I just finished watching in full-length the 63rd Miss Universe Pageant held yesterday at Doral, Miami. I wasn't able to tune-in yesterday because of work and I just updated myself with the live show via Twitter. I watched and replayed some parts of the show tonight to be able to "judge" objectively what happened. Read on!
- Paulina Vega of Colombia is the 63rd Miss Universe. This is not really a surprise since she was predicted to win by several beauty pageant experts, blogs, and forums as soon as she arrived in Miami for the competition.
- Paulina's been the front-runner all throughout the competition. She is a Latina bombshell who fits perfectly with the Miss Universe mold.
- I wouldn't say that she is the perfect and most deserving Miss Universe candidate to win on this batch. She was okay but there were obviously more deserving winners come Finals night. More on this later.
- There's a lot of flak surrounding Paulina - from being a prima donna with an attitude to being a bubble head. Let's give her a chance and let's see. Venezuela's Gabriela Isler is not the perfect winner either but she turned out to be one of the nicest and best Miss Universe queens. But, one thing is sure - Paulina sounds very much like Sofia Vergara. :D
- Speaking of Colombians, I was surprised to learn that Paulina is just the second Miss Universe of their country. I always assumed that Colombians are very successful in Miss U. They are crazier than Filipinos when it comes to beauty pageants. A quick Internet search said that they just had so many runners-up (11) in the past. They are the fourth country in terms of runners-up next to USA (21), Venezuela (18), and Brazil (13).
- Trivia: Philippines used to send our delegates to Colombia for "beauty training" before the Miss U pageants. No surprises since National Pageant Director Stella Marquez de Araneta is a Colombian.
Mabuhay Ka, MJ!
Miss Universe 2014/2015 became sour for me when Philippines' bet, Mary Jean Latimosa, failed to advance to the Top 5. MJ was supposed to be THE ONE. I've never seen a more prepared, determined and resilient candidate from the Philippines since MJ. It was truly a heartbreaking loss for the nation. Filipino pageant fans stormed social media with sadness and (later on) anger over the loss.
- MJ aced the pre-pageants and preliminaries and was easily selected as one of the Top 15 semifinalists. I laughed a little thinking about those "top" international beauty pageant sites who did not even consider her. I believe that some of them deliberately did not include MJ on their list just to spite the ardent Filipino fans.
- The swimsuit competition was easy breezy for MJ. This has always been her strongest segment with that swoon-worthy body and fantastic catwalk. She was included in the Top 10 as expected.
- Then comes the dreaded Evening Gown competition...and the blaming game. MJ wore a very dismal white gown by Colombian designer Alfredo Barazza. Almost everyone I know hates the gown and we all know that MJ cannot do anything about it. MJ was very consistent in her beautiful styling all throughout the competition except when she had this gown and the National Costume gown which was also made by Barazza.
- Rumors are now circulating online that MJ wore a beautiful pink gown made by a Filipino designer at the last Dress Rehearsal. Some said that MJ was berated and scolded for attempting to wear it in the Finals and Madamme Stella insisted that she wear that ugly white gown of Barazza instead of the nice Leo Almodal creation. MJ was mortified about the incident and reportedly cried and was in very bad spirits before the competition.
- An ugly gown broke MJ's bid for the country's 3rd Miss Universe crown. It's okay to compare the gown with the 87 other dresses. But comparing it with 9 gorgeous gowns in the Finals is quite a stretch. The gown was not designed to flatter MJ's body and built. It made her smaller compared to the other girls. It was definitely not a gown for a soon-to-be-crowned Miss Universe.
- My heart really goes to MJ. She did the best she could for all of us but there are just things beyond her control. I admire her more because of this.
- Trivia: The gown pictured above was already the improved version. MJ wore that white gown in the Prelims but she had it altered by top Philippine designer Veejay Floresca before the Finals. Veejay did a good job in repairing it by making it more sexy and flattering - but Veejay can only do much with an ugly ensemble.
You're still our Miss Universe, MJ! We can't wait for your homecoming!