Not one but two Filipinos will host the finals of Miss Grand International 2017 which will take place at the Vinpearl Convention Center in Phú Quốc, Vietnam on October 25. And including our Bb. Pilipinas Grand International 2017 Elizabeth Clenci, there will be a trio of our countrymen onstage.
We already know about Miss Grand International 2016 1st Runner-Up Nicole Cordoves as the female host. But now, she will be joined by Filipino actor and singer Xian Lim to form a new tandem that will hopefully bring the big event to greater heights. The latter has been co-hosting Bb. Pilipinas so pageant owner Nawatt Itsaragrisil must have been convinced of his skills during the last edition which he personally attended at the Big Dome.
This will be Xian’s first big break in international pageant hosting so who knows what new doors of opportunites will open up for hin right after.
Below is the new teaser of Miss Grand International 2017.
courtesy of Hot Picks
Your thoughts about the Nicole Cordoves-Xian Lim hosting pair, dear readers?
Everyone inside the Araneta Coliseum was abuzz with loud whispers the minute hosts Pia Wurtzbach and Xian Lim announced the names of the Bb. Pilipinas 2017 Top 25 last Sunday night where fifteen (15) Binibinis became the first casualties in the proceedings. Why wasn’t Binibini 24 Dindi Pajares called to step up? Why was she left in tears waiting for her name to be part of the first cut when it was all down to the last qualifier and Binibini 38 Ana Patricia Asturias was summoned instead? It’s as if something unimaginable happened. What went wrong?
Well, the list of 25 names was accurate. Dindi Pajares surprisingly did not make it far enough to even participate in the swimsuit and evening gown competitions. Was she the 26th in rank or worse? That is a question that will now remain unanswered.
Since Day 1, I know that the forty (40) Binibinis have been strictly observed and assessed by BPCI like a pool of teachers and advisers (or Prefects of Discipline if you will) grading them almost on a daily basis, or at least everytime they had to report for duty and fulfill their duties as Official Candidates. You can say that all of them began with perfect scores of 100 at the onset and it’s up to the ladies on how to keep the mark perfect or sacrifice deductions along the way. This could be inclusive of attendance, punctuality, deportment and overall conformity to the house rules and regulations. Having covered beauty pageants for the longest time, I know this to be a regular practice. While I’m not specifying or confirming on any irregularities in Dindi’s accord (or lack thereof) with what BPCI prescribed and demanded, I can see no other valid reason why she would fall short of pageant performance. She deserved to make Top 25 at the very least if the sole basis would be the public and social media judgment of the line-up this year. In fact, she could have easily breezed through Top 15 just like last year when she joined for the first time.
Whatever the hard truth is behind the snub of Dindi Pajares, I will stop from further investigating into the question because this is already something beyond the parameters of my media-related business with Bb. Pilipinas. And even if I reach clarity on the matter, it would have been shared to me in confidence. Off the record, I must add.
Watch the opening number and introduction of Bb. Pilipinas 2017 now – the first and last part where Dindi got her share of the spotlight during Sunday night’s TV telecast.
courtesy of Hot Picks
These are the days spent inside the Araneta Coliseum rehearsing for the Bb. Pilipinas 2017 Coronation Night on Sunday, April 30. Dressed in loose workout attires and sleeveless tops, the Binibinis are being choreographed to perfection. According to Gines Enriquez of BPCI, this is going to be the grandest opening number for any edition. Ever. And I believe him because ABS-CBN is deep into perfecting everything to achieve seamless proceedings during the live and TV telecast.
By the way, the finals will be hosted by Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach and actor Xian Lim, with Venus Raj as commentator. If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, then please head on to ticketnet.com.ph or at the Araneta Coliseum box-office.
Below is a BTS video of their dance rehearsals in Subic.
courtesy of EPC Events
Last year, it was Ann Curtis. Now, it’s Toni Gonzaga’s turn to host Bb. Pilipinas 2015. Together with Xian Lim, she will lead the way in navigating the finals night into its exciting climax this coming Sunday, March 15.
The pair will be joined by our ever trusty trio of Venus Raj, Shamcey Supsup-Lee and Ariella Arida who will serve as anchorpersons all throughout the proceedings.
Happy with the hosting combo? 😉
The challenge of coming up with Final Predictions for Bb. Pilipinas every year is something I personally get nervous about. It is not the easiest to finalize, but at the same time, the most exciting to assess. Add to that the task of coming up with a theme for the same, and the whole thing becomes delightfully pressure-laden.
So for this year, I would like to come up with some sort of a mystery-thriller.
I make no secret of being an avid movie watcher and book reader. In fact, I always fall for Agatha Christie whodunits mixed with a slice of Scandinavian suspense noir and Japanese macabre. But that’s describing the whole exercise in a very complex manner. Let me put it in simpler terms. This year’s hotly-contested competition is something I would interestingly call “The Mystery of the 5th Girl”.
The Constant Quartet
Among the forty (40) Official Candidates of Bb. Pilipinas 2014, there are four (4) ladies who have consistently – and quite deservingly – occupied the top tier of favorites for the win. They are (in order of pin numbers) 8 Pia Wurtzbach, 13 Kris Tiffany Janson, 22 Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti and 35 Yvethe Marie Santiago. I would collectively call them “The Constant Quartet” because in almost every list of predictions I have read, their names are always the first ones to be listed regardless of the billing. In essence, there is no longer a mystery to be solved here.
Based from last year’s results, five (5) winners were announced – four (4) titleholders and one (1) 1st runner-up. But with the addition of the Miss Intercontinental franchise to the BPCI collection, the first question that comes to mind is this – who will be the 5th girl in the magic circle? Is she going to be the automatic Bb. Pilipinas-intercontinental? Or is she the ultimate spoiler who will pull the rug from right under one of the first four and secure a more prestigious crown for herself?
The Probable Suspects
Let’s start with the first line of suspects, or in this case, the contenders who made it to my Top 16 and are now occupying the 13th-16th spots.
5 Hannah Mariz dela Guerra – the sweet techie whose cool-as-a-cucumber disposition is enough to take over the most jaded of pageant watchers.
6 Anabel Christine Tia – the charming artist who can (literally and figuratively) draw a picture of herself in the most creative way and make a convert of a non-believer with her quick smile and friendly spirit.
11 Laura Victoria Lehmann – the upstart of a brainy pageant vixen whose sexy abs and tempting looks could be both arresting and intoxicating to the spectator – gay or straight.
31 Angelique Celine de Leon – the once-tomboyish-dude-turned-beautiful-swan has styling and projection that are well-calculated to approximate the template of what a true Binibini should be.
Is there anyone among the four aforementioned eye candies who comes close to being the 5th girl we are looking for? Nobody yet, in my opinion. My gut is telling me to look for other potential individuals with stronger motives to be the one.
The More Likely of Suspects
Here now is the second list of suspects. They are the OCs who are currently occupying the 9th-12th positions in my short-list.
27 Hannah Ruth Sison – the KF girl who was my choice for Bb. Pilipinas Tourism last year has slipped in the rankings owing the strong field for 2014. Sadly, she never even made the first cut during the 2013 finals. Now if she eventually makes it to the semis next week, what is the probability of moving higher than that happening? Well, methinks it will all depend on how strongly she has gotten into BPCI’s good graces this time around.
4 Parul Shah – the Fil-Indian stunner who made it to last year’s semifinals, but fell short during the Q&A. She could be back with a vengeance, armed with an iron-clad presence of mind this time around.
7 Aiza Faeldonia – the enigmatic femme fatale from Sultan Kudarat – deceivingly mystifying based on photos and videos, but unquestionably down-to-earth and kind-hearted in real life.
17 Diana Arevalo – the third-time joiner who could be in for either a relatively more rewarding attempt this year or a stint just as forgettable as the first two editions she took part in.
Do I see the 5th girl in the second line-up? Could be for one of them, particularly Parul or Diana. But the odds continue to stack against their favor given the over-all quality of contenders. So what say you? Let’s take a look at one final group and see if the most logical or most convincing woman to fill the one remaining slot is among them.
The Strong Suspects
The following lovelies, in random order, are ranked 5th-8th in my books.
9 Joy Antonette Diaz – and I am not even linking Gloria’s connections as to how high I am ranking her. This lady could be Team JDV’s best performer and the one who is likely to be pegged as the token qualifier from the beauty camp. But mind you, she is no mere token of a semifinalist. She can very easily reach the Top 5 and become the 5th girl after the Q&A is over and done with.
15 Kimverlyn Suiza – now she is my original 5th girl without the mystery theme surrounding this post. But we all know that there are other indefinable factors to consider – one of which is the obvious. There are already three (3) entries from Aces & Queens in my Top 4 and adding another could prove too much of a favor for the group. In a perfect world, however, this physical reincarnation of a Castilian royalty should be up there without a doubt.
1 Julian Aurine Flores – the professional model with near-perfect body proportions, enviable catwalk skills and a heart of gold to match. She could be a likely target of raised eyebrows from those who are less superior on the ramp. When the dust settles, though, this easy-to-fall-for Binibini is definitely crown-worthy.
25 Mary Jean Lastimosa – will she be rewarded or ignored? At the age of 26, this Cotabato rep can only be considered for the highest honor as she is already over the age limit for the other titles based on the dictates of their respective international pageant organizers. Does it make sense to install her as 1st Runner-Up since this is still an improvement from her best placement of 2nd Runner-Up back in 2011? Or is it finally game over for the smoldering hot and sexy babe who only wants to bring the best of the Filipina beauty in the global pageant stage?
Do we have a solved case?
Using the process of elimination, it hurts to remove Mary Jean Lastimosa first. But that is how I see the cookie crumbling in the end. Unlike love, age matters in Bb. Pilipinas. And I can see her matching the 2nd Runner-Up posting she got back in 2012.
I will need to pull out Kimverlyn Suiza as well because – in the interest of fair distribution – pushing for four (4) A&Q girls in the Top 5 could already be a relative excess. Nevertheless, my feeling is that she will be declared 1st Runner-Up. And this is not such a bad place to be considering the strong batch she is part of.
So who are we left with? Joy Antonette Diaz and Julian Aurine Flores.
Two beautiful girls stand before me. But one of them has to go and one will remain. Will the lucky one be Binibini 9 or Binibini 1? Will it be the lady being heralded as the niece of Miss Universe 1969 or the very promising young lady who could be another potential international winner once sent abroad?
Who could the 5th girl be?
I will go for Binibini 1 as the 5th girl. C’mon down, Julian Aurine Flores!
So which combo will be declared in the end?
In My Mind
I have finally solved the mystery behind who the 5th girl could be, let us go to the possible results on Sunday night.
Let us start with the first combo – the honor roll if we are to go by how I think Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta would probably like things to pan out.
In My Heart
And then, here is my personal take on the five ladies. My heart is saying something else. So this is how I would prefer to see the placements reflected.
ABS-CBN contract artists Xian Lim and Anne Curtis have been chosen by the network to host Bb. Pilipinas 2014 on March 30. They will be joined by anchorpersons Venus Raj and Shamcey Supsup.
While I am not in awe of Xian’s hosting abilities, he might have already improved by now. His stint last 2012 was relatively forgettable despite being the only male presence onstage. Hopefully, he will redeem himself next week. The whole world will be watching so he’d better get his act together and impress all of us.
Your thoughts? 😉
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. 😉
After the dust settled last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, only three ladies could call themselves brand-new Beauty Queens from a strong field of 30 contenders for Bb. Pilipinas 2012. The whole process wasn’t the easiest and I tip my hat to the ones who soared (and scored) high and are now looking forward to life-changing journeys to more success in the global pageant arena. Here’s the Official Honor Roll:
Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2012: #18 JANINE TUGONON
Bb. Pilipinas-International 2012: #8 NICOLE SCHMITZ
Bb. Pilipinas-Tourism 2012: #13 KATRINA DIMARANAN
..with their court:
First Runner-Up: #15 ELAINE KAY MOLL
Second Runner-Up: #29 ANNALIE FORBES
…and the remaining placers in the Top 12:
# 1 Karen Gallman
# 30 Sherlyn Gonzales
# 16 Liezl Alcantara
# 26 Angelee Claudett delos Reyes
# 9 Mary Jean Lastimosa
# 14 Gina Joy Howell
# 7 Patricia Lae Ejercitado
Best in Swimsuit: #8 Nicole Schmitz
Best in Evening Gown: #26 Angelee Claudett delis Reyes
Best in National Costume: #8 Nicole Schmitz
Miss Photogenic: #1 Karen Gallman
Miss Talent: #13 Katrina Dimaranan
Miss Congeniality: #25 Chloe Zanardi
Miss Philippine Airlines: #9 Mary Jean Lastimosa
Miss Avon: #9 Mary Jean Lastimosa
Miss Manila Bulletin Readers’ Choice: #20 Roxanne Tadique
People’s Choice: #21 Giselle Angelica Munoz
The 3-hour program – hosted by actress Iza Calzado, upcoming matinee idol Xian Lim, 2010 Miss Universe 4th Runner-Up Venus Raj and commercial model/cable presenter Georgina Wilson – saw each of the ladies going through the traditional swimsuit and evening gown competitions before the cut to the Top 12 went underway. After the dozen finalists were announced, they were subjected to the Q&A round which gave the Board of Judges a better perception of their individual dispositions and/or quick-wittedness. From here, the winners were announced with no further trimming down to a Top 5 anymore, thereby lending more suspense to the proceedings.
The winners will now start preparing for their respective dates of international representation: Miss Universe 2012 on December (exact date and venue still unannounced), Miss International 2012 (China) on November 11, Miss Tourism Queen International (China) on September 28 and for one of the runners-up, the Miss Supranational 2012 (Poland) on September 15.
Big Congratulations to all the Winners! 😀
(Photo credit: Jory Rivera/ OPMB Worldwide)
Come April 15, Bb. Pilipinas 2012 will be hosted by some ABS-CBN talents with upcoming male heartthrob Xian Lim (of ‘My Binondo Girl’ fame) as the main man, ably assisted by Miss Universe 2010 4th Runner-Up Venus Raj and actress Iza Calzado (who herself starred in a primetime soap about beauty queens over at GMA-7) .
Like the combo? Xian Lim is definitely a looker who is both dapper and articulate, but can he carry the whole 3-hour pageant through with his relative inexperience in hosting a big event such as this? Venus, on the other hand, is a natural charmer so she can fill in some of the loose ends from up the stage. But will Iza blend well with the two? She is the one who has had previous background in anchoring the same.
I wonder what the 4th wheel – Georgina Wilson – can contribute to the three. Backstage interviews? But she wouldn’t like that. 🙂
Let’s see how the quartet can help make this year’s edition more fluid and blunder-free. 😉