Finally, the winners of Bb. Pilipinas 2012 have been crowned. Are you happy with the results? Before I make my conclusion on the same, allow me to analyze how or why these ladies landed the honors they are now celebrating in Cloud 9 with. Why Janine? I say ‘Why not Janine?’ The 5’9″ Thomasian has been languishing under the shadows of the flashy Mary Jean Lastimosa since Day 1. And the time has come to claim what is rightfully hers based on factors outside our parameters for personal predictions and the like. After all, she snatched the higher rank last year. No Coca-Cola body or generous butt here, but a solid ballet built that gym trainer John Cuay can whip into much better shape in time for the international competition in December. Her face is not categorically pretty, but one that – with the right makeup and styling – could be trend-setting in a modern Brook Lee kind of way. Her mysterious eyes and (preferably) full smile project the type of no-nonsense beauty that can never be tagged as one-dimensional. Add to that her due diligence, sharp runway footwork & quick-thinking ability and we might just have a worthy follow-up to both Venus and Shamcey. As people say, luck comes in threes.
My unsolicited advice for her? Lose the stiff/monotonous delivery of reply during the Q&A. It’s best to show grace under pressure without losing the much-needed warmth and sincere spontaneity. Last night, her interview paled in comparison to how she did in 2011, while wearing a gown that looked more tacky than regal (it’s like a throw pillow was sewn on her chest). Nonetheless, I trust that she will be made over in all areas, this one included.Nicole Schmitz played her cards right and she had her patience rewarded by being crowned Bb. Pilipinas-International. And for the China-based pageant, her bi-racial features and flirty Latina vibe will definitely sit well with the predominantly Chinese organizers and judges. I initially penciled her for Miss Universe. But after careful consideration, I guess me and the judges became one in assessing her as a perfect fit for Miss International. In addition, she handled the Q&A best and was picked Best in Swimsuit (usually an indicative award for Bb. Pilipinas-Universe). But then again, she might have been seen as gorgeous but a wee bit common-looking for Miss Universe where the true-blue Latinas dominate. I’ve always had a good feeling that Katrina will be first-time lucky. I may have seen her as the best bet for Miss Universe, but the results showed otherwise. At any rate, this Fil-Am charmer still registered well among last night’s decision-makers with her all-natural unspoiled and unpretentious self. Whenever she talks, the world sits up and listens. And who best to help promote Philippine Tourism but someone who is proud of her East and West combo. Her Q&A showing had nothing extraordinary to crow about, but she still managed to be one of the better speakers in this regard. I was close to giving up on Elaine Kay Moll during the pageant proceedings when she sounded tentative in Q&A and took relatively longer to reply. But in fairness, she was beautifully made up and looked her best all throughout. In the final analysis, she fell short of getting one of the three crowns. There was always one candidate ahead of her in each. She comes off half-raw for Miss Universe and relatively missable for Miss International and Miss Tourism Queen International. But as 1st Runner-Up, I believe she will be the Philippine rep for Miss Supranational. Chances are that she will be immersed into more training that should hopefully better her potentials to stand out in Poland. Annalie was one of the surprise performers last night. She was in her best form during the swimsuit and evening gown rounds. No eyebrows were raised when she made the Top 12. But when it came to the interview segment, her reply was one of the weakest, if not the worst. But in fairness, she did not really make a complete fool of herself. It’s just that the way she composed her statements bordered on the somewhat laughable. And correct me if I am wrong, but did she mishear the question of the judge (H.E. Jorge Domecq) about the disadvantages of social media? Because it was very clear that she stated the advantage instead. Anyways, if I’m going by sentiments, I should be glad that my ka-probinsiya made it to the Top 5. I have a nagging feeling SMA will also consider her for Miss Supranational 2012 if Elaine Kay Moll won’t be sent.
Okay, so second chances proved to be golden for both Janine Tugonon (who’s my alternate for BPU being 1st Runner-Up in my own forecast) and Nicole Schmitz (who has been my pick and that of the majority for BPI), plus Katrina Dimaranan is first-time lucky. So am I happy with the trio? Yes, I am. Maybe not 100% happy, but still, they are all in my Top 5. No need to harbor ill feelings over the outcome anymore.
– I am sad for Mary Jean Lastimosa whose re-joining attempt failed and worse, did not even place in the Top 5. She even fell below her placement last year. She was very good last night. But her Q&A was bordering on the vague (the word ‘curiosity’ keeps flying back and forth in my head) and superficially impressive. It was probably a case of overload or she was way too rehearsed/exacting in her moves, projection and interview.
– When #26 Angelee delos Reyes won Best in Evening Gown, I knew she was a shoo-in for Top 12. She was supposed to be a stand-out in the Q&A (and could have made it as runner-up), but made a tad of a mess when she spoke too much. Even the judge (H.E. Harry Thomas, Jr.) joked that she answered the question even before it can be asked. In the end, her good reply was invalidated by wordiness.
– Pre-finals favorite Patricia Lae Ejercitado was good last night. But good just doesn’t cut it.
– Top 12 placer Sherlyn Gonzales had the best face of the night. She was just drop-dead beautiful. And her Q&A wasn’t bad. Her height must’ve been an obstacle, though. But Annalie Forbes made it to 5th place. What gives? Probably the lack of titles or runner-up ranks to give out? I think not. Annalie was really excellent in SS and EG.
– Roxane Joy Jesalva, was completely lackluster last night. Maybe she gave up on the competition too early? Her swimsuit and evening gown takes were very uninspired. Too bad, that costed her a Top 12 spot at the very least when she could’ve prevented a shutout for the Bicolandia reps this year.
– About the pageant itself, I would give it a grade of 9/10. ABS-CBN did not leave any stone unturned, so to speak. The production values were high. So where did they miss the single point to score a perfect 10? One is male host Xian Lim who was very dependent on his cue cards. Good thing Iza Calzado kept him on his toes. During the Q&A, however, he did not study the names of the judges which he kept on mangling to my ears’ disgust. And the poor lad doesn’t know that ‘H.E.’ in front of a person’s name means “His Excellency”. Venus Raj had minor lapses, but she was at least quick in correcting herself. The other complaint I have was during the evening gown competition where rockers Arnel Pineda and Bamboo sang separately for the first and second group of ladies. Because production had no control over the speed that the ladies negotiated the stage, they had to unceremoniously cut off the two singers even if they were still in the middle of their 3rd songs since everyone was already finished presenting onstage. A slow fade out would have been better.
– Lastly, did you notice that Janine was wearing the sash “Miss Universe Philippines” instead of “Bb. Pilipinas-Universe”? Must be a directive from MUO.
So this is the part where I remind people…”let’s move on and support the winners” – which is the right thing to do. Their respective pageants are still scheduled for the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2012 so the wait will give them the precious time to prepare hard for the same. And I believe that we shall see much improved versions of Janine, Nicole, Katrina, Elaine and Annalie by then. 😉