Tomorrow afternoon at 3pm, catch one of the many mentoring sessions that will be conducted by Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Miss Grand International 2016 1st Runner-Up Nicole Cordoves with the Bb. Pilipinas 2020 candidates in the pageant’s FB page.
All throughout this long quarantine period, I have taken special interest in the Miss South Africa 2020 contest and how the process went about in selecting the Top 35 ladies who were later assessed more intensively to come up with less than half of that number as Semifinalists.
Creative Director Werner Wessels could not have explained it any clearer. He is looking for the South African woman who does not envision to start and end her journey with just winning the national crown or the bigger Miss Universe title. The organization will provide the tools and the network to carry her further in life and become successful in future career endeavors. True, Miss South Africa is a job. But it is a one-year job that should open many windows of opportunity. And he clearly sums up everything below.
INTRODUCING MISS SOUTH AFRICA
Miss South Africa is a leadership platform for ambitious young South African women. Through a pageantry process, contestants receive world-renowned coaching in addition to advanced networking, business and life skills.
Shaped into brand ambassadors for our country, they become champions of women’s rights, thought leaders and savvy career women who inspire other young South Africans to fulfil their potential, recognise their self-worth and find their place in the world.
A PLATFORM FOR CHANGE
Miss South Africa is not a once-off event; we are a powerful organisation, a leading voice on female empowerment and a launchpad for much-needed social change.
Below is a clip of the screening process of the Top 35 before they were trimmed down to the 15 Semifinalists. Keep an eye on Werner Wessels who was seated behind the panel (composed of Liesl Laurie, Bokang Montjane, Ade van Heerden and Anele Mdoda) taking down notes. He was not asking the questions but I am pretty sure that he is a keeping a sharp eye on the contestants being video-interviewed.
I have asked several trusted pageant friends, and they are one in saying that Miss South Africa 2020 is poised to achieve a rare back-to-back glory in Miss Universe. They could have even built an even rarer three-peat if not for the victory of Catriona Gray last 2018. Just imagine if Tamaryn Green was the winner in Bangkok, Thailand.
All things considered, the ideals of the Miss South Africa Organization can be the blueprint for other national competitions in selecting their winners, and without sacrificing the entertainment value of a beauty pageant at that. It focuses on the strength of a woman to face her power and embrace the future. No big words. Just bold catchphrases that can motivate any ambitious young woman.
I honestly don’t want to make an entry about this topic anymore, but it is going crazy based on the post above from the FB page of Catriona Gray.
I believe that her page admins cannot take the blame since the post looks to be worded, approved and owned by her.
And the comments are really bashing her endlessly. Pageant media would normally make an effort to “shield” her. But in this case, she may have just lost a good number of them. Everyone is already taking in the new normal of doing gatherings or activities. Going back to the old normal in the middle of a pandemic and quarantine is out of the question.
Below are just some of the thousands of comments:
Here is the latest video from Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray that continues on her series that started before she went to Miss Universe, during her reign and after.
Exactly a year ago today, the Bb. Pilipinas 2019 Grand Coronation Night climaxed with the crowning of Gazini Christiana Jordi Ganados as Miss Universe Philippines 2019 by then reigning Miss Universe Catriona Gray.
She went on to represent the country in Atlanta for Miss Universe 2019 and finished in the Top 20.
Who will follow her footsteps and become Miss Universe Philippines 2020? And will she be actually crowning her successor later this year?
Photo credits: Bb. Pilipinas and FOX via Getty Images
Bb. Pilipinas is still keeping it as a surprise. But Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Miss Grand International 2016 1st Runner-Up Nicole Cordoves will be part of it.
Sharing with you the feature on CNN Philippines with Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and her life at home during quarantine.
Is it all about the taking the sheer fun and excitement out of watching a live production and cheering for the ladies to the top of your lungs?
Is it all about coming up with more creative methods in executing the different parts of the competition, however less engaging they may come out to be?
Is it all about doing the entire pageant itself a la quarantine with everything captured online from various parts of the Philippines and cradling the approach as #togetherapart for a more heartfelt spin?
Is it all about an endless streaming of videos with the resolution inconsistent from one candidate to the next?
Is it all about judging the preliminaries via Zoom cloud meetings and becoming a constantly worried (read: irritated) viewer once the connection lags and jumps frequently like tadpoles in the swamp?
