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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

If I were a judge: Miss Universe 2012

The 61st Miss Universe Pageant took place on Wednesday, December 19 at PH Live, Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year, 89 beauties competed for the crown but it was the homegirl, Olivia Culpo of the USA who took the title. This was a great year for the Miss Universe in terms of the quality of the contestants but no so great also because it was apparent that Las Vegas was a last minute backup plan after they AGAIN could not find a host country for the pageant. The Miss Universe Organization will have to do something drastic to stop this from happening again.

The day before the show, I released my final Stairway to the Crown leaderboard. I have always found it easier to predict or kind of know what will happen at Miss Universe but this year I was pretty shocked at how things worked out. The judges only agreed with 8 of my choices: South Africa, Venezuela, Philippines, Mexico, Australia, USA, Croatia, and Brazil. Instead of Puerto Rico, Malaysia, Paraguay, Sri Lanka, Chile, the Netherlands, Trinidad and Tobago, and El Salvador the real judges and Miss Universe Organization included Turkey, France, Hungary, Russia, Kosovo, India, Peru, and Poland. I was dumbstruck by the inclusion of Russia, Peru, and especially Turkey and India. These results just did not make sense and I had a nasty feeling that it was going to be a night of a lot of terrible surprises.

First up was the swimsuit competition. Each of the top 16  got to strut in their Kooey swimsuits. I will put the score I gave them in brackets.

Venezuela: Venezuela was one of the major favorites for the crown and she did not disappoint. She was in great shape and worked the stage. (9.24)
Turkey: If this was Miss Earth or Miss Intercontinental, I could've tried to understand her inclusion but come one this is MISS UNIVERSE! She was just a a huge shock and not even a great body could make up for that. (8.64)
France: I knew France could be one of the ones called. I had her at number 19 on my leaderboard. I liked her but I felt she could have given more. (8.90)
Peru: Peru is another shock that I'm still struggling to handle. Not seeing Paraguay or Ecuador there but Peru instead was just sad. She was just not semi-finalist material. (8.46)
Russia: I am usually a great fan of Russian contestants but this one did nothing for me. And her hair is just really too long. (8.79)
Mexico: I could stare at her face for days and I was sure that she would go to the next round. (9.17)
Poland: Miss Poland was one of the nice surprises. A real gorgeous blonde. I thought she would at least go to the next round but not further than that. (9.05)
Hungary: I also had no problems with Miss Hungary in the top 16 and thought that she gave a pretty good performance. (8.95)

South Africa: Melinda looked great and I thought she was playing it very smart. She did enough to easily sail into the next round where I knew she was going to turn up the heat. (9.09)
Philippines: I've always been a massive fan of Janine's and she looked great and ready to fight for the crown. (9.20)
Croatia: I was not a fan of Elizabeta's hairdo because it definitely did not flatter her at all. Her walk was also very lacklustre but I still thought she could squeeze into the next round. (9.00)
Brazil: Brazil had a rocking bad for sure and looked like a young Terri Hatcher. I know many people was shocked by her inclusion but I didn't think she was that bad. (9.08)
Kosovo: Here's another gorgeous girl with a lacklustre walk. She is definitely more photogenic than telegenic but I did think that she could advance to the next round. (9.00)
Australia: Renae looked absolutely stunning. Like a real life Barbie doll. Great face, great smile, great figure. The best in swimsuit for me. (9.26)
India: I would never in a million years have expected India to make it and this just really proved to me why. I was especially sad for the girls from Malaysia and Sri Lanka when I watched her swimsuit performance. (8.38)
USA: Olivia looked great and was in great shape. I knew she was easily going to the next round. (9.15)
MISS AUSTRALIA GAVE THE MOST SIZZLING SWIMSUIT PERFORMANCE
IN MY OPINION. SHE LOOKED ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!
After the swimsuit round, only ten could survive. I had them ranked like this:
1) Australia 2) Venezuela 3) Philippines 4) Mexico 5) USA 6) South Africa 7) Brazil 8) Poland
9) Kosovo 10) Croatia 11) Hungary 12) France 13) Russia 14) Turkey 15) Peru 16) India

The real judges agreed with 7 of my choices but sent Hungary, Russia, and France to the top 10 instead of Poland, Kosovo and Croatia.

Up next was the top 10 evening gown round:

Australia: Renae was just sparkling and looked absolutely stunning in her gorgeous gown which I thought was almost like a better version of Sheree-Lee's gown from the year before. (9.42)
Russia: Russia's gown was a beautiful color but for the life of me I can still not understand why this girl felt the need to keep exposing her crotch. OK we got it. It's not a real gown. It's a swimsuit and a sarong. (8.90)
Brazil: Miss Brazil had one of the most beautiful (if not the most beautiful) gowns this year. It looked amazing on stage but I did not think that it was enought to get her into the top 5. (9.05)
France: France looked elegant and glamorous in her gown but I believe this was the end of the road for her. (9.00)
Venezuela: Venezuela was channeling her inner Christmas tree. LOL But it worked. The gown was amazing on stage but she was becoming way too over the top. (9.10)
VENEZUELA'S OVER-EXAGGERATED GESTURES WERE A BIT STRANGE
USA: Olivia definitely took a risk with this gown. My Turkish friend actually told me that he thought it was a risk that was going to pay off after the he saw her in the preliminaries but I didn't agree. I thought she was swallowed by the gown and I hated her hairstyle. It also didn't help that she almost tripped even though she handled it like a real pro. (9.08)
Hungary: Hungary did not have one of the most glamorous or spectacular gown but she still looked beautiful. Her gorgeous face probably distracting most eyes from noticing the mediocre gown. (8.93)
South Africa: WOW! Melinda came out and made it seem so effortless. She turned up the heat and did not put a foot wrong. If she could manage to move on to the top 5, the crown would be hers to lose. But I had a very bad feeling that something was going to happen. (9.29)
Mexico: Mexico's gown was horrid. Nothing more than swimsuit with a piece of fabric attached to it. I was hoping that the judges would be mesmerized by her gorgeous face and somehow forget to notice the gown. (9.17)
Philippines: Janine came out and gave another sizzling performance. Many people started losing faith in her during their time in Vegas but I always knew she would save the best for last. (9.21)
SOUTH AFRICA'S MELINDA BAM LOOKED AMAZING IN HER EVENING
GOWN. SHE LOOKED, ACTED AND WALKED LIKE A MISS UNIVERSE WHICH
IT IS WHY IT IS VERY HARD TO EXPLAIN HER EXCLUSION FROM THE TOP 5
Only five could survive after this round. I had them ranked like this:
1) Australia 2) South Africa 3) Philippines 4) Mexico 5) Venezuela
6) USA 7) Brazil 8) France 9) Hungary 10) Russia
I ALWAYS THOUGHT OLIVIA CULPO COULD DO WELL AT MISS UNIVERSE BUT I NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS THOUGHT THAT SHE WOULD WIN. I WAS CONVINCED THAT HER HIGHEST PLACEMENT COULD BE 4th RUNNER-UP. THAT JUST GOES TO SHOW: NEVER UNDERESTIMATE A DELEGATE ESPECIALLY FROM THE HOST COUNTRY. MISS WORLD AND MISS INTERNATIONAL ALSO CROWNED THE GIRLS OF THE HOST NATIONS THIS YEAR. THIS HAS GOT TO BE ONE OF THE STRANGEST YEARS WE HAVE EVER SEEN IN PAGEANTS. LET'S HOPE 2013 BRINGS SOME NORMALITY TO THE PAGEANT WORLD!!!!!
Then the top 5 were announced. The hugest favorite for the title, South Africa's Melinda Bam was cut and my heart stopped for a minute. Could she have done anything better? No, she was flawless and I now believe that South Africa will probably never win Miss Universe again. The top 5 were:
Australia, Philippines, Venezuela, USA, and Brazil!

Next up was the final question:

Venezuela: Venezuela's answer will probably go down as one of the most bizarre and confusing answers ever given on the Miss Universe stage. It just made no sense at all. But it seems like she was in some state of delirium all night long. (8.75)
Philippines: This is how you answer a question. Janine took the question and she smashed it. I was no sure that she was the one to beat. (9.60)
Australia: I was ready for the fact that this would be Renae's biggest stumbleblock. She answered well but not well enough to clinch the crown. (9.45)
USA: Olivia is a very confident girl and she is very believable. But I thought her answer was quite weak and she seemed a bit hesitant. I was just not sure if she nailed it like at Miss USA. (9.32)
Brazil: I knew she would probably be a filler in the top 5. I can't even remember her question or answer now. That says a lot. She wasn't terrible but obviously did not do much to impress. (9.26)
I BELIEVED PHILIPPINES AND AUSTRALIA WOULD BE HOLDING HANDS IN THE END
So based on this final round of competition, this would have been my final ranking. (REAL RANKING IN BRACKETS)

4th runner-up: Venezuela (Real ranking: 2nd runner-up)
3rd runner-up: Brazil (Real ranking: 4th runner-up)
2nd runner-up: USA (Real ranking: Miss Universe 2012)
1st runner-up: Australia (Real ranking: 3rd runner-up)
and my MISS UNIVERSE 2012 would have been:

PHILIPPINES


Congratulations to Olivia Culpo who was the judges choice as Miss Universe 2012. I think she is extremely likeable and even though she was not on fire during the final night, I believe that she will grown this year and she will win our hearts. She is a stunning beauty and she's charming, well-spoken, and intelligent. She will be an exceptional Miss Universe.

Photos: Miss Universe Organization (www.missuniverse.com)

4 comments:

  1. I watched the Preliminaries on YouTube and I came up with my own 16...I did not choose Mexico, Russia, Turkey, India, and Peru. I chose Ecuador, Lebanon, Malaysia, Paraguay, and Sri Lanka. Just like you I was shocked by the choices...What is funny, the way you ranked the Top 5 is the exact way I ranked them before the winner is crowned. I definately agreed with your choices over the ones chosen in the Top 16 that night!! BTW, second year that Malaysia was overlooked....what is going on?????

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  2. Let's face it, Miss Philippines' question was the easiest (and the most ironic considering the furor over last year pageant where only Miss Philippines did not use an interpreter) and there is only one answer to that question. Miss USA's question on the other hand, could've been answered any number of ways and thus have a bigger chance of screwing up and creating a Youtube moment like Miss Venezuela's.

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    1. Really? Because that question is asked over and over again on multiple occasions. Miss Philippines question on the other hand was no where easiest and it's difficult but besides that, she nailed it and Olivia's answer sucked.

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