And an interview with MUO President Paula Shugart below.
I wanted so much to end 2018 with a big bang. If only clarity on the issue of whether the Miss Universe franchise remains with BPCI or crosses over to LCS has been settled in the last few days, then it would make for an explosive year-end blog entry. But then again, that would be asking for way too much confirmation during the uber busy Holiday Season.
Pageants fans and followers are divided on the matter. But I reckon that – if we play by percentages – there would be a lot more who are in favor of the franchise staying put with Bb. Pilipinas to maintain the prestige of the country’s biggest national pageant as well as to preserve its glorious place on top of the pedestal in full hierarchial view of the entire Philippines. Besides, the record of the leadership of Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta is something that other National Directors can only hope to achieve in their lifetime.
On the other side of the coin, there is this side of business that doesn’t give much premium on sentimentality or loyalty or time-honored tradition. As the line goes, “…the only thing constant is change.” And with the ties that bind the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) and the LCS Group of Companies, the partnership could only move to a logical next step of having the franchise be placed under the latter’s care. That way, both MUO and IMG will have a more direct hand in controlling/advising how the brand is managed and sustained with progressive exclusivity.
This is me in the middle. Having grown up with Bb. Pilipinas, I would love to see MU stay with BPCI. But I’d also like to see how MU will grow nationally as a stand-alone pageant. I won’t take sides now. I will just let destiny speak for itself. Because with what I have been hearing, it could be a done deal – unless some kind of a unique arrangement can be finalized in the coming month or two.Since the issue has not been settled yet, let me end 2018 with lyrics from the song written/composed by Prince and made more famous by Sinéad O’Connor because I personally feel that some of the lines simply fit:
Nothing Compares 2 U
It’s been seven hours and fifteen days
Since you took your love away
I go out every night and sleep all day
Since you took your love away
Since you been gone I can do whatever I want
I can see whomever I choose
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
I said nothing can take away these blues
‘Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to you
It’s been so lonely without you here
Like a bird without a song
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling
Tell me baby where did I go wrong…
Photo credit: Pentydynamics
In this news report by Asaree Thaitrakulpanich for Khaosod English last October 24, 2018, the hosting of Miss Universe 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand was in peril of not pushing through as the original financier – TW Investment – pulled out due to “misbehaviours” of some its shareholders. Read the entire report below:
BANGKOK — The fate of this year’s Miss Universe pageant, set for December in Bangkok, was briefly in doubt after its domestic financier was forced to pull out.
The US-based Miss Universe Organization revoked the rights granted to TW Investment, the Thai company in charge of making the pageant happen, due to shady practices the company has blamed on unethical shareholders. A replacement firm has since been found.
In a statement, TW Investment said it would no longer be involved due to misbehavior by unnamed company shareholders.
“We can’t say whether or not the pageant will be held here,” a company spokesman who answered the phone of President Thanawat Wansom said Wednesday. “But TW will not be the organizer.”
Questions about the pageant’s return to the kingdom after a 13-year absence were soon put to rest when another firm, TPN Group, was granted the rights to the pageant.
“We will organize the pageant, and we are the new sole holder of the license,” spokeswoman Nusra Poteteeralert said by phone. “The pageant will still be held. Nothing changes.”
In its letter, TW Investment suggested financial malfeasance and “unsavory behavior of some investors” was to blame for losing the potentially lucrative license.
“Some also did not forward the money from sponsors to pay for the distribution rights according to the regulations stipulated by the Miss Universe company,” it said.
The letter also accused the same insider as trying to hijack the job by making “secret negotiations” with Miss Universe to obtain sole distribution rights and take it away from TW.
Thailand has previously hosted Miss Universe in 1992 and 2005.
Earlier, a Press Conference was held in Bangkok with Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart in attendance plus representatives of the new financier – TPN Group – which was granted the rights to the pageant.
Here are important highlights for the schedule of Miss Universe 2018 which got shorter in competition period from December 2-18/19, as compared to the original start of the last week of November, 2018.
December 2 – Contestants’ arrival
December 3 – Welcome Dinner
December 4 – Welcome Parade
– Charity Events
December 5 – Thai Night
December 6 & 7 – Excursion Tour / Promotional Shoot (split venues for contestants)
December 11 – National Costume Parade
December 13 – PRELIMINARY COMPETITION (Swimsuit & Evening Gown Competitions)
December 16 – Red Carpet Event, Final Rehearsal
December 17, Monday 8am – MISS UNIVERSE 2018 FINALS
December 18 & 19 – Departures
1. Finale: December 17, Monday 8am Manila Time/7am Bangkok Time (Not Nov 16)
2. Host: Steve Harvey
3. Co-Host: Ashley Graham
4. Judges to be announced separately as per Paula Shugart
5. Dusit Hotel Thani Thailand will be the Official Residence of Miss Universe Organization and Delegates
6. Around 95 contestants will compete
Tanawat Wansom, Chairman of Executive Directors TW Investment Group overseeing and managing international investment projects, has been officially granted a sole proprietorship from Miss Universe Organization to host Miss Universe 2018 pageant. Guests of honor attending the conference includes Weerasak Kowsurat, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, Paula Mary Shugart, the President of The Miss Universe Organization, WME/IMG, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, the winner of Miss Universe 2017 from South Africa, Apasra Hongsakula Miss Universe 1965, and Natalie Glebova, Miss Universe 2005, will also attend the press conference taken place on July 31, 2018 at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Multi-Function Room, 1st Floor at 02:00 P.M.
Miss Universe is an international beauty pageant which has a long-standing history, providing memorable experience that includes reputation and creating once-in-a-life-time history for contestants. The competition draws people’s attention and is one of the competition getting the most viewers around the world. The journey of pursuing the world’s ultra-coveted title starts when Miss Universe representing each country gathers at a preparation camp to do activities alongside with beauty pageant fellows, while collecting scores from preliminary competitions that include swimsuit, nightgown, and attitude-reflected responses. There is the only one, who can greatly represent ‘confidently beautiful’ comprising of beauty, smart, and sagaciousness, that deserves Miss Universe crown.
Each year, Miss Universe Organization selects a country where the pageant will be taken place. Thailand has been historically selected twice, and this year will mark the third time in 13 years, ever since the last time hosting in 2005.
It is a great opportunity for TW Investment Group led by Tanawat Wansom, who the formerly was the director of MCOT Public Company Limited , and now Chairman of Executive Directors of TW Investment Group and Senior Advisor of CT Bright Holdings Limited (in CP Group) to be offered a sole proprietorship in holding the 67th Miss Universe competition in Thailand this year.
As a sole proprietorship, TW Investment Group foresees hosting the competition as a medium to promote and present Thailand to the world. With the focus on stimulating economy, especially through tourism and hospitality, it is expected that cash flow in the country will be improved. In addition, international trade including foods, consumer goods, and service will be supported, and traditional Thai culture will be divulgated to viewers and consumers worldwide.
Experience the full 3 hours live broadcast of Miss Universe 2018 on FOX on Sunday December 16, 2018 from 7.00 PM onwards (or on Monday December 17, 2018 from 7.00 AM onwards, GMT Thailand local time)
The Press Conference just ended.
And it’s now official – Miss Universe 2018 will be hosted in Bangkok, Thailand this coming December.
Get ready to book your flights and hotels before the prices zoom up instantly!
The Press Conference for the formal announcement of Bangkok, Thailand as the host of Miss Universe 2018 will start in less than an hour from now.
Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and MUO President Paula Shugart are in Bangkok right now for the much-awaited formality of this year’s edition.