Miss Universe 2017 will be in Las Vegas! Plus More MU2017 Tidbits!

Guess whose pageant moles are right? I hate to say this but #IToldYouSo! Last September 24th, I posted on my Facebook account that the Miss Universe 2017 pageant would be held in splendid Las Vegas.

Finally after weeks of speculating, and back and forth of venues, we can finally rest easy as the MU pageant will be pushing through this year. From Manila to Hawaii to Phoenix, Arizona, pageant fans held their breath for what seemed to be an eternity of waiting for the MUOrg to annouce its venue for this year’s pageant.
While there are no confirmed schedules yet, the pageant is rumored to run for more or less 16 days. Candidates are expected to arrive between the 5-8th of November. Preliminaries and the National Costume Show may fall between the 21st or 22nd of November.

Wait for further announcement on the official activities and schedules as Sash Factor will be covering the pageant once more in Las Vegas!


The Merry-Go-Around Venue for Miss Universe 2017

This year has been a merry-go-round ride when it comes to the venue and host country for the 2017 edition of the Miss Universe pageant. We have heard rumors of possible venues coming from different quarters and we all wait in bated breath for the official announcement from the MUOrg.

In recent years the Miss Universe competition has been having difficulties in finding a venue for the annual competition. It started in 2014 when for the first time in the pageant’s history, it was moved to January of the next year. In 2015, two MU pageants were held less than a year apart.
This year would be a repeat of that scenario as the 65th Miss Universe pageant was held earlier in January 2017. There was also a negotiation that took place to have it held this year in the Philippines come November. However, this didn’t push through as the Philippine government, through the Department of Tourism advised that due to peace and order situations in certain parts of the country.

Then it was being negotiated to have the pageant in Honolulu, Hawaii. The 50th US state was interested because it would have been the 20th anniversary of the Miss Universe victory of Brook Mahealani Lee.  This also failed to push through as the proposed venue could not support the required rigging and pageant equipment necessary for the finals.

But before these two possible venues were being discussed, it was already reported that Australia wanted to host the 2017 and 2018 editions. Perth was said to be the most likely venue as it already hosted the pageant way back in 1979 (where the notorious stage collapse took place). However, talks didn’t flourish and it is rumored that the budget constraints were an issue.
Then it is now discussed that the pageant will return to American soil as Phoenix, Arizona is said to be this year’s venue. The rumor was pervasive as a number of Latin pageant groups have already discussed November 26 as the airing date. It is said that the pageant is being scheduled to the Thanksgiving weekend to push for better television ratings as families would be spending their time at home.

Despite these numerous issues of finding a pageant venue, the Miss Universe pageant still generates much buzz online…whether the venue will be in Manila or pushed to the following year or if the reigning queen would have a full 12 month’s reign. The pageant still enjoys a lion’s share on the online buzz it creates and of the following of pageant fans around the world, er the universe rather…

Rumors! Miss Universe 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona!

Yes folks! It’s currently circulating over the web that the Miss Universe 2017 edition will be happening on November 26th in Phoenix, Arizona!

According to MV La Nueva Era, the next edition of the pageant will be held in the 5th most populous city in the United States. 
Additional rumors also has it that the candidates are expected to arrive in Phoenix between the 1st to the 5th of November where they will kick off the pre-activities that will culminate on the Thanksgiving weekend pageant finals. Preliminaries are rumored to be scheduled either on November 21st or on the 22nd.
UPDATE (9pm, August 30, 2017)
One of our pageant friends have advised us that some members of the Miss Universe Org are currently in Phoenix, Arizona. They are supposedly staying at one of the Marriot Hotel affiliates in Phoenix.
It is not clear whether their visit has something to do with the rumored Miss Universe pageant to be held there but it might be one of the reasons for their visit. Perhaps they might be in Phoenix inspecting possible finals venue or possibly finalizing talks about the city’s hosting duties. While no actual venue has yet been confirmed, it is speculated that the pageant might be looking at the Phoenix Symphony Hall or the Comerica Theatre. 

Hawaii Won’t be Hosting Miss Universe 2017!

It was a hushed rumor among pageant insiders that aside from the Philippines, Japan, Australia and Hawaii is considered to host the Miss Universe pageant. However, hosting in Hawaii wouldn’t push through due to the concerns of the pageant regarding the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena.

