In keeping up with its Holiday Edition theme, Miss Universe 2012 opened with Donald Trump in a Santa Claus outfit as he welcomed everyone to the 61st edition of the world's most prestigious international beauty competition as far as Filipinos are concerned.
|Donald Trump as Santa|
FOUR OF MY FIVE MADE IT
What a perfect way to cap an almost perfect conclusion of the pageant.
Allow me also to celebrate and gloat just a little bit for I got 9 out of the 16 semifinalists in my prediction list. Of those nine beauties, seven made the Top Ten and four of them made the Final Five.
Not bad, considering that I'm no pageant expert
|Christmas- themed 2012 Miss Universe stage|
Amidst the strain of familiar Christmas jingles and the eye- popping and lavish holiday- themed set design, 89 of the world's most gorgeous women sashayed onstage in mini dresses. The pre- recorded introductions of their names and countries represented was quite fast and took only a mere 10 minutes.
Technical problems however hounded the first few girls whose names and countries weren't heard but everything was fixed after the few seconds of dead air. I'm just curious if somebody was fired for what happened
After the commercial break, the first of the three cuts before Miss Universe 2012 will be known was made. It was breathtaking and suspenseful for the whole nation wanted to know if Miss Philippines will continue its two successive placements in the pageant.
THE TOP 16 WERE AS FOLLOWS:
|Miss Venezuela is the first to get the call|
First to be called was Venezuela followed by Turkey, France, Peru and Russia. The next five were Mexico, Poland, Hungary, South Africa AND Philippines was called as the 10th semifinalist.
According to my brother Mikey who was at the pageant venue in Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, USA, pandemonium broke out as the Filipino crowd erupted into cheers and screams.
The last five to be called were Croatia who was my ultimate favorite to win the crown then she was followed by Brazil, Kosovo, Australia and India.
The Internet vote went to USA who was last to be called into the semifinals
Miss U 2012 Top 16
I was quite disappointed that El Salvador, Paraguay, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Finland and Jamaica who were in my prediction list failed to advance but the biggest shocker of the night was the non- inclusion of heavy favorite Puerto Rico among the Top 16
On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised with Peru, Turkey, Poland and Hungary
After the judges were introduced, the Swimsuit Competition followed. For me, the standouts were Venezuela, Australia, Philippines, Russia and Brazil
|Fun & Flirty Venezuela|
|Miss Australia is a Blonde Bombshell|
|Miss Philippines is a Fierce & Fabulous Filipina|
|From Russia with Love & a Pair of Kilometric Legs|
|Brazil is Tall & Tan & Young & Lovely|
THE TOP TEN
The next cut was then made.
Australia was the first to be called followed by Russia, Brazil, France and Venezuela. The second half was then called with USA followed by Hungary, South Africa. Called as the 9th semifinalist was Mexico.
It came down to the 10th and final spot and still no Philippines.
I was pretty sure that it would either be Kosovo or Croatia but to my glee, it was Philippines and the whole venue reverberated with the cheers from the Filipino crowd that supported its candidate
Officially out of the race were Peru, Poland, Kosovo, Croatia, Turkey and India
|The Tantalizing Ten|
Evening gowns was where you separated the girls from the ladies. You could tell it by the way they moved onstage with confidence and self- assuredness. Of course, the class & the elegance
In this phase of the competition, the judges looked at how the candidates carried their gowns and not at the gowns. It should be noted however that the choice of gown can make or break a candidate's chances but still its how one gives justice to the gown that is given the most weight
It is fitting then that they saved the best for last because Janine really slew the competition with her stance and overall projection despite wearing one of the least favored gowns in this segment.
For me, the best in this category were Brazil, Australia, France, South Africa and the Philippines
I knew that everyone wanted to find out if Janine will continue our two successive Miss Universe Top Five placements courtesy of Venus Raj 2010 and Shamcey Supsup 2011.
I knew that she had an impeccable gown presentation but would the mediocre gown hurt her chances?
First to be called was Venezuela followed by the Philippines!
Yehey! Australia then USA were called next.
Yehey! Australia then USA were called next.
Rounding out the Top Five was Brazil
|The Final Five|
The unthinkable had just happened.
Miss South Africa, the number one pick of the majority of pageant- related websites and predicted by most fans as the most likely to win this year's Miss Universe title and who was just a breath away from advancing to the winners' circle, had been snubbed by the judges and therefore, was officially out of contention.
The blonde stunner who begged off from joining the 2012 Miss World Pageant so she could prepare for Miss Universe was the biggest casualty of the pageant
I was waiting to cringe the moment Miss Philippines would open her mouth during the Final Q & A but to everyone's amazement, Janine not only aced the Interviews but also gave one of the most memorable answers in Miss Universe history
Nigel Barker, one of the judges, asked her this question:
"AS AN INTERNATIONAL AMBASSADOR, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT SPEAKING ENGLISH SHOULD BE A PREREQUISITE TO BEING MISS UNIVERSE? WHY OR WHY NOT?"
"For me, being Miss Universe is not just about knowing how to speak a specific language. It's about being able to influence and inspire other people. If you have a heart to serve and a strong mind to show people then you can be Miss Universe.
She totally aced it and now I was giddy and so excited because I thought that finally,we now had an actual shot at winning the crown
|and Miss Universe 2012 is Miss USA!|
Alas, it wasn't meant to be. It has been 39 years since we won our last Miss Universe crown but Janine's victory is reason enough for the entire country to celebrate
|Thirty- nine years after, USA avenged|
its Miss Universe loss to the Philippines in 1973
|Just look at that face...|
Until now, I still can't believe that most people that I talk to still believe that Janine was robbed of the crown and that Miss USA wasn't deserving of the Diamond Nexus crown.
Gone are the days when the Q & A was the be all and end all in determining who gets to be crowned Miss Universe. During the Final Look segment where the final rankings are decided, the judges assign points instead of scores as they decide who gets to be Miss Universe and who will be the runners up. The ranking system eliminates the possibility that some judges might manipulate the outcome.
The final ranking by the way is based not only on how the finalists answer the question but also on their overall performance during the entire evening AND of course, a globally appealing facial beauty because Miss Universe gets to be the endorser of the pageant's beauty product sponsors
By the way, my L.A.- based brother Mikey Gatal was featured in this news snippet from GMA7.
Click on the link please
The Philippines is presently the only country to have placed in the Miss Universe Top Five for three consecutive years. Venus in 2010 and Shamcey last year.
Brazil placed in the Top Five for the second consecutive year
Australia has placed in Miss Universe since 2008 and currently holds the longest streak of five consecutive years followed by France with four years
Did you know that USA, Germany, France & Canada are the only countries that have been participating since 1952?
Photo Credits: Copyright Infringement not intended