The first runner-up finish of Michelle Gómez at Miss Earth 2016 was a clear indication that her country may have its very first titleholder in the next year or so. That is of course if – a big if really – the dynamics of the pageant remains the same. There are some hurdles here and there but still the prospects are quite bright.
The strength of Colombia at Miss Earth lies on the fact that the national pageant that selects the country’s rep is well organized. In fact, it is one of the national organizations that regularly invites the reigning queen and conducts meaningful environmental activities. It is independent, well-funded and focused.
Colombia is quite inconsistent at Big5 pageants where it is pretty much strong at Miss Universe and Miss International but it is yet to win the Miss World, Miss Earth and Miss Supranational crowns. It is pretty clear though where the problem lies – Miss Universe and Miss International is handled by the well-respected Concurso Nacional de Belleza de Colombia organization. All others are handled by different entities (Miss World franchise was given to Miss Mundo Colombia in 1990).
Organizational perspective aside, one of the challenges of Colombia especially at Miss Earth is the languange barrier. Miss Earth is notorious for employing inept translators which actually elicited a lot of uproar in the past. Ecuador, a neighboring Spanish-speaking nation managed to win two titles thanks to the fact that its two winners are proficient English speakers. This is something the Miss Earth Colombia should focus on but it is a wake up call for Miss Earth to provide proper translators.
Colombia’s record at Miss Earth which includes two Top 16 semifinalists, 3 Top 8 finishers and last year’s first runner-up should pave way for the much-awaited victory. Surely, with a focused organization and enthusiastic fan base, Colombia will do well with a Miss Earth crown. A victory will also cement the country’s status as a beauty superpower and could also boost its chances in other Big5 pageants. With political turmoil in neighboring Venezuela plus its spectacular run at Miss Universe, the time is ripe that this underappreciated nation will finally shine!