“The Department of Enterprise Services was contacted by representatives of the Miss Universe Pageant in May 2017 regarding their interest in holding their next pageant, scheduled for November 2017, in the Neal S. Blaisdell Center arena. For the past two months we have worked closely with the pageant’s local and national representatives to accommodate their needs for the event and the days leading up to the actual show. As a result, we arranged for their use of the arena for two weeks and the concert hall for one week in November.
“In recent days, it was determined by the pageant that the arena’s structural capacity for suspending overhead equipment above the stage area was insufficient for the show’s needs and the Department of Enterprise Services was advised the organizers are no longer considering the arena or Honolulu for the site of the November pageant.
“However, arena weight capacity has not been a limiting factor for shows staged in that venue over recent years, for example Bruno Mars, WWE, Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Garth Brooks, Mariah Carey and more.

The pageant being held in Hawaii would have been a sort of 20th anniversary nod to Brooke Maahaelani Lee, the first Hawaiian Miss Universe, who won in 1997.
Arena concerns keep Miss Universe pageant from coming to Honolulu

Why Does the Miss Universe Org like to Keep Fans Guessing on Its Venue?

Veteran ABS-CBN reporter Mario Dumaual posted a video on his Instagram account asking where would the next Miss Universe pageant be.  Was he dropping hints where the pageant would be held?

In his post he said, “Chill time for #bbpilipinas universe rachel peters and other bb queens at media meet 😄@rachelpetersx for the crown, headed for miss u 2017 at Japan, Indonesia or Las Vegas?” While Las Vegas is the most likely venue this year, him mentioning Japan and Indonesia as possible host is something that fans can be excited about.

The Miss Universe pageant loves to really keep the anticipation up and drum up the hype where the next pageant going to be (even if it is the predictable and safety net of Las Vegas). It allows fans to speculate and drive the guessing game up until the final reveal. By the time that the venue is revealed, the hype has built up and will most likely be the buzz among pageant fans on social media. This is a smart way to market the pageant…
Another side of it is the problem of finding a suitable host country. Keeping things under wraps buys them time to finalize whichever country is supposed to host the pageant. And while all of these speculations whether Sydney, Australia or Manila, Philippines or Jakarta, Indonesia is supposed to host, the MUOrg are planning silently their next move. Even with the MUOrg having Las Vegas as the default venue, building such hype to develop without having to do much publicity online. 

If it were up to you, which country would you like to host the pageant this year?

Rumor Mill! Is San Miguel Corporation Sponsoring Miss Universe 2017?

Ever wondered why several Miss Universe 2016 candidates flew back to Manila during the time that the Miss Universe organization also visited the country?

Well it all has something to do with the rumor that San Miguel Corporation is said to be going for a sponsorship of the Miss Universe 2017 pageant in Manila (should it push through, which our moles say is likely). Come to think of it, the product endorsements, public activities and even charity visits of the girls are all tied up with SMC: the bar hopping activity, liquor endorsement shoots for Ginebra & San Miguel Beer, Petron Road Safety Ambassadors, even the Hope for Change International charity activity. If you look closely at the tee shirts that the girls wore, the San Mig logo is front and center.
So how would this spell for the Miss Universe pageant? Well it simply means that a global company like SMC is willing to shell out millions to sponsor the pageant, so it makes perfect sense that the MU 2017 edition can likely happen in Manila. 

With this development in the pageant, I am likely to believe that an announcement of the Miss Universe host country is just around the corner… 

Why Two Major International Pageants are Eyeing the Philippines as Host

Two major international pageants are currently serenading the Philippines to host their pageant; Miss Universe for the 2017 edition and Miss World for 2018. Why is both pageants serenading the Philippines to host their respective pageants?

