This is the second and final part of my review of the recently concluded Binibining Pilipinas pageant.
The Telecast – to be honest, it was neither exceptional nor it was atrocious. It was just okay and it still has areas of improvement. I was just a bit on the fence regarding the ‘no online updates’ policy that was imposed this year by ABSCBN. Though I understand their reasons, it would have been an additional income generator for them had they made a “pay per view livestreaming” of the coronation night. In terms of production, I didn’t see any major flaws as it looked decent overall.
I am just listing some pet peeves that I noticed on the production: 1) the unnecessary audience shot when the girls are doing their pasarela, hope this is removed in the future and should be reserved during the opening dance while girls are changing tableaus or formations on stage or when panning towards the stage as the pageant comes back from commercials, 2) Daniel Padilla’s amazing singing (note on the sarcasm there), this is the first time I saw someone lipsynching without exerting effort to make it look like he is actually singing, 3) the special awards, do they really have to include the sponsors’ head honcho on the awarding? They take too much airtime, having their names flashed onscreen should be enough. More so, the flashing of their brands during the telecast should have been adequate exposure.
Xian Lim has vastly improved in his hosting skills as compared to the first time that he acted as host of the pageant several years back. He has matured immensely with his hosting skills. Former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach did quite well as a host and provided additional pageant glamour to the event. Together they delivered well as a pair though they lacked the rapport we once saw with Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic when they hosted the Miss Universe 2012 pageant.
Another point observed by those in the actual venue is the somewhat subdued atmosphere in the stadium compared to the 2014 or 2015 editions. While we could not gauge that on the tv screens, it can be noted that there were more vacant seats this year as compared to previous years. It is no wonder that I knew several people who still were giving out tickets the day of the finals night.
The Stage – I have a hard time appreciating initially the stage this year. I felt that we had seen something like this before, it reminded me of the circular props of BBP Gold. Not that it was bad or anything, it’s just that it could have broken out of the box and offered something new for pageant fans to enjoy. The saving grace of the stage however is its ability to put those on stage to the forefront instead of taking over the entire visual of the spectacle. It didn’t overpower the eyes so I give the stage a higher than average score for that.
The Musical Performers – I have already mentioned several months back during the 65th Miss Universe pageant that I wanted Sia’s “Move Your Body” as a possible music wishlist. That came true during the Bb. Pilipinas coronation night’s opening dance. I believe that overall, this year’s music soundtrack was just okay. The trio singing of R&B Prince, Jay R, Daryl Ong and Jason Dy was a good follow-up to the opening sequence only to be let down with Daniel Padilla’s singing (I see he was trying to look suave but it ended up otherwise).
The Winners – In one of my last posts before the Bb. Pilipinas coronation night, I named two ladies that I am practically torn for the Miss Universe Philippines title…and I was right to name them as Rachel Louise Peters became MUP for 2017 and Charmaine Elima ended up with the 1st runner up title. Then my only crown contender for the Bb. Pilipinas International title was Mariel de Leon who won that exact same title! Among my final list of crown contenders and crown spoilers, 7 out of 13 went on to comprise the winners circle. Only Kristel Guelos was out of my radar!
Now let’s talk about the individual winners:
Kristel Guelos – 2nd Runner up, she was the true underdog from the very beginning of the competition. Nobody saw her coming and it was refreshing to say that she did perform consistently throughout the evening. I see promise on this lady, I just think that a better styling would have made her stand out much better.
Charmaine Elima – 1st Runner up, her runner up placement is deemed low by her fans but it was IMHO a better placement than being given a minor title. It seemed as if she was ‘reserved’ as a runner up than to be sent to a lesser pageant. At age 24, she still has time to do a comeback if she chooses. I would hate to think that such a universal face would be wasted…
Nelda Ibe – Bb. Pilipinas Globe, I have a hard time thinking if this is the best possible title for Nelda. Perhaps it would have been better if she got the Intercontinental title who seems to favor taller girls. Nevertheless Nelda can bank on the guidance she can get from fellow KF sister and Miss Globe 3rd runner up, Nichole Manalo.
Katarina Rodriguez – Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental, personally Katarina would have been a great match for Miss International or even Bb. Pilipinas Grand. She would have made a killing in the Thai-based pageant however she can be trained to conform to what the German-based pageant looks from a winner.
Elizabeth Clenci – Bb. Pilipinas Grand, she looks like Parul Shah in some angles and she has the same gift of gab like Nicole Cordoves. I have high hopes that at least a runner up finish will be in the works for her in Miss Grand International.
