NOTE: We at the Qrown Philippines are introducing a new category. Thoughts to Ponder is our segment on reviews, controversies, and pageant-related issues.
The 70th Miss World competition closed on March 17, Manila time with Poland’s Karolina Bielawska clinching its second crown for her country. The Philippines’ representative Tracy Maureen Perez on the other hand ended her journey with a Top 13 finish in the competition in Puerto Rico.
The competition was held at the Coca-Cola Theater Music Hall with Peter Andre and Fernando Allende hosting the show. Despite ample time to prepare, fans were underwhelmed with the show, and as fans and pageant watchers ask – what happened?
Back in December when the pageant was postponed hours before the finals, people wondered how the organization will be able to mount the show after losing momentum. It seems that a lot of the candidates and staff forgot that there was still COVID-19 with many testing positive for the virus then.
Just when we thought things were being ironed out comes another controversy that will test the organization. Miss World 2016 Stephanie del Valle found herself being sued for alleged embezzlement. Her company Reignite was responsible for bringing the competition to Puerto Rico and teamed up with other companies to mount the show. But at last, things turned sour between both sides and Stephanie declined to attend the finals.
A press release from Julia Morley, chairperson of the Miss World Organization came out on Global Beauties saying that while they thanked Stephanie for being their Beauty with a Purpose ambassador since 2016, some of the things she told the media were not true. Stephanie on the other hand continues to maintain she’s innocent and what she did what’s right. She did admit in an interview that several contracts she had were terminated because of the issue.
Clearly, this controversy between Stephanie and those involved in the case affected the pageant’s status for many fans.
Making it work
In the middle of the issue, Miss World tried to get its act together to make things work. The show was originally scheduled at a bigger venue but decided to transfer to the Coca-Cola Music Hall.
I recently got a chance to listen to an interview conducted by Critical Beauty with Hector Joaquin saying the space was not big enough. Although the organization tried to make the most out of the venue, it was clear from those watching the show on TV that it was boring.
One of the issues I have to point out was that the telecast picked up by Upstream and CNN was grainy. It seems the production team of the organization didn’t think about it. As much as I give them credit for putting Puerto Rico in the spotlight, it was like the girls were just decorations when in fact it was supposed to be about them. The 3-hour show was a concert, not a competition.
I know Miss World 2019 Toni Ann Singh is a singer and I respect her for that. But whoever gave her that arrangement for her song numbers should have thought hard whether she could reach it or not. The Prayer has been performed so many times but not everyone can pull it off.
As much as I applaud Peter and Fernando, a female host would have been really helpful. Toni or even Vanessa Ponce, Miss World 2018, who was a judge in the competition could have been there to help.
(For those who are unaware, Peter Andre is a British singer who rose to fame in the ’90s with songs such as Mysterious Girl and Flava. Fernando on the other hand is one of Latin America’s top singers who has hosted and performed in the show several times.)
Miss World had time to prepare for their 70th edition but it didn’t work because it was an attitude like “let’s just finish it once and for all.” The organization should really recalibrate and rethink how to attract the new generation of audiences.
Time to listen to the new generation
Pageant fans today are very demanding and look for something new. In Miss World’s case, they’re trying to get a slice of the market but more efforts should be done. People from the organization should really talk with fans and ask their thoughts. True it’s their pageant but getting constructive feedback would be a big help to uplift their brand in countries like in the case of the Philippines.
The Miss World brand is one of the prestigious brands out there and considered by many as an alpha pageant. But if they want to remain in that status, it’s high time they give the audience a good show that they can all watch and cheer on.