Is it all about the candidates wearing protective masks if an actual pageant with a minimized number of spectators will be held? And in the process, remove them temporarily while facing the judges?
Is it all about physical distancing where the blocking maximizes the space of the stage such that all candidates (and eventual finalists) will be at least six feet apart from each other from the opening number all the way to the announcement of winners?
Is it all about pushing the envelope as far as social media presence is concerned and requiring the candidates to go beyond encouraging supporters to vote for them as Miss Popularity and trek the extra mile to involve fans and supporters in spreading and being part of their authentic advocacy/ies?
Honestly, I believe it could be bits and pieces of all of the above – plus more – if fresher strategies can be implemented to insure the safety of everyone, pageant media included. Sure, paranoia will be in play if you want to think of it that way. But if the end goal is to come up with the most ground-breaking take on how to conduct national or international beauty pageants according to standards of the “New Normal”, then enter all think tanks so they can share innovations brewing inside their heads.
Some changes might look weird initially. But just like challenging a foreigner to eat “balut” or “dinuguan” for the first time, the “acquired taste” part is inevitable. Resistance is expected. As in any new order of things, you get used to it after awhile.
And it’s going to take a lot of hard work and patience from both the organization and candidates. Not much comfort zones here. At. all.
What I really want is for pageants to evolve beyond physical beauty so we can all focus on the more authentic qualities that we do not traditionally put significant weight on. Miss Universe Philippines 2020 has already started going to that direction. And will hopefully do so every step of the way. Swimsuits and gowns can stay – tweaked with tasteful innovations – but put them in the company of inner character, long-term ambition and relevance. If we start looking at potential winners as Queens who can do so much more than fulfill a year’s reign or grab the country’s fifth Miss Universe or second Miss World wins, then maybe, the essence of it all will not get lost in transition.
As far as binding contracts go, any winner can look at the agreements as probationary periods of employment. If she passes with flying colors, then the title becomes permanently etched to her name no matter when and where future successes may be. It is undeniably a platform which can be wisely utilized even during afterglow. They just need to learn from the masters and use the achievement long after shelf life expires.
Pageantry is not going to be a priority anytime within the year or next. But if it still finds its way to be successfully mounted in front of our eyes without compromising more than half of the entertainment value it promises to viewers and/or spectators, then I doff my hat to the brave ones who will cross the line between the old and the new.
Final photoshoots are always filled with bittersweet moments. You give your best in front of the camera, and yet deep inside, the feeling of sadness is inescapable. After all, the reign will soon be over, along with the celebrity life in Manhattan.
At any rate, here are video clips of four of the former titleholders so you can see how they managed to get through it with fun, poise and professionalism.
There’s nothing new anymore about established beauty queens crossing over to other national beauty pageants and winning a second title to their names. The likes of Catriona Gray, Carlene Aguilar, Katarina Rodriguez, Kirby Ann Basken (from Mutya ng Pilipinas Asia Pacific 2006 to Miss Universe Norway 2007) and Leren Mae Bautista fall under that category – even the subject of our blog entry for today.
But what really makes Christi Lynn McGarry more unique compared to the rest? I can name two (2):1) She was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas Asia Pacific 2010 but was sent instead to Miss Intercontinental 2010 in the Dominican Republic after the original Mutya ng Pilipinas Intercontinental 2010 Carla Lizardo could not fulfill the overseas mission. She placed in the Top 15 and was named Continental Queen of Asia Oceania. In the same year, she was appointed to represent the Philippines in Top Model of the World where she also finished in the Top 15.
2) When Christi suited up for Bb. Pilipinas 2015, she wanted so much to win any of the titles at stake except for Bb. Pilipinas Intercontinental for obvious reasons. But as fate would have it, she earned the right to represent us in Miss Intercontinental for a second time. The only difference is that she performed better by grabbing 1st Runner-Up honors to Valentina Rasulova of Russia and claiming the Continental Queen of Asia Oceania sash once more.Christi’s pageant career is colorful to say the least. Maybe the hues are not as bright as, say competing in either Miss Universe or Miss International. But all things being equal, her share of achievements cannot be sneered upon. Here is someone who vied twice for the same international pageant crown, made a creditable mark at first and returned as a more polished and prepared fighter five years later. All #ForThePhilippines.