Dear Pageant Girl,
I know it’s been a while but I wanted to give my thoughts a chance to sink in post Miss World.
I must say, how I feel about it today is exactly how I felt the day of the live telecast.
As you know, Dear Pageant Girl is not beholden to any one organisation and we are certainly not backward when it comes to being forward.
Maybe I should be addressing this blog to Mrs Morley.
Perhaps it was the hope and the expectation that this year would be different; that 2012 would be the year that you would turn things around and pay attention to what your audience has been begging for.
A bit of excitement.
A bit of transparency.
We are not expecting a Miss Universe rip off. Miss World is more than that. We expect tradition, yes –the kind that the English do so well. We acknowledge and appreciate the points of difference.
We LOVE the notion and idea that Miss World is looking for a complete woman. Not just a pretty face, she has to be athletic, well spoken, talented in the arts and able to demonstrate charity work to prove that her beauty and title has truly been used to better the lives of others.
We LOVE the fact that through this, Miss World can claim to be a positive role model.
We LOVE the fact that Miss World includes many countries that most of us may not have heard about, giving us a true look at the diversity of the world’s cultures.
We LOVE the preliminary fast track events. Up to that point, we could gauge who was doing well and just like the prelim scores that were displayed in Miss Universe of past years, we had an idea of who was going to make it into the semi finals. Sure, the whole social media thing was a bit questionable – a creative, though albeit obvious way for your marketing team to gather data and gauge where your audience lie, but we will let that pass.
We LOVE the cheese factor of it all – the mildly nauseating Dances of the World segment allowing certain countries to showcase their costume and talents on the global stage and the sweetly contrived tavelogues of the girls (who rides camels looking like that anyway?)
We LOVE the final song – a super corny ode to sisterhood. A week after the finals and I am still singing “LOVE…LOVE” on the train.
We LOVE the ridiculousness of Ivian’s farewell walk, her fabulous couture leaving it almost impossible to navigate the stage. Suffer for your fashion girlfriend.
We LOVED the excitement, the build up as the winner of each fast track was announced on the night and we all hoped that this year was the year you would turn it around.
But it was sadly downhill for me come finals night.
With all due respect, that was the most excruciating three hours of my life.
Your sponsors will be very happy. China got their pound of flesh and more.
Working for a tourism body myself, your production crew cannot be faulted for the beautiful and comprehensive coverage of China and Inner Mongolia, and if I my client was sponsoring your show, the return on investment cannot be questioned.
As a pageant fan, I thought it was overkill.
I suppose the British do not subscribe to the idea of “a good game is a fast game”.
When Donald Trump took over the reins of the Miss Universe Organisation in the mid 90s many doomsday squealers thought that it would be the end of an era. Mr Trump has a keen eye on what is commercially viable and he removed most of the trappings that Miss Universe was known for, modernizing it for the new generation.
Years down the track the results speak for themselves. Raking in millions in sponsorship dollars, the Miss Universe pageant is the most widely viewed pageant and is considered by the pageant community as the number one pageant in the world.
Mr Trump is all about the women.
And so are we.
You’d think that being the older pageant Miss World would have figured it out by now.
Now, don’t get me wrong about the winner. I do not want to take away from Yu Wenxia – she’s gorgeous, obviously talented and seemingly sweet.
I do not subscribe to the conspiracy theories. Even if there was a conspiracy, Wenxia had nothing to do with it.
I do love Miss Wales and you know how I feel about Jessica Kahawaty. Just as I thought we couldn’t do better than Amber Greasley, we elected the woman who many thought would bring home Australia’s third Miss World crown.
I’m disappointed that we were not given a chance to get to know more about the semi finalists.
More importantly, I am left perplexed as to how your team of judges whittled down the fifteen semi finalists to the final seven.
Who were the judges anyway and what criteria did they judge the ladies on?
Miss South Sudan had the most engaging, genuine and moving testimonies and when she opened her mouth I thought the competition was over and that she had our darling Jessica beat.
So you can imagine my surprise when the top three were announced.
Yes, I was elated to have Australia in the top three. Jessica’s performance could not be faulted. In fact, of the top three, bias aside, that crown should be on her head as Jessica had the passion, the drive and the knowledge to be Miss World 2012.
But it breaks my heart that a beautiful African woman, who in my opinion was obviously head and shoulders over Wales and China could be left out of the holy trinity.
I guess for me, I just want to know why. There seemed to be no reason for it.
No doubt that for years you have had to endure howls of frustration, disbelief and criticism from pageant fans around the world regarding the Miss World scoring system.
Sadly, you’ll need to deal with it for a little bit longer.
This year we had high hopes for you and this year we were once again disappointed.
Disappointment aside, Dear Pageant Girl will celebrate the small victories and a third place finish keeps Australia firmly on the world’s pageant radar. Well done Jessica, we love you, we are proud of you and you will always be our Miss World 2012.
I predict hordes of Australian fans to descend to Bali in 2013 to support your pageant.
Will we be once again left disappointed?
Time will tell.