Well the international Superbowl of pageants has come and gone and we have a new Miss Universe from the Philippines. So how was the production? Well if you didn't watch the 3 hour television show because you had other better things to do with 3 hours of your time, then here is the recap in words. (You can also watch the three part video recaps of the competition on our YouTube channel.)
First off, let me say the opening was incredible and dramatic. Production had great uses of culture and entertainment, but then Ne-Yo appeared and it felt like it was just another America TV show with an American singer when it was supposed to be in Thailand. I think it would’ve been nicer to have a little more spotlight on Thailand artists and dancers. Of course it was evening here in the USA while it was 7am there, those poor contestants had to be running purely on excitement and caffeine!
The announcer once again was Steve Harvey and I was very happy to see him back. He just brings a great energy to the stage. I also loved the stage set up where the audience was on all areas of the stage. They had three long runways. Phenomenal! Also another great edition was the judges panel. This was the first time Miss Universe had an all female panel. Now it was time to narrow down the 94 contestants to the top 20.
Top 20 consisted of:
5 Semi-finalists from the Americas
5 Semi-finalists from Europe
5 Semi-finalists from Africa & Asia Pacific
5 Wild Cards
First 5 semi finalists:
South Africa (A&AP) - She had so much personality and beauty, so tall!
Philippines (A&AP) – Very confident and super personable!
Nepal (A&AP) – Lovely, but her chatter with Steve Harvey was meh
Vietnam (A&AP) – Loved her hairstyle and seems just so fun!
Thailand (A&AP) – Loved her silver dress! Loved her makeup and so beautiful!
Second 5 semi finalists:
Poland (Eur) – Loved her dress!
Belgium (Eur) – She didn’t understand Steve Harvey's question but she was memorable in her look!
Great Britain (Eur) – She sand "A Moment Like This" while Steve Harvey danced.
Hungary (Eur) – She spoke about her dad and Steve Harvey recognized him. It was neat.
Ireland (Eur) – She was engaging and beautiful! Seems like lots of fun!
Third set of Semi-finalists from America’s
Curaçao (Am) – Beautiful and loved her dress!
Costa Rica (Am) – Personality and picked on Steve Harvey to read envelope carefully – OMG so funny! It was in good taste and Harvey picked back.
Canada (Am) – So, so tall and super smart! Stunning! Loved her in the intro and made a great impression.
Puerto Rico (Am) – Gorgeous hair and cute!
Jamaica (Am) – So cute!
Wild Card 5 Semi Finalists
USA (WC) – She just didn’t look her best the whole time at Miss Universe, in my opinion. Spunky and quirky, but just seemed out of place.
Venezuela (WC)- Just perfection! But struggled with English at first but just ended beautifully.
Indonesia (WC) Tall and lovely! So much fun but maybe didn’t understand the question but full of personality!
Brazil (WC) – Could have spoken more. Flat.
Australia (WC) – Told a joke and had a great deliver and clarified that her jokes weren’t always good. Showed lots of personality, though.
SO after successfully killing an entire hour of calling out the top 20 (I bet those poor girls feet are hurting) it was now time to start the real competition. It began with each contestants personal introductions about their missions. (The intros can be seen in our YouTube competition recap in the link below.)
South Africa – cute and nice speaker
Philippines – great delivery
Nepal – no spark and had trouble
Vietnam – had difficult time in English but so cute
Thailand – emotional but had an sincere delivery**
Poland – Commanding but lack spark
Belgium – spoke French, personable
GB – phenomenal speaking; awesome **
Hungary – Model type but lacked spark.
Ireland – Nervous but spoke well
Curacao – great great delivery! **
Costa Rica – well-spoken
Canada – phenomenal job **
PR – spoke Spanish – loved her look, very confident and personable
Jamaica – beautiful, forgot her statement; recovered as best as she could.
USA – Seemed nervous, spoke well; did mess up
Venezuela – gorgeous! Just love her! Had difficult time delivering in English but was great!
Indonesia – Love her look; struggled a bit
Brazil – nice job
Australia- beautiful; cultural diversity topic; delivered well
Now it was time to cut to Top 10, who would advance to swim and evening wear.
I was super sad that Great Britain did not make it, but my other three favs did advance, so yay! Now moving into swimsuit. A Thailand designer created the finals swimsuit of four various colors and two styles. Contestants were able to select the style and color and they modeled with a VS Angel runway look. (The recap of SS and EW can be seen on our YouTube channel. Click the link below to watch.)