Sashes&Scripts tries to uncover why the Philippines is enjoying such attention from both the Miss Universe and Miss World pageants. It all may just boil down to two factors. Here are two of the biggest reasons why…
The Filipino Fanbase – the Philippines is perhaps the biggest market for pageants outside Latin America. You cannot go anywhere to have your pageant if there is no such clamor for it. It would be foolish to establish a base where you are not welcome. And the Philippines is very welcoming to pageantry. 
With Filipino communities spread throughout the world, tapping to the Philippine market would be tapping to a global audience. It is estimated that at least 2.4 million Filipinos* are working outside of the Philippines, this statistic does not take into account their families who are living with them abroad or the Filipinos who are carrying non-Filipino citizenships. That number could possibly double up or more. That is a huge number to cater to and once you get the loyalty of Filipinos, it’s as good as its weight in gold.
In addition to that is the power we have over social media. We can make any topic or pageant for that matter the trending topic on any social media platform on a massive worldwide scale. A clear strong point (or weak point, depending on your perspective) among Filipinos is the mob mentality that we could swarm any socmed platform to promote what we love (or the negative side of it, what we dislike or even hate). Such illustrates the power of the Filipino fanbase.
Let’s also mention how the Filipinos can support girls from other countries besides the Filipina rep. In fact, any of the Miss Universe candidates are given warm welcome by the Filipino people. Such display of hospitality is second nature to Filipinos, ever wonder why the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan has gotten a supplement line: “When you’re with Filipinos, You’re with Family.” Because of the world renowned Filipino hospitality, there are 100 million reasons why tourists would want to come back to the country. Why do you think the Miss Universe pageant wants to have it again in Manila within the span of less than 12 months? Any pageant candidate is treated like a celebrity. Even the heads of the pageant, pageant officials, judges, are treated as such.

Asia is the new Economic Power – yes you heard it right. Asia is where the money is and you have to follow where the money is. Asia as of the moment is a neutral market (Africa and Europe are MW territories while North & Latin America are dominated by the MU) which makes it a prime demographic to conquer.
The Philippines is posed strategically at the entryway of Asia (figuratively and literally) which is ideal to get a foothold of the Asian market. Gaining a strong base in the Philippines would give any pageant an advantage over the Asian Market. Expansion wouldn’t be difficult if you gain a foothold on the Philippines… Thailand, Indonesia, China, India, Vietnam, etc… are easily within reach once you get a foothold in the Philippines.
This is possibly why China is such a MW favorite, the only problem is that China is seen more as a political threat to any country rather than an ally. You can possibly survive with China as a major sponsor but it wouldn’t get you so far (long term planning wise) as it can make you hostage to its whims. Which is a far contrast with the friendlier/ pacifist nature of the Philippines in general. Pageants couldn’t acquire more stable grounds if it tries to go the route of Indonesia (which is a hardsell for MU considering the swimsuit competition) despite a bigger population as the pageant system is relatively young. Thailand is a close second possibility next to the Philippines, but the frivolity of hosting a major pageant might still be too close for the mourning period from its late venerable king; though I have reason to believe that soon as a foothold in the Philippines is established, the next possible goldmine would be the Land of Smiles. Far more developed countries such as Singapore, South Korea and Japan are difficult markets to conquer as general interest is relatively low compared to the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia or Vietnam.
The Philippines is not a poor country as some may think, never underestimate the 7,107 islands of the country or its 100 million population. And while we are talking about numbers it is said that Php180.3 billion* is remitted back to the Philippines by Overseas Filipino Workers in 2015. There is also a marked growth on the GDP from US$199.6 billion in 2010 to US$292 billion in 2015**. Which says a little bit about Filipinos’ purchasing power. There are also reports of how Filipinos are the “most optimistic spenders” in Southeast Asia***. This means that aside from the basic necessities, Filipinos “would spend on holidays, home improvements, and out-of-home entertainment” as Rappler reports. Domestic tourism increased steadily at 14% over the past 5 years compared to foreign tourism at only an average of 8%****. Which goes to show that Filipinos are a huge potential market to mine. The potential is endless.

Pageants like any other industry follow economic and political trends. You might decry it as unfair but such is the reality in business, after all pageants are part of the entertainment industry. No matter how hard pageantry tries to put ‘charity’ on its face, it still involves a huge amount of money. Hence, it only makes sense to go where the rising economies are and that is in Asia. Couple that with a strong fanbase with a huge market potential and voila! You get the Philippines… a place where potential gains is found with a very open and receptive market. Now you know why the two biggest international pageant rivals, Miss Universe and Miss World, are competing for the affection of the Philippines. Question is who gets to have a stronger foothold?

* https://psa.gov.ph/content/total-number-ofws-estimated-24-million-results-2015-survey-overseas-filipinos
** http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD
*** http://www.rappler.com/business/industries/100760-nielsen-survey-filipino-optimistic-consumers
*** http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/domestic-tourism-hot-as-summer/