Sunday, 20 January 2019

Review: Miss World 2018 and the loss of its pageant spirit


Miss World 2018 kicked off in Sanya, China with 118 contestants — the largest among the major beauty pageants this year. Again, Miss World was graved by top caliber girls, beautiful, accomplished, and boast amazing resumes. 
Vanessa Ponce of Mexico reacts as she was crowned Miss World 2018. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)
In spite of all these fantastic quality of pageant girls, Miss World’s format allowed for another year of dragging and uneventful crowning ceremony. 

With Miss World fast track events taking place ahead of the final show, much of the pageant’s action and excitement was held outside the stage. This resulted in a lackluster finale and a quiet stadium, except some enthusiastic family members of the contestants. 

As a beauty pageant, the core of a final show is to have the contestants compete in several segments designed to select the best girl for a pageant’s cause or purpose. Such on-stage competition is patently absent in Miss World that the show has become more of a variety show, which is more quiet and solemn than those we usually see on TV. 
118 contestants performed during the Dances of the World segment of Miss World 2018. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)
In short, Miss World’s changing of formats to respond to critics and feminists has led to the abolition of individual elements that make it a “beauty pageant.” Watching the show has become more of guessing game rather than actually trying to score the girls by yourself and have it validated by the judges’ decision at the end of the show. 

Despite this, Miss World still gets a big chunk of online views and social engagement still ahead of its competitors like Miss Earth and Miss International. The YouTube views of the crowning of the winners still rake millions of views hours immediately the final show.

But Miss World should rethink its format as the quality and the declining excitement of its finals show will not hold much longer against its aggressive rivals. Miss Grand International is fast getting traction among fans, especially among the Latin countries, because of its Miss Universe-style preliminary competitions and finals format. 

2018 Format

The Miss World 2018 Format was bizarre and goes against the very essence of beauty pageants. The Head to Head Challenge introduced last year was basically judging the girls based on their speaking and interview skills. 
Miss World 2018 featured a unique stage design that could either be inspired by the UN General Assembly Hall or the Game Show 1 vs. 100. (Photo Courtesy of YouTube)
Instead of competing against everyone, the Head To Head Challenge divide the girls, allowing unfair advancement to some girls. The winner of one group may not be necessarily a better candidate than the one losing in another group. 

Lastly, the Fast Track events have become insignificant as winners of these events have continuously failed to win or make it to the Top 2. Thus, judging has become more dubious and the results a shocker.

Suggestions for 2019

If Miss World is really decided to not resurrect the swimsuit competition, might as well replace it with something that would be headline-grabbing without antagonizing its critics and the feminists. 

Miss World could start with a Top 30 of the highest scoring girls from the Fast Track Events. The announcement should be made on the finals with the excitement and bravado ala Miss Universe. 

Then the Top 30 will parade in pantsuits or tuxedos, instead of bikinis or swimsuits. The women will be judged based on their confidence, presentation, and empowering aura.

Next, the Top 30 will be cut into Top 15. The Top 15 will then compete in Evening Gowns, where they will be judged in poise, elegance, confidence, and beauty. Looking beautiful in an evening gown is essential since a Miss World would be attending charity galas and fundraisers. 

The Top 15 will then be cut into Top 5 for the Final Interview. From this Top 5 will come the 2 runner-ups and the new Miss World. 

Conclusion

Miss World is still a very prestigious beauty pageant. It has history and the British connection that makes it a popular title for any aspiring beauty queen. Miss World also boasts the biggest number of participating nations, covering more countries which promise more diversity.
Vanessa Ponce crowned as Miss World 2018
Vanessa Ponce was in full delight as she was being crowned by Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar of India. Vanessa is the first from Mexico to ever win the Miss World crown. (Photo Courtesy of YouTube.)
But Miss World has to re-think its direction as it is rapidly losing its entertainment value. Recent editions are no longer what they were used to be — something fans could watch for two to three hours. The want of excitement makes Miss World a bland television event. Be that as it may, the pageant is still very prestigious and much sought-after. 

Being relevant should not mean that you get rid of elements that make Miss World a beauty pageant. Relevance should be being able to harmoniously incorporate the contemporaneous role of women to society and at the same time, giving its loyal fans the entertainment and pageantry that they deserve.

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