I will probably be semi-vague about my sentiments as I’m planning to prepare a full-fledged review on this pageant’s finals (probably will be posted in a week or two). I was at the venue of the live finals (after a long ride going there since I rarely venture into the Alabang area and live very far from there) and I think the intention of holding this pageant again outdoors in front of an elegant country club facade was to recapture the magic of the 2006 finals, when it was held in front of the National Museum. There was a swimming pool right in front of the facade, where they installed a curving catwalk, plus stairs and a platform. It does make for an interesting effect, to say the least.
The overall program was fast-paced in general, especially since it was broadcast live on Star World. It was almost glitch-free, and there was only a brief overrun of about 5-10 minutes for the scheduled two-hour program (it was mostly brief and barely noticeable extended lulls that caused it, so subsequent rebroadcasts in this cable channel would probably be able to shorten the program to their typical 1 hour and 40 minutes with commercials).
Admittedly I was very off in my “fearful” forecast, only getting seven of the actual Top 16, but with the exception of one, the rest were in my “Bubbling Under” list anyway, so it’s not bad in my reckoning. There is one thing that I was glad I was wrong about in my “fearful” forecast–the gorgeous Miss Brazil made the final cut (and how!) despite not medaling. Turns out the medal scores do not carry as much weight as I (and most pageant fans and pundits) have presumed. Conversely, I was shocked at the exclusion of some erstwhile medal leaders like Turkey and Thailand (the latter could be easily explained away after I took a closer look after the pageant, but I’m still a bit baffled by the former even if I learned from a member of the prejudging panel that she “lacked spark” during that round). Many of the ones I missed are refreshing additions so I don’t have serious objections, with the exception of one or two, whom I would rather replace with the aforementioned two medal leaders. But I wished there was a black girl in that roster (I was of course hoping for Kenya, but it’s again a shut-out for her…).
As the night wore on, I felt that though despite some merits, it seems to be mostly set up for one particular delegate to advance, and maybe win it all. As the final results were announced, it was mostly a mixed, bittersweet emotion I felt. But I’m unequivocally glad about one thing: they selected an absolutely gorgeous lady as the winner.
There seems to be a common link between 2009, 2011, and this year, if you see the triptych I created below. I hoped for a fresh mix, but that wasn’t realized this year. Nevertheless, it seems based on the spontaneous hugs amongst all the delegates behind the scenes prior to the announcement of results, the delegates themselves were satisfied with the outcome. I still respect the final decision and am relieved that I do not need to subtitle my upcoming review as “Homeland Glories (Part 5)”. All hail Tereza Fajksova, Miss Earth 2012!
Images courtesy of Jory Rivera and Bruce Casanova of OPMB Worldwide unless otherwise indicated.