RESULTS REACTION: MISS WORLD 2014

Miss WOrld Dances of the World segment.

It’s a slightly bittersweet experience for me watching Miss World 2014.  First, I was rather sick on the day of the pageant that I had to sleeep through the live broadcast.  So I thought I’ll get the full show by watching the delayed telecast on GMA-7 in the morning Manila time.  But as I discovered, it’s an extremely truncated broadcast–several segments were edited out, and they turned it into a two-hour program with heavy loads of commercials (so it’s basically 1 hour and 15 minutes of pageant).  Among the sequences cut out:  the talent sing-off between Malaysia and Scotland; the two numbers performed by the Vamps; and the three Beauty with a Purpose videos that were aired during the pageant among the five finalists.

Another portion that I have a beef with was the leaderboard–I wouldn’t be able to perform a full-fledged analysis and conjecture who bubbled below the Top Five in each event because after the initial interview scores, they only showed the leaderboard update once after the Sports, Multimedia, Beach Fashion, Top Model, and Talent winners were announced.  And I found something rather anomalous about the scoring after Beauty with a Purpose winners were announced–you would assume that if there were five winners, each of them will then earn equal points.  But they announced the ranking of the Top Ten semifinalists (which of course doesn’t bear weight with who would make the final Five), I found some anomalies:  1) Kenya outranked Brazil with 240 vs. 238 points before the BWAP points were tallied, but then Brazil then ranked 5th going into the Top 10 while Kenya ranked ranked 7th.  2) Guyana was not shown on the Top 20 leaderboard, but then pole-vaulted to 4th place.   It only leads to one conclusion–though the Top Five BWAP projects are declared co-winners, there was an actual ranking amongst the Top Five–I conjecture that Guyana was the actual winner or at least 2nd place in BWAP, and Brazil is either 2nd or 3rd place, and gotten such high points to outrank Kenya.

The preliminary Top 20 featured one headscratcher–I was surprised at the high ranking that Guinea (Halimatou Diallo)–she was in a tie for 15th place.  I found her too raw, but it seems that rawness charmed the judges.

Surprise interview high placer: Guinea

There is one clear winner for the Ruth Ocumarez award:  France (Flora Coquerel),  She topped the preliminary interview, but she arrived late in London and missed out of the Sports trials and Talent auditions, and those misses may have contributed to her missing out of the Top 25.

Ruth Ocumarez Awardee: France’s Flora Coquerel (R) with Miss World 1953 Denise Perrier

For the Holly Carpenter award, I will name two people–one that is the likeliest choice amongst most pageant fans and pundits, and my own personal choice.  Most pageant fans and pundits will pick Venezuela (Debora Menicucci).  My own personal choice, though, would be Lebanon (Sally Greige).

Holly Carpenter Award (majority choice): Venezuela
Holly Carpenter Award (my personal choice): Lebanon

I plan to post a full-fledged review discussing the production, hosting, and the initial interview Top 20 and the Top 25 quarterfinalists within the next couple of weeks.  I’ll also share my thoughts of the new directive that Miss World will impose in subsequent pageant editions.  Anyway, right now all I’ll say is that the new Miss World, Rolene Strauss from South Africa, is a popular and a worthy choice, and a great successor to fill Megan Young’s shoes and sustain the legacy of Beauty with a Purpose.  Congratulations, Rolene!

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

Passing the crown–Miss World 2013 Megan Young crowning the new Miss World, Rolene Strauss of South Africa, with runners-up Hungary (Edina Kulcsár) and United States (Elizabeth Safrit) looking on.

 

MISS WORLD 2014: AT THE HOMESTRETCH (CONCLUSION)

At the Beauty with a Purpose ball.

Let’s consolidate all the leaderboards for the four teams and here’s how I think the 121 delegates stack up:

TOP CONTENDERS:  MEXICO, INDIA, SOUTH AFRICA

SHOO-INS: ENGLAND, GUYANA, HUNGARY, FINLAND, KENYA, NETHERLANDS, AUSTRALIA, RUSSIA, SCOTLAND, SWEDEN, UNITED STATES

LIKELIEST:  AUSTRIA, BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, BRAZIL, CHINA P R, COLOMBIA, CROATIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, INDONESIA, JAMAICA, LITHUANIA, MARTINIQUE, MONGOLIA, MONTENEGRO, PANAMA, SERBIA, SOUTH SUDAN, VIETNAM, CZECH REPUBLIC, FRANCE, HAITI, PHILIPPINES, SPAIN, NAMIBIA, NORTHERN IRELAND, NORWAY, PARAGUAY, PUERTO RICO, SEYCHELLES, TANZANIA, THAILAND, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, TURKEY, ZIMBABWE

