|The Miss Earth 2016 winners. Photo courtesy of Joy Arguil.|
|Miss Earth 2016 - The Glittering Finale|
Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, Philippines
|Outgoing Queen, Miss Earth 2015|
Angelia Gabrena Ong.
Carousel Productions had really done a great job this year, from a well-organized pre-pageant trips around the country's beautiful eco-tourism destinations doing environmental-related activities to a remarkable grand coronation finale held in a world-class venue, that is the renowned Mall of Asia Arena. All the 83 delegates who have competed this year's edition were feted like a true-blooded royalty with their five-star hotel receptions and luxurious amenities secured with the presence of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to ensure their safety and comfort as they tour around the country. On top of that were the pageant-crazy Filipino fans who received the delegates as their own and showered them with love and hospitality.
Introduction of Candidates
|The Miss Earth 2016 delegates during the Opening Number.|
True to its theme, "Empowered to Make a Change", we have seen some substantial changes that greatly benefited the overall production of the pageant. One of the significant changes was the pre-taped video presentation of the delegates in their national costumes accompanied with the highlights of their eco-videos playing in the background. The only minor disappointment was the nature of the choreography and their dull outfit during the Opening Number as the delegates danced to the tune of Fifth Harmony's That's My Girl. I was expecting for an eye-catching dress coupled with much fabulous, energetic steps. Nonetheless, it was still good and pretty organized overall.
|The Miss Earth 2016 delegates during the Evening Gown Segment|
The Top 16
As expected, Philippines' Imelda Schweighart didn't make the cut in the
|Imelda Schweighart of the Philippines in Leo Almodal|
The Top 16 was quite expected, since most of them were leading the medal tally. Although I wasn't really rooting for Sweden's inclusion. The organizers must have found something special about Cloie. I would be happier if Kenya, Thailand, Denmark or Panama earned a Semi-final spot as well.
The Swimsuit Competition
|Photo Credit: FabManilaPh|
The top performers in this round were Venezuela (Stephanie de Zorzi), Brazil (Bruna Zanardo), Ecuador (Katherine Espin) and Colombia (Michelle Gomez). Stephanie looked stunning in this round. Her styling was on point with her red hair gorgeously swept to the side coupled with her excellent pasarela skills. Bruna came in second in my opinion, although I must admit, I had underrated this girl in my prediction list. She looked so telegenic and with an almost perfect body symmetry to boot.
South Korea (Chae Yeung Lee) had an eerie semblance with Macau SAR China (Clover Zhu). They exuded similar aura and had an almost the same level of performance. I didn't expect these two girls to grab a Semi-final spot. They were silent during the entire pre-pageant competition and seemed satisfied with just having fun.
The Evening Gown Competition
|Photo Credit: OPMBWorldwide|
Ecuador looked so mesmerizing while strutting in her Swarovski-encrusted yellow Almodal gown. She was filled with positivity and her confidence was palpable. Russia's Aleksandra was divine in her simple black gown. Her youthful glow vividly shined through. Another stunner was England's Luissa Burton who was wearing a shimmering Leo Almodal dress. She looked vibrant as she sashayed the gown on stage. I wasn't quite impressed with Venezuela's red gown. Aesthetic-wise, I was expecting a more beautiful gown from this pageant powerhouse country. Although, I have to say, Stephanie carried her gown with aplomb. Her runway and projection skills were superb, to say the least.
Colombia was statuesque and she performed pretty well especially in the Evening Gown competition, although I'm not a fan with her lofty yet narrow shoulders. Brazil was spectacular with her gown.The color of choice suited her skintone and Bruna really knew how to work her assets well to her advantage. Honestly, I didn't pay much attention to her during the pre-pageant activities, I thought she was boring, but she proved me wrong.
The Production Number
The Top 8
From Top 16, the girls were trimmed down to 8. Vietnam, Venezuela, Russia, Sweden, USA, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador earned their respective spots. The Top 8 Finalists could've been a perfect line-up if England or Australia was included in lieu of Sweden. I have nothing against Sweden, however I firmly believe that Australia and England were superior in terms of presentation and the so called X-factor, although I must admit, Sweden gave a much stronger and clearer response during the make-or-break question and answer portion. Her sweet and calm demeanor must have also enticed the judges to choose her instead of the two gorgeous blondes.
It's noteworthy mentioning that Brazil, Ecuador, USA and Colombia were the ones who shined the brightest in this segment. They have hit the bull's eye with their answers. They have composed themselves well-enough with grace, intelligence and confidence while delivering their messages in the most nerve-racking part of the competition.
The Top 4
|Miss Earth 2016 Top 4 Finalists (L-R): Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil|
|Stephanie de Zorzi of Venezuela during|
the Evening Gown Competition of Miss
Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil and Colombia advanced to the Top 4. All from Latin countries. From this result, it is safe to say (unlike from the previous editions) that those who performed the strongest will surely crack through the Miss Earth's elemental court, regardless of your country and continent. Brazil outshine the other top contenders with her beauty and winsome stance, hence getting a spot in the Final 4. The same is true with Venezuela who beamed with confidence and perfection in every stride leading to the finals.
The Final Result
Miss Earth-Fire 2016 : Bruna Zanardo from Brazil
Miss Earth-Water 2016 : Stephanie de Zorzi of Venezuela
Miss Earth-Air 2016: Michelle Gomez of Colombia
Miss Earth 2016 : Katherine Espin of Ecuador
|Photo Credit: Joy Arguil|
I thought that the last two women who will be standing will be Venezuela and Ecuador. In my final prediction list, I have pinned down these two Latinas who will be in a neck to neck battle for the crown. Venezuela was perfection personified during the finals, only edged out by a hairline with Ecuador's congenial charm as well as the spontaneity of her thoughts and communication skills. But beauty-wise, Venezuela has the upperhand. True enough, beauty alone won't get you the Miss Earth crown. It has to go along with the ability to speak with passion and conviction in the different environmental issues. And Ecuador has it all, aside from being a Lawyer by profession. Nevertheless, Venezuela's achievement as Miss Earth-Water 2016 isn't bad after all. She is still considered very lucky to have landed in the elite four finalists among the 80 plus women who competed for the title. I know that with her beauty and skills, she will go far in life. In fact, Venezuela will be staying longer in the Philippines to pursue her modelling career in the print and commercial ads or fashion runways. And I bet, she will be successful.
Overall, Miss Earth 2016 pageant was an upgrade from last years' editions. The grand coronation night was so much better in recent years from the venue, stage designs and the production numbers. As a matter of fact, among the Big 4 Alpha international pageants, Miss Earth's pre-pageant activities stood to be the best of them all.
|Photo Credit: Joy Arguil|
Watch the Miss Earth 2016 crowning moment: