No long texts here. I’m just sharing the interview conducted by Venus Raj on two Miss Universe winners – Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach and Iris Mittenaere.
Reserve your comments after watching the whole clip. 🙂
courtesy of voice of reason
Reserve your comments after watching the whole clip. 🙂
courtesy of voice of reason
Thanks to my coverage partner Joy Arguil who has learned to adjust to my relative quirks, and to our new team member Joseph Gerard V. Jose who is being gradually ushered in to the world of pageantry in both the national and international stages.
To Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maria Mika Maxine Medina who added a Top 6 finish in the competition to her list of achievements, always keep your head held high because you represented the country so splendidly well. Do not let the bashers get into you because they will never ever experience the wonders of being part of the most beautiful event in the Universe.
To Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, best of luck in your journey as a newly signed-up talent of WME/IMG.
And to Iris Mittenaere, may you have a most magical reign that will keep the Miss Universe brand strong and worth looking forward to in decades to come.
On behalf of Joy and Joseph, this is your tireless and peripatetic blogger now signing off from the 65th Miss Universe Pageant.
Next stop: Bb. Pilipinas 2017!
But before I do that, let me just share all my afterthoughts on the 65th Miss Universe won by Iris Mittenaere (pronounced as “ee-ris mi-ten-nay-re”) of France.
During the Press Conference, Iris finally sold me on her being the new titleholder because she plans to make the brand of Miss Universe strong in France and the whole European region. And I believe that is the direction where IMG/WME wants to plant more productive seeds of growth after strong build-ups in Latin America and Asia.
Am I extremely bothered that my predictions had more misses than hits?
Not at all. Nobody among my respected pageant colleagues had picked Miss France as their top winner, let alone place Miss Haiti on such a high placement in their final predictions. We were all divided in the final analysis because this is such a diverse and relatively difficult roster to mutually agree upon on the actual winners.
I am relieved that Miss Colombia actually placed 2nd Runner-Up and Miss Thailand made Top 6.
I can move on from that.
Am I disappointed with the performance of Top 6 placer Miss Philippines Maxine Medina?
For the purpose of my Final Predictions, yes. But in totality of her performance, no. She did the best she could under the daunting circumstances. When a provided interpreter interjected during the Q&A to translate her question and she still answered in English, I know that she will give the same response in Filipino.
I was actually seated very close to the entire Medina clan and her boyfriend Marx inside the MOA Arena. While they appeared affected when Miss Philippines was no longer called to the Final 3, it was clear that they accepted her fate without the drama. No need for tears as Maxine did the best that she could and to be part of the Top 6 is already an achievement that eighty-three (83) other delegates can only dream of reaching.
The Bb. Pilipinas 2017 screening which will start happening around February 15-onwards. Time to look for the potential successors of our reigning national titleholders. And that should really keep me busy in the love month.
I’m going back to sleep now. God knows how much my body needs the complete rest.
Thank you to everyone who kept normannorman.com company during the 65th Miss Universe from Day 1.
P.S. Do watch my guesting on CNN Philippines’ “The Source” with host Pinky Webb tomorrow morning at 9am. 🙂
Will this number bring her lots of luck in the Year of the Rooster?
And moving on…
These ladies made it to the mock Top 13 of the 65th Miss Universe Rehearsal Show earlier:
Barbados 🇧🇧 (Mock Top 3)
Great Britain 🇬🇧
U.S. Virgin Islands (Mock Top 3)
Curaçao 🇨🇼 (Mock Top 3)
The question is: how close (or far) will these thirteen hopefuls be to the actual announcement in tomorrow’s finals?
Below is the opening part of the swimsuit competition.
So who will succeed Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach and be crowned the 65th? I have trimmed down the ladies to just six (6) contenders who have the biggest potentials of making it on top – Miss Philippines Maxine Medina, Miss Venezuela Mariam Habach, Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar, Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane, Miss Brazil Raissa Santana and Miss Australia Caris Tiivel.
