Monday, 14 January 2019

Review: Miss Grand International 2018 is a downgrade from past editions

Miss Grand International 2018 is the 6th edition of the Thai-based pageant which has claimed to be the Top 3 pageant in the world. 

Before I begin my review, let’s rectify the facts first. Miss Grand International has the third most prominent social media following in Facebook after Miss Universe and Miss World. It also has the second most number of following in Instagram after Miss Universe. 

Miss Grand International 2018 Top 5 Winners
Miss Grand International 2018 Top 5. (Photo Courtesy of Miss Grand International Facebook)
But Miss Grand International has only 75 contestants this year, falling below Miss International which has 79 and Miss Earth which has 87 contestants vying for the 2018 titles. So evidently, Miss Grand International cannot claim the third biggest pageant, which could comfortably be claimed by Miss Earth. 

Also, Miss Grand International lacks wide television telecast which Miss Universe, Miss World, and Miss Earth have. MGI is only aired live by a regional TV channel based in Thailand which aired the show LIVE in Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand. It also has satellite transmission in WSM-TV in China and webcast in Zoom Digital India. 

But these TV airing does not even compare to FOXlife, Miss Earth’s Asian telecast. It alone reaches 98 million homes in 15 countries and it’s only one of the ever-growing international broadcasters of Miss Earth. So surely, MGI cannot claim to be the third most widely distributed TV content among the beauty pageants.

Miss Grand International 2018 Evening Gown
Miss Grand International 2018 Evening Gown Round
So now that it’s close, I must say that MGI did a good job this year in Myanmar. The live stream of its events is still topnotch, allowing fans engaged and updated. Its social media engagement this year is up, with numerous online voting from the National Costume to Swimsuit and even an Instagram voting for a Special Dinner with the MGIO President.

MGI also released HD photos to the delight of the pageant fans. Social Media has definitely become the bailiwick and strength of the pageant. But all these things led to the finals night which became another story. 

Miss Grand International 2018 finals night has become a letdown, a downgrade in fact from last year. And last year’s edition was not, in fact, a very good one, compared to the earlier editions held in Thailand. 

The Opening Dance of Miss Grand International has become a fixture in its show, which is reminiscent of Miss Earth which has featured this Opening Dance since its inception in 2001. This year’s MGI Opening Dance is energetic and lively, better than last year in Vietnam. 

But the stage, venue, and lighting of the final show were all downgrades. The venue is small and not even filled by the audience. The yell and cheers inside the venue only verify the initial impression that not many watched the show live. 

Also, the promise that Myanmar and its rich culture will be incorporated in the pageant’s show has not even materialized. No trace of Burmese culture is seen in the entire show. 

MGI’s show has become a generic pageant, with nothing else but huge LED screens, pop music as background, and contestants strutting swimsuit and evening which are all part of the onstage competition. 

Miss Paraguay Clara Sossa wins Miss Grand International 2018
Photo Courtesy of Miss Grand International Official Facebook
To claim as the top three pageant, I have not seen an international musical guest, no important figures from Myanmar or the business sector which are all tell-tale signs that Myanmar’s hosting of MGI was not supported by the government or any important sector. It seems that MGIO spent all just to have the show in Myanmar.

The judging panel was comprised of the same people who judged the preliminaries. So what’s the point of having a Preliminary Judging when they’re the same people deciding in the finals. They’ve already seen the girls and had their own favorites so they would just repeat it during the finals night?

Miss Grand Thailand 2018 was a great show. In fact, it was amazingly produced, so my expectations for Miss Grand International 2018 has been high since it’s the international counterpart. But it was just a letdown. 

I don’t want to compare, but for three straight years now, Miss Grand International has somewhat fallen below Miss Earth regarding entertainment and overall production quality. And it was odd that the Thai national pageant is better than the international one. 

So the overall score for Miss Grand International 2018 is 6/10 with much of the score attributed to its amazing live streaming of pre-pageant activities albeit lacking in terms of places visited, cultural relevance, and relevance to the pageant’s cause.

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