Monday, September 10, 2012

By Ayus Wijaya

In the previous part, we have talked about Ordos, the host city of Miss World 2012, and the prelude to the final. In this part, we will talk about the most interesting part of my journey, the Grand Final of Miss World 2012, and my feeling about it. Are you ready? Get set! Go!

Chapter 5 : The Grand Final

The final followed a structure which was largely similar to last year final. After an opening number featuring the contestants introduction and an ensemble of performers (last year it was an electric choreography by Diversity dance troupe, this year it was a fiery war dance performance by a group of dancer in traditional Mongolian army attire), we get down to the business as the winner of each challenge event is announced and the scoreboard revealed. The 15 contestants with the highest score as deemed by the scoreboard  would advance to the semifinal before the judges cut them into 7 finalists. These lucky 7 would then face the final question who would in turn determine the winner of Miss World 2012. In the between we got treated by some special entertainments, including performances by Huhehaote Youth Horse Cello Troupe and Rodrick Dixon, and of course, the colorful tradition of Miss World itself, the Dance of The World.

All contestants on the stage during the opening number

There are some fresh twists and additions to the this year final though. First they add a semifinal round where the Top 15 semifinalists had to parade one by one in a uniform green turquoise gown. This new competition is perhaps their answer to questions and confusions of people who claim Miss World does not have a clear criteria and sufficient judging process to eliminate the Top 15 into Top 7. With the addition of this new round, we now know that stage presence is the ultimate key to enter the Miss World final round. Another twist for this year final is, for the first time since 2009, the winner of Talent event got to perform in the final. The lucky girl this time was no other than the host delegate China who sang a powerful ballad about a girl desperately waiting for her lover, a soldier, to come back from war. Another big change this year is the absence of the long standing Angela Chow as Miss World final host. Her position was replaced by Myleene Klass along with the returning male host from last year final, Jason Cook, and the two native-speaker hosts, Lily Wu (Chinese Mandarin) and Ni Ran Mutu (Mongolian).

The fierce foursome hosts - Ni Ran Mutu, Lily Wu, Myleene Klass, and Jason Cook

Overall I would say the final was decent one.And like in every edition of pageant there are things that I would love to see again and things that I prefer to leave. I love the fantastic four hosts - they did a good job, not perfect, but generally good and solid enough to guide us throughout the show. Having Myleene Klass as a new host is totally refreshing, especially after almost a decade we have Angela Chow as Miss World host again and again (I actually think Angela Chow is a good host but after all those years, it's really time for a change). I also love Miss World trying to add some local flavors by having the native-speaker hosts. I hope they will have an Indonesian host too for next year edition in my beloved country, Indonesia. Another thing that I love is of course the stage. There is no other word to describe it other than amazing, amazing, and simply amazing!

Could you find Miss Indonesia among this sea of Goddesses?

The 5 most talented girls this year - China, Panama, Jamaica, Norway, and Philippines

Enough with the praises! Now let's talk about things I would prefer to leave from the final night. First the choice of the entertainment. I know Miss World is not about glam or punk, it is more about sophistication and elegance. But in the end a pageant should be entertaining, not boring, and having a crooner like Rodrick Dixon, who was relatively unknown and unpopular to the current pageant fans mainstream, as a performer, is not a good way to have fun. Miss World should really reconsider their choice of performers and take an example from their rival, Miss Universe, with a smart selection of performers who are more in touch with today's trend such as Cobra Starship, Akon, or Kelly Rowland.

Chapter 6 : The Best Moments

Top 10 Beauty with a Purpose - Indonesia is in fourth place

If you are Indonesian, like me, then there are definitely two things from Miss World 2012 final that you should celebrate. The first one is of course our delegate, Ines Putri Tjiptadi, making the cut as one of the Top 15 semifinalists. This also the second consecuitve year Indonesia makes the cut in Miss World after last year Astrid Ellena also placed as one of the Top 15. However compared to Ellen last year, you could say that Ines placement into Top 15 was less suspenseful. Last year Ellen was not shortlisted among the Top 30 scoreboard until the very last moment when her Beauty with a Purpose victory catapulted her into Top 15, which made a lot of us felt genuinely hopeless until we received the sweet surprise in the end. This year, Ines has a different story. Ines has been present since the very first scoreboard (she was at joint 11th place in the interview round, which is a historic milestone for Indonesia in the pageantry world) and has been omnipresent in all of the following scoreboard until she was announced as one of the Top 15. Therefore, the Indonesian viewers could feel the relief much earlier. Regardless both achievements equally made me, and I believe most Indonesian too, feel proud. It was such an honor for me to witness by myself Indonesian representative standing there along with other top contestants of the contest.

