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 Miss Earth : NEWS
 October 31, 2001 " THE MOST DESERVING BATCH OF WINNERS IN YEARS by Gerry Diaz"

 




MISS EARTH 2001 Catharina Svensson and her Court(REUTERS INTL PHOTO)


After three weeks of covering the Miss Earth 2001 candidates, the contest culminatedin the glittering finals on October 28, 2001 at the UP Theater. After an unexpectedly long wait, the excitement began to build up with the announcement of the 10 semi finalists. As the name of each semifinalist was called, it was met with lusty applause of approval by the audience. Misses USA, Estonia, India, Argentina, Denmark, Latvia, Bolivia, Kazakstan, Philippines and the last semi finalist is.....At this point the audience was holding its breath as there were still at least two delegates who were predicted to make it to the Top 10 but only one slot was lefy which was taken by Miss Brazil. Simone Regis was a crowd favorite that night so the end of the announcement was again met with loud applause.

I got 9 out of 10 semi finalists with Denmark taking the solo slot I reserved for Miss Kenya. Miss Denmark was however , in my list of alternated for the Top 10. The other candidate expected to make it was Miss Ethiopia. If there were 12 semifinalists, I'm sure these lovely two ladies would have surely made it.

The semifinalists' analysis and insights of a photograph as related to an environmental issue was the big deciding factor for the selection of the Top 4 finalists. This portion is unique to Miss Earth and is definitely more difficult than the standard Question and Answer portion as it requires not only good communication skills but conceptual competence as well. First the candidate must be able to recognize the photo correctly. Second, she must be able to relate it to an environmental issue. Third, she should offer a practical and good solution to the concern or problem, Lastly, she must be able to enunciate her views in clear and no uncertain terms. It is in this portion where erstwhile top favorites bungled and dropped to the lower rungs.

The best statements came from Miss USA and Miss Denmark with Miss Brazil and Miss Argentina giving equally sensible views. It is interesting to note that two of the best commentaries came from the delegates who did not speak English very well.

Miss USA impressed me with her statement that not all logging activities are illegal. But after pointing out that the world has a lot of paper wastage, she wished advertising companies would stop sending advertising materials via mail which for the most part are not even read. This way, there will be less paper requirements and therefore, less illegal logging activities. Unfortunately for Miss USA, there were a lot of gorgeous ladies in her batch. Otherwise, she would have made the Top 4. By the way Abby Royce is a spokesperson in the US for various environmental concerns.

Miss Denmark was shown a picture of a river with two men canoeing. She started by saying that we should take care of our forests because a city with no nature is not good for our health. She also cautioned against destruction of the environment because we need oxygen to sustain life. She ended up by saying that we should keep and preserve Mother Earth to make it a place worth living in for future generations.

I was not sure how Miss Brazil would perform in this portion since she does not speak English very well. Howevever, I was very happy to realize that beneath that lovely face and a beautiful body was an intelligent woman. Shown a picture of a young boy drinking water from what looked like a fountain, Simone commented that it showed the pure joy of drinking fresh, clean water. She then reminded everyone that the world has limited water supply so we should keep our water resources clean. Miss Brazil also called on everyone to stay united and motivated to keep pollution out our water sources and to protect Mother Earth.

Miss Argentina described as terible the practice of burning tires. She said that everyone in this world breathes the air and if we continue the practice of burning tires it will be bad for our health. She added that once we damge the air, it will be difficult to solve or clean it up. Daniela also said that the Earth is our house and we need to protect it for future generations.

The very lovely Miss Kazakhstan did not score well in this portion. Shown a picture of a river with a gree forest in the backgrounds, she failed to connect it to an environmental concern and instead mouthed general motherhood statements in a roundabout manner. She described the photo as "a tropical place, with a river, many beautiful trees, so green and the sky." She expressed hope that every country will have this kind of picture. Margarita also emphasized that "rivers must stay in this planet since it is very important for us and the next generation, the future of our planet". Notwithstanding her poor performance in this round, her high rating in the swimsuit and evening gown portion must have pulled her up to the Top 4. Her blonde, doll-like features and beautiful body were just too good to ignore.

And now, Miss India. She must have disappointed a lot of her fans who expected her to do well in this segment because of the much touted intelligence and excellent communication skills of Indian beauties. What was expected to be a breeze for her didn't turn out to be so. Shown a photo of a waterfall, a river and a forest, she failed to connect it to the environmental issues of illegal logging and water pollution. Although she briefly talked about preserving our forests, I was surprised when she segued into her opening spiel about sharing our planet with animals. then she shifts gears and talks about protecting the ozone layer and that we should not tamper with it. This was not at all related to the photos that was shown. It was evident at this point that Miss India has lost grasp of the situation was just making general, motherhood statements. I was expecting she would do well in this portion to offset her poor showing in the swimsuit competition where I ranked her 6th. For her environmental statements I ranked her 9th. And thus, Miss India's chances at the finals flew out of the window. Too bad, I'm sure she would have nailed the final question but that's now spilled milk.

Misses Estonia, Latvia, Philippines and Bolivia all gave statements that were generalizations and did not make any remarkable view that it was a foregone conclusion that they would nat make the finals. Now that we've analyzed their performance in the environmental photo analysis, I hope that we have answered the questions that were in the minds of some members of our Mabuhay family.

For my next article, I'll analyze the performance of the Top 4 finalists and how they ranked. Watch for it! !