This year Femina Miss India org brought a lot of changes to it’s format of selecting the finalists. For a change, this year contestants were selected state wise where one girl would be representing her state. So in total we had 30 girls representing 30 states including the half state-half union territory, Delhi. This was very much welcomed by fans across India and it particularly gave a fair representation of the 8 Northeast states. This year saw the highest number of North-eastern women participating in Femina Miss India with the introduction of State wise crowning. Everything started in a good note. The Cox & King Miss Getaway Goddess video of each contestants showcasing their state was fabulous. The bonding of the girls was truly a representation of the India’s unity in diversity. In fact, the pre-pageant finale activities were exceptionally good. This gave us hope that the finale will be grand too since the coverage of each contestants was the highlight of the pageant.
Then the Miss India 2017 finale happened. There were confusions among the fans that whether the contest would be live streamed on Jio TV app. Expectation were high since Femina promised to bring a lot of changes which they did. In the end, one had to rely on their Twitter account and Facebook page for live updates. Thankfully, some fans present at the contest shared videos of the contest. The contest lasted more than 4 hours.
The highlight of the finale was telecast on July 9th, 2017 after almost two weeks. Watching the highlight and watching the actual live show through videos available part by part. There was a big difference. As expected, the highlights had many cuts and edits. Even the top 15 question and answer round were edited and done in a Fast and Furious. Femina Miss India has been doing this way since many years. Maybe some day it might break the records of Fast and Furious sequels which currently stands at 8 sequels. All I could think was, “Were they were also censored by India’s Central Board of Film Certification?”
Back to the finale. Here’s how I would describe about the Highlighted show of fbb Femina Miss India 2017:
Press Conference of Jagga Jasoos: Ranbir Kapoor came to promote his movie Jagga Jasoos. He also perfomed on stage. Miss India stage is a platform for promoting an upcoming movie. Every year, we get to see Bollywood star promoting their movies during the pre finale and on finale night. During pre-finale is fine; it can be considered as one of the activities of Miss India but on finale day, it always overshadow the contestants and fans like me is left fuming over seeing little of the contestants. The moment for contestants became the royal treatment for Bollywood stars.
Synonyms of Bollywood’s running around trees: While in the western movies, trees form a part of scenery or backdrop, here in Indian movies, trees form a part of dance sequence, though over the years we have seen less numbers of trees in our Bollywood songs, but Femina can’t be left behind when it comes to dancing sequence. On stage, the trees are being replaced by background dancers and some props. This year, Alia Bhatt, Sushant Singh Rajput and Ranbir Kapoor were the performer. I wasn’t sure if I was watching IIFA award or Filmfare Award. Sonu Nigam also performed on stage. His performance was the best. The only time I like Miss India dance and song numbers was in Femina Miss India 2013 where Priyanka Chopra paid a tribute to the contestants and India’s diversity through her dance performance, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan performing a very international style well-choreographed number and Sonu Nigam tribute to the contestants.
The Host: Karan Johar and Reteish Deshmukh were the host of the evening. Though I would say I somehow enjoyed their comedy, I can’t count the number of times Karan has appeared on Femina Miss India contest either as judge or host. Miss World had Angela Chow and now Megan Young continually hosting Miss World, Miss India had Manish Paul in the form of Angela and now Karan Johar could be Femina Miss India answer to Megan Young. Gone are the days when an actual TV host would host the finale. I miss those days. They look more professional and more suited to pageant.
The fashion show: – The 30 contestants wore an exquisite Manish Malhotra outfit and walked the stage. They all looked so regal and elegance in Indian traditional outfit. This was also the time for contestants to take the spotlight. The contestants should have come out on stage individually instead of coming together at once and then walked. While I try to concentrate on one contestant at a time, the other contestants on stage distracted me and my eyes would focus on both. That’s not fair! The edited version of this round was so short and can’t fathom the fact the contestants looked so hurried. All due to over emphasizing on editing and the dress. Hate the fact that they would showed the contestant in two frames on one screen. That felt like a they had twin sisters.
