Awaiting the announcement of the Top 13.

First, I’ve noticed that the hosts refer to the title as “Miss World 2014 Philippines” instead of what most of us would call it (“Miss World Philippines 2014”.  I think it’s because of a branding directive from the Miss World Organization, as it will refer to all contestants as “Miss World (year) (country)”.  So despite the awkward construction, I will most like refer my articles under that directive instead of normal convention.

I witnessed the pageant live at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.  Here are some notes that TV viewers did not witness at home:

* Thirty minutes prior to the pageant proper, two GMA contract stars performed:  Julian Trono did a hip-hop dance medley to John Legend’s “All of Me”, Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle”, and Psy’s “Gentleman”, while Jared Gonzales sang two songs–David Cook’s version of Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” and, again, John Legend’s “All of Me”.  [Mini-rant:  yes, John Legend’s “All of Me” is a lovely song that deserves its huge success, but here in our shores it’s so “overplayed” and “over-covered” that I’m getting sick of it.]  Justin Trono’s dancing is indeed strong and tight, while Jared Gonzales is basically an adequate singer.

* The pageant began at 8:00 PM and lasted around four hours and 15 minutes.  As reported by most other blogs, this is due to the lengthy technical gaps in between the pageant segments.  Now, it could be justifiable if we are referring to wardrobe changes like transitions from the opening number and the swimsuit competition, then the swimsuit competition to the evening gown round.  But a long 10-15 minute break within the split swimsuit and evening gown competitions (which were each split into two installments)?  And there was also a time when it seem the results were already ready to be announced, but we still had to endure another 10-minute wait.  What’s up with that?  It doesn’t reflect well on whoever was producing this pageant and the broadcasting network.  Well, it is a consolation that on TV it was edited to a more tolerable three-hour-or-less program.

* To kill time, at least hosts Tim Yap and Mikael Daez engage and tried to cheer the audience up.  Mikael also endured a gentle ribbing over the nature of his relationship with the reigning Miss World, Megan Young.  I wish there is something more entertaining like that at Bb. Pilipinas, where they piped in Pentatonix’s version of Lorde’s “Royals” and we see the contestants and co-hosts miming to the song, or someone belt out a karaoke tune a la Ann Curtis…  Tim and Mikael tried their best, but it was still tedious waiting for the next segment to start.

* Best cheering section went to a group of fans for Candidate No. 19, Valerie Weigmann, with their synchronized, choreographed chant with their placards.  It is a treat as is, but I can fantasize it would even be better if they had time to color their placards–it would’ve been a visual delight.

* It’s amusing during one break Tim Yap acknowledged the wonderful job performed by Cory Quirino, and some of the crowd chanted “Cory! Cory! Cory!” in a manner identical to the chants we hear for the late president Cory Aquino.

I got 10 out of 13 semifinalists correct, with one in my “Bubbling Under” list.  The two I didn’t get weren’t headscratchers at all, and do have justifiable merits in belonging to the hallowed group.  Also, all of the big favorites made it, so there is no “Ruth Ocumarez” awardee for this pageant this time.

I was expecting a much closer competition among the trio of ladies with Germanic surnames, but as the evening wore on, it is clear that one lady was indeed head and shoulders above all the rest.  Sure there are situations that were set up perfectly in her favor, but she also did the work and delivered the goods, that her decisive victory is something almost everyone welcomed with glee.  I will discuss about this more as I post my full-fledged review later this week.  For now, all I can say is a big congratulations to our new Miss World 2014 Philippines, Valerie Weigmann, and job well done.  Now, on to London for a much hoped-for back-to-back victory for our nation.