Analyzing Miss Earth 2014
By Ric Galvez
Drew, one of the prolific in-house writers here at Missosology, once pointed out that a hometown girl winning the crown always raises a lot of eyebrows. Indeed, Jamie Herrell of the Philippines winning the Miss Earth 2014 crown did raise my eyebrows especially if you factor in the fact that the pageant is Filipino-owned while being held in the Philippines with a panel of jury with large percentage of Filipinos. That sounds like an outright hometown decision, right?
Let’s be honest here. Missosology has been critical of hometown decisions especially if there are sufficient grounds to question these victories. For example, the fact that it is difficult to find a pageant host city nowadays means that the conspiracy theory of “host it to win it” may have credence after all.
But whatever the forces that allowed Jamie Herrell to win the Miss Earth 2014 crown should not cloud the real and hard-core fact that she is a front-runner in the competition. She has been spectacular in the swimsuit and gown competition and she aced her interview question.
Personally, I would prefer if say Russia or Venezuela or even USA won the crown. It could probably spare Miss Earth from the tirades of its critics and the pageant would generate interest abroad. I would assume though that the Miss Earth organization could be in some kind of dilemma. Should the pageant crown the local girl and suffer the ire of its critics but all the while deny the crown from a girl who really deserves to win? Perhaps in the end, Miss Earth allowed the facts to dictate the course of the events. There is no way it can pacify its critics anyway so perhaps it simply allowed the deserving girl to win the crown.
One thing I noted is that the production this year dramatically improved. Pageants are better held indoors and while I hoped for a larger and more colorful venue, the UP Theater served its purpose. The hosts are passable but they are lost for some words at times grasping for some adjectives. At least one of them did not err this time by calling the event Miss World like what happened last year.
The judging panel is okay-ish but there were way too much Filipinos which simply fuels the speculation that the pageant is rigged. The overall quality of delagates is wonderful but we missed some of them such as Miss France as she suffered some ailment. This was the same case as with Miss New Zealand last year. The pageant should clearly address this issue but let me point out that other pageants in the Big4 do suffer from medical emergencies from time to time.
Whatever the forces that allowed Jamie Herrell to win the Miss Earth 2014 crown should not cloud the real and hard-core fact that she is a front-runner in the competition
The delegates who made it to the Top 16 are the ones I’ve been expecting all along although there are some surprises. Miss Paraguay Sendy Cáceres was one of the delegates that I was surprised not to see in the semis. I was kind of hoping that Miss Puerto Rico Franceska Toro would be there too considering that she is a strong candidate and has the momentum on her side.
The usual suspects – Venezuela, Brazil and the Philippines made it – which simply vindicated the controversial opinion piece that the Missosology editorial team penned a few weeks ago. The inclusion of Miss Egypt Nancy Magdy did surprise me especially since there are a lot of other candidates that are clearly superior than her. Nancy also sported a body that defies the conventional.
Many critics also slammed Miss Earth for ignoring the black candidates although Miss Zambia Cartier Zagorski is bi-racial (her father is Polish). My opinion is that each candidate should be judged by her merits and not by her skin color. A pageant should not be compelled to include a black candidate for the sake of it. It should be based on her overall performance. I don’t think that implementing some sort of affirmative action in the world of pageantry is very healthy. And one should take note that racism is a two way street.
But back to the usual trio – Venezuela, Brazil and the Philippines. Let it be known that the three ladies, Miss Venezuela Maira Alexandra Rodríguez, Miss Brazil Letícia Silva and Miss Philippines Jamie Herrell all deserve to be in the semis based on my opinion. While Missosology did point out the obvious in our controversial editorial, the critics are indeed correct in saying that in Miss Universe, the trio had been in the Top 5 for already two years in a row! So clearly, Venezuela, Brazil and the Philippines are the superpower beauty countries these days as based on the trends. And Miss Earth is simply one of the venues wherein these three countries are flexing their beauty pageant muscles.
Generally, the swimsuit and gown competition at the Miss Earth 2014 finals came and went without much fuzz. Of course, I am still upset that Miss Egypt Nancy Magdy came out to the stage with a not-so-shapely body. Miss Spain Zaira Bas, who is the Missosology’s Choice winner, was clearly a front-runner but I think she overdid it both in swimsuit and in gown. Those unnecessary moves did take its toll on her scores.
The Top 8 was great and I love to see countries such as Mongolia and Slovak Republic making it to the next level of the competition. Indeed, Miss Mongolia Tugsuu Idersaikhan and Miss Slovak Republic Dária Fabrici brought honors to their respective nations for landing this far in a Big4 pageant. It generated a lot of interest in their nations that are usually oblivious to pageants and it is good in overall to the world of pageantry.
The critics of Miss Earth have sharpened their pitchforks but there is no denying that it is still one of the Top 4 pageants in the world
The competition moved all along with the interview round. This is one of the weakest point of Miss Earth and that is largely due to the incompetent translators that botched up the answers of several front-runners. I personally think that this segment should be axed if Miss Earth can’t provide a proper translation service.
As it turns out, Miss Earth managed to provide decent translators for Spanish-speaking Venezuela and Spain and – to my delight – a good translator for the Mongolian, Russian and Slovakian languages. But why on earth can’t they provide a professional translator that spoke perfect Portuguese? Instead, Miss Switzerland Shayade Hug provided a rough translation of what Letícia has to say. There is no doubt that this is the lowest point of the evening for the Miss Earth pageant.
After the Q&A, both Miss USA and Miss Philippines gave strong answers and this is not just because they are the only ones who spoke English. However, I believe that it would have been a better idea if Venezuela or Russia took the lead.
And so, the Philippines took its second Miss Earth crown. A deep analysis of the pageant shows that Jamie Herrell deserves her victory. It is however easy to simply have a snapshot of the results and declare the whole pageant as a farce. The critics of Miss Earth have sharpened their pitchforks but there is no denying that it is still one of the Top 4 pageants in the world.
Meanwhile, the Philippines cemented its status as a superpower. One should not ignore this undeniable fact despite the overwhelming influence of the country on the pageant. It is also great to see the pageant improving in terms of production and venue and I am looking forward to see it being held overseas. I am also optimistic that countries such as Zambia or Mongolia or Slovak Republic will bring in better candidates in the future and it would be great to see them winning the pageant.