Ambush shot during the Miss Universe 2018 Technical Rehearsals
Your blogger with Designer Mak Tumang
Your blogger got to watch the Miss Universe 2018 Technical Rehearsals at Impact Arena and tomorrow morning’s Finals will be such an amazing experience, I tell you.
We were also fortunate to see the actual #LavaRed competition evening gown (by Mak Tumang, left photo) that Miss Philippines Catriona Gray will use and (without creating any spoilers), it will blow you away. You have to see it with your own eyes than rely solely on a leaked photo online.
Guest performer Ne-Yo also provided a very apt song number that will raise the temperature levels inside the Impact Arena even more, while Host Steve Harvey kept the audience in stitches with his funny ad-libs.
BTW, the mock Top 5 during the final rehearsals were Albania, Ghana, Russia, Sri Lanka and Barbados.
As is traditional during technical rehearsals, a member of the production was “crowned” Miss Universe instead of one of the mock Final 3 (Sri Lanka, Ghana and Barbados)
From the Americas: Canada, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Venezuela and Mexico
From Asia/Oceania & Africa: Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam and Nigeria
From Europe: Great Britain, Spain, Albania, Russia and Belgium
Wild Cards: Curacao, Australia, USA, Peru and Nepal
From the twenty above, I managed to cut them in half to pave the way for a Top 10 and Top 5, as follows:
Lower half of my Top 10: Thailand, Great Britain, Venezuela, Curacao and Vietnam
My Top 5: Philippines, Canada, South Africa, Puerto Rico and Ecuador
During the Top 5 Q&A, gut-feel tells me that Canada might be overtaken in her 2nd-ranking position that will lead into a Final 3 Casting as follows:
Catriona, Tamaryn and Kiara for Final 3
There are many factors that prompt me to put Miss Philippines Catriona Gray as my #1 pick to win Miss Universe 2018. I have already mentioned in previous interviews on ABS-CBN, CNN Philippines and Bombo Radyo – and relayed to TV5 as well – that she is simply in a league all her own. She has the beauty, eloquence and maturity to tower above the rest. She has the powerful social media following that will equate to an effective platform by which she can further her personal causes as well as sustain the brand of the Miss Universe Organization and IMG. To top it all, she has the authenticity to go beyond being confidently beautiful – a coined phrase that has already overstayed its welcome in our favorite beauty pageant. The judges would be blind not to see all these factors which – I strongly believe – are already inputted in their decision-making even before the Preliminary Interviews and formalized soon after she stood up at the end of her 7-on-1. She is Miss Universe 2018 personified. And it will take a gargantuan effort from either Tamaryn Green or Kiara Liz Ortega to snatch the title away from her.
I will end this blog entry by stating that the Philippines’ 4th Miss Universe victory is well within reach. Not by a mile or in an arm’s length. But close enough to touch, smell and hug the crown.
Super proud of these #Top12 Filipino Designers who dressed up a dozen of the delegates for Miss Universe 2018 during last night’s Preliminary Competition:
Joey Galon for Belize
Rian Fernandez for Cambodia
Michael Cinco for Canada
Mark Bumgarner for Ecuador
Paolo Blanco for Guam
Joel Escober for Japan
Jian Lasala for Kenya
Ivanka Hipolito for Malta
Bea Bianca for Nepal
Sidney Eculla for New Zealand
Benj Leguiab IV for Nicaragua
Mak Tumang for the Philippines
Applause for all of them!
Is it too early to say that Miss Philippines Catriona Gray is my #1 pick to win Miss Universe 2018 on Monday morning in Bangkok?
I think not.
Because with what she has shown all throughout the competition so far, our #kittycat is in a league entirely her own. Yes, you can shout other countries who could block her way to the crown. But it would be unimaginable for the seven (7) judges to deny the fact that she is leading the pack. Her consistency cannot be ignored.
Top 20 is a given, and I trust that she will be summoned to centerstage in the Asia-Pacific/Africa grouping without a doubt. Personality interviews with host Steve Harvey will determine the cut to the Top 10, so I can confidently push it further by stating that she will be part of the group to take part in the Swimsuit and Evening Gown portions.
Top 5 comes next. And I need not go out on a limb in saying that she will be part of the quintet – possibly with the likes of South Africa, Puerto Rico, Spain and host delegate Thailand keeping her company. Spoilers could stem from the appearance of Great Britain or Australia or Canada or even Colombia at this juncture. But this is the formal Q&A. And you know how our Queen Cat loves articulating herself in an ear-friendly manner that is far from being rehearsed or redundant.
The Final 3 will seal the deal once she steps up to the remaining markers onstage.
What follows next could be a new pageant history in the making. A history told three times in the past.
They say that the third time is a charm. Well, I will put one over that line and add that the fourth time is a must. I simply cannot see it happening any other way.
ADARNA: The Blazing Siren
The ‘Ibong Adarna’ is a mythological pulchritudinous bird that could change in several fascinating guises. Its enchanting voice can enable complete healing to anyone who hears it. Some artists liken it to the mythological Phoenix where it recurrently regenerates itself by arising amidst a spectacle of flames and candescence. This makes it a fitting symbol of resilience, rising and rebirth.
Catriona has a resilient, tenacious and unwavering spirit. Her voice is truly captivating literally and figuratively. She uses it to influence, advance her timely causes and both melt and heal hearts. Her will-power and burning passion drive her to make every Filipino proud in whatever she does. She is the blazing Adarna! Watch her rise in glory along with our hopes and dreams for our beloved country: the Philippines!
Inspired from the Philippine Adarna Bird, Phoenix & Mikimoto Crown
Miss Philippines Catriona Gray during the Miss Universe 2018 Preliminaries at the Impact Arena: she doesn’t have the best body but she slayed the swimsuit round with her walk and a slow-motion turn at the start that sets apart her presentation from the rest. She knows how to work it, that’s for sure.
In the Evening Gown part, her Mak Tumang “Adarna” number may have elicited mixed reactions from some. But just like her initially frowned at National Costume, this creation grows on you the more you watch her presentation in high definition. Wow factor may not instantly be triggered but you know that she has it in her to bring the gown to life in the best way possible.
I can bravely say now that she is safely up there among the best five (5) performers in both segments.
I am a bit surprised at some individuals (outside of this blog’s readers) whose less than pleasant comments about Catriona are not the most convincingly stated that they appear “planted” just to tone down the hype on her. I can take constructive views but not impressions that the individual/s cannot substantiate with a decent explanation.
Oh well, let’s just wait and see come Monday morning.
Proud of our #kittycat!