I am sharing with you last night’s episode of the Korona Group with their special guest Miss World 2016 Stephanie del Valle.
More than two years ago today – the 22nd of November 2016 to be exact – Catriona Gray, who was then the reigning Miss World Philippines, was given her official sendoff to Miss World 2016 at the C3 Events Place Greenhills. I was able to corner her to sing a few lines in Tagalog (or Filipino if you will). Watch the first video above.
Now if you click the second video below, she gave her greetings to the readers of normannorman.com.
Just imagine, had Catriona won Miss World 2016, then the right photos of her as Miss Universe 2018 (courtesy of The Nation Bangkok and PentyDynamics) would not happen and there just might be no BIG reason for the Philippines’ major celebration in pageantry.
Yesterday’s return of Miss World Organization (MWO) President Julia Morley to the country shows how important an ally the Philippines and Miss World Philippines Organization is to her group. Along with Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhilar and Miss World 2016 Stephanie del Valle, they met with members of the media in a Press Conference held at Impressions Restaurant of Maxims Hotel in RW Manila earlier. The two beautiful titleholders will serve as judges during the Miss World Philippines 2018 Finals this coming Sunday, with their “boss” overseeing the progress of her BWAP projects with the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center and the Milk Bank Program started by Laura Lehmann plus her other charity causes here.
The three gamely (and extensively) answered all the questions fielded in by the attending invitees. They will be staying for a few more days before going back to London.
Meanwhile, Manushi and Stephanie will conduct personal interviews with the MWP candidates to see who among them deserve to be considered as the country’s representative to Miss World 2018 in Sanya, China.
There are malicious stories spreading in the pageant world that Jonas Gaffud of Aces & Queens allegedly “walked out” of the Theater at MGM National Harbor after Miss Puerto Rico Stephanie Del Valle was announced as the winner of Miss World 2016. It’s so easy to make stories and bold interpretations of something that can never hold water when faced with real facts.
Truth be told, Jonas Gaffud himself confirmed that he was inside the theater the entire time after the winner was crowned. He was in the company of another Aces & Queens pillar, Arnold Mercado. He even went up the stage to have pictures taken with the winners and Julia Morley (with whom he had a small talk with).
Afterwards, a security guy approached him because Megan Young needed her mobile phone. And since he volunteered to hold on to her unit for safety while the Finals was ongoing, he then stepped out and went backstage to hand over Miss World 2013 the phone.
And here is where talks of an alleged “walkout” started. Totally untrue. There is really nothing into this except to spread lies of hate and lack of sportsmanship – something that Jonas will not even entertain thoughts of doing.
So whoever started the whole thing, please check your facts first. Better yet, you could have followed Jonas when he went backstage to give Megan her phone. You would have gotten a clearer flow of events instead of putting one-and-one together and weaving an entirely different version out of it.
-End of story-
There is a new Miss World and she is Stephanie del Valle of Puerto Rico. Our very own Catriona Gray made it till the Top 5. She was stopped on her tracks at that point and the entire Philippines is asking why after her two splendid Q&A turns in the Top 10 (with host Megan Young) and the Top 5 (with Jason Cook and where she answered what looked like a very appropriate question – almost prophetic if things worked in our favor – from Miss World 2015 Mireia Lalaguna).
What happened during the judges’ deliberations? With the answers given by the Top 5, it was crystal-clear that Miss Philippines delivered a reply that would have easily made her soar to the crown. Or were their reactions on the reverse that giving out a solid presentation of her views on why she should be the next Miss World made them feel as if she is too good to be true? Were the placements of two ladies from the Carribean in the Top 3 courtesy of an influential judge in the panel? And let us not go to the 3rd place finish of Miss Indonesia because her BWAP (Beauty With A Purpose) win could have justified that ranking.
In the eyes of the Filipinos, Catriona is a clear winner. If the decision-makers preferred someone else ahead of her (regardless of the Q&As), then it’s a matter out of our hands. The verdict has been announced, and Puerto Rico just claimed its 2nd Miss World victory.
More than Catriona, my heart goes out to the legion of solid fans and supporters who worked hard to back her up every step of the way. I salute all of you. The feeling of sadness and disappointment may take awhile to be erased, but it will heal soon enough. It’s Christmas Week after all. 🙂
PS. A concerned US-based reader sent me this observation. Take it with a grain of salt, or charge everything to experience if you will.
