Skip to main content

Rafa's Blog - 8.27.2010

 | 08.27.10 | Friday


It is what it is

     What can I say? The first Miss Universe pageant that I have ever attended was exactly what I had expected. As a pageant fan, it was exciting to see the pageant live, in person, to be surrounded by equally enthusiastic fans cheering for their favorites. However, I was not happy with my seat; I had paid $350 to get a good seat in the floor area, only to discover that the seats were folding metal chairs, uncomfortable and pressed too tightly against each other. The visibility from my seat was so bad that I ended up borrowing my neighbor's binoculars just so I could take a closer look of the finalists on stage. From time to time, ushers would come up to tell you to sit down because you're blocking the view of those behind you, or that they had to confiscate your videocam with zoom lens. For whatever it's worth, I guess you can't put a price tag on the intoxicating ardor that you felt in the theater that you would not have felt otherwise if you were watching at home.

     As member of the press, I am thankful to MUO for providing Hector and me with updated tip sheets and for facilitating our access to certain events. It is never easy to coordinate events, and I am grateful to MUO for trying their best to give the press with as many opportunities as possible to photograph and interview the girls. Hector's popularity is mind-boggling; he was interviewed by several Latin media outlets (in print, electronic, TV and radio) who wanted to know who his favorites were for the crown. I myself was interviewed by the Philippine network ABS-CBN - an interview which I never saw. And I suppose I should stop being perplexed by the fact that the pageant had not been covered by mainstream U.S. media such as CNN, FOX News or even NBC which barely featured the pageant on entertainment magazines like Access Hollywood. Pageants in the U.S. just don't get much attention as they do in Latin America and the Philippines, or even in France. But I digress. As a reporter, I witnessed things that an average pageant fan did not see - things that I'd rather keep to myself.

     As a fan rooting for Miss Philippines Venus Raj, I was ecstatic that the Philippines made the cut after 11 years of drought, but at the same time a bit disappointed that Venus didn't win. Critics blame her loss to the perception that she didn't answer the question, but I beg to differ. She did answer the question, but her response appeared rather spurious to the judges who couldn't believe that a 22-year-old young woman - from an impoverished and humble background - could not have possibly made "the biggest mistake" of her life. Surely, she did commit mistakes, but they were not enough to be considered "biggest." She did admit being nervous, but her nervousness didn't cause her to stammer or to stumble. Critics - some of them pretentious or faux pageant coaches who don't know tiddly-twat about the subtleties of Filipino English - accuse Venus of not having prepared herself to deliver safe or canned answers, or that she should have said this and that she should have said that. It's immaterial. We are not Venus. Venus told the truth as she saw it. Her response - which triggered the highest Google search on the web - was almost similar to Miss Colombia's in 2008 (she placed second) or from Miss Puerto Rico's in 2001 (she won, despite pauses in her delivery). And even if Venus had answered in a manner that judges would have liked, she still would have been critiqued. Lastly, unlike the questions posed to the other four finalists (Mexico, Ukraine, Australia, Jamaica) that asked their opinions about something to demonstrate their intelligence, Venus's question demanded a response based on personal experience. Watch the Final Q & A segment.

     As for the winner, Miss Mexico Ximena Navarrete, she was not and never was a favorite of mine. If her victory was based simply on the quality of her answer, her response - and delivery - was rather average, not to mention the fact that she bought time by using an interpreter (the same one from Precision Translating Services who enhanced Alicia Machado's response in 1996 - which brought her the crown). Without doubt, Ximena has a pretty face, but her beauty is too generic. Compared to Miss Australia Jesinta Campbell's cherubic and fresh loveliness, to Miss Ireland Rozanna Purcell's blow-up doll countenance, or to Venus's regal dusky looks, Ximena has no particularly distinctive physical quality, except her thick eyebrows and hirsute arms. Last year's winner, Stefania Fernandez, stood out because she had a distinctive look, with long neck, an oval face, and a big mouth - and a natural aura generated by her beaming smile. Stefania was not my favorite in 2009 either, but eventually I warmed up to her. I am sure I will also warm up to Ximena in no time. 





PHOTO CREDIT: Miss Universe Organization

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Miss USA Vice-President Max Sebrechts Accused Of Sexual Harassment

IMAGE COURTESY: MISS ACADEMY  Max Sebrechts, the husband of Crystle Stewart, President of Miss USA organization (and formerly Miss USA 2008), has been accused of sexual improprieties by several Miss USA 2021 contestants, according to a YouTube video “Miss USA Scandal?” by Natly Denise, a “truther and pop-culture enthusiast.” You can watch the entire video here: https://youtu.be/8xM2jXL6MXw On her video, Natly displays a screenshot  of an anonymous email sent to the affiliates of IMG/Endeavor including to Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization (MUO). The email was cc’d to Crystle and Michael Hannah (franchise director of Miss USA). The author of the email claims that MUO has been sent substantial evidence of Sebrechts’ sexual predatory behavior and Shugart has known about it for a while but didn’t say anything (obviously to cover it up and to protect Crystle). Natly also displays screenshots of direct messages sent to her by former Miss USA contestants (the names hav

Spain Wins Mister Global 2022

  Miguel Angel Lucas , 21, of Spain won the Mister Global 2022 title in Thailand on March 15, 2022. The 6'5" model and firefighter in training bested 31 other contestants.  The other four finalists include 1st runner-up Danh Linh of Vietnam, 2nd runner-up Dongwoo Shin of Korea, 3rd runner-up Juan Carlos da Silva of Venezuela, and 4th runner-up Gabriel Ortiz of Mexico. Photos courtesy of Mister Global

Trans-Identified Male Crowned “Miss Greater Derry 2023,” Takes Home Women’s Scholarship

A local beauty pageant is attracting ample mockery on social media after a trans-identified male was crowned the winner of the competition and awarded a scholarship intended for young women. Brían Nguyen , 19, was awarded the crown in the Miss Greater Derry pageant, held on November 8 in the Greater Derry area of New Hampshire. The competition is a locally-run event under the national Miss America series of pageants. In addition to winning the crown, Nguyen will receive the  Miss Greater Derry Scholarship , a financial award established to support young women. Nguyen, who is male, is a freshman at Nashua Community College majoring in Business Management. After his win, Nguyen wrote on  Facebook : “ I am ecstatic to be the FIRST transgender woman to be a Miss America local titleholder, and I hope to make everyone proud and become the first to walk the Miss America stage. I am Brían Nguyen, your Miss Greater Derry 2023 .” Nguyen had previously announced on Instagram that he has intention