Brazil’s record at Miss Earth is pretty much spectacular. At the inaugural contest in 2001, Brazil narrowly missed the crown when Simone Régis finished as Miss Earth-Wind which in the usual parlance is basically the first runner-up title. But this being Miss Earth, in theory, all of the top four contestants are considered as winners and all gets a crown and a title.
Simone Régis (right) with Catharina Svensson
In 2002, Brazil should have won its first Miss Earth crown as the gorgeous Andriana Reis, a Miss World semifinalist, was set to represent Brazil. An infection prevented the superbeauty from competing and Brazil officially skipped the pageant. In 2003, Brazil had another near miss when Priscila Poleselo Zandoná finished as runner-up to Dania Prince of Honduras.
Priscila Poleselo Zandoná with Dania Prince
Priscilla Meirelles cemented Brazil’s status as a beauty superpower
The search for glory finally brought into fruition by Priscilla Meirelles in 2004. Priscilla ushered Brazil into a unique status of being the first nation to win all of the Big4 crowns. After her crowning though, Brazil had a brief period of drought until 2008 when Tatiane Alves was crowned as Miss Earth-Fire (which is considered as third runner-up position).
Tatiane Alves (left) with Abigail Elizalde from Mexico and the winner Karla Henry of the Philippines
In 2009, Brazil became the leading nation at Miss Earth after clinching its second Miss Earth crown. The pageant was held in the popular holiday island of Boracay and Larissa Ramos did a spectacular job of making Brazil the first ever nation to win the Miss Earth title twice.
The year after Larissa won the crown, Brazil failed to make it to the semis. The pageant was held in Nha Trang, Vietnam which marks a historic occasion as it was the first time that the Miss Earth pageant was held outside its home country. After the 2010 failure, Brazil came back with a bang with Drielly Bennettone was awarded with Miss Earth-Air title in 2011 and Camila Brant as Miss Earth-Fire in 2012.
Drielly Bennettone (left) with the winner, Olga Alava of Ecuador
Camila Brant with Tereza Fajksova
What is so perplexing is that despite having two great winners, Miss Earth never gained foothold in Brazil. It’s popularity is quite low. One reason could be that Miss Earth is new pageant. The second is that Brazil is far more fixated with Miss Universe more than anything else. The country has already hosted the Miss Universe pageant whereas attempts to boost the country’s interest on other pageants like Miss World came into naught (the recent scandal involving the 2015 Miss Mundo Brasil winner didn’t help the situation).
With such low interest, Miss Earth Brazil no longer conducts formal pageant. Letícia Silva, last year’s Miss Earth Brazil, for example, was given her title and crown over a very simple ceremony in a restaurant. This year, Thiessa Sickert was simple chosen to represent Brazil in Austria without any formal ceremony. This is quite perplexing that a nation that can boast two Miss Earth crowns could not even conduct a formal pageant to select its Miss Earth representative.
It is imperative for Miss Earth to demand from its Brazilian franchise holder to conduct a formal pageant. It is also important that Miss Earth should cultivate its brand in South America’s largest and most populous nation. Brazilians have high interest in pageants, but if Miss Earth will continue things the way it is, it would be just matter of time when the quality of Brazilian beauties competing the pageant will gradually deteriorate.