Miss Venezuela 2016, Keysi Sayago has every good reason to smile these days!
After some uncertainty in her participation due to financial reasons, the Miss Venezuela organization has finally confirmed that she will be competing at Miss Universe in Las Vegas. The beauty queen has also said that, “I am very happy to know that Venezuela will be able to enjoy my participation in the Miss Universe through the Venevision channel and that without doubts, that I am with everything, for a new triumph for my beloved Venezuela.”
Snippets of a public statement of her participation posted in the MIss Venezuela social media as follows: During her reign Sayago has shown that besides beauty she has responsibility, discipline, commitment and a lot of social sensitivity, which undoubtedly makes her #OrgulloMissVenezuela and an exemplary representation of the Venezuelan woman. Keysi, knows the importance of learning, has therefore also strengthened her knowledge in different areas: public speaking, catwalk, English, makeup techniques and styling by the industry professionals such as: Juan Ramón Ramírez (Moncho), Elio Vásquez, Oskarosky Boyer, Luis Eduardo González… among other fundamental aspects to look and feel very good.
Keysi has participated in many activities alongside non-profit foundations and citizen initiatives, such as the Fundación Amigos del Niño con Cáncer, the Fundación Hospital Ortopédico Infantil and the Casa Hogar Madre Teresa de Calcuta to promote the work they do for the benefit of children and people in difficult situation. And also to raise their voice and invite fellow Venezuelans to be in solidarity despite difficulties. It is important to add that the volunteer work of Sayago has been constant along with citizen initiatives that seek to provide marginalized people with food and shelter.
Keysi will be flying to Las Vegas after she crowns her Miss Venezuela successor in November 9th.
This list is gonna cause some uproar among pageant fans as it names several less popular girls. But hey, Sashes&Scripts has been into hot water before for previous lists so this won’t be something new. One thing I can guarantee is that this list is gonna be a diverse set of countries and names… after all, isn’t #diversity something that WME|IMG’s Miss Universe has been trying so hard to show up on our faces in the past couple of years…
Now on to the list…
1. Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, South Africa
2. Laura Gonzalez, Colombia
3. Rachel Louise Peters, Philippines
4. Kara McCullough, USA
5. Alicia Aylies, France
6. Maria Poonlertlarp Ehren, Thailand
7. Ruth Quashie, Ghana
8. Olivia Molly Rogers, Australia
9. Monalysa Alcantara, Brazil
10. Denisse Franco, Mexico
11. Davina Bennett, Jamaica
12. Kseniya Alexandrova, Russia
13. Frida Maria Fornander, Sweden
14. Keysi Sayago, Venezuela
15. Samantha Katie James, Malaysia
This list features a diverse set of women of color (blondes, brunettes, ebony-skinned beauties, mixed race Asians, latinas), from different parts of the world (3 Europeans, 3 Asians, 2 Africans, 3 from North America & the Caribbean, 3 from South America and one from the Land Down Under), of different backgrounds and occupations. And the surprising part of it is that I didn’t set out to create such a diverse list, it just came out organically that way. This must be the work of the mind conditioning that the MU has been showcasing for years now.
With the news that Miss Venezuela Keysi Sayago is likely not able to participate in Miss Universe this year, we ask if the MU franchise fee is too expensive to pay for this pageant powerhouse?
It is said that the Miss Universe pageant franchise varies from country to country. Smaller countries who have little competition in their hometown for a rival pageant could pay around US$ 10,000 for the annual fee. And if a country wins the MU title, they are exempt from paying the franchise fee the subsequent year.
In the Philippines, BPCI through its Chairperson Stella Marquez Araneta has a stable cash cow with the annual Binibining Pilipinas pageant thus is able to pay off the annual franchise fee. The BPCI stalwart has been able to manage 50 years of holding the franchise with her ability to manage the funds of the pageant. Pageant insiders has it that by the late 2000’s, the Philippines pays around US$ 40,000 annually. Rumored updated figures have it now between US$ 50,000- 60,000.
During Mariangel Ruiz’ time the Venezuelan franchise was only around US$ 70,000.00 to 80,000. And she too had the misfortune of almost not being able to be sent to MU, until other countries stepped in to pay the lacking amount. But that was in 2003, recent reports say that the Venezuelan franchise fee is currently around US$ 100,000. However, some pageant insiders estimates that it could be more and we may be looking at a figure between US$ 120,000- 150,000.
Those amounts seem to be too exorbitant compared to the annual US$ 10,000 franchise fees for Miss World. But that comes with a catch, each national organization has to select a national winner in a separate beauty pageant. And we know how extremely difficult it is to set up two national pageants for MW and MU. Just ask Osmel how the Miss World Venezuela is less spectacular than the Miss Venezuela pageant itself. That is altogether a different expense that could impound to a struggling national pageant.
Although the exact figures are unconfirmed, we are looking at huge amounts of money being spent annually. So can we truly grasp the enormity of Venezuela’s situation. They are currently under huge socio-political-economic crisis. Pageants might not be their priority for now…
According to an article by tvynovelas.com, Miss Venezuela Keysi Sayago would not be competing in Miss Universe this year as MVOrg could not come up with the necessary franchise fee for her participation.
The article reads:
“For the first time since the 1952 World Beauty Fair began, Venezuela may not send a representative to it… Keysi Sayago, the current Miss Venezuela and to represent the country in Miss Universe 2017, was selected on October 6 of last year and has since been preparing for international competition.