“Hi Norman, you don’t know me but for some reason I was able to read your blog because of my friends link. Anyhow I was there watching the event and I was at the back of the judges basically in the center of the stage . Julia was on my left and the Indonesian was on my right. When they announced the top 20 I can already see who is in the top ten because it was already listed and it was already typewritten or printed. Now it was weird Norman that they already have the list of top five the worst thing that I’ve observed all of the sheets was collected before the final question was asked. They knew already who is the winner by that time. Morley was very caring to that Indonesian judge because she instructed the assistant to place her on the very nice area which is the center of the stage.”
Stephanie del Valle of Puerto Rico is the 66th Miss World. She now succeeds Spain’s Mireia Lalaguna. Yaritza Reyes of the Dominican Republic was named 1st Runner-Up, with Natasha Manuela of Indonesia (who also won Beauty with a Purpose) getting 2nd Runner-Up.
Catriona Gray of the Philippines and Evelyn Njiambi of Kenya made up the remaining ladies in the Top 5.
The other candidates who placed in the Top 10 are Belgium, Brazil, China PR, USA, Korea and Mongolia (Fan Vote).
Congratulations to all the winners!
PS. I need to catch up on sleep now before I blog about my thoughts on the results
One hundred seventeen (117) candidates want to get hold of the Miss World 2016 crown. But out of this big group, I have never went out of my way to really express a whole-hearted belief in the capacity of Miss World Philippines Catriona Gray to take it all the way. I just don’t see any other delegate coming close to being a very deserving winner.
Catriona worked hard for everything that was demanded of each delegate all throughout the competition. She was honest at the beginning that the Sports Challenge was her achilles heel but promised to give her very best in all other areas of fast-track judging. And true enough, she topped Multimedia and is now seeded into the Top 20. She also performed so well in Talent and is, in fact, just behind Miss Mongolia in the ranking here. The Top Model results surprised everyone but we all know that she was in her best elements on the runway as this is where she got professionally known for. And even if she was not counted in the Top 3, there’s just no way that she would significantly lag
behind in the scoring. And more importantly, she placed in the Top 5 of Beauty With A Purpose – the core of Miss World and the fast-track segment that carries the biggest number of points to carry one representative far up the placement ladder.
Truth be told, Catriona can’t win all the fast-track events. The organizers just wouldn’t allow that to happen. But you and I know that she poured her heart in all the parts. I have never seen a Miss World Philippines rep who got so interactive with fans and followers online that my notifications almost always had her name posting something or replying to an update herself.
But why should Catriona Gray win Miss World 2016? Simple. She has the heart and soul of the Miss World Organization deeply embedded in her entire persona. Beyond the looks, queenly aura and the determination to bring honor to the Philippines, she has the right motivation to win. She knows the kind of job she will get herself into should the blue crown land on her head. It’s all about charity work and the huge platform to make a difference in the lives of others. And what makes her so special compared to other ladies who are also firm in their passion and dedication for humanity? The unstinting support of the entire Filipino nation around the world. And I firmly believe that Julia Morley and the Miss World Organization knows too well how massively powerful the Philippines can be in spreading the word and making noise everywhere.
So let me ask again. Why does Miss World Philippines deserve to be the successor of Mireia Lalaguna? Because she is Catriona Gray. I wouldn’t blog out loud if another Filipina is wearing the Philippine sash. 🙂
courtesy of TV100 PH
courtesy of Queenslandia
courtesy of Jo ‘D Mango 2.0
The Fast-Track Winners of Miss World 2016 are here.
Miss Cook Islands Kia Orana for the Sports Challenge. Jing Kong of China for Top Model. Bayartsetseg Altangerel of Mongolia for Talent. Catriona Gray of the Philippines for Multimedia.
The five finalists for Beauty with a Purpose (BWAP) are Catriona Gray of the Philippines, Evelyn Thungu of Kenya, Natasha Manuela of Indonesia, Asmi Shrestha of Nepal and Priyadarshini Chatterjee of India. The winner will be announced during the Live Finals.
It’s practically an Asian domination in the Fast-Track segments, and you can expand it to Asia-Oceania with Cook Islands. 🙂
My “mole” in National Harbor, Maryland – who is now billeted at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center – has been busy talking with other guests and checking out all the goings-on in Miss World 2016 just a little over a day before the new winner gets to be crowned at the Theater of MGM National Harbor.
Some people are saying that this year’s competition is unpredictable, although I begged to differ because Miss World has always been like that save for a number of editions that included 2013 when the sequestered condition of the ladies in Bali, Indonesia made it easier to zero in on Megan Young as the woman to beat on all fronts.
But in general, the consensus has been very positive towards our entry, Catriona Gray, who has been getting all-around favorable reviews with her queenly bearing and glowing presence. If the only parameters for consideration in selecting a winner are strictly pageant-focused, then our 2nd blue crown should already be in the bag. We all know that there are other factors seeping through and which are slippery-as-an-eel to catch outright. Regardless, let us look back at our senti subject for this Sunday Special and see how she has evolved from an already-singing small girl to her years of professional modeling all the way to her entry to the world of beauty contests which took a lot of years of convincing before the present time where she is vying for the 66th Miss World crown.It doesn’t surprise me that Catriona grew up to be a sweet and level-headed woman. Parents Ian and Normita Gray made sure that she had the happiest of childhood years. She also became such a creative and music-oriented person, gifted with the voice of a chanteuse and the free-spirited thinker who can translate her thoughts into penned or spoken forms in such a read-easy and ear-friendly manner.
Of course, Catriona is blessed with an enviable height of 5’10” that allowed entry to the world of fashion and commercial modeling and below are just some of the TVCs she made through the years.
Catriona’s 6 year-old Nescafe TVC
courtesy of imagencymanila
Catriona’s 2 year-old Ponds TVC
courtesy of imagencymanila
Catriona’s 2-year old Pantene TVC
courtesy of IMAGENCYMANILA
Catriona’s 1-year old Pantene TVC using her singing voice at the same time
courtesy of IMAGENCYMANILA
And so, back to National Harbor, Maryland, the waiting for the Miss World 2016 Finals is just over 24 hours away. Whatever the results will reveal, we know that Catriona has given her absolute best to the competition. She deserves to win the title. If other extraneous variables get in the way, we’ll never know. What I do know is that the Miss World Organization (MWO) has fallen in love with her ever since a couple of months back during the brief visit of Miss World Mireia Lalaguna, Mister World Rohit Khandelwal – along with Steve Douglas of MWO – to the country. If that amounts to something significant, then we could be in for a big Christmas treat. Otherwise, let us balance our expectations to accept the outcome with enough composure. But if it helps any, I really feel strongly about her chances. As in. 🙂
By sheer number of delegates alone, Miss World 2016 can be a real tough nut to crack when it comes to making final predictions on the outcome. One hundred-seventeen (117) ladies want the blue crown being worn by Mireia Lalaguna of Spain. But only one of them will succeed in the end. Who are the most deserving ines in my opinion?
Below are the videos of the contenders who made Top 20 on my list. I initially picked the best two from each of the following regions – Africa, Americas, Asia/Oceania, Carribbean and Europe – then added the next ten reps who received the best preliminary analysis on my personal scoresheet.
South Africa 🇿🇦
From the Americas
Cook Islands 🇨🇰
From the Caribbean
Dominican Republic 🇩🇴
Puerto Rico 🇵🇷
Allow me to cut the twenty ladies in half so that I can share with you my Top 10 consisting of the Philippines, Hungary, Dominican Republic, Russia, India, Mongolia, Venezuela, Indonesia, Mexico and the USA.
Indulge me in being so pro-Catriona Gray. But I see our bet as the only one among them who justly deserves the Miss World 2016 crown. She is the veritable total package – beautiful face, excellent communication skills, talented singer with an altogether charity-driven disposition that encompasses what the Miss World Organization is all about. She will definitely be a huge asset for Julia Morley.
And so, I am left to select the two runners-up plus two more ladies to make up the Top 5. The four contenders are:
Timea Gelencser of Hungary
Yaritza Reyes of the Dominican Republic
Yana Dobrovolskaya of Russia
Priyadarshini Chatterjee of India
My Top 5 is a hearty mix of everything that Miss World is all about – substance being the topmost consideration with beauty of face as the next benchmark. Catriona, Timea, Yaritza, Yana and Priyadarshini are all that and more.
I would have loved to squeeze in Diana Croce of Venezuela into the final fold. But for now, she is the one I choose as the likeliest to spoil one of the spots above in the ultimate run. She is a very close 6th on my list.
So that wraps up my forecast for the results of Miss World 2016. Do not forget the GMA-7 telecast of the finals on Monday, December 19 at 8am (promo teaser below).
courtesy of GMA News