CHALLENGE EVENT FACTOR:  BOLIVIA, CANADA, COSTA RICA, GIBRALTAR, WALES, MALAYSIA, COTE D’IVOIRE, CURACAO, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, FIJI, GERMANY, LESOTHO

POPULAR VOTE FACTOR: BARBADOS, CHAD, NEPAL

EXCELLENT:  ARGENTINA, ARUBA, BELGIUM, BELIZE, CAMEROON, KOSOVO, BELARUS, GUATEMALA, ICELAND, IRELAND, KYRGYZSTAN, MOLDOVA, UKRAINE, CYPRUS, EGYPT, ETHIOPIA, GABON, GREECE, GUAM, LEBANON, MYANMAR, PERU, POLAND, SLOVAKIA, VENEZUELA

VERY STRONG:  ALBANIA, HONG KONG CHINA, ROMANIA, ITALY, JAPAN, MALTA, GUADELOUPE, LATVIA, TUNISIA, NEW ZEALAND

STRONG:  DENMARK, ISRAEL, SINGAPORE, SWITZERLAND, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, GEORGIA, GHANA, SRI LANKA, UGANDA

VERY GOOD:  BAHAMAS, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, MAURITIUS, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

GOOD:  BERMUDA, NICARAGUA, PORTUGAL, LUXEMBOURG, GUINEA

FAIR:  SAO TOME & PRINCIPE, KOREA, NIGERIA, SLOVENIA, URUGUAY

Here is then my “Fearful” Forecast:

TOP FIVE:  AUSTRALIA, INDIA, MEXICO, SOUTH AFRICA, UNITED STATES

TOP TEN:  ENGLAND, GUYANA, NETHERLANDS, SCOTLAND, SWEDEN

TOP 20:  BRAZIL, CHINA PR, CZECH REPUBLIC, HAITI, HUNGARY, INDONESIA, KENYA, PHILIPPINES,  RUSSIA, TURKEY

TOP 30:  BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, FINLAND, FRANCE, MALAYSIA, PUERTO RICO, SERBIA, SOUTH SUDAN, SPAIN,

BUBBLING UNDER:  AUSTRIA, COLOMBIA, CROATIA, JAMAICA, LITHUANIA, MARTINIQUE, MONGOLIA, MONTENEGRO, NAMIBIA, NORTHERN IRELAND, NORWAY, PANAMA, SEYCHELLES, TANZANIA, THAILAND, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, VIETNAM, ZIMBABWE

STRIKING DISTANCE:  BARBADOS, BELGIUM, BOLIVIA, CANADA, CHAD, COSTA RICA, COTE D’IVOIRE, CURACAO, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, FIJI, GERMANY,GIBRALTAR, LESOTHO, WALES

“HOLLY CARPENTER” NOMINEES:   ARGENTINA, ARUBA, BELARUS, BELIZE, CAMEROON, CYPRUS, EGYPT, ETHIOPIA, GABON, GREECE, GUAM, GUATEMALA, ICELAND, IRELAND, KOSOVO, KYRGYZSTAN, LEBANON MOLDOVA, MYANMAR, PERU, POLAND, SLOVAKIA, UKRAINE, VENEZUELA

Two ladies seem to be the clear front-runners for the crown, India (Koyal Rana) and South Africa (Rolene Strauss).  India seems to have the upper hand in terms of placement in challenges, but that is no guarantee that being the one who garnered the most points in challenges will get the ultimate crown.  There is still possibility for an upset, though.  All I hope is that the results would be convincing and transparent.

JUST ME!

JOSEPH

Will Megan crown one of these ladies?  Left photo: with India (Koyal Rana); Right photo: with South Africa (Rolene Strauss)
Will Megan crown one of these ladies? Left photo: with India (Koyal Rana); Right photo: with South Africa (Rolene Strauss)

MISS WORLD 2014: AT THE HOMESTRETCH–BLUE TEAM (PART 2)

SLOVAKIA – Laura Longauerová.  She is arguably better-looking than her predecessor, but her predecessor made the shortlist in several challenge events and so far this lady has not.  She is another Holly Carpenter Award nominee.

SLOVENIA – Julija Bizjak.  I find her homely, and considering she didn’t figure in any challenge event, she is likely one of the cellar-dwellers in this pageant.  The only thing that would redeem her from last place against Miss Sao Tome & Principe is that she will earn credits for at least taking part in the challenge events.