The big problem is that so far, the Miss Venezuela Organization has not been able to pay the annual franchise fee required by the Miss Universe Organization to accept its candidate…
Sayago hopes that the money will still be collected and her dreams of representing her country in Miss Universe can be fulfilled. And is that in the history of Miss Venezuela there is a similar antecedent that had a happy ending.
In 2003 Mariangel Ruiz was informed that she would not go to the international competition because the national organization could not pay the annuity. The girl did not give up and continued with her training. At the last minute they managed to raise the $ 70,000 needed at that time and Ruiz was able to join the contest.”
While not all hopes is lost, we can only wish that some miracle will happen for Venezuela to be able to participate this year…
A couple of weeks ago I posted a write up about three pageant powerhouses (Venezuela, USA and the Philippines) and how they are gearing up for the upcoming international pageant scene. This led me to ask if are they also the early Miss Universe frontrunners?
Rachel Peters, 5’10”, 25 years old – the proverbial beach babe, the girl with the bangin’ body and the “easy to get along with’ attitude. But don’t let that fool you. With her work as an events organizer reveals a sense of discipline and professionalism. She even has worked with superstars like Katy Perry, Jessie J and Christina Aguilera under that capacity. Not to mention that she completed her International Baccalaureate at the British School in Phuket, Thailand and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Business, Tourism and Events from La Trobe University in Australia.
Keysi Sayago, 5’10”, 23 years old – the Miss Venezuela mold breaker. Being one of the only three women of color to win the Miss Venezuela title is surely a conversation starter. Then add to it her open involvement in protests for better governance, rallies against violence and economic injustices in her homeland. Surely you get not your typical Miss Venezuela winner who are trained to be politically neutral. Keysi seemingly is the type of girl that would do good with the title and use it to speak out for her chosen advocacies.
Kara McCullough, 5’10”, 25 years old – the nuclear scientist. She is the girl with the ‘heavy resume’, the girl with the proverbial brains and beauty. Kara represents the type of woman that the Miss Universe organization is looking for. Relatable, real and with accomplishments that can propel the organization towards a more modern definition of a pageant girl.
It is no coincidence that these three ladies represent the countries with the most number of alpha pageant crowns. With pageant training as hardcore as that of an Olympic sport it would not be a hardsell to have all of them in the top 3 of Miss Universe. They may just redefine the Miss Universe title and make it modern and more relevant to this day and age…
While the international pageant season is yet to arrive (starts during the ‘Ber months), we list down the ladies who are currently the most visible frontrunners and/or darkhorses in the competition. We have included in this list national winners from countries that have yet to name if their main girl is competing for Miss Universe or Miss World.
Australia, Olivia Molly Rogers – 25 years old, 5’8″ tall, a speech pathologist by profession. She is one of the girls with a beefy resume.
Colombia, Laura González Ospina – 22 years old, 5’9 3/4″ tall, one of the most facially arresting girls this year. She speak English, French and Spanish.
France, Alicia Aylies – 19 years old, 5’11” tall, a woman of color to win her country’s nationals. This curly haired beauty from French Guiana is confirmed to represent her count at MU this year.
Mexico, Denisse Franco – 19 years old, 5’10” tall, she is perhaps one of the top contenders this year.
Philippines, Rachel Louise Peters – 25 years old, 5’10” tall, one of the more well-rounded girls sent by the Philippines in recent years. This events organizer and self confessed beach bum surely is a darkhorse.
Puerto Rico, Danyeshka Hernández – 19 years old, 5’9″ tall, she is a student currently pursuing Public Relations and Marketing studies. Interesting to note that she is also a pageant veteran.
Russia, Polina Popova – 22 years old, 5’11” tall, the first blonde Miss Russia winner in years. She can surely make the cut if the basis is pure beauty alone.
South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters – 22 years old, 5’7″ tall, she is supposed to represent her country on both MU and MW pageants. Despite being the shortest in this list, she has one of the facially gorgeous girls in this list.
USA, Kara McCullough – 25 years old, 5’11” tall, the girl with the heaviest of resumes. Kara could potentially be the benchmark that all other girls would have to measure up to in MU this year.
Venezuela, Keysi Sayago – 23 years old, 5’11” tall, the one of the MV mold breakers and could be rewarded in MU for that. Her being the 3rd woman of color to win MV could help to her advantage.
We are yet to find out the reps for other heavy hitters like Brazil, Great Britain, Jamaica and Thailand, among others. We are still awaiting for the transformation to be seen on other countries’ reps that were already crowned like those from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Sweden.
Venezuela, USA and the Philippines: they are three of the world ‘winning-est’ countries when it comes to beauty pageants… and with the approaching international pageant season starting this September, the world is anticipating if will they acquire more crowns this year?
Except for the United States, the three countries has won crowns from four of the biggest international pageants around: Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss Earth and Miss World. Venezuela is of course in the lead with 22 wins. If the Philippines manages to win two crowns this year, then it would take over the number 2 spot among the countries with the most overall wins. The USA has 14 crowns while the Philippines has 13, though USA has more runners up with a total of 59.
While all three countries are yet to select reps for Miss Earth and Miss World, their respective reps for Miss Universe and Miss International are regarded as heavy contenders. Shanel James was just recently crowned Miss US International 2017 while Rosangelica Piscitelli was appointed as Miss Venezuela Internacional several months ago. On the Miss Universe front, nuclear scientist Kara McCullough is easily a shoo in for the semis while Keysi Sayago is still undergoing her transformation for the pageant. Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters has started her training. While Binibining Pilipinas International Mariel de Leon is gunning for a back to back win.
These countries seem to be leagues ahead in terms of wins but other countries are thirsty as well. It will be interesting to see how things will unfold in the months to come.