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.
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.
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).
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!