The continuous saga between that inconclusive rivalry of Miss Universe and Miss World is as old as tale itself. On the surface, Miss World wins hands down. It is by far the largest and the biggest pageant in the world. But scratching the surface deeper reveals a much clearer picture.
Miss Universe has a larger following and is more popular on countries where beauty pageants are already a part of the pop culture like in Latin America, Thailand and the Philippines. Miss World on the other hand, is far more recognizable in countries where beauty pageants are now a passé. And unlike Miss Universe, Miss World does not have brand recognition in the world's most dynamic and most advanced market - the United States. Needless to say, when it comes to the question as to which pageant have the most ardent supporters, Miss Universe reigns supreme. Of course there are some nitty gritty things that makes Miss Universe superior than Miss World. Here are the three most important ones:
1.) Miss Universe understands the concept of entertainment. It would be virtually impossible to catch a sleeping audience at Miss Universe versus to that infamous snoring man in Sanya while Miss World was right in front of him. There is that understanding within the Miss Universe organization that entertainment is the key word in the business. The moment that the pageant is beamed live around the world, Miss Universe builds up the tension with exciting musical intros and then weaves itself into the tension of the Top 16 announcement. The choice of music and the way the hosts present the Top 16 keeps the audience on the edge. In contrast, Miss World continues to suffer with erring and what it seems to be drunk hosts.
2.) Miss World is re-shaping pageantry with its attempt to put its charity works in the forefront. This is akin to putting the carriage in front of the horse. Miss Universe does charity works working to help AIDS victims but it never puts the project into the generous spotlight. Miss Universe is telling the world that it is and will still be a beauty pageant. Meanwhile Miss World is beginning to look like a charity organization which is not a bad idea but it has come into a point wherein its beauty pageant character is being skewed. For example, charity works is an integral part in the selection process of the Miss World semifinalists. Miss Universe meanwhile sticks with the interview-gown-swimsuit format. Then it talks about charity works later.
3.) When the swimsuit competition is absent on the final telecast, a beauty pageant will be missing a whole lot of stuff. And that's what happened to Miss World. Miss World does have a Beach Beauty segment where contestants are judged based on their swimsuit performance. But the contest was done before the final telecast so really it does not have any impact at all. Miss Universe on the other hand have swimsuit competition at the finals telecast and lately the segment is the key for any delegate to advance to the Top 10. Surely, no man will want to doze off at Miss Universe finals.
Thus any move in part of Miss World to make its pageant more popular should focus on these areas. The Dances of the World was a great step towards more entertainment and has been proven to be very popular. It needs however to work out on how they call their semifinalists or Top 15 or Top 7. This year for example the host erroneously called India when in fact he meant Kenya. Miss World need not to demand separate pageants at the national level in order to give its brand name a boost. If it chose to do so however, there is a pressing need to review on how it sees pageant in broader terms. As it has been said before, Miss World must appease its base not its detractors because for now, Miss Universe still reigns supreme.