The questions and answer round – While the top 6 question brings out the eloquence of the contestants, the top 15 question and answer was more like Miss Universe top 10 introduction. Don’t know on what basis the contestants were judged because the question asked were too basic. There were actually only two questions I like which was asked to Miss Haryana and Miss Jammu & Kashmir That really doesn’t determine their intelligence. Asking someone to sing, tell them about their state, their favourite city etc, don’t really bring out the girl’s intelligence and speaking skills. The girls were actually asked two questions each but here in the highlighted version, we get to only one.
The top 15 question and answer round:
You’re an engineer. Can you code a formula for winning Miss India?
Uttarakhand: Definitely! Being a software engineer, I’ve always believe in working hard. To me, Miss India is more than a title. It is a commitment to become a role model to the youth and touches millions of live by meaningful differences.
If an alien come to your house from the universe, what experience will you give him and why?
Delhi: It’s an alien. It’s completely blank to which we can fill it with an experience form this world. I think anything would be interesting for it.
Our government has put a ban on surrogacy. What is your opinion about it?
Haryana: I think everyone has the right to be a parent so instead of banning surrogacy, the government should focus on preventing exploitation of surrogacy.
You’ve studied journalism. If you have to ask one questions to Karan Johar for an interview what would it be?
Punjab: First of all, I would like to ask Karan that ‘How is he so interesting and How do you manage such charm within yourself?’
Since you’re a lawyer, what would you say about triple talaq? Should it be ban?
Jammu & Kashmir: Being a lawyer, I can tell you that the Constitution supports equality of gender. Therefore I do believe that triple talaq should definitely be abolished.
You play 7 kinds of sports. Which female sportsperson inspire you the most?
Uttar Pradesh: At the north zone, we have Geeta Phogat. I think that her story is so incredibly inspiring that I would give anything to know the kind of determination and passion for her to get where she is today.
Lichha, you’re from the beautiful state of Arunachal Pradesh. Why don’t you tell us something abut Arunachal Pradesh?
Arunachal Pradesh: Arunachal Pradesh is beautifully gifted with forty major communities and one can witness 30 major colourful festivals in a year. We are beautifully diverse yet we are united.
You won Rajnigandha Miss Goodness title. Tell us what did you do to win the title?
Bihar: I didn’t do anything special thing to win the title. May be that’s why I won. I am the way I am. My parents have always taught me to always help others and one should always be the way they are. May be that’s why my co-contestants voted for me.
If you have to go out for a special evening of conversation with any one of the judges, who would you choose and why?
Mizoram: I would pick Bipasha Basu. She is dedicated and passionate in her work. I would like to have an interaction about how she givers herself in whatever she does because you can see that she believes in herself and so genuine.
You’re a state winner from Assam. What is the secret of your beauty?
Assam: The secret of my glowing skin.. I don’t know. I got Miss Glowing Skin, trust me, I apply only and only coconut oil before I go to sleep and nobody believes me that. Trust me I don’t put any make-up. I don’t apply any make-up. Right now yes I am wearing make-up.
You won Miss Fashion Icon title. What is your fashion statement?
Rajasthan: My fashion statement would be, ‘be comfortable, be unique and be happy and keep smiling.’ I think that what makes me unique here.
If you go an offer for a film from a big banner like Yash Raj movie and you would have to wear a sexy bikini. So, would you do the film or leave the movie?
Maharashtra: If I think that it is required to wear a bikini according to the script, then I would definitely do it.
You’re a TV host and host ‘Love Guru.’ Please tell five us an advice on how to make a woman happy?
Goa: According to me, if a guy has to impress a girl, first of all, please smell good all the time. You are supposed to be presentable and smell good. Second thing, have a great sense of humour like Retiesh Deshmukh.
Tell us one thing about Kerala that is vey special?
