Before I go to the nitty-gritty of analyzing the scores for each phase of the competition, let us first give an overview how Miss World judges go about scoring the contestants throughout its history. One characteristic that could be observed is that while Miss Universe uses a decimal point system to score its contestants (e.g., 9.543, etc.), this pageant prefers keeping the scores in whole numbers. Miss World over the years also seem to like to have a baseline score to start when they rate their contestants–for instance in the 1980s, each judge gives all contestants one point for beauty and figure, and one point for intelligence and personality. They then would give an extra point for each category if they feel that contestant has distinction in that category (their Top 10 or Top 15 choice in that category). Each judge would give a contestant a maximum total of four points each. To show how it works, the swimsuit video at the 1984 Miss World is embedded below:
As the years wore on, the categories now went like this: a) beauty, grace and charm; b) intelligence, poise and personality; and c) figure and deportment. For more details, you can view these archived webpages from the now defunct Geocities website for Beauty School, featuring Pageantopolis’s webmaster Donald West’s “lecture” explaining it all:
PRELIMINARY JUDGING: I have this gnawing feeling that the current system has already been in place since at least 2006 (and might have explained the tie between Misses India and Australia for the Asia & Oceania continent that year). The judges evaluate the contestants in the three categories I mentioned previously, but the fresh twist is that instead of simply selecting their Top 10 in each category, they now score them from 6 to 10 (6 acts as their minimum threshold score). The highest scorers would of course then advance to the semifinals. I figured this out after Miss Ireland, Holly Carpenter, disclosed in her post-Miss World interview that the maximum score a contestant could achieve in the preliminary judging is 210. I logically figured out that there were seven judges performing this task this year, so if 10 is the perfect score per category and there are three categories then the maximum points per judge is 30. And judging from the scores of the two actual cellar-dwellers, you can compute that they got an average of 6 points from each judge per category (18 points per judge total).
Based from the preliminary scores, there are some interesting insights to be had:
* Argentina (Antonella Kruger) was widely believed by most pageant fans and pundits (including myself) to possess the qualities that would score high at Miss World. So it was a jaw-dropping shocker that she only ended up 105th after this round, that she had to salvage her standing with Beach Beauty, Top Model and Beauty with a Purpose.
* Another major favorite amongst pageant fans and pundits, Georgia (Janet Kerdikoshvili), was probably deemed a major dud in interview that it affected the rest of her scores and was also in the bottom of the pack. Aggravating matters was that she didn’t figure in any of the fast-track events (and she didn’t have a Beauty with a Purpose project at all), so she fell from 79th place in pre-judging to 99th place overall in the end. Other surprising duds include Bonaire (Benazir Charles) and Curacao (Monifa Jansen).
* Much has already been said about Ireland (Holly Carpenter) not figuring in the fast-tracks. I suppose her outspoken attitude (as reflected in her post-Miss World interview) may have made the judges score her just a notch below the Top 30 (she was 31st), and with the lack of fast-track points she would eventually fall to a tie for 42nd overall.
* Belgium (Justine de Jonckheere) surprisingly fared way better than expected with a 40th place showing, but then again, witnessing her supremely charming storytelling, the judges were hooked.
Topping the preliminary judging were three Hispanic ladies: Venezuela (Ivian Sarcos) with 191 points (19 short of the perfect score) was number one as with her undeniable gorgeousness she also has a tale of being orphaned at 8 and being raised by nuns (with an aspiration to becoming one herself at the time); Puerto Rico (Amanda Villanova) was very close behind with 190 points with her overall package of charm and gab; and Spain (Carla Garcia) rounded out the Top Three with 184 points, winning the judges over with her intelligence (she’s studying to become a doctor) and sincere commitment to helping others.
Korea’s (Doe Kyung-Min) emotional interview touched the judges hearts so much that she ranked 4th, nipping closely at Spain’s heels with 183 points. As co-host of events plus a bright personality, Scotland (Jennifer Reoch) ranked 5th. St. Barthelemy (Johanna Sansano) and Russia (Natalia Gantimurova) likewise made a great initial impression and placed 6th and 7th respectively. Eventual finalists South Africa (Bokang Montjane) and Philippines (Gwendoline Ruais) ranked 8th and 9th, and there was a tie for 10th place between Italy (Tania Bambaci) and Trinidad & Tobago (Lee-Ann Forbes). To the surprise of several pageant fans and pundits, Botswana (Karabo Sampson) ranked 12th in this round. A major favorite amongst pageant fans and pundits, Sweden (Nicoline Artursson) made the right-enough impression at 13th place (though most observers expected her to rank higher). In 14th place was a sleeper favorite, US Virgin Islands (Esonica Veira). There was a four-way tie for 15th place featuring Australia (Amber Greasley), Chile (Gabriela Pulgar), England (Alize Lily Mounter), and Ukraine (Yaroslava Kuriacha).
COMING UP: THE SPORTS, BEACH BEAUTY, and TOP MODEL FAST-TRACKS