that it will happen in other countries is quite slim. Earlier this year, we already posted the possibility of Miami as host only to have heard Las Vegas as an alternative should a hosting be not possible in Miami. With speculations that a Latina is ‘favoured’ to win the competition this year it makes good sense that the pageant is set in these two locations. Las Vegas has been a lucky venue for Mexican reps as Lupita Jones and Ximena Navarette won Miss Universe 1991 and 2010 respectively in Las Vegas. Miami on the other hand is a hub of the Latinos with the last latina winner, Paulina Vega of Colombia, winning in Doral, Miami.

The pageant is rumored to happen in Las Vegas or Miami…

2. Dates are Still Unconfirmed – the pageant is slated to happen during the 1st trimester of 2021 and this would happen sometime between the months of February to April. There have already been a ‘rumored schedule” going around online however this schedule is still debatable as National Directors did not receive such schedule. While pageant fans are hoping for the finals to happen sometime February, this might move depending on how the situation of the Covid19 is in the US. While it is hoped to have the pageant around middle of February, it is more likely that the pageant could happen a little later around March or April. The MUOrg is rumored to be having headaches due to the restrictions happening due to the pandemic. Announcements on dates and actual venue might happen anytime although it is more likely to expect official word around late January or February, as everyone is monitoring Covid situations in the US.

3. Lesser Number of Candidates this Year – if in 2018, the pageant saw it’s numbers swell to 94 candidates, it is very unlikely that this year they would breach 70-80. So far only 45 candidates have been confirmed to join and if by the end of December countries haven’t announced their candidates, the number is most like to be between 50 to 60 candidates for the 69th edition. National Directors are given a deadline to name their reps by end of the year or risk not be able to join at all. So expect more appointments to happen instead of crowned queens from competitions.
For the first time since 1952, Germany will not be joining the MU pageant due to pandemic. It is also likely that more countries affected by the pandemic will follow suit as having a national pageant could drain them of financial resources they most likely to be in need of.

Posted earlier in June that the Miss Universe pageant might take place in Miami this coming 2021…

4. Pageant Social Distancing – this will still take place as Covid19 restrictions are still in place. Recently the state of California went on a lock-down due to the rising cases and deaths, so it is likely that the girls are going to observe social distancing even onstage. There is the possibility of the Miss USA finals staging to be repeated in Miss Universe is highly likely. And that would mean different microphones for each finalists during speaking rounds, batches of girls onstage for the introductions, no holding of hands for the final 2, etc… Social distancing measures would impact how live performances will be done and we might expect a “more austere” staging of the pageant than pageant fans are used to. Opening numbers could be pre-taped from various locations. Live performers might perform online/ separate venue to avoid too much people gathering in the venue. This applies to the audiences as well, so there won’t be a lot of tickets to be sold for fans to watch it live. It is likely that only close friends and families of the candidates and the national directors will be given tickets to watch the finals in person.

5. Pageant Format Changes – there might be changes in how the semifinalists are selected but the circulating 15-10-5 cuts might not be accurate. Until this is confirmed explicitly by the organization, it is best to be cautious of floating rumors. It is also rumored that the continental groupings is cancelled this year. That might not be the case as if they were to select 16 semifinalists they can do so with 4 each from the Americas, Asia-Pacific & Africa, Europe and Wildcards. That is why it is better to wait until further news can be confirmed regarding the pageant format. But what can be expected is the return of the paid online vote for a semifinal spot, so it might be 16 semi-finalists afterall. This has been something that is been floated among some insiders that the MUOrg has considered not to remove at all.

UPDATES, December 22

6. New Owners – after the rumor that the Miss Universe pageant has been sold, it was made clear on an Instagram reply by MUOrg President Paula Shugart that Endeavor still owns MU. This came after names like Ryan Seacrest, Kind Kardashian, Chavit Singson and even Fred Mouawad was floated as the possible new owners of the pageant.

What do you think of these rumored developments? Let us know on the comment section below…

 

Dirty, Messy, Controversial National Pageants of Miss Universe

The last couple of years saw a slew of changes in the national franchises of the Miss Universe pageant but what is interesting is how old and new pageant franchises seem to have messy, dirty controversies haunting the national pageants.

Over the past several months we saw controversy upon controversy that popped out against various national competitions and at times national directors who seems to have behaved unethically or are alleged to have rigged pageant results in favor of favorites.

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