Kerela: People in Kerala are very simple down to earth and humble but at the same time they are very simple and believe in theology.
You’re a fitness enthusiast. What advice would you give to Karan about six pact abs.
Karnataka: I think Karan Johar is handsome the way he is. Not just on the body but character, how fun loving he is. I don’t think he needs a six pack to attract anyone.
Top 6 question and answer round:
This was a common question. They were asked in the 30 days of the contest that they had spend time with 30 contestants, what would they take back?
Uttarakhand: I’m honoured to have journeyed along with these beautiful women from all across India. By living with them I’ve learn to appreciate our superficial differences and I’ve learn to celebrate our common love about our nation. I am certainly going to miss this feeling of oneness and unity. I’ve learnt a lot form each one of them about their culture and tradition which I’m sure I’m going to cherish throughout my life. No matter wherever we guys are going to go after this, I want to tell all my fellow contestants that we have made beautiful memories and we all are going to remember each of them.
Haryana: I think this 30 this days that I’ve spent at fbb Femina Miss India with my fellow contestants have been the most dynamic days of my life and the only thing I was certain about was the uncertainty. But the one believe that I would take back with me that would be ‘Yes I can change the world because when I entered Miss India, it was only passion and a purpose but throughout the journey I had a vision though I feel that with that vision in my head and the believe that I can change the world is something I am going to take back with me.
Jammu & Kashmir: I spend 30 days.. . One of the most special journey of my entire life. I’ll cherish for the rest of my life and if I have to take a few learning back home, then this learning would be the warrior spirit of every contestants. 30 different states, it’s a competition but we’ve lived together like a family. It’s the warrior spirit of every contestant, the love, the warmth, the culture they brought here. I’m gonna take the essence of every culture, the essence of their warrior spirit with me.
Uttar Pradesh: I’ve learnt that empathy is the greatest virtue. I’ve learn how to experience all of these 30 girls joy and pain as if were my own. I’ve learnt humility. I’ve learnt intergrity that all of these girls carry with them. I’ve learnt resilience and hardwork know no bound.
Bihar: These 30 days have been the most incredible days of my life. Without a doubt, the most memorable of my life. I’ve learn so many things from this journey. To name a few, I’ve learnt how to be positive all the time and not to let stress get to you. Also, I’ve learnt the importance of acceptance because if we accept ourselves the way we are, it helps us make us unique and stand out among the crowd. And alos the most important that I learnt is there is nothing call good or bad but people are different. I’ve spend 30 days with 30 contestants. And I’ve learnt that each one of us is different and unique and we should always accept our differences, be together and stand in unity.
Maharashtra: I’m very lucky that I’ve got an opportunity to spend 30 days with 30 contestants from different states. The learning I would take back is that they all are unique in their own way and they are very compassionate. One thing that I learnt is that respect each other, love each other never let other down and respect each other. That’s what I’ve learnt in this journey of fbb Femina Miss India.
Opinion on the three winners: Manushi was everyone’s favourite for the crown. She is raw and still needs to be polished. When she speaks, there is warmth and genuineness. In my opinion, when she answered her questions, she spoke or maybe almost like our 90’s Miss India. She commands our attention but she is yet to become perfect like them. Miss India team is there to help her in this regard. Her styling and presence will improve tremendously once she is fully groomed by Miss India expert team. She won Miss Photogenic award. That’s the start. Sana Dua should be send to Miss Grand International 2017. Her background suits Miss Grand International motto “Stop the war and violence.’’ She has strong personality and presence. Her facial feature is very exotic and that makes her stand out. Priyanka Kumari is so likeable. She might look nervous when she speaks but there is innocence in her voice and childlike in the way she speaks. I believe that instead of being a negative point, it works to her advantage and her nervousness add more charm. Her answers were not the diplomatic and philosophical but honest and straight forward. That’s the kind of answer I like to hear. Hope Femina send her to international pageant.