I&WP 2016’s Pageant of the Year is Miss Universe

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Last year, many beauty pageant promised us changed in their contest format, new additions, better production and many more. While changes were evident, some really didn’t impress. Only one contest that stood out was Miss Universe contest. Miss Universe contest has really changed since WME/IMG took over from Trump. It has been evolving since then for all the right reasons.

Miss Universe 2016 is definitely the best among many 2016 pageants. There are so many reasons why it is the best.

The first thing being it is Miss Universe – the most entertaining pageant and simultaneously being held in the Philippines. It can never go wrong if a contest is held in Asia especially the Philippines.

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The pre-event galas and trips to various locations were outstanding. Though during the finale unlike the 90s, Philippines various locations and tourism were not much promoted except the contestants attending some galas and trips to the island, we could still see Philippines tourism. Thanks to Social media like Facebook and Instagram, we know where the contestants were headed for.

Steve Harvey coming back as a host was an excellent choice. The night was not just about the competition but also about Steve which in a way brought down tension and stiff competitions in the air. Indeed it was entertaining and delightful evening. Pia Wurtzbach, Miss Colombia and Miss Haiti made some light-hearted remarks regarding Steve’s mistake during Miss Universe 2015 contest and Steve was there to take it sportingly and as usual he also joined them in the act. It wouldn’t be too much to say Steve is the best host of 2016 pageants.

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Steve Harvey with Mexine Medina

Bringing back the top 13 brief introduction through Steve asking the finalists some questions regarding the contestants. The 90s of Miss Universe was back. This gave us time to understand the contestants before they actually compete for further rounds.

Miss Universe under IMG has evolved. Since last year we have seen it all in how they select finalists and the winner. Like Miss World or taking a leaf out from Miss World, it has become more about inclusion and embracing change and celebrating femininity. Miss Canada inclusion wasn’t surprising at all. Just look at her on stage, she was full of confidence and exuded grace. Not only Canada, there were other contestants who had decent body if not being perfect who made it to the top 13. Ashley Graham as a co-host wasn’t just about just making statement, it was more about being “Confidently Beautiful.” Absolutely overawed!

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Apart from the brief introduction of the top 13 finalists, there were two Q & A round – the top 6 and top 3. It is always fascinating to hear beauty queens speak and share their wisdom. The only complain I have was Miss Kenya’s political questions. That really cost her a chance in the top 3.

Iris Mittenaere from France winning the contest was perfect and very much deserved. Amazing winner!

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Lastly, two girls who showed Miss Universe true changes with time are Miss Haiti and Miss Venezuela. Miss Universe has always been considered a contest only for the powerhouse countries and for countries with a strong sash. It made it look like there is no room for weak sash. Miss Haiti’s inclusion proved it all wrong and she has already proven her worth in the contest. Miss Venezuela’s exclusion is another example. You can’t be just a powerhouse or performer or media or fans favourite, you have to be more than just that.

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