Miss Universe Philippines 2015 & 2016 Pia Wurtzbach and Maxine Medina wore the same crown for a photoshoot… who wore it better?
The 65th Miss Universe pageant has come and gone yet I haven’t blogged about a review of the said pageant. Overall it was a major success, but it was not without some points that could have been better.
86 women around the world came to the Philippines to compete for the Miss Universe title but it was only during the final three days of the competition that I felt that an underdog will win the title. True enough the top three girls were all considered darkhorses for the title and were surprise winners in the competition…a pleasant surprise at that.
Finally, a Miss Universe opening that feels like a true opening number. No more prerecorded videos of the introduction of the ladies! And I have to say that FloRida brought the house on its feet with the energy in the opening. His medley of hits is a club staple which brought life into the MU party! This is what an opening should and must feel like.
The Boyz2Men performance is also a high point in the finals. I had the opportunity to watch the final dress rehearsals and saw them perform. It was a treat to have watched them twice! But I have to tell you that their performance during the dress rehearsals was a much better one because their singing wasn’t drowned out by the cheers. If you could had heard their voices in a much quieter opportunity, then you would be much more impressed.
I have to say, the Filipino pageant fans was a tremendous boost to the pageant. The cheering from the audience were enough that you can hear it during the telecast. Every time Maxine Medina was onstage, the thunderous applause reverberates in the entire MOA Arena.The roar of the viewers never subsided, and more than that every Filipino pageant fan is cheering for other candidates as well (although I can feel that their support for Miss Colombia was not that much). When Miss Philippines failed to advance to the top 3, the Filipino crowd started cheering mostly for Haiti followed by France.
The pageant in the Philippines lacked local flavor for the final production and stage design. It wasn’t necessarily bad, like a terrible production, no that wasn’t the case but it could have been better if there is something that reflected the host country in it.
In fact, the pageant felt like a copycat of the stage design and production of Las Vegas. It was as if someone became uninspired to come up with something fresh and new. The Philippines has so much culture to offer and yet that was not reflected in the stage. Not that I am saying that the stage wasn’t any good, it was nicely done IMHO, it just lacked the local flavor seen in stages of past MU editions in Vietnam, Thailand and even Russia. The Moscow edition still is the platinum standard for that.
The MU finals could also have been added with a local flavor thru music (since there were no musical performances during the SS and EG segments). A drumline of Ati-atihan performers could have added the much-needed local flavor at the SS rounds, or a local DJ for the EG segment. Those are the low points in an otherwise impeccable production.
I am much thrilled with the body diversity in the pageant! I have to do a shout-out to Miss Canada Siera Bearchell (who I was fortunate to have interviewed in the blog) who represented the more curvy woman on the MU stage. Way to go girl! Andrea Tovar of Colombia’s JLo-esque body represented bottom heavy girls in the competition. Then we have the tall skinny/ lanky body type thru Kenya’s Mary Esther Were.
But more than that, I have to say that the 13 semifinalists are a major source of fabulosity (if there is even such a word). I am glad that 3 dark-skinned women (USA, Kenya & Brazil), three Asians (Philippines, Thailand & Indonesia) and two mulattas (Haiti & Colombia) have made it through the 1st cut. Women of color have dominated the pageant for the first time in a decade or so! If you haven’t noticed, every continent is represented in the top 6.
Raquel Pelissier as 1st runner up and Iris Mittenaere as Miss Universe. To have her win the Miss Universe title is nothing short of spectacular. But so much more for Haiti’s Raquel Pelissier finishing as second. We finally see that underdogs have a fighting chance into the competition and that working hard and a grateful attitude can propel you to the top.
Overall, the Miss Universe was a huge success that the MUOrg wanted the 2017 or 2018 edition to come back to the Philippines…and all of that is thanks to the Filipino pageant fans, who truly is the best pageant fans in the world, rather the Universe.
Unfortunately, my list is not gonna be a popular one. In fact, after the rehearsals yesterday, my gut feel became stronger that the Miss Universe winner might not be coming from the perceived front-runners in the competition. I also believe that it will be a strong showing from the Southeast Asian girls in the competition. So it is needless to say that this list are purely based on hunch, no science or controlled methodology is involved.
Wildcards: Mexico, Malaysia and Jamaica
Most possible Spoilers: Kenya, Curacao and Australia
Top 13: Germany, USA, South Africa and Nicaragua
Top 9: Singapore, France and Sierra Leone
All of these six girls listed below are going to be worthy of the Miss Universe title and it was such a difficult task to really narrow them to my final 6 names. In fact I can still feel that any of the girls in my list can spoil the chances of everyone…it’s still fair game for everyone!
6 Most Likely to be Miss Universe
Thailand, Chalita Suansane – Chalita is very relate-able which makes her formidable. She came from an impoverished background that can help her to win the crown. I am putting her as my second best choice for the title.
US Virgin Islands, Carolyn Carter – Carolyn has a very classy, high-society beauty that is approachable. This Madeline Stowe doppelganger has class written all over her face. Her string of charity work with Smile Train Philippines cannot be ignored.
Philippines – this girl is a performer and she will not disappoint. I am hoping that Maxine would make it among the final three. As a matter of fact, I will not be surprised if the top three will eventually be all Asian girls.
Indonesia, Kezia Warouw; one of the possible winners of the online voting alongside Philippines and Thailand. Kezia did it right when she had her tan and came in curls just as I previously suggested, it worked on her. There is a sincerity in her that I find appealing.
Venezuela, Mariam Habach; most possible crown contender for MU but my fear is that she might have looked too ‘trained’ at this point… and I find that she might likely be the girl in the top 2. I still believe that she can be the eventual winner.
Aruba, Charlene Leslie; the biggest underdog who may spoil it all for all the front-runners. In fact, I am getting it out on a limb to say that she is my choice to be the next Miss Universe. Should Charlene win the Miss Universe title, the Philippines would be one of the few host countries who will go down in MU history to crown first-time winners (Spain and 1974 and India in 1994).
I am more and more inclined to think that a possible underdog might win it all come finals. I hope that whoever wins, she could be embraced by a lot of the pageant fans.