It is a bit funny to have an article written about Miss Earth 2021 with the title that starts with If Only She Were There… After all, none of them “were there”, right? Just for fun, let’s put a big question mark on the status of Miss Earth as a major international beauty pageant for conducting their pageant virtually. For realists, holding a pageant online is the best thing you can do in a pandemic. Just ask Julia Morley. For traditionalists, it’s the real thing or nothing. Just ask Akemi Shimomura.

Truth be told, the future of Miss Earth hangs in balance. If the organizers will conduct another virtual event this year, then even their hardened apologists would probably abandon the pageant. Still, no one can argue that it is still one of the major crowns that women across the globe are aspiring for. Its advocacy and the work carried out for that advocacy are good enough to continue supporting this pageant.

Anyway, back in 2021, prior to the finals, Miss Earth Puerto Rico Cristina Mariel Ríos collected a gold at Casual Chic Competition and then a bronze at Long Gown. Not that medals of any color matter at Miss Earth but it did put Christina Mariel in a good place. So good, that Missosology bestowed her the 11th spot at the final Hot Picks. So, it looks like whatever “virtual” opposition she will face, she’s still in contention for the crown, right? Well, wrong.

Cristina Mariel Ríos was only 19 when she was crowned Miss Earth Puerto Rico 2021

Cristina Mariel Ríos, despite putting strong performances both at casual and formal competitions, failed to make it to the semis. What happened? Why did she fail? Well, anyone who will attempt to analyze and explain as to why it happened will just embark in a wild goose chase. Remember, we are talking about a virtual competition. That alone is probably enough to satisfy whatever perplexing questions you may have about Miss Earth 2021.

As the world slowly opens up and Miss Earth’s home country Philippines is lifting restrictions, there will be no reason left for Miss Earth to conduct their pageant virtually. If the real thing happens then we can all have a better picture of things to come. That would, for sure, include a better analysis why another stunning candidate was unnecessarily wasted.