The theme of this year’s Bb. Pilipinas pageant was “Game of Crowns“, an obvious play on Game of Thrones, as if the scoring and treatment of the opening billboard didn’t emphasize that enough. Fortunately, the proceedings were devoid of blood and gore even if deliberations reportedly took more than an hour. And, as far as I know, everyone left the venue intact. Nevertheless, there were shocking twists to spare.
Karlie Hay, an 18-year-old high school graduate from Tomball, Texas, was crowned Miss Teen USA 2016 last July 30. The self-professed roller coaster fanatic beat 50 other teen queens at the pageant’s 34th edition, held at TheVenetian Theatre in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A favorite from the get-go, Hay sealed her frontrunner status after reciting excerpts from the US Constitution Preamble in the final round. When asked about which teen issue should presidential candidates address, she cited peer pressure, saying that “…the next president needs to confront this issue and really just let teens know that you need to be yourself and you need to be a leader.” “Of course, the next Miss Teen USA should be a leader as well“, she emphasized.
Hay is the third Texan to capture the title, following the footsteps ofChristie Lee Woods from1996 andDanielle Doty from2011. Texas now earns the distinction of being the most successful state in both the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants. Note that while Oregon also has three previous winners, the Lone Star State boasts far more placements.
I’ll be out of the country this weekend and I’ll likely have no internet access on the days surrounding the pageant (If I do, hooray, then). So, I’m locking in my predictions early. There were definitely some major shake-ups from the initial short list I posted a couple of months ago and it’s not just because of the pre-pageant activities, mind you. I’m referring to the rather unceremonious pillorying and subsequent disqualification of Janelle Olaffson (Original Bb.#1) and Kim Ross de los Santos (Original Bb. #20). Both Binibinis were expunged from the roster for allegedly participating in racy past photo shoots. The latter case was particularly shocking. The general public touted Kim Ross as the odds-on favorite – she’s the tallest in the group, she’s gorgeous, and to sum it up: she appeared to be the most poised to compete at a stratified international level at that point. And it’s rather frustrating that all appeals to bolster her cause wound up fruitless. I no longer wish to join the debate bandwagon over what defines or what doesn’t define “racy”, but I do sense a lack of due process. As much as I want to continue lauding the organization for the stellar achievements of last year’s batch, this turn of events does strike me as a surprising step backward.
Of course, the show still must go on and, fortunately, there are still some worthy stunners in this lot. Six crowns are up for grabs this year and whoever wins will have big shoes to fill – for patently obvious reasons. So, here are my picks:
The fourth cycle of Asia’s Next Top Model is about to commence. Just like in the previous cycle, three out of the 14 contestants are Filipina. What makes them interesting is their common pageant background. Will one of these Pinay beauty queens reign supreme?
The search for Pia Wurtzbach‘s successor is on! And for obvious reasons, so is the pressure. And, if there’s one thing we’ve learned about the Bb. Pilipinas screening process, that is to never take the initial roster as final!
As expected, Pia Wurtzbach’s Grand Homecoming Special was a thinly disguised Kapamilya affair. Xian Lim took on hosting duties and Dyan Castillejo was the de facto co-host. There was a Boy Abunda segment halfway through and shoehorned video shout-outs by LizQuen and KathNiel. The musical intermissions were serviceable, though Jed Madela‘s bit could have been interspersed with more Pia snippets. The show’s about her, after all.
Again, I don’t know if you noticed, but just like the announcement of the Top 20, the order in which the five finalists were called seemed to already suggest the final placement. Could it mean that the telecast judges were already decided on their winner at that point, regardless of how each finalist answered? For now, that’s just my theory.
Anyway, here’s my take on the 5 finalists (in reverse order)…
Ever since the average Miss World delegation started hitting the hundred mark, the elimination process has become more noticeably streamlined, making the finals feel more akin to an American Idol results show. It seems that, nowadays, the purpose of the initial cut is to simply acknowledge the highest pre-pageant scorers. After which, the roster is immediately reduced into a more manageable number. Long story short: only the delegates who make the Top 10/11 are scored by the telecast judges. The remainder are, in effect, honorable mentions. At least, that’s my interpretation.
I fully understand the need for quicker proceedings. My only wish is that they still reserved an element of suspense. Case in point: The order in which the Top 20 was announced turns out to be the same as the Pre-Final Leader Board Tally. What’s the use, then, of revealing the Top 10 in this manner?
Behold, my take on this year’s quarter-finalists and semi-finalists:
Thanks to the emotional roller-coaster that was Miss Universe 2015, coupled with my family’s usual Christmas festivities, it almost slipped my mind that another major pageant also happened last week.
In fact, it’s the first time both premier international pageants took place within the same weekend. But for reasons that are now glaringly obvious, the attention is now more heavily centered on Miss Universe, which I will tackle in another set of entries. For now, here’s my take on Miss World 2015.
This year’s batch was considered a tight race, with no absolute favorites and no clear-cut standouts. From the get-go, we were conditioned to expect the unexpected. And lo and behold: a surprise, milestone victory. More on that later.
Given the recent uncertainties plaguing this pageant (prolonged host city bids, Donald Trump‘s controversial statements), it’s not surprising that the delegate count suffered a major attrition this year. With 80 contestants, it’s the smallest roster this pageant whipped up in this decade so far. Even Miss Earth and Miss Supranational attracted more representatives this year, and those contests are far younger. One can’t help but wonder if we will ever see the Miss Universe delegation exceeding the 90s mark. Only time will tell.
One thing you can’t fault in this pageant, though, is the overall quality of its delegates. And I guess it’s one factor why it’s still considered as one of the world’s popular international beauty contests. In recent years, we’ve seen rosters where more than half of the contestants were competitive. This year is no exception.
The pageant is taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada for the third time within the last five years, which is, again, indicative of the pageant’s organizational woes. Then again, this may or may not bode well for certain North American countries. I will elaborate later.
Without further ado, here’s my rundown of this year’s Miss Universe delegates.