Karla Rabanal Bautista: she should have been 'voted' Miss World 2004
Okay, before anyone replies in opposition that Ruffa Gutierrez (1993), Gwen Ruais (2011) or even Mafae Yunon (2003) should have been the Philippines’ 2nd Miss World titleholder, do keep in mind that they were not the eventual choices of the judges to win. Jamaica’s Lisa Hanna, Venezuela’s Ivian Sarcos and Ireland’s Rosanna Davidson – respectively – were favored over our entries.
Back in 1973, Miss World 1st Runner-Up Evangeline Pascual was offered the crown after Marjorie Wallace of the USA abdicated the throne. That would have been our first taste of victory, however automatic succession helped in the process. But our bet declined. Watch her performance during the finals where she wowed the judges.
courtesy of MrSuperBlackDragon
And then back in 2004, it was the only year in Miss World history where the winner was determined by way of online votes and SMS. In short, the people had control of who will land on top. I have nothing against Maju Mantilla of Peru (who won), but I still could not fathom how the Philippines was outvoted in the final tally. In fact, it was only Claudia Julissa Cruz Rodriguez of Dominican Republic (1st Princess) who I considered our toughest opponent, voting-wise. And among all the ladies in the Top 5, the Philippines is the only country known to be a worldwide leader in churning out an endless brigade of voters for their beauty rep. Reminisce Karla’s Top 5 interview below.
courtesy of missmundo2006
So in my books, Maria Karla Rabanal Bautista could technically have been our “2nd Miss World” winner. Global netizens may have declared her as the least facially-attractive finalist that year. But rules are rules. The Filipinos did their part and voted like crazy until the end, only to be slapped with a placement even lower than 2nd Princess.
And what was practiced (with doubtful results) during Miss World 2004 never happened in the succeeding years anymore. Lessons learned for Julia Morley, perhaps.