For those who have been following this blog recently, you can now easily predict the title of my full-fledged Miss Universe review.  It’s an installment that I wish I wouldn’t have to write, but well… what can we do about the results?

I will be discussing the production aspects in my full-fledged review, along with more about my opinions on the actual semifinalists.  I have to note that unlike in the last two editions, the recipients of the Trump Tickets are just too glaringly obvious–and three of them even went as far as the Top 10 (and one of them, well… just wait for my full-fledged review).  Admittedly, I only got 7 out of 16 of my “fearful” forecast, but I can console myself that if you include the ladies in my “Bubbling Under” list, I got 13 (add the “Striking Distance” and well, it reached 14).  It’s not my best batting average, I have to admit, and hopefully I can do better next year.

Based on her impeccable Presentation Show performance, the Ruth Ocumarez Award belongs to Puerto Rico’s Bodine Koehler.  Some speculate that she faltered in the judges’ interview, or that there were some rumored “behavioral” issues that may have prevented her from making the final cut.  I want to add that a close runner-up for this award is Paraguay’s Egni Eckert.

Ruth Ocumarez Award:  Puerto Rico's Bodine Koehler
Ruth Ocumarez Award: Puerto Rico’s Bodine Koehler (images courtesy of Jory Rivera for OPMB Worldwide)
Ruth Ocumarez Award Runner-Up:  Paraguay's Egni Eckert (images courtesy of Jory Rivera for OPMB Worldwide)
Ruth Ocumarez Award Runner-Up: Paraguay’s Egni Eckert (images courtesy of Jory Rivera for OPMB Worldwide)

Unlike in the past two editions, the Trump Ticket system has reverted back to blatant politicking and headscratching quality instead of its original intention of providing a spotlight on sleeper hits who deserve better appreciation.  There are so many worthwhile Trump Ticket options than at least a couple of those who made the actual cut.

It is also emerging that like in last year’s edition, there is a conspiracy abounding–though this time the agenda is more of a “nobler”, “uplifting” intention.  I’ll discuss more about that in my full-fledged review.

I’d like to pay tribute to a few non-finalists who garnered significant screentime in the telecast without winning a special award, namely:

1) Three ladies were on hand to accompany the reigning Miss Universe in-between the main segments to shill for the sponsors:  Germany’s Alicia Endemann, Netherlands’ Nathalie Den Dekker and Norway’s Sara Nicole Andersen.  The latter two were particularly prominent with close-ups and generally did a great job–they ought to have been rewarded with Trump Tickets in lieu of the couple of actual recipients; is such exposure reward enough in their reckoning?

Shilling for the sponsors:  Germany's Alicia Endemann, Netherlands' Nathalie Den Dekker, and Norway's Sara Nicole Andersen
Shilling for the sponsors: Germany’s Alicia Endemann, Netherlands’ Nathalie Den Dekker, and Norway’s Sara Nicole Andersen (Images courtesy of Jory RIvera for OPMB Worldwide)

2)  In the evening gown portion of the show, one non-finalist tripped and almost fell as she stepped down from the catwalk platform in front:  Georgia’s Tamar Shedania.  Would this have happened if she made the final cut, as what most pageant fans and pundits (including myself) had expected?

Unfortunate tripping on TV: Georgia’s Tamar Shedania (image courtesy of Jory Rivera for OPMB Worldwide). NOTE: Photo was taken from Presentation Show, not finals telecast. Her styling was different in the finals.

I observed that the Final Five featured ladies who channeled the three most recent past successful Filipinas in this pageant–Miriam Quiambao, Venus Raj, and Shamcey Supsup.  Who is which, you will find out in my full-fledged review.  I will also say that we have witnessed one of the best and most eloquent answers in pageant history this year, and it’s such a shame that the brilliant answer did not generate the logical outcome.

Which of these girls channeled Miriam, Venus, and Shamcey? The Miss Universe Final FIve, from L-R: Brazil’s Gabriela Markus, USA’s Olivia Culpo, Australia’s Renae Ayris, Philippines’ Janine Tugonon, and Venezuela’s Irene Esser

I know I am deliberately vague in this article, because all will be told when I post my full review of this pageant.  Let’s just say that like Miss Earth this year, my sentiments are bittersweet.




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