Miss Indonesia 2012 Ines Putri Tjiptadi among the Top 15 semifinalists Miss World 2012

The preliminary scoreboard - Indonesia in joint tenth place

The other thing to celebrate is, of course, the official announcement of Indonesia as the host for Miss World 2013. It was almost surreal to watch the video showing that Indonesia will welcome Miss World in 2013 and the national flag of Indonesia displayed on the large screen alongside the flag of the present host, People's Republic of China. After a very long time of waiting the dream finally comes true. Since 2005, Indonesia has made quite an impressive progress into the world of pageantry. We started to send delegates to international pageants. We made the semifinalist cut, honored by some special awards, and even won some international pageants. And soon we will become the host of some Grand Slam pageants. So what's next? Perhaps winning a Grand Slam crown would be a challenging yet a nice target to achieve in the future.

Indonesian national flag displayed on the large screen

Chapter 6 : The Result

As in every edition of pagenats, there will be some who were satisfied and some who were disappointed with Miss World 2012 result. I tend towards the latter. Well it is true that Miss China Wenxia Yu was actually not the top choice of Indonesian Pageants Leaderboard. But she was the third in the Leaderboard which shows that she has been predicted and favored to go very far in the competition, and that is not only because of her sash. Wenxia Yu embodies what Miss World is all about - a beauty queen who is not only beautiful, regal, and charismatic, but also humble, down to earth, and commited to charitable cause. You can see her sincere and warm personality from all her pictures taken during the month-long Miss World festival. While she may not be the preetiest girl in the bunch, she has the best combination to assume the year-long duty as Miss World and I agree wholeheartedly with the judges this time.

Miss World 2011 Ivian Sarcos ready to crown her successor

I was also satisfied to see the girl who topped Indonesian Pageants Leaderboard - Miss Wales Sophie Moulds - ended up as the First Runner Up and won the prestigious Beach Fashion award. Since she won her national pageant, I have kept my eyes on her as a potential contestant. But it's not until halfway through the competition when I started to feel that she is the one to beat. In the end she was only the second best. But being the second best among 116 beautiful girls, especially in a batch as strong as Miss World 2012 girls, is already a great acomplishment. Her  First Runner Up finish also marks the best placement in Miss World by a British contestant since the country started to be represented by its four entities in 1999.

Top 10 supermodel of Miss World 2012 of which victory goes to Miss South Sudan

Another deserving victory from the night was the Top Model award by Miss South Sudan Atong Demach. For me Atong is a prettier version of a fellow Sudanese top model Alek Wek Everything about her screams catwalk supermodel and she has been a clear favorite for the title since the get go. Her victory also marks an interesting turn of choice in Top Model selection at Miss World contest. Several years ago, the girls who won the Top Model title were all the Goddesses with divine facial beauty like Zhang Zilin, Ksenia Sukhinova, or Perla Beltran. But lately, they started to favor the more "exotic" choices like Zhanna Zhumaliyeva and Atong Demach herself. These girls are not super beauty like their predecessors, but they have unique quality that makes them stand out on the catwalk. Perhaps being the challenge event which is closely related to the fashion realm, Miss World Top Model has adopted the nature of fashion itself - where trends always change.

Miss India shortly before Multimeadia Award announcement - she would eventually won the award and one another 

There are also some record-breaking moments and historic milestones set on the final night, most notably by Miss India Vanya Mishra who becomes the first ever contestant to win two challenge events in a single Miss World edition (she won Multimedia Award and Beauty with a Purpose Award). If you want to check out all these records, you can simply visit our special article here.

Miss World 2012 Wenxia Yu shortly after the crowning ceremony

So this is it. The end of my story from Ordos. I am sorry if it was a bit late because I need some time before I could finally find the first word to start the story. I hope you all enjoy it. See you next year in Miss World 2013, this time in our beauitful country, Indonesia!

Posing on the stage of Miss World 2012 after the final!

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