Miss Universe 2018: GB broadcast review
Miss Universe 2018 was in overall terms a good show, though we still believe that three hours is a lot of airing time, which takes away some of its dynamics and tv ratings. In the USA, for instance, the Fox broadcast slipped 7 percent in total viewers from the 2017 number of views. In Brazil, Band TV got only 1.9 point, placing in a distant 4th place among the country´s 4 big television chains. In other Latin American countries numbers are still considerably high, but not as they used to be in the past. South East Asian countries are where Miss Universe and other major beauty pageants get the great majority of their viewers nowadays.
The Stage Production
Like in Miss USA, organizers used a runway instead of a big stage, a tendency in today´s pageants. It was elegant, never overcrowded and certainly served its purpose well. Last year´s stage in Las Vegas was more impressive, but at least in 2018 Miss Universe brought back to the its production some of the host country elements, which was appreciated by the viewers. However, compare it to the elaborate stages we saw in Miss Universe 2005 and 1992, when Miss Universe was also held in Thailand, and you might be shocked.
The Opening Number
As Ne-Yo performed a slow-paced song, the candidates walked the runway, all together. Gone are the electric and full of excitement opening numbers which were a trend mark of Miss Universe! We miss that energy, the creativity, the show we used to be!
The Candidates Introduction
Divided into three regional groups, the candidates were introduced in cool and well produced videos which highlighted local elements of the Thai culture. Although they were beautifully done, there was not a single moment when all 94 candidates were shown individually on stage, a first in 66 years of history. With 3 hours in their hands, this is something that should not really happen. Can you imagine the fans, national directors and family members who traveled half the globe not being able to applaud their favorite candidates at least once, as they walk the runway in their big moment?
The Top 20 Calling and the presenters
We like the regional division and the way the Top 20 quarter-finalists are called. It adds excitement to the show and the quick interviews with Steve Harvey are quite good, taking us back, to a certain extent, to the Bob Barker´s years. Steve, by the way, has been getting better and better as years go by. We don´t like the special commentators. Not that they are bad, but there´s not consistency in what they say. Bring back Angela Visser or some pageant expert to give us juicy information and bold opinions. It will add a lot to the show.
The Top 20 Speech
What started with Miss International and was followed by Miss Grand International, is now adopted by Miss Universe as well: the speech. It clearly shows that the MUO is putting more emphasis on how the contestants communicate and speak their minds, which certainly fits today´s world. Nicely done.
The Top 20
Was it a “bad” Top 20? Who are we to say it, right? With many “surprises” to outsiders, including pageant followers from a variety of countries, at least it included the main favorites for the big prize: South Africa, Philippines, Canada, Puerto Rico and Vietnam. In addition, it is also good to remember that those involved with the pageant, watching and observing everything from a close distance, know much more than people who see it from a distance.
In Europe, however, except for Belgium and Great Britain, it looked like once again names were picked randomly out of a bowl!
Thailand made the cut for the first time when competing at home, while stronger preliminary performers such as Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan, and the superb African representatives of Kenya and Nigeria, were all “left in the ice” in Asia and Africa.
What happened to Mexico, one of the most incredible faces in the competition?
And a question that won´t shut is: does MUO have something against candidates from Muslim nations? Ever since Lebanon won the title back in a distant 1971, this country placed again only once, in 1973. After that, no matter how stunning its representative is (which was the case here), it doesn´t happen. This woman should have been sent to Miss World instead. For sure she would´ve gotten recognition there.
It´s very sad to see “black Africa” totally ignored as well, especially with a handful of stunners competing.
We know Costa Rica from Miss Eco 2016, when she emerged as the winner in the pageant held in Egypt. She might not be the prettiest around, but her witty and charm once again made her shine. Her presence of spirit when chatting with Steve Harvey was incredible, a la Cecilia Bolocco 1987! It was a memorable moment from this year´s pageant.
The Top 10 Swimsuit and Evening Gown competitions
Both SS and EG were nicely done, the original swimsuit pieces were interesting and again bringing elements of the Thai culture.
About the results, we must say that we missed Great Britain here! After doing so well with the microphone twice, we wonder what caused her to be left behind, along with the entire European continent! Thailand having made this far was a stretch,
South Africa, who had been doing so well and demonstrating so much confidence up to that point, got nervous when having trouble walking with her gown choice. Unfortunately, from that point on, she was never again as cool and collected as we´ve seen her before it. That´s where she started losing a crown which could´ve been hers.
Philippines, also very strong and always South Africa´s biggest competition, dared in a Jessica Rabit´s look-alike hot piece. It worked for her, very sexy!
Another candidate who dared a bit too much and was not as successful, was stunning Canada. Perhaps the most beautiful woman of the night, she looked amazing in her “Dinasty” gown, but quite oldfashioned. Had she gone with the same elegant gown she wore during the preliminary competition, Canada could have made the Top 5.
Vietnam also should not have changed gowns, but she nailed it and advanced anyway. BTW, it was quite great to see her emotion and humbleness each time she advanced!
Venezuela looked amazingly sexy and if not a major favorite, she diplayed a lot of charisma and did very well in the end. Venezuela is Venezuela, always!
Curaçao was very elegant and we were glad to see her doing so well.
Nepal was the delightful surprise and positive note of the night!
After the preliminary competition, we knew that it would be difficult for Miss Spain to make the cut. However, as Angela herself put it, she didn´t need to win, she only needed to be there.
Angela and the MUO have opened a door to acceptance and respect to people who have been historically segregated and now have a sense of belonging. Well done, we have also applauded it!
Top 5 and the final decision
South Africa as we already mentioned, lost clearly her nerves´ control after her gown walk, while Philippines, her strongest opponent, kept everything together. The South African stunner had a better Top 5 answer than Philippines in our view, although she seemed to go blank for a few seconds before responding it. It´s hard to understand how Vietnam did not place in the Top 3 after giving the most substantial and “real” answer of the night. She made history for her country anyway, deserving all the recognition she can get.
Puerto Rico competed with full power once again, after many years. She placed in the Top 5 and for many could also have been in the Top 3.
South Africa was once again betrayed by her nerves when it mattered the most, and she came short of a brilliant answer for the final question. Philippines did her homework, delivered a good final answer and walked away with the crown with merit.
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters looked ravishing after completing a great year as Miss Universe and crowing her successor.
Catriona Gray was always a contender for the crown. Filipino fans never got over the fact that she did not win the Miss World title in 2016, but reality is: Stephanie Del Valle, Miss World 2016, has proven to be an excellent titleholder and today is an ambassador for Beauty With a Purpose and a Miss World presenter. That was meant to be, and the poor sentiment of “revenge” should have no space here. Catriona´s time has arrived, she is now Miss Universe, and we have no doubt that she will have a great year ahead. Miss Universe 2018 is beautiful, talented, intelligent, and of course, very popular among her millions of Filipino fans.
We congratulate Miss Universe on a very good show and wish the new Miss Universe, Catriona Gray of the Philippines, much success as Miss Universe 2018!
Photos: Miss Universe