Sunday, 20 January 2019

Review: Miss International 2018 improves tremendously


The third oldest international beauty pageant was resurgent in 2018. The Japan-based pageant introduced small changes that have tremendously improved the pageant’s overall show.

Miss International has not always been the traditional pageant. In the past decades, Miss International has produced some of the most electrifying finale shows, albeit on a much smaller scale compared to that of Miss Universe. 
Miss International 2018 Mariem Velazco crowned by Miss International 2017 Kevin Liliana
Miss International 2018 Mariem Velazco crowned by Miss International 2017 Kevin Liliana. (Photo Courtesy of YouTube)
When Miss International was staged in China, it had a massive stage with elements that are found now in many international pageants. Unfortunately, Miss International lagged and went back to Japan and has since used its current format.

The format used now is dated and is indeed a great recipe for a snoozefest. A casual pageant viewer might be baffled how come a pageant goes on for five hours before the winner is announced. 

But Miss International has been unapologetic. For years, it hangs on its format in selecting its winners and has crowned deserving girls year after year. So when the form works, why change?
Miss International 2018 Mariem Velazco
Miss International 2018 Mariem Velazco made the Japanese gesture of saying "Thank You" after being announced as the 58th winner of the pageant. (Photo Courtesy of YouTube)
The arrival of new pageants like Miss Supranational and Miss Grand International might have awakened Miss International’s instinct of survival. When Miss Earth arrived in 2001, it only took the Philippine-based pageant two years to surpassed Miss International regarding participating nations and television broadcast around the globe. 

But with four top international pageants, it seems that it was not yet crowded then. The so-called Big 4 then co-existed harmoniously.

However, now that the number had grown to six, pageants must now scramble for their share of the beauty pageant pie. There are far more choices for national pageants, resulting in some dropping and changing of franchises. To respond to these developments, Miss International has to institute changes to keep itself relevant to this day and age. 

2018 Format 

This year, Miss International introduced for the first time ever a Preliminary Swimsuit judging. Hopes were high that the finals would no longer run for 5 hours. 

But to the dismay of many, the format stayed the same. All candidates walked the stage one by one through three phases of the competition —- National Costume, Swimsuit, and Evening Gown. 
Miss International 2018 stage
The stage of Miss International 2018 pageant in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo Courtesy of YouTube)
However, this year’s edition found redemption with the fantastic lighting, sound stage, and some great musical numbers. Though it was still 5 hours long, Miss International 2018 can no longer be classified as “basic,” the usual term being used by some paid pageant sites like Global Beauties. 

A genuinely passionate pageant fan would actually sustain the 5-hour show, and at the end, with a satisfactory result with the crowning of Venezuela’s Mariem Velazco, it could be said that it was pretty entertaining and a decent show.

Suggestion For 2019

For Miss International 2018, it is highly suggested that the show is shortened and inject more interesting elements. 

If the Parade of National Costumes is really that significant and necessary, the organization can keep it for the Finals Opening and the scores given can be added to that already given to the candidates in a prior preliminary competition.  By doing this, a set of semifinalists can be announced who would then proceed to proceed in the final rounds of the pageant. 

The time saved could be used for some video packages showcasing the preliminary activities, the culture of Japan, and some causes promoting the Miss International Organization.

Conclusion

Integrity is what keeps the Miss International afloat. It’s nearly six decades in the business of beauty pageants and the almost universal acceptance of its winners by pageant fans, make Miss International a highly coveted and prestigious title. 

But with the advancement in technology, the internet and live streaming reaching more people than ever, doors were opened for younger pageants to what was before a television exclusive industry.

Television broadcast has long been dominated by Miss Universe, followed by Miss World and Miss Earth. Miss Supranational, to a certain extent, also has TV reach. But with the internet and social media, Miss Grand International was able to break new heights and had created a strong brand in a short span of five years. 

With all that having said, Miss International must have felt that it has to step up its game now that more aggressive pageants are spring up like mushrooms. It still has the legacy and history which makes it prestigious, but these won’t secure survival and continued existence. As such, Miss International must also be aggressive and dynamic to keep its place among the hearts of many pageant fans.
Miss International 2018 Top 5
The Top 5 winners of Miss International 2018 posed for photographs. (Photo Courtesy of YouTube)


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