And the winner is... Miss Coronavirus! Runners-up include Ms. Lupita Jones, Miss Global, Miss Handicapable and Miss Racism.
2020 pageantry was dominated by cancellations, postponements, delays, and defiance caused by the Coronavirus pandemic that has so far killed nearly two million people around the world. It also triggered heated debates on personal liberties, tests, lockdowns, mental and emotional health and the availability of a vaccine. Despite the gravity of the pandemic, it has not stopped pageant aficionados from pursuing their passion. In fact, it has brought the pageant community much closer together through endless virtual meetings and social media interactions.
TROUBLE AT MISS GLOBAL The year began with a huge scandal that broke out at the finals of Miss Global 2020 pageant which was held in Oaxaca, Mexico on January 18. The woman representing Colombia, Jesenia Orozco, caused a scene on stage claiming that the pageant was rigged and confronted a man named Ramiro Gutierrez who was part of the Mexican hosting committee. Van Pham, the CEO of Miss Global, stated that Gutierrez “put pressure on the organization to favor the home country candidate, Miss Mexico. This violates our rules, integrity and ethics. When we informed Mr. Gutierrez of our unwillingness to compromise our integrity, he immediately pulled the plug on the telecast." You can watch the entire drama on Critical Beauty Salon.
PUTTING HIS BEST FOOT FORWARD Hendson Baltazar (above) representing Ceará, became the first amputee contestant to win Manhunt Brazil 2021 contest held on December 5. The 29-year-old personal trainer also won the Best in Swimwear award. He will now represent Brazil in the next edition of Manhunt International.
Unintentional racism? Miss Universe Romania 2020 Bianca Tirsin got herself in hot water with sensitive netizens when an artistic image of her wearing #blackface makeup surfaced on her social media on December 30. After receiving backlash from black pageant fans who were offended by the image, Tirsin was compelled to make a public apology to the "Miss Universe global community" via her Instagram stories. The beauty queen stated that she has been working with an artist that specializes in black and gold art and that the "offending" image was never an issue. She also said that it was an "unfortunate" incident for which she gave her sincerest apology. On its official Instagram page, the Miss Universe Romania Organization posted on December 31: "The images have unfortunately been released before we, as an organization, had the chance to review them. We assure you Miss Bianca and Miss Universe Romania 2020 organization are working on ensuring something similar never happens again. We apologize to everyone this has hurt or offended."
CREDIT: LUPITA JONES INSTAGRAM
Miss World 1960 Norma Cappagli died at the age of 81 on December 22 in Argentina from complications suffered from a skull fracture after being run over by a bus on December 17. She was sent on induced coma before her passing.