Miss World 2014: a deserving victory for South Africa

Miss World 2014 ended with the election of one of its most stunning winners of all times, South Africa’s Rolene Strauss. She confirmed her status of favorite and bagged the crown, sash, money prize, deservingly so. For the third year in a row, GB predicted the winner correcly: Rolene, not for a moment, left the top of our ranking. Her victory is unquestionable and we are sure she will be an extraordinary titleholder and ambassador for Beauty With a Purpose.

The Miss World show this year was quite amazing. The opening act was electrifying with the performance of Skye Blu and all the candidates wearing their national costumes. Dances of the World followed, making it even more enjoyable.

The candidates’ introduction was different from previous years and the 121 contenders got to walk a bit and have a few seconds more of attention than in previous years.

The special events’ videos were condensed and its winners were fastly announced, which was quite good. The call-off between Malaysia and Scotland for talent was a nice innovation. It should happen every year.

More time was given to Beauty With a Purpose winning projects, 5 in total, a first in Miss World history. Nonetheless, it is a pity that only three of the five projects were shown on the telecast (Kenya, Indonesia and Guyana). The other two winners, Brazil and India, were not shown, which might have been frustrating for both candidates.

The announcement of the Top 25 quarter-finalists was dynamic and all of them had a a chance to have a quick walk and be focused by the cameras. We still believe it would be nicer to have them all walking the catwalk in a nice fashion show, or something like that.

The Vamps added some modernity to the show. During their first song, for example, the Top 25 could have interacted with the band and walked the runway, for instance. The second song was very good, as well as seeing the non-finalists taking part in it.

Hosting was excellent. Megan Young definetely delivered a flawless performance, and that was the night she was crowning her successesor, so imagine her nerves. Incredible, really! Frankie Cena was superb as well: funny, creative, with complete control of what he was doing. The videos in which Megan and Frankie appeared were fun to watch and gave a lighter tone to the show. Tim Vincent, to be quite honest, ended up playing a supporting role, so great the other two were (but he did his job well).

Steve Douglas was more relaxed than ever delivering partial results and the all nerve-racking changes on the leaderboard. As a matter of fact, how about having Megan, Frankie and Steve on stage next year? It would be perfect.

The tributes to Aishwarya Rai and Julia Morley were very touching. Julia has been doing an extraordinary work with Beauty With a Purpose, and above all, is a among who does her work with a heart and truly cares about the women who participate in her event. Ash is already a living legend, Bollywood’s greatest star ever and elected by GB “the most beautiful Miss World ever” twice. It was amazing seeing her back on the Miss World stage after two decades.

Top 11 announcemente (Top 10 + the most voted candidate at MW’s app) was exciting. What we would do differently? Not showing their ranking up to that point in order not to influence the judges. We also believe the Top 11 semi-finalists should have more time to present themselves, either with short videos or a runway walk.

The final moments were similar to last year’s, with videos of each of the 5 finalists and the famous final question, “Why should you be the next Miss World?”. Crowning was traditional and great as usual, the most awaited moment of the night, or of the yeatr, we should say!

In overall terms, it was an excellent show, time flew during this year’s telecast. Miss World is different from other pageants, with its own face. It created a unique identity and deserves kudos for that.

Results, other than the winner…

As in any other competition of the kind, pageant observers and followers can judge the contestants based on what they see and hear from a distance. So not always results are exactly like the “expected” by most.

A major upset was seeing Miss France winning the preliminary interview and being left out of the Top 25. With the current MW scoring system, it can happen because only a few candidates score points on the preliminary special events. For future editions, we suggest Miss World to score all girls on the special events. They could all be given scores which would be averaged (just like their preliminary interview). In our perception, it would be fairer to the candidates and even more exciting to follow!

Other women considered favorites since day one of competition, also failed to advance, like Puerto Rico, Spain, and the stunning Middle Eastern trio: Lebanon, Israel and especially Turkey. Namibia could have easily been up there, as well as Haiti.

Among those who made it, the biggest surprises were Vietnam and Bolivia. Sweden started gaining ground in the last week of competition, so her placement did not come as a shock. One interesting fact about her: she may be remembered in history as the last Miss World’s Beach Fashion winner. From next year on, girls won’t be judged wearing swimsuits any longer. It is indeed time to move forward and to focus on the women’s real and integral beauty – there’s no need for a swimsuit analysis when looking for a goodwill and beauty ambassador. We applaud Miss World’s decision.

Speaking of the Top 11, although all of them deserved to be up there, it was surprising to see Philippines, Dominican Republic, Russia and South Sudan (2nd place in the preliminary interview) left behind. But it was a tough call and we must remember that Beauty With a Purpose is the most important part of the competition, which might have given a push to Misses Kenya and Guyana, to mention a couple.

Finally arriving at the Top 5, the biggest shock was India being ditched off after appearing on the leaderboard in first place moments earlier of the announcement. What might have made the judges chance their minds so abruptly may always remain a mystery, but then again, it was a strong group and at that point they all went to zero and anything could happen.

Hungary was a delightful surprise and totally deserved getting the “silver medal”. We would have placed stunning Australia in 3rd place.

The winner, as we said before, is unquestionable, undisputed, absolutely gorgeous and bright, and in the end, that’s what really matters!

We salute and congratulate the MWO for always improving and innovating! Let’s now follow Rolene’s steps as Miss World, and the national contests leading to the election of Miss World 2015. Best of luck!!

photos by Leonardo Rodrigues/GB