At the heat of the debate regarding Rachel Peters’ top 10 finish, I have refrained from posting my own thoughts and feelings on the said outcome. Now that I have had more than enough time to ponder thru it, here are my thoughts on the matter…
Despite a strong performance during the finals (swimsuit and evening gown) what we should have to consider is that the judges are all briefed on what the Miss Universe organization is looking for in a winner. So it is unfair to solely blame Pia Wurtzbach alone on the outcome as all the judges are briefed accordingly by the org. By the time the judges were introduced, they may already have a winner picked in their minds and they probably stuck through their favorites throughout the telecast. Not to mention that the highest and lowest scores by the judges are cancelled to get the median scores.
We should also consider that the judging panel is heavily comprised of Americans and that their perception of beauty may be different from ours. Their perception on the girls could have easily been influenced by the sexual harassment issue enveloping the US right now and hence they chose someone like Demi who was speaking in behalf of self-defense for women.
We cannot fault the gown as well since Rachel’s Val Taguba gown was immaculate onstage. Because if we fault the gown, then how can we explain Jamaica’s yellow gown that didn’t look very chic onstage. Personally, the Val Taguba powder blue confection is the best evening gown that a Miss Universe Philippines worn on the MU stage since 2010. Rachel carried the gown with an elegance and she didn’t have to over-do her facial expressions (yes I’m looking at you Laura, even Shandy Finnessey called you out on it). Here are several recorded videos of Rachel during the Miss Universe from Instagram… and I couldn’t see a flaw on Rachel’s overall performance.
IMHO, I still believe that Rachel deserved a top 5 spot during the Miss Universe finals. She could have given the Philippines at least another runner up placement in the pageant. Too bad that the judges didn’t see her as Miss Universe potential as we did… I believe that it all boiled down to luck. Former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz once summarized it briefly saying that winning is a matter of luck, of being in the right place at the right time with the right judges.
My 2017 Miss Universe picks is gonna be a real nail-biter. And since I have been covering here in Las Vegas, seeing the girls up-close adds a different dimension to their personality which just reinforced by belief that it will boil down to just three girls…
Here are my thoughts on these girls:
3. Philippines, Rachel Peters – definitely the Miss Universe prototype. She is perhaps the most well-rounded girl that the Philippines have sent to the pageant. How she performs on the finals will rely on how she will handle the pressure onstage. Rachel has to gather all her strength and focus on the task at hand and deliver an explosive performance as she did during the Binibining Pilipinas finals.
2. Thailand, Maria Poonlertlarp Ehren – an academic achiever whose advocacy is about education. The Thai rep this year is one of the rumored favorites of the MUOrg just like how Pia was in 2015. Nevertheless it will be a tough competition as it will be the panel of judges who will pick the eventual winner. Maria just needs to stick to her gameplan and execute it flawlessly.
1. South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters – the girl who kills it in the interviews. She is most likely the real threat to the crown with her sweet and bubbly disposition. She seems to be someone that you would like to befriend because of genuine smile and lovely personality. Demi needs to make sure that she minimizes her weak areas by maximizing her strong assets. If genuineness is the main criteria of being a MU winner, then she would runaway with it without much effort.
Back when I covered the Binibini send-off of Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters in Novotel, I asked her this question: who do you think is your biggest competitor aside from yourself? She mentioned Thailand and South Africa. I observed here in Las Vegas that she is right. Maria is very on point in everyday styling and has always been very accommodating to fans. Demi-Leigh is showing her genuine personality day in and day out. Rachel on the other hand is the quiet darkhorse that will slay come finals. I believe that the title is going to be a triple-battle between the Rachel Peters, Maria Poonlertlarp Ehren and Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. It will all boil down to the judges’ picks now…
All I can say now is good luck to these three girls. May the best lady win!
If there are three things in common Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters and Miss Universe Thailand Maria Poonlertlarp Ehren together, they are: 1) Thailand, 2) halfies 3) international studies.
Rachel was born in Bahrain to a British father and a Filipina mother. Her unique upbringing has enabled her to live in different parts of the world as she lived in Australia, Thailand, UK and the Philippines. She graduated from the British International School, Phuket in Thailand with an International Baccalaureate degree, and earned her bachelor’s degree in business, tourism, and events from La Trobe University in Australia.
Maria was born in Bangkok to a Swedish father and a Thai mother. But has lived in Vietnam and Europe. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands and later attended Stockholm Business School for her master’s degree taking up international business commerce.
Both ladies are also representing the country from which their mothers hail, both girls are in their mid-20’s, and both girls are considered Asian frontrunners. These similarities would hopefully be a good start off point for both Thai and Philippine pageant fans to support both girls in Miss Universe.
I was glad to have been present during the triple send-off of Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental Katarina Rodriguez, Binibining Pilipinas Supranational Chanel Olive Thomas and Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters. But for today’s blog we are focused on Rachel.
Rachel looked radiant during the send-off, wearing an all-white outfit and her hair in a low ponytail, she had fire in her eyes. I can say that she is absolutely glowing. I saw in her eyes the same burning passion I saw in the eyes of Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach when she was competing back in 2015. Coincidentally, Rachel will be competing in the exact same venue as Pia come November 27th, early morning in Manila. Hopefully this year yields the same results as 2015, without all the crowning drama of course.
I was privy to learn some of Rachel’s wardrobe choices and all I can say is that watch out for her daily outfits in as much as her national costume and evening gown. I can see her in a fully modern wardrobe that will complement her in more ways than one. Remember, it is much better to make good impressions daily as the pageant schedule is quite short.
Rachel will be leaving for Las Vegas via Philippine Airlines come November 11th. But surely we feel the Miss Universe fever as early as now.