SA – yellow 1 piece cut out.
Vietnam – 2 piece yellow; loved her attitude.
Venezuela – 2 piece yellow; good stage presence
Philippines – 1 piece cut out fuchsia; great presence
Costa Rica – same piece, good use of the cover up with flare. So-so performance.
Curaçao – baby blue 1 piece cut out – love everything about her!
Nepal – red-orange 1 piece cut out; average. Not totally memorable
Canada – 2 piece red-orange; great body and totally a model.
Thailand – 2 piece red-orange; just awesome.
Puerto Rico – 1 piece blue baby cut out; great model and cute
After a great swimsuit competition, Miss Universe entered the stage in a white, flowery pant suit, and no crown. But she shared her story about being hijacked by 5 men and was able to punch one of them in the throat to get away. She used that as her platform while speaking to female groups about empowerment and courage.
Now at this point, I've noticed the amount of commercials and length of wasted time with nonsense. Next it's on to evening wear with the Top 10.
SA – She had a hard time walking down the runway. Her shoes and hem line kept getting caught. She had to stop and adjust her gown before continuing walking.
Vietnam – Silver, long-sleeved, stoned gown. Stunning & a show-stopper. **
Venezuela – Beautiful but very risqué with the nude illusion. **
Philippines – red show stopper. High slit. Beautiful just very risque, along with her poses.
Costa Rica – blue low off shoulder, too much cleavage, feather bottom. Did not care for her dress.
Curaçao – Illusion white silver dress. Stunning; *
Nepal – One-sleeved ombre orange bottom. Lacking pizzazz, stumbled on the runway.
Canada – HUGE dress. Big train that took up most of the runway. Looked beautiful but so much dress was distracting.
Thailand – Red, stoned, strapless. Great walk. Simple and ... unique.
Puerto Rico – silver nude illusion, V-neck.
You can see the light at the end of the tunnel now as we approach the final five and their on-stage questions, which came from the other contestants. (The recap of the Top 5 questions and final word can be seen on our YouTube channel. Click the link to watch now.)
Puerto Rico – Hundreds of journalists were jailed this year for writing stories that were critical of their governments. Why is freedom of the press important? (Confident and answered the question directly.)
Vietnam – #MeToo movement sparked global conversation and now the whole world seems to be too politically correct. Do you think the #MeToo movement has gone too far? (Could have answered more but very confident in her short answer)
Philippines – Canada joined Uruguay as second nation in the world to make marijuana legal. What is your opinion on legalization of marijuana? (Could have answered more to support her stance, seemed unfinished.)
South Africa – Many countries across the world are experiencing an increase of immigration. Do you think countries should limit the number of refugees allowed to cross their borders? (Empathetic. Answered but could have given more to support her stance.)
Venezuela – What would you say to someone who believes that pageants are archaic and against the feminist movement? (Great speaker and solid answer)
Finally we have the Top 3 finalists. I was so, so heart-broken about Vietnam not making Top 3. Oh she was just perfect all night BUT could have made more of an impression in the Top 5 OSQ, so I get it. She will be the new most famous person in her country for a good long while! Best of luck, Miss Vietnam!
Now on to the "final word." They all got the same question and had 45 seconds to answer: What is the most important lesson learned in life and how would you apply it to your time as Miss Universe?
Philippines – applied it to her mission; Working with children and being a spokesperson. Great answer! Nailed it!
South Africa – took a minute to think of her answer; treat each other with love. She didn’t fully answer the question and it was very, very short.
Venezuela – lessons learned from the women in her family; confident speaker and spoke from the heart, but didn’t give a specific answer, just a very nice sincere answer about her family.
Now after three hours of stalling, commercials, chatter, interviews, video montage, and more - we have the final results:
2RU - (to my surprise it was NOT South Africa) VENEZUELA
1RU - SOUTH AFRICA
Miss Universe 2019 - PHILIPPINES (and her sexy red, high slit dress)
It was a very, VERY long TV show. Three hours is just too long for everyone. Also, just an FYI - Miss Universe telecast only lost 0.3 million viewers while the Miss America telecast lost over 3 MILLION. I'm just saying ..... BUT the fashion was great, the girls were gorgeous, and Steve Harvey didn't mess up! All in all, it was another great production in the books. Until next time .....