Tuesday, October 18, 2011

By Ayus Wijaya

The Fast Track events, a unique feature in Miss World pageant, debuted first in the 2003 edition. However the list of events used for this inaugural edition was not the same as the one used nowadays. In the spirit of the upcoming Miss World 2011 edition, let's take a nostalgic look back to the year 2003 where the Fast Track first began.

The very first Fast Track event held in the history of Miss World is Beach Beauty. It was held on 27 November 2003 and won by Miss Ireland Rosanna Davison who would eventually went on to win the Miss World 2003 crown. Since then Beach Beauty has always been an indicator to predict which girls would likely make the cut and go far in the competition, as most of the girls who are enlisted as finalists in this event will be included in the semifinalists line up.

Another Fast Track event in 2003 edition was Miss Personality, also known in some other pageants as Miss Friendship or Miss Congeniality. This award has actually been given in Miss World pageant since 1973 and like in other pageants, the winner is also decided by the delegates themselves. This award was discontinued in 1999 but resurfaced for the last time in 2003 when it is used as one of the Fast Track. The winner that time was Miss Bolivia Helen Aponte. The award was announced on 29 November 2003 and ever since then it has never been awarded nor used again as a Fast Track event.

Another award that was given on the night of 29 November 2003 was Miss Talent. Like Miss Personality, this award is not actually new to Miss World pageant. The first Talent award was given in 1978, however, it was not until 2001 when it was given for the second time. In 2003, the award was finally promoted as a Fast Track event. The first delegate to be fast tracked through this event was Miss Georgia Irina Onashvili. It was also the first time for Georgia to compete in Miss World pageant.

The fourth Fast Track event of the 2003 edition is totally a new innovation in pageant. Before that, no one would think that pageant and sport could co-exist with each other. But Miss World combines these two things together as Miss Sport event, awarded for the first time ever on 30 November 2011 to Miss Canada Nazanin Afshin Jam. Nowadays, this event is usually the favorite part of Miss World pageant by many pageant fans around the world.

Miss World pageant is perhaps the first pageant which allows fans around the world to vote for a delegate to become a semifinalist. Miss Australia Olivia Stratton won the votes of people and became the last delegate to be fast tracked in 2003 through the People's Choice event. However like Miss Personality, this event was only held once and since then it has never been awarded nor used again as a Fast Track event. In 2008, the organizer planned to use it again but was canceled in the last minute.

Today Fast Track has been used for 8 years and since then there are already 39 Fast Track winners. Who will join them this year ... stay tuned as Miss World season kicks off this week!
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