When asked what is the vital key to her victory, the new Miss World Venezuela, Debora Menicucci did not hesitate to answer. She pointed out her zeal as the single most important factor on why she won the title. But the critics are not happy with her victory. The social media is abuzz with nasty comments about the new winner claiming that a lot of other girls are way better than her.
And the critics and fans have a lot to worry about. The Miss Mundo Venezuela pageant is only on its second edition and it started with a failure. Karen Sotto, the first ever winner of the new pageant failed to be in the semis of Miss World 2013. If Venezuela wishes to have its 7th Miss World crown it has to get it right this year.
It is not yet clear if it’s true or not, but the Big Boss of Venezuelan pageantry, Osmel Sousa, tried to quell the negative comments about Debora by claiming that he personally chose the new winner. It was, in his words, a coup d’etat. He used his overriding authority, ignoring the scores of the jury and simply picked the girl of his liking. There are no other words to describe it – the Miss Mundo Venezuela 2014 contest was a cooking show – Venezuelan style.
The Venezuelan press was surprisingly oblivious. This is where it gets interesting. How could a national director blatantly claim to the press that he cooked the whole show and get away with it? Only Osmel Sousa can do this and there is not much that others can do about it. After all, he was labeled as the magician and if he claims that the results were done in magic, is there anyone out there that has the gall to complain?
Pageant analysts and missosologists reacted to this revelation with a shrug. One analysts said that this reflects the overall culture of the pageant. Osmel for example claims that he chose a girl that he thinks he can hone and train to become Miss World. Forget about the scores and what the judges think. He simply followed his intuition. And this is what the analysts think is going on in the international level. The panel of judges sitting at the finals of Miss World is a mere formality, according to observers. The real Miss World was chosen days way ahead of the finals.
Of course, these are rather odd observations given how Miss World are now initiating steps to make it more transparent by revealing the scores in real time during the finals night. However, the absence of clear criteria at the finals night including the minimal impact of final Q and A give credence to these observations. Miss World’s finals night is not where the contest is. It is merely a closing ceremony.
The Miss World selection does not necessarily come up with a decision to crown the best girl of the night. Rather, like Osmel, it seems that Julia Morley would choose the girl that she believes can project the whole narrative and tone of the organization that is, its charity projects. Indeed, if someone from the top level can cook and get away with it, there is no reason why the cooking can’t start – from Japan to Nigeria, from Iceland to New Zealand.