* If I had my way, I would have Nelda for Intercon, Katarina for Grand and Elizabeth for Globe that is if we are to place them strategically within their strengths. However I believe that the judges and BPCI might have seen something on each of the girls that warranted their placements.
Chanel Olive Thomas – Bb. Pilipinas Supranational, seems like she is tailor-fit in what the Polish pageant is looking for: lovely with a strong ramp skills. Never-mind that her evening gown presentation was subpar, I chalk that to her gown that seems to need a little less hem length.
Mariel de Leon – Bb. Pilipinas International, I believe she is best suited for this title from the moment she was rumored to join BBP. Several of my insiders recently have told me that she was eyeing the Miss International title all along. I have high hopes that she could break the Mikimoto curse and could possible end with a top 3 finish in Tokyo later this year.
Rachel Peters – Miss Universe Philippines, she was the complete package in this year’s batch. For most pageant fans she was not considered a frontrunner but for me she was. I always knew that she was a heavy contender for Miss Universe Philippines and I was not mistaken.
While there are those who are still divided by the results of the pageant, I urge Filipino pageant fans to unite in supporting the new queens. It will be our country that they will be representing in the international arena when the international pageant season comes. I also encourage everyone to be kind to those that did not end up in the lucky 8 winners’ circle. Each of the girls did their best and that is more than what we can ask from them.
This year my pageant review has a little bit more “spice” to it than usual as I feel the need to be truthful and honest to my opinions, though I will try to put them as nicely as I could. I hope no feelings are gonna get hurt because this is going to be a whole lotta eyeful to read…
The Top 25 Semi-finalists – 12 from KF, 12 from A&Q and 1 independent candidates comprise the top 25. The shocker of the year is the non-inclusion of Liezel Ramos, Angelique de Leon and Dindi Pajares. While we couldn’t really pinpoint what went wrong, we can all guess that the closed-door interview might be the culprit or perhaps they weren’t what the org is looking for this year. It is said that the questions during the closed-door interview were very difficult with topics ranging from current events, religion to politics. I am really impressed with the inclusions of Dane Felise Marasigan, Ana Patricia Asturias and Nelda Ibe on the semis. I also see that the top 25 comprised of women from different backgrounds.
The Outfits – This year, I am very much impressed in how far along we have gone in terms of the wardrobe for the local pageant. It was only 3 short years ago that fans are complaining about the lack of Filipino talents in the wardrobe of the pageant. Opening dresses were made by Bing Cristobal. This year we have Domz Ramos and Jeffrey Rogador doing the swimsuits for the pageant (Domz created the ones for the parade and Jeffrey for the finals). I only wished that the Jeffrey Rogador swimsuits used during the press presentation was switched for the finals instead. I believe that the dark colored swimsuit wasn’t a good match for the finals and the neon colored ones would have made a better impact onstage.
Shoes were made by Jojo Bragais as it was for the past couple of years. I just hoped that the powers at be decided to make the girls wear same colored shoes as their opening outfits as the gold was too high a contrast on the green and purple outfits. Let’s not mention the evening gowns who are all made by Filipino designers.
The Swimsuit – this portion is definitely nailed by Rachel ‘the Killer Bod’ Peters. Her performance in this round was almost perfect. Though I would give this round to Ruffa Nava with what was an effortless glide onstage.
The Evening Gown – while I have nothing against Mariel winning this award, I thought the evening gown performance of Charmaine Elima then followed by Sirene Sutton were superior to hers. Mariel still has to polish her walk.
Before I go unto the next segment, I really wished to have seen Ruffa Nava making top 15. It would have been interesting to see and hear her speak in the top 15.
The Top 15 Q&A – this is where the best girls emerged. Kristel Guelos did quite well here and I thought I would have switched her with Elizabeth Clenci in terms of placement. Elizabeth was conversational in her Q&A but delivered it with just enough confidence. Charmaine rambled initially but was able to pull off a strong finish to her question about cursing. Had she edited her answer to only say the last portion, she could have nailed a crown. Nelda Ibe flubbed her answer and she could have done better, perhaps flustered nerves were the culprit. I would have replaced her with Christagale Borja instead. Christa’s answer to the ‘best day’ question merited a much higher placement in my opinion. Nevertheless I am happy for Nelda’s title. Gabriela Ortega gave a strong answer as it was quite relatable, although her thick Spanish accent made her sound unsure in her delivery. Katarina Rodriguez was given a ‘standard pageant question’ to which she responded well, had she been given a tougher question like that of Rachel Peters then I think she could have gotten a higher title. Rachel had a difficult question as its nature is about current political events. She nailed her question saying divisiveness in religion, politics and culture is something that she would like to address to the ASEAN leaders. Juliana Kapeundl was a revelation that night and I thought she would possibly end up as a runner up. However her lack of conviction while she was speaking was probably the main culprit of her not making top 8. Mariel was also given a ‘standard pageant question’ though I give props to her for injecting a little bit of humor to her response.
