Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Review: Miss Earth 2018 is the pageant's best edition so far

Miss Earth 2018 is the best edition of the environmental-themed pageant. The 18th edition was an upgrade from all its past editions regarding concept, execution, stage design, and even the pre-pageant activities and the set of winners.
Miss Earth 2018 Phuong Khanh Nguyen
Miss Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco from the Philippines crowning her successor Vietnam's Phuong Khanh Nguyen. (Photo grabbed of Miss Earth Youtube)
Pre-pageant Activities

The Philippines hosted Miss Earth again for the 16th time. Following past editions held in this corner of Southeast Asia, the pre-pageant activities are still both vibrant and relevant. The 86 delegates toured the archipelago, visited various tourist destinations, and were cheered and welcomed by the locals like indeed blooded royalties.

Following the selection process in 2017, the semi-finals were selected by three pre-judging rounds: Beauty and Poise, Figure and Form, and Intelligence. All of these pre-judging rounds were live streamed online, giving fans the opportunities to follow and make their own list of favorites.

The video quality of most of the streams was really not good. The cameras used are not even steady, and the panning caused dizziness and pixelation of the video quality. Nonetheless, Miss Earth provided updates to various activities in various locations, so logistics must have been a challenge, so the live streaming’s quality is just passable.

After all, even the British-owned pageant Miss World has the same quality of the live stream. If the more prominent and richer pageant like Miss World does it, why criticize Miss Earth for it, right?

What sets apart Miss Earth from its rivals like Miss Universe and Miss World is the amount of pre-pageant activities that keep its contestants busy. They are doing so many things, and every other day there will mini-contests and group sub-competitions.

While these various events are commendable for making the month-long pageant memorable for all the delegates, MEO should rethink to scale down the number of these events to avoid fatigue among the girls. This year, Miss Cyprus was hospitalized before the finals night, and Miss Venezuela collapsed backstage just before the announcement of the Top 4.

MEO should also give ample time for the girls to rest and relax to avoid the same incidents shortly.

Stage Design

The 2018 stage is without a doubt the best ever design that Miss Earth did. The stage design was both aesthetically or visually stunning and also relevant to the pageant’s cause.

Miss Earth 2018 Stage
The stage was made of recycled materials, keeping in faith with the pageant's advocacy. (Photo grabbed from Miss Earth Youtube)
Pageants are increasingly utilizing LED screens for their stages. Now, it’s easy for pageants to create visually stunning stages with the use of LED screens and amazing visual effects. However, a decade of LED technology and pageant stages have now become some sort of generic.

With Miss Earth’s incorporation of recycled materials vis-a-vis smart lighting and strategically positioned LED screens. The result was a fantasy-inspired stage with an elegant effect on the television screens.

Opening Number

The Miss Earth’s opening dance was really one of the most exciting portions of the pageant. Miss Earth has pioneered the concept of having the girls do “full-blown” dance numbers, showcasing their dancing prowess. Still, a top favorite was the 2011 edition.
Miss Earth 2018 Opening Number
Dancers opening the show for Miss Earth 2018 Finals. (Photo grabbed from Miss Earth Youtube)
But this year, the girls walked on stage per continent and had a pre-recorded introduction of their goddess name and country. While it was not as energetic and electrifying as the previous editions, the execution was excellent, and the concluding dance steps of the opening number was a delight to see.
Opening Dance Number of Miss Earth 2018. (Photo grabbed from Miss Earth Youtube)
This year’s camera execution gave the stage an airy and spacious appearance. The girls looked stunning, and their dance was both sensual and elegant.

Final Competition

The unique format of Miss Earth which was started last year continued in 2018. I love this innovation because it gives Miss Earth its very own identity. As the Top 16 were called, they were already being judged on Beauty and Poise criteria. Afterward, the Top 8 were announced, and the contestants were then judged on Figure & Form.

Finally, Miss Earth is no longer similar to Miss Universe. Now, it can be safely said that Miss Earth has shed off its initial Miss Universe format similarity and the pageant can now stand with the two oldest and biggest pageants as one of the original pageant formats.

Elemental Winners
Miss Earth 2018 Elemental Queens
The four elemental queens of Miss Earth 2018. (Photo grabbed from Miss Earth Youtube)
This year’s four elemental queens are one of the strongest sets that Miss Earth had. All of them answered the question excellently, and no one actually faltered. Austria, Mexico, Colombia, and Vietnam are all complete packages, and anyone could be an excellent choice for the crown.

During the Final Question, their answers were all on point, and their delivery was truly commendable. The judges really did a great job of selecting from the Top 8 the potential four to become the next Miss Earth.

Vietnam won its first ever Miss Earth crown, 8 years after the country hosted the Miss Earth pageant. She has the makings of a great environmental ambassador. She’s stunning, smart, and a charming and likable demeanor.

Conclusion

Miss Earth 2018 is definitely a very entertaining pageant. The final show was excellently executed, and the musical number was an internationally recognized artist, Grammy-nominated singer Brian McKnight no less.

Definitely, Miss Earth has come a long way. The pageant had come past its shaky 2012 and 2013 editions which were heavily criticized for the execution of what could have been a great concept. But these editions obviously failed to measure up to fans high standards.

But the 2018 editions is without any argue an excellent edition which can easily rival that of Miss World, which has become some sort of awarding ceremony.

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