SOUTH AFRICA – Rolene Strauss.  From the get-go, she’s the favorite to win it all, and she seems on track with a 3rd place finish in Sports, being a Top Ten Beauty with a Purpose finalist, Top Five in Beach Fashion, and Top 20 in Top Model.  The only fear that the only obstacle that could prevent her from taking over Megan Young’s mantle was that fact that she’s white in a predominantly black continent, and Miss World these days seem more inclined to reward a black South African than a white one.  South Africa has won two times before with a Caucasian lady, and although it might seem politically incorrect to reward a third with another Caucasian, this lady has convincingly proven she is the best looking and the best fit for the crown.  Can they let merits prevail this time?  Her project has a nice unique touch–helping African teenage girls continue schooling even when having their menstrual cycles (as these girls typically would skip school when that comes).

SRI LANKA – Chulakshi Ranathunga.  See NEPAL, albeit more polished and a more model-like frame but without the possible lifeline provided by the Popular Vote.

SWEDEN – Olivia Asplund.  When she won her national title, pageant fans and pundits didn’t really give her a second look and considered her only a worthwhile contender, at most.  But it seems she is on track of securing a Top Ten finish as she made the Top Five in both Beach Fashion and Talent.  Her talent is actually figure skating, which may explain why she was not announced in the charity gala among the talent finalists, as the charity gala doesn’t have the props to allow her to skate.

TANZANIA – Happiness Watimanya.  She made the shortlist for Beauty with a Purpose and she’s better looking than her predecessor.  But would that be enough for her to impact the Top 20?  Or will she have to rely on the Popular Vote to make the cut?

THAILAND – Maeya Nonthawan Thongleng.  She was highly hyped to go as far as Top Five, but so far her campaign seems to be a fizzle.  Her consolation is that she’s a Top 15 Talent finalist, and she is hinging on the Popular Vote to help her salvage her campaign.  Can the Thai internet pageant fans rally to her cause?

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – Sarah Jane Waddell.  She is a good-looking, polished contender from this Caribbean nation–albeit atypical as she’s Caucasian.  She made the cut in the Sports challenge, but not much else since then.

TURKEY – Amine Gülşe.  She made the shortlist in both Sports and Top Model, so it’s possible she can make the Top 20.

UGANDA – Leah Kalanguka.  There might be some people who might dig her exotic features, but thus far she has not made any impression on any challenge event.

UNITED STATES – Elizabeth Safrit.  I suppose to reward the fact that she came from a proper pageant (instead of being handpicked by an agency), she has been rewarded with strong placements in the challenge events–she made the shortlist in Sports, and is a Top Five finalist in both Talent and Multimedia.  She has a similar talent with Miss Russia–she’s a ballerina, specializing in en pointe ballet (ballet emphasizing the ability to stay in tip-toes).  Looks bound for the Top Ten, and maybe even Top Five.

URUGUAY – Romina Fernandez Sellanes.  See SLOVENIA.

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – Aniska Tonge.  She tends to look a tad too mature for her age, and if you see her World Designer Dress photo below, she looked matronly.  It’s not surprising why she failed to figure in any of the challenge events.

VENEZUELA – Debora Menicucci.  For most pageant fans and pundits, this lady would be the hands-down winner of the Holly Carpenter Award.  She looks better than when she won her national title, but I’m not surprised why the powers-that-be are simply not that into her–she’s just too polished for their comfort.

ZIMBABWE – Tendai Hunda.  She was among the Top 20 shortlisted for Top Model.  But would that be enough for her to end up with a Top 20 finish?

With all members of the Blue Team all accounted for, here’s my leaderboard for this team:

TOP CONTENDER:  SOUTH AFRICA

SHOO-INS:  AUSTRALIA, RUSSIA, SCOTLAND, SWEDEN, UNITED STATES

LIKELIEST:  NAMIBIA, NORTHERN IRELAND, NORWAY, PARAGUAY, PUERTO RICO, SEYCHELLES, TANZANIA, THAILAND, TRINIDAD & TOBAGO, TURKEY, ZIMBABWE

EXCELLENT:  MYANMAR, PERU, POLAND, SLOVAKIA, VENEZUELA

VERY STRONG:  NEW ZEALAND

STRONG:  NEPAL, SRI LANKA, UGANDA

VERY GOOD:  U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

FAIR:  SLOVENIA, URUGUAY