Watch out for the 2nd part of the Binibining Pilipinas pageant review coming soon…
Instead of doing a Sashes&Scripts prediction for this year’s Binibining Pilipinas, I thought of doing a different spin on my annual Crown Contender series. This year, I will be talking about 7 girls who I think will be the most likely winners of this batch.
Of course they aren’t just the only girls that I believe we should be on the look-out for. They might not be the frontrunners nor my prediction faves but these are the strongest underdogs in the batch:
Elizabeth Clenci – the firecracker of the group. Easily crown one of the most worthy underdogs this year.
Arienne Calingo – good things come in small packages. This Miss World Philippines 1st Princess can out-talk anyone in the competition. Don’t let her tiny frame fool you as she could deliver on the finals.
Katarina Rodriguez – the face of perfection. With a really strong batch this year this girl is expected to make good in the competition. While I still see areas that need improvement, I have no doubt she is going to do well.
Nelda Ibe – this pilot-beauty queen is one of my personal favorites who is flying low in the competition. I am hoping for a placement and hopefully a runner-up or title for her.
Jehza Huelar – last year’s runner up may just well probably be one of this year’s winners. She is channeling similarities in packaging with that of Ariella Arida and that is a proven formula.
Mae Lieze Ramos – package her similarly to how MJ Lastimosa is dressed and she will make a killing. I believe that her best look are simple, unfuzzy and uncomplicated dresses where her beauty shines through. This chick deserves a placement this year…
Now that the crown spoilers are revealed, next thing to do is the list of the crown contenders. The 7 crown contenders that I will be featuring is a mix of personal faves and strong contenders. I have matched them to pageant/s that strategically play to their strengths. You will know them on individual features leading to the finals on the 30th of April…
Put on your seatbelts as I will bring you to a rollercoaster ride as we lead on to the Binibining Pilipinas finals…
Upon the release of the Binibining Pilipinas Jag Jeans videos (and losing major sleep in the process), Sashes&Scripts has come up with 15 videos that stood out from the rest.
Elizabeth Clenci – strong video, she is slowly making a bigger mark in the competition.
Joselle Mariano – when this girl does fierce, she shoots immediately to the top of my list. I was right to say that she looks great with a smirk than a full blown smile.
Maria Gail Tobes – gave good face in the vid and was channeling a sexy Maxine Medina vibes.
Christagale Borja – with her long legs, she managed to make the Jag Long Leg jeans look short. She nailed the walk and her projection hit the mark well enough to be on the ‘good’ list.
Jehza Huelar – the strong eyes have been her trademark of late and she surely knows how to work it. Her vid shows why she is still a contender.
Ruffa Nava – she was exquisite in her Jag video. Kudos to her for sporting a ponytail to showcase her swanlike neck and her lovely features.
Liezel Ramos – what can I say, she looks great in motion. Her best assets are those piercing eyes. I just wished she didn’t put those hands on the jeans while walking.
Angelique de Leon – showed some sexy side to her. Plus she walked well and she projected well, I just hoped she had her hair in a ponytail to show more of her face.
Katarina Rodriguez – perfection when it comes to overall projection but her waterloo is the walk. Had she mastered the walk, she would have been in my top 3 videos list…
Mariel de Leon – the walk looked awkward but the face was divine. She looked heavy and struggling in the video, thankfully she can always rely on that heavenly face of hers to save it.
Chanel Olive Thomas – she delivered a memorable performance, not top of the line but surely not forgettable. I just wish her twirl was stronger to book this vid solid.
Dindi Pajares – she looked tired in this video, like something is off and it shows in her eyes. A little more concealer on the eye and perhaps a bit more energy from the eyes would have saved her video.
The Best Jag Jeans video
Charmaine Elima – one of the strong videos in the batch. She has a universally gorgeous face that could sell any product and she just did that with the Jag jeans.
Rachel Peters – is it just me or Rachel’s legs looked impossibly long in this vid? Nevertheless she delivered a solid performance here. Plus that twirl on the catwalk was flawless.
Sirene Sutton – this girl might just win the Jag Jeans award for her video! She registered well, had a strong walk and it was genius of her to wear nude heels. She was impeccable.