Will my Top 6 prevail, or will they cave in to the other six (6) delegates below?In the lower half of my Top 12 are three ladies who wear sashes of countries that have never won Miss Universe yet. They are Marina Jacoby of Nicaragua (who has grown by leaps and bounds in front of my eyes), Kezia Warouw of Indonesia (who has always been caught in the crossfire of online criticisms due to her countrymen’s boundless support for a victorious bid) and Hawa Kamara of Sierra Leone (her country’s very first entry to Miss Universe and a very worthwhile representative at that). I am not saying in finality that none of the three will make it farther up in the finals. But in the actual unraveling of events – and if they do indeed enter the anointed dozen – these three ladies will give it their ultimate best to maintain their positioning and hopefully improve in the judges’ scores to steal the limelight from one of the Top 6 players. The other three in the lower half of my Top 12 are expected standouts who also delivered during the Preliminary Competition. Miss Spain Noelia Freire (the classy Señorita who – stand alone – is a true potential winner in the making), Miss Mexico Kristal Silva (who started to really convince me of her chances only after the Preliminaries) and Miss Dominican Republic Sal Garcia (the statuesque and warm-hearted girl from the Carribean whose overall quality screams “winner” every single time she is around). I have no problems with any one of the three slipping into the upper half if their individual performances in the first cut will merit a higher placement.
And just to complete a Top 15, allow me to include Johanna Acs of Germany and Iris Mittenaere of France. I reckon that there might be a need for at least one more European lass in the first cut. And either of the German or French ladies should fit in nicely if a a second slot has to be allocated to the region. Both of them stood their ground behind the first 12 + thirteenth mentioned above, and not by a far margin.
And so, my task is complete. I’m all for a back-to-back over a back-to-Venezuela climax on Monday. I will be rooting for Miss Philippines Maxine Medina inside the MOA Arena till my throat hurts from endless screaming and cheering. She is my 65th Miss Universe. And she will take our breath away, with or without an interpreter.
But fewer individuals know that – during the National Costume segment at the Preliminary Competition – a backstage drama unfolded when an accident happened to Miss Mauritius. The caped train of her attire was accidentally stepped on and she fell straight to the floor – face and head first. Suddenly, blood was oozing from out of her lips/face and dripping down her neck to the upper part of her costume. Everybody, including other candidates who were already wearing their heavy attires, rushed to her side and helped her get up. She was having difficulty regaining her bearings. That was when the backstage officials asked her not to step out onstage anymore as she might just fall on her knees while navigating the full vertical stretch of the wall to the middle.
But Kushboo cried and pleaded that she cannot possibly be stopped from showcasing her National Costume, especially that the effort that went into finishing the same was meticulously painstaking. She would not let anything stop her from taking her due spotlight.
And so, she was allowed to show herself, just enough to acknowledge the applause of the audience but not to do the walk to centerstage anymore. But when the voice-over announced that her National Costume was made by a Filipino, the cheers from everyone inside the Arena increased.
Instead of just standing at the rear middle part of the stage, Kushboo relied on pure adrenaline rush to get herself to do the long walk regardless of the physical pain she was feeling all over. Her face could not express a full-on smile, but deep inside, she was ecstatic that she was able to cross over.
Now that is what you call a beautiful and brave woman with a heart. And she deserves this blog post because I want you all to know the courage she went through that night during the Preliminaries. 🙂
And when Pia was announced as the rightful winner, George could only heave a sigh of relief because the life cycles proved him right once more.
In the batch this year, three of the favored (or relatively favored) ladies are in their first life cycles but in varying degrees: Venezuela, Thailand and Argentina. We all know that Mariam Habach celebrated her birthday last Thursday and she really upped her performance to the max during the Preliminaries. She was simply leading the charge whenever she stepped out onstage. Chalita Suansane, on the other hand, did her best to put in solid turns. And she managed, but not to the degree that the Venezuelan turned on the heat really high. Meanwhile, Estefania Bernal gave her personal best and might still end up teetering on whether she will make the cut or not.
Among these three ladies, Venezuela has the upper hand. But wait. Miss Philippines Maxine Medina is in her 6th cycle which is the realm of beauty. Our bet will be at her most beautiful up to Monday’s finals and her charm won’t be ignored by the judges.
So who really has the best chance of winning Miss Universe? I guess – aside from life cycles – she is the candidate who the judges will like the most, the one who ticks all the boxes on all the short- and mid-term priorities the Miss Universe Organization and IMG/WME or that one lucky Miss who will have all her stars aligned on Monday with her arms open wide to catch all the unexpected blessings that could come her way. 😉
Sadly, the bashers just never stop. Instead of appreciating her performance, the online comments have focused on condescending statements about the headdress of her National Costume and the mixed replies to her emerald green evening gown.
But at the end of the day, nobody can’t deny that our bet delivered. Even the bashers could not fault the way she walked and projected onstage. Such is the case when the fault-finders among us find other means to throw potshots at Maxine.
And by the way, her Preliminary Interview went very well according to a reliable source. The conversation with the panel was so light and breezy that Maxine definitely charmed her way through their hearts. 🙂
Watch